Zero Gains

Common-sense discipline: Thanks for your column highlighting the continued woes of growing up in an HISD high school ["Mind Reading," by Margaret Downing, February 17]. When a smart paper recognizes that even good kids do stupid things, hopefully both parents and taxpayers will prompt lawmakers to institute intelligent legislation.

Our kids need guidance to grow up, not the big boot called "zero tolerance" holding them down at the neck. Our money is better spent restoring and counseling children at their home schools, rather than fattening the for-profit warehouses of CEP.

Brenda Jones

Hungering Again for Houston

Finest ethnic food anywhere: Could not agree more with that last line of the article about foreign grubbing-down in H-town ["Chop Sticklers," by John Harkinson, March 3]. Having relocated to Berkeley (too many hot and humid days and nights for me after 33 years) two years ago, I have suffered the trade-off of the lack of foreign cuisine just a stone's throw away.

Oh, it's here, be it Chinatown in San Pancho, International Avenue in Oaktown, or bits and pieces in B-town (the People's Republic of Bezerkeley, as many call it), but not the bounty that has Houston.

The areas of Milam/Travis, Bellaire, Hillcroft (both sides of U.S. 59) and many others advertise by word of mouth alone. What's sad is that I was not exposed to this kind of grub till my last years of high school back in the '80s.

Now, dim sum, pad thai, sashimi, pho and pollo asado are choice items on a long list of wants when I get back home to visit my folks.

Houston has the best Indian-Iranian-Colombian-Brazilian-Thai-Vietnamese-Chinese-Italian-Korean-French-Greek-Cuban-Japanese-Pakistani-Russian- Ethiopian-Jamaican-Cajun food. I miss it more than the slow-cooked brisket and barbecue sauce that I know I can't get anywhere else "butt" Texas!

We got the United Nations of fine foreign dining. Plus, the Southern hospitality to boot! Boy, I miss Houston.

Benjamin Barrera
Berkeley, California

Warded Off

Location, location, location: Where the hell is the Fourth Ward ["The Dead Zone," by Josh Harkinson, February 24]? It drives me crazy to try to read and understand an article in the Press or the Chronicle that does nothing to identify the location but say "Fourth Ward" or "Third Ward" or such.

These are archaic political artifacts that only old, old, old people can relate to today, and even they can't tell you exactly where these wards are. It's about as useful as saying "Louisiana Territory" to refer to Colorado.

If you have to say Fourth Ward, please include a map that shows it in context with the rest of the city. Otherwise, the reference and the article mean nothing to most of us.

Dale Napier

Editor's note: Our deepest apologies for any confusion you may have experienced. The Fourth Ward is located generally south of the Sixth Ward and west of the First Ward.


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