Grin and bare it: Well, the Press finally panders to my level. After seeing the recent cover ["Naked Shame," by Wendy Grossman, June 28], I look forward to Richard Connelly's next News Hostage, where he exposes the Press as sanctimonious hypocrites or issues an apology to the local news for sweep's titillating features he has trashed. Will it be "Houston Press(ing) the Flesh," "Press Pimps for Readers" or "Looking for Readers in all the Wrong Orifices." It should be a hoot, unless the News Hostage is bound and gagged.
Robert M. Topp
Thankful: I want to thank the Houston Press and writer Lisa Gray for the enormously moving portrait of one of America's most courageous leaders, Phyllis Randolph Frye ["The Transgender Menace Next Door," June 28]. Thank you for allowing more people the chance to understand now why history will look so kindly upon her tireless and heroic human rights work.
Thank you for so poignantly explaining the immense bigotry and ignorance that she has had to face and overcome. Thank you for shining a light upon a woman who even during a much-deserved retirement still inspires so many to continue her efforts to build a society based on respect, inclusiveness and equal rights for all.
Red at the Right
Political abuses: Guess I am not as jaded as I once thought: I am still shocked by the unbelievable hypocrisy of the Republican right wing (e.g., Steve Stockman and Gary Polland) in the alleged drug crime you reported on [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, June 7]. And I guess I am also shocked by the blatant conflicts of interest and unethical behavior of a lot of our elected and appointed public officials, which were mentioned in that same article.
I spent about 25 years working in the public sector, closely associated with a lot of small-town politicians. I am saddened to learn that the degree of abuses of the public interest isn't tempered by the size and supposed sophistication of our governmental institutions. These people are an embarrassment to the body politic.
Broaden the market: I was rather shocked at the "Red Light, Green Light" article on Green Mountain Power and founder Sam Wyly [by Melissa Hung, June 7]. Green Mountain has been the market leader in bringing "green power" packages to American consumers. And while there are greener energy packages that companies such as mine provide, giving consumers choices is essential to helping build a broader market for a broad portfolio of renewable resources.
I was also amused at the litmus test applied to Green Mountain's founder in terms of both political party and business practices. I'm pretty sure if the same rigid standards were applied to other companies inside and outside the "green community," we would not be able to buy or use anything in the marketplace.
(I am former executive director of the Solar Energy Industries Association, and my business has no relationships with Green Mountain Power, either directly or indirectly.)
A lot of wind: Great job! Your article was well written, and I thought you did a wonderful job providing the facts with class. Being in the industry, we have been hearing about all of this, but not in that much detail. Wow, I didn't realize the whole story.
Cielo Wind Power is the largest wind developer in Texas. Those are our projects that you wrote about in McCamey.
Your story is just the beginning of what is to come. Cielo just got back from the AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) conference in D.C. Let me just say that Texas is leading the way in wind energy. It is very exciting to see, and we show it with that Texas attitude.
Church walls: As an architect with 26 years of experience, including eight years of historic district practice (New Orleans French Quarter), I would like to note errors in your article on "Born-Again Beauty" [by Susannah Chen, June 28].
Walls are not constructed of cement. Cement is one component of concrete. And it may be true that a wall was replaced with a less fire-resistant one, but I can assure you that it is never a requirement to reduce the fire-resistant rating of a wall.
Chad R. Bushnell
Shun the Syrup
Surviving the fix: The article "Lean and Mean" was one of the best pieces that I have read [by Jesse Washington, April 26]. Addiction to codeine syrup doesn't affect just the hood. It affects every walk of life.
I am a thirtysomething white woman who almost lost everything, including my life, to syrup and morphine-related drugs. It was easily accessible, and the high is much better than with alcohol or pot. Your article was extremely thorough and pinpointed the many downs, including liver damage and death. I have been clean for three years. I almost didn't make it. The place that saved me was Cenikor. It is a tough program, but addiction and possible death are tougher.
Name withheld by request
At odds with Ibiza: I love reading your reviews. I find them both entertaining and informative, and I like that you're balanced in your approach, with positive and negative things to say about the various restaurants.
I have to say that I was very disappointed with Ibiza in my two visits ["A Matter of Grape Concern," by Robb Walsh, June 7]. I found the food surprisingly bland, and frankly I thought the place was overpriced. I mean, there are just too many other restaurants that are much better and cheaper that I'd rather go to.
Personally I find Farrago, just around the corner, warmer and more inviting, with better food, and certainly a better value ["The Apple Martini Tour," by Robb Walsh, October 19]. My only complaint about Farrago is that the kitchen can be too slow.
Our servers at Ibiza seemed very proud of their at-table beverage making. They waxed on about the uniqueness of the drink cart, how European it is, etc. But I was honest and said that it just reminded me of in-flight beverage service. Also, when seated on the patio, we were annoyed that cars were pulling up right next to us for the valet service. (But valet service bugs me anyway, and that's a whole different gripe.)
You were a lot kinder in your review than I would have been. Keep up the good work.
Down on Perrier: I read your interview with Frédéric Perrier [Dish, by George Alexander, May 31]. I have eaten dinner and lunch at his Cafe Perrier on several occasions and with people knowledgeable about food. Our unanimous opinion was that the noise level made fine dining impossible. The quality of the food was not consistent, and the prices were too high for such food. I doubt that changing to a brasserie will solve these problems.
Star Wars defender: Kelly Klaasmeyer seems to have missed the point in her review of the Star Wars exhibit at the MFA ["Making Wookie," May 17]. Her article is not as much a critique as a pouting rant. Criticizing the atmosphere and missing the heart of the exhibit, she seems more concerned with the mannequins than with the costumes adorning them.
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Forgetting that Star Wars is a film aimed at children, she makes light of the obvious nature of its historical and mythological references. Had she paid closer attention to the audio tour, she would have noted that the Imperial Guard uniforms are not the ones influenced by fascist designs.
Klaasmeyer gets upset about the marketing and commercialism of the Star Wars franchise. For me, Star Wars is all about the toys. She doesn't notice the euphoric children squirreling through the mountains of cool merchandise or the museum administrators trying to figure out what to do with the money.
Klaasmeyer's shocking conclusion is that George Lucas is not only a capitalist but also -- gasp! -- a racist! Jar Jar, it seems, is some sort of space-age Uncle Tom (and I thought he was just a bad Elmo rip-off). Has she ever even seen a Star Wars film?