Mr. Black, You have abused your position as editor of one of Austin's two most important publications in your pro-toll editorial [“Page Two,” Feb. 24]. Every paragraph contains either outright lies or grievous mistakes. Space prevents my addressing them here; if anyone wants a point-by-point deconstruction, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm taking a stand against making all the freeways toll roads. Contrary to your obvious bias, I'm not foolish or misinformed. It's simply unaffordable for me to commute to Austin and pay all the tolls currently slated. Moving into Austin is not an option because of Austin's high housing costs and taxes. My back is against the wall. If we don't take control of these toll roads, the debt you talk about us leaving “for your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren” will be privately owned roads with ever-increasing toll charges, out of public control forever. Another debt will likely be the default of these toll roads when they fail to deliver the projected profits and have to be bailed out by taxpayers and landowners. If Rick Perry would put aside his plan to build the Trans-Texas Corridor, a monstrous, horrible 22-lane-wide boondoggle (which many people oppose) we would probably have enough money to pay for road maintenance and improvement. Most toll opponents are not against a small increase in gas tax to cover freeway improvement needs. CAMPO recently estimated that a 1.6 cent per gallon increase would be sufficient to avoid tolls. You say toll opponents “cast aspersions” and “spread ... gossip.” Well, if that ain't the pot calling the kettle Black! You used your position to do a great disservice to a positive, well-reasoned grassroots movement that you neither understand nor respect. What a sleazy thing to do.
Fancy Fairchild Elgin
[Louis Black responds: If I accused someone of writing a piece where "Every paragraph contains either outright lies or grievous mistakes," I would cite some. Instead of, in the most vitriolic tones, only offering a differing opinion.]