Homeless and Rootless

Stay out of Baldwin: Thank you for the article on the city's intention to relocate the homeless and the Reverend Morrison from Root Park to Elizabeth Baldwin Park ["Dead End," by Craig Malisow, June 26]; this is in the heart of a residential area. This move will result in up to 350 homeless in Baldwin Park on Sundays. This is a day when children populate the park's playground and soccer field. As a community, the only way we can prevent this from happening is to contact our elected officials.

We still have not been given satisfactory answers to why Sam Houston Park would not be the best park. We know they have concerns about disrupting the ministry (what ever happened to the separation of church and state?) with occasional festivals. The question of why the church cannot congregate with the homeless in another location (say, the reflection pool, Allen Parkway Park, Buffalo Bayou/Eleanor Tinsley Park, or Sesquicentennial Park) for that weekend has never been answered.

They also have failed to consider the grassy area under I-45 on the northwest corner of Chenevert and Gray, near a church that already serves the homeless.

Martha Dancy

Prison Puzzle

Rehab is right: I don't understand the justice system ["Prison Break," by Scott Nowell, July 17]. My son is going to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for three years after breaking probation for suspension of license. He was given five months' boot camp, seven months in Harris County (in a so-called drug rehab program) and eight years' probation -- when all he needed is a drug and alcohol treatment program.

He is being treated as if he murdered someone. And now he is going to be locked up with those who are real criminals. I don't understand this BS!

Rhonda Box
La Porte

Protect ill inmates: The article about the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is not surprising. Did you know that mentally ill inmates are often refused medication? Nothing is done until they become psychotic and physically ill because of abruptly being taken off medication. That is inhumane and very cruel and could cost a person his or her life.

It seems we are going back to medieval times when mental illness was considered a crime. Punish them for the crime, but not for being mentally ill. Our son was treated in this cruel manner and became very ill.

He was sent to the psychiatric unit to be stabilized. His medication was even sent with him to the state jail in Beaumont from a county jail. It was prescribed by his doctor and they refused to give it to him. That tells me that the so-called criminal justice system committed a crime. They had to watch him become severely ill before they did something. I am so saddened and distressed that he had to go through this torment. I don't call that justice.

The people of Texas need to know how our tax money is spent. So much waste is spent on evaluation, when the person has already been evaluated as being severely mentally ill. This treatment is barbaric.

Kaye Plitt

PC Police?

Overbearing about art: I realize blacks are a bit touchy over the sort of art that you write about [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, July 10], but I see no difference between liberal PC types and Hitler, Stalin and Mao, who also banned and burned art and literature that was not politically correct.

I'm wondering what will be left after PC types get the now-offensive words out of Mark Twain, and the Bible thumpers get the wizards out of Oz and Harry Potter.

Jay Bute

Tall Order

Rosters and race: Richard Connelly's article about the lack of minority players on the Astros [Hair Balls, June 19] was ridiculous. When can we expect an "observation" about the lack of white players in the Rockets organization? Collier and Nachbar are the only white players on the roster, and Nachbar is Slovenian.

I could pull the race card too and say, "I can't get behind the Rockets because I don't feel like they mirror society, and there's no one on the team who looks like me." Come to think of it, they're all tall and I'm short. Diversity isn't just about race, it's also about having players of different heights on one court, right?

Donny Haltom

Stacked Deck?

Expand the ballot: Thank you for having a local music awards program. This somewhat lets the public know there are some good bands in Houston.

Here's my problem, though. I've been following most of the bands in the local scene for eight years. I noticed that the bands on this year's ballots have already made it to the top. This seems a little biased.

I believe that some underdogs should be able to have a chance to win. It seems a little too political now. Please figure out that there are other bands out there, and not just your favorites. Limiting the public's hearing of any band is wrong, but pushing just one band is even worse.

Michael Brown

Pub Crawl

Credit, please: In reading the good article ["Lucky Boy's Confusion," by William Michael Smith, July 10] on my former bandmate Mando Saenz, I understand my being omitted, as I left the band about a month ago. But I played and worked hard in Mando's band for about a year and a half. That includes helping arrange every new song written since Watertown, as well as playing SXSW with him twice (including this year with Lee Ann Womack), and countless gigs around Houston and the region.

What I don't understand is the omission of Troy Pidgeon, a great drummer, Mando's best friend, and an original and integral member of Mando's band.

I don't know if the omission was on Mando's part or the writer's part, but it's a shame that Troy missed out on his deserved credit, as well as my missing out on some of what little reward I would have come away with for a year and a half's hard work.

That said, Mando is a true talent and the article was good. Thanks for covering him.

Eric Jarvis


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