Letters: Wednesday, April 17, 2003
Rocked Back

To the editor: What an idiot! Mark McClure’s attempt to discredit and minimize Jennifer Briggs’ talent and accomplishments (Letters, April 10, 2003) was swiftly annihilated with your editor’s note. I saw a minuscule article near the last page of the April 8 edition of the Dallas Morning News sports section about the Texas Rim Rockers. I wonder if Mr. McClure will continue his diatribe there. Touché!

Shelley Richardson

Fort Worth

Last-Minute Lay-ups

To the editor: Just wanted to comment about the column concerning the Texas Rim Rockers (2nd Thoughts, April 3, 2003). I’m not going to dispute what is going on with the Rim Rocker franchise, because I don’t keep up with the day-to-day operations of that franchise. However, it would help if the author were a little less ignorant concerning her subject matter.

She wrote about the fact that when she wrote the story the team didn’t have any players signed. That is common with any minor league team in any sport. On March 27 (the day the story was released), my team had one player under contract. As of today, April 4, I have 11. Players aren’t going to commit to come until their winter league seasons (in the States or overseas) are over (usually at the end of March). The fact that their first committed player signed a 10-day contract with the Denver Nuggets impresses the hell out of me — makes me worry about who else they have up their sleeve! I do know that their coach (former NBA player Robert Reid) has help from NBA guys like David Wesley, Moses Malone, and Derek Harper.

Don’t fault them for having a dance team. The Los Angeles Lakers (and every other team) promote their dance team. I thought it was a great idea to have the dance team put together even before they announced the franchise. It gave them something to promote when they knew that they wouldn’t have players until shortly before the season.

As for having one guy in the office — my franchise is considered one of the better ones in minor league basketball. I’m the only full-time employee for nine months of the year. I bring in seasonal help (staffing, coaches, players) in April. What they are doing is not unusual. I’m assuming that just because you don’t have the staff size of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, you don’t consider yourself inferior to that publication.

Call people involved with professional basketball and ask them about the USBL. I will bet that they don’t complain about the dance team, and that they talk about the quality of the league.

Tom Nelson

General Manager

Dodge City Legend

Respect for “Respect”

To the editor: I read your piece on Haltom City (“Will Work For Respect,” April 3, 2003). You did a great job explaining some of the past and ongoing issues in our community. I rarely have an opportunity to tell a journalist that they were unbiased, fair, and accurate all in the same article.

In order to make positive changes to the public’s perception of a community, you must first understand how that poor perception originated and avoid making the same mistakes over again. Your article may help us accomplish that. Hopefully, we will continue to improve the public’s perception of Haltom City that will be reflective of the many fine people that live here.

Richard Torres

City Manager, Haltom City

To the editor: I enjoyed your recent article on Haltom City. No mention of us [haltomcity.com] but that’s OK, you guys did a fine job. I agree that the city needs a thorough image scrubbing. I think the change will come in the form of a new mayor. The city ran fine under Mayor Nancy Watkins and she is running again. I encourage the voters who care about this city to cast your vote her way. I also encourage the residents of the city to drop by our site: http://www.haltomcity.com and read the Broadway view and send us any comments.

Jack Bensonhurst

Haltom City

Drugs, Oaths, and Race

To the editor: I don’t consider myself knowledgeable in the ways of Texas law. I only have one thing to say: The fact stands that Mr. [Jesus] Cantu was convicted on drug charges (“So Help Me God,” March 27, 2003). The fact that the judge did not take his oath does not change that. I find it appalling that anyone would have sympathy for this man. I can’t believe LULAC is supporting this man’s case. It amazes me how people use race as a factor to get themselves out of situations. I say this as a Hispanic-American. It is utterly embarrassing.

Monica M. Maldonado

Fort Worth

A Major Problem

To the editor: I have just been reading your article on the woes of Careflite (“Care Fright,” March 20, 2003) and can see the problem — they need to get rid of that [Ed] Majors character.

I am a Gulf War veteran and professional helicopter pilot who worked for a couple of EMS operators in upstate New York. If you do not have the right management to support the pilot staff, everyone is going to lose. The pilots are the heart of an air ambulance operation. I helped start and then flew for one company. I wrote their training manual and trained the pilot staff and medical staff in flight operations. I could not put up with the CEO’s decisions any longer. With the second operator, I left after only four months — the CEO was the same type personality. It is imperative for any flight operation to heed the advice of the pilot staff, as they know what product will work best for them. I see it again and again — someone with a business degree trying to run an aviation company. It seldom works. My hat is off to Dave Walton for standing up to the CEO on safety issues. I’m sure that Mr. Majors put in some yes-man who will agree with his every move. If I were running the hospitals that pulled contracts from Careflite, I would not go back until they ousted Majors.

Erik F. Eriksen Jr.



To the editor: Thank you for your accurate reporting on the Young “Nazi” Republicans (“Booted over Jackboots,” March 27). The anti-war protesters are going to give them a new you-know-what, so don’t worry if they scream. Long live Peter Arnett!

Joan Ranade

Zanesville, Ohio

Horn, Blown

To the editor: Thank you so much for mentioning our Black Dog jazz jam in your story (“Cowtown Jazz,” April 3, 2003). I just want to take a moment to rebut a few points in the body of the story.

First, the dismissal of Johnny Case’s jazz as the “polite, florid variety” is a bit unfair. You will find many restaurant pianists who fit that description better than Johnny Case. He is an intellectual giant, his technical prowess is always hitched to ideas, he has recorded albums of free improvisation, played with jazz legends, and trained most of us in the art of tasteful yet uncompromising expression. This is a good example of someone getting screwed in print just because they’re not blowing their own horn all the time (demented cackle here).

Second, it’s highly unlikely that the other jam has a tendency to play lesser-known tunes and take more chances. This point is utterly concocted.

The anecdote about “Giant Steps” escapes me completely. We have on our stage one of the most impressive soloists anywhere, the vibraphonist named Joey Carter. If someone requests “Giant Steps,” we are going to pull out the big guns every time. Did the writer hear Joey’s solo? Does he not notice all the other times that jammers desert the bandstand in deference to this monster player? It doesn’t take an orchestra to play this song. Joey gets the hard stuff because he can handle it. We did have quite a “Giant Steps” once by a saxophonist named Quamon Fowler, who regrettably we don’t see enough down there.

The references to “public service” and “Fort Worth Symphony” are completely wrong. We are paid out of liquor sales. The bar is the star. We receive no grants, no tax privileges, no support from the public. This needs to be clear. There are people in the jazz preservation business, some of them mentioned in your article, and they do receive support from governments and other entities. Please don’t give the impression that our humble little jazz jam is part of an arts-supported world. There is nothing like that for us. The Fort Worth Symphony has full-time musicians under contract, selected from a national pool. They also have full-time staff skilled in begging for money and others skilled at spending it. We don’t have the resources to preserve any of our own shows, let alone somebody else’s legacy.

Thanks again for letting your readers know about our jam.

Michael Pellecchia

Fort Worth

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