Progress has its price
I was saddened to read in last week’s issue about the stately old home in Oak Lawn and the impending demolition that it likely faces due to zoning restrictions and land values.

I have been a property owner in Oak Lawn for the past 22 years. It is the stately old homes like the one at Hood and Brown that characterized Oak Lawn for so many years and made it such an attractive and inviting neighborhood in which to live.

Unfortunately, declining property values led to the deterioration of the neighborhood in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The accompanying crime and drug problems sent many of us fleeing to the suburbs, as we no longer felt safe living in Oak Lawn. A good many of us became landlords in the process, either unable or unwilling to completely pull up our stakes, to let go of our fond Oak Lawn memories, or to give up on the neighborhood altogether. “We’ll be back” we told ourselves, our friends and our neighbors who, like us, have also moved on.

Realistically, most of us will likely never return to the area we once described as quaint, artistic, full of character and “ours”. Even the tree-lined streets are becoming a distant memory as the sense of community that made Oak Lawn so special “back then” continues to fall victim to commercial development and suburban migration. Today, Oak Lawn bears little resemblance to the way many of us remember it. The likely fate of the stately old home at Hood and Brown is yet another sad reminder.

Thank you for the trip down memory lane. It is indeed regrettable that the price tag of progress is so incredibly outrageous.

James Simmons

Another reason for safer sex
HIV is not the only killer.

Almost 10 years before the killer virus HIV was identified, I was exposed to a virus that will most likely cause my death. Do I say this to shock you? Yes! Shortly after we knew to practice “safer” sex, I had one unprotected encounter and, as a result, have since been an HIV “non-progressor.” I felt fortunate to have survived this long with no problems and expected to die of old age.
One year ago a cancer was accidentally discovered in my liver. As a result of having been exposed to another prevalent sexually transmitted disease hepatitis it appeared my lot was to die of liver cancer. A needed liver transplant was not available for persons with HIV. Fortunately, I have been accepted into a national research project to explore the feasibility of transplants for HIV-infected people. If I am to live, I must soon move across the country, away from my home, friends and family, to undergo a rather difficult process. It is definitely not something I look forward to. There are still no transplants in Texas hospitals.

Why do I tell you this? Be safe guys be safe. It is not worth it.

Don Whitehall

Takes issue with Log Cabin ad
I was mildly amused to see the ad run in your last issue by the Log Cabin Republicans. The LCR’sad states that being gay is just one area of their life, but not the only one that determines how they vote.

As Stonewall Democrats, we also believe that being gay is not the sole determinant of how we vote. But we do believe it’s important that the party and candidates that we vote for support our right to exist. The Democratic Party supports our right to live as free and equal members of society. The Republican Party would be happy if we didn’t exist at all.

The state GOP platform calls for a police state where rights and privileges are determined only if you meet their homogeneous standards. The Log Cabin Republicans’ standard response is that to effect change, you must work from the inside. Stonewall Democrats are recognized and active partners within The Democratic Party at the local, state and national levels. Log Cabin is not even acknowledged on their party’s Web sites and, in Texas, are banned from their party’s conventions.

Finally, they proudly state, “We like Bush.” Personally, I would not be proud of a president that has done more to destroy the rights and civil liberties of more tax-paying, law-abiding citizens that any other president in history. Read the Republican Party’s own words at (complete platform) or (excerpts).

Michael Moon
President, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas

To send a letter
We welcome letters from readers. Shorter letters are more likely to be printed, as are those that address only a single topic. On some weeks we receive more letters than we can print. In that case, we print a representative sample. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, but we attempt to maintain the writer’s substance and tone. Include your home address and a daytime phone number for verification. Send letters to the senior editor, preferably by e-mail ( Letters also may be faxed (214-969-7271) or mailed (Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor, Dallas, TX 72504).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, July 21, 2006
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