What a Player

Now that's dedication: Coach Bradford is off to a great start, and I hope that his administrators acknowledge his efforts and success ["Out of the Park," by Mosi Secret, June 16]. Somehow, athletes from Austin High have been overshadowed by their peers, many of whom live within Houston's East End, because of the inequities that exist within the HISD athletics and educational programs. The Mustangs' overcoming that 40-year curse must have something to do with Bradford's dedication. I have seen Bradford on countless occasions at the East End Little League field giving advice to players, speaking with parents or simply enjoying a great game of baseball. If only we had more coaches willing to go out of their way to create opportunities for players that were simply always a dream.

It's a shame that the coaches in District 21-5A could not agree on an MVP and that they just decided not to give the honor to anyone. That award would have been a great way to end a stellar season for Aaron Treviño. To many Little Leaguers, especially those Tigers, Aaron has already accomplished so much. Aaron's parents should leave an empty space on their wall where that award would have hung, because in four years he'll have a college diploma to frame and showcase. That, along with all the experiences that await him at ASU, will mean so much more than any award the district could have come up with. Those four players from Austin High have set a standard, and I hope that now the path to college will be less rocky for those with "just a dream." Get ready, Bradford, because the next wave of athletes and scholars is headed your way.

Tina Brooks

Who's on first: My name is Jose De Leon. First off, I would like to say that this was a hell of an article. Congratulations! But it is false to say that Aaron Treviño was the first Austin High School graduate in 40 years to receive a four-year scholarship to a Division I baseball school. I have two brothers, Juan De Leon (class of '98) and Mario De Leon (class of '00), who received four-year scholarships to Texas Southern University after graduating from Austin High. TSU is a Division I baseball school. Juan was a pitcher, and Mario was a second baseman like no other. Mario was the starting second baseman who in '04 won TSU's first ever SWAC championship and went on to beat Rice in the NCAA Division I Regional tournament. I don't want to take anything away from Aaron -- he's a good ballplayer. I just don't appreciate the fact of our old high school getting a bad rep from some false information. We in the De Leon family are just too proud of what my brothers accomplished as baseball players, and it came as a shock to us when we read this article.

Jose R. De Leon Jr.

An announcement: I am Jeremiah "the booming voice" Gallegos, a 22-year-old college student and the PA voice of the University of Houston. Let me start off by saying good job on that article regarding Aaron Treviño. The only complaint I have is your mention of me, "the announcer." That was the evening Austin played against Milby. Well, I was shocked when I came to the part in your article about my "best major league impression" (there are no fake impressions at all) and "special voice effects" (there are no special effects during the announcing). It is called torquing. I honestly felt offended. I have been doing PA announcing services for East End, Magnolia and Pearland Little Leagues, and I don't want them to think they have this guy doing impressions during their games. I am a professional announcer.

I am glad you did this article. It makes me proud we have kids who are looking for a bright future.

Jeremiah E. Gallegos

The Road Ahead

Dream on: You have to give Gonzalo Camacho credit for having drive and imagination ["Digging It," by Greg Harman, June 16]. However, I think he's dreaming. One must recall the neighborhood push to have TxDOT do what he is proposing on that very short stretch of U.S. 59. They wanted a park over the freeway. They saw it had been done somewhere in Arizona. It was extremely expensive, and TxDOT said no way. We were just lucky that for only another $40 million or so, they could continue the depression below grade, because they would have had to rebuild worn-out pilings supporting the old roadbed. Life is a matter of allocating scarce resources in an efficient manner. There is just not enough money for this idea. They can probably come to a compromise with fewer lanes and some good, sound walls.

Garth Whittington

Can't-do attitude: I read your article about Gonzalo Camacho's I-45 tunnel vision with great interest. Those of us who live near downtown have begun to sense the inevitability of the demise of our neighborhoods. In my case, monster home development in the Heights has reduced 20 years of my blood, sweat and tears into teardown property. Perhaps the fact that the majority of Houstonians live outside the Loop gives our local governments the democratic right to bulldoze and pave over anything that stands in the way of profitable sprawl. While it's hard for me to see it from my front porch, maybe that's just progress.

However, I was most disappointed to read the litany of equivocation from Houston's transportation experts, particularly Carol Lewis, whom the mayor recently appointed to chair Houston's Planning Commission. Your story speaks to a loss greater than historic neighborhoods or green space. It demonstrates the erosion of Houston's seminal spirit and the absence of the audacity it took to build this community on the steamy banks of a shallow, slow-moving bayou, in the middle of nowhere. Enough excuses!

When did Houston become a can't-do city? When did we decide to focus on pursuing the temporary spotlight of events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl, and build gaudy amenities that serve only a small fraction of Houston's citizens? When did we buy into all this meaningless "world-class city" crap? (Memo to H-town boosters: If you have to advertise it, it's probably not so.) When did such vanities supplant the honest desire to work toward the true long-term welfare of this city's residents?

The same-old, same-old, whether it's more and more concrete or poor-mouthing innovation, will not solve our problems.

Until our leaders and the myopic developer establishment they serve first are once again willing to fearlessly take on tough technical challenges, Houston is doomed.

Where's a rocket scientist when you need one?

Mark Sterling

Critical Point

Not Wilonsky: The Press made a colossal error in choosing Robert Wilonsky to write a review of Batman Begins. 'Nuff said.

Jacob Majors


In an item headlined "Career Opportunities" in Hair Balls (June 16), the Press compared two programs for fifth-grade students -- separated by gender -- developed by Sharpstown High School. In the boys' program, we wrote, boys would "meet student athletes, Junior ROTC cadets and Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino."

In describing the girls' program, we reported that the speakers "included the Sharpstown High dance team, cheerleaders and two Miss Teen USA contestants."

The descriptions were correct, but as Terry Abbott, spokesman for the Houston Independent School District, points out, the girls also had student athletes, JROTC cadets and a governmental speaker -- in this case, a representative from the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. A girls' choir was included as well.

The boys' program was billed as "life lessons for boys"; the girls' program was named "Fifth Grade Tea Party: Building Character in Young Ladies."

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