Sad excesses: If these allegations are true (and they ring true), shame on you, Mr. Davila, for using your public post to unethically, and perhaps illegally, further your own family's position at the expense of more deserving individuals ["HCCS's Gift Basket Bonanza," by Josh Harkinson, August 12]. And shame on HCCS and Chancellor Leslie for allowing this gross abuse of power to exist, for no other apparent reason than to appease certain unseemly elements in the Hispanic community. The HCCS administration and board should think long and hard about the poor example people such as Davila are setting for their students.
How can we expect students, especially minority students, to aspire to greatness when they are led by unethical cheats? All they learn is that they can't compete with nonminority students unless they get an unfair hand up. As a person of Spanish heritage, I am ashamed by people like Mr. Davila and the negative image they portray of Hispanics in general.
Thank you, Houston Press, for exposing this story.
Up in smoke: Last year I lost my job at HCCS when I spoke out about the retaliation I suffered while an employee there. That experience has given me a unique perspective about the HCCS "leadership." Diana Castillo is not a victim deserving of sympathy. As a former subordinate, when I asked Ms. Castillo to help me with my problem with the HCCS administration, she chose to do nothing. Her husband also works for that same administration, so her charges of nepotism ring hollow.
I have a Web site at www.hccsucks.com with proof that HCCS is run by lowlifes. Local taxpayers should be especially upset; after all, they're doing this on your nickel.
Before anyone tries to dismiss me as a crank with an ax to grind, if there was nothing to my allegations, then why is the EEOC investigating my complaint of retaliation? As the old saying goes, "Where there's smoke there's fire."
Resignations in order: If any of the allegations about board interference by a trustee are true, the trustee should resign. Reading the article made me wonder why we should vote to support bonds for HCC.
Henry J. Pownall
Privileged class: I found your article very informative regarding the political problems going on at HCCS. Living in the area of HCC Southeast, I hope that this is not the last I hear about what's going on.
As a Hispanic, I find it extremely disturbing that at the slightest taste of power some people automatically believe that they and their allies are entitled to more privileges than others. I wish to simply commend the reporter and express my sincere hope for a resolution and full-out investigation of the allegations discussed in the article.
Name withheld by request
Boo on Moo
Attack real racism: The item headlined "Moovin' On Up" really disappointed me [Hair Balls, August 12]. Racism is certainly a profound social concern, but we ought to concern ourselves with genuine, institutional racism, rather than ingrained paranoias and the mores of individuals with no better way to attempt to resolve complex problems than by the grotesque caricatures of straw men represented by interpreting utterly simplistic plays on words as twisted shadows of Klan meetings around each and every corner.
You would do the cause of the elimination of racism far more good by seeking it out in the cloisters in which it still remains, rather than burning it in senseless effigy on the ham-handed double entendres of an advertising department.
Going down: The item about so-called racism at Dairy Queen is far more racist and offensive than the product it assails. The Houston Press has really gone downhill in the last half-year or so.
Udder insanity: Geez! Get over it, will ya? MooLatte is a friggin' drink, and anyone who takes that as a racial undertone needs to get past it. "Moo" is for cow -- get it? And "Latte" is for latte! For God's sake -- stop the insanity; and if you don't like it, don't patronize DQ!
Kurtz so bad: But isn't the term "White House" so much worse?
Reading an article like this one helps me understand what Kurtz was going through (in Heart of Darkness) when his last words said were "The horror, the horror."
Marketing names: The literal, negative deconstruction of MooLatte has no basis in reality. It is just this kind of analysis that would knock a name like Starbucks off the table. Won't people think Starbucks is a troupe of male strippers? Or a game show in which celebrities compete for cash?
Or what about a name like Crossfire, the sports car from Chrysler? Innocent women and children get killed in a crossfire, don't they? Does that mean Crossfire is a bad name for a car? Of course not. But why not? Because the public accepts names in the spirit and context that companies provide.
Consumers never engage in literal deconstruction; if they did there would be an endless line of protesters at the door of Banana Republic, because Banana Republic is a negative cultural slur aimed at Latin America. Except when it's the name of a clothing store.
Remembering us: Ha-ha-ha-ha -- this is the funniest thing I have read in a long time! I used to live in Houston, and I had forgotten all about the Press. I am bookmarking your Web site to look at every day now. Kudos to the writer of this story.
Raves for Robb's roaming: I wanted to thank you, Robb Walsh, for your superb restaurant review column. I cannot tell you how I look forward to reading your reviews. Prior to your arrival at the Press, the restaurant reviews were stuffy and fairly lame.
By and large, expensive and well-known restaurants were always the order of the day. It's refreshing to read about obscure and ethnic restaurants, and I have learned quite a bit about food and food lore.
Thanks so much; please keep up the excellent work.
Defining the blues: I, for one, totally agree with music editor John Nova Lomax [Racket, August 5] in that there is no definition for blues! Which is why I play on my radio program people from James Brown (considered an R&B artist and funk pioneer) to Carl Perkins, who was not only not a blues artist but also played country and R&B, and helped create rockabilly (and also, like most "great" blues artists, he picked cotton). Who's to say that these guys didn't play their own form of blues? Along with Elvis, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and maybe even John Coltrane. I'm with you that blues can be anything.
However, on the subject of Fat Possum artists, I think the question in essence is "How could we know they are authentic?" I probably know at least 75 to 100 people personally who do not know who R.L. Burnside, T-Model Ford or Junior Kimbrough are. These people think that Eric Clapton or Roomful of Blues is the real thing. Clapton is frightfully talented when it comes to guitar playing. However, he's making money on songs he didn't write; and to boot, he's doing it on songs he probably shouldn't even be cheapening with his extremely high-dollar recording contract.
When you hear the Fat Possum artists, you hear a much more authentic sound of what blues is, as opposed to the overproduced "blues" record labels. With one listen, you know these guys are playing blues.
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