Letters: Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Laying Out the Lyme Story

To the editor: I am a chronic Lyme patient from southern Connecticut who has spent over 10 years studying the politics that underlie this nasty disease, and it is, sadly, a rare occurrence that a journalist in the corporate media is able to grasp the complexity or report on it accurately. Jeff Prince (“Hard-Bitten,” Feb. 4, 2009) appears to have done both. Despite a few quibbles that I have, the article is a fine piece of journalism, and I hope you all will keep digging, learning, and reporting.
My biggest “nit” is that the article makes the common mistake of depicting the debate as being between anecdotal evidence on one side (patients and their clinicians) versus “science” (albeit rife with conflicts of interest) on the other. In actuality, there is a wealth of peer-reviewed science that supports the belief that the Lyme bacteria is able to survive the courses of treatment recommended by the Infectious Disease Society of America. Studies in both mice and dogs, for example, have shown that the infection persisted despite recommended treatment with antibiotics.
Furthermore, the studies that Eugene Shapiro and his IDSA colleagues continually cite do not in any way prove that Lyme disease is cured by IDSA protocols, nor do they prove that long-term antibiotics cannot cure it. Just as one example, the infamous Klempner study used 30 days of one drug followed by 60 days of another. This should hardly be considered long-term treatment. For many of us, it took well over three months of antibiotics the second time around before we noticed any improvement in symptoms.
The claims about the Klempner study are a deliberate overreach by Shapiro and his “denialist” buddies. It is probably just a coincidence that such an interpretation increases their value as consultants to the insurance industry.
Thanks to Jeff for his excellent work.
Steve Gottschalk
Wilton, Conn.

Keep Stepping on Toes
To the editor: Excellent article by Dan McGraw on Heritage Park (“Neglected Heritage,” Feb. 18, 2009). I especially enjoyed seeing the Fort Worth City Council exposed for who they really are.
In fact, several of McGraw’s articles in recent months have shown how much the council is part of the good ol’ boy network. For instance, the Meadowbrook lady running for city council who was thrown out of that church (“Muzzled,” Nov. 19, 2008). I wonder who had the power to tell the police to go after her? And the story on the Will Rogers Coliseum and Fort Worth Stock Show — how in the hell did the city sell out that cheaply to the Stock Show and for something like 15 years? Especially since a fraction of the stock show profits could fix the park so easily.
Then there was the Jeff Prince story about city consultants and a former mayor working for the gas drillers (“Gas Well Smell Test,” Jan. 14, 2009) and the article by Eric Griffey about the police messing with the bars downtown that wouldn’t hire off-duty officers (“Waiting for Drunks,” Dec. 30, 2008). And many more that I can’t remember right now. If only the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the local TV news stations had the cojones to expose these incidents, maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation. But then the good ol’ boys probably control them too!
Personally I would be afraid to step on some of the toes that Fort Worth Weekly has been tromping on, but I am really glad y’all are doing it. Keep on mashing down, because this BS needs to stop. I try to mention these issues and your paper to my friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who might not already read your paper. Also I try to patronize your advertisers. Keep up the excellent work!
Myke Winter
Upgrade the Covers
To the editor: I’m a long-time loyal reader of the Weekly. I enjoy all aspects of the magazine, from the music, movie and food reviews to the hard-hitting articles and opinion pieces. I’m happy that Fort Worth has a publication like the Weekly and proud that it’s still independent after so many years.
But I have one complaint. Usually the cover art for the Weekly is mediocre but at least palatable, but the Feb. 11 cover (“South by Northwest”) finally motivated me enough to write to you. The “totem pole” image looked like cut-and-paste clip art. Was that the best you could come up with? The text is barely readable, and the illustration is a mish-mash of images that barely make sense even if you know what Indian Casino Records is all about. To the casual reader who knows nothing of the record company, this cover looks like a fourth grader’s collage project combined with the skew and warp tools in Adobe Illustrator. It’s unattractive and is a poor representation of the contents of the article. All that said, I really admire the Weekly. I simply think that you (the collective you) could do a better job on artwork and move the Weekly one step higher.
Molly Horn
Fort Worth

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