Politics in public works: This is a prime example of the Brown administration ["Devil in the Details," by Bob Burtman, March 1]. The fact that the contractor screwed over his "very dear friends and great people" should tell you something about his character. Dear friends? I don't think so anymore. Great people? Of course -- they're the ones responsible for the success this guy has had.
It took people around him to get him going. But through politicking, he obviously has taken the work of other honest, hardworking minorities who might have competed for the business.
His greed is further exemplified by the fact that anytime his success demanded by contract that he recognize it through payment of money to others, he instead fired them or just didn't pay them. Misleading is a word that would appear to describe his character and organization. Current city officeholders call this spin, right?
Houston is known for this type of bullshit. This contractor claims he has a doctorate and uses the guise of religion to further cloak his activities to his Hispanic brothers and the rest.
He says his detractors are jealous. The thing that really stings is that there are probably 100 hardworking small companies that will never get the contracts because of him, and that is really a shame.
Keep up the good work to let these people know that the only people they fool are themselves and the other fools they pal around with!
Pas de Ben
Stand up for Stevenson: As a former member of the Houston Ballet, I have witnessed first-hand the genius of its artistic director [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, March 8]. He is Houston Ballet. Why aren't those poor little rich girls on the board standing up for Ben, the man who has enriched their lives for the past 25 years?
Is balancing the budget so important that artistic integrity is lost? Come on, Houston, rally for Mr. Stevenson and get that wicked witch C.C. Conner out! I mean, just look at what he did for the Joffrey Ballet.
New York City, New York
Convicts and cash: When my son was 17, he was arrested after dropping off some of his friends who proceeded to rob someone. Kirsten Pain ["Pain for the Prosecution," by Steve McVicker, June 26, 1997] told my son that either he could sign a guilty plea or she would offer him a life sentence, so he signed.
This woman who regularly broke the law herself sent my son to prison for 45 years. Now, while my son sits in the Ferguson Unit, he gets to see killers, rapists and other violent offenders come and go.
What justice is that? Why? Because we are poor? Is it always going to be that you can buy your way out of anything as long as you have enough money? I've seen inmate stats on race. I have to wonder if there's a report out there about what percentage is just poor.
I love my son and would like to have him home, but she had to do only 45 days -- not 45 years.
Roxann B. Bowen
Trash talk: I don't know how I missed the article on the PETA ad ["Ad-verse Reaction," by Jennifer Mathieu, January 11], but I do think it is very funny. I don't like an eight-second ride myself. It was a little "trashy," but cowboys are sometimes trashy anyway.
Dishing it out: I used to look forward to the restaurant reviews in the Houston Press. Margaret Briggs and Dennis Abrams did fine, although at the time I probably didn't appreciate them as much as I should have.
Robb Walsh, however, is a disaster. First and foremost, his columns are not about food. I just read the bit about Dom Capers ["Beefing Up the Coach," March 8], and all I can say is "Who cares?" Nineteen out of 30 paragraphs of the story had nothing to do with food.
I recall the "review" about Café Rabelais ["French Utopia," December 7]. That one was all about L'Alliance Française and the lady who runs it. Okay, Robb, so you're connected, but again, this is supposed to be a food column. Or at least that's what I think it's supposed to be.
I didn't see Skewer this week. That column is even worse than Walsh's.
Please get someone else on board to do the job right. In the meantime, I guess I'll have to read Texas Monthly or (shudder) the Chronicle to find out the scoop on restaurants in Houston.
Editor's note: If you had stopped counting paragraphs for a moment, you would have noticed a black box with the words "Lunch with Dom Capers." That article, and the one on Joan Patrick from L'Alliance Française, were not restaurant reviews but rather personality profiles using food as a backdrop. It is an attempt to expand our coverage beyond the conventional reviews.
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