The pitcher Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.”
In the case of the Stockyards, what’s “gaining” is years of deterioration, rot and some neglect.
Someone will have to spend money to shore up and support the infrastructure of the Stockyards buildings or they will collapse. It will either be the taxpayers of Fort Worth or (if we can be open to a middle ground) a private developer who then must see a return on his or her investment.
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I have all the respect in the world for Doug Harman’s collection of Fort Worth antiquities and J’Nell Pate’s historical record of north Fort Worth and other books, but the extreme position they have taken is not how history is preserved.
The Stockyards are in need of a facelift, one that respects the heritage of the area, but which will also provide a safe and economically viable return to the person investing in the facelift.
Middle ground is the key here. There’s absolutely nothing redeeming in the broken shards of the old Swift plant on the hill except for use as an easel for graffiti. But the grand entry to the plant on Northeast 23rd Street with the big “S” is worth saving.
Those who are more hysterical, as a pun on historical, have to start realizing that abandonment is not preservation. Repurposing older buildings, houses and other edifices is the best preservation of our proud history.
Mark R. Presswood,
My heritage is the north side of Fort Worth and the Stockyards — North Side High grad of 1947 and my first job at Swift at 15 during the summer.
In our youth, we managed to slip into the Cowtown Coliseum and the rodeo. And a walk on top of the boxcars and the cattle pens was an adventure we cherished.
My job with Swift gave me a chance to work in the canning department to furnish beef and gravy for our men in military service. A visit to the killing floor brought home to me the reality of our food.
My odometer is at 86 in Bedford, but my roots are in the north side and the Stockyards.
May the Fort Worth City Council honor the Zoning Commission recommendation for the much broader area for preservation.
Mel Carey, Bedford
Why was the lake level in Eagle Mountain Lake not lowered when weather forecasters predicted days in advance that there was a chance of five inches or more of rain?
I have a waterfront home. Flooding causes property damage and deposits debris that the property owners must clean up. The property owner is not compensated.
When private property is used for a public purpose, the landowner is supposed to be fairly compensated. We receive no compensation for the poor control of lake levels.
Cesare Salandra, Azle
I’m concerned about district judges keeping the public from observing family court hearings.
Last year, members of the public observing court proceedings were regularly harassed by bailiffs.
Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson addressed our concerns, but a new law gave judges the power to hire their own bailiffs.
A few days ago, a judge’s bailiff seized a cellphone (not ringing) from an observer’s purse. The seizure was apparently meant to intimidate observers.
The observer was told, “If you didn’t like the the treatment by the bailiffs, then you shouldn’t enter the Tarrant County Courthouse.”
The public should have the right to access the family courts without harassment.
Donald Trump is the wrong person to be president. But we’re to blame.
We’ve shut down debate by labeling people Islamophobes, homophobes, gun nuts or racists. We force people to take down the U.S. flag because someone might be offended. We tell people they’re wrong on immigration, Islam, healthcare, transgender bathrooms or gun rights. But we refuse to hear their side.
Along comes Trump, saying what the disaffected want to hear, and they latch onto him.
Gary Smith, Arlington