Education Is Fair Game
To the editor: Recent articles in a local newspaper portrayed mayoral candidate Cathy Hirt as creating an adversarial relationship with the Fort Worth school district and Superintendent Melody Johnson over the interpretation of graduation statistics. Each can make a case for her numbers, but why is it being turned into such a brouhaha?
Some have said that there are enough problems at city hall for Hirt to address without dabbling in education. Indeed there are. The same could be said about the school district and the rising indignation of Johnson and school board president Ray Dickerson.
Dickerson can in one breath “encourage all of our residents to get involved with education,” then summarily exclude candidates who quote unpleasant statistics. For sure, the district has plenty of problems already: The Arlington Heights High School grade padding (“Powder Keg …,” Aug. 11, 2010) and subsequent personnel issues and the revelation of high salaries for administrative assistants and secretaries (“Chopping from the Top,” April 13, 2011) leave taxpayers to wonder about the bang they’re getting for the education buck.
Then, of course, we have the warfare among the trustees — although if they were totally tranquil, we’d wonder what they were hiding. So Johnson wants out of the “middle of this political arena” that she got herself into in the first place.
And what about Hirt? Even though the city has pumped millions of dollars into the school system through after-school programs, police officer salaries, sidewalks, and traffic-calming enhancements around schools, the candidates can’t talk about education?
Candidate Jim Lane has noted on more than one occasion that employees at businesses in the Alliance Corridor choose to live outside Fort Worth because of the situation with crime and education here. All the candidates have expressed concern about education.
Hirt has an all-encompassing vision of excellence for Fort Worth. Her education and experience are stellar; Johnson, Dickerson, and others would do well to welcome Hirt’s interest in making Fort Worth a better place to live and learn for all its residents.
Devil in the Stacks
To the editor: This is not the first time I have been puzzled by the Fort Worth Library policies and antics. After an interesting article in Fort Worth Weekly about artist Richie Budd (“Budd,” April 13, 2011), I decided I wanted to read a book mentioned in the article — Greek-Armenian mystic George Gurdjieff’s massive 1950 tome Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. So off I went to my local East Regional Library to request it. The reference librarian looked for it and then told me the book was available only in Spanish.
Why would a library in the United States only have a copy of this book in Spanish? Are Spanish-speakers and readers the only ones interested in Beelzebub? Is the devil not universal?
Kay Thompson Fields
TRV: A Vision Problem?
To the editor: Dan McGraw’s article “TRV’s Up a Creek” (April 6, 2011) was perfectly timed, with elections coming up. The Trinity River Vision’s supporters on the water board would rather spend money attracting tourists with that project than meeting the flood-control needs of other communities.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, knowing the flood potential from Big Fossil Creek, allowed land to be developed on the pretext that they didn’t have $6 million to fix the problem. And yet, as the article points out, they “found” $500 million for the TRV.
Don Woodard calls the TRV “pseudo flood control” and compares some politicians who advocate the project to bank robbers like Bonnie and Clyde. His comments are apropos. Woodard was joined in his opposition by Libertarian Party Chairman John Spivey and by Clyde Picht and Louis McBee, who refers to the TRV as “Lake Kay Granger.”
Layla Caraway’s video Up a Creek is going to be a success story. She should run for city council.
As for Granger, maybe she needs an eye doctor. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.