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0 BLOWHARDS Truer words were never spoken. We must insist that politicians of every stripe get serious about global warming. Similarly, we must insist on getting serious about it ourselves. We must ask ourselves what actions we’ve taken to address the issue. And if we find it hard to name them, it’s time to do something: change a bulb, turn off the air conditioning, walk instead of drive … something, anything, to let our politicians know we really are serious. John Swinburn Via e-mail SCHOOL DAZE It happened just as you said. thing is, there also were many tears, cries, and prayers for the school to be saved. I personally called the mayor and literally begged him not to destroy the school. He only said, Its the right decision, thanks for calling,” then hung up. I think the people who are responsible for the destruction of that beautiful old school are totally insensitive to the concerns of the people who were born here and who have lived here for years. I am native to Denison. This is the worst city council we have ever had, and I am ashamed of what they’ve done and how they did it. It is a very sad thing to see the clock tower every day still sitting in the mud instead of being where it was meant to stay. They had already made their plans and nothing we did or said made any difference at all. At least we tried to save it. That’s all we can say now There is much talk about recalling the mayor. People are hurt and still trying to deal with all their anger over such a great loss to our town. It’s very, very sad to say the least. Thanks for caring enough to let others know what they have done. Debra Hiner Via e-mail MONEY SINK It is astounding that, in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, any local, state, or federal entity could give the okay and encourage any plan that disregards the results of scientific research on beach erosion, barrier island subsidence, rising sea levels, population trends, and a host of other evidence that points to the foolishness of building on barrier islands. \(“That like money talks and the public coffers get to back it up with subsidized infrastructure to support the developments, not to mention federal flood and windstorm insurance. Where do people think this money comes from? Taxes? Duh! John S. Adams Via e-mail NOVEMBER 30, 2007 TheTexas Observer FEATURES OVERDOSING ON POWER 8 Drug courts can keep addicts in treatment and out of jaili fjudges let them. by Dave Mann SUZY ROBERTS NEVER HAD A PRAYER 14 How a school board member was branded a heretic for asking a simple question. by Emily DePrang LEAVES OF GOLD 16 As a new market for carbon credits takes root, East Texans wonder if they really can get paid just for owning trees. by Stayton Bonner DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 4 JIM HIGHTOWER 20 Disposable Veterans BOOKS & CULTURE POETRY 21 by John David Brantley er Jan Seale AN IMAGINARY CRISIS 23 by Suzanne Batchelor WHAT THE FIFTH IS TAKING 26 by Cynthia Hall Clements AFTERWORD 29 by Alec Hamilton Cover illustration by Leah Ball CALL FOR SILENT AUCTION DONATIONS Once again, the Observer will have its renowned silent auction along with the upcoming Fat Cat Schmoozefest & Rabble Rouser Roundup music celebration on January 20, 2008. If you have an item or service to donate, please let us know. It’s a great way to get the word out on your business, and to help the Observer. Contact Julia Austin at 512-477-0746 or [email protected] HELTER SPELLTER misspelled the name of the ranch where the Manson family resided. It was the Spahn ranch. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 30, 2007