Bar X Views

Plus: Junk Food, Junk Suits; Pigeon Hold, Meds for the Poor

Bar X Views

Scorn porn: I really enjoyed reading your story ["Showdown at the Bar X," by Jennifer Mathieu, January 23]. Couldn't put it down until I finished it. You did an excellent job, leaving one wondering what would happen and what the truth is. Wish there were a way to find out the end of this, since I don't read the Houston Press (sorry, too much porn in it).

Donna Cook
Houston

Board business: I am really disappointed that I was quoted so badly in your article. My running for the board had nothing to do with the hazing or terminating of Helen Phillips. My only statement was that my being elected would give the majority of the property owners the majority of the votes on the board. And that if a vote came regarding the continued employment of Helen, then I would have to support whatever the majority suggested.

It was the nepotism and mismanagement of funds, the constant badgering and lack of human decency shown to the new board members that concerned me the most. Helen does only what she is allowed to do by the property owners association board. A majority of the board representing the majority of owners will put into place a set of checks and balances that will curtail the improper business practices and the socially unacceptable way people are being treated by Helen and the front office.

Now quote this!

Jim Turner
Angleton

Junk Food, Junk Suits

Eating it up: This is an amazing story ["Mac Attack," by Wendy Grossman, January 16] on the lawsuit over the peppered burrito. Let me congratulate your writer on the bizarre mental images: "He opened his mouth..." You get the drift.

On a more serious note (and it took me five minutes to stop laughing), I am appalled by the number of junk lawsuits clogging our already creaky system.

Marcelo Salup
Miami

Pigeon Hold

Hazards from hawks: I read your story on the hawk that was seen in the Heights ["The Rooster That Fell from the Sky," by Scott Nowell, January 23]. On January 25, I was working around the house when both my dog and cockatiel started acting weird.

As I went outside to do some chores, I noticed some feathers floating down from the sky. After going back in the house, I looked out the front and could not believe what I saw! A huge hawk was on my front fence with a pigeon in its grasp.

It was truly an awesome sight. However, I am scared about my Scottish terrier. This hawk was big enough to carry away a small dog. Maybe there should be some public awareness about this.

Daniel Brune
Houston

Cut the crap: As a lover of animals and children, I was delighted with your story about the child being reunited with his rooster.

As a hater of crude language, I deplored your printing the S-word. I could hardly believe it. Please help clean up America by desisting from using vulgarity in future. Thanks for "listening."

Gwen Arnold
Pearsall

Meds for the Poor

Medicaid woes: I think it is unfortunate that the limits for the HIV medication program are going down ["Getting THMPed," by Jennifer Mathieu, January 23], but I work in the Texas Medicaid program, and many of my clients need medications. I would estimate the average income of my clients to be $9,600 per year, and yet there is no program to pay for their medications.

My clients do not typically have HIV, but mostly they suffer from "old age," which is a health condition that always ends in death. People who are making more than $9,600 per year should be applying that excess to pay down their medical bills and might consider trying to make ends meet by living more simply.

Matthew Tobin
Houston

Minority Report

GOP should change: Senator Trent Lott's comments in support of Strom Thurmond's 1948 Dixiecrat presidential campaign [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, December 26] have provided the Republican Party with a wonderful opportunity, which I pray will not be squandered.

The Republican Party's long-standing policy of pandering to the racial prejudices of Southern whites and right-wing extremists perpetuates racial tension for political gain. For this reason primarily, minorities vote almost exclusively Democratic. We have no bargaining power with either party if Democrats are guaranteed 90 percent of the African-American vote. If the Republican Party would rebuke and disassociate itself from its racially divisive strategy, more minorities and moderate whites would feel comfortable supporting the party. The political landscape would change, and our country as a whole would benefit greatly.

Indeed, we minorities are in favor of law and order since crime disproportionately affects our communities. Most minorities are fiscally conservative and dislike taxes as much as, if not more than, the staunchest Republican. The genius -- some would say gall -- of Bill Clinton was that he adopted the best ideas of Republicans: a balanced budget and welfare reform. But he maintained the Democrats' commitment to human rights. Minorities still support certain Republican ideals and candidates solely because they are good. That is all that is necessary.

The Republican's Southern Strategy -- initiated in the 1970s and continuing today -- of exploiting race for political advantage is divisive and, ultimately, destructive. There is much to gain by abandoning it now.

Sylvester Anderson
Houston

Foul Lines

Little League support: Obviously, Margaret Downing doesn't mind writing a story on T.H. Rogers as long as facts don't get in the way ["Seventh-Inning Stretch" and "Power Plays," January 9 and October 24]. Consider:

• The grass outfield of the largest baseball field is big enough to incorporate regulation fields for baseball and softball, young girls' and boys' soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. The other baseball fields provide excellent venues for elementary school recess.

• The baseball leagues have no say in who participates in them. Their national organizations set the residential boundaries for the players.

• Eligibility standards have nothing to do with race, gender, economics or what school (private or public) a child attends. Since the league expanded to four fields in 1998, no child has ever been turned away.

• Reconfiguring the fields would not create additional sports opportunities for the school's students. Post Oak Baseball would be forced to shut down operations if asked to pay for the reconfiguration.

• The fields are safe and fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Rather than criticize Kaye Stripling, the Houston Press should be recognizing her wisdom in taking the time to discern the facts and then guide HISD accordingly.

Jeff Webb
Houston

Coming to Fruit-ion: Ms. Downing went to a lot of trouble to gather statistics on two very different entities that can be compared only like apples and oranges.

T.H. Rogers draws federal funds for the outstanding programs it offers for gifted and talented, multiply handicapped and deaf children. It is required by law to have an ethnically diverse population. The Post Oak Little League is restricted by boundaries that allow only children from within those boundaries to play baseball, and those boundaries happen to include a predominantly white population.

If Ms. Downing is going to compare statistics, she could at least compare neighborhood Little Leagues.

Rogers is a beautiful gift located in our neighborhood, but it is not our neighborhood school.

Ann Reed
Houston

Spoofing Cobain

Nirvana nonsense: As a longtime Nirvana fan, I wanted to double-check the information you presented in your article ["Number One with a Bullet," by Zac Crain and Robert Wilonsky, January 9]. I tried clicking the link for the Web site you cited but was unable to access the page. I was also unable to access the home page, theneedleandthedamagedone.co.uk (with or without a www). It turned up with a "Could not find server" error. Finally, a Google search didn't yield anything either.

Were you able to confirm the information in your article with Grohl, Novoselic or close friends of the band? Speaking with other Nirvana fans leads me to believe the information you got from that Web page was false. I'm no Courtney Love fan, and I've always suspected she borrowed song ideas for "Live Through This" from Cobain, but Nirvana's recording of those songs and Dave Grohl's using them for leverage against Love seems unlikely. Though you do specify in your article that this particular bit of information is "according to Internet gossip," it makes the rest of the information seem suspect.

When it comes to such hazy and undocumented information about Nirvana and Cobain, how is one to tell what's true and what's false? It seems that your article might have benefited from a "margin of error" footnote.

Name withheld by request
Houston

The writers respond: Dude, the story was a joke!

Aloo Everybody, Aloo!

Filling up: Enjoyed your review of Hot Breads, but enjoyed the aloo croissants even more ["Goat Doughnuts Go Global," by Robb Walsh, January 23]! My waistline does not thank you, but my taste buds do. What a great snack! The puff pastry and various fillings were great.

I guess we have to thank you for getting Thelma on the map and on the way to fiscal solvency [Toque Off, by Robb Walsh, January 23]. Guess that means that, because of procrastinating, I'll never even get into the place to eat a great barbecue sandwich!

Marjorie Hinds
Houston

Thrown for the Loop

There have got to be some limits: I don't have a lot of time to follow all the nuances of the Houston music scene (or lack thereof), so I'm always interested to hear what the fine men and women at the Press have to say about such matters. But according to the likes of some [Letters, "Crashing the Sidecar," January 23, and Racket, by John Nova Lomax, January 9], trolling inside the Loop for cover-charge-worthy acts is no longer enough. Now the pool of local talent (which is already of the wading variety) to whom the Press gives exposure must extend well beyond the Loop.

Will expanding the pool of coverage really result in finding more quality acts? Is there more to the westside music scene than bands influenced primarily by the angst of life in Cinco Ranch? What then? Will we have to read about every battle of the bands taking place at the T.G.I. Friday's off Stuebner-Airline? If a band hasn't worked its way past that kind of venue, I really don't feel the need to know about it. I'd rather the Press focused on bands that have a demonstrated level of potential.

If folks out at Highway 290 and Huffmeister are going to complain about lack of coverage by the Houston Press, I hope they're complaining to Austin as well. They're halfway there.

Derek Schwartzenburg
Houston

Stirred, if not shaken: As someone who attended a good portion of the Sidecar show, I feel that John Nova Lomax's response is not a surprise at all. In some ways, I think he had a sense of humor about it, although he had more than a dose of sarcasm as well.

It was a poorly organized, poorly managed event that didn't have the strength to accomplish its stated goals. That being said, it did at least poke a stick into the nest and stir up a little buzz.

Hopefully that can be amplified greatly over the coming year through all of our efforts. There is much impressive and diverse musical talent in this city. I would love nothing more than to see the entire scene become more energized and supportive.

Rock on!

Aerik Bassinheimer
Houston

Beat their own drums: Excellent article. Our band, the Neckbreakers -- Houston's premier father-daughter punk rock act -- has played at the Sidecar Pub twice, and both times we left with a rather bad taste in our mouths.

We had been told that the club boasted the best sound system and sound tech in town yet were rather unhappy with both the sound quality and the complete lack of attention from the sound guy.

It never ceases to amaze me how so many of the complaints about lack of support from the local media come from the bands who work the least to promote their acts. I've been playing in Houston since the late '70s and have heard the same gripes hurled at Public News and other smaller "alternative" print outlets, so there's really nothing new there.

Keep up the good work. You're a funny and insightful voice.

The Neckbreakers
Houston

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