Kudos to Joe Nick Patoski for his initial attempt to voice his opinion about Mike Levy. Too bad he felt the need to recant. Good luck, Joe Nick! Sounds like you're gonna need it.

Ruth Clay
via Internet

Aunt Bea's Best
I have a contender for Texas Monthly in dullest journalism. It's the Houston Chronicle Lifestyle and Entertainment section. Houstonians have to endure feature-writing that seems right out of the Aunt Bea Mayberry RFD School of Journalistic Writing. Recent offerings include a story about an attorney who tends to the mental health of attorneys, a social club in Texas City and cell-phone safety.

I predicted that the "Best Dressed of Houston" article would be similarly dull, a dreary recitation of the volunteer activities of these ladies. It could have been a fun and interesting article with pizzazz, but that would have gone against the Chronicle's seemingly new penchant for cornpone articles.

Mary L. Bell

Running Off
With regard to the revisions to the city's development ordinance ["Inner-city Shootout," by Brian Wallstin, February 4], the increased runoff from new rooftops and concrete paving will overburden undersized storm drainage systems in the Neartown neighborhoods. The receiving streams will see the runoff more quickly during storm events and will create a greater flooding threat.

Mr. Wallstin makes a good point about the plundering of these neighborhoods for the sake of development. Intelligent development (which the ordinance should reflect) takes into consideration the capacity of the existing infrastructure before jumping headlong into the morass.

The article, sadly, shows that the development community would rather defer the need to upgrade the infrastructure and burden taxpayers and the federal flood insurance program when the waters rise later.

An enforceable comprehensive watershed management plan is needed. It will help developers and the city make intelligent decisions without compromising the lives and safety of the people they serve.

Mark Janzer
via Internet

Witch Ever
Hey! Great job [Night & Day "The Witching Hour," by Lauren Kern, February 11]. It's about time that young pagans had a place to go and learn about their religion and the responsibilities of being pagan. And your positive spin on our beliefs makes me happy to be a reader of the Houston Press! Like we said in the Navy, "Bravo Zulu!" Brightest blessings to all.

Todd Rainer
via Internet

Crafting Coverage
Thank goodness for a nonsensational type of article on something decent being done by the local witches. Here witches are trying to steer young people clear of the stupidity of Hollywood images of the gentle religion of witchcraft. Reality is so much more satisfying than the hokey fakery of Hollyweird. It is sad that distortion is considered entertainment in the movies.

It is even sadder when the news media follow the same route to create more entertaining news. So I want to thank you for writing a fair article without the need to dress it up to make it more noticeable and salable. Things have generally improved in the media since I started in the craft 16 years ago. All religions should be treated with fairness and without stereotyping.

Christopher Blackwell
via Internet

Interracial Raves
I want to compliment you on a beautiful article on an "inter-ethnic" couple: Jamey Lacy and William July ["Book of Love, by Wendy Grossman, February 11]. They were so cute I could not resist cutting out their picture and posting it on our office board in the spirit of sharing their love with others in the office.

Inter-ethnic marriages promote evolution of mankind in various facets. Genetically, the gene pool is bigger and better and tends to protect offspring against certain disease conditions. Socially, it portends to eliminate future racial rancor since it would be almost impossible to discriminate against any part of oneself.

I love interracial couples a lot. More power to 'em.
Name withheld by request
via Internet

True Believers
I commend Wendy Grossman on her excellent story on William July. As fellow writers we have no doubt she will produce some phenomenal work in her lifetime.

I would like to clarify a few items. The chapter "Does Love Have a Color?" in his book Brothers, Lust and Love did not match the tone of awareness and depth of the other chapters. I have absolutely no problem with a man of color not dating outside of his ethnicity. I just feel that those who open their lives only to people of one single culture or heritage are limiting their horizons. This is not meant to deter from our own individual heritage. In the second edition of Brothers, William chose to revise that chapter.

While it is surely a good and wonderful thing to have his family and "significant other" believe in him, the best thing is that William July believes in himself and our loving Creator, and that unmistakable strength and insight come forth in his books.

J.S. Lacy

Brain Drain
Alex Golubitsky is obviously the academic exception at Lamar High School ["Fighting the Power," by Wendy Grossman, January 28]. But what a waste of time, energy and taxpayer money on this sad little case of vindictiveness toward a kid who showed up Principal James McSwain.

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