To the editor:
Mike Hoeflich's plea for civility (Journal-World, July 10) is timely. Commissioner Jere McElhaney, with whom I often disagree, recently mentioned an ancestor of his had been the first Native American accepted into the Texas Rangers. "There's a good reason so many Indians are offended by Tonto," I responded sarcastically. Those Rangers illegally "cleansed" the Lone Star State of treaty-protected tribes.
Jere shrugged off that insult. Soon we discovered common ground in his Cherokee relatives' wartime service and my own combat experience. The space dividing us has shrunk. Our presumptions about the other's motives mellow with knowledge of how we each perceive things vital to our visions of this community's future.
Hoeflich is "quite troubled by one local radio host who : seems incapable of even basic civility" when talking local politics. The commentator claims environmental attorneys are "getting rich" off Indians he insinuates are too stupid (his favorite insult) to realize they're being exploited. He tells listeners the wetlands are just abandoned farmland Baker University flooded with water. Too many believe him.
As oil skyrockets, so does the SLT bottom line. Both Obama and McCain pledge to end earmarks and reverse the Bush administration's abysmal environmental record. Ozone ("smog") restrictions will stiffen no matter who wins the White House. Douglas County would already exceed EPA ozone limits, impacting our local economy, if Bush hadn't politicized the science. Hoeflich would rightly seek details from any commission candidate who wants to "finish" the SLT. How would they have us pay for this environmentally indefensible truck-filled smogway?