Traffic enforcement a must on Cedar Springs
Regarding the police and issuing of tickets on Cedar Springs:
It happened again at lunch today. We were crossing Cedar Springs in the crosswalk and a blue Mustang tried to run us down. This is a daily occurrence, and we, the merchants on Cedar Springs, have been begging for years to get traffic enforcement on the street.

I have observed that the vast majority of these drivers seem to be straight, yuppie types from other parts of the city, using the busy thoroughfare to get from Love Field to various downtown points. They often display an outright disdain and even rage at pedestrians who dare to get in their way or inconvenience them by forcing them to stop or even slow down.

Cedar Springs Road is a very dangerous street, combining lots of high-speed traffic and pedestrians. We need Dallas police to patrol this area. People need to slow down. Over the years, I can think of eight to 10 people who have been hit crossing this street. It’s taken all this time to get police attention.

This is not a gay thing of persecuting patrons on Cedar Springs. This is a traffic enforcement and safety issue for Cedar Springs and its visitors. Obey the speed limit, stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks, and you will not have a problem with the Dallas police. 

And Cedar Springs will be safer for everyone as a result.

Alan Pierce


Traffic crackdown isn’t stopping crime
An Open Letter to Michael Robinson:
My name is Robbie. I am 25 years old and have lived and worked in Oak Lawn going on four years. I am also a student at UTA.

A few weeks ago I started noticing a large increase in police presence in Oak Lawn and was glad to see an article about it in Dallas Voice ("Activists behind traffic sting," Dallas Voice, Feb. 6), so I knew it wasn’t just my imagination. By two weeks later, the number of people I had seen pulled over was astounding (not me, yet … fingers crossed).

I’d be interested in hearing a little more specifically on how this is beneficial to the community other than your "we can’t have our cake and eat it, too" comment, which makes us sound like a bunch of unpleasable whiners. All we wanted was to bring awareness to the fact that there is growing crime in Oak Lawn and perhaps a few extra patrol officers would help, primarily at night as this is when the crime mostly happens.

There seems to be no change in the amount of officers in the area at night or on the weekends, but a huge increase of residents getting ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt or for "speeding." Let’s be honest here, it’s pretty hard to speed in Oak Lawn as there are stoplights on every corner. Additionally, if you were to ask Oak Lawn residents what made them feel the most unsafe here, their answers would most definitely not be speeders on Cedar Springs.

I appreciate your concern for the community, and your heart was in the right place. However, just because an effort was made at a solution, does not mean that it is the right solution.

As a resident, I ask you to go back to the police like you did in the first place, and ask them to take all the excess day patrollers and place them in the area at night.

Nobody wants to come hang out and spend money in an area saturated by cops, and I certainly don’t want to live in one. And while we’re on the subject, have you been pulled over yet?

Robbie Sames

Participate in Lobby Day
On behalf of Equality Texas, I encourage North Texans to participate in the 2009 Lobby Day at the Texas Capitol on Monday, March 2. The organization is working to move legislation forward that is important to achieving equality for Texans of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions. Several key North Texas representatives in the Texas House have the ability to support equality legislation as it moves forward through committees.

Dallas Rep. Dan Branch is chair of the Higher Education Committee. He represents part of Oak Lawn. It is possible that HB 861, providing for competitive insurance benefits for employees of the University of Texas and Texas A&M University Systems, could come before Branch’s committee. If it does, it will be necessary to educate Rep. Branch and change his mind about the importance of equality to his constituents.
His district is one of several House districts that defeated the 2005 marriage amendment. However, Branch’s voting record has been out of step with his district on legislation related to equality issues.

Plano Rep. Brian McCall is chair of the Calendars Committee, which ultimately determines whether a bill is sent to the full House for a vote. Rep. McCall has been supportive on equality issues, voting against bans on gay and lesbian adoptive and foster parenting.

You live in their districts. You have the most powerful voice in communicating with your elected officials. You make equality happen as the most effective advocate for equality for all Texans.

With the changes in the Speaker of the House and committee chairmanships, you have the opportunity to be an effective voice for equality legislation. Please join me in supporting and participating in Equality Texas’ Lobby Day and register online at

Be involved. That always makes a difference.

Paul Tran

Thanks for story on opera
As a huge fan of opera, I really enjoyed your article featuring Stephen Lawless and Stephen Costello in January ("Even Stephens," Dallas Voice, Jan. 23). It is so refreshing to see attention focused on this magnificent art form, especially when you are able to feature openly gay men who have made opera into what it is today, as is the case with Stephen Lawless.

Dallas Opera is currently in production for "L’italiana in Algeri," which features in one of the main roles the amazingly talented (not to mention sexy) local boy and bass-baritone, John Sauvey. I have had the opportunity to see him in other Dallas and Fort Worth Opera productions. I also remember Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell always has rave reviews for him in productions.

I, and I think your readers, would love to learn more about him. I hope the Dallas Voice is able to take the opportunity to feature one of Dallas’ own.

Jake Solomon


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 February 20, 2009.
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