Post Marks

Muddying the Waters

Dear Editor:
As a current Board member of Northwest Travis County MUD No.1, I sincerely appreciate Kayte VanScoy's attention to the issue of annexation and the history of MUD districts ["Council Watch," Vol.17, No.9]. Kayte spent a great deal of time trying to learn the facts of a complicated issue.

I must point out, however, an inaccuracy which could lead to misunderstanding among your readers. At the city council hearing last week during which there was some heated discussion between City Manager Jesus Garza and I, I could hardly have been seen as "provoking" his aggressive comments. The exchange you reported was a continuation of a discussion involving a previous speaker. In response to a statement I made about previous attempted agreements between the City and MUD No. 1, Mr. Garza disputed my veracity, and it was then that I related my story about difficulties with staff. Any other portrayal of the events may mislead readers into believing I provoked the incident, when actually it was the other way around. Thankfully, in this case at least, the incident was videotaped and any interested party can review the tape.

Those who have worked with me over the years know that I am not ordinarily given to emotional outbursts, and that my anger was a result of the intensity of Mr. Garza's attack. Most of the city staff I have worked with have been honest and extremely hard-working. My comments were not directed against staff, but were an attempt to explain that the process as it exists has not and is still not working. The issues involved in dissolving a local government are complicated and must be addressed with care. The process, as it stands, precludes good decision making.

Additionally, I would like to point out that my term as President of CTAUD expired in September, that MUD No. 1 never attempted to sell bonds to build Tanglewood Park, and that most of our residents receive electric service from Pedernales Electric Coop., not the City of Austin.


Judy Jennings

What I Learned at R/UDAT

Dear Editor:

The city council's move into real estate development is an unwise use of citizen's tax dollars. I attended the R/UDAT workshops and one of the points made was to focus on a winnning project, one that could garner broad public support (like a new City Hall complex).

Becoming a landlord, favoring certain developers, and pissing away $25 million dollars into a hole in the ground (the Waller Creek tunnel) are all abuses of government power.

The loft apartments currently being built downtown are luxury apartments, starting at $150,000 and up! The council proposes housing for the elite, not the masses.

And digging a tunnel to funnel Waller Creek flood waters is a ridiculous use of resources. At the RUDAT workshop everyone voiced support for connecting the hike & bike trail, and improving the Shoal Creek and Waller Creek environs; but the only support for the tunnel boondoogle came from a city engineer, and of course he is being paid to support it.

If the council wants to spend money to improve downtown, I suggest they pave, level, and straighten the 15th St./Enfield commuter corridor.

Richard Lynch

No Offense Meant


In the issue dated October 10, 1997, a letter was written in response to my previous letter regarding the "Triangle" development. The letter seemed to indicate concern regarding my remarks about the Bluff Springs mobile home development. I regret that I may have created the wrong impression. I did not intend to denegrate the efforts of another neighborhood to control development. My remarks were only intended to highlight the disparate treatment of the issues in The Austin Chronicle. Other letters sent to the Chronicle and the Statesman which were not published were more specfic regarding the Chronicle's treatments. The Statesman has printed several articles which addressed the problems with the proposed mobile home development in our area, and in contrast the Chronicle's coverage has been inadequate.

Glen Shield

President, Silverstone Homeowner's Assoc.

Hence the Name

To the Editors of The Austin Chronicle:

Hats off to Lee Nichols for a much-needed article regarding Pacifica News. Lee has been a rare voice -- one that has furthered the debate so that an informed decision can be made. And the decision process is what this issue is all about. My question is: Who decides whether Pacifica will run on KOOP? Doesn't KOOP claim to be a cooperative radio station? Why then has the membership of KOOP been so noticeably absent from the debate? To begin with, when the issue was first being put on the agenda at KOOP board meetings, why did one individual board member end up undermining the relationship between KOOP and Pacifica (Paul Odekirk was once on the Board of Trustees at KOOP). Were these communications all board policy? If not, then who was this member representing? Certainly not the membership. Now, many months later, Pacifica is not on the air and the membership is still playing second fiddle to the will of a few "high-level" people at KOOP.

Granted, Pacifica's decision "to discontinue a Latino program" on one of its stations is an issue of legitimate concern, but who decides whether this issue warrants a failure to negotiate in good faith with Pacifica? To make matters worse, the board "meeting" where the decision was made not to sign a contract with Pacifica (nor negotiate further) occurred over the phone between four (out of six) board members at the last minute. There was no testimony taken, the agenda was not posted in advance, and I have yet to see any minutes from that meeting posted at the radio station for that meeting. Still, as of the last Board meeting (10/27), the Board has taken no "official stance." In the end, KOOP, as a cooperative, is accountable to its membership -- there is no higher power.

John Duncan

KOOP member since '94.

We've Removed the Rake

Dear Chronicle Staff,

In this week's online edition, Robin Bradford has written a nice bit reflecting on Mr. Michener's effect on this world , but who is that in the accompanying photo? I didn't think his hair was capable of getting that "rakish."


Maureen M. Jennings

former Administrative Assistant to

James A. Michener

and online Chronicle fan

Bikers Are People Too

Dear Chron folks:

I wish to clarify the otherwise fine article on cycling in Austin ["Riding on the Wrong Side," Vol. 17, No. 7]. Mr. Nichols made it sound like there was only one incident when quoting me, when there were actually two. In the first I was sideswiped, got the full license plate, make & model and description of driver and occupants. Upon calling 911 I was blown off, and told to call a different number the next day, which was never answered. In the second incident, I was egged, got the make and model of the car, but only half the license plate. Considering my previous success, I didn't bother trying to file charges. Now that the police don't have to go after adult cyclists without helmets, maybe they can expend more energies protecting our right to the road. Same rights, same rules, same road.

Michael F Zakes

Prop., Waterloo Cycles

Bryce Jealous

Response to Robert Bryce's call for a Dell-A-Thon [Vol. 17, No.7]:

A little jealous are we? Michael Dell is wealthier than you are because he made many good business decisions. There is enough fairness in our system that his good decisions were rewarded. If he is obscenely wealthy, that may be a problem with the same system. I suspect, no matter what culture he lived in, he would have become successful.

It seems reasonable that property appraisals reflect a value one might expect to realize if selling their property. If Michael's house could never be sold for the appraised value, the appraisal is incorrect. It doesn't matter if he paid too much to build it. Chalk that up to business decisions he might have made better.

Michael may be wealthier than you are. He may have a bigger house than you do. You, though, probably enjoy some advantage he does not. Get on with your own life. Jealousy will only make you unhappy.


Sam Williams

Leave Us Alone

Dear Louis:

I am against annexation because:

1. I do not want to pay 3.5% increase in water and wastewater rates and 6.7% increase in drainage fees.

2. I don't want to promote the economic stability of Austin by us paying about $9 million per year for the next 10 years, and assuuming $529 million of MUD debt.

Thank you for your help.


Dr. Will Reid

Concrete Blonde

Dear Austin Chronicle,

Thanks for sponsoring the Triangle Design contest, and for awarding me a Fanciful Honorable Mention. The contest was a good idea, and good fun.

I was pleased with the warm reaction to my Tom Terkel Sno-Cone Stand idea, and I'd just like to say that although financial constraints prohibit me from considering other retail options, I am wide open to community input on the color of the stand.


Tasca A. Shadix

Less Michael Ray Charles, More of Everything Else


Is Michael Ray Charles the only black artist in Austin? Is he the only artist in Austin? Or do you and the XLent just trade off stories from week to week? It seems as if every time I open the Chronicle or the XLent there is another story about Michael Ray Charles. His art may not be my style, but I do enjoy reading and learning about all the artists in Austin. I haven't had much of a chance to learn anything lately because someone is trying to start some kind of controversy by putting this guys' work in our face day after day and insisting that we all have some race issues to work out.

Personally, if I were trying to portray the diversity we have in the arts in Austin, I would write about a few more talented artists instead of the same one week after week after week after week after week....

Cathy Bosma

Coach Congrats


That last "I don't like being treated like a moron" article you did hit the nail on the head ["Coach's Corner," Vol. 17, No. 8]. I'm a younger alum at UT (Class of '91), and I and most of my friends didn't exactly go through school during a glamorous era of UT football. I showed your article to several of my buddies and we all agreed that no one yet (especially the mainstream media like Kirk "Bandwagon" Bohls) has done anywhere near the job you did of describing the true level of frustration among the alumni with John Mackovic, DeLoss Dodds, et al. Any indicator you choose to look at (Internet polls, talking to people at Scholz's, whatever) has me thinking the opinion is running 4:1 against Mackovic and his lame excuses (is he "in a daze" again?). Keep up the good work, you definitely have an audience.

Rich Jacobson

It Could Happen...


In "Naked City" [Vol.17, No.8] y'all write:

"The pond was built by Wal-Mart in compliance with the city's drainage requirements -- making Sam Walton a more compliant public citizen than TxDOT."

...which is pretty amazing considering Sam Walton is dead. I hope we can say the same about Jim Bob Moffett someday soon.

Not the dead part (well, not really) but that he would be a better public citizen than TxDOT, and better than Sam Walton, too. It could happen...


Joel Irby

Lost in Texas

Dear Mr. Ventura and Editor:

I am not one to write letters, as you can gather from the graph paper, but Michael Ventura's "Letters at 3AM -- Revolutionary Letter on Education" [Vol.17, No.8] hit a bull's-eye right in my heart, I've often pondered and pontificated on (and on and on) about the evil of our American way of life, but never has my despair and dismay been so eloquently articulated -- Mr. Ventura has given coherent voice to what I've been thinking and feeling! I've wondered why I want to hang it up, move into the West Texas desert with my kids and live in a trailer, why telling them to do well in school sounds so increasingly lame (me, a former teacher) and yes, this is why. Amen, Mr. Ventura.

I'm dying to read the answer to "What's to be done...?"


Suzy Good

P.S. I think "Letters at 3AM" is great; other installments hit it square in the jaw, too.

The Politics of Dancing


We the Web readers would appreciate someone more qualified than a political reporter reviewing albums. It sounds like Miss Brinsmade has a distaste for anything blues that is close to commercial, as evidenced by her recent rejection of LeeRoy Parnell and considering the weak point on the Asleep at the Wheel set a blues classic. Also I thought around your part of the country it was a privilege to help another artist on a CD. By the way, I have seen the rave reviews for Delbert elsewhere and heard about the 10,000 sales figure for the first week. Has anyone checked the resale bins?

Janice Brooks

Pleasant Gap, Pa

A Sooner Responds (Finally)

Dear Editor:

If any of Michael McWhorter's friends have an unburnt copy of this Chronicle, please let him know there are exactly three things I have to say to him in response to his "Unaboomer" letter to the editor, September 5, 1997 [Vol.17, No.2].

1) Ouch. 2) From personal experience, I can honestly say the weirdest thing I have ever done with my dog is to occasionally remember to feed him. However, I have heard of people around these parts who actually cook balanced meals for their dogs. Now that, I'll give you, is weird. 3) We Okies up here think you Texans do some pretty weird things too. In particular, what you do with your steering wheels and accelerator pedals. But, we love y'all anyway, especially when you are heading back south.

Most sincerely,

Robynne Culcahy

Nickels at 3AM

Dear Mr. Black:

I greatly enjoy reading Michael Ventura's bi-weekly column "Letters at 3am" and am grateful to your paper for making it available on the Web. When the technology to do so becomes available, I would be interested in paying a nickel, or a dime, or more to receive his column via your webpage or e-mail. I have passed on at least one of his columns to a friend via the Internet.

Ian MacLean

Now, What Does the One With the Donut Mean?

Dear Editors:

How trustingly I wrote y'all at the Chronicle asking what those taco bumper stickers mean. What did I get? Nothing. Thanks.

Lucky for me, a friend of mine filled me in: it seems some radio station here in town is under the assumption that gay people put rainbow flags or pink triangles on their bumpers in order to pick up dates in traffic. In that vein, somebody at that radio station made up taco bumper stickers for men who want to pick up women and hot dog bumper stickers for women who want to pick up men. So I guess my friends who suggested the old vagina/taco connection were right.

The problem with this is except for a few frat-looking boys who pull up next to me to see if I look like somebody they'd want to fellate, nobody uses rainbow flags or triangles for picking up people while driving in traffic. That actually sounds kind of pathetic. I have a rainbow flag on my car (and I doubt I'm alone here) to express pride; there are still lots of people who still believe all gay people are evil and naturally ashamed of themselves. This is one small attempt to correct that misconception. The most I ever got from another driver with something gay-oriented on their car was a honk and a wave of solidarity.

So the MoPac guy I originally wrote y'all about, the one waving the picture of the taco at me, gesturing and pointing, was responding to my rainbow flag bumper sticker, saying in effect "Women are the way to go, idiot." You heteros are nothing if not classy.

And as for y'all at the Chronicle who couldn't be bothered to help me out with any iota of information: thanks for nothing. Next time I go to Jane Greig.


Jon Miller-Carrasco

Ooops! Dead

Dear Mr. Savlov,

While I'm certainly happy to hear that you enjoyed the Charlatans U.K. concert on October 6th (as I also did), there is some seriously lazy journalism within that should be corrected immediately. You wrote that "Robert Collins' inspired keyboards... almost brought the house down."["Live Shots," Vol. 17, No. 7] Unfortunately, Marc, Rob Collins is no longer alive. He was killed in an auto accident in England in 1996. After the death of Mr. Collins, Martin Duffy of the band Primal Scream stepped in to help the Charlatans finish their current CD Tellin' Stories. While the band certainly did have a session man along to play keyboards, it certainly was not Collins. If you feel a need to name names in the future, perhaps you should ask one of the band's roadies or managers for the man's name instead of just reading the inside of the CD booklet.


Tom Thornton

[Ed. note: Savlov swears he knows this, but in revising his "Live Shot," he accidently dropped in Collins' name instead of the group's new keyboardist, Tony Rogers.]

Oooops! Not Dead


In the October 17th issue of the Chronicle, we came across the article by Gina Arnold [Whither Rock?" Vol. 17, No. 7] on rock music which had two mistakes in it already corrected in footnotes. However, those are not the only ones. Arnold mentions that "Kevin" of Skinny Puppy died of heroin, among other musicians who shared the same fate.

1. Kevin spells his name "Cevin" and he's still alive. 2. The Skinny Puppy member who died of heroin was Dwayne R. Goettel.

Just a reminder, Thank you.

Rob Crum

John Sertoglu

Chronicle Prints Dumb

Dear Editor:

Are you not getting any mail? I find it absurb that you would print such time wasting letters to the editor -- it makes me really doubt the rest of your news. To waste space on letters from Julius Gordon & David Rattfield for their personal complaints about some personal affronts, and than spread their woe to Austin itself? Give me a break. KKK in Austin because of one drunk? I did Austin for 40 yrs. It is not KKK territory, and I resent his accusations. As for the writer complaining about Austin being homophobic: that has to be a weird joke! Try the neighborhood near the Capitol. I am really curious -- why do you print DUMB?

Mike Seidenberg

Redington Shores, Florida


Dear editor:

I saw U-turn. an astonishingly beautiful film. Funny too. Good acting. Amazz-zing camera work and editing and sound track but for all its pluses, the film is just another Tarantino-esque violent-sensationalist semi-parodic `neo-retro-neuvo' noir auteur du jour. Literally no more helpful to our present situation, to anyone's present situation, than a 100 million dollar blockbuster action film. Both belong alongside yesterday's dog excrement in terms of importance for our society. I'm sure they think they're making art because they manage to make an interesting film without a big budget or special effects and because in their subject matter they reject bourgeois morality in favor of the quirky, raunchy, hedonistic and sometimes downright evil catch-as-catch-can modern alienated hero. But, hey, so does a billion dollar youth consumer industry. Big deal. They've made a "Gen-X" advertisement, that's all. (I guess it was for Dr. Pepper since that's what Sean Penn gulps down not once but twice). I have to say I prefer the cornball dance number "Be A Pep-per, Drink Doc-tor Pepper...." Least I don't have to be reminded of the amoral nightmare we call the modern world. Thanks, Quentin, and Quentin II and very merry Christmas to the both of you.

Chidsey Dickson

P.S. I had originally peppered my letter with expletives and argued in a `ps' that they were not gratuitious because they were evidence that I'd internalized these movies' overall philosophy: if life `sucs,' you must be doing something right (because, hey, only froggin' morons are happy and responsible people). My dad has a name for that philosophy: he calls it "being cute." Tarantino's a real cutie and so is whatshisname, the artist who did U-turn.

Eastside Sharing


You go ahead and tell the cops that, although I don't agree with the way they conduct business in this town, they can share their feelings of frustration with some of us in the Eastside. When it comes to school principals, superintendents, newspaper editors, etc., I've seen the out-of-towners getting the jobs that locals might be qualified to fulfill, either by certification, or just by mere experience. Ask them if they wanna talk about crime...

Thank you,

Paul Avina

Open Those Records!

Dear Editor:

Doing its best imitation of a greased hog, the Texas Supreme Court has squealed and slipped its way out of coverage under the Texas Open Records Act. At least for the time being.

The Court declared in August it is entirely exempt from the Open Records law, despite an Attorney General's opinion that administrative records such as phone logs and travel records of the courts should be public. The Court lashed out in its opinion, "It is not the Attorney General's prerogative to decide what the law should be; that belongs to the Legislature."

Now, confronted with the hard reality that the public, press, and members of the Legislature all agree that administrative records of the courts should be public, Chief Justice Tom Phillips is trying to squirm out of this sticky situation by allowing a group of self-interested judges and political appointees to write special rules for the courts. The Texas Judicial Council, the group Phillips thinks should write the rules, is chaired by Phillips and is dominated by 10 judges from other Texas courts.

We shouldn't trust a group of politicians to write their own rules on how they'll make their spending habits available to the public. The Justices should come clean and release their phone records now and leave it to the Legislature to determine how the courts will comply with future Open Records requests. Lt. Governor Bob Bullock recently appointed a special Senate committee to examine and update the Open Records law. That committee is the right place to do this work.


Craig McDonald, Director

Texans For Public Justice

Kinda Fonda Honda

Dear Editor:

I was pleased to see so much media coverage of the less polluting automobile technology being designed by Honda and others. It's precisely these advances that make me wonder: Why has the auto industry spent so much time and money fighting EPA's better clean air standard? They could've spent it speeding these improvements into my car and actually cleaning the air we're breathing. The technology is clearly there. The longer the delay, the more people get sick.


Garrett Delavan

Sick 'em, IRS

Dear Editor:

There was a letter concerning IRS & getting them out of our lives. I am a retired IRS employee from Texas, and I resented the intrusiveness of the laws from the beginning. It amazed me how we got involved with families concerning divorce, property, children, dependents, and let the big dealers get a free ride. However, as a guy who needed a job, I tried to follow the law -- which sucks. This smoke & mirrors going on in Congress is just another way to screw the little people. Have you ever heard of a huge corporation complaining about IRS harassment? IRS is a tool of the Congress. It is their pet pit bull they love to hate & turn loose on the defenseless citizen. When the citizens get pissed -- they blame the dog, not the master. If we do away with the IRS Code -- which is a pipe dream -- who will beat up on the business that forgets to turn in the sales tax receipts? Mary Poppins? There will always be an enforcement agency to collect taxes. I think Jesus was born in a manger because the citizens were gathered to pay taxes. No room at the Inn. So if you are in business, you will deal with some Federales and the State will still be there. I really wish the individual citizen didn't have to be a freaking bookkeeper -- If any of your readers are young students, I suggest to them that they better not be careless about thinking of the future. You could very well end up working for IRS. I did my best to help.

Mike Seidenberg

Redington Shores, Florida

No-Kill Mill

Dear Sirs:

Each year, over 17,000 dogs and cats are killed at the Town Lake Animal Center just because they are homeless or lost. On an average day, 50 dogs and cats are killed, most of whom are perfectly healthy animals. On that same average day, only six are adopted.

It is clear that the City of Austin has a policy for how to deal with pet overpopulation: kill them.

The number of dogs and cats killed at the Center increased in FY 1997, while the number of animals adopted stayed about the same. Despite this, the city Council cut the Center's budget for FY 1998, reducing the number of staff available to care for and find homes for the animals who are brought to the Center.

The City of Austin Animal Advisory Commission is a board of citizens who advise the city council on Center operations. They will meet at the Town Lake Animal Center, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez, at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18 to consider what advice they will give the city council. At that meeting, they will be urged to adopt the goal of no killing of healthy dogs or cats by the year 2000: A No-Kill Millennium.

Any resident of Travis County who cares about animals ought to be at that meeting.

James W. Collins

Anyone Can Be a Dumbass

Dear Chronicle:

This is in reply to a letter from Julius Gordon, who shared his recent experience with racism in Austin (Vol.17, No.7).

What Mr. Gordon experienced is the sub-category. The category is called stupidity. It knows no bounds. It crosses races, cultures, educational, social, and economic levels, gender, sexual preference, religion, and so forth. What he experienced is what I experienced when an African American made fun of my thin upper lip that almost disappears when I smile by calling me "baloney lips," or when anybody of any race ridicules me for my excessively pale lips. Reverse the words "white" and "African American" in his letter and the result is the same: Stupidity. He can't escape it by not coming back to Austin until 2010, because it's everywhere. He could try to avoid it by locking himself in a box, but he wouldn't be able to. I mean, wouldn't it be just plain stupid to lock yourself in a box? Mr. Gordon is justified in being angered by his experience, but please, Austin is not what needs to "grow up," but society, and every individual in it. All of us need to stop acting stupid, thinking stupid, and saying stupid things. This includes the "white bigot" in the restaurant for acting the way he did, and Mr. Gordon for blaming the entire city of Austin for the action of some stupid people in a restaurant.

Oh, and include me in the "stupid" group for caring about the opinion of one person.

J. Berryhill

Flaming Liberal in the Wind


Loved your latest screed about Ann Richards, "Shattered Icon" [Vol.17, No.8]. It just goes to show that a woman can do just as bad of a job as any man! But isn't it hypocritical of the Chronicle to accuse Richards of selling out to special interests like Big Tobacco? In the same issue, pages 60-61 sport full-color, full-page tobacco ads. How much does a full-page, full-color ad cost these days? Richards is also blasted for helping to build a shopping mall. Considering the dens of iniquity the Chronicle advertises for, who are y'all to bitch?

But let's look on the bright side. Texas now has one less flaming liberal and that's a start. And kudos to Robert Bryce for pointing out the not-so-obvious differences between Richards and Ralph Reed. (I had to check twice to make sure I was still reading the Chronicle!)

And on a stranger, bigoted note, how about the quote from racist Velma Roberts [Million Man Mayhem]: "Black people want to be with black people, just like you all want to be with you all people." So much for diversity, huh?

Kurt Standiford

Taking That Risk

Dear Editor:

Respected pacifist Daniel Berrigan, recently jailed for protesting nuclear weapons, once said, "Soldiers risk their lives for war. People must take risks for peace."

On November 16, over 1,000 citizens will take that risk for peace, demonstrating against the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Many Texans will be there again this year, continuing the campaign to close this "atrocity factory," cause of many "Dias de los Muertos" for thousands of Latin Americans, like the six Salvadoran Jesuits and their housekeepers murdered by SOA graduates in 1989.

Vietnam veteran and SOA Watch founder Fr. Roy Bourgeois recently spoke to 1,200 people at Austin schools, churches, and universities. Interviewed for KOOP radio, Roy told me, "You in the grassroots give us the hope to continue."

Hope remains for closing what an ex-SOA instructor called a "Cold War relic" when ordinary citizens overcome apathy and despair, educate ourselves, write letters, hold vigils, and sometimes even travel 1,800 miles to risk arrest doing nonviolent civil disobedience. It takes people saying "Basta!" to hard-earned taxes ($18.4 million yearly) being used for torturing and killing humans under the guise of "national security." Feel free to commence risking any time.


Andy McKenna

Don't Grow Population

Dear Editor:

In all the talk about global warming recently, politicians have ignored the role of population growth. At a time when the world's population could double to nearly 12 billion in the next 40 years, this contributor to global warming cannot be ignored.

Over half of the increase in global temperatures is attributed to energy use. Our demand for energy will only be exacerbated by a world population growing at an alarming rate. Progress made by increasing and reducing per capita emissions will be overwhelmed by rapid population growth. Experts agree that a climate change program with any chance of success must be aimed at both resource consumption and population stabilization. A population policy which provides voluntary family planning information and services to both industrialized and developing nations needs to be developed in conjunction with any treaty on climate change.

Such a policy is particularly needed in nations such as India, that are struggling to provide electricity and industry for their country where population is expanding at an alarming rate. Without slowing the rate of their population growth, these nations will not have the resources to invest in more efficient, less polluting technologies, or in social and educational services for their citizens.

The United States must take the first step toward reducing our emissions of greenhouse gasses by investing in the development of new, efficient, and clean energy sources for the future. At the same time, the U.S. must ensure that increasing access to voluntary family planning services is a priority of both domestic and foreign policy. Addressing the population crisis is critical to assuring that the entire world will be able to protect our future.


Shelley Palmer-Fettig

Me Too

Dear Austin Chronicle Editor:

Re: "The Violence of the Cutie Pie Mentality: Validation?" Vol.17, No.6.

I am reading the above-mentioned with my mouth open. I felt as though the author had been peeking into my window the last year and a half. I was in a similar situation with someone who not only physically abused me, but verbally and psychologically abused me as well. I feel that the last two forms of abuse, not to discount the physical variety, were the most devastating to me. With bruises I could see them, they were real, and I couldn't deny that he had hurt me -- although I, like many women, rationalized them until they were no longer his fault, but mine. Psychologically and emotional abuse is hard to identify. There are no identifying signs that make the transference from a mistake in an argument to abuse easy to recognize. This type of abuse is easiest to rationalize also. "If I wasn't so emotional or sensitive, he wouldn't have to say the things he does."

My partner threatened to tell my employer about an attempted suicide made during the course of our relationship if I left him. I was currently working in a university setting, where I knew if my supervisor knew, then I would be fired and thus be dependent on him. I was able to leave him finally after two years, and $11,000 later (I was also financially supporting him throughout the abuse) with the help of a friends and a college degree to boost my self-esteem.

I am writing to affirm, what I felt, was the main point of the article. Physical, psychological, and emotional abuse is real, is hurtful. Please believe your girlfriends, your sisters, your daughters when they disclose this very painful information. It can happen to anyone. I am a well-educated woman. I have a degree in the mental health field, I worked in a battered women's shelter before this happened. Smart women are susceptible to this kind of abuse -- if they do not have the self-esteem and social support necessary to identify the beginning of abusive relationships or to leave them.

I heartily salute you, Spike, for the "hit the nail on the head" article. I feel not as alone and the urgency to speak out to other women. We owe it to ourselves.


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