To the editor: Regarding the March 23 cover story “Dark and Scary Wells”: A growing body of credible evidence suggests that all prudent state-of-the-art techniques currently available should be incorporated in a “best practices” approach and employed for shale gas drilling and gathering in and around Fort Worth.

About a quarter of our area’s drinking water flows through Lake Worth. The lake and its minerals are city-owned and will represent about 25 percent of the gross revenue Fort Worth will earn from its Barnett Shale holdings — or about half of all the “unrestricted” revenue the city will earn on its gas leases.


What does this mean? First, the city will harvest these minerals. Second, the city should assure, to the highest degree possible, that drilling-related  activities around our water supply are accomplished with extreme caution. Challenging topography and the dangers of toxic runoff will require very special controls. There are other specific watershed-related issues.

Safe harvesting of the minerals in the immediate Lake Worth watershed has been our chief focus. We urge all citizens and the media to continue to follow and question the gas drilling and gathering procedures being used in our urban area. All local political candidates should clearly address these issues.

Joe Waller


Lake Worth Alliance


The Science of Smash

To the editor: As the founder and chief concept officer of Smashburger, I want to thank Fort Worth Weekly’s Chow, Baby for recently visiting our University Drive Smashburger and for the resulting article (“Smashburger: It’s … Complicated,” April 6, 2011). We were especially happy to hear that you enjoyed our food, décor, and service.

However, I want to set the record straight on our signature “smash” process.

At Smashburger, we start with fresh, never-frozen, 100 percent Angus beef. Every morning we roll the beef into third- and half-pound meatballs. Once an order is placed, we paint the grill with butter and smash the meatball on the grill for the first 10 seconds. This smashing of the meatball, mixed with the butter, creates a caramelized sear on the bottom of the burger, which in turn creates a great beefy flavor and forms a “shell” that keeps the natural juices inside. We add our proprietary seasoning and then, as the juices start to percolate, we flip the burgers to keep the juices in. We only smash the burgers once, at the beginning.

This process is the magic that makes a Smashburger taste juicy and delicious — not added moisture or meat juice, just simple smashing.

The last thing we ever want to do is make our valued customers feel “gimmicked.” We look forward to serving you, and all of our guests, great tasting, high-quality Smashburgers in the future.

Tom Ryan

Founder and chief concept officer,


Denver, Colo.

No Boots for Oil

To the editor: Gwynne Dyer’s column “Today Libya, Tomorrow Syria?” (Second Thought, March 30, 2011) ought to raise eyebrows. We need to wake up and smell the coffee before “intervening” in other countries’ civil unrest or in coups to overthrow their governments.

We’re already in two wars — do we need to make it a crowd? President Obama has said repeatedly that he wouldn’t put U.S. boots on the ground in Libya. Well, what’s the CIA wearing — sneakers? Probably so, and with diplomatic immunity in case they end up killing innocent civilians.

This whole scenario started with three letters: O.I.L. We need to recuse ourselves and get the hell out of Dodge.

Ricky Orton II

Fort Worth


Photographer Billy Joe Gabriel’s name was misspelled in the credit lines for his photographs that accompanied the “Honkytonk Heroes” story on March 30.

Fort Worth Weekly regrets the error.

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