By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
401KO'ed: There has been a great deal of news coverage concerning the Enron retirement plan ["Up In Smoke," by Brian Wallstin and Tim Fleck, February 7]. I would like to take a moment to tell you about my retirement plan.
I am forced to participate in a plan that takes 6.2 percent of my gross each pay period, with no reduction of taxable income. My employer is forced to contribute an equal amount.
I have zero investment choices. There is no lump-sum option when I retire. I am not allowed to withdraw funds at my own discretion. If I am lucky and live long enough to begin receiving benefits, I will probably be taxed on these funds again. When I die, the retirement plan keeps all unpaid benefits.
The company that manages my account has a history of mismanagement and deficit spending. They have already announced that the fund will be bankrupt sometime in the next 25 or 30 years. There is no such thing as a "lockbox" securing and protecting all these forced contributions.
Yes, of course you know about my retirement plan. It's social security.
Bayou City braggarts: Why is everyone so surprised? Enron is one of the most arrogant companies in Houston.
Fort Pierce, Florida
Powers to Be
So many decent people have had their health and finances ruined by government employees wielding the power of the state. Houston is the worst.
I know a number of the people discussed in your articles, although I have not been involved in any of those cases. Your article is on target.
Patricia Finn Braddock
HoustonSkewed priorities: Good article on an important issue!
Yes, keeping pollution from affecting our lives, whether it be our land, water systems or the air we breathe, is of vital importance. However, the inexplicable and rough treatment given B&B and the Bazarsky family borders on criminal. How can enforcement agencies act this way and continue to wield authority?
While serious industrial polluters are grandfathered in or given weak slaps on the wrist for noncompliance, the hardworking little guys like the crew at B&B are hassled and hounded into despair. Sounds to me like the "environmental authorities" constitute a major source of the pollution that needs to be cleaned up in this town!
Curses: As a former member of Japanic, I want to clear up any confusion that may result from the recent column covering the Houston Press Music Awards curse on bands in John Nova Lomax's Racket column [January 31].
Yes, Japanic was cursed. But I don't think it was any award that did us in. Easy living, luxury hotel rooms, nymphet groupies and the allure of controlled substances worked their evil magic on us like so many before.
Brandon Davis has problems getting the truth in a correct form, his Zenlike platitudes notwithstanding. He is a viper, plucked from a viper's nest, with venom to spare.
I am not in any band right now, but Nikki Texas is a friend of mine, and the Fever is going strong. I am sure Rob Barry and Josh Smith would be very interested in receiving some more press for their new project Low-Z. I personally put the most hope in Japanix 2 with Dom and Margeaux.
Record returns: There were a few discrepancies in John Nova Lomax's article about artists who have fallen victim to the Houston Press Music Award jinx. Broken Note Records is no longer gone but back with an office opening on Main Street in the heart of downtown. Tony Avitia moved back from L.A. recently and is kicking things into full gear for I-45 and Broken Note Records.
A victim of the jinx that was left out was Secret Sunday, who broke up a year after winning Album of the Year for Television (1999).