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Balance, Yes; Reality, No

Editor:

While we appreciate the efforts Mike Clark-Madison took to try and give balance to the Triangle story ["Squaring the Triangle," Vol.16, No.44], we are appalled at the cover photo composite purporting to show what the project might look like once built. Actually, nothing could be further from reality.

Your cover photo -- whether intentional or not -- incorrectly portrays the project as a typical "strip mall," perhaps in keeping with the terminology currently being used by a small but vocal group of opponents. The proposed project, however, is by no means a suburban strip mall. Buildings, for example, will be individually designed and detailed, and will feature brick exteriors and designs in keeping with a 1930s Austin "town square" look. A variety of restaurants, neighborhood shops, an outdoor marketplace, and an outdoor grass amphitheater will be included at Triangle Square. Both underground parking and structured parking are being provided to minimize surface parking. Extensive landscaping, water features, wide walking "paseos" and bike paths throughout the center, pedestrian access crossings across both Guadalupe and Lamar, the closing of 46th Street to make a pedestrian street, and numerous other features are planned. None of these were illustrated on your cover. No one at the Chronicle asked us for design details, photos, or other items that would have easily made the photo composite more realistic.

As they say, a photo is worth a thousand words. Unfortunatley, your cover "photo" spoke volumes of misinformation and deception.

Sincerely,

Jenny Hammer

Project Manager

Cencor Realty Services, Inc.


Store, Yes; Super, No

Dear Mr. Black,

I would like to clear up some misinformation communicated to your readers in "Squaring the Triangle" by Mike Clark-Madison in your July 4 issue [Vol.16, No.44]. It is unfortunate that your reporter did not contact Randalls Food Markets when writing a story that involved us. Perhaps we could have helped him write a more accurate and balanced piece.

Mr. Clark-Madison inaccurately refers to our future store as a "Randalls superstore." We are absolutely not planning to build a "superstore" as he put it. The size store we are planning is an average size for the grocery industry and is one-third smaller than the 90,000+ square foot HEB store at Hancock Center. In fact, our store will be approximately the same size as Central Market.

Additional sales and property tax generated from the lease of this land will benefit many public entities, including: the City of Austin, Travis County, Austin Community College, and the Austin Independent School District. At a time when schools are losing funding and public services being cut, I believe this is an important point to mention.

Randalls is excited about offering Central Austin shoppers the type of one-stop grocery store they have told us they want. Few developments in Austin have the support of every person affected by it. We have been open to input and have made several changes already to the site plan based on the neighbors' comments. We are fully committed to Triangle Square and look forward to opening our store there next year.

Sincerely,

John W. Sullivan

Vice President, Division Manager

Randalls


Creature Comforts

Dear Austin Chronicle,

Regarding Tom Terkel's comment "...revitalization that the community dearly wants...." Replacing life with concrete is not my idea of revitalization; and clearly the community does not "dearly want" this strip mall.

Among the living creatures inhabiting the triangle are some rare birds called shrikes, and a majestic, beautiful crane; and although not endangered, the thousands of little beings trying to survive in this ever-expanding concrete death monster are just as precious and sacred and will soon be snuffed by the demon machines.

A time long ago, if a stranger came into a village and decided to build something without asking permission from the people who lived there, he would be run out of town if not worse. I'd guess that 90% of the surrounding residents would prefer that nothing be built on the triangle; and this wish should be honored by all lest they have no self-respect and no respect for others.

Is everyone so brainwashed or jaded to believe that this land must be developed? When was the last time anyone went hungry in Austin because they couldn't find a grocery store? We don't need anymore grocery stores, bookstores, or movie theatres. It's that simple. We don't need them.

Sincerely,

John W. Paul


Looking for the Right Brain

Editor:

I'd vote for Garry Mauro for governor if he could give Austin a parkspace at Lamar & Guadalupe, it's just screaming to be part of the Parks and Recreation Department instead of being exploited by capitalist enterprises bent on contributing to the delinquency of consumers incapable of creating price-free entertainment. With no state recourse of referendum and recall, my anarchistic nature is openly becoming more pronounced with each new ill-designed for-profit land scheme pushed in our faces.

Texas citizens, including Austinites, need to stand and fight these abominations, stop the trend of inner-city strip malls in this corridor. Let's create real lives of our own without price tags, someone should make a video of this land abuse, bring a camera to the Triangle Park demo at 6th & Lamar Bookpeople's, Wednesday, July 9th, 7pm, and tape what answers Garry Mauro has for the protestors.

I'd rather see more Ravens sitting in the trees than parked stinkmobiles in the floodplain, raising levels of toxins and creating increased vehicle trips. We don't need this strip mall, instead we need a place to walk with a dog, or rest a moment during a bike trip and eat a lunch we've made ourself along with a frisbee or croquet set. Or that yellow legal pad to jot down notes for a book you want to write on the disappearing outdoor city symphonic outdoor bandstands. How about the 4th of July fireworks on alternate years at Triangle Park?

I disagree, Nick, it is a question of greenspace vs. development, period.

What's more important as a legacy to the future than an outlook to preserve natural wildspace, rather than a "something for everyone" facility and an underdeveloped right brain?

John Dolley


If I Ran the Circus...

Dear Editor,

Most of the objection to Cencor's development of the Triangle area is focused against the huge proposed parking lot and the volume of motor traffic that the development is expected to generate.

The city could let Cencor develop the land, as long as (a) no car parking for customers is provided; (b) access by (possibly privately run) transit lines is provided; and (c) separate bicycle and pedestrian paths are provided.

Item (b) above allows for some creativity. Maybe trolley lines or even monorail lines could link other residential and commercial centers to the Triangle area. Item (c) would allow the area to be used for exercise and recreation, as well as commerce.

Nick Barbaro comes very close to making this suggestion in his "Page Two" editorial of July 3 [Vol.16, No.44] (in a sequence of parenthetical remarks describing what it would take to make the Triangle development palatable). Urban centers free of car traffic already exist and prosper worldwide. Isn't it time we had one in Austin?

Yours truly,

Amy Babich


ACC Facts

Dear Editor,

I do not wish to get into a debate regarding your extremely biased, one-sided, and sometimes inaccurate article ["Fonte's Inferno," Vol.16, No.40] about ACC's new president, Dr. Richard Fonte. Fortunately the article's first sentence announced to all readers that you were little concerned with objectivity and very interested in sensationalizing.

I do wish, however, to correct three factual errors:

1) The office system technology program (OST) will be offered in its entirety at the East Austin Campus.

2) The child development program, including the Lab Schools and Connections, will move to the East Austin Campus. It will be housed in a new, larger facility which will be designed specifically for this purpose. A separate child care service (especially designed for the needs of the students) is planned for the East Austin Campus, but it will be distinct from the child development program in organization, staffing, and location.

3) Although it is true that rumors abound at ACC, it is not true that the faculty and staff are "kept in the dark." There has been ample opportunity for input into decisions and, once made, decisions are promptly communicated. They are even available on the Internet at the ACC website. One should not equate the failure to get one's way with not having the opportunity to provide input.

Sincerely,

Frank Friedman, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President for

Academic and Student Affairs


Thanks

Editor;

The family and friends of Keith Ferguson wish to extend their deepest thanks and gratitude to the following musicians and businesses for their donations to the First Keith Ferguson Memorial and Silent Auction: Antone's Niteclub, Antone's Record Store, with a very special thanks to Susan Antone and the Antone's staff, Marcia Ball, Danny Garrett, Sugar Bear, Angela Strehli, Hoody's Sub Shop, Jim Franklin, Sam Yeates, Lucy in Disguise, Raul Salinas, Jimmie and Connie Vaughan, One World Music, Dee Lewellen, Güero's, Ruby's BBQ, Julie Speed, Jovita's, Micael Priest, Margaret Moser, Blue Note Frame Shop, Dr. Charlotte Herzele, Linda Weatherby, Eddie Canada, Houston White, Charlie Pritchard, Ruben Ramos and the Texas Revolution, Tommy Shannon, Jesse Taylor, Bruce Bowland, Speedy Sparks, Mike Buck, Will and Charlie Sexton, Johnny X Reed, Joel Guzman and Conjuntazzo, The Gulf Coast Playboys, The LeRoi Bros., Malford Milligan, Derek O'Brien, David Grissom, Jake Andrews, Mike and Corey Keller, David Holt, Gil T., Keith Bradley, Tyrone, Josh, and the Texana Dames, and Jimmy Yanaway.

Without your generosity this event would not have been half as successful or enjoyable as it was. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Chronicle.

With Sincerest Gratitude,

Margaret Ferguson, Connie Hancock, Leola Perez,

Emma Little, Mike Steele, and Ralph Richey


Sorry, We Don't Know

Dear Editor:

I have lived in the Austin area for over a decade, yet I never cease to be amazed at how poorly some things are done around here. Today (7/2) I turned south on Lime Creek Road from FM 1431 and found this route closed just east of Volente because of the recent flooding. This caused me to have to go all the way back to 1431 and detour via 183 because there is no other outlet. This cost me a wasted round trip of nearly 40 miles up and down Lime Creek Road and a short stretch of 2769. Well, floods do happen and roads are sometimes closed, but do you think that anyone has put up a warning sign at or near the 1431/Lime Creek intersection telling motorists that this route would be closed way up ahead? Of course not! The same is true at the intersection of 620 and 2769, which goes west to Volente. You don't find out until you get to the closed, flooded part of 2769 a few miles away. There's no warning sign at 620. How can Travis County (or anyone else) be that thoughtless and incompetent? This also leads me to another question: Why in hell has it been taking so long for the road work along that stretch of Bullock Hollow between the 2222/620 intersection and Oasis Bluff? Does anyone know?

Sincerely,

Harry Davis


The Origins of P.C.

Editors, Austin Chronicle, dear friend,

Where does "political correctness" come from?

Most likely an unintended result of the public kindergartens where formerly the nurse said to a young child, "we do not____," rather than saying as for likely 200,000 years at least mothers have said no, like in "That's a no-no."

That becomes in the subconscious the feeling the child on being grown then tells all sorts of people, "we do not"... "say that."

Since politicians do try to provide what the politicians feel or guess or think 50% of the voters want, but won't tell him or her... thus the bypass of the U.S. constitution on putting in by court order that oddly structured case, that township near San Antonio, Edgewood, thus "Edgewood versus Kirksey"... Kirksey being an employee of TEA, Texas Educational Agency, before that not in the telephone book, and now mostly not in the telephone book in Austin, TX. Some teachers feel any budget "surplus" goes to schools....

So, that is also where the dictatorship of the past, in Germany or Deutschland came from... from the kindergartens, where an upcoming dictator gets the feel of what in the past was some nurse, long ago, who never said to a child, "No," but instead said, "We do not____"

Or likely young Adolf Hitler was watching and listening quite attentively as all his four year old group, or peer group went under the rule of likely some nurse who simply said of this and that, "We do not____" as in a nurse in a kindergarten in bygone days in old Germany saying to a young ruler's four year old child engaged in biting the other child's ear, "We do not bite,____"

Alice Kennedy Spooner


Hmmm...

Dear Editor:

I confess. I play the scratchoffs (Instant Win) lottery tickets almost every day. I have since they started. For the first couple of three years, I won some ($100 a couple of times, $50 a couple, $25 etc.). I was in the hole, but there was some recompense. But the last couple of years, there has been a real decline. I win less and less often. I haven't won anything above eight or
10 dollars and that not very often, an occasional $1, that's it. When I talk to other friends, their story is much the same.

Well, this is not irrefutable evidence but it is enough to make me wonder. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I wonder if they have cut the amounts and frequency of winners in the scratchoffs. If they did, why was no one told? I'd be interested to hear what other people think.

Best,

Albert Huffstickler


Have You Seen La Jetee?

Dear Sir:

Even now, amid spiraling pines and silent lightning, I sit with my brothers in the back of the '55 looking -- between mom and dad in the front and through the windshield beyond -- to the huge white tombstone and waiting for those allegories of a civilization gone bad, Vertigo and Thunder Road.

Sincerely,

Stephen W. McGuire


Textual Poacher Confesses

Dear Editor:

I have a confession to make. I am the woman who yelled an obscenity at Fred Astaire during Paramount's June 20 showing of Funny Face. To the families with young children in attendance, who may have been Southern Baptists boycotting Disney and whose cinematic experience would have been marred by my outburst, I apologize. I had no intention of behaving in such a manner. I highly respect Astaire's talents and Audrey Hepburn remains my all-time favorite Hollywood celebrity. And when Frank Campbell promised in his program notes that the "whole affair" would be "wonderfully entertaining," I was inclined to believe him.

To my great dismay, the whole affair turned out to be shockingly abhorrent. The filmmakers created a story that is really a tragedy but is told as a romantic comedy. Hepburn portrays a young lady devoted to intellectual and philosophical pursuits who lives in a world where women are valued not for what is in their heads but how they are shaped, particularly their facial features. Being a social, heterosexual creature, this young lady appreciates male companionship but finds that the important men in her life, while initially attracted to her mental capabilities, ultimately want to be with her for her physical and sexual attributes. They cannot love her whole self, only parts of it. In the end, the movie-goer is asked to believe such a woman would be happy to marry such a man in such a world. Like I said at the theater, "Bull...."

My idea of a happy ending occurs when whole people fall in love with and are loved by whole people. But I guess that would only happen in the movies.

Here's looking at you, kid.

Sincerely,

Ruth E. Davis


All the World's Problems...

To the Editor:

In his "Letters at 3AM" article, July 4, "The Most and Last Drastic Space," Michael Ventura calls us a "civilization." I think he oughta try putting an "anti-" or "un-" in front of the "c" word, as in anti-civilizing.

We all know "America loves the freedom," but to destroy the earth's life support systems? Human rights, civil rights, equal rights aren't going to do us a damn bit of good without oxygen! Without an ozone layer. Seriously. The freedom to ignore reality.

Thanks to the West's sad flesh-food-fetish, we've already had 85% of our oceans' schools of fish out since 1950, and thus triggered Massive-Plankton-Die-Off (1985-1995). 70% of our oxygen came from the top 3' of the oceans' warmer seas and currents. Now the oceans are no longer replacing the O2 we're burning up so fanatically. The Oceans are pretty much sterilized now. No shit!

No more No Massive No

schools = fish = plankton = more

of fish poop die-off O2!

Gases from plastics production, plastics decaying, car emissions, chlorine (especially CFCs), bromine, jet flights (and every space shot!) etc. are dissolving our ozone layer and admitting an increasing amount of ultraviolet solar radiation (deeper-penetrating UVBs, more intense UVAs).

Less More More

ozone = incoming = ground

layer UVs ozone... ...produced from oxide car emissions.

The increasing ground ozone is permanently damaging eyes, lungs, immune systems, etc. The more intense solar UVs are also doing damage.

Overgrazing by nine billion head of livestock, clear cutting and other deforestation, poor farming techniques, and pure, unadulterated greed are losing earth her mantle of fertile topsoil, while the same greed is rapidly pumping the underground aquifers bone dry. Greed invents the deadliest chemical poisons and sprays them on our food crops (bugs historically took 10% plus or minus).

Throw in expanding militarism, atomic power, burgeoning populations -- three facets of a global fascism that hates women's liberation -- especially womens' clinics.

The light at the end of this here tunnel is, and always was, education. That, coupled with direct action and the inherent simplicity of solutions. So, I remain grateful and optimistic. Riding iron-pony helps to put earth first (profits last)!

Thanks,

Dave Schroeder


Outpost Tar Heel

Editor:

I just read your page on Austin's street kids and I thought it was great. I lived in Austin, on the Drag this past fall. I never spoke with any of these kids, except to tell them to quit bothering me for money. I never felt easy around them and maybe that is what they wanted. At times I even felt that they were just nuisances that no one should deal with. Then I figured that's probably the same way there parents felt about them. Its seems sad to live a life like that, but apparently it's a choice and I won't deny them that. Life isn't easy for everyone, and one should do whatever they have to do to get by. But at the same time, just as I have to learn to live with them, they should learn to live with us. No one can tear down a system they are not part of. Well, these are just a few of my thoughts. By the way -- great paper -- I really miss it now that I left Austin.

Christopher Darryl

Knapp, North Carolina


Top of the Mind

Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise [of religion] or abridging the freedom of speech.

Whether or not prayer before a city council meeting is appropriate, it is clearly not unconstitutional. Yet the Chronicle has continued publishing letters from those declaring, despite the First Amendment, they will not tolerate a harmless ritual which reflects deeply held beliefs of a large and traditional segment of American society. Nor will they tolerate this writer's defense of the free expression of those beliefs, to which he does not even subscribe. Every person protesting said prayers does so with intolerant disregard of the Bill of Rights!

Mark Bega's response to the Applewhite tragedy (Jesus and the Hale-Bopps) was entirely expected: The ridiculous premise of life/mind surviving death is a common thread of mainstream Christianity, which prohibits suicide, and "Heaven's Gate," a fanatical cult led to mass self-destruction by a wacko false Christ; therefore both should be reviled as social structures. I question this line of reasoning, but agree with Mr. Vega that the individual psyche must become independent of religious authority, which is a current spiritual revolution.

Currently occurring in N. Korea: an atheistic government committing genocide, as all its predecessors have done in the past half century.

("This is the Time. And this is the Record... of the Time." -- Laurie Anderson) The times, changing indeed and becoming more challenging as we are catapulted by Big Science and séance into the new millennium.

("Forget world peace. Visualize using your turn signal." -- El Arroyo)

Sincerely,

Ken Kennedy


Kennedy Calls Off Muses

Note to the Editor:

It's 2, 2, two letters in one! Sorry to keep hammering at the same issue: freedom of speech & spirituality and what is occurring where they don't exist. Malkedick's appeal for non-disruptive non-participation is perfectly valid and civil, as is most of his argument.

Perhaps we should dismiss those classics in which the poet calls upon his muse.

Ken Kenned

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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Our readers talk back.

July 9, 2004

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A plethora of environmental concerns are argued in this week's letters to the editor.

March 31, 2000

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