By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
The Brown principle: I am sending a copy of this article ["Parting Shots," by Tim Fleck, May 15] to my son in New York who, upon learning that Brown had been elected mayor, smirked, "Houston will get what it deserves with Out-of-Town Brown." The Peter Principle states that one is promoted to his or her level of incompetence. Brown has managed to do that as chief of police in Houston, drug czar, chief of police in New York (before they got wise and ran him off) and now as mayor of Houston. Surely it's some sort of record, however ignominious.
Off-base: Tim Fleck's piece on Brown's tenure as mayor is generally excellent, but he is off-base about Roksan Okan-Vick. She may be the most professional director of the city Parks and Recreation Department we've ever had. Her vision for the future is clear, and her understanding of the needs of our parks department is well researched and well presented.
Moreover, her success with the Hermann Park renovation was extraordinary and certainly not a garden party.
Mavis P. Kelsey Jr.
Don't pick: Sorry, Tim. Don't pick on Roksan Okan-Vick. I've attended two meetings she chaired, a GHP breakfast at 7 a.m. and a Memorial Park Master Plan event at 7 p.m., so my take is she's 24/7. Plus, she's been responsive and cares about our parks, recreation and quality of life. Lay off and pick on somebody else.
P.S. to Margaret Downing: Pull some strings and return the cultural arts/theater listings to your printed version. Do you want us to boycott your advertisers?
Next stop, county commissioners: Enjoyed your excellent articles on Mayor Brown and Joe Allen ["MUD-Slinging Breakaway," by Tim Fleck, May 15]. We really need a series covering all of the county commissioners court. They have so much money and power and are virtually unknown to the voters.
Support from the Heights
Wine, not whine: Thank goodness for Gary Mosely. When we were on the fence about buying in the Heights, it was the site of Onion Creek ["Onion Tears," by Jennifer Mathieu, May 15] that pushed us over the edge, thinking that the Heights might be coming into this century. We've always wondered why there were so many things missing in the Heights -- yes, a Starbucks, maybe a gym, more restaurants -- well, now we know. And you can bet that we'll be at Onion Creek at midnight with a glass of wine in hand.
A good-neighbor policy: Near the end of Jennifer Mathieu's article about the Onion Creek cafe, Houston Heights Association president Byron Pettit posed this question: If a bar that's going to stay open until 2 a.m. was going to open right next to your house, how would you feel? Having lived in the house directly across the street from that building from 1994 till February of this year, I guess I would be the one to answer that question. I think it's interesting that he never bothered to call me and ask, though.
From the time Gary Mosely bought the property at 3106 White Oak Drive, he promised to be a good and respectful neighbor. The previous owner never spoke to us, and never gave a crap about his property or what went on there. If Gary was willing to put his money into turning our neighborhood "Starbucks for winos, crack addicts and prostitutes" into an attractive, pleasant establishment, I was all for it.
I always enjoyed living at 541 Frasier and appreciated the interesting diversity of the neighborhood, but that building across White Oak was awful, and some of the shenanigans that played out as a result of Fitzgerald's weren't pleasant either. There were often up to five or six neighborhood derelicts hanging out drinking from their brown paper bags at any time of the day or night (often past 2 a.m.), and sleeping on the front slab or out in the weeds behind the building. One morning a few years ago, a dead body was found in the yard behind the liquor store next door to Onion Creek. I had to sweep up the broken window glass from dozens of parked cars owned by the Fitzgerald patrons who routinely parked along the side of my house on White Oak. We figured at least the lights and activity at Onion Creek would put an end to the car vandalism.
What about the noise? My wife has chronic fatigue syndrome, and sleep is the most important of her daily health regimens. She routinely goes to bed around 9:30 or 10 p.m. and never once was robbed of a moment's sleep. I walked my dogs down the block of White Oak every night about 10, and could barely hear anything from there unless the weather was nice and people were out on the patio. Even then it was just a pleasant buzz of activity. My wife and I enjoyed going over there occasionally, and it was great not having to get in the car and drive out of the neighborhood to have a nice time. It was also convenient that if she wanted to go home early, as was usually the case, it was no hassle to do so.