Tuned Up

Great awards talent: I would like to send a shout-out to the Houston Press, music editor John Nova Lomax and the fine crew y'all had working the Music Awards events ["Sound Off '04," August 5]. The crew from Rehab was especially sharp. For one week out of the year, our fellow H-towners get an opportunity to see the extent of great talent our city has to offer.

The rain kept some wary people away, but the ones who ventured out were rewarded. And the cherry on top is the awards ceremony. Of course, the winners smiled and some losers complained -- in my eyes, they were all winners.

I would like to thank the Tamale Kingpin Chingo Bling and his management for letting me accept one of his awards. Of course I said some crazy things; that's the way I am.

Bottom line: Thank you. All the bands got paid. A shout-out also to 90.1 KPFT and 104 KRBE. Without them, it would have not been possible. And the VIP room was off the hook!

Raul "Dj Woo" Rodriguez

Band widths: I've heard that when you're drunk, nothing tastes better than Mexican food. Perhaps this opinion would explain John Nova Lomax's editorial style.

This showcase was no more a representation of Houston's best and brightest than the music section of the paper itself. I mean, you really love these tangents. When I first moved to Houston, the Westbury Squares were the "brand new heavies" for Houston. Then they split. Next, Arthur Yoria and band could do no wrong. Then, his band splits and he's solo. Now Chingo Bling might as well be new Motown shit as far as you're concerned.

A simple question: Is that all Houston's got?

Kevin Verndon

Echoes of HCCS

Yolanda's character: I have known Houston Community College System Trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores for well over 15 years, both professionally and personally ["HCCS'S Gift Basket Bonanza," by Josh Harkinson, August 12]. I worked for her at the state capitol as her legislative assistant and on many community and business projects thereafter.

I take issue with the article alleging she cursed out an HCCS worker. In all the years I have been around Yolanda, both in social and professional environments, Yolanda has not cursed even once. She is a caring and church-going woman whose only concern is to help all HCCS students achieve their educational dream.

Anyone with a pea-sized brain can see through the politically motivated article. It is sad when "journalists," and I use that word loosely, are willing to go to bat for a few to hurt the masses.

Linda Morales

A man of his own: I am the son of Houston Community College System Trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores. For your information, I am a 31-year-old married man with two wonderful sons and do not have to consult with my mother on where I seek employment. For the record, I have never been employed at HCCS. Secondly, if the Houston Press would have done some research and not print just hearsay, you would find that I am financially capable of making contributions to my mother's campaign or any other campaign legitimately.

It is no secret that Mr. Marc Campos has a political vendetta against my mother because she ran for the Texas Senate against his client, Mario Gallegos, who at "50-plus something" still lives with his mother. I would think that as a political consultant, Mr. Campos would welcome the political competition. It seems, though, all these post-election workings by Mr. Campos are keeping him on the payroll.

Larry M. Flores

Beautiful Bricks

Paving the way: How a city/state/nation treats its community's lowest rung (that is, the lowest rung of the community ladder) speaks volumes about its civility ["Hitting the Bricks," by Josh Harkinson, August 12].

Freedmen's Town/Fourth Ward has been Houston's lowest rung since it was created after the Civil War. The mistreatment of it continues even today. One year ago, the neighborhood woke up to some of the streets being changed from the existing two-way to one-way. That was followed by the closing of the western end of Andrews Street.

There was no request from the community, no meetings with the community, no traffic-flow studies as required by law. Someone just altered the streets because they could.

The brick on Andrews Street is a testament to the mistreatment. In the late 1800s Freedmen's Town paid taxes but could not get the city to pave a single street. The buggies, surreys and wagons would bog down to the axles in the black gumbo clay during rainy seasons. The people of Freedmen's Town, under the direction of the Reverend Jeremiah Smith, organized a program to pave their own streets.

They had each family buy one brick. They furnished the labor and other supplies and paved the first street, Andrews, with bricks.

Now there are city officials talking about taking those bricks -- bought and paid for by freed slaves from the descendants of those enslaved people -- and putting them downtown.

The purpose of this, according to reports, is to beautify downtown. Well, they (the bricks) are beautiful where they are now.

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