Letters

Today he has 150 and hopes to see them three or four times a year. The companies call that working more efficiently. I have been writing about that for six years in the International Union of Elevator Constructors' monthly publication, The Elevator Constructor. Thank you for your good work. I have forwarded it to all my friends across the country and in Canada.

James Rusty Haigh
Southington, Connecticut

Light Railing

The trolley's flawed: Far from the accidental coincidence Richard Connelly states in his "Trainspotting" feature [September 11], we are voting on Metro's rail extension -- prior to the initial seven-mile system being completed -- to avoid two obvious problems. The current "turnkey" contract has been selected prior to completion of plans and without knowing who was getting subcontracts and for what work or amounts. If Metro is granted billions of additional funds prior to completing this initial section, then these "off-budget" items can be easily rolled into future contracts and "who knew?" A $150 million cost overrun on phase one is realistic.

The second reason we need to vote prior to the system being operational is that once the first month of operation has passed and the "start-up problems" excuse has worn thin, even the most fanatical rail buff will be forced to admit its failure. This 19th-century trolley has eliminated two traffic lanes each way on Main Street and will be subject to system-wide delays for every accident. It can be outrun by a horse-drawn buggy.

This is not a transportation improvement. What rail does best is to travel long distances, in a straight line at high speed. This extension is more of a dot-to-dot for powerful real estate holdings than a coherent transportation system. Vote no -- we deserve far better than this.

Joe Olson
Tomball

Apologies Sought

Fair treatment for the Turks: After I read your title followed by your subject matter, as a Turkish-American living in Houston more than 20 years, I found it very sickening to my stomach to see and read your column [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, August 21] for the purpose of gaining some readers for the Houston Press.

This was very misleading to the public. You are responsible for this. You need to print a huge apology for Turkish-Americans and all Christians who know the history where religion came from.

Do the right thing: Print that apology!
John Yurda Ceker

Sugar Land

Looped Out

Cascadas regulars: We read Robb Walsh's acerbic review of our favorite happy-hour hangout, Cascadas Restaurante y Cantina ["Cancún Cuisine," October 16] and wonder who tampered with his Cheerios that morning. This oh-so-needed outdoor respite on the west side is a wonderful escape from the smoke-choked bar scene. We, as the overserved norteamericanos described in his diatribe, wonder if he and his friend were the obvious Inner Loop wallflowers cowering near the exit. As a group, we apologize for our outrageous behavior, but you folks from the other side of the Loop 610 glass barrier were probably just exhausted from your trek to the burbs.

On a serious note, you correctly reflected the excellence of the botanas menu but clearly missed the boat in the rest of this scathing review, especially the margaritas. These are the best available in the "hinterlands." The restaurants you so unfairly compared Cascadas to are older and more established. One is okay (Noche Cocina), one is pretty good (Backstreet Cafe), and the other is downright boring (Daily Review). We and the management invite you to try our wonderful little oasis again, and please let the owners know when you can come so they can be sure to invite us to help liven up your evening again.

("The Drunk Americans" -- Tommy, Marshall and John)

Tom Burke
Houston

Ballot Challenge

Disbeliever:It is unbelievable that the restaurants listed in the Readers' Choice Awards [Best of Houston, September 25] truly received votes as "best ofs." It is more likely that: 1) these are the paying advertisers of the Houston Press, or 2) Pappas and the like have paid employees who do nothing but stuff votes in envelopes. Ridiculous! These chains are far from any "best of." Please!

Jay Burgess
Houston

Editor's note: An explanation for the readers' selection of chains and high-visibility establishments could be: 1) they are likely to draw more votes because they attract far more customers than smaller, less well-known competitors, and/or 2) readers simply judge them to be the best in their category.

Regardless, be assured there are absolutely no advertising considerations. The news staff independently selects Best of Houston categories and winners; Readers' Choice Awards are based solely on the voting results. Any indication of "ballot stuffing" causes those votes to be immediately disqualified -- with or without hanging chads.

Grave concerns:Best Confused Cemetery is a better name. After arriving at Glenwood in April 2002 to arrange burial for my mother in one of our two family plots, I was shocked to see two graves in my family's plot next to the office.

We had a deed for the plot and another document from the Glenwood trustees accepting the deed to my grandfather on June 22, 1935. The girl in the office originally said that their books had been sent away for binding so they couldn't verify anything.

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