Letters to the Editor

Designation is questionable unless water stays in place

The Municipal Setting Designation sounds fairly innocuous: How nice! Bryan is applying to have part of town designated as a municipal setting.

However, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, an MSD is an official state designation given to property within a municipality or its extraterritorial jurisdiction that certifies that designated groundwater at the property is not used as potable water, and is prohibited from future use as potable water because that groundwater is contaminated in excess of the applicable potable-water protective concentration level.

Groundwater "contaminated in excess of the applicable potable-water protective concentration level" flies in the face of what residents have been told about the site of the Bryan regional athletic superpark by the city council, the city manager and other representatives of the city.

Groundwater does not fall contaminated from the sky, at least not in the area delimited by the MSD. It became contaminated by percolating through contaminated soils and sediments. Yet residents have been assured construction for the planned superpark will be safe for the surrounding neighborhoods. If the groundwater is too contaminated to drink, might the excavation dust from that ground be too contaminated to inhale?

Bryan needs to provide transparency regarding the superpark project, not just assurances that "everything will be all right." If tests have been performed, they should be made available to residents. If tests indicate the soil is contaminated, responsible protocols should be developed to prevent excavation and earth moving from contaminating surrounding neighborhoods. If such procedures are not feasible, then the entire project should be reconsidered.

Moreover, the proposed MSD boundary stops at Villa Maria Road. College Station should withhold its support and consent for the MSD until it is proven that contaminated groundwater will respect surface boundaries and not infiltrate southward toward College Station.



Still called 'Dutch; Ohlendorf coached with honor and respect

Bryan 1960 was a wonderful place and time to be a high-school boy. Most of us had two parents at home, a loving Sunday-school teacher, a "special" teacher who understood and encouraged us and a football coach.

Norbert K. "Dutch" Ohlendorf was also a product of these same conditions and his "management techniques" were instilled in 1954 with "Bear" Bryant at the A&M Junction camp, where he rose to be captain of that A&M football team.

"Dutch" came back to Bryan and was an assistant coach under two of the best -- Red Burditt in 1959 and Joe Newbill in 1960 -- before he became head coach in 1961.

Truth, teamwork, commitment, communication and hard work were the values he learned, lived and left with those he taught and coached. Everyone who was part of teams he coached remember "get down here and let me show you how it should be done."

I recently was at an event with "Dutch" and, of course, he mentioned those days under his influence. I said, "In fact, I think I can show you how now." He immediately took off his jacket and looked down to find a good place for our "one on one."

Everyone laughed and remarked, "I remember those days." We didn't "get it on," but there was no doubt in my mind that he was ready (and probably would have beaten me, again).

"Dutch" Ohlendorf lived his life to be ready every day to be his best. He passed that example on to so many.

And so many of us learned, loved him and always will call him "Coach."