Somerville, Smoking and Chicken Fried Porn

 Something about Somerville

What a shame: I look forward to getting the Houston Press every week and one of the main reasons is investigative articles like this one ["Toxic Town," by Todd Spivak, December 6].

I grew up in a small town not far from Somerville. I spent summers home from college working at plants similar to the "tie plant." I saw safety violations, dumping of chemicals in the river, etc. But I had a way out. Some of my high school classmates did not go to college, and have spent their lives living with this. 

The life of the small town, though, relies on these plants to provide a living. It is a shame that the owners take advantage of this captive workforce.

Larry Swonke
Missouri City

Ban Camps

Online readers respond to "The Smoking Ban, 90 Days Later," Racket, by John Nova Lomax, November 29.

Fan of the ban: I definitely approve of the smoking ban. Before the ban I'd go home with smelly hair, smelly clothes, red eyes, stuffy nose and a sore throat. Now I can stay in a bar for the evening and not be sick later that night and part of the next day.

Comment by Pete

Get over it: You know, bars in New York City did the same kind of whining about the smoking ban. When it did go into effect, sure, some bars felt it initially. But eventually, people got over it and the bars are still packed. It's hard to compare the two cities, but if other cities besides New York and L.A. can ban smoking and still stay in business, then people need to get over it. From the informal poll, it seems like the owners, smokers or nonsmokers, are the biggest whiners.

Comment by njtx71

Patch it up: I am sorry, I just do not buy the argument that people are staying home because they can't smoke. Seriously, if you are sitting in your living room watching reruns instead of going to see live shows because you can't smoke, you need to get yourself a nicotine patch and a life.

Comment by carrie

Adaptation: When people go out, they don't go out for a smoke; they go out for a drink.

The bars shouldn't gripe, they should adapt. The bartenders aren't making the sales? Set up beer tubs outside! Problem solved. The mixed-drink peeps will still belly up inside regardless.

As far as the complaining bands go — write better songs and put on better shows.

Comment by robert

On the fence: Well, Cosmos just announced its closure and the owner cited the ban as one of the reasons. Warren's seems to be struggling a bit now too, but that's not a venue so I didn't put it in the article.

I am kind of undecided about the ban so far. I like the clean air in the performance areas and stuff like that. However, if Warren's eats it because of this, I will be furious. Downtown already has a severe shortage of bars with character, and I shudder to think of some douche-bag "ultra lounge" standing where once was Warren's.

Comment by John Lomax

Tech solution: Easy — if it's really about health. Regulate the air quality, not the habit. The technology will step up if that's what's required.

Signed, A lifelong music-loving nonsmoker

Comment by susan

To each his own: Why is it "health-­conscious" to ban smoking in bars, but Rich's can pump so much fog onto the dance floor that you're blind for ten minutes and can taste that special flavor of the smoke as it fills your lungs? Talk about a health hazard — it's insane there.

I have to admit, the air quality in other clubs is better now, but I still stand by the opinion that it should be up to the business owner to decide what to allow in his or her club. If they don't care if people smoke, then let them smoke. The nonsmokers will congregate at the nonsmoking clubs. Next the guvment will require bartenders to serve no more than X drinks to a person a night, to keep people from getting drunk and driving.

Comment by houstonian

Pining for Porn

An online reader responds to "Slideshow: Chicken-Fried Porn," on the Eating...Our Words blog, by Robb Walsh, December 3.

Gah! That was just downright cruel. I'm craving chicken-fried steak so badly right now, I could just about kill a man to get some good, crispy crust and thick, creamy gravy. How much longer till lunch?

Comment by K

Orleans Style

Best ever: I have been reading your articles in the Press for some time now. I was compelled to write following your recent suggestion of Café Orleans ["Poor Boy Paradise," by Robb Walsh, November 15]. That may very well be the best oyster poor boy I've ever tasted. There's great people and great food over there, although they're going to need more seating. Keep up the good work!

Name withheld by request
Houston

 
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