Letters: Wednesday, December 12, 2002

To the editor: Every week I look forward to reading the Fort Worth Weekly. Unfortunately, Hearsay is so fixated on John Price that that’s all we ever hear about. Fort Worth’s music scene — some good, some bad — has a lot more interesting things going on. Whoever wrote the article on John Price has bought into this JP phenomenon that seems to only exist from the intersection of University and Berry to about Blockbuster’s. Only a few years back I knew this guy when he ate meat, wore Polo’s, drank Cokes, and was the quintessential frat-daddy. Now he struts around wearing boas and fur coats, preaching to girls on campus about drinking “nature’s drink,” and suddenly doesn’t eat meat. In addition, it seems he’s come down with the Corey Hart syndrome. I hate to sound ’80s, but this guy is a poseur. I guess what I am trying to say is whoever you are, get over him, so I can read about other talent in the area. Other than that, I enjoy your paper.

Jimmy Scandlin


Editor’s note: While John Price has been written about by our HearSay columnist from time to time, it was Ken Shimamoto who wrote “That ’70s Showman,” the Nov. 21, 2002, music feature story in the Weekly.

Burger Truths

To the editor: I appreciate an honest critique of our establishment, Al’s Hamburgers (“Best Burger?” Oct. 3, 2002). Your overview was vested with some experientially pertinent truths and some observations that defied explanation.

Our meat patties are far from the “thin commercial patties also favored by the chains.” How do you explain them being “always moist and flavorful”? The patty is 90 percent lean ground chuck delivered fresh daily and is only slightly smaller than a quarter pound. It’s far from the standard commercial variety — ask our meat supplier. Taylor Beef provides us with the best we can buy.

Your appraisal of our queso is obviously one of an individual with a finely tuned palate, as we use only the best cheese sauce available mixed with a precise amount of a widely loved salsa. The cheese sauce goes back to the days when Al and family ran a catering trailer at many of the local and national Motocross events. We strive for the best!

Our potatoes have the flavor of potatoes because they are that and that alone. No processing, blanching, or freezing ... just potatoes cut in the morning and fried to order.

I believe the truth speaks for itself. I desire only to provide the facts necessary to explain the previously unexplained in your dining experience. We truly are family run — my wife, Melody, and I are co-managing partners — and seek to give every patron the benefit of that family experience.

Gary Lawrence


Look Out Next Time

To the editor: I want to thank Marilyn Ewell for the nice letter she wrote about the Houston family and the lousy way that our D.A.’s office is run. I met the Houston family and several other families of murdered loved ones during the Terri Moore run for D.A. and all of them were talking about the way Tim Curry did not help them — period. Terri would have been a good D.A., but the straight party ticket hurt her very much and they do not even know whom they voted for. I enjoyed meeting all of the fine people who worked so hard for Terri, and the one who did the most was Sandy Houston.

By the way, Jim Lane and Kay Granger need to get ready for the next election — they will have good people running against them.

Elmer Elmo Vernia

Fort Worth

That’s How Desperate

To the editor: The Nov. 25 headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram read “Fort Worth desperately needs a new first-class hotel ...”. Well, how desperate are we? This City Council is desperate enough to put 160 million of the taxpayers’ dollars at risk, that’s how desperate.

We have heard all sorts of rationalizations why we need it, how we can do it, how it will “protect” our investment in the convention center, etc., etc. The real question is: Should government compete directly with the private sector? The answer is — of course not.

Despite the lowest interest rates in 40 years, predicted revenues of $26 million, and protection for the city’s general fund, the risk is still very high.

All the glowing appraisals by the “experts,” council members, city staff, and editorialists, are replete with “may,” “expect,” and “could.” Experts not beholden to the city, a couple of council members, and thousands of citizens use the same words but in a different vein. They say that the hotel may fail to achieve expected revenues. They say that existing hotels may be unable to compete and could ultimately fail. They say that there is a glut of convention space coming available and we may not be able to compete and make a profit. They say that, while unlikely, it could be destroyed by fire or a tornado and we would lose the farm.

What has been billed as a $130 million hotel is actually a $120 million hotel costing $160 million plus interest. Buying the Tarrant County College downtown campus and paying for its relocation and rent will consume approximately $10 million. The $25 million to capitalize the interest during construction amounts to borrowing money to pay the interest on borrowed money. With $5 million more to pay the bankers and lawyers, that means fully one third of the hotel’s cost (not counting interest) goes to ancillary expenses. That’s such a deal?

If there was any certainty at all to the success of this endeavor, the hotel industry would be here asking for a tax abatement and eager to start breaking ground. And not having any certainty, shouldn’t the taxpayers be asked for a vote of confidence? If residents can’t vote on the hotel, at least they’ll get a chance to vote on a new council in six months. But by then the damage will have been done.

Fort Worth needs a first-rate convention hotel, but not by putting public funds at risk.

Clyde Picht

Fort Worth City Council, District 6

Righteous and Wrong?

To the editor: If Robin Fletcher is a journalism major, then he should know better than to write about a subject that he obviously knows nothing about (Letters, Nov. 28, 2002). The evidence clearly indicated that no crime was committed [in the death of Chad Houston]. The only thing that anyone in the Metroplex needs to worry about is inaccurate allegations from ignorant, self-righteous media types.

Lance Beshara


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