By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Fix pets to fix the problem: Dog-gone-it: It's prevention, dummy! Wendy Grossman's article ["In the Doghouse," November 7] was, sadly, gut-wrenchingly, vomit-inducingly accurate. When is everyone going to get it? It's not about building more and bigger holding pens (benevolently called shelters), a.k.a. killing facilities -- the only story in town should be about prevention.
Prevention is the solution and the other half of the story! Preventing the horrific mass killing of healthy dogs and cats by the millions in Harris County can happen only by employing the one proven, humane, cost-effective solution. Prevent the problem from happening by implementing, encouraging and requiring sterilization, the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats.
The only sin any of these animals ever committed was being born; most of them were born homeless to a short life of hunger and abuse. Heaven only knows what other atrocities befall these innocent creatures until they're caught, dragged to the killing stockyards, left there for a short time and then killed with a lethal injection as they wag their tails or purr one last time for their executioner.
Hey, folks of Midtown, Uptown, River Oaks and everywhere else in Houston, wake up! Did you know that more than 30 percent of all animals that end up at the shelters are purebred? Check it out -- 30,000 pounds of animal carcasses a week are added to the landfill here in Houston!
So go spay or neuter your animal today. Call your vet now. If you don't know where to go, then go to SNAP, the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program that provides spay-neuter services at low cost or free for those who qualify. Our program should run 24/7/365, but it doesn't. We don't have the money. Call us at 713-863-0010 or go to our Web site, www.snapus.org. Hey -- I'll even beg: If you've got some extra money, send it our way.
And write or call City Council and your county commissioners and prevail upon them to fund programs that help save lives through prevention, not through more killing.
Wendy, on behalf of all the dead, destroyed animals, thank you for writing this article.
Pam Harris, SNAP board volunteer
Over Troubled Waters
Stop the Bolivar bridge: As a former resident of Houston, and a frequent visitor to Galveston and Bolivar Point, I am appalled at the idea of a bridge ["Taking a Toll," by Scott Nowell, December 12].
Obviously this is about not transportation needs but developer needs. The charm and rurality of Bolivar Point is in crossing on the ferries -- waiting in line in the summer gives you a chance to talk to your loved ones in the car -- and the quiet solitude that Bolivar Point offers (except on Memorial Day weekend).
I hope that someone stops this atrocity. Leave Bolivar alone.
Season of Discontent
Competence at Lee High: I am writing in response to Elaine Bluitt's attack [Letters, December 12] on the principal and faculty of Lee High School. I have been an English teacher at Lee for four years. I am, though not "seasoned" by Ms. Bluitt's definition, a well-educated, well-trained and deeply dedicated teacher; I consider myself fortunate to work with a large faculty of equally capable and committed people.
Despite Ms. Bluitt's unsubstantiated claim that the seasoned teachers were forced to leave Lee High, our faculty consists of a wide range of ages and levels of experience. I am both insulted and appalled by her arrogance in assuming that, because she and a few other veteran teachers have left Lee in recent years, "the school will look like an educational disaster zone."
I have much confidence in the ability of the fine teachers at Lee to prepare our students academically for the impending TAKS, and to help them build the self-confidence and determination necessary to succeed ["Wake-Up Call," by Margaret Downing, November 28]. I would like to thank Ms. Bluitt for her many years of service in education and to assure her that the students who have entered our school since her departure will continue to benefit from the love and diligence of their teachers -- young and old.
Making Muzak in the aisles: In the 2002 Best of Houston edition [September 26], you are very justified in giving Fiesta your award for the best grocery store music. That store rocks as hard as it rolls. One thing, though. Their "ass-kickingest soundtrack" your reviewer found so easy on the ears? That is Muzak. (The item had incorrectly said it wasn't.)
True, our company was started back in the 1920s to provide soothing sounds to the nervous riders of a newfangled contraption called the elevator. But that was then. Today, Muzak pumps out the groovy tunes that make shopping at a store like Fiesta so much fun.
You just keep shaking your rump, and we'll keep giving you a reason to.
Brooks Beeler, Muzak sales manager
Keep Rogers: As parents of two children at T.H. Rogers and two at River Oaks Elementary, we were interested in Donna Kohlhausen saying that Rogers children must accept limited access to athletic or recess facilities as the price of being in a magnet program [Letters, December 5].
Both Rogers and River Oaks have wonderful magnet programs, but River Oaks has an extensive playground with a track, nature center and athletic fields, while Rogers's fields are dominated by four fenced baseball diamonds constructed by the Post Oak Little League ["Power Plays," by Margaret Downing, October 24].
Her assertions -- that Rogers has outgrown its facilities and the Vanguard program needs a new location -- are curious since Rogers's enrollment has grown by just 4 percent in the last ten years. Rogers is a unique school with 743 diverse students from pre-K to grade 12 in programs for Vanguard, deaf or multiply impaired sharing the common facilities and interacting in physical education and other classes, lunch and schoolwide activities.
Ms. Kohlhausen's words seem hauntingly similar to HISD board member Jeff Shadwick's recent statements that there are many ways to resolve the situation, including moving Rogers to a different location. Those sound like threats to us. Would you really dismantle one of the most unique and successful schools in the city over baseball fields?
Rita Rodriguez and Joe Higgs
Who could imagine a worse Lott? There may be room for debate over why the Democrats did so poorly in Houston [The Insider, "Bush Envy," by Tim Fleck, November 14], but elsewhere the reasons were obvious.
Statewide, Texans just could not get around that dead cop and those suitcases filled with drug money. Nationally, the chief Democratic spokespeople were an aging semiliterate Hollywood actress, an unemployed calypso singer and a New York senator's spouse best known for adultery, disbarment and a perjury conviction.
Fact is, the voters were smarter than the pollsters gave them credit for, and they were certainly smarter than those party functionaries who were asking them to vote for the Democrats.