Inequality Under the Law
Thank you for Steve McVicker's piece on the contract deputy scandal ["Trickle Down Protection," March 30]. This program is an affront to the basic principle of equality under the law.

The most amazing thing about this program is that it has continued for so long in the face of several attorney general opinions that it is illegal and the fact that, as shown in the article, it has effectively resulted in poor neighborhoods in unincorporated Harris County going without any police patrols at all, while subsidizing police protection for their wealthier neighbors. The local news media and the elected representatives of the people who are being deprived of their fair share of police protection deserve some of the blame for not exposing the issue more aggressively. Senator Gallegos and Representative Bailey and the Houston Press, conversely, are heroes for putting the issue on the table.

Law enforcement resources should be allocated on the basis of efficiency and need. They should be allocated with the recognition that all of us want our families to be safe and secure. Clearly, allocating patrols to quiet suburban subdivisions at the expense of crime-ridden inner-city neighborhoods is ass-backwards. If the residents of Kingwood and Meyerland feel that tax revenues are insufficient to pay for the level of police patrols they need, they should call their city councilmember/county commissioner and ask her/him to raise taxes to a level where the entire community can have adequate protection. How can we expect anyone to believe that we believe that "all men are created equal" if we allow the most basic governmental services to be sold openly to the highest bidder?

Bruce Griffiths

No Shows in Brazos
The reason the reporters and longtime state politicos don't know of Wendy Gramm's visibility in the early years of Senator Gramm's political career ["The Wendy Card," by David Pasztor, April 6] is that they weren't on the political rally circuit in Brazos County in 1976, 1978 or 1980. I was and so was Wendy Gramm. I can recall many times where she covered for Phil in making appearances in a district that ran all the way to Dallas-Fort Worth. Any suggestion that he kept her in the closet is ludicrous revisionism that happens to support your story line.

I have known all too few men in my life who have the unabashed pride in their wives that Phil Gramm has. She will make a great first lady teamed with a great president.

Bradley Smith
Sugar Land

Service is Our Middle Name
Score another one for the unfair liberal journalist who has an editor who will actually print his material.

The office of the president of the United States is the only office that produces a first lady. That's the reason for Wendy Gramm's emerging eminence as a candidate's wife. Not because Phil Gramm has been trying to hide her. Since I know that you know this as well as I do, you must agree with my original statement.

Anyway, keep the unfair articles coming so conservatives will have examples of liberal journalism to point to.

Don Murphy

But It Was a Good Yuck
Wendy Gramm had it right the first time. "Oh, yuck."
John Gealy

Gone to Austin
In reference to Joe Hon's review of the Hellhole record [Rotation, March 16] ... not only is there no substantive insight into the actual record, (which some of the bands I know personally, and think they have never sounded better), it is a complete personal slam to Randall Jamail and the whole Houston music scene, and is exactly why I moved to Austin, where records still get bad reviews, but personal character slams on people and the scene don't exist.

Jesse Dayton

Shamrock, RIP
Just a note to thank you for your coverage of the Shamrock Hotel wreath laying ceremony [Press Picks, March 16].

The Shamrock Hotel opening on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1949, was really one of the several great moments of Houston's history. The sentiment and love for the Shamrock and Glenn McCarthy is abundant. The questions as to why it was demolished go unanswered. And the fact that the Texas Medical Center tore down, "Paradise to pave a parking lot," is quite apparent.

The Shamrock Hotel is truly "the Houston hotel -- America will always remember."

Tom Horan

Back from Hell(With A Suggestion)
I enjoyed your article "Wrecker Hell" [By D.J. Wilson, March 9]. I've been there many a time.

May I suggest an article on state legislators who have law practices, focusing on:

1) Where their practices are located;
2) Where their local representative offices are;
3) How long some court cases have waited to be adjudicated because of legislative session delays.

Name withheld

Back From Greenbriar(With a Complaint)
Last month, I went with a friend to visit a restaurant in the Richmond/Greenbriar area. When we did not immediately find a parking space, my companion drove up the street and parked on the street directly behind The Pig "Live" parallel to Alabama Street. I recall the neighborhood as older apartments/subdivided houses and I recall that I had concerns about leaving my friend's car on this street, as there were no house or street lights to light the area around her car. My friend pointed out a No Parking sign and I looked at the sign, which prohibited parking from "6-9." Thinking that there was no conceivable reason why parking would be prohibited on this darkened street at night, I assured my friend that the "6-9" parking prohibition referred to 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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