Letters: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Rockin’ Papaw

To the editor: “Magical Misery Tour” (Jan. 16, 2008) was an outstanding article that brought back lots of good old memories. Hell, we never got write-ups that good even when we were at the top of our game. I’ll show it to my grandkids — this is written proof that their papaw used to rock out. Thanks for the brain jolt.
Mike Neal
(Fort Worth Cats guitarist and singer)

Hot about Burritos
To the editor: These “Burrito Bandits” (“No Names, Just Burritos,”Jan. 23, 2008) may feel good by handing out their freebies on the East Side, but their misdirected actions are only encouraging vagrants, transients, and bums.
Why don’t these do-gooders pass out burritos on the West Side? Maybe it’s because they don’t want droves of people loitering and trashing their streets, begging at their corner grocery, approaching them in parking lots, camping out in their vacant properties, tearing apart their air conditioning units for copper, sleeping on their park benches, throwing condoms and liquor bottles on their sidewalks, and ultimately complaining that the burritos are not hot enough.
Get smart, people! We need rehabilitation services and mental health facilities, not beans and tortillas. Quit the street feeding already.
Brooke Cooper
Fort Worth

Master’s Degree of a Debate
To the editor: I am a weekly Fort Worth Weekly reader and a longtime fan of Betty Brink’s articles. As a former registered nurse (for 38 years), I followed her articles on women in the federal prison system with great sadness.
And now I want to compliment Betty on her TCC article (“Master’s Degree of a Mess,” Jan. 30, 2008). She hit it right on the head in terms of the historical properties lost due to the downtown campus project. I think it is a case of “do it and ask forgiveness later.” We at the Tarrant County Historical Commission were simply unable to save the old TXU smokestacks. In retrospect, we should have just joined hands in a circle around the smokestacks to prevent them from being torn down. But they probably would have just plowed over us.
Thanks to Betty and Fort Worth Weekly for writing wonderful investigative reports.
Clara Ruddell
Marker and Cemetery Committee
Tarrant County Historical Commission

To the editor: It was difficult for me, as an avid reader of your publication, to swallow the one-sided and ill-informed novelette by Betty Brink regarding TCC’s downtown campus. While some aspects of the story were accurate, most of it was misinformation.
As a TCC journalism student, I have often found your articles to be just and informative, but in this case I feel very strongly that you failed to recognize the real villain in this situation, because it is not Chancellor de la Garza. What happened here is something entirely different that you failed to portray.
The truth is that no one let out a peep at numerous public hearings on plans for the campus until Ed Bass decided he did not like them and wanted the sunken plaza, designed as an entryway to the college, raised to street level and instead used as a public gathering place. He seemingly failed to realize (or didn’t care) that the college has no responsibility to build a public gathering place that people probably wouldn’t even use, while compromising the entire design. Unaccustomed to taking no for an answer, he went on to arrange a $28,000 workshop with a bunch of yes-men who said exactly what he wanted them to.
The TCC board and de la Garza listened, held even more public meetings, and agreed to address some of the concerns, while ultimately deciding to retain the original plaza design. The next morning Bass issued a seething and petty statement, and he has since pursued the college relentlessly through backhanded ways, like a Hollywood villain, throwing one monkey wrench after another into the plans, delaying construction and raising the price.
The historical “concerns” are just the latest jab that many people feel was orchestrated by Bass and his minions. I have heard ringing endorsements for the campus design from top executives with the Trinity River Vision Project and the water district, but none of those people were quoted.
The article was unfair and disrespectful to our chancellor. This campus has the potential to bring a new sense of pride to TCC students. But there’s a quote in the story that, “It’s a scary thought that this is an ‘institute of higher learning.’” Are you seriously going to insult the 35,000-plus students and faculty of TCC like that?
Katie Martinez
Fort Worth

To the editor: The story Betty Brink put together about the Tarrant County College was a perfect piece of work. You are to be congratulated at the obvious amount of time Ms. Brink spent on the investigation. She was very clear in connecting not only the flaws in the college’s process, but the resulting deficiencies.
Not many writers in your profession turn out this quality of reporting these days. Congratulations.
Larry Meeker
Fort Worth

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