Postmarks

Plan for People, Not Cars

Editor:

Beyond whatever tax subsidies/incentives CSC is getting for moving downtown, there is a hidden cost that will be paid by all automobilists. (Don't worry about me, I ride a bicycle.)sider the effects to air quality in Austin when there are as many as 6,000 or more extra automobile trips in central Austin daily. (Three thousand employees each owning an automobile and making two trips a day.)

Austin already teeters on the edge of stricter EPA air quality standards for automobile emissions that will cost every automobile owner more money for more rigorous emissions tests and controls. Not to mention the added traffic congestion, non-point source pollution, and lung damage.

Smart Growth?!

So let's see, we don't want CSC to build in west Austin because of automobile pollution. Building downtown will cause more automobile pollution. That leaves far east or southeast Austin, but most CSC employees live west, northwest, or north, so that means longer still automobile trips, with resulting pollution, traffic congestion, etc.

Perhaps "planning" cities for the quick and safe movement of automobiles is not where we need to be putting our time and money. It's time to start planning for people, not cars. A few apartments downtown isn't enough.

In the mean time, avoid traffic insanity, save money, help the environment, improve your health, make new friends, save Iraqi babies, make a statement for world peace and justice, look cool, ride a bicycle.

James E. Burnside


Pull Together for the Kids

Editor:

"Where Did They Go?" ["Naked City," Vol. 18, No. 29] concerning the dropout rates in our AISD schools is sad and very alarming to me. Especially when we're also referring to middle schools. It seems to me as though no one cares about these young people. The parents in particular -- 9.1% dropout ratio has got to be improved (lowered) -- now!

I'm totally grateful to Senator Gonzalo Barrientos and Dallas State Rep. Domingo Garcia for their involvement in hopefully "putting more teeth" in upgrading the ways the Texas school districts keep score of dropouts, etc.

As a parent/grandparent, I would like to see everyone (local and state) getting together -- perhaps beginning in the year 2000, go door to door; arrange meetings once a month in various neighborhoods with parents, guardians of any and all school-age youngsters. We'll call it teamwork! Telling the kids that we do love and care for them. Period.

Good job by Chronicle's Lisa, Mike, Kevin, and Jenny.

Yours,

Moses P. Saldaña


Analogies 101

Editor:

Re: "The Chisum Tale" [Vol. 18 No. 29], Rep. Warren Chisum is quoted in The San Antonio Express News, 3/14, as stating: "I feel that the state can make better choices [for children]." Chisum a conservative? Like his clergy fellow travelers are emulators of Christ rather than money changer-Pharisees.

Patrick N. Consgrove


Babich Doesn't Buy It

Dear Editor,

I've just had an interesting experience while attempting to run for elected office in Austin.

In order to be listed on the ballot as a candidate for the upcoming City Council election, a person must either get 312 registered voters to sign a ballot petition or else pay $500.

My supporters and I collected 370 signatures, of which 367 included the signer's name, street address, and date of birth. We began collecting late, and I filed for candidacy on March 17, the deadline.

To confirm that each signer is a registered voter, someone has to look up the voter registration numbers. I asked the assistant city clerk, Betty Brown, if I should do this myself. She said no, her office would do it.

Later she called to tell me that my petition had been rejected, that more than 100 of the names on my petition were disallowed. They were disallowed because, in writing down their street addresses, people had omitted to write "Austin, Texas." If the address doesn't include the word "Austin," the city clerk need not look up the voter registration number.

When she told me that the petition was rejected, she suggested that I pay $500 to get on the ballot. But I don't think that positions on an election ballot should be bought and sold, so I did not want to do this.

I feel that I have been treated very unjustly by the City Clerk. This is very reminiscent of the way the same office treated a petition submitted by Austinites for a Little Less Corruption. Why does our government throw unnecessary obstacles in the path of citizens who try to participate in politics?

On or off the ballot, I'm still running for Place 3.

Yours truly,

Amy Babich


The New Land Grab

Howdy Y'all,

Warning to all low-income households in central Austin: The American business community has renamed fascism; its "spin" label is called "New Urbanism."

What will result from this "Smart Growth"? Lower-paid Austinites will be displaced by sky-rocketing property taxes and will go live wherever it is the Austin "homeless" have gone.

New Urbanists are "like minded" members of the business community who use our current state of democracy to build densely populated 24-hour consumer marketplaces out of city cores.

Like Portland, the goal in Austin is to strongly restrict housing construction in the much-reviled yet abundantly populated suburbs. No new houses built, so overall housing becomes very hard to find. This New Urbanist plan forces land prices in the city center skyward; this is guaranteed under this single-minded business-motivated strategy.

The future search for affordable housing now ironically forces "Extended -- Sprawl" as newcomers settle for housing in communities close to Austin.

The Austin CBD (central business district) and the central core housing surrounding it will become like the castle keeps of old -- the wealthy Austinites and their well-paid minions will live and prosper in the enclave of the Austin Castle Keep.

New Urbanists will not build new roads in and around the Keep. You will be restricted to entering the inner Austin Castle by way of a limited usage and hugely expensive Light Rail. Congestion is to be increased and even endorsed by New Urbanists with no relief to "evil" car drivers. These horrible car drivers are to be further restricted and frustrated by maze-like privatized city streets full of traffic-calming devices.

And the environmentalists, the so-called greens are endorsing this Smart Growth "relocation plan." Paint it green, spin it as Smart Growth, it's a land grab, plain and simple.

Best regards,

Rick Hall


Save Small Business

Dear Austin Chronicle,

Re: Ash Corea and the Empanada Parlour, I wanted to thank you for the article you ran on the problems that Austin's redevelopment of downtown has caused for one of my favorite local businesses ["The Price of Progress," Vol. 18, No. 26]. It would be a shame if we Austinites cannot come up with the resources needed to help small businesses adjust to the changing face of Austin. Please keep us updated on any progress (or lack of progress) on this story.

Best,

Maxwell B. Stinchcombe


Empanadas Eternal

Dear Editor:

I want to congratulate the Chronicle for the excellent article detailing the often hidden and disregarded high costs of progress and development, specifically when it is time to evaluate how they affect local small businesses and the community who enjoy and support them. I am glad that you are giving this issue the priority it deserves. We all want Austin to grow but we do not want to sacrifice what we like and make our city such a wonderful one.

As an Argentinean who loves empanadas, the Empanada Parlour is too good to lose. In fact, after I moved to Austin that aspect of homesickness went away over night! But, leaving my selfish interests aside, I want to comment on another significant benefit that places like the Parlour provide to the community. I am talking of a sensitivity toward the issues that are dear to us that translate in a constant generosity with their goods and services for any benefit, cause, or festival that asks them for help. As a member of the Guatemala Action Network of Austin, I am extremely grateful for the Empanada Parlour's contributions to our fund-raising events. Giving back to the community is what the Parlour does. Those of us who participate in a variety of community activities love to enjoy those empanadas, dips, and other delights that Ash Corea is always ready to give.

Let us hope that the place will stay downtown. Austin needs it and I don't want to travel to Argentina when I want an empanada!

Sincerely,

Susana Kaiser


Making the Case for Education

Dear Thinking College Students and Voters,

The Austin American-Statesman published a survey saying that the majority wants this tax surplus, the $4 billion used for education. Other in-depth surveys show "education" means college grants, real marketable skills being taught in high school, and interviews show UT students in long-term student loan debt.

This makes absolutely no sense when Gov. Bush, who again sits on $4 billion in tax surplus. Four billion is twice the amount that was used to double the prison system in Texas so it is a huge amount. He received only 20% of the vote, or only two million out of 10 million adults in Texas, because he failed, to before use the billions in surplus for College Grants, Marketable Skills, etc. The majority believes the surplus needs to be used for Education (college grants, etc.) ... only 5% want it used for tax break.

I dropped off in person copies of the survey, at Senator Barrientos' office, at Lt. Governors' office, and with Gov. Bush's female assistant.

You are encouraged to call Lt. Governor's office, and leave a that this be used for your children's college grants, and education. This is ensure your child can graduate, and not be in long term debt, and get downsized. The Lt. Governor's phone number is 463-0001. If you do this, the college grants will happen. If don't do this, they use it for tax break, that Kim Barnes, (TV reporter) showed would provide no break to anyone living in Austin. The tax break is only $2 a month, for someone living outside Austin, and usually that does occur in reality. Granted, from my observation, college students, outside Austin, are more active in calling their mayor, and local officials, to gain what they want...than Austin students. But it succeeds, like North Texas State University (Denton, Texas) has lower fees than UT because they call the elected official.

The NRA passed the concealed gun law, by phone calls, to these people. It is your choice. Please call them, or you or your children will go into life time student loan debt.

Frank Bartlett


Don't Come Crying to Me for a Can of Beans

To Whom It May Concern,

In your March 12, 1999 issue of the Chronicle there was an article called "Making Hay Out of Y2K" [Vol. 18, No. 28] by Marc Savlov. In the article a Mr. Bruce Sterling was quoted as saying some very derogatory and offensive things regarding militia members as being clowns and taking to the streets in January of 2000 -- marauding is the word he used. I would like to just reply by saying it clearly states in the Constitution of this country that an active militia of the people for the people is very important to the preservation of a free republic. Militia members are not crazy white supremacists as popular assumption makes them out to be. The majority of people involved in a militia are everyday, good people who are willing to spill life blood for the freedom and liberty of all under the Constitution of this country. I wonder if Mr. Sterling would make such a commitment if circumstances called for such measures.

Respectfully,

Charlie Adams


Don't Give up on KOOP

Editor:

As a six-year participant in the KOOP (91.7FM) Radio experiment experience, I have quite a perspective of the chronology of Austin's cooperative community radio station.

I have had many roles and positions at KOOP -- all volunteer. I served a one-year term on the station's first Community Board; I served as the station's first Outreach Coordinator; and have served on many committees at the station.

I, with Teresa Taylor, co-founded the Women's Collective for KOOP Radio in 1993, fully one year before we went on the air. The Women's Collective served to strengthen the ties among the women at the station in order to assure that our voices would be acknowledged and, eventually, broadcast.

Over 100 different people's voices have been brought to the airwaves due to my commitment of bringing the community to KOOP. Those of you who know me and have seen my work know of my community ethic: to bring together folks from all over the sociopolitical spectrum in order to share culture, create community, and problem-solve. KOOP has been the freshest and most inclusive community resource I have had access to. Radical and rejuvenating news/music/dialogue is what I have brought to share.

Please then consider what KOOP has positively offered to you and the community. Please realize what an important resource this station is and continues to be for all of us (progressive radical, fun-loving, and people-respecting folks). I have not been silenced amidst the furor and controversy of the past KOOP year; my work and the work of many others had continued to be effective and enduring. No one can silence the voices of empowered people, even when equipment and money is taken away.

I ask you then to think of us, the dedicated many, working at the station tirelessly and cooperatively, and to give us your support. The Spring '99 Pledge Drive begins Saturday, March 20. Give to KOOP; it gives to the community. I give to the community via KOOP. Don't take this precious tool away from Austin. Please.

My last day to broadcast -- Mandatory Prison Talk -- is Tuesday, March 30, 4pm. Please tune in, talk to me, and make your pledge. If you believe in me and my work, then support KOOP. Thanks.

Sincerely,

Tammy Melody Gomez

Producer/Poet/Activist


Access Denied

Editor:

Regarding the recent letters about KOOP Radio ["Postmarks," March 12]:

1) Hannah Riddering, Lee Nichols wasn't criticizing you in his article, he was referring to the incumbents on the Board of Trustees. As a member of KOOP's Community Board, I was excited that we had a trustee candidate with your articulation and impressive record community involvement, and I voted for you. I'm sure Lee Nichols shares my hopes that you will bring sanity to the board, though I rather suspect that they will simply move to exclude you from deliberations when you don't agree with them, as they did with former trustee Donna Hoffman, who later resigned.

2) Bob White, in your gloating about Friends of KOOP being on the "losing side" in the community board election, you fail to acknowledge that many of us suspect that the real reason we lost was that the other side cheated, but the election records which could allow us to prove this are being kept secret. Why? And while you claimed that staff person Ellen Stader never missed a paycheck, you failed to explain that that's only because a Friends of KOOP supporter personally donated the funds to pay her when the trustees couldn't. Finally, in your support of the trustees, you fail to mention that you are married to one of them.

3) Susan Maynard, Eduardo Vera may "seem like a man with a big heart" to you, but I'm more concerned about the fact that he has blatantly violated KOOP's bylaws, and lied about those of us who oppose the incumbent trustees (saying that we're sexist homophobes who want white supremacist programming on KOOP). Check out the Save KOOP Web site (address below) for examples.

On a related note, the trustees have locked me out of KOOP's Web site (I've been the volunteer Webmaster for over two years), this time for good. It's really ironic: When they locked me out, I was unable to edit the site to reflect that KOOP was back on the air! Smooth move, trustees!

But although I can't get to the official KOOP site, I still update the Save KOOP site frequently. Anyone who wants more details about the controversy, or who has had a hard time figuring out what's going on by reading disjointed letters to the Chronicle, is encouraged to check out the Save KOOP site at http://michaelbluejay.com/savekoop.

Michael Bluejay

Friends of KOOP Webmaster

Former KOOP Webmaster


He Said, He Said

Editor:

What a pleasant surprise to find myself on the Comics page of the Chronicle last week ["Mr. Smarty Pants Knows," March 19]. However, Mr. Smarty Pants slightly misquoted me.

Here is the real quote: "A few years ago Nashville songwriter David Olney told me that Fred LaBour (Too Slim of Riders in the Sky) had told him that he had started the Paul McCartney Death Rumor."

Too Slim didn't start the rumor, and my research plus some personal experience prove it. The story about the week before the "Paul Is Dead" rumor went worldwide is on this page on my Web site: http://www.outer.net/segway/archives/archive11.html.

Larry Monroe


The Right to Be Stupid

To whom it may concern,

I must take issue with the article Lee Nichols wrote on KJFK talk radio ["Media Clips," Vol. 18, No. 28]. He states that the best use for the First Amendment (a dubious start indeed) is for intelligent or enlightening conversation and should not "enfranchise the crude, criminal, or UFO nuts." I submit to Mr. Nichols that that is completely false. It is no great achievement to state something that is popular or something that people can relate to under your First Amendment right. What is truly the best use of the First Amendment is to state things that might not be pleasant or that people do not like to hear. It is a triumph when you can say whatever you like no matter how unpopular and have it protected by our government. I in no way support National Vanguard, but I do support our First Amendment and am shocked and appalled that someone with a wonderful public forum like the Chronicle would discount our most important right so blithely. He says it is a "lame excuse" for KJFK to say that "we are the First Amendment at its best so we don't want to censor programming"!? That's the best thing they could have said. It's a paid advertisement, and you guys at the Chronicle know how unsavory that can get! I suggest Mr. Nichols become a little better acquainted with our Bill of Rights and what it means. When the shoe is on Mr. Nichols' self righteous foot, and it's his opinions that are unpopular, I presume he'll be glad he has the right to say it. And kudos to KJFK and Shannon Burke for having some huevos!

Teighlor Darr

[Ed. note: the exact term was, "the First Amendment at its best," not "the best use of the First Amendment."]


Naked Eastwood No Crime

Editor:

Your reviewer of True Crime, in chastising Clint Eastwood for baring his now "Inca mummy" chest, implies that Eastwood thinks his body still looks hot when it doesn't ["Film Listings," Vol. 18, No. 29]. Certainly Eastwood knows what his body now looks like, especially compared to earlier days. But he still walks around shirtless after making love (as who doesn't?), and he has the grace to say, "This is what I look like now; here it is." It's what existentialists call an authentic moment, and authentic moments are always beautiful (except to those who are limited to what they want to see, rather than what actually exists). I wish your reviewer had pointed out some of the many inauthentic moments which marred this film. Chief among them: Eastwood's racing up to the governor's mansion with new evidence. No gates at the mansion, no security -- Eastwood can just run in, as though it was a neighbor's house. Plus which, the mansion wouldn't be in the film's Bay Area setting, but in Sacramento. I know Eastwood was driving fast, but still.

Arthur Rubin


Genius of Johnston

Editor:

The feature on songwriter Daniel Johnston, by Ken Lieck, was one of the best articles I have ever read ["Genius of Love," Vol. 18, No. 29]. It was a fascinating and very fun, laugh-out-loud read.

Also enjoyed your SXSW previews and picks, especially the attempts to describe each band's music, which helped us figure out who to see.

Cash Moline


You'd Have Preferred a Ginger Eways Cover?

Dear Chroniclers,

Why can't the Chronicle review Austin movies with integrity? Louis Black's explanation of the Storyville controversy was a boast about the separate assignments of features and reviews, but I guess those scruples are thrown out the window for film. When the Wing Commander review is a three-star apology, it's time to rethink the Chronicle's loyalties. I can see looking the other way for the Austin triumvirate of Linklater, Rodriguez, and Judge when their recent efforts have been commercial and critical flops (Newton Boys, The Faculty, and Office Space, respectively). We all know they're cool guys at heart. But Wing Commander, with its tenuous Austin links? The opening night crowd was obviously sci-fi savvy, drooling over the night's real attraction, the Star Wars preview, but once the movie began, the audience promptly mutinied, re-creating Mystery Science Theater 3000 with wicked abandon. Never have I seen an audience so thoroughly turned off. Were you trying to pretend that having Chris Roberts as a cover story wasn't an embarrassment? Maybe I'll stick with the Statesman's Chris Garcia. We know he's not swayed by homegrown celebrity. He hates everything.

Ted Mitchner


Savlov's a Dog

Editor:

Why does Marc Savlov insist on pointing out, time and time again, how attractive the lead actress is in a particular movie? While reviewing Forces of Nature ["Film Listings," Vol. 18, No. 29], he, once again, has to point out a fact that is so completely obvious (yes, Sandra Bullock is very attractive -- she is a movie star). His schoolgirl crushes on actresses are both inane and irrelevant. In the future, he should stick to the merits of the movie, and we readers will just assume that most Hollywood actresses are beautiful.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey E. Fischer


Call for Help

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter in hopes someone may have information concerning the assault and robbery of my daughter on January 30. I wrote a letter that the Chroniclewas gracious to print approximately a month ago offering a reward for this information but I have no results. I am positive the young men (using the word men to describe physical appearance only) that committed this act of violence and robbery have tried to sell the 1 1/2 carat solitaire engagement ring. This assault took place on Palmer when she had car trouble late that evening. The car she was driving was a white Acura Integra. These two men who are less than human assaulted her and left her in a ditch unconscious. If you have any info, please call 476-0654.

Thank you,

J. Morgan


Rector's Mitigating Circumstances

Dear Editor:

I understand that Charles Rector is scheduled to be executed by Texas on March 25. I am very concerned.

There seem to be at least two main issues of ineffectiveness of counsel in Charles' case. During the guilt phase of the trial, there were issues concerning the time of death of the victim that were not investigated by counsel. And during the penalty phase, defense counsel failed to present mitigating evidence which they had about Charles, believing, as they said, that the jury might consider the evidence aggravating rather than mitigating. Yet the evidence could have saved Charles from the death penalty. Such evidence included Charles' personal experience of child abuse, his gunshot injuries, his family instability, and a mother of low IQ who was severely mentally ill.

Assuming that these mitigating circumstances would most likely have resulted in a life sentence for Charles rather than a death sentence, Governor Bush should rectify the situation by granting clemency to Charles Rector.

Sincerely,

Rev. Jonathan C. Tetherly


Get With the Program!

Editor:

Trying to make some sense of the letter by Adam Zachary Newton ["Postmarks," Vol. 18, No. 29] left me a tad confused. I can't speak for Mr. Oliver (whoever he is), but Newton seems to be bashing Christians as anti-Jewish, me in particular. So let me clear the air for Mr. Newton. I mean the Jews no disrespect when I refer to the Torah as the Old Testament, but I will pit my knowledge and understanding of the Old Testament against any Jew or Christian. Furthermore, real Jews believe in the Christ, they just don't believe Jesus the Nazarene was Him. Even the demons in the New Testament knew who Jesus was. Mark 5:8 reads "What are you going to do to me Jesus, Son of the Most High God?" Maybe Newton needs to review the Torah and he'll see that the biggest problems that those Jews had were when they turned away from God, not just once but over and over again.

In closing let me quote Luke 16: [Lazarus (the beggar) and a rich man both die and the rich man goes to Hell. The rich man begs Abraham to send some one back from the dead to warn his brothers about Hell.] Abraham then tells the rich man, "If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even though someone rises from the dead." (Luke 16:31) This story was a parable from Jesus.

Well, Mr. Newton, someone did rise from the dead, and the sooner you get with the program the better off you'll be.

Happy Easter (and Passover),

Kurt Standiford

P.S. I just now read the letter by Mr. Oliver that was mentioned by Mr. Newton. Mr. Oliver has serious problems, heresy not being the least of them. Saying you're a Christian doesn't make you a Christian, but there's a lot of that going around. A real Jew should understand that Mr. Oliver is not a real Christian. Christians and Jews are close brothers and sisters, but we both have our heretics, impostors, and blasphemers.


How About Dancing at the Bachelorette Party?

Dear guys,

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for the exceptional handling of every facet of the presentation of my film The Perfect Specimen at SXSW.

Louis, your introduction at the Paramount was both generous and gracious and I can't adequately express my gratitude for your kind words. I was so nervous and overwhelmed by the crowd that I didn't know what to say. I don't know if you were there for the whole film, but I thanked you, Nancy, and Nick first before the Q&A and afterwards.

Nancy, you delivered everything you promised me. Premiering the film at the Paramount was a dream come true and the Sunday night time slot was absolutely perfect. I respect you for keeping your word to run the film this year after I had to withdraw it in 1998. There aren't many Nancy Schaffers out there in the film world. Please let me know how I may be of help to you and the festival in the future. (I really will dance at your wedding.)

Adam, thanks for being a professional. All the screenings went very well and the print seems to have survived the handling quite well. I appreciate your attention to detail and genuine concern for the well being of the films and filmmakers.

Thanks to you all for creating and delivering such a great film festival to Austin.

Sincerely,

Steve Mims


Assessing Blame

Dear People,

I would like to enter a comment to all Texas people who have ever been involved in a rear-end collision. As of Saturday last, I was involved in a collision on 183 north of Leander, Texas. The speed limit there is 70 mph. A Nissan pickup truck at the last second decided to change from the outside lane of traffic to the inside lane northbound to make a last thought turn, only feet in front of the vehicle in front of me. To avoid hitting the pickup the Suburban stopped; to my surprise, all I saw was smoke coming from the tires, no brake lights. I tried my best to stop and was doing good until the Suburban swerved back into my lane. I hit the Suburban in the rear, bouncing off it into oncoming traffic in the southbound lane, striking a Ford pickup. Thank God no one was injured severely. There was no citation issued at the scene. As for the driver of the Nissan pickup's bad judgment, three vehicles were damaged, two being totaled. The following day I contacted my insurance and the insurance company of the Suburban on Monday only to find that they said "You hit the first car and veered into the second, causing the wreck." There was no way to miss the other vehicles involved, all lanes had heavy traffic. Even though the Nissan pickup had caused the accident, but had not been hit, the Suburban did not have brake lights, and the Nissan cut across lanes to make the turn and stop with no warning, causing the accident to start with; me and my totaled van were to be at fault. They will not cover my damages or medical bills. Is it fair that someone can cause a wreck or drive a vehicle in the state of Texas with no brake lights and not be held responsible for the damages they cause to others, whether it was to me or you? Would you please bring this to the attention of your readers? Unsafe driving and vehicles are alright with the insurance companies and the state of Texas as long as they themselves are not hit in the accidents they cause. People need to be aware of the things that others do that you are held responsible for.

Thank you,

Henry Pundsack


The Right-Wing Shuffle

Editor:

I am totally exhausted by the daily pounding of our president by the right-wing fanatics and the conservative media. Their attempt to oust our president has failed. Now they need to direct their abundant energy into more productive endeavors for the community and nation. As a loyal taxpaying American I find the scandal of our president insulting, embarrassing, and traitorous. These right-wing zealots have attempted, with some success, to create an image of a monster and evildoer of the most successful president in this generation, including ex-president Reagan. This image they created has only confused the public and polarized the nation. When an individual attempts to analyze this horrendous image created by the media and the right-wing conspirators, we discover that these are the same people that have spearheaded the scandal financially from day one. After six years of accusations, innuendos, and allegations, and the kangaroo trail of the impeachment, the finale is an unproven rape charge of 21 years, from a woman that cannot be believed because of her connections to the same right-wing conspirators that spearheaded and financed the exhausting Monica Lewinsky soap opera. As a choreographer and as a self-proclaimed expert of human nature, I have come to the conclusion that this scandal is extremely well-choreographed and staged by individuals that have studied, planned, and blocked this choreography to the last detail.

Rodolfo Mendez


UT Priorities

Editor:

After Brian Moskal submitted a letter to the editor of the university newspaper last week suggesting that the wages of the university's front line staff were subject to free market pressures, I expected that university officials were going to defend their staff and correct his myopia. I was certain that the administration was going to explain to him that the University values its employees because without us the University wouldn't function properly, if at all, and not because of the laws of supply and demand, as Brian (a business freshman) suggested. Of course the administration has its hands full right now trying to explain to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee why a football coach is so much more important to the day-to-day operations of an institution of higher education than, say, a library assistant or an academic advisor.

We all know that having access to research materials and intelligent guidance information are part of what makes a university "first class." Now senators and representatives want to know why it's okay to have 150% annual staff turnover rates in the library, but not on the football field. I'm just appalled that I don't see administrators jumping in and pointing out that turnover rates like this will surely bring this institution to its very knees, much like losing coaches might do to an athletic program. I guess that's why the legislature feels the need to start regulating what UT will do with money from sporting event ticket sales. When administrators start talking about the services that everyday staff provide and recommending that they be given the living wages, the retirement options, the grievance process, and representation they deserve, perhaps the legislature will feel a little more comfortable about UT's "business" sense.

Robert Wyatt

UT staff member

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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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