By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Robert C. Shaddox, attorney for the development company, downplayed the verdict. "We were just seeking an injunction, not any damages, and so there were really no consequences to The Woodlands...[J]uries surprise people sometimes."
The company may appeal, Shaddox says, and they will continue to take action when they think someone's impinging on their turf. He also called O'Neil's estimate of what was spent on the case "inaccurate," but won't go into details.
All this over a "dot-biz" domain name? Just imagine what they would have spent if it had been a Web address people actually use.
Bleeding and Leading
The success of NASCAR proves at least one thing -- people love to see car crashes. But you don't have to tell that to Monte West, owner of the Montgomery County News.
West started the independent paper about ten years ago when he became fed up with the local media being too negative. Now he drives traffic to his Web site by offering plentiful video footage of every car crash he can get to in the county. (Positive video footage of car crashes, we're assuming.)
He listens to police scanners and heads to the scene ASAP.
"The EMS gives me a little crap," he says. "They don't want you taking pictures of their patients, but they really don't have a say about it when it's on a public roadway. Anyone can go up and see what's happening."
The DPS, on the other hand, doesn't mind as much. "I have a guy that flies a little private plane. If I have something that I think is pretty major I'll call him up and he can get in the air in just a few minutes and take aerial photos," West says. "DPS appreciates that because a lot of times when they're doing their accident investigations they can use those photos."
How about the victims? "I've taken some flak because one lady's son was injured in a wreck and she kinda didn't like the fact that I was taking pictures of it," he says. "I responded that it's kind of my job." Other victims, or their families, like the fact they can see that crews did all they could to help.
Rest assured, ethical standards are involved: "I don't take body pictures," West says. Sort of. "I don't do death pictures at all. An injured person being taken out of a car, I don't take the face, but I take the body. And I don't focus in on the body. I'm more focused on the carnage of the wreck."
And there is a noble purpose: "We're gonna throw this blood and gore out on the front page and hopefully they'll read it and hopefully they'll be more cautious when they go through this intersection," he says. Nobly.
Read Before You Write
The redneck areas on the Gulf Freeway are probably not the best places to put up billboards calling for diversity and love and acceptance of all God's children. But apparently it doesn't even help if you're promoting gay-bashing. The folks at "Love Won Out" claim they're doing the Lord's work converting gays to straightness; it seems, however, the local graffiti artists only read as far as the word "homosexuality."
The good citizens of Boulevard Oaks near Rice Village are up in arms about an invader in their midst, a business trying to open on one of their residential streets. A massage parlor? A modeling studio? No, a dental office.
"We're really just trying to maintain the integrity of our neighborhood and we just don't want any commercialization," says Margaret Young, leader of the yard-sign-studded revolt.
Plus they just hate dentists.