Mice Touch
I was starting to think I was the only one left who gave a rat's ass ["Cutting Class," by Margaret Downing, April 15]!

Greg Self
via Internet

Chain Saw Massacre
Thank you for presenting an important lesson in conservation. The absurdity of cutting down trees and destroying a park, when Houston needs parks so badly, was well illustrated.

I hope that this beautiful stand of trees on 11th Street is dedicated as a park and is protected from every threat of future development. Of the 1,234 residents of Timbergrove, 90 percent eagerly signed petitions to protect the woods.

We hope that the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts gets a new school on a site where Houston will not have to sacrifice a forest.

Publicly owned land near the museum district has been identified as an alternate site and is being considered for a land swap. We hope our school board members decide to give Houston a forested park and HSPVA a school where they want to be.

Jean Crandall
via Internet

Can't See the Forest...
Hold on a minute. The residents of Timbergrove Manor have forgotten one thing. This is not their land! HISD has owned it since 1949. I think we can spare some trees for the sake of a proven method of education. The Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts has been very successful. We need more schools like this.

What is more important, our children's education or trees? We kill trees all over this town for more and more retail shopping centers. I'll bet the Timbergrove Manor residents would have no problem supporting a baseball or soccer field on this site. No one seems to have a problem when it comes to sports, yet the arts are always shortchanged.

Margaret Downing, give me a break! You say, "What will be left to look at?" Graduation classes that can spell their own name.

Lori Westfall
via Internet

In the Grove
As a child growing up two blocks from those trees on West 11th Street, I was astounded both by their beauty and by the thought that adults might cut them all down.

If the people of the Bayou City make your voices heard, board members will either listen to you or face your wrath on Election Day. Remember, you will not be fighting a multinational corporation or even a wealthy owner of private land. You are fighting for the future of publicly held property. You are fighting for the future of your land.

Opposition to building HSPVA in the grove is not opposition to that school. I want to see that superb high school move into adequate facilities, I hope in or near the arts district. I suspect that many of the young artists at HSPVA share my hopes for their school and care about preserving the environment, even if some adults do not.

Robert Porter
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

This property on West 11th is simply undeveloped land, owned by HISD since 1949. Using it as a doggy bathroom does not make it a park.

There already is a park on both sides of White Oak Bayou only 100 yards down Shelterwood from the HISD property! All along White Oak Bayou there is open land for jogging and for wildlife. Nearby are several playgrounds, parks and recreational areas. I don't know of any other neighborhood with so many parks.

And you're really stretching it to quote an interior designer opposed to the project on how much it will cost to build the school when he hasn't seen any plans for it.

You will find that wildlife has not been displaced by development in the area. There are plenty of squirrels and butterflies and crawfish (so worried about in the article). We also have raccoons, opossums, owls, snakes, egrets, etc., right here inside the Loop. Building the school won't change that.

There is no good reason for HISD not to use the land it already owns for a new school.

Raining Sky

Defensive Line
As a middle schooler at Northwest Academy, I couldn't wait to play varsity football under Coach Knapp in 1998 ["Winning in the Worst Way," by Tim Fleck, April 15].

During practice, Coach would always show his Godly morals and do just what he had talked about in his prepractice devotions. As the season went on, Coach Knapp showed me how to be a Godly man.

In your article, there are endless lies. Coach Knapp has not asked anyone to lie, and I stand behind him 100 percent. I am praying that the people making these allegations against him will find their heart and stop torturing this man.

Kolby Wahl
via Internet

Mother's Way
Why in the world is the mother of a player putting that much money into a high school coach unless she has some other agenda? We all have heard of "cheerleader moms." What is this?

I agree with the comment of one of the moms: Was Jeanette Ramming trying to "buy" the team or a place on the team for her son? When the coach would not do it her way, she now tries to blame him! You should put as much blame on Ramming as you did on the coach!

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