I want to give credit to Shaila for her fortitude and for writing an objective story that will hopefully help us in the coming months to stop the "siege" on ethics, the laws and good, honest government. Thanks to the editors of the Press for their courage and determination in producing a hard-hitting expose.

Cipriano Romero
Former mayor of South Houston

Bumpkins All
It is totally mind-boggling that the residents of South Houston haven't marched on city hall! The mayor has pointed out to the public how they have been ripped off for years by the city's Ron Patrick and Family (blood-related or not). Whether they decide to do anything about it is up to them. Right now, the people look like bumpkins being controlled.

Robert Greiwe
via Internet

Tale of the Tapes
I demand that the Houston Press run a correction in light of a demonstrably false claim made in Tim Fleck's Insider column ["Vested Interests," November 19]. Fleck wrote that the number listed for the Houston Review had a taped message from Edward Blum. In fact, the voice mail message is and always has been from me.

Although I am proud to be associated with Blum in my work with him on the Campaign for a Colorblind America, he is not even a staff member of the Houston Review. Fleck's misstatement left a misleading impression with Houston Press readers.

Marc Levin
Publisher & Editor, Houston Review
via Internet

Tim Fleck replies: If Mr. Levin contends it was his voice on the machine rather than that of campaign founder Blum, fine. It only reinforces the point of our commentary. Rather than being an objective, community newspaper that exists for the purpose of training young journalists, as the Review claims, it is a promotional brochure for the campaign and its anti-affirmative action attacks.

Closing the Door
In July of last year, Steve McVicker and I were introduced by an attorney for him to "help" me expose the medical examiner's office and the Houston Police Department for their mistakes in the investigation of the death of my father, Don Chaline ["Death of an Informant," July 24, 1997].

McVicker fooled me into believing that he was actually helping me. Instead, for over a year, I have read him call my father a "drug smuggler," "dope dealer" and "hit man" for hire. He has totally humiliated my family.

My father was not a perfect man. I don't know every single thing of his 50 years on this earth, and there were minor charges such as public intoxication, hot checks and things like that.

I challenge McVicker to show some proof of the allegations he has made against my dead father. It is amazing how no one seemed to accuse him of being any of these things until he was dead and no longer able to defend himself. Yes, my father was a gambler. And yes, he enjoyed living lavishly at times. But Don Chaline was a goodhearted family man.

McVicker made it look like my father just "happened" into my life when it was convenient. As time went on and my father began realizing the importance of life, he was a permanent fixture in my life and my family's lives. When I was pregnant, he called to check on me daily and patiently awaited the birth of his first grandson.

McVicker twisted my words and those of others into saying what he thought the readers of this paper would want to read. McVicker repeatedly referred back to that article.

I have laid low for quite some time now, watching and listening, but don't think I have forgotten about my father's death or the lack of help I was given by the city and county agencies involved. I have and will continue to work on this case until I bring enough evidence that my father didn't just "fall" for any reason and crash his skull in. He was murdered.

I know you won't lose any sleep over this, McVicker, but I want you and your readers to know that you have caused my entire family to lose many precious hours of it.

I don't want to be you when you see your maker and get what you deserve -- the same thing you gave my family -- a door closed in your face!

Melinda Rogers
via Internet

Steve McVicker replies: Rogers sought his help in her efforts to exhume the body of her father -- and it was exhumed. As for the negative descriptions of her father that Rogers says humiliated her family, it was her own brother who provided much of that information for the article.

On Her Toes
Just a quick note to congratulate Cynthia Greenwood on her recent articles covering the "classical" arts scene in Houston.

I have found her articles to be well written and enjoyable reading. One suggestion: Would it be possible to request a sidebar giving definitions and/or descriptions of the more technical terms used in ballet? It would be helpful, I think, as well as educational.

Good job and please keep it up!
B. Root
via Internet

Kernels of Truth
The article about the rock group Korn was excellent ["Kontroversy," by David Simutis, November 19]. Korn is by far my favorite group that is out there, for one simple reason: Their music is 100 percent honesty.

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