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Letters 07-20-2000

Pass the Cocktail Sauce

"The Long Haul" [by Melissa Hung, June 8] failed to adequately address the impact that shrimping is having on the resources of the Texas coast. The bottom line is that the resources that sustain the shrimp industry and the recreational saltwater fishing industry must be managed in a sustainable manner for the benefit of all Texans and not just the short-term profit of the shrimp industry. Yes, there is a real problem with a decline in shrimp catch rates and the billions of marine species, including economically significant game fish and five species of threatened and endangered sea turtles that are captured and killed as bycatch in shrimp trawls.

Because of the high rate of mortality caused by shrimping, it is unlikely that the critically endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle will be able to sustain nesting on the Texas coast.

Texas Parks & Wildlife would be remiss if it did not try to address these issues through proactive management of the shrimp fishery. The only problem with the new regulations proposed by Parks & Wildlife is that they do not go far enough to adequately protect the ecology of the Texas coast. Parks & Wildlife should implement a no-shrimping zone along the entire coast, from the Texas-Louisiana border to the Texas-Mexico border out to five nautical miles.

It is obvious that the shrimp industry is opposing the proposed regulations out of sheer principle and not on a rational analysis of the regulations. Because the regulations will allow more shrimp to grow and spawn, the shrimp industry stands to benefit from the regulations. The shrimp fishery, game fish and endangered sea turtles are all public resources that must be carefully managed for the benefit of everyone in our state.

Brian Sybert, natural resources director
Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club
Austin

Back to School

I just read the article "Punks, Jocks and Justice" [by Julie Lyons, October 21, 1999] (the Internet is a fabulous thing!). I sought out the article because I watched the special on the story on 20/20 July 6. Maybe it wasn't important to a lot of people. I am well out of high school. I am now a successful adult who graduated from college, etc. But while I walked those hallowed halls, the words that followed me were "Freak!" and "Dyke!"

I largely ignored them, sometimes toying with the jocks by blowing kisses or whatever. The truth was, I was an intelligent, bored kid who had been raised to believe that the system was corrupt and evil. Therefore, the punk thing seemed more normal to me than being "normal." I'll admit that I formed my own opinions about the jocks; I pegged them for ultraconservatives, rich kids, self-obsessed and unintelligent. All kids do that. But the violence is a telling sign that it's not just clique rivalry anymore.

The case of Dustin Camp and Brian Deneke is not so different from the Columbine incident, where people were targeted because of what they looked like or what they believed. It's wrong from either side. And it's claiming the lives of the youth of America.

I urge every one of you who has a heart and a mind to become an active participant in your local schools, whether you are a parent or not. I used to work with high school kids in a very poor, somewhat violent community. Kids have so much to offer and so many feelings they don't know what to do with. Brian Deneke expressed his feelings with his dress and his music and by displaying his beliefs on T-shirts. Dustin Camp committed murder. I guess no one really knew him after all.

Thank you for your insightful, wonderfully written article. We must never forget what can happen when intolerance prevails.

Dresden Jones
Minneapolis

Art Car Mar

My cancer is looking to be less terminal, and it is pancreatic adenocarcinoma, usually much faster to kill than prostate cancer ["Revolution in Chrome," by Lisa Gray, July 6]. My prostate is still healthy, succulent and juicy. There is a vanity issue here, but retraction in print is not called for. Just so you know.

Octo Quadring was eight clusters of four monitors each, totaling 32 monitors.

Otherwise, your article was more accurate in detail than anything else I have seen in print about Jim or concerning myself in any way.

Congratulations on getting it right!

Andy Mann
Houston

No Orphan Annie

I appreciated the article on my appearance at the First Friday poetry group's 24th anniversary meeting ["On Poetics and Politics," by Dylan Otto Krider, July 6]. It was an honor to read my work. I was happy to celebrate the anniversary and the birthday of founder/organizer/den mother Robert Clark.

 

However, I have a small correction to the article. While I spent weekends and summers with my grandparents, and they were a tremendous influence on my life, I was raised by and resided with my parents, Ivy "Les" Parker and Kay Dunagan Parker.

I appreciate the chance to clear this up -- I'd hate to be disowned at this stage of life!

Annise D. Parker
Houston

We Fry Harder

Robb Walsh should stick to restaurant reviews and leave his dumb political comments out of his print ["Utopia, Texas," July 6]. If he feels the execution of Gary Graham makes him wonder about his home state, maybe he should move to Illinois. Graham should have been executed two times over.

Eddie de Roulet
Houston

Trackin' Back

I'm a fan of the Old 97's [Rotation, by Giselle Rodriguez, July 6] and have been following the band since their Wreck Your Life release in 1995. And I have been wanting them to release some of their early tracks on CD after hearing them in concert and hearing some bad bootleg recordings.

The tone of your article lectures the band for releasing this album prematurely. They may have committed a rock and roll no-no, but the old fans will love these songs. You really threw me back with your statement that Early Tracks appeals more to the recent fan, if anyone, and not the die-hard fans. This couldn't be more 180 degrees the other way.

Any new fans lured in by the teenage pop sound of their last album, Fight Songs, wouldn't care for the raw, heavy reverb sounds of the old stuff. I have all the Old 97's albums except that one. After purchasing it, I got sick of it and gave it away to our summer intern, who is 19 years old.

Doug Teel
Houston

Advantages of a Free Paper

Cory Morrow is one of the best upcoming artists ["Will the Real Texas Musician Please Stand Up," by Anthony Mariani, July 6]. I'm not buying your paper anymore. You are obviously not from Texas.

Another disappointed reader,

Bart Smith
Houston

I couldn't disagree more. Your article, as I understand it, appears to be a mere character assault on Cory Morrow based upon his appearance, success as a musician and your understanding of his "not so Texas" songs.

In my opinion, musicians are musicians, and they wear what they wear. More often than not, they are far from what mainstream considers "normal." So I see little substance in your remarks about Cory's "tight jeans" and "belt buckles," especially in view of the fact that Chris Whitley often wears the same for his shows. These guys are trying to make a living doing what they love, and in order to do that, they play to the fans.

And why knock a guy for assembling a good band and having a well-known producer? I want to hear good music and not a bunch of half-asses playing out of key. Quality is something that the audience shouldn't expect? Texas country music is a business just like any other, and the musicians are accountable to the consumers.

I think Cory is part of the logical progression in Texas country music that started back with Bob Wills and continued through Waylon, Willie and Jerry Jeff, and is now in the hands of those like Pat Green and Cory. All of these notable artists write three- to four-minute songs in the typical format, but they all tell their own stories.

I just saw Waylon in Iowa last week, and his show was true to form. He wore tight jeans, had a big buckle, his band kicked ass, and no song was over four minutes. Hmm.

Alex Nolte
Washington, D.C.

I guess that if you don't like it, keep it to yourself. There are a lot of artists out there that claim to be under the title of "Texas music." If you don't like the way an Aggie "whoop" sounds, well, go to the rap section of the next music store you walk into; you might find something a little more appealing to your taste.

I am not only writing this because I did not like the article. I am writing this because Cory is a personal friend of mine.

Jason Ward
Houston

I enjoyed your article on real Texas musicians. We're not all cowboys and roughnecks. Check out www.livefromtexas.com to hear a variety of Texas music.

 

Willie Atkinson
Houston

You obviously don't know shit about Texas music, and have no business doing any piece on music. I have seen some dumb-ass articles, but that takes the cake.

Good luck in your future with the paper; one thing's for sure, you won't be there long.

B.J. Oswalt
Houston

As for Cory Morrow's dislike of the Nashville country music machine, I fully agree with him. If more artists were fightin' the Nashville Blues, then maybe country music could get rid of some of the Shania Twains, Garth Brookses, and Faiths and Tims that are rammed down our throats too many times a day. Give me some Cory, Owen Temple, Kelly Willis and Robert Earl Keen, and I will be happy!

Dean Shupak
Lovelady, Texas


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