Letters

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

Houston

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

Houston

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

Houston

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.

As a pulmonologist who treats adults with asthma, I can tell you that the problem is as bad in grown-ups. At Ben Taub Hospital we see elderly patients who have gotten asthma later in life. A recent study revealed that this group is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. I liked the fact that you mention pollution as a trigger, although I would have liked to see more emphasis on that in your article, especially with the state of air quality in Houston.

On behalf of the Environmental Health Committee of the American Lung Association, Southeast Texas Region, I would like to thank you for a job well done!

Nick Hanania, M.D., director Adult Asthma Clinic

Ben Taub General Hospital

Thanks very much for the timely, informative article on asthma. I was very glad to see information included about that helpful technique for teaching children and their parents how to head off impending attacks.

The discussion of asthma triggers omitted only one factor, in my opinion: the role of ozone. As a member of the Houston Sierra Club Air Quality Task Force, I recently became aware of a 1985 study that found that each 100 part-per-billion increase in maximum one-hour ozone concentration resulted in a 60 percent greater chance of an asthma attack in Houston. Although the number of days we have exceeded the one-hour standard has decreased (from 66 days in 1987 to 52 days in 1999), Harris County recorded the highest ozone reading in the nation in both 1997 and 1999.

According to the American Lung Association, 1.13 million children ages 13 and under in Harris County were exposed to ozone exceeding the federal standard in 1990. Is it any wonder that children in the area are "drowning" on dry land?

Sonora Hudson

Houston

InToto, Not Kansas

Thank you so much for your article "Good-bye Yellow Brick Road" [January 27]. I have loved the Oz books since childhood, and life with James has certainly expanded the borders of that wonderful place for me. After now discovering the great impact of Mr. Baum's visions on page, screen and stage, I am pleased to see him getting the accolades he so richly deserved. Kathy Biehl wrote an excellent and entertaining piece, and I am glad to see her work once again in your pages. Also, the photograph of James is just splendid.

Katherine Keene

Houston

Drawing the Line

I am writing in response to the article about the Texas artists selected for the Whitney Biennial ["Double Bogey," by Shaila Dewan, December 23, 1999]. Your comments about Joe Havel are as inaccurate as they are mean-spirited. Joe spends at least two-thirds of his time promoting the efforts and careers of young and emerging artists, many of whom may never again work with someone who cares so deeply about their success. That he is also succeeding as an artist is to the good fortune of us all.

Barbara Michels, deputy development director

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Victoria's Secret

I strongly disagree with Anthony Mariani's characterization of Victoria's KTXN/98.7 FM (www.texasmix.com) [Amplified, February 10]. They do play music that originates from outside the Lone Star State. I'm sorry his tastes are such that he finds this station's format to be "only music you'd feel comfortable drinking beer and/or dozing off your barstool to." I don't find his opinion to be indicative of a critic with a knowledgeable sense of a format that leans toward Americana or alternative country.

I'm speaking from the perspective of a 41-year-old male who considers the Clash's London Calling to be one of the best albums of all time. KTXN's format is something that I never dreamed would surface from a commercial radio station. I wholeheartedly commend this station for taking a chance, bucking the mainstream crap that is coming out of Nashville and exposing the numerous Texas artists that deserve the exposure.

What a thrill to be driving to work this morning and hear Joe Ely's "Sleepless In Love" blaring from my radio! The last place I expected to read any criticism of a format that includes the local musicians the Hollisters was the Houston Press.

I am a faithful reader who is very disappointed.

N. Stanton Purser

Houston

Throwing a Curve

"Field of Dreams?" by Melanie Knight [Dish, February 3] scored some hits but also had one gripe that made us want to cry "foul ball." Unfortunately, our The Field House Restaurant and Bar did not overlook the jalapeño corn bread which Melanie laments not finding on the menu. In fact, it is one of our best pitches. Guests receive three tasty muffins for $2.95.

Actually, it was not Melanie's fault. We disguised the pitch by leaving the word "jalapeño" off the menu. Pitchers are crafty little devils! And practice makes perfect. For a limited time, The Field House invites Houston Press fans to try our hit, the jalapeño corn bread. Bring a copy of this letter, and you'll receive $1 off your corn bread order.

Melanie, we would not trade you for Mark McGwire!

We look forward to serving you up our best.

Perry Thomson, owner

The Field House Restaurant and Bar

Ground Zero

Exactly what brand of idiot is Mr. Mickey Kapoor? It seems that every statement attributed to him in the article "The Gumbo Shop Drop" [Dish, by Margaret L. Briggs, February 10] shows a man far out of touch with what people in Houston want or have access to when it comes to dining out.

He states that his Just Fajitas cafe will serve "real fajitas, not ground meat Š that slop most Mexican restaurants serve." Name one! I have yet to go into a Mexican restaurant in Houston, order fajitas, and receive "ground meat." I do, however, order beef tacos at places such as Chuy's, which are indeed made with ground beefŠ But that's what I expect, because I didn't order friggin' fajitas!

Kapoor needs to stick to thinking up stupid phrases for his marquee at Khyber and considering a new concept for the time in the very near future when Just Fajitas goes belly-up. Here's a good name: Space for Lease. That will aid in changing themes every couple of hours.

Fred Morales

Houston

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