Today Cedar Hill (DeSoto, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 52, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 12, 2007 Page: 4 of 20
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Page 4 • Cedar Hill Today • Thursday, April 12, 2007
Flying the unfriendly, expensive skies
died recently of
at the age of 85.
She got the
call from her
mother around 1
_ a.m. on March
■ QYD ^en s^e
___ began the
BRUMFIELD process of find-
News Editor ing a flight
Pennsylvania as soon as she got off
That’s where the real grieving
She found a flight to Pittsburgh for
herself right away, at the halfway
respectable price of S230 on an air-
line that took her from Dallas to
Milwaukee to Pittsburgh, leaving
DFW Airport at 7 a.m. or so.
I was going to fly up with her, but
you see, we have a dog. Those of you
with dogs know what I am going to
mention next: It ain’t the easiest thing
in the world finding a kennel at 1 in
the morning so you can get on a
plane with your girlfriend at 7 in the
After combing the phone book for
a few minutes, we ran across a 24-
hour kennel service at a place conve-
niently located near the airport. They
were most cooperative and sympa-
thetic and pledged to take care of our
With that problem solved, we got
back to the task of getting me on the
But in the span of about 15 min-
utes, the price shot up more than
$200. Bereavement fares were even
worse. They didn’t start until around
$550 dollars and needed confirmation
from the funeral home.
I’m not a cheapskate, but $500 is
too expensive to fly from Dallas to a
major city like Pittsburgh, or any-
where else in the continental U.S.
We’re flying to Europe over the
summer for a cheaper fare than that.
And, much to my chagrin, that
$500 bereavement fee was among the
cheapest prices offered. The airline
industry would’ve loved to fly me to
Pittsburgh for upwards of $600 or
even $700 — for three hours sitting
in confined quarters in coach next to
a flatulent stranger at 7 in the morn-
For those prices, you don’t even
get meal service, but lucky you, you
can pay for the privilege of having
your luggage checked at curbside. No
wonder the airline industry is in trou-
I couldn’t find a flight at a reason-
able price through any airline — at
all. Finally, after a couple of hours of
frustration, my girlfriend sacrificed
her frequent flyer miles to get me on
a plane that left DFW at 11:54 a.m.
on March 31 and took me to
Pittsburgh via Washington, D.C.
I must say, that once 1 got to the
airport everything went fine. There
was no one in the checkout line ahead
of me just one day after severe thun-
derstorms canceled several flights,
and only two or three people were in
the security line once I got my ticket.
My flights left and arrived on
time, and baggage claim was conve-
niently located near my arrival gates.
1 got back to Dallas five minutes
ahead of schedule after flying from
Pittsburgh to Chicago and then wait-
ing out a three-hour layover.
But my girlfriend, still grieving for
her lost family member, wasn’t so
She departed for Dallas about an
hour after I did and flew to her con-
necting flight in Milwaukee.
Our flight itineraries showed us
landing at DFW within five minutes
of each other — me first. But while
my plane was landing five minutes
ahead of schedule at 3:15 p.m. April
4, hers had yet to leave Milwaukee.
Her plane had mechanical prob-
lems, and several other flights had
been canceled because of bad weather
in the southeast.
I found this out after checking my
cell phone after 1 landed. She called
me several times after that, saying
that the flight’s been pushed back to
this time or that time, and — finally
— that there’s a good chance the
See FLYING, Page 16
aDCHNKS INSULT TO INJURY
Letter to the Editor
Some food for thought, senator
Local issues matter, so please vote
I can remember
growing up as a boy
how excited I was to
turn 18 and exercise
my right to vote.
To me, it didn’t
matter what was so
much on the ballot to
be voted on as it did
that I was finally of
age to exercise my
See, in my family
Special To Today my grandfather, who f
respected more than
anything, had served in the Army during
World War II. He was a highly decorated
officer who not only fought for the rights
that we now so greatly take for granted,
but he also put his life on the line to pro-
tect the lives of others that he battled
• It seems that the more water that passes
under the bridge and the more time that
seems to fade into darkness we lose the
appreciation for those things that have
been given to us by the hard work of oth-
As I go through the community speak-
ing with the residents, there are several
who are not even aware of what our local
I hear the comment that they only vote
in the elections that matter, such as state
and national elections.
Local elections don’t have much impor-
tance in their day-to-day life. I would like
to go on record as saying that could not be
further from the truth.
Everything begins at the local level.
Our local government has more decision-
making power on our everyday lives than
what most residents realize.
Economic development, city infrastruc-
ture, parks and recreation, public safety,
local tax rates, mass transit, community
and retail development, budgeting, ett ...
the list just goes on.
Every day that we are blessed to wake
up in this wonderful free society in which
we live we are impacted by the decisions
of those that most of us did not take the
time to go and vote for. Or against, for
As the May 12 general election draws
near I can tell you right now there is no
glitz and glamour on the ballot.
There are no high-profile individuals
that you see every night on the news run-
ning for major office.
There are no large referendums or
other initiatives on the ballot that normally
get voters to the polls.
What is on the ballot are the names of
those who care to make a difference with-
in their own community.
Individuals who have spent many a
waking hour over the last several months,
or years, for that matter, to get their voice
heard on the issues and educate the com-
munity on myriad different things.
So as the election draws closer, I urge
each and every one of you who reads this
column to please, please, please go and
exercise your right to vote.
Many died for the right that so many of
us take for granted and never even think
As a candidate myself I know how
small the turnout is each year that the
polls are open.
And as much as I want my voice heard
out there in the community and that desire
for people to vote for me, my ultimate
goal during the election season is to get as
many people to the polls as possible.
Believe me when I say that I don’t care
who you vote for as long as you get out
there and cast your decision.
In a city of about 20,000 registered vot-
ers, less than 10 percent will participate in
the upcoming election. That is truly a sad
statistic and one that I am not at all too
proud to share.
Once again, my challenge to you is to
find that time, that 15 minutes that it will
take to cast your vote and make a bigger
difference than what you might think.
Early voting draws closer with the polls
opening on April 30 and closing on May
8. The general election is on May 12.
There is ample opportunity for everyone
to exercise their voting rights.
Get there and listen to those candidates
that are wanting your vote.
Make them work for your vote. Ask
them the questions that matter to you and
your community and your family.
And once you are done there go and
cast that vote on who you believe is best
for the job.
Your community will be all that much
better for it.
Jason Russell is a candidate for the Cedar Hill City
Council, Place 5
Sen. Kay Bailey
Hutchinson recently cited
Thomas Jefferson’s quote
about when we make a com-
mitment the world is watching.
Exactly which “war” has the
senator been watching? Surely
not the one the rest of the
world is seeing.
Sen. Hutchinson believes
resolutions to bring our troops
home somehow shows a lack
of support for our brave men
and women who are fighting
and dying in an invasion that
has no realistic, achievable
objective and never had.
How has this administration
supported the troops?
Is it by hiring mercenaries
who are not subject to the
Military Code of Conduct, as
soldiers are, and who were
immunized by J. Paul Bremer
from prosecution for any
crimes they have or will com-
recruited from ex-Chilean sol-
diers trained under Gen.
Pinochet and others who
served under the South
African system of apartheid?
These private armies and
their mercenaries - Black-
water, DynCorp, Global Risk
Strategies, Stfeele Foundation,
etc. - are raking in profits
from this war at taxpayers
expense while our military
men and women are being
paid 25 percent less than free-
lance soldiers, some who
make more than $ 1,000 per
day and are better equipped
than our own military.
Are the lives of our service-
men and women worth less
than theirs? Is that how this
administration shows its sup-
What about the.medical
treatment our people receive
when they come home wound-
ed in body, soul and mind and
the morass of bureaucracy
they face in obtaining their
Is that support?
Then there is the golden
profit-making opportunity for
the ever present Halliburton,
Bechtel, Fluor and Kellogg
Brown & Root, et al, and their
no-bid, cost-plus contracts this
war affords them, not to men-
tion the continuing flow of
money Exxon/Mobil, Chev-
ron/Texaco and Unocal are
counting on to make even
more profit from Iraqi oil and
Does the “Coalition of the
Billing” have an incentive for
peace when profit calls?
And how do we tie the War
on Terror with the invasion of
There has been no evidence
that Iraq was exporting terror-
ism nor that any Iraqi was
involved in 9/11.
Indeed, the religious zealots
Al Quaeda would have been a
threat to secular Saddam
Hussein’s absolute power.
Far from establishing
Jeffersonian democracy, we
have created humanitarian
About 50 percent of the 23
million people living in Iraq
when the invasion began were
children, not terrorists, but
now they are traumatized.
More than two million
Iraqis, including children, have
fled their homeland and are
living in refugee camps in
countries that can no longer
afford to support the influx.
More than one millioiL^
Iraqis, includuk^their chirafen,
have lost their homes, their
jobs, their education and have
no place to go in their own
We have caused the deaths
of untold numbers of Iraqi
children, elderly and innocent
men and women - 100,000 to
more than 500,000 deaths have
been estimated by various
We didn’t keep count.
And then there are those
wounded and maimed for life.
Of those, how many terrorists
did we actually get?
Yes, senator, the world is
They are watching Abu
Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay,
extraordinary rendition and
torture while preaching fair-
ness, justice and the rule of
They are seeing a country
that abandons its principles
and values when they get in
They are watching us
exploit our service men and
women while feeding corpo-
They are seeing a country
that is not leading by example,
but following the example of
those who pervert Islam and
convert it into terrorism.
The world is watching as
we become the monster we
Judith N. Watkins
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Gooch, Robin. Today Cedar Hill (DeSoto, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 52, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 12, 2007, newspaper, April 12, 2007; DeSoto, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth568717/m1/4/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Zula B. Wylie Memorial Library.