Ann J. Robison, executive director
Montrose Counseling Center/H.A.T.C.H.

Editor's note: In a settlement of Dukler's lawsuit last week, Klein ISD officials authorized a Gay Straight Alliance for the campus. They said they were legally required to accept the club.

Cultural Cymbals

Worth the money: I liked your article a lot ["Going Baroque," by Jennifer Mathieu, February 20]. The public needs to be more informed because they really have the power in all this. Imagine the audience going on strike to prevent a strike from the musicians or to improve the management. That should get them back to the bargaining table.

And the article really spelled out the difficulties that all orchestras, not just the Houston Symphony Orchestra, are facing. The musicians of HSO spend their lives hoping and preparing for the artistic journey of being in a world-class orchestra, and once there, they, like athletes, deserve to be compensated for their talents and personal investment that in turn positively benefits our city. They teach in our schools, they help the sick, and they entertain thousands.

One thing left out of your article is how the other orchestral arts organizations are doing. OrchestraX (I'm the artistic director and principal conductor) is having a great sixth season. We too are not immune to the economic challenges in our city, but, and not just in name alone, we are more of the same philosophy of Jennifer Wu.

Houston does support its arts and has always supported excellence and innovation whether in music, dance, theater or fine arts.

John Axelrod

Pure Motives for Peace

Antiwar wisdom: What is the problem with the letter writer who is against the peacemakers [Letters, "Peacemakers," February 20]? If his mission as a protester back in the '60s was just to get into girls' pants, then he really didn't have any business protesting. Not everyone who protests the wars is that kind of person.

I support the efforts for peace, and someone like this person gives the rest of us a bad name. Funny how he would refer to Stalin and Marx when they believed in communism and cared nothing for peace or the equal rights of humankind.

So tell me: Who is he to talk so badly about the ones who want peace? Maybe he's the fool because he hasn't educated himself in the ways of the world. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who are not what he referred to as "fools and buffoons," nor are they out there protesting in order to get involved in orgies.

Name withheld by request

Ignore the Iraq Conflict

Council priorities: Will someone explain why our City Council would spend one nanosecond debating U.S. military action against Iraq [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, February 20]? Like they don't have more pressing problems to deal with on our behalf?

Gordon Quan and his band of liberal henchmen need to focus on traffic congestion, torn-up streets and construction companies that seem to live by the adage "Take a short job, make it long -- take a long job, make it longer!" They also need to focus on the staggering budget shortfall created and nurtured by Lee "Is there anything I haven't screwed up yet?" Brown.

Yo, Gordo! You, Carroll, Ada, Annise, Carol, Gabe and Hiznumbness need to get off your lazy butts and fix our city instead of drafting a resolution that Bush, Rumsfeld, Condy and Colin could give a rat's ass about. As if!

The argument that a U.S. attack will take money away from cities is especially galling coming from a city that pissed away its golden egg from the '90s economic boom. We worry about our negative image so much, now you know how we got it: inept civil servants. If this were Vaudeville, they'd bring out the hook! I need some milk of magnesia.

Dan Davila

No Way to Whiz

Provolone's plenty: I routinely enjoy your food columns, but I must take issue with the one concerned entirely with the blessings of Cheez Whiz or lack thereof at various local cheese steakeries ["Say Cheez," by Robb Walsh, February 20].

I lived in Philly for four years, and while Pat's Cheez Whizzy version may be the "king of" Philly cheese steaks, it is by no means the only way of preparing an authentic one. In fact, the half-dozen assorted places where I ate Philly cheese steaks, both downtown and in the burbs, did not use Cheez Whiz. At all. Not one.

Provolone was good enough. If it and the steak are matched just right, and the greasy drippiness of the steak mixes in without turning the bun totally soggy, I feel the sandwich is as good or better, texture-wise, than the vaunted Whiz version. And most important, it isn't revolting to two-thirds of the populace!

Cheez Whiz alone does not a Philly cheese steak make, though I support your right to ruin a sandwich with it. Thanks for the article, though. I hadn't tried Jake's, and now I will. But sans Whiz, please!

Gregory Cook

Indie Integrity

Reject the marketing: In my opinion, anyone who takes seriously a statement like "If you don't want people to hear your music, then why bother making it at all?" has no business using the term "indie rock" [Racket, by John Nova Lomax, February 20]. Where has Mr. Lomax been for the past 20 years? Independent music in America was built on a near-total rejection of the kind of marketing that Mr. Grulke represents.

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