Letters 2000-08-17

Big Deel

I couldn't believe it. The power and the strength to not give up and give in ["Left for Dead," by Wendy Grossman, August 3]. The fact that Tracey was strong enough for herself is incredible. But her strength for us, the rest of the world, is immeasurable.

How in the world can we repay her for taking the filthy, dirty, stinking, rotten scum found around the backside of a dead animal -- your story calls it Robert Hidalgo and Kevin Rivas -- off the streets. The first thing we could have done and didn't was put to death the walking rotting corpses of these two man-boys. That they are still around and NOT having to think about the fact that they will be put down like dying pieces of bitch-meat makes me very angry.

I can imagine how the Deel family feels. The parents who gave birth to these evil mounds of flesh, wouldn't you want them dead and gone? Someone gave these two the impression that life is worth nothing. I look at Tracey before and think, "Did I know her?" I see her now and think, "I WISH I knew her." While it may be a miracle that she made it, I am hoping for more miracles to come for her.

Robert Greiwe

As I sat here reading this tragic story, my heart was overcome with anger, dread and fear that such an incident can happen to any human being at any time. As a single woman who travels extensively, I felt outrage. However, while admiring her courage to survive, I was appalled as I read further that the victim, a lesbian, referred to one of the gunmen as "a colored boy." I feel so sorry for Tracey's tragedy, but even more so for her peculiar mentality about people who may appear different. How ironic.

Name withheld by request

Blame Game

I, a taxpaying citizen of Harris County, on the first hand cannot agree with a tax abatement being an incentive ["Tax Lean," by John Suval, August 3]. I totally disagree with the whole process.

As mentioned, most of the applicants will establish in Harris County even if they don't get the abatement. I have a better term for such an incentive: corporate welfare. On the second hand, I have to wonder how and why Harris County would have such an "affable" administrator of such an important department.

Although the department is relatively new, the administrator should at least have the strength to take the blame for his inaccurate data and not point the finger at an assistant. It makes me wonder about the qualifications necessary to become an administrator in such a position.

Mattie Shaw

Money -- and Sympathy -- Lost

I enjoyed your "Livin' Large at the Port" story [by Steve McVicker, July 20], and it's good to know that the rascal is behind bars.

My problem is in finding sympathy for Sosa's many victims. The common thread that runs through all the victims' stories is GREED, pure and simple. Mr. Yanouri is more than likely aware of that old Moroccan saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Bruce Williams
Barker, Texas

Murphy's Riffraff

Bill Murphy, get a life ["Murphy's Law," by Melissa Hung, August 3]! How dare you move into a neighborhood and try to change it! Longtime residents of neighborhoods are fed up with developers and anal humans like you. I have tattoos, piercings and an IQ over 170. So I guess I'm riffraff also in your way of thinking.

Just because you are a stupid Bible-thumper from Dallas, you don't even realize you will not get any help from anyone. The Houston Press story is a good example of how Big Brother is ruining these liberal-minded neighborhoods.

When new residents move into an area, they should have enough sense to fit in, not change the area. Hope you enjoy your 15 minutes of fame! You are just a narrow-minded bigot who is a laughingstock to the rest of us.

Name withheld by request

I read about Billy Murphy's situation with annoyed familiarity and absolute understanding. For more than a year, I too suffered the relentless amplified beat of a neighborhood bar that deprived me of any enjoyment of my home.

Nightly calls to the Houston Police Department were met first with indifference, then disdain, as officers, many of whom moonlighted as security at the same bar, also had the "very solid camaraderie" described by Mr. Murphy of those in his neighborhood. Despite the kind intervention of Police Chief Bradford and City Councilman Joe Roach, I ultimately had to sell -- to the cantina's owner -- to escape the noise without prohibitively costly litigation.

However, as I read on, I totally stopped identifying with Murphy. His breathtaking arrogance, even if only a fraction of that conveyed by the quotes supplied by the writer, made me laugh out loud in disgust. "Riffraff"? Does anyone actually still use this word? Surely Ms. Hung could have found a more sympathetic victim, from any demographic group, of this all-too-common and citywide problem. Take it from me, Mr. Murphy, you'll need a lot of luck, money and endurance to fight this situation -- even if you drop the snotty hauteur.

Brian L. Bain

Apparently Mr. Murphy cannot understand that the reason why no citations have been issued is that no laws have been broken by the surrounding establishments. Incidentally, they added character and diversity to the neighborhood long before Mr. Murphy was so gracious as to move in and attempt to change the color of it.

Recently some of my attorney friends stopped into Jax on a Saturday night for some food and were thrilled to have stumbled upon a zydeco band and the most diverse, fun crowd they had come across in Houston, which apparently included people from all walks of life. I guess Mr. Murphy's entertainment on the weekends consists of sitting around listening to other people have fun and then bitching about it.

Face it, Murphy old chum, you didn't do your research, and now you're stuck with it. I have a good idea for achieving the harmony that you seek in your neighborhood: move.

Roger A. Rippy

I read this story with interest, and I am sorry to say that we will be seeing more of this in the future. In legal parlance, Murphy has in fact "come to the nuisance," meaning simply that the noise and music he finds so offensive were there first. Sadly, this sort of irrational complaining will only increase as suburbanites like Mr. Murphy move into the city.

Bars and restaurants all up and down Shepherd and Richmond, in the Village and indeed anywhere established neighborhood spots suddenly find themselves besieged by new homes are all in danger of being subjected to the type of petty tyranny that Mr. Murphy has wreaked in his neighborhood.

This is, of course, the inevitable result of the suburbanization of the Inner Loop, which has been well chronicled in the Press. Upper Kirby near Alabama looks more like Sugar Land every day, and all over Montrose single-family dwellings are giving way to two- and three-family town homes that only the wealthy can afford. Once someone has the house they want in the location they want, it is only a matter of time before they start demanding that the neighborhood conform to their desires as well.

Ironically, one moves into a neighborhood to take advantage of all it has to offer. To seek to then dismantle its character and charm is arrogance at best, and bullying at its worst.

Scott C. Pope

Museum Piece

Lisa Gray's column about the new Houston GLBT archive and museum ["Out of the Closets," August 3] was masterfully done. I've lived in Houston since 1977, and her description of what life in our community has been like over these past 23 years was right on point. Two things that minorities commonly lack are a sense of identity and a sense of history. With the opening of GCAM, Houston's GLBT community now has both. Three cheers for all the people who worked so hard during the past year to bring GCAM to life!

Brandon Wolf

At the risk of shamelessly promoting my name, I need to set the record "straight" again.

"Out of the Closets" was a great article. But as wonderful and important as Harvey Milk was, he was not the first openly gay elected official when he won office in 1977.

That honor was earned by Nancy Wechsler, who was elected to the Ann Arbor, Michigan, City Council in 1972 as an open lesbian. She was followed by Elaine Noble, who was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1975.

Why is it that women tend to be forgotten?

Annise Parker
Houston city councilmember

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