Failing the smell test

Usually I find your editorials well written and even-handed, but Tuesday’s about the ongoing landfill controversy [“All should provide clarity, facts in heated landfill issue”] is below that standard. Why, in your opening sentence, is one of the directors of the Citizens Against the Highway 84 Landfill group labeled a “ringleader”? Why is it important to tell us that the “months-long rancor” comes from residents “living in attractive subdivisions nearest the Old Lorena Road site”? Why is there no mention of the 1992 consent in which the city agreed not to expand the existing landfill?

Like the landfill itself, your editorial doesn’t pass the smell test. That smell is the odor of the hyperpartisanship which characterizes our society these days. Rather than look at the issue as it affects the whole of Waco, your editorial reinforces that partisan us-vs-them approach, with the “us” being the good, hard-working citizens of Central Waco and the “them” being those whiny, rancorous fatcats living in big houses on the edge of the city. Why the tacit acceptance of the idea that closing one garbage dump and opening another next door is not an “expansion”? (As one of Dickens’ characters once said, “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass.”) Why is there this continuing myopic assumption that nothing has changed around here in 25 years and that burying garbage in once-vacant prairie land with good geology is still its best use despite radical change in the neighborhood?

I see no good outcome from the discussion of this issue. The city seems bent on dumping its trash out the back door, regardless of the impact on the value of the house. And by labeling those citizens exercising their right of free speech as “rancorous ringleaders,” you simply perpetuate the fallacy that there is only that one solution.

David Wild, Waco

Special Halloween

Tuesday night last week 30 men and women volunteers from Holy Spirit Church provided a safe and sane Halloween party for over 600 young children. It was a free community event with hot dogs and chips for all in the Halloween-decorated hall. National Public Radio gave a shout-out about Holy Spirit Church being the local Teal Pumpkin Halloween site for the second year.

What marked this Halloween party as unique was the inclusion of so many children who have food allergies, an aversion to sugar, medical conditions, sensory problems or are handicapped. There were 17 stations for the children with hosts in costumes who offered a choice of non-candy items or trick-or-treat sweets. As one father of a medically fragile child said, “There is no Halloween for my child if you don’t do this event. Thank you.”

A special thanks to Waco police for assisting dozens of little children and families cross the street in the rain. Pass the word for next year!

Karen Mann O’Bric, Woodway