Great new buildings are competing for consumer dollars, and it makes investors nervous to embrace traditional icons, nostalgic art and creative neighborhood character. But these are the very things that have always made this area and center so appealing, even to those who moved to the suburbs.

Take away that and the individual eclectic appeal and replace it with nice, new, modern, stamped-out suburban beauty -- and the appeal to make the trip into town is lost. In Houston, there is little understanding of value other than formula-based consumer appeal. Not realizing the intrinsic value of this place to longtime residents is a recipe for well-earned disaster.

I ask you to consider this logic when considering the future of the Cactus sign and all other renovations. No one wants to see this landmark center become the next logical step in the formula-based strip center business, "Storage for Less."

Solon Rutledge

Minor Mishap

Togetherness: This is to apologize for comments in the June 12 Letters section ["The Beaten Path"], in which someone close to me took it upon themselves to use my name to write on my behalf. Within this letter, harsh comments were made about the band F.Co, whose debut CD was that week's featured local release. The letter was submitted under my name. I am deeply sorry and truly embarrassed by the misunderstanding this incident has created, and extend my apology and regrets to every member of the band.

Since my return from Tennessee, I have met, mingled and performed with some very talented and promising artists who like myself have the determination and the drive to make something of their music. The country scene in Houston is perhaps the toughest in the entire state and can do without bands struggling against bands. We should all work together in the hopes that if one of us makes it, it might well open the door for the rest of us. Once again, please accept my sincere apology.

Matt Minor
Missouri City


Tolerating intolerance: I found your article ["Waves of Fascination," by Darren Keast, June 19] lacking in tolerance, and this from a publication that tolerates and promotes perversion in its advertising.

This really illustrates the myth of the whole politically correct tolerance argument. No one really believes in tolerating those things they find offensive. What people tolerate depends on the philosophical view that they hold.

If your morality allows that homosexuality is normal, then you will not tolerate those who say it is against nature and an abomination before God. If your political persuasion finds it acceptable to take from some persons what belongs to them and give it to other persons to whom it does not belong, then you will be intolerant of the idea that socialism is legal plunder, a great evil.

In case you've already relegated me to the lunatic fringe, I must confess I don't have cable or dish TV, Internet access in my home, a digital camera or a shortwave radio. But I did type this on a Macintosh computer, and years ago I did listen to shortwave at a friend's house who told me IBM-compatible PCs were the only way to go.

P.S.: As a cat owner, I love your logo for the Hair Balls column.

William S. Sutherland

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