Buyer Beware

Friendship over and out: I live in Austin, and a very similar thing has happened to me here ["The Specialist," by Craig Malisow, September 2]. My nightmare realtor was a friend of 37 years. I bought one of her rent houses, and she lent me $10,000 at closing because I had no money. Then I signed a deed of trust to pay her back the $10,000 plus 7 percent interest. I was late one week, and I got a letter from a lawyer saying I had to pay her plus late fees plus the lawyer $300 to write the letter. I began to look for the deed of trust papers. They give her 80 percent of the rights to my house. I have a lawyer now, and he has taken this on contingency because he knows he will win and get his paycheck.

Corky Pumilia

J.R. Richard Returns

Questions answered: I often wondered what really happened to J.R. Richard ["J.R. Richard: The Human Condition," by Dave Hollander, September 2]. Now I have my answer. Thanks for publishing Dave's interview, and I hope you will publish more. Please add my name to your e-mail listing.

Walter A. Shay
Bushkill, Pennsylvania

Paper not plastic: I really enjoyed this interview. Very real, not like some plastic interview where we already know everything and it's packaged to feel nice and that's it.

Liz Wolfson
Newton, New Jersey

Hurling praise: Dave Hollander was able to touch upon the great hurler's raw and apparently unresolved bitterness toward his baseball career and especially the Astros in a pointed yet compassionate manner not often found among today's sports journalists.

Jonathan Kline
New York

More Injustice

Independent review overdue: Desmond Haye's plight illustrates the fundamental racial and socioeconomic inequality in Houston's judicial system ["Truth and Consequences," by George Flynn, September 2]. On one hand Enron's Fastow and Skilling have yet to spend the night in jail, in spite of one pleading guilty and the other set for trial on numerous charges that adversely impacted the future of thousands of former Enron employees. Haye was guilty of being African-American and unable to afford to mount a defense to a totally uninvestigated and unwarranted charge.

Proposition 12 limited physicians' liability regardless of the facts in the cases, and similarly, the city of Houston will now hide behind the Tort Claims Act and employ other strategies to deny it did anything wrong in the Haye case, and even if it did, they should not have to pay for it.

Now is the time for Harold Hurtt to take his police test, start wearing a police uniform and get to the bottom of racism and socioeconomic profiling in Houston ["Undercover Cop," Hair Balls, September 2]. Houston needs an independent civilian review board and accountability for injustices through self-policing of police actions, rather than waiting for Channel 11 and the Houston Press to point out the serious problems with injustices in Houston's justice system.

Again, George Flynn hit the mark for writing a story that would otherwise have been swept under the rug.

Donald Winston, MD

Aiken Hearts

Claybonics: I just wanted to say that I read Brian McManus's article about Clay Aiken [Playbill, September 2] and I've been laughing about it all day. I posted it on three of Clay's message boards with the link. While some people took offense at being called nuts, others thought that "Claynut" was a nice addition to the Claybonic dictionary. I wish there were some way I could send this to Clay -- I'm sure he'd be rolling on the floor laughing. Thanks for my humor for the day.

Wanda Lockwood
Carmel, California

Funny, I think: Ha! I realize this commentary of yours may be tongue-in-cheek and appreciate your humor, I think, but at least it gives our man Clay (OMC) some media exposure. I am a member of a couple of these groups, and we love Clay and just want to have some fun. I am sure other celebs have their supporters too who have sites and are enthusiastic, but I must admit we Clay fans are a breed of our own. Do we get a little enthusiastic at times? Most definitely. Clay is someone to get excited over, at least we think so.

Margaret Meeuwen
Flemington, New Jersey

On the other hand: You narrow-minded dickless motherfucker can bite me. That is all.

One of those days, I'd love to read a show review by someone who can keep an open mind about the subject. But then I wouldn't be reading your paper, now would I?

Carol Reese

Restaurant Views

Low rent: I was under the impression that Houston had more restaurants, per capita, than any other city. As an ex-chef of this town, I know we've got plenty. So why are you reduced to your recent string of articles that have covered third-world KFCs, taquerias and now "hot dog/fruit cups and drink"?

Oh, how I miss Margaret Briggs. Try finding out what Italian place has the best cannoli. Or which high-priced dive has the most affordable lunch menu. Until then I'll eagerly await your riveting foray into local Whataburgers. Unbelievable.

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