Jail Business

City at risk: Thank you for exposing the widespread incompetence and neglect festering within the UTMB prison and jail health care programs ["The Fix Is In," by Greg Harman, June 9]. This is not just an issue for the bleeding-heart liberals. Mismanagement of inmate medical services creates a public health risk for all citizens. In the unsanitary confines of prisons and jails, diseases like hepatitis C flourish and spread when not properly treated (some studies have concluded that 30 to 40 percent of prison inmates have hepatitis C). As your article pointed out, nearly 120,000 people cycle through the Houston jails each year. Some of these people quickly return to the community, and others go on to cycle through prisons or other jails. But it is inevitable that almost everyone who enters a Houston jail will someday return to live among us. If UTMB moves in to take on medical care in the Houston jails, we should all start to worry about what infectious and contagious diseases UTMB's mismanagement has in store for us.

Name withheld by request

Human abuse: Thank you for this story. I hope the public realizes that we are dealing with human beings. As Greg Harman stated, I have many stories to tell about the agony of being sick in prison. There is a law in Texas that makes cruelty to animals a felony. When will we make cruelty to humans by their caretakers a felony? It is punishment enough to be in prison. Being tortured is not humane.

Helga Dill

The Lying Game

Quit playin': When I first read "Keeping Score" by Craig Malisow [June 2], I was a little upset -- until I thought about it. I agree that women do love a certain amount of challenge, romance and mystery. And most people are about games, flirting and -- let's face it -- bold-faced lies.

Hey, here's a crazy idea! Why not say what you mean? "I think you're cute, here's my cell number," or "Sorry, I'm allergic to morons, not interested." It would save people who mean what they say a lot of time and stress. There really are some men who want a relationship, and there really are women just looking for sex. But alas, most people won't admit what they want.

LaResha Green

Under the Hoods

Rebels with a cause: To Mary Bell,

Yes, protesters do aim for media coverage [Letters, June 9]. But protesters aim for media coverage of their cause, not media coverage of their stupid behavior. Protesters do things that they know are illegal and may get them arrested. It's called civil disobedience, and our country owes a great deal to those who have practiced it in the past. Those inside the Four Seasons knew they were at risk to be arrested; those outside were unsuspecting. HPD, in my opinion, was entirely too harsh.

Many activists wear hoods to protests, not because they're ashamed of what they're doing, but because our government believes that any kind of activism is a threat. Under the Patriot Act, the FBI and CIA are free to compile dossiers on what they call "domestic terrorists." Many of those hooded people are just like you; they simply don't want dossiers attached to their names.

I attended the protest myself, masked. HPD is very law- and safety-conscious at this type of large demonstration, but May 18 was something different. The police report on it is ridiculous.

Ella Moore

Luling Lovers

Heritage? Who cares: Interesting story, but what's it got to do with barbecue ["Barbecue Identity Theft," by Robb Walsh, May 26]?

Is this a restaurant review or a personal vendetta you have against sixtyish cowboys who have anti-France bumper stickers?

Just tell me about the food, dude.

Yes, I've eaten there. I make a point of it when I'm in town. I don't really care whether it's an homage or a rip-off, any more than I worry if Mr. McDonald got ripped off by Ray Kroc way back when.

It's just good 'cue (and I like it when the meat falls off the ribs).

Scott Braden

Knock it off: Something is wrong in Texas when I read a snotty review of a good barbecue stand such as Houston's Luling City Market. So what if it's a knock-off? The food is good, and I'd rather not drive the 141 miles to the original City Market in a tiny tank town when I can savor something that tastes exactly the same as the original.

Steven Long

Got a Grudge

Good Christian's: I live at The Post in Midtown, and I'm glad to see Christian's Totem, a place for regular people, move into our area [The Nightfly, "Invasion of the Giant Cheeseburgers," by Brian McManus, May 26]. The writer seems to hold a grudge against those of us who are living well. Contrary to what his piece suggests, I don't have credit card debt. I drive a 2004 Toyota, and I'm definitely not the pretentious type. But I do want to live in a place that's clean and makes me feel safe. I think McManus should have done some research. It appears that he's more in his element in the Montrose.

Joan Zuniga

Thaiing One On

A bit strange: I enjoy reading your articles every week, but I was a little confused about your review of Merlion ["Thai Seas," by Robb Walsh, May 19]. Being from Singapore, when I saw the restaurant was named Merlion, my first reaction was "Yeah! Singaporean restaurant!"

You see, the merlion is one of the national emblems or symbols for Singapore. That a Thai restaurant would use that as its name seems really odd.

Having grown up in Asia, I'm always wary of so-called Asian food in the United States and doubly suspicious of restaurants that offer one country's fare using the name of another country's icon. Very strange.

Kerry Maniam

Wurst Review

Leave Alfredo out of it: Your review of Alfredo's European Grill ["Wurst-Case Scenario," by Robb Walsh, May 12] was disappointing. Making personal attacks on the owner and telling readers to avoid him is adolescent. (Please take note that people over the age of 16 do read the food reviews in the Houston Press.)

In addition, if you really knew anything about authentic German sausage -- not the Texanized stuff in Central Texas -- you would know that bratwurst is supposed to stick out both ends of the roll. Here is someone trying to serve the real thing, and you complain that it isn't like the fake version you're accustomed to eating. Unbelievable!

I will give you credit for shining light on this place. I hadn't heard of it until I read your review. As someone who's eaten quite a bit of currywurst in Berlin, I ignored your advice to skip Alfredo's version. Even though it wasn't as great as what I ate in Berlin, it wasn't bad. I suspect foreign foods will always taste better when they're consumed in their home country.

One more thing: When you called Alfredo "Alberto," was that another lame attempt at high school-level humor that I didn't get, or just a good indicator of the overall quality of your review?

Chris Olejak


The Houston Press was given incorrect information from law enforcement authorities identifying one of the teenagers in "The Usual Suspect" [June 9] as white. His mother says he is black.

The Press regrets the error.


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