Mexico is safe if you use sense
Having just returned to Dallas in September 2010, after living almost three years in México City, I read with strong interest David Webb’s column, “A cautionary tale for LGBT travelers” (Dallas Voice, Feb. 4, 2011).
At first I took the commentary as cautionary; one needs to be vigilant whereever we live. Well, I took it that way until I got to the ending: “But hopefully it will be a strong reminder to all Americans that caution is more critical than ever when undertaking travel south of the border.”
With all the negative treatment México is getting in the U.S. press because of the drug wars, my only thought was, “Here is another negative murder story, one that doesn’t relate to the current problem.”
The whole time I lived in the largest city of the Americas, México City, I never felt danger when walking home late at night. I would often stroll along México City’s Paseo de la Refoma Avenue alone without ever any hesitation.
But I was always cautious. One has to be in any large mega city.
When returning to Dallas, I moved to Oak Lawn, three blocks behind where the old Tom Thumb used to be. Even before signing my lease I couldn’t help but remember when a young man was robbed and killed after having used an ATM machine on the corner of Throckmorton and Cedar Springs in 2007.
I also remembered I was moving close to the area where not too long ago a gentleman was shot and almost killed as he walked to his neighborhood bar.
So when I read, “that caution is more critical that ever when undertaking travel south of the border,” I just had to write and say not only “south of the border” but in Dallas, too. We have to be vigilant everywhere.
When I was living in México City, a city with 25 million people, I felt safe. But now that I am in Dallas, living in Oak Lawn, I don’t dare walk the three blocks to Kroger after dark.
I have deep sympathy for Allan Turnipseed, the former Dallas resident killed last month in Lake Chapala, and for his partner.
But from my perspective, Mr. Turnipseed didn’t just get too comfortable living in Lake Chapala, as columnist David Webb described it. Mr. Turnipseed also let his guard down.
He let two homeless teenagers into his surroundings — something I would never do in Dallas or in México.
Homeless and teenage males sound like a dangerous combination anywhere — especially in México, where poverty is so widespread.
But is México safe? Yes, if one uses caution and common sense.
Jesus Chairez, Dallas
Supporting James Nowlin for City Council
I was so pleased to see your online article saying that James Nowlin is “in it to win it” in the Dallas City Council District 14 race (Instant Tea, Wednesday, Feb. 9).
Having a member of the LGBT community on our City Council who is qualified to serve is critical, and I’m excited that we have a candidate we can all get behind. As a community, the opportunity has come (once again) for us to support someone who knows our particular issues as well as the common concerns that all of the residents of District 14 have, regardless of sexual orientation.
These opportunities do not come frequently, and we don’t always win at the ballot box when they do. That is why it is crucial to make sure we do what we can to have a place at the table.
During her time on the council, Angela Hunt shifted her focus from representing District 14 to running a city-wide campaign. She made a name for herself (and polarized the district and the city) by taking controversial positions on the Trinity River toll road and the convention center hotel. Then, she cast the swing vote to raise property taxes.
Now, due to an obvious lack of preparation, she has decided not to run for mayor and to settle for holding on to the District 14 seat. I think the residents of District 14 deserve better than that.
I may be biased, but I believe Dallas has the most vital, diverse and strong LGBT community in the country, as evidenced by all that I have witnessed and participated in over more than 30 years living here.
It is very exciting news that James is following through on his commitment to service in District 14.
Craig McCartney, Dallas
Thank you so much for your article regarding James Nowlin and his intention to continue his ongoing efforts to win the Dallas City Council District 14 seat in May — despite the recent announcement by Councilwoman Angela Hunt that she will run for re-election to that seat.
I believe that James Nowlin will be an excellent representative for District 14 on the City Council. His commitment to the community has already been demonstrated by his considerable volunteer work with various organizations. James also demonstrated his leadership when he announced his intention to run for the City Council seat while Councilwoman Hunt vacillated between running to retain the District 14 seat, running for mayor or (ostensibly) pursuing some other career choice.
As a resident of District 14, I want my city councilperson to be someone who truly possesses a desire to serve the district — not an individual who looks at the seat as a “consolation prize” when her desire to be mayor was thwarted by individuals better prepared to run for the mayor’s seat than she.
I wholeheartedly support James Nowlin in his bid for this seat, and I encourage every reader of this newspaper to find out more about James and his hopes for District 14 and for the city of Dallas.
Eric D. Johnson, Dallas