Bests and Beefs, Prisoners' Plight, Street Legal

Bests and Beefs

Raining champs: Dr. Neil is getting a little long in the tooth and gets excited only when a hurricane approaches. Wayne is just a good old Bellaire boy always in search of publicity [Best of Houston issue, September 20].

But for the real follow-through, Channel 2's team of Frank Billingsley and Chuck George carry the day, whether it's Frank calming down a hysterical woman who is wondering what to do with her kids on the second floor, or Chuck introducing each new day with some zany exploit. No doubt -- Channel 2's Frank and Chuck.

Bayousphere In the hands of a master: Composer/bassist/jazz musician Thomas Helton makes ends meet by repairing string instruments in his home workshop in the Texas Medical Center area.
Deron Neblett
Bayousphere In the hands of a master: Composer/bassist/jazz musician Thomas Helton makes ends meet by repairing string instruments in his home workshop in the Texas Medical Center area.

Carl Whitmarsh

Eyesore: Rethink your graphic design: That BOH was very hard to read. I like cutting-edge design, but first priority is readability. The font for each heading was abominable. The issue suffered from accessibility problems.

And Katz's as the best deli? Not unless you're a big smoker and drinker. I live around the block and am very disappointed. What's missing are regulars hanging out to schmooze, waitresses with an attitude, affordable good food. I'd take Kenny & Ziggy's any day.

Name withheld by request

A bloody secret: I am a bartender at Palace Lanes, and yes, the Bloody Marys are very good. But to be correct, we do not use a mix. The drink is made from scratch using four different ingredients. I cannot give you our recipe, of course, then there would be no reason for anyone to come visit Palace for a special Bloody Mary.

Lizabeth Crites

Next up: I am pissed off. How can you name a common criminal like Next as Best Graffiti Artist? I was not aware the Houston Press was handing out awards for the best criminals in Houston. In case your editors are as moronic as they appear, graffiti is illegal.

The Press is condoning someone who has done hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of damage to Houston businesses, houses and public property. I find no "art" in having my business spray-painted over and over again by someone your paper legitimizes/recognizes! If you want Next to be recognized, I suggest you let him paint his bullshit no-talent script all over your building.

Causing most of Montrose, the Heights and downtown to resemble a ghetto is not "art" in my opinion. Why should citizens of Houston have to look at, pay to remove, and suffer for some asshole who is then congratulated by the Press? I think your paper is being stupidly irresponsible.

Officer Armando Tello of the mayor's task force on graffiti has Next in his sights, and with luck he will be facing felony criminal charges soon. Maybe some citizen in fear of his life will shoot Next while he trespasses at 4 a.m. That would be "art."

Bruce Godwin

Hazy view: Who, pray tell, picked that god-awful type style for the Best of Houston headings? Had I gone completely cross-eyed by the time I got there, or did you really pick the view of "an expanse of petrochemical plants…as far as the eye can see" as the Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners? And did you call the road to Austin "bleak for miles" in Best View?

Am I mistaken, or isn't the reason most publications take a "readers' poll" to find out and publicize the preferences of their readers? Your annual smarm-fest gives acres of type to "contributors'" picks, and the "readers' choices" get mere brief mentions. Something's wrong here.

Eric Kidder

Banner banter: You beg readers to vote for their "Best of Houston" choices, then choose your own and relegate, in many instances, those of the "masses" to the bottom of your own "choice" review paragraph. So, the readers' (voters') wishes get ignored. Maybe you should invent a category called Best Hype by a Publication and name yourselves as the winner. I think the nice banner (costs extra, probably) might look good in your window.

Fred Bunch

Editor's note: We value our readers and your opinions, and especially your dissent. That's why the Readers' Choices are one feature of the Best of Houston edition. But to rely heavily on the voting results would tilt the selections in favor of high-visibility spots, chains and already well known institutions -- the places that generate large volumes of traffic, and therefore large numbers of ballots. BOH prides itself on using local knowledge and experience to reveal the kinds of out-of-the-way delights and hidden treasures that may not be noticed yet by the masses.

Prisoners' Plight

Jail medical care: Thank you very much for writing the article "Drug Resistant" [by Melissa Hung, September 13]. I am so grateful for your thorough and humanitarian treatment of our sensitive situation.

I'm sure the other guys are as pleased with your work, and hopefully the coverage in the media will help improve the situation for anybody in jail with a serious medical condition, especially one that requires constant and vigilant management like HIV/AIDS.

Name withheld by request

Street Legal

Stop the hoax: Thank you for the excellent article ["Drug Money," by Steve McVicker and Tim Carman, September 6]. It is not surprising that those who benefit from the war -- politicians, bureaucrats and drug dealers -- support it. What is so disappointing is how the victims of the war, the American people, continue to support it.

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