Letters to the Observer



James McWilliams’ article (“Moveable Feast,” August 10) seems just to be a way to create controversy out of a minor observation. It’s like criticizing someone who sells his car and takes up biking to work because once in a while when it is raining hard, he takes a taxi, which gets worse gas mileage than the car he used to own. Overall, he is doing the right thing, even if a nitpicker can find a few freak exceptions to his very good rule. And for McWilliams to argue that he can’t eat locally because he lives in Central Texas is to ignore the wealth of locally available foods available at any farmer’s market or community-supported farm year-round.

Andrew Balinsky Austin

McWilliams has many good points. However he misses several better points. As to the sheep in England, they should not be eating feed, the nature of the beast is to eat grass. They ate grass for centuries, even in England. Even more important, in the very near future the cost of shipping sheep from Australia to England will be prohibitive due to the rising cost of oil. Moot point. We must eat local, there will be no choice. We must learn to do it responsibly. Consumers in developed nations will demand more than the season provides, but will accept less because there will be no choice. I’m old enough to remember the only out-of-season food we had was what we canned.

Larry Tucker Via e-mail


Dick Reavis is a gentleman and a scholar. (“Made to Last,” July 27) I have enjoyed working with him on his Beetles. I was sad to hear he moved from Texas. We will miss his company, but we can still enjoy his writing thanks to the Observer.

Kenny Hill Austin


It is exceedingly easy for rich, fat white guys in Austin, Washington D.C., and Paris, France, to make decisions about the health concerns of the mostly black and Hispanic people of Port Arthur, Texas. (“A Lot of Nerve,” September 7) Incinerate the VX wastes, make lots of money, and science/health issues be damned.

Greg Moore Unionville, Indiana


Fabulous stuff. Utterly mesmerizing.

(“Home Again,” August 10) Emily DePrang is truly a national-class writer. You are so very lucky to have her writing for you. I want to give her a standing ovation. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read her superb prose.

John Trimble Via e-mail


Your extremely informative and excellently written article (“Slow Death, Slower Justice,” June 29) captured a lot of the facts. I’m an avid reader of true life stories, and I must say this is one of the best written articles I’ve ever read. This information is needed to inform the public of what is going on in South Texas. My grandmother lived in that area before she died in 1967. I remember walking to her house as a child of about 5 and seeing big piles of a white substance in front of that building many times. The stink was horrible, and when I walked by the Helena Plant building I felt nauseated. Thanks again for your efforts to educate the public.

Maria Elena Silva Elsa, Texas


Great article (“Habitat for Inanity,” September 7). Wonderful real people, focused writing-the fence never has been and never will be the answer.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn Via e-mail