Category Archives: Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

 

The City of Irving was born at the corner of what is now Main Street and the Trinity Rail Express. Two railroad surveyors were sent by the Rock Island Railroad to survey a new rail stop in the year 1903.

The wife of one of the railroad surveyors was a member of the Washington Irving Society (whose namesake was America’s first man of Letters), and she suggested naming this new rail stop “Irving”.

Irving’s reason for existence begins with transportation. Our great City’s success over the years has been built on transportation. Whether it be the Texas Stadium construction on the confluence of the three major freeways of Loop 12, Highway 183, and Highway 114 (which today we refer to as the Diamond Interchange of Walton Walker Freeway, Airport Freeway and John Carpenter Freeway) through which threads the NAFTA Highway of Interstate 35 connecting Mexico to Canada; or the building of the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (for which Irving serves as a one of the four host cities).

Irving’s future success will continue to be based upon transportation with the modernization of Airport FreewayIMidtown Express and the completion of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail line to terminal A at DFW Airport.

Irving’s downtown centers have evolved from its original Main Street location to Plymouth Park, the Irving Mail, and the Las Colinas Urban Center. Further, the eighty-acre tear drop at the site of the former Texas Stadium offers the possibility for a four hundred acre spectacular, mega downtown.

Irving must maintain a clear focus on the full development of its transportation network rail component if it wishes to realize its full potential. I have attempted, via the following Exhibit, to portray how the rail corridors will complete Irving’s future transportation needs connectivity.

Each rail corridor offers expanding opportunity for goods and services to trigger future development like the new Verizon Campus we anticipate at the Deferred Carpenter Ranch Station on the DART Orange Line.

Fort Worth’s TEX Rail; the Cotton Belt Line; Burlington North Santa Fe Line; DART Orange Line; DART Green Line; and the Trinity Rail Express, when completed and fully operational, will provide Irving, Texas with one of the most comprehensive rail connectivity networks in any North Texas city.

In conclusion, it is not a coincidence that the new concrete panels along the updated Airport Freeway will portray Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It is the essence of our heritage.

Only by maintaining our commitment and focus to the rail component of Irving’s transportation network can we achieve the full measure of the Birthright that our pioneering ancestors bestowed upon our great City.

JOHN DANISH
IRVING CITY COUNCILMAN

Letter to the Editor

I am writing to express my concern for an article published in your April 30, 2016 edition of the Rambler Newspaper entitled, ‘Best of Irving’ snubs most Irving businesses written by Sarah Bays. As a supporter of the Rambler and staff, I was very disappointed to read this article. The article was a one-sided, unbalanced, opinion piece on your front page. Nowhere in the article did it say you reached out to the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber for comment, who produced the event, or to verify any of the information quoted in the article.

This year’s event was unique and exciting. It was held at the Texas Musicians Museum showcasing the new amenity and the great things happening in our Heritage District. The Best in Irving event brought together small, medium and enterprising businesses to an often overlooked section of town. You missed such a great opportunity to highlight the Heritage District and promote South Irving. Instead you chose to focus on attacking the Chamber.

I read a story in which all the details provided were from two business owners, one of which who actually won an award, about the unfairness of the survey used to decide winners. As a participant in Best in Irving process, I have never experienced the process of the survey as unfair.

The statement that the award winners can only be Chamber members is an outright false statement. There have been many companies who have won Best in Irving over the years who were not Chamber members when they won, nor did they become Chamber members after. How hard would it have been to verify the facts before printing this type of falsehood?

In the paragraph referring to the Chamber’s mission statement the reporter writes that the “Chamber’s mission to create, advance and promote economic growth for our investors and community seems to contradict how the survey is conducted”. Is this a blog disguised as a news piece? Are you saying that the Chamber’s mission is compromised by the Best in Irving Awards program? This is ridiculous.

A news organization’s duty is to provide factual and unbiased information to the public. Also, I found several grammatical errors and two spelling errors – Milan and a local business’ name – Palio’s Pizza Café.

I am disappointed the Rambler would allow an article riddled with spelling and grammar errors, misleading and inaccurate news reporting to be printed, let alone be placed on its front page. I look forward to a correction and/or factual follow-up to be published.

Thank you,

Jo Ann Goin

2016 City Elections: Letters to the editor

Irving


Code enforcement was on the mind of many at the SIPOA forum on March 15.  One council candidate’s response to a citizen having a problem was very forthright by recommending he contact his district’s council person.  As I reflected on this suggestion, a song from the ‘80s came to mind.  So apologies to Ray Parker, Jr., the man who wrote and scored the theme to “Ghostbusters.”

“If the grass is tall in your neighbor’s yard,

Whadda you call this guy?  Code buster!

To ignore the blight is just too hard,

Who you gonna call?  City council!

I ain’t afraid of no threats,

I ain’t afraid of no threats,

If his car’s on blocks and it’s leaking oil,

Whadda you call this guy?  Code buster!

If his broken fence, just makes you boil,

Who you gonna call?  City council!

I ain’t afraid of no threats,

I ain’t afraid of no threats,

Who you gonna call?  City council!

Go ahead, pick up the phone, and call City council!”

P.S.  I am supporting John Danish, Allan Meagher, and Kyle Taylor.  I hope you do, too!

-Mike Gregory


It is very important to have strong leadership on the city council.  Strong leaders get things done.  Strong leaders stick to the issues, don’t engage in personal attacks, and push forward for the benefit of the city.  John Danish is such a leader and it is important to re-elect him in District One.  He has been in the forefront of new development in District One, and in moving forward with improvements Downtown.  He has pushed to renovate the City’s golf course that had fallen into disrepair and the council is now moving forward on its repair.  He has strongly supported the Historical Museum and now it has been approved.  John has earned our vote.  Please vote for John Danish.  Election Day is May 7, but early voting takes place until May 3.

 

-M/M Gilbert Ornelaz


Coppell


Elect Anthony Hill

To the Editor,

On May 7th, I will be voting to re-elect Anthony Hill for CISD School Board, Place 3.  I first met Anthony Hill about 5 years ago through school events at Austin Elementary.  He is extremely involved on all campuses in our district and I continued to be inspired by his involvement throughout my term as PTO President at Austin.  As my children became involved at CMSE and now as one graduates CHS this year, I have been pleased to see Mr. Hill continue to be very active and interested in all programs at each and every Coppell campus.

His passion and his commitment to the students and district of Coppell is evident in all he does.  I have seen first hand the significance Mr. Hill has made in improving our district.  When making decisions, he researches and asks the right questions to determine what is the best course of action for our district and more importantly, our children.

Please join me in re-electing Anthony Hill.  There is not a better, more informed, passionate candidate for CISD School Board, Place 3.

Kristi Scates,

Coppell Resident

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

My wife and I were sitting in our living room last night around 9:30 with the TV on Fox News. We both had our laptops open and working, a scene that plays out multiple times during any given week in our empty nest. During the news segment I heard a familiar soundbite from one of the regular pundits, “Our public schools are horrible!” I glanced over to see if my wife, a fourth grade teacher in Burleson ISD, was paying attention just as she glanced up at the screen with a scowl and went back to her school work. I have often heard this idea of the poor condition of our public schools being bantered about by our politicians and leaders to score cheap political points at the expense of hard working teachers and administrators across our state and nation that are giving their heart and soul for the kids they serve every day. Are there schools out there that need improving? Yes. Are there bad teachers? Of course. But the vast majority of our schools and educators are doing an amazing job with the tasks that they have been given considering the lack of resources and parental support so necessary to prepare students for life after high school.

I recently watched Good Morning America’s interview with the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Shanna Peeples. Shanna is an English teacher at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo ISD in the Texas panhandle. Her story inspired me to read her biography at ccsso.org. I discovered that Amarillo is a destination city for the resettlement of refugees from a number of countries around the world. Shanna states, “As a teacher of refugee students, I’ve been privileged to see public education through the eyes of students from countries as diverse as Burma, Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq and Cuba. I’m thinking of a student who taught me that public schools are so much more than a building – they are our culture’s brightest gift to the world.” Her biography goes on to tell heartwarming stories of several refugee student’s whose lives have been dramatically impacted by the Amarillo schools. When asked on GMA why she loves her job, Shanna responded, “You can help write the end of the story for every kid.”

The past several years I have had the opportunity to visit a number of public schools in South Africa. Although South Africa has been referred to as the U.S. of Africa because of its similarities to America, the disparity between the best schools, which rival our top schools in the U.S., and the worst is vastly greater. Many schools, even in urban areas, lack electricity, supplies, and basic training for teachers that we take for granted.

In more than a few countries and cultures around the world, children with disabilities are written off and treated inhumanely. This is not so in America. This fall marks the 40th anniversary of legislation passed by congress, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, that required public schools to educate all children – regardless of any disability, mental or physical, they may have. Why do most private schools refuse to take students with disabilities? Because it is an incredibly difficult and very expensive proposition. Hats off to all the educators who work tirelessly with our children including the extra special ones.

Many would say that teachers have an easy job with more vacation time than any other profession. As the husband of a Texas public school teacher, I can attest that this is not the case. Teachers put in countless hours during and outside the school year to prepare for what happens each day in the classroom. So the next time you hear someone disparaging our public schools, ask them for something specific that they have experienced firsthand to support their assertion. When they stare back at you with a surprised look on their face, ask, did you know the United States is one of a handful if not the only country in the world that guarantees an education for every child, even those with disabilities? Or, when is the last time you volunteered to mentor a student or give your time at a school in your neighborhood? Then, tell something positive and specific from your own experience. Together we can spread the good news about what is happening in our public schools, “our culture’s brightest gift to the world.”

Dave Irby
Board President
Friends of Texas Public Schools

Letter to the Editor

Editor:

#IStandWithAhmed has quickly become one of this weeks’ most talked about topics. Freshman Mohamed Ahmed, a kid who lives in my hometown and attends the high school just down the street from my family was suspended and arrested for bringing a clock to school. While his story turned out happy- with invites pouring in from the White House, Facebook, Twitter, and even his dream college MIT, it’s also a reminder of many underlying societal issues we face as a nation.

Islamophobia in education is more rampant than we are willing to admit. In 2011, Huffington Post published an article on Omar, an 8th grader whose teacher wrote in his yearbook “You boys were so much fun on the 8th grade trip! Thanks for not bombing anything while we were there!” Despite the outcry, little was done by the school to address the comment.

While my own high school was a welcoming environment, I’ve been the target of degrading and anti-Muslim comments elsewhere during my school years. These events can negatively impact a student’s educational experience and self esteem. When adults cultivate an environment where such remarks and actions as were said and done to Ahmed are deemed acceptable, it sends a message to the next generation that treating people differently because of their beliefs or the way they look is a normal thing. The same cycle of prejudices and tensions will keep repeating themselves until that environment is shut down.

The fact that Ahmed was interrogated without being allowed to contact his parents, the fact that he was arrested for allegedly building a bomb which was actually a digital clock, led to the national show of solidarity that occurred this past week. I’d like to point out though, that Ahmed is only one story, and even as it comes to a resolution, we have to keep in mind the hundreds of minority students who are figuratively handcuffed by their faculty and peers in a nation where cries for equality have become more slogan than structure.

Thank you,

Maryam Ahmed

 

Maryam Ahmed is a graduate of Texas Virtual Academy and a resident of Irving, Texas. She is currently studying government at UT Austin.

Letter to the Editor

Editor:

When considering the possible consequences of underage drinking, some may immediately think of drunk driving. That risk is real – in 2014 in Texas, 1,949 drunk driving crashes involved underage drinking drivers (ages 16-20), leading to 91 deaths and 222 serious injuries, according to TxDOT.

However, nationally, more than two out of every three underage drinking-related fatalities do NOT involve drunk driving. Making it clear that underage drinking poses serious consequences for children that must be considered. For example, National Institutes of Health research also shows that critical brain development occurs from age 12-20, and binge drinking at these ages can negatively affect children’s learning, memory and motivation.

With the new school year approaching, we must help our children understand that it’s never safe or acceptable to drink before they’re 21. And we know they’ll listen – 62 percent of Texas teens say their parents are the motivating factor for them not to drink.

Whether our kids are getting ready to start middle school or wrapping up their high school careers, it’s crucial to talk early and often with them about not drinking. That’s why MADD developed the Power of Parents® program – to equip parents and caregivers with materials to talk with their children about alcohol. These resources are available for free at www.madd.org/texas.

Support our children as they head into the new school year and download the Power of Parents handbooks.

 

Sincerely,
Jason Derscheid
Executive Director
MADD North Texas

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Doctor Burkett is our veterinarian from the Buena Vista Clinic of Irving.

When we moved to Texas and bought our first house, we promise Adriana, our daughter, a dog. We got Patches from the SPCA in Dallas. Then we found Dr Burkett. Afterwards all of our fur kids were treated by him.

We knew that he was very special. When I lost my dear beagle, Nikki, I was inconsolable. With his help, we did everything possible for Nikki. I was there almost every day. That is when I found out about his kindness towards our fur kids. Every time I was sitting in his office, I learned about all the great things he did for his clients and the community. In gratitude, I nominated him for the High Spirited Citizen Award, the highest award for a volunteer in the City of Irving. After a few months, the Board of Directors of the Convention Business and Visitors Bureau accepted the nomination.
I asked our Mayor if I could bring Snoopy to surprise Dr Michael and the council members. Our dear Jacqueline Madden, the Park Recreation Special Activity supervisor, was our Snoopy. She not only lent me the costume, but jumped in to help be Snoopy when the designated Snoopy couldn’t arrive in time for the presentation.

Maria da Gloria Seppy

Open letter to the editor

An open letter to anyone wanting to move into South Irving –

Normally land is cheaper in south Irving, and your real estate agent knows how to guide you. As he or she drives you around, you will notice yards that need mowing. If you’re inclined to let your grass grow too tall, where you now live, you will feel at home here in south Irving. If you believe in letting voluntary trees dominate your backyard, come on. The same goes with seven foot tall weeds. Speaking of grass, you may notice a lot of being blown out into the street. You may want to do the same. Even though we think there is an ordinance against it, you wouldn’t believe it as you drive past a house on a particular day, and see yard crews with blowers, directing the debris into the street.

If you have four children and all of you have vehicles, you may be inclined to park in the front lawn. There is a city ordinance against such, but city code enforcement officers are reactive instead of proactive, and you can probably get away with it for a week or two, until a neighbor complains.

There are many other things you may notice, which will make you feel at home, even before you move here, such as parking too close to fire hydrants; having garage sales every week; leaving Christmas lights up year-round; putting out construction materials for regular trash pickup; putting out regular trash two days early, etc. etc. etc.

Robert Mayo
George Stevenson

Letter to the Editor

Editor:

My heroes do not wear a sports jersey with their name and number on it. My heroes wear bunker gear with an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) pack on their back and a mask over their face and a helmet to protect their head. They wear big, heavy boots and thick gloves to protect their hands. Their pockets contain tools to snip wires or break automobile glass or any of dozens of other hazard they may encounter.

My heroes drive big red chariots emblazoned with lights and decals. Some are in Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICU) with medicines and tools so they can bring a miniature emergency room to you and stabilize you when your heart stops or your body is traumatized in a mangled automobile crash. Others are on bikes so they can navigate through a crown lining a street at a parade or a large public gathering.

My heroes do not always get a full eight hours sleep like most of us strive for. They are often roused from their sleep because you and I may have a medical emergency or a car accident in the middle of the night. Sometimes it is because fire lights up the night sky.

My heroes are like those that have gone to fight battles on foreign soil. They have seen things that would turn most of our stomachs. Yet, many times they choose not to talk about it to others.

You see my heroes at their fire stations washing their trucks and engines and MICU’s in the morning, sometimes raising the ladder on the piece of equipment just to make sure when called upon, all is in working order. Other times, in the spring, they can be seen standing in the middle of a busy intersection with a boot in hand collecting money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. They collect school supplies for the children of the community and at Christmas time they deliver toys and food so a child will not wake up Christmas morning and think Santa forgot about them or that they have been naughty and therefore, Santa skipped their house.

My heroes do these things and hundreds more. My heroes are firemen. This past weekend the danger of what they do was brought home when an eighteen wheeler struck a piece of equipment blocking an accident scene on the highway in the middle of the night. All three injured have been released from the hospital and will soon be back at their firehouse. God’s hedge of protection was not only on them, but the other first responders that could have been in the path of the truck.

We do not know why or how the driver of the truck did not slow down, but it was a sobering reminder that it is not just when they run into a burning building that they are in danger.

Texas, along with other states, have enacted laws to slow down to twenty miles below the posted speed limit and to also move over one lane when passing an emergency vehicle with it’s lights flashing. We talked a lot about, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” with the recent spring rains. Maybe we need to remind motorist to slow down and move over when there is a stopped emergency vehicle on the roadway.

My heroes with the Irving Fire Department are not just firefighters and paramedics. They are somebody’s husband, father, brother, son, etc. They are active in our community and they are servants in our city. Let’s do all we can do when we see them stopped on the side of the road. Slow down, and move over. Let’s make sure they all go home to see their family at the end of their shift.

– Tim Fooks

Tim Fooks is a life-long Irving resident. He has lived in Irving over 51 years and attended school in the Irving ISD. He is also a community volunteer, giving his time to the Office of Emergency Management as a storm spotter, and is also a member of the Irving Citizens Fire Academy Alumni Association.

Letter to the Editor

Editor:

This morning for the first time I visited the so called South Irving Library. What a disappointment, we had a very well stocked genealogy department where I had researched for over 20 Years and it was eliminated because the head of our library thinks everything is on the internet. She has never done any genealogy and she told us in a meeting that if we wanted to research, we could go to Dallas or Ft. Worth.

As for the internet, the library is supposed to have the library edition of Ancestry.com. I find there are 3 computers designated as “genealogy”. Two of them have “Not available” on the screen and the other one says Ancestry is not accessible.

Our genealogy society donated a lot of books to the library that have just disappeared. My impression was it was more a child’s entertainment center than a library. Why so many places to sit? Do they expect people to come there to read a book instead of checking it out to take home and read?  My family has paid taxes in Irving since 1903 and I sure question our so called leaders in some of their decisions. Yes I vote. The city has hired 3 people to study the feasibility of a museum. One of the locations considered is the Central Library Building. The reason they gave for building the new building was it was too expensive to update that building for a library. Would it be any cheaper to renovate it for a museum? All of the locations considered are in “south Irving” which is food for thought. There was no mention where the money would come from for this endeavor.

I don’t believe the city will go for a museum the size and scope of what was suggested in that meeting.

Disgruntled citizen,

Evelyn McClure