From the February 24, 2000 issue

Momma Knows Best, er, Goode

I have been Mrs. Jim Goode for the last 20 years ["The Goode Son," by Lisa Gray, January 6]. I have loved and supported my husband, tried to help raise Levi and Jana, and been instrumental in the growth and operation of the Goode Company Restaurants, but first and foremost, I am the mother of two terrific daughters.

If you think Levi's job description is hard to pinpoint, don't even come looking for mine.

You said in the article that you had been a longtime fan of Goode Co. You should realize, then, that the consistency and quality that you grew to expect did come from a family business, a family-owned business that runs with precision, and an organizational chart, and lots of help from management as well as longtime employees. The kind of longevity that Goode Co. enjoys is no accident. We aren't running on the "good ol' boy" system.

Kate Goode


All Aboard

The article on light rail ["Train in Vain," by Richard Connelly, February 3] underscores the need for discussing transportation challenges for the city. The Houston Sierra Club firmly believes that light rail is a key element of modern transportation for Harris County.

As with any investment, there are risks associated with light rail. Light rail can connect people and commerce without the need to build more freeways that cut through the city, threaten green space and destroy neighborhoods. A robust, integrated system of light rail connected to expanded bus service (hopefully with cleaner-burning fuels) and bike/pedestrian routes around the city can make a huge impact.

Dallas has seen higher-than-expected ridership on its new light-rail system. Once Houston gets a taste of light rail, lines could be extended down the Katy Freeway, to The Woodlands and to the Galleria, to name a few possible next steps.

Is light rail a silver-bullet solution to our congestion and pollution problems? No, but after years of focusing the lion's share of our tax dollars on large freeway projects that have caused only more congestion and air pollution, the city's light-rail project is a step in the right direction.

Steve F. Tudisco III, chair

Transportation Committee

Houston Sierra Club

Gnashville Again?

Your article ["Hoopla," by Bob Burtman, February 10] made me pull out the old self-portrait I have of a Rockets fan (me), sans shirt, watching the Rockets versus the Knicks, with my lucky Rockets tie around my neck.

It brings to mind the fanaticism that people in Nashville had in wanting to bring a certain Houston football team to their city. A supportive mayor and a good plan are the only other things you need.

With the NBA, do you think Louisville could pull off what Nashville did? You bet they could! It's complacent mind-sets such as yours that lost us the Oilers. But the real kicker was the over-the-top Oliver Stone conspiracy tone about the Chronicle's "slavish minions." To try to discredit a fellow journalist, albeit a sportswriter or two, is bad enough, but to tar and feather them as Les Alexander's "slaves" is entirely self-serving and without merit (they do have an interest in keeping the Rockets here themselves, since they write about sportsŠ hello!).

The Rockets are good for Houston, even if one never sets foot in the Compaq Center or watches them on TV. They are just one reason that corporate America likes to relocate to Houston. The Rockets and Comets deserve the best arena we can build for them, even if the Astros may only partially measure up.

John Robertson


Addicted to Politics

I was thrilled to see the article on Richard Johnson's antics ["Pulling the Strings," by Tim Fleck, February 10]. The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse is charged, in part, with ensuring that quality treatment is being delivered by its contractors. Poor record-keeping and poor treatment should result in a bad review.

I was also grateful to see the truth in print: that politics determine funding to treatment providers much more than quality treatment does. Most of us who are TCADA contractors work tirelessly to provide quality treatment to our clients. When there are problems with our reviews, we fix the problems -- we don't storm state offices.

Audits are not generally subjective. A job description either is in a personnel file or it isn't. I think the treatment providers of this region are tired of being held hostage by funding decisions that are influenced by who you know, not what you know. We have lots of substandard treatment in this region because of that. The sad thing is, the client suffers.

How tragic that when someone finally gets the courage to reach out for help they are almost forced to turn to an entity where their efforts to get well are thwarted by poor treatment and poor management. Thank you, Houston Press, for identifying and talking about the truth.

Name withheld by request


Last Gasp?

I read with great interest your article about asthma ["Drowning on Dry Land," by Wendy Grossman, February 3]. I congratulate you for an excellent job. I think we need to continue educating the public about common diseases, and hopefully this would be the first of many more to come.

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