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    Appalled PGA Got Away

    08/05/2002

    I am appalled that our city drove away the PGA. It is profoundly embarrassing that we take great pride in remaining a backwater city.
    What makes this so irksome is that the issue appears to have little to do with the aquifer. If it did, there would be fervent demands that guidelines to prevent any development over the recharge zone - including housing - be written and strictly enforced. Building a few thousand houses in the same location will certainly do more harm than the PGA Village.
    It's a shame the issue couldn't have at least been put before the citizenry for a vote. Then we could have seen if the same passionate supporters who signed petitions at Fiesta would follow their convictions to the polls.
    There was no leadership from our mayor or council. Rather than take a stand for what they must have known could be adequately managed and would benefit our city, they let the "bread and circus" crowd call the shots. Other cities must be incredulous that we would thumb our nose at such an opportunity.
    Let's celebrate the victory with cascarones, beer and sausage-on-a-stick! Once again, we've succeeded in looking like complete rubes.
    Glenn Puckett
    'Pikers,' indeed
    According to columnist Rick Casey, we in Council District 3 are "pikers" compared to the special interest contributors to Councilwoman Toni Moorhouse's coffers.
    I went to the city's Web site to see just what the situation is. I found that Moorhouse collected $59,355.91 from Jan. 1 through June 30. Of that, $700 came from District 3. The vast majority of these donations indeed came from North Side businesses, PACs, developers, lobbyists and others outside District 3.
    It is a shame South Side candidates have to depend on out-of-district monies (especially those large sums to Moorhouse from PGA lobbyists, engineers and developers).
    But is a greater shame when officials cannot vote in the interest of the electorate because they do not have the strength of conviction to stand up to these interests.
    It's all that money and perhaps promises that keep Moorhouse from truly representing her constituents in District 3.
    Christel Villarreal
    Too thin-skinned
    Carlos Guerra's column Thursday ("Why many Mexican-Americans are furious over Perry ad") defines one of the main reasons why we will never witness total racial harmony in this or any other country.
    Humans are just too thin-skinned. We take everything so personally. I would be willing to wager that under the same circumstances, Gov. Rick Perry would have run that ad even if his opponent were Anglo.
    Larry L. Martin
    Hold hands of any color
    The headline on Kathy Clay-Little's July 25 column said, "Black representation must be preserved." My question is, "Why?"
    American society increasingly considers U.S. citizens to be able to share their interests and talents whether their skin is black, white, red, green or purple.
    The same concept applies to men and women, except for capabilities based on anatomic structure. We should all be able to hold hands, smile and dance together.
    J.A. Mendelson
    Fluoride a bad choice
    I regret that San Antonio chose water fluorination over teaching children better eating and dental habits to prevent tooth decay. I raised four children in nonfluorinated areas and they all have near-perfect teeth.
    For the small amount of help it does for the teeth, fluoride is a far greater health risk. I don't think people are aware that it is an unnatural product and acts as a foreign agent to the human body. If a person cannot expel it, it may cause problems.
    Delores Dick
    Groups are different
    I read "Social studies texts in review" (July 17) and appreciate the reporter talking to all parties.
    The Texas Freedom Network (which has received thousands of dollars from the Texas State Teachers Association PAC) has a history of opposing citizen participation in the political process if they aren't controlling it. It supports the court decision to ban the Pledge of Allegiance in classrooms. They don't represent mainstream Texans.
    Citizens for a Sound Economy pushed for rejection of the environmental science textbooks last year, not the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The books presented only the view of radical environmentalists and were not based on sound science.
    We appreciate the work TPPF does but they do not represent CSE membership's position. It might be easy for board members who disagree with our positions to try to consider us one group - we are not.
    Our agreement that our schoolchildren deserve the best textbooks, TPPF's professional reviews and CSE's citizen reviews present a formidable challenge to the status quo.
    Peggy M. Venable,
    Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy,
    Austin

    on 8/5/02.