Thrust and Perry
Flagging causes: It was hard to read "The Dead Zone," [by Josh Harkinson, February 24] in one sitting, Bob Perry and all he stands for and delivers being so despicable.
However, the large gay.com ad, complete with two sultry males wrapped in the flag (which Perry donates so much to wrap his own causes in) at the end of the article was the absolutely perfect place for it to run.
Suck on that, Bob.
Flip side: I was the associate director of research at the Institute of Storm Research from 1966 to 1975, and I was co-founder of the International Center for the Solution of Environmental Problems, ICSEP.
I found your article both enlightening and inspiring. Perhaps an example of worthwhile restoration, renovation and development such as the work of Alan Atkinson, renovating old warehouses and developing loft-style condos, would provide a contrast to compare with the shoddy work cited. Reggie Bowman is perhaps the most experienced with downtown warehouse restoration and development.
Journalistic fairness could be extended to those who have both done good work and done well doing it.
Thanks for your good work.
Joseph L. Goldman
City arbitration tactics: Here's another dirty little secret of arbitration: In a case like this, where the city is facing a possible lawsuit, the city attorney's office rarely puts on its entire case ["Three Days Too Many," by George Flynn, February 17].
This is because the more vigorous they are in prosecuting the officer, the more they make the case for the plaintiff. The city attorney's office doesn't care one way or the other if the Houston Police Department can impose discipline. All it's doing is looking down the road at the civil suit and trying to prevent an arbitration hearing from being discovery for the plaintiff.
I was talking to a police union lawyer about how bad arbitration is, and his response was "Well, you know they don't put on their whole case, don't you?" He then went on to explain it.
Oh, yeah, and if you really push it too hard, you can't have a bad detective unless you have a bad sergeant and lieutenant who didn't perform proper supervisory oversight. Still a good-ol'-boys club.
Name withheld by request
This Parade No Charade
Gay Pride's the greatest: In criticizing dull Houston parades, evidently Hair Balls has never seen our Gay Pride Parade, held the last Saturday evening in June ["No Fun Allowed," February 24]. Nobody "revels in quiet loneliness" at this lively, colorful spectacle.
Spaying the Price
One sick puppy: I was absolutely sickened by the publication of the "Fido Solution" package ["The Fido Solution," by Richard Connelly, "Canine Cuisine," by Robb Walsh and "Cats: That Other White Meat," by Anon E. Mouse, February 3].
Places where they include humane education in school curriculums have nowhere near the problem that Houston has. Unlike your article states, spaying and neutering your pet does help! Animals are living, breathing, feeling creatures just like us, and they do not deserve to die unjustly.
Bad riddance: It is apparent that some stray pets have to be euthanized, but most can be saved, and none should have to be killed. Maybe people should wise up, grow some brains and get their pets neutered and spayed. Oh, yeah, and don't just get rid of your pet when it's not a cute puppy anymore.
People's kids grow up to be morons, and because of what? They can't figure out how to take care of something, and they blame somebody else. Heck, just get rid of everything that's an inconvenience: the homeless, drug addicts, unwanted babies -- oh, wait, we already do that.
Oui the People
French cafe resilience: If Robb Walsh thinks that "anti-French fanatics launched a terrorism campaign reminiscent of Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany" against French restaurants in Houston, then he must not have left the Inner Loop ["French Food Sans Frenchmen," February 17].
Three good-to-excellent French restaurants are thriving in evil, supposedly French-hating west Houston: Bistro Le Cep, Bistro Provence and Le Mistral. All of these weathered the supposed "Kristallnacht" of 2003 quite nicely, as far as I can tell.
Lett'er rip: The one thing the Houston Press prints that ranges more widely than its own articles is the letters in the Letters section.
I suppose they're intended to raise the readership's "level of consciousness." It's a challenging range of opinion that sometimes entertains but other times begets near-terminal ennui.
Rennie ways: All of this dispute and arguing over what makes a person a true Rennie [Letters, "Family Values" and "Ren-unciations," December 2 and December 9]. I can understand some Rennies travel and work at faires all the time, but I also can understand that some of us can't do it, as much as we would like to.
Point in fact: What makes a Rennie a true Rennie is the state of your heart. It's a matter of desire and want. It's a matter of just being around those you call friends and fellow clansmen. Let us not forget all the honored guests who just happen to stumble into camp.
I've seen people open up their kitchens and camps to others just because it's the "Rennie" thing to do. It's not a competition about "Oh, I'm a Rennie -- I travel here and here and I work here, here and here." Big deal. If you believe, then you are, because without those of us who believe, Renfaire is nothing but another marketplace.
Mixing up genres: The movie review of Tyler Perry's newly released drama, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, was completely misleading ["Summary of a Bad Black Movie," by Luke Y. Thompson, February 24].
Luke Thompson is obviously unfamiliar with the Madea character and her background. This is a niche film aimed a particular demographic/segment of viewers. Thompson seemed to have a preconceived bias of the movie and its themes.
How would fans of, say, Woody Allen films or Spike Lee films feel if these directors' movies were belittled, wrongly criticized and judged by a viewer who was unfamiliar with the issues their films address?
I say to Thompson that all types of films are not for all types of folks. This film obviously was not for you. You should stick to a film genre that suits you. Let the rest of us enjoy our Madeas and Big Mommas. Obviously, you don't know Madea or Big Momma, so for future reference, review a movie you can relate to.
Defending L. Ron
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Learning curve: I was pleased to see this article's mention of Project Call's work to assist students with the Study Technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard ["Between the Lines," by Craig Malisow, December 16]. I am a veteran credentialed elementary educator and have used the methods referred to in public and private school settings with elementary and middle school students for more than 20 years.
What is not recognized is that the barriers to learning are exact, codified reactions that are visible in any classroom of any age student in any cultural setting. Once I knew these tools, I was able to spot and unravel learning difficulties without having to remove children from my classroom or get them remedial help.
Study Technology books are not religiously oriented; all you have to do is look at them. They provide teachers and students with the means to increase comprehension and application.
Applied Scholastics International
St. Louis, Missouri