Hutton Chops

Any biased trash on the relatives of other Hollywood celebrities besides Mel Gibson ["Holy Father," by Wendy Grossman, July 24]?

I hear that a certain actor/director of note has a parent on death row for murder. An interest? Many stars have cross-dressing communists and convicted puppy killers in their families. How 'bout a long, snotty piece on them!

Or has the Press decided to attack Gibson through his father, Hutton Gibson, because he dares to tackle a project about Jesus that isn't defaming or obscene, like, say Corpus Christi or The Last Temptation of Christ?

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Funny how the pointy heads break indoor speed records getting to their word processors to shriek about the First Amendment in defense of every vile piece of filth pretending to be art, but let someone tell a story not approved by the anti-God, anti-faith, pro-leftist cartel of PC-think, and he can count on his family being destroyed.

It's no wonder why the public hates the media so thoroughly -- it's because you're all so obnoxiously hateful.

If you cared about your (cough) credibility or had any class, you'd at least wait till you saw the movie before trashing someone by way of their family.

D. J. McKay
Hollywood, California

Holocaust was real: Regarding the article about Hutton Gibson, I wonder why he continues to gravy train off his son? I have always loved Mel Gibson movies. As a teen, I was an extra in the passion plays held at the old Houston Coliseum. The elder Mr. Gibson would probably hate to hear that, as I am Jewish. I played a Jewish extra pretty good by the way!

Mr. Gibson's view on the Holocaust is what actually made me read the interview, and the fact that I like Ms. Grossman's interviews.

I would ask Mr. Gibson, "If the Holocaust did not happen, could you please tell me what happened to my grandmother's twin brother?" I have pictures of him and I also have the Gestapo records showing the exact date he was shipped off to be gassed. Were those Gestapo records made up? If so, why did the Germans send my great-grandmother a restitution check every month?

Maybe if you would step out of your web you might meet some nice Jews and Catholics.

Rebecca Silverman

Percentage Shots

Gouging at the game: Rackets would have been a more suitable title for the Rockets' column [Insider, by Tim Fleck, July 31]. After a lifetime of attending athletic events and working part-time at several stadiums, it becomes apparent that the concessions industry is a largely unregulated money grab.

For example: A 16-ounce cup of beer costs the vendor about 80 cents yet retails for $6.50 at many stadiums, such as Minute Maid Park. Thus, there is a mad scramble by concessionaires to obtain this business. I can understand why minorities would want to grab their share of the pie, but can they kick back -- sorry, poor choice of words -- the 50 percent of gross receipts that a giant such as Aramark does in certain instances?

I do not know how a small vendor or a minority vendor can afford this, or compete with a giant like Aramark. Les Alexander, a former bond trader from New Jersey, is primarily interested in the bottom line, and that is the vendor-owner split. He may say he is going to contract out 30 percent of the business to minorities, but implementation is another story.

There is a lot going on here and it would take a team of accountants and attorneys to find out who's on first and what's on second regarding these contracts. Unfortunately, as you wrote, the attorneys seem to have "obtained" an even better percentage than the vendors! Thank you for your excellent article.

Edward Fontein

Floodplain Bane

Mapping it out: It would have been nice of Richard Connelly to talk to me as the Flood Control District's spokesperson before he did his item [Hair Balls, July 31]. I would have tried to explain that "lots of currently 'safe' homes newly declared to be in the floodplain" is misleading. People need to understand that there is a physical floodplain out there associated with the major bayous and creeks, and the maps are an estimate of where those floodplains are.

If after the maps come out, a "safe" house is shown in the mapped floodplain, it does not mean that its level of flood risk has changed; it means now the owners have a better understanding of the flood risk that has always been associated with the house. The maps don't put any house in the floodplain, the maps are merely showing an estimate of where the physical floodplains are.

Fred Garcia
Harris County Flood Control District

No Doubting Thomas

Seabiscuit's real composer: Darn it, folks don't get a guy's hopes up like this. Thomas Newman is my favorite film composer, the only one whose CDs I'll buy without ever seeing the actual film. Contrary to your review of Seabiscuit ["Making Book," by Jean Oppenheimer, July 24] -- and unfortunately for me -- Thomas's cousin, Randy Newman, composed the score.

Brad Emmons

Hightailing It

Great group: How could you forget the Hightailers, a Houston musical institution since 1989? Featuring two legendary Houston blues guitarists, Allen "Dogman" Miller and Kenneth "Little Screamin' Kenny" Blanchet, the Hightailers have been holding forth with their originals and covers for 14 years now. I was surprised that they did not merit at least a cursory mention in Racket's "Reeling in the Years" column [By John Nova Lomax, July 24].

Dogman and Kenny have influenced several generations of players in this town, most notably Carolyn Wonderland. Many remember the days back in 1988 when Carolyn was working as an underage waitress in a local blues bar where Kenny and Dogman were headlining blues jam nights and helping Carolyn learn to play with a band.

I have been privileged to have done some drumming for the Hightailers earlier in their history. As a working band that's still working and still speaking to each other after 14 long years, and still sounding great, I think they deserve some type of award for still being around and still being cool.

And they are all really, really nice folks!

Greg Gilleland

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