Letters

It's just time that people's eyes were opened to the fact that good moms can lose their kids! Thank you for listening, and thank you for your article. My heart goes out to this woman and all the noncustodial moms in the world. And a message to the moms that do have their kids: Be careful, because you don't know when your marriage will end, and your ex can and will do this to you.

Connie Morrison

Littleton, Colorado

Acceptable Angles

Your unschooling article was very good ["School's Out Forever," by Lauren Kern, April 20], though I get the distinct impression you side with the public school establishment. That's fine. It's good to read well-written arguments for either side.

John Andersen

Portland, Oregon

Homestead Blues

I was both relieved and excited to see your article April 6 ["Officials Probe Refund Collector," by Tim Fleck]. Relieved because I am not the only gullible victim, and excited because someone is doing something to protect consumers from similar fraudulent acts. Maybe there is justice after all.

I received a mail solicitation in 1994 from Property Tax Refund Service Inc. of Sugar Land, along with a contract stating that if they could lower my property tax, they would be entitled to half of the refunds. Assuming they would represent me at the appraisal court to lower my property appraisal value, I signed up. However, they only mailed me a few pages of printouts listing properties sold in my neighborhood (which showed my house was not overappraised) and a copy of the application for a homestead exemption. I realized then that I had forgotten to send in my exemption application, so I mailed it to the appraisal district myself.

I refused to share the refunds because they did not provide the stated service, so they sued. I offered the owner $100 for his reminder, but he claimed they had incurred $900 in attorney's fees.

An attorney friend represented me free of charge, but we were disappointed that the judge seemed to have made up his mind from the beginning and was really not interested in hearing our argument. I ended up paying a total of $1,500 to the company.

Your article reassures me that there are individuals and government officials out there who care about ordinary citizens and try to protect them from these scam artists. I salute you for that.

Tai-Li Keng

Houston

To the Point

Thank you, Houston Press. Thanks for your reporting ["Farewell to a Killer," by Steve McVicker, May 4].

William Malloy

Houston

Railing On

I want to thank you for bringing up important issues with "Into the Gap," by Richard Connelly [April 13]. This issue lets parents know of the condition of the Enron Field railings.

However, I think parents are worrying too much about this matter. The city did the right thing by giving a temporary certificate of occupancy to Enron Field, because they are aware that this should be taken care of. Parents should be a little more understanding about this situation and know that accidents can happen at any time and in any place.

Sandra E. Gonzalez

League City

Richard Connelly's article was very disturbing. The city is either discriminating against handicapped fans or just doesn't care about the wide gaps in the railing on the upper deck.

I truly believe the city doesn't care. Dan Pruitt, a city inspection official, is clearly aware of this danger zone. Knowing this, he still released a temporary certificate of occupancy. Dan, how can you sleep at night? I know the decision was based on politics.

It's all about the money, baby. Enron Field was built to entertain corporate reps and their clients as well as the well-off people. I knew there was a reason I voted against the stupid stadium. My point: Fix the upper deck before a handicapped fan falls through the rails. Have some compassion.

Christina Marie Segovia

Pasadena

The Parent Trap

I liked your article "Tongue-tied" [by Margaret Downing, April 6] but find it absent of one major item: Where are the parents? You cannot expect the children to retain what is learned if there is no reinforcement at the home to speak English.

If a child is expected to learn English, then so should the parents. Having two children myself, I find that the time we spend with them each day on reading and spelling homework does make a difference. It also demonstrates that we are committed to their education as much as they are required to commit, and they see that. If Spanish-speaking children do not have the same support at home while learning English, it is unreasonable to expect anything from any teacher or school system.

The father of the boy in the article was born in the United States. There is no excuse for his inability to speak and read English at an elementary-school level at least by now. It sounds like Carlos is expected to do what his parents chose not to do.

Name withheld by request

Houston

A Woman for All Ages

I was amazed to see the articles on Catherine Mehaffey Shelton ["Line of Defense," by Eric Celeste, April 13; "Love Hurts," by Rose Farley and George Flynn, January 13]. I went to high school with Cathy (St. Agnes Academy, class of 1961).

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