By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
Trial's a Travesty
I have followed the Hotel Five trial (originally Hotel Six) through the Houston Chronicle and Houston Press ["Going Through These Things Twice," by Tim Fleck, June 4] since it first became public about two years ago. I am always concerned when FBI and federal prosecutors decide that they are going to see if they can entice some unsuspecting target to take the bait in a sting operation.
This is why I have been so disappointed with Tim Fleck's coverage of the trial and the jury's deliberations in the last two issues of your paper. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Fleck decided before the trial even began that all of the defendants, except perhaps Ross Allyn, are guilty. The last two articles he wrote since the mistrial was declared seem to give the impression that there were only one or two holdout jurors who gummed up the works, and that he can't wait for the retrial to take place in September. The fact is that out of 11 counts, there was only one count against Ben Reyes where as many as ten jurors voted for conviction.
It's a travesty of justice that Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Attanasio is forcing a retrial of this case. The only reason this case was prosecuted is that Attanasio was sent here from Washington to try the case, as the U.S. attorney here in Houston at the time, Gaynelle Griffin Jones, refused to prosecute the case. Now we see the wisdom of her decision, which was overruled.
It is my understanding that the treatment of Mr. Frazee by the mayor and City Council during his recent appearance at the City Council meeting left a lot to be desired. It was, in my opinion, extremely discourteous, demeaning, nasty, undeserved and extremely suspicious.
Even if he brought up items they didn't want to hear, he deserved the courtesy of being heard on time and by all the councilmembers. He didn't deserve to be put off for over five hours.
His information has merit. It would be good for Council to listen and pay heed to his thoughts. If this administration is really "for all the people of Houston," then it better change its ways, as the information presented and the appearance of Mr. Frazee and the way he was treated certainly do not demonstrate that attitude.
I am thoroughly disappointed and embarrassed with/by this city administration.
Gordon L. Bisel
Peter Rainer's review of The Truman Show ["Tube Message," June 4] was way too long and complicated, and entirely missed the point anyway. This movie is not "all about the omnipotence of television and how our lives seem scripted by some unseen force...." This movie is all about selfishness, and our willingness to manipulate other people (or to let them be manipulated) when it will benefit us in some way. Granted, the example in the movie was an extreme case, but I'm sure that we can all think of many cases when we have manipulated or attempted to manipulate others.
Most people will leave this film with the slightly paranoid feeling that someone is watching them. Maybe that's not such a bad thing to imagine. If someone were watching, would we live our lives any differently?
Big Five Hog It
Out of curiosity, why do the Chronicle, Houston Press and Public News all review the same shows? It could just be my imagination, but I see three reviews of everything at the Alley, Stages, Main Street, Theatre LaB and Infernal Bridegroom Productions. In your theater listings, more than these five appear, yet other reviews are rare. Why?
The review of Hope Floats ["Irony Deficient," by Andy Klein, May 28] was probably the single most on-target review I have ever read. I painfully viewed this movie at its premiere and began giggling toward its end out of sheer boredom and disappointment. As my mother sobbed beside me, referring to me as her "heartless child," I couldn't understand how audiences could become emotionally attached to relationships based on nothing and a character even I would have hated in high school. I applaud Klein's honest approach and criticism.