Beer and Porn

Once again, the TABC tries to ruin bachelor life

That was news to Times national editor Ken Hanner, who seemed genuinely surprised to hear of what the Minutemen were saying. "We haven't backed off the story in the least," he says.

Hmmm. It's probably all the Mexicans' fault anyway.

No Defense

The Houston Press story on the craziness of the zero-tolerance policy at Hightower High School in Missouri City ("Cut Short," June 29), brought forth a ton of response. (Even more than the whole "Danburg's a lesbian!" thing.)

People called and wrote in, wondering what the hell the Fort Bend school district was going to do about principal Patricia Paquin, who is to zero tolerance what Donald Trump is to publicity -- someone who takes the "extremism is no vice" road at full throttle.

Since many of these folks were FBISD residents, it seemed natural to ask the district to respond to the outcry the story provoked.

Natural to us, maybe; not to FBISD.

We tried to get district superintendent Manuela Pedraza and school board president Steve Smelley; they wouldn't return our phone calls. So we contacted FBISD spokeswoman Mary Ann Simpson to be sure our messages were getting through.

"Both of them have asked that we refer you to Ms. Paquin for any follow-up questions," Simpson replied.

(Apparently we were supposed to ask this question: "Ms. Paquin, pretend you're the elected head of the school board -- are you thinking about talking with Ms. Paquin about all these complaints?")

When told we preferred to speak to an elected official answerable to the public, or the head of the district, FBISD fell back on the old dodge: "It is inappropriate," Simpson wrote, "for board members or the superintendent to discuss personnel issues about any employee with you or anyone else."

Now that's zero tolerance. For responsibility.

AlmostMySpace

If a suspected murderer can have a MySpace page, why can't the chief of police? HPD's Harold Hurtt, you're first up in our new effort to explore the limits of MySpace pages that should exist somewhere, even if they don't. Click here to view.

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