Online readers respond to "Betting Their Lives," by Craig Malisow, March 9:
Truth: The old saying, "If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is," still holds true.
More, please: You guys are two in a row with solid cover stories this month. Keep up the good work, Malisow.
Can you see how this type of story is more useful than uninspired top-five lists and vanity blogs about "The 1980s softcore cable porn I jerked off to when I was a kid"?
Hearing Sheila Jackson Lee
Online readers respond to "Sheila Jackson Lee in the Muslim Hearings: YouTube Hit," Hair Balls blog, by Richard Connelly, March 10:
More hate: You don't see what the problem is? The problem is the American conservative. After this hearing, more terrorists will arise because American Muslims will feel like they are not accepted in this society. Hate generates hate.
Go, SJL: I applaud her honesty at calling out the bigoted nature of the panel. People might think she's self-involved or putting on theatrics, but she expressed the views of a lot of folks: This is appalling.
Wow: She actually quoted herself. This woman is such an amazing embarrassment to this city.
Think: Rich Connelly seems to have inherited Sheila Jackson Lee's brain gene. As Islamist radicals continue to blow themselves and others up across the globe, he concludes that these hearings are "bizarre." The lefty day care centers posing as journalism schools have stripped all critical-thinking skills from their charges.
Applause: Sheila Jackson Lee is a real patriot. I have known her for more than 30 years, and she is the strongest supporter of the American people that I know. You who criticize her better walk a day in her shoes. She is a constitutional lawyer and knows whereof she speaks.
This district was the first opportunity for people of color to have a representative of their choice in the State of Texas since Reconstruction after the Civil War. Christians and Jews and Muslims have been working in harmony in this congressional district and in Texas for decades. This hearing could have really dealt with all of the terrorism threats to this nation — anti-Semites, racists, disaffected young men, anti-Muslims, etc. I applaud the congresswoman.
We know her name: Love her or hate her, you're all talking about her. What other representative in Houston has the same name recognition as SJL?
Online readers respond to "Meet the Niceguys," by Shea Serrano, March 9:
More substance: In about two seconds I'm going to comment on how difficult it was to read this article. This article was difficult to read because the author chose style over substance. Next time, serve the topic, not your desires to seem clever.
I agree: This article would be much more enjoyable if someone took the thesaurus away from the author.
Guest and Guest: Instead of taking the thesaurus away from the author, why don't you two pick up a dictionary? There's nothing in here that someone who made a B or higher in 12th-grade English can't understand.
Shea — nothing about this was hard to understand. Niceguys all day.
Online readers respond to "Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel More Influential as a 'Chef' Than Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon," Eating Our Words blog, by Katharine Shilcutt, March 9:
Team Sheen: "Twitter, you are why we can't have nice things." — I couldn't agree more! I'd rather follow Charlie Sheen. He knows more about food than this twit Frankel, and he's usually too coked up to eat. Go figure.
Screw Twitter: I quickly lost interest in Twitter when I realized that it was nothing but folks posting mindless thoughts. The only value I've seen is for taco truck locations, and I don't care about that enough to go on there regularly. Ninety-nine percent is mindless rambling. Screw hashtags, screw RT, screw @crap. The whole thing is just an awful, awful medium.
She's not a chef: I think the real issue here is the study classifying her as a chef instead of a reality TV star (probably because she calls herself a "natural food chef" on her Twitter bio/description). I don't think that is why people know her or follow her on Twitter, so this study doesn't really say anything.
Houston Press and its parent company gain journalism honors
Village Voice Media, parent company of the Houston Press and 13 other publications across the United States, has been named a 2011 winner of the James Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism for its series "Amongst Us" about Hispanic immigration into the United States.
All of the series stories (numbering about 20) appeared on houstonpress.com and some also ran in our print publication. This included "Asylum Denied," by former Press staffer Chris Vogel and Patrick Michels of the Dallas Observer, which detailed the inequities and complexities of U.S. immigration policies.
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Vogel was also among the finalists named in the Maggies, a regional journalism competition covering the western United States sponsored by the Western Publishing Association. The paper itself and editor Margaret Downing were also named finalists in separate categories.
Vogel is a finalist in the Best Public Service category for "Steamrolled," a story about how Houston's lack of zoning, combined with lack of environmental oversight, can result in dangerous plants operating in a residential neighborhoods.
Downing is a finalist in the Best Signed Editorial or Essay category for "Children of God," about an elementary school in Houston with a high number of homeless children.
And the paper is a finalist in the Best Consumer Tabloid category. Maggie winners will be announced April 29.