Quit your whining and make a cash offer. It's the American way.
John Hammond
via Internet

Sky's the Limit
Raining Sky [Letters, "Overparked," April 29] believes I have no grounds to doubt the accuracy of the proposed $30-million budget for the new Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

At the civic meeting where representatives of HISD and HSPVA were present, no drawings, program requirements, cost takeoffs or square footage were provided because none exist. Representatives could not even answer the simple question concerning the approximate size of development, nor provide any detailed information concerning the budget.

It should be noted that when questioned HISD representatives specifically stated that they would not stake their personal reputation on the accuracy of the cost estimate and further described the construction budget as "preliminary at best."

I would just like to remind readers that this budget was prepared pro bono and that, historically, you usually get what you pay for.

Robert Delgado
via Internet

Razer's Edge
Regarding her response [Letters, "Can't See the Forest," April 29] to Margaret Downing's article, Lori Westfall's statement that "no one seems to have a problem when it comes to sports" is sadly mistaken.

Residents and youth in Fourth Ward have protested the downtown stadium and related development that has caused mass destruction of their historic neighborhood, including a whole park of trees the children had asked to preserve.

It is nothing less than insulting to spend millions of dollars on stadia while local residents do not even have simple ballparks where the children can play. The remaining park areas have been exposed to contamination from gasoline tanks stored by the city, which never warned the public of these hazards.

Westfall insists that children's education is more important than trees. But if we don't teach respect for the community and the environment, what good is education? Instead of teaching our children that whoever owns the land has the right to destroy it, it is better to send the message that taxpayer-funded agencies like HISD have a responsibility to the public that they serve.

Emily Nghiem

Why did I keep going to college to get two master's degrees when all I needed to become an athletic director/head football coach was six months of correspondence courses and experience as a shoe salesman ["Winning in the Worst Way," by Tim Fleck, April 15]?

Thank you for exposing what many of us knew was a joke all along.
Mike Jackson
via Internet

Awarding Experience
Darn! We should have submitted four more entries [News Hostage, by Richard Connelly, April 15]!

Bob Stevenson
Director of Programming
KUHF-88.7 FM Radio

Pearly Fates
Some think they will "escape" gays when they reach Heaven [News Hostage, by Richard Connelly, April 1], but Judgment Day itself will be interesting. Perhaps those to be judged the most harshly will be those who, while on earth, invoked the name of Jesus (always on the side of the oppressed) to torment gays.

Irv Smith
via Internet

No Cigar
I enjoy reading the Houston Press, but I don't understand the need to bash the Houston Chronicle. If one of its writers does a puff piece on Garth Brooks, so what [News Hostage, by Richard Connelly, April 8]?

And, although I enjoy reading gossip about celebrities, I don't see the political relevance of Mr. Bush's broken engagement of 30 years ago [Insider, by Tim Fleck, March 25]. I see no similarities between this and Mr. Clinton's alleged and admitted activities while he was a public servant.

Janet Rice Droptini
via Internet

Rhode Scholar
It appears your qualities are surely needed in the world of journalism ["The Fix Is In," February 25, "Adding It All Up," March 4, by Shaila Dewan]. Texas is not unique. In fact, as a parent, I began to look at Rhode Island's school "improvement and/or reform" plans and was quite appalled.

Parents who became aware of the "dumbing down" in their school districts were only labeled "anti-public education" or "right-wing attackers" and so on. The majority actually were Democrats, independents or had no political affiliation.

Great job in reporting what is and isn't happening in the name of "school improvement."

Deborah Nicotra
Richmond, Rhode Island

Baked Right
I saw a premiere of Cookie's Fortune. I loved it. Your review ["Feel-good Fortune, by Andy Klein, April 8] was right on the mark!

Lori Idoux
via Internet

Tapped Out
Amen on the Valley Song review ["Tender But Timid," by Lee Williams, April 22]. Where was the fire?

James Thomas
via Internet

Happy with Life
I went to see Life and then read your review ["Lifeless, by Hal Hinson, April 15]. I totally disagree.

Murphy and Lawrence's relationship can be compared to that in Grumpy Old Men.

The comedy was not as hard-hitting as some Murphy or Lawrence fans would expect, but that was due to the deeper issues that accompanied it. You can't be totally hilarious when your youth, freedom and dignity are all taken from you. The actors still managed to maintain a positive middle ground.

Quite a few other people thought you were wrong and maybe a bit biased.
La Tonia O. Austin

By George
I don't know who you are listening to, but George Strait cannot live long enough to play to the millions of people who want to hear him live and listen to his recordings ["The Strait Dope," by Bob Ruggiero, April 15]. We "Easterners" are driving seven and eight hours just to see the screen.

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