Letters

Roping Fry
Michael Fry's cartoon in the February 16 issue of the Press ["Are Rodeo Events Really Cruel to Animals?"] was obviously the product of an uninformed pen. It is a shame that some readers might actually believe that he knows anything about the sport of rodeo. Having been a rodeo contestant, I cannot let his ignorance go unaddressed.

First of all, rodeo stock are in no way abused. In fact, rodeo stock live a very charmed life for an animal. They eat well, are handled humanely and only "work" eight seconds at a time. A rodeo stock contractor's livelihood depends on his taking care of his animals. Rodeo contestants depend on healthy animals because a large part of the cowboy's success depends on a healthy, athletic animal. Further, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has a full-time veterinarian in the arena at all times. Rodeo animals simply get the best care available.

Also disturbing is that Fry's insulting cartoon was directed at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. There is no reason to discourage attendance at one of Houston's premier attractions. While Mr. Fry has the right to be as sarcastic as he wants, he should at least attempt to acquire a scintilla of education on the topics about which he draws.

Kenneth P. Wise
Houston

Inconceivable
Craig Wilson's article "Visible Man" [News, February 16] was long overdue. It is inconceivable that Houston's two major papers do not have a minority among their major sports columnists. While recruiting minorities for the newsroom has long been a formidable challenge for newspapers, other editorial departments at both papers have much better minority representation among columnists.

When I became sports editor of the Houston Post in 1989, one of the first moves I made was to switch Darrell K. Ardison from a clerical employee to a full-time writer (not in 1987, as reported). At the time, Ardison was the only African-American in the Post's sports department. In 1992, I tried to get Carlton Thompson hired as a full-time writer, but was unable to do so because of the Post's ongoing financial plight.

It also is interesting to note that virtually every Post sportswriter -- except African-Americans Ardison and Thompson -- writes a weekly beat notebook and gets his/her column head in the paper. Questionable policies also exist at the Chronicle, where sports department resources are far more plentiful, yet priorities seemingly are placed on large newsholes and huge travel budgets instead of greater African-American representation, which currently includes only W.H. Stickney and Gwen Lewis on a 40-plus person staff.

Ivy McLemore
Houston

CabScam
So Yellow Cab's Joe Chernow [News, "Jitney Jihad," February 2] worries that jitneys might deviate from their routes for the convenience of their passengers. As he bemoans the fact that there are only six city inspectors to police such heinous crimes, he insists that "public convenience and necessity" be a requisite for a jitney license.

Say what? I can't think of anything more convenient than catering to the necessities of the public in such circumstances. Maybe what we need, instead of this "rules are rules" mentality, is an approach that meets the needs of the public instead of forcing the public to meet the needs of the system.

If "public convenience" were required to obtain cab licenses, then Yellow Cab wouldn't have any. Its rates certainly inconvenience my pocket. Mr. Chernow can scream about New York all he wants, but there is one nice thing about that city: you can always get a cab without having to spend the family jewels.

George A. Butel
Houston

Un Bonito Idioma
I want to congratulate Brad Tyer for the article you published ["AQueremos Rock!," February 16]. I am very happy that you published an article about Mexican rock. I would really like to tell you to please keep publishing these articles. We, the Hispanic people, have many more articles to write about!

I am from Mexico City. I read the Houston Press every week. Houston Press is like a window to me and my family, where we can see what is happening in Houston.

Espanol es un bonito idioma, y la gente que hablamos espanol. Tambien somos buena gente. Hablen mas con nosotros y ustedes, los americanos, aprenderan a querernos y a respetarnos, como nosotros los queremos y los respetamos.

Juan Hernandez
Houston

Bitter Corn
Ouch! How yellow were those corn flakes Edith Sorenson ate before taking an unbelievably bitter tone in reviewing The Brady Bunch Movie? [Film, "The Brady Bomb, February 23.] Using descriptions and phrases including "stupid and ugly and mean" would be more appropriate for a film about handicapped children being pushed down a staircase than a harmless, and sometimes quite successful, spoof of a larger-than-life TV sitcom.

I had great difficulty finding a point to her review, or anything in the movie that could justify such a venomous tirade. True, the film is unlikely to win any major awards, but it is entertaining and, judging by the theater full of convulsed patrons, quite hilarious.

There are always some positives in every work, and Ms. Sorenson's failure to report any of them is highly suspicious. If she has some ax to grind with the Bradys because their idealistic view of life set her up for a big letdown in her own, perhaps she should tell it to a therapist. Until then, it's unnecessary for her to vent her sour feelings on the unsuspecting movie review reader. As Florence Henderson said in her cameo appearance: "Cut the crap!"

John Carollo
Houston

Think of the Neighbors
Thank you for your recent article "Street Fight." [News, By Brian Wallstin, March 2]. For the last six years I have lived and owned a business in the Montrose. Because of this, I know what it is like to be on both sides of the coin. When I bought the property that I turned into a lodging and reception facility, the neighbors cheered! As my business grew I started getting some complaints from adjoining residents. Did I ignore them? No, we started limiting our hours of operation, restricting noise levels and providing alternative parking. Was this more profitable for me? Obviously not! But we all need to strive harder to see that commercial and residential do not cause hardship on one another. It cannot be all about what is good for me. As a result, instead of having neighbors that loathe me, I have neighbors who support me.

I really resent that tired line that the bars were here first. A little bit of history on our village will reveal that, in fact, the residents were here first. After the commercial establishments started coming in, the residents started leaving. I would like to know why it is, when certain groups act irresponsibly, I am told that I should be banished to the hinterlands like Kingwood. What I think should happen is what is happening. Property owners are standing up for their rights and saying enough is enough.

And another thing Ms. Pasternak said, about her friends coming from outside the loop in to party. That is very typical. I'll wager if you got the addresses of most of the people that come to the Montrose area (regardless of age or club) you will find they are not part of this community. That means whatever social costs they inflict on the local residents, they can retreat back to their deed-restricted planned communities and go to sleep. Meanwhile, back at the ranch we are paying the high taxes and cleaning up the mess.

I love the Montrose. I work hard to make it a nice place for everyone to live. That does not mean that I should have to put up with people screaming and yelling in my front yard at 2:30 in the morning.

Tom Fricke
Houston

No Monopoly on Free Speech
I enjoyed reading your leftist article on Sen. Gramm [News, "Angry White Male," By Jim Simmon, March 2]. I was amazed at how you characterized the protesters as victims of conservative efforts to suppress free speech. I am not ignorant enough to believe that liberals are the lone supporters of the First Amendment.

At a 1992 Clinton rally, held in Tranquility Park, I was one of 20 or so Bush supporters that attended. I held a sign that simply said "Bush '92." I was approached by some less than friendly AFL-CIO members, angry that their comrades had failed to collect my sign. I refused to give it up, and was then held by one while another pulled the sign out of my hand and tore it in half.

These great liberals proceeded to follow suit with the entire group, as they yelled profanities and told us we didn't have the right to be at "their" rally. So much for the liberal monopoly on the principles of free speech.

Christopher J. Pomilla
Houston

Job Hunter
In reference to Brad Tyer's parting comments about Justice Records and me personally [Pop Moment, March 9], perhaps our credibility would have been enhanced had I given him a job when he called me looking for work last month.

Randall Hage Jamail
President, Justice Records
Houston

Editor's note: Thanks for the letter. We hear Brad's still available.

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