MasterMind Awards

The Houston Press will once again recognize outstanding local artists.

For the second year in a row, the Houston Press is on the prowl for artists, innovators and entrepreneurs who are changing our creative and cultural landscape. And we need your help. If you know of one of these life-changing artistic types, please send in their names and something about them to us. If you want to nominate yourself, by all means do so.

From all the nominees, we'll honor three of these creative superstars on Saturday, January 30, 2010, at our Artopia Party at the Winter Street Studios when the Press once again presents its winners with MasterMind awards of $2,000 each.

Anyone can nominate a potential MasterMind. Our goal is to honor current, cutting-edge work being done right now, right here. This is not a lifetime achievement award, nor is it a popularity contest, and nominees need not submit proposals outlining how they'd use the money. Instead, a committee of Houston Press representatives will evaluate the potential honorees in each field, and then pick winners whose cultural and creative contributions are helping to redesign — and redefine — where we live.

Our first-ever awardees were:

Patrick Medrano and Katy Anderson: a husband/wife team of visual artists who specialize in different mediums and combined their talents and work to transform an abandoned building into an East Texas art mecca.

Hightower High School's Broadcast Academy: a group of nationally award-­winning high school broadcast students working under the direction of teacher Ted Irving.

• Nova Arts Project: a newer ­member of Houston's alternative theater scene carrying live performances.

Deadline for nominations: December 10, 2009. To nominate someone, e-mail masterminds@houstonpress.com, or print out a nomination form here and send it to MasterMinds Nominations, Houston Press, 1621 Milam, Houston, TX 77002.
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After the Flood

Online readers respond to "Getting Off,"by Mike Giglio, November 5:

Question: How do any of these lawyers sleep at night?

Sue
Houston

Dumb: This is the dumbest thing I have ever read, and whoever published this article should be slapped. Try promoting not drinking and driving instead of drinking and driving and killing someone, then getting out of it with Tyler Flood. What a sad world. Mr. Flood, how would you feel if your family were the ones in the car that got plowed by a drunk driver? Would you defend them?

DNay
Houston

Know your rights: Don't be mad at Tyler Flood, people. Do you really think the people driving after a beer or two are the ones involved in fatal car wrecks? But those are the people often getting arrested, charged and convicted when they're represented by attorneys other than Tyler Flood. It could be you in jail for no reason. And as for the few cases when the driver was "drunk as a skunk," well, if there's no evidence that he was "drunk as a skunk," it's a criminal lawyer's job to argue just that — there's no evidence. That's what defending constitutional liberties and rights is all about. They're your rights too, you know. Respect yourself.

James
Houston

Repping himself: This guy is a shameless self-promoter. I know lawyers, some of them criminal lawyers, who take their jobs very seriously and help a lot of people in the process. This guy is more interested in representing himself.

Travis
Houston

Essential: Though Flood seems obnoxious and conceited throughout this article, he is most certainly an essential part of our legal system and probably not a bad representation of it overall. I have dealt with overzealous cops who wanted to arrest me for having one beer. I was lucky. I know many others who were not so. I am all for arresting drunk drivers, but I'm also glad there's people out there defending them.

Michael
Pearland

Irresponsible: The article shouldn't have been headed "Getting Off" — it should have been called "Jerk Off." Releasing this ridiculous farce of propaganda is irresponsible journalism — and who the hell buys their hair products at CVS?

CAK
Sugar Land

Yowza! The article doesn't paint a very pretty picture of this guy, does it?

Rachel
Houston

What a racket DWI is: I am tickled at how much Trichter emphasizes in his ads that he is looking for all the drivers who have been incorrectly arrested for DWI.

I am sure Flood has his share of clients that he hopes never occupy the same road as him. He'll have to live with the deaths of innocent drivers when one of his clients kills somebody.

That said, the roadside gymnastics are garbage. I couldn't do those sober due to a problem with my ankle. Don't blow!

Tim O'Connor
Houston

Not the first time: I hope, and I say it with all sincerity, that one of your loved ones is hit and maimed by one of your defendants. You are getting repeat offenders off on theatrical talent alone. And I wish the same on all of your fellow DWI lawyers. There is no such thing as a first-time DWI offender. Just a first-time DWI offender who gets caught.

Dane
Houston

Bad-mouthing lawyers: Officer Egdorf, admittedly biased when enforcing DWI laws, stated, "Defense attorneys lie. They lie their asses off. He's the only person in there that's not sworn to tell the truth."

I would like to remind Officer Egdorf and others that attorneys do not testify; therefore, they cannot "tell" the jury anything. They are there to cross-­examine and interrogate. They are there to ask questions, not make statements.

Furthermore, he is mistaken when he says that attorneys are the only ones not sworn to tell the truth in the courtroom. In order to be licensed, we must take an oath: an oath that includes being candid with the tribunal (court). In fact, this is the only profession that provides sanctions for not being truthful. We cannot even put on a witness if we know they are going to give false testimony.

I could cite case after case in which officers perjured themselves on the stand or obfuscated the truth. But I will not do so. I will simply say this: It is easy to bad-mouth lawyers, but I guarantee you if you or one of your loved ones was in trouble, you'd want someone who would do battle for you and, as Silverman put it, "tries cases."

Eddie Cortes
Attorney at Law
Houston

Bring back Prohibition? What these negative commentators seem to forget is that drinking and driving is not illegal! You can still have a glass of wine with dinner in this country and drive yourself home. You can have a glass of champagne at your daughter's wedding reception and not have to call a cab. You can have a beer at your friend's barbecue and not have to have someone pick you up. That is not, and should not be, against the law. And if you want to make that illegal, then what you're ­really asking for is Prohibition...and we all know how well that worked out.

What most people don't understand is that this statute is written so broadly that you could take two Benadryl for your allergies and be arrested for DUI if you get behind the wheel. It is a huge net that is being cast, and it is taking with it a large number of innocent people. People who deserve to be defended by the likes of Tyler Flood.

Remember, people, attorneys are not magicians. In nearly all of these cases, Flood was able to convince a jury of six reasonable, objective, third-party observers that had no vested interest in the case that there was another, reasonable explanation for his client's behavior. You want to get rid of the jury system? You want to replace it with these zealots who have lost loved ones in tragic accidents? Go ahead. But don't call it justice.

EC_Esq
Houston

Come, on people: This is just an article, and an interesting one at that. I myself find it informative, unlike some of you self-righteous and closed-minded people. Some of you fail to understand that this could happen to almost anybody. How many of you use cell phones while driving? I see many people driving recklessly while they carry out a conversation on one. Do you people really believe that some of these officers are always truthful, and that maybe they are not driven by any other motives? I am not condoning the actions of the drivers, but I'm glad there is someone keeping the law in check. That's not often the case.

Dario

Market Share

Online readers respond to "Another Farmers' Market," by Greenway Barista, Eating Our Words blog, November 16:

Never: I don't think there could be too many farmers' markets. It's fine if these have the same old, same old locally grown good stuff. Maybe they just need to be held on different days of the week, in different parts of the city.

Charles

Come together: The markets must be consolidated if they are to prosper. I would prefer to buy locally grown food and I'm willing to pay a premium, but the scattered markets simply can't compete with Canino's on selection.

Kyle

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