Now we know that CPS will also eat its own (the foster caregivers), without so much as the slightest nod to what ultimately happens to the children concerned.

Federal bonuses drive a national child abuse "industry" to the tune of untold billions of dollars annually, in case anyone mistakes government-sanctioned child abduction for serving the "child's best interests."

I grieve for all who become entangled in this star chamber for children.

Susan Jackson
Boston, Massachusetts

The Beat Goes On

Symphony's sadness: I want to thank you for your thoughtful and in-depth piece on the Houston Symphony's situation ["Going Baroque," by Jennifer Mathieu, February 20]. We are deeply grateful that you had the interest and courage to bring aspects of this story to light that Houston Chronicle critic Charles Ward would never, ever consider. Your story brought a fresh perspective to the situation and helped inform the public that the symphony's problems go much deeper than a flood, Enron, 9/11 or "intransigent" musicians.

I think you will find much more to write about in the future, as I hardly believe this story is anywhere near finished.

I and other musicians of the Houston Symphony are sick with grief over this scene but find some consolation in courageous efforts such as yours to bring the truth to light, and the knowledge that opportunities will indeed come to find capably supported orchestra jobs elsewhere.

Name withheld by request

Midtown Madness

Put the vets elsewhere: Living in Midtown for three years now, I am strongly opposed to the proposed project by US Vets ["Home from the War," by Scott Nowell, March 20]. While I applaud the plan's purpose and vision, I don't see the common sense.

I'm not sure that it makes sense to house former drug users/abusers in an area that is known for its high-volume drug traffic. Additionally, the NIMBY philosophy is not an issue. Midtown already hosts a large number of social programs. Clearly our vets deserve these and other services, but it doesn't make sense to put them back into a high-risk environment.

Neelu Modali

Freak-quenting the Bar

Good Rhythm: In your article about a drink featured at the Rhythm Room [Stirred & Shaken, March 27], the writer J.W. Crooker said the place was creepy and it was like a nightmare.

I, for one, frequent the Rhythm Room, and I must ask: Were we at the same place? I really enjoy the Rhythm Room and all the people that are regulars there. They are all friendly and outgoing. He said it was like Twin Peaks, which was a great show. But I and my friends like to think of the Rhythm Room like Cheers -- but with a band.

Cameron Garside

Paella Potboiler

Skillet spat-ula: Just a quick clarification. The dish used to cook the paella is called paella, not paellera, as indicated in your article [Hot Plate, by Paul Galvani, March 27]. In any case, the term paellera is used to describe women that cook paella in the Valencia region of Spain.

Victor Benitez

Voices of the War

Robison's right on: I've been a fan of Bruce Robison's since I first heard Kelly Willis's "Take It All Out On You" ["Hissin' Dixie," by John Nova Lomax, March 27]. I was curious about his thoughts concerning the comments by the daughter of Lloyd Maines, especially since her actions were directly affecting his family.

Just as he does in his songwriting, Bruce expressed perfectly -- and much more eloquently than I ever could -- my own torn feelings about this war.

Thanks for the well-written article about a truly gifted Texas songwriter.

Doug Belew
Atlanta, Georgia

Rock and Woe

A band's BS: God Speed You Black Emperor is the English title of a 1976 Japanese documentary about a biker gang ["Combat Rock," by Rob Harvilla, March 27]. The original title is Baraku Empororu.

A little diligence on behalf of your editors would serve your publication well. Someone might mistake such statements as factual, which is difficult enough as it is.

Rodney Perkins

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