By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Whoa. That must suck.
"I cannot tell you how frustrating it is as a PR person," Gish cries. "It's like, 'Oh my God, there's 23,000 people with their contact information and I can't contact them!"
Gish is urging anyone who signed the petition -- or anyone else who wants to save the River Oaks and Alabama theaters -- to visit the group's website, www.saveourlandmarks.com.
"Save Our Landmarks," of course, can be shortened to "SOL," which doesn't seem the most optimistic of names.
"I know," Gish says. "But we'll either Save Our Landmarks or we'll be Shit Out of Luck."
Mobile Homeless Shelters
The Reverend G. Todd Williams, of Montrose's New Covenant Christian Church, has been a leading advocate for the rights of the homeless.
He fought against the city's new hygiene ordinances for public libraries, including organizing a "stink-in." (The underwhelming attendance of which led him to learn yet again it can be difficult to put the words "organize" and "homeless" together.)
His fight against the library lost for now, Williams has come up with other ways to keep the homeless out of the extreme heat or cold that Houston can offer.
He's been giving Metro tokens to the less-sheltered among us. For one token, a permanent-address-challenged Houstonian can legally ride a bus for seven hours; two tokens get a full-day pass on the light rail.
"I tell them, 'Just get on the bus and ride it. You can sleep on it. Just don't cause any problems, and pay attention to what the driver says,' " Williams says.
Which can be just terrific for fellow passengers. One Metro rider tells us she's noticed more begging on the bus. "You're sitting there with a half-hour ride to go and the guy in the next seat reeeeeealy wants $1," she says. "You can give it to him and have him shut up or you can not give it to him and have him follow you home."
Metro spokeswoman Raequel Roberts says the agency's police department hasn't noted any increase in complaints "about unkempt people on board." And with the wide range of users -- say, construction workers boarding after an August shift -- Metro can't be as picky as the library can.
"You have to be civil on board," Roberts says. "If you cause a ruckus you can be escorted off or whatever, but if you get on and your hair's dirty, we don't really have much that we can do."
-- As told to Richard Connelly