Thanks for drawing public attention to this scandalous environmental crime at Corpus Christi’s Citgo refinery (“The Fire This Time,” Aug. 21). It is a total disgrace that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which is supposed to be protecting the environment, does nothing to prevent chemical fires and the release of dangerous fumes, which come at a huge cost to the health of those who live close to the refinery row in Corpus Christi. TCEQ needs to step up to the plate and stop protecting the filthy polluters and start representing the people it is supposed to serve. Corpus Christi has much to commend it in terms of the natural beauty of the coastal bend, but refinery row is a nasty eyesore, which represents a growing hazard to people who live in the area—particularly the young and poor.Adrian ClarkPosted at texasobserver.org


There is a solution to illegal, unsustainable shark fishing (“Blood Treasure,” Aug. 21): sustainable shark diving. Worldwide this is a $300 million dollar industry and growing. Case in point Holbox, Mexico which has gone from a regional shark fishing hub to a multi-million-dollar whale shark tourism Mecca in just five short years.

Re-purposing shark fisheries to shark tourism is as easy as making a cell phone ring. We’re missing the political will, and some vision. Fishermen make a few dollars per shark, when they could be making $40-$80 per diver sustainably.Patric Douglaswww.sharkdiver.comPosted at texasobserver.org


Tom Palaima and Bob Jensen (“The Godless Christian,” Aug. 21) possess two very different approaches to reality with stark differences. Palaima’s instructs a reality based on what was – historical/traditional – and what will be a narrow, literal interpretation of scripture. The other approach, Jensen’s, instructs a reality based on what is. For Palaima (the Bible’s) stories must be historical, tangible and narrowly interpreted. For Jensen, those stories are valid because they inform us in how love might be lived today. Jensen does not need an idol of an old man sitting on a throne either confirming choices with tickets to Heaven or tormenting souls for eternity. Given a choice between Palaima’s brand of Christianity and the Christianity of Jensen, I will always go with Jensen.Meredith LancasterCoupland


Thanks for this bit of Texas history that is not widely known about liberal leaders who emerged from the University of Texas at Austin in the mid-20th century (“So Long to the Communist Threat,” Aug. 21.) I am old enough to remember when there were no Republican voting boxes, as far as I know, in my home county of Terry. It’s interesting to learn that in spite of all calling themselves Democratic Party members, the conservatives and liberals were battling even then. We need more personal memoirs like this.Betty HamiltonPosted at texasobserver.org


It might be important to understand that the Latin American völkerverwanderung into Texas (“White Man’s Burden,” Aug. 21) is not creating “diversity” at all. We used to have diversity, but these communities are simply becoming overwhelmingly Mexican as other groups leave. Joseph LindsayPosted at texasobserver.org