Letters: Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Low on Courage
To the editor: Every now and again, as I’m reading Fort Worth Weekly, I must back up and re-read something because my brain will not let me accept what I have just seen. The May 7 offering from Dan McGraw (“Foot Off the Gas) was the latest example. I found myself asking, “Did the Mayor’s mouthpiece, Jason Lamers, just call Chuck Silcox a liar?”
Sure ’nuff, there it was: “Mayor Mike Moncrief suggested at a recent budget workshop that the council consider a property tax increase to make up the shortfall,” according to Chuck ... and then Lamers said that “never at any time did the mayor ‘advocate’ for a tax increase at any workshop or any meeting.” Seems that Jason missed a few meetings.
First, your readers should know that whatever comes out of Jason Lamers’ mouth is a direct quote from Mayor Moncrief. Nothing he does or says can be done without the direct say-so from Hizzoner. In this case, not only did the mayor advocate a tax increase at a budget workshop, my sources also tell me that he had individual meetings with the council members to gauge support for a tax rate hike, a proposition for which he had the usual support from Sal Espino and Danny Scarth.
Now, under the heading of “just in case you didn’t know,” these individual “meetings” to gauge support for an issue of public concern are violations of Texas’ open meetings law, in that they constitute a “walking quorum.” The sad truth is that it will take a great deal of courage on the part of some council members before this insanity — walking quorums, out-of-control spending, Trinity Uptown lies, votes for sale to gas drillers — ends.
Courage is in very short supply on the council at the moment.
Louis McBee
Fort Worth
Death Row Images
To the editor: The Weekly’s “Our Other Selves” (May 7, 2008), with photos by John Holbrook and text by Gayle Reaves, gives us reason to ponder the death penalty and how it affects both the perpetrators and the victims’ families. The photos of the condemned give a special insight to the caged life that death-row inmates endure for years.
With the advent of DNA and the Innocence Project, many such inmates have been exonerated. With this in mind, shouldn’t there be a moratorium on executions? How many have been led to the altar of death who were innocent?
Death is final. I can commiserate with the victims’ families, but will executing someone (perchance wrongly) really bring closure? Will it bring the victim back to life?
Donald Maskell
Fort Worth
Applause for Allied
To the editor: Static (May 7, 2008) was correct in that the Star-Telegram failed to acknowledge the true pioneer in the chain of action to bring to public notice the problems at John Peter Smith hospital. It was Allied Communities of Tarrant that brought the Weekly journalists’ attention to the situation at the county hospital. Yes, the Star-Telegram wrote a well-balanced and well-documented account, but so did the Weekly with “Code Red for JPS” on March 5.
My husband and I thank Allied Communities of Tarrant and the Weekly for their fact-finding endeavors to bring the taxpayers up to date.
Dee Cantrell
Fort Worth
More than the NRA
To the editor: “Apocalypse Man” by E. R. Bills in the April 30, 2008, Second Thought column put Charlton Heston in perspective. With his passing, we’ve lost another of the movies’ great stars. His 1956 film The Ten Commandments is viewed by millions on TV every year just before Easter. His illustrious career also included terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, chairman of the American Film Institute, and president of the National Rifle Association. And he received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom — a fitting tribute to this Oscar-winner (for Ben Hur). Thank you, Mr. Bills, for the “rest of the story” in your fine piece on Heston.
Dee Taylor
Fort Worth
Channel 4: In Living Color
To the editor: The April 30 Static about the firing of KDFW’s Rebecca Aguilar details the continuing saga of discrimination that pervades Channel 4.
My husband Robert Raikes was lead news director there (when it was KRLD) until 1987, working closely with Clarice Tinsley and others. Even though discrimination may have been station policy, Tinsley, with her tenacity, overcame all obstacles and became a five-star news anchor.
It would be great if Aguilar could develop some of Tinsley’s communication skills to get back on board at Channel 4 and continue to make her contributions to the station. Had Aguilar been a white male, her position would not have been in jeopardy.
Susan Raikes

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