To the editor: I enjoyed reading Jeff Prince’s interesting profile (“Good Country for an Old Cowboy,” March 17, 2010) of one of my favorite character actors, Barry Corbin. I’ve been a fan since seeing him in WarGames. When I first saw the cover of Fort Worth Weekly, I thought he had died.
The subhead declared, “a vagabond at rest,” and I thought the worst. Anyway, nice story.
A Viable Home
To the editor: Peter Gorman’s story (“Housing the Homeless,” March 24, 2010) reads like a viable blueprint for solving housing problems for homeless and other indigent folks. Their participation in actually constructing these homes would serve a dual purpose — providing them with a place to live and teaching them the beginning of a trade. This is a wonderful idea that Mike Wallace has developed. People have lived in freight train cars as homes, and certainly anything is better than what FEMA has offered with their formaldehyde-laced trailers for the homeless and Katrina refugees.
The homeless already live in a bohemian atmosphere out in the streets, so a container home would be a castle to them. The cost of utilities is well below that of a conventional home, so those savings alone elevate the feasibility of getting people into them. It’s an idea whose time has come.
The neighborhood associations are not in sync with the necessity to house and train the less fortunate. Landscaping around these container homes will make them more attractive. I believe that councilwoman Kathleen Hicks will be convinced to support them once she sees a completed prototype. These homes are made out of steel and other long-lasting construction materials that exceed regular home-building standards.
Betty Lou Raines
Giving Grass Its Due
To the editor: I would like to raise a concern over Dan McGraw and Susan Costa’s article (“The Real Deal on Fake Dope,” March 24, 2010), not on the merits and dangers of marijuana substitutes, but regarding the journalism that went into the article.
Initially the article is a promisingly informative read, with the hook of investigative journalism prying into the lesser-known activities of high school students and anyone else looking to get high without genuine earth-born materials. In an effort — and it remains a mere effort — to provide balanced views of the matter of K2 fun versus safety, the writers provide the opinions of three high school seniors who think K2’s benefits outweigh the costs: After all, it is legal.
However, the students are just students, and their naiveté corrupts what would be good reporting when their opinions are not further balanced with truth. The article takes sides on K2 but leaves marijuana on one side, the “tired and lazy” side, to quote one of the teens. Perhaps this is because the teens are smoking cannabis indica, the species with a higher CBD to THC ratio, which gives it a more incapacitating effect, whereas cannabis sativa provides a more energetic and motivating buzz.
I don’t think an article should be published when the only sources are high school students who unintentionally might sway opinions through their own naiveté. I am not here to argue for marijuana’s legalization, and I don’t even smoke weed, but I am an advocate of responsible writing. It’s poor work when an article blindsides another issue, such as that of real marijuana’s benefits and consequences.
Bill Did Good
To the editor: The normally astute Static (March 24, 2010) stated that Bill Clinton “was a disaster enough in the White House.”
During President Clinton’s term the Dow Jones industrial average more than tripled, the nation had a budget surplus for the first time in decades, and all income brackets experienced double-digit growth. Clinton created 22.4 million jobs and presided over the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. Funding for Head Start, AIDS prevention and care, WIC, cancer research, Pell grants, and the EPA increased.
When he left office the rates of unemployment, inflation, teen birth, infant mortality, poverty, and crime were the lowest in decades. SAT scores, home ownership, and gross domestic product growth were at the highest levels in decades.
Plus, Bill Clinton never sent a soldier into battle who didn’t come home alive.
We have seen many disasters lately, but the Clinton presidency cannot, with any journalistic credibility, be called one of them.