News Party lines

The world is a ghetto

Welcome to San Antonio, the largest "ghetto" in South Texas.

Give Zachry Construction Corp. employee Ken Wolf a break. He can't help but think the nation's eighth-largest city is nothing more than a "ghetto," as he wrote in an email to his snuff-dippin' buddies last week in an effort to garner votes for mayoral candidate Phil Hardberger.

After all, Wolf merely has to look outside the fence of Zachry's headquarters on Logwood Street on the South Side. It's a motley collection of matchbox houses that reminds one of a ghetto. For every homeowner who can afford to pay a monthly mortgage and even their gas, electric and water bills, there are three who can barely afford to stay off the street.

Party lines
If anyone disagrees with the aforementioned invective, please check with someone who grew up in the neighborhood near Zachry's fenced-off compound.

Since racism has bubbled to the surface in this mayoral election, let's look back to February 1973, when San Antonio experienced a rare snow event and local schools closed. There wasn't much to do except sit at home and listen to the local rock 'n' roll radio station.

Radio DJ Joe Anthony announced he would play a song for the north, east, west and south sides of town as people from those sectors called in with requests.

For people who still remember that day, I called from the South Side, requesting Humble Pie's "Thirty Days in the Hole." Pardon the pun. Unforgettably, Joe Anthony took my request, and then announced the call had come from the South Side, "where the streets are grease."

That attitude prevails in 21st-century San Antonio.

In other business, you had to be there last week when Express-News reporter Greg Jefferson posted a report on the "band of activists" who stood on the City Hall steps, demanding that elected officials call a countywide referendum allowing voters to decide whether the PGA Village swindlers' request for a taxing district should be allowed or kicked to the curb.

The "band" included former councilwoman Maria Berriozabal and other troublemakers bent on making PGA Ripoff No. 3 look bad in front of our neighbors at Toyota Manufacturing Co.

Call it a Freudian slip, or a case of a copy editor indulging too much at the Menger Hotel's lunch buffet, which can cause severe narcolepsy by mid-afternoon. Regardless, Jefferson's closing sentence included a quote from St. Mary's University law professor and PGA opponent Amy Kastely, and then closed with the attribution that she is "a legal adviser to the communist activists fighting the development."

This might have been a typographical error, but it's doubtful. It's more likely a reflection of the attitude that the Express-News editors harbor against anyone who doesn't sign on to their pro-PGA Village agenda.

The story was forwarded to our environmental advocate acquaintances, including Jay J. Johnson, a member of the West Texas Springs Alliance, and he forwarded the story to his other West Texas allies, with the following comments:

"It's come to our attention that the San Antonio Express-News has called protectors and guardians of the life giving Edwards Aquifer 'communist activists.'"

Johnson points out that the West Texas Springs Alliance is the most western organization of the 18-member Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance that is "trying to protect the Edwards Aquifer from exploitation by the wealthy and the politically corrupt ... even from way out here in West Texas."

Kastely also responded to this unfortunate name-calling by the City's most bigoted daily newspaper: "Just don't tell my mom."

Hooray for the Communist activists. While we're at it, hooray for labor unions. Finally, there is someone who cares about the future of the largest ghetto in South Texas. If you count the number of certified voters who signed a petition demanding a vote on whether the City should give tax breaks (or anything else) to PGA Village developers, San Antonio has a population of at least 75,000 communists.

That they're activists frightens the sleep-deprived editors at the Express-News.

By Michael Cary

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