By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Spanish rock: First, I'd like to thank you and your staff for nominating my band (Moscas) for 1999 and 2000. Second, I'd like to ask you if you honestly believe these results you printed ["Houston Press Music Awards 2001," by John Nova Lomax, July 26]. The whole thing seems to be a popularity contest. The same tired acts win the same thing every year! Take Norma Zenteno: For the past two years we were in the same category as she was. As I said in my letter last year (after losing), that's like putting Green Day and Garth Brooks in the same category! At least I have seen one improvement, the addition of the Best Latin Venue. Of course, Elvia's won (which we played last year and got banned from!).
All I wish is that you people would open your minds and recognize that there is a movement out there called Spanish rock. Some of it is good, but some of it is crap. Nevertheless, if you just would recognize it, you would be doing a great service to a lot of Latinos who are looking for something other than traditional, tired Latin music.
Blowing beets: I almost lost my lunch when I saw that Tony Vega was voted Best Blues Band. Perhaps if this were Utah or Montana -- but this is Texas. That's the home of Joe Hughes, Sherman Robertson, Pete Mayes, Johnny Brown, Brad McCool; and that's insulting to all these real bluesmen.
Jessica has got the best legs of any bass player, and she is a great player. She makes it look easy and smooth, but Rozz cannot be touched. He is the best there is in this town. Poll some other players, they'll agree. As far as female vocalist, Carolyn is great, but Sandy Hickey is amazing and more versatile. The absolute best wasn't even nominated: Diunna Greenleaf will blow anybody outta the water. She's gotta be the best-kept secret in town. Maybe next year we'll get it right. As I stated before, this is Texas, not Florida.
Blame Ledwell: Your story "Stupid Pet Tricks" [by Margaret Downing, July 26] seems to put most of the blame on Mr. Wiggins. I disagree.
I do believe he has to bear some of the blame for being careless trying to rid his home of the raccoons, but Mr. Ledwell should not allow his dogs to run free in a community. That is very dangerous to people and property. Therefore he bears most of the blame for what happened.
The gospel: Margaret Downing's article brings up a constitutional liberty not known by most, namely that without criminal intent there is no crime. Thus while it may be argued that Judge Wiggins intended harm to raccoons, he obviously intended no harm to dogs or cats and is therefore not guilty of a crime. The raccoons escaped death because their IQ is superior to that of dogs, cats and municipal judges.
Theologians also would argue that without evil intent, there is no sin. Thus a Catholic who eats meat on Friday does not sin if he thinks the day is Thursday. Given these facts, Ledwell should hesitate to call down the wrath of God on Wiggins, especially while living in proximity to Sodom on the Bayou (note: The U.S. Meteorological Service reports that annual lightning strikes in Houston exceed that of any other metropolitan area).
Dog and cat owners have a differing legal responsibility for their animals. A dog is entitled by law to "one bite." Beyond this, the owner is responsible for his dog's actions. By contrast, the courts have ruled that cats have a right to roam unattended because this is their nature, particularly at night. It may be noted that Christians, Jews and Moslems (outside California) hold that dogs do not have souls and thus do not go to heaven. This was to contrast themselves from the ancient Egyptians and their Roman imitators, who worshiped animal representations of gods. There is no similar theological dispute about cats. Cats are companions of witches and return to hell when they die.
John D. Griffith
Dead issue: I expect a thoughtful and talented journalist like Margaret Downing to take a strong position now and then in her column, but this one goes so far overboard in its one-sided coverage of this sad story that even a hard-core animal lover like me has to cry foul.
I agree that J.D. Wiggins's use of open containers of antifreeze was a careless way to control the animal pests on his (private) property. But the primary cause of the loss of Corey Ledwell's pet dog was Ledwell's blatantly irresponsible approach to pet ownership: letting his dog roam freely on other people's property.
I felt sorrier for Wiggins than for Ledwell. Mr. Wiggins committed an error in judgment for which he has expressed regret, and he'll have to live with it. It's not enough that Mr. Ledwell has stopped tormenting Mr. Wiggins, however; he should now accept responsibility for his role in Gerda's death.