From the Balcony
Seeking justice: Just finished reading "A Deadly Passion" [by Brian Wallstin, September 7], and once again, it looks like L.A. has failed to do its duty. As a native, it makes me sad; as a human, the story of Sandra Orellana makes me even sadder. Only two people know what happened that night -- one can't talk, and the other won't. Ah, but you can't run away from yourself, even if you can run from the law. My heart goes out to the family. May justice come to light.
On the bored walk: Yes, the first thing we are inclined to do after reading your story ["Brawl on the Boardwalk," by Richard Connelly, September 14] is bow our heads, pout and say, "Da widdle babies." A perfect example of greed begetting greed. I, like most in Clear Lake, have a vested interest in making this thing happen, and certainly to improve it. Why? What else is happening in Clear Lake? Zip. Nothing.
As an ex-director of strategic planning, I have learned that there's always an opportunity if one uses even half a brain and shuts off the ego glow for a minute. Fertitta and Wiggins should be sitting on the same side of the fence. If Wiggins traded his lease for a percentage of revenue with overrides for earnings, he would become an ally rather than an adversary. Wiggins would change his tune, big-time. Like, "Okay, Tilman, we can't get more restaurants, and new ones will suck off margins from what we have, so let's figure out how we keep them there longer, spend more or take advantage of the times underutilized. Let's figure out how to get $4 million instead of $3 million. Clubs, bars, great entertainment, sailing adventures, etc. Whatever it takes."
Bring a variety of entertainment to the plaza that will stay later. Adults like to have adult time, especially when bands are playing. We don't need more restaurants at Kemah. What we need is a compelling reason to go, spend money and stay. Right now, if I am going for dining, spending money and entertainment, I'm headed to Houston. It's worth the trip.
Clear Lake City
Cursed coverage: I appreciate the facts that you gathered for the story that you wrote about the legal battles surrounding the Kemah Boardwalk, but I find one thing disturbing:
Was the profanity necessary? I was very interested in your article until all of the curse words popped up. You might explain that it's just good and honest journalism to report the facts and quotes exactly as you gather them. However, I don't have to read about how attorneys bicker and bad-talk each other in such a graphic way.
You might find this hard to believe, but many people in this world don't use profanities. I'm not suggesting that anyone that does is not a good person, but it has to do with respect and class. I believe your story stands on its own, without the use of G.D.s, etc.
I enjoy your style of writing, but in the future is it too much to ask to refrain from printing profanities? The most successful and reputable newspapers across the country don't allow it, and they don't seem to be suffering from declining circulation.
Acting In Concert?
Add excitement: With the departure of Christoph Eschenbach, HSO had an opportunity to move in a bold new direction ["Can the Band Play On?" by Marene Gustin, September 7]. Instead, with the appointment of Hans Graf, we are probably going to get more of the same Middle European music. All one has to do is look at the Calgary Philharmonic Web site to see what was programmed for 1998-2000.
While HSO sat and pondered, other orchestras didn't. Cincinnati grabbed Paavo Järvi. Atlanta jumped at the chance to get Robert Spano, and one wonders what happened to Hugh Wolff. With all of them went a chance for some new direction and an opportunity to hear music we haven't heard before. Instead, HSO will continue with the dumbing down of the audiences, and the musicians will get music they can probably play in their sleep.
HSO keeps rehashing some of the same soloists, bypassing up-and-coming artists until they become very expensive. There is the realization that Marilyn Horne was a truly great vocalist, but if HSO couldn't do any better for its spring fund-raising concert, then it has a major thinking-process problem.
HSO's programming has no marketing approach to entice subscribers. It simply says, "Here we are. Come buy tickets and contribute." Compare that to Houston Grand Opera's marketing, where you feel that you have to buy tickets so as not to miss the excitement.
I want to compliment the Houston Press on an insightful and detailed article on HSO. I think you've "gone where no one has gone before." Thank you and congratulations.
Vows and wows: Thank you so very, very much for the awesome presentation you created ["XX Marks the Spot," by Lisa Gray, September 14]. Being an out-and-open "MtF tranny" myself, I have searched the nation's media for articles of concern to my community and must say this is among the best of the best I have seen. Surely you have used your skill to its highest power, in that many, many readers have been made properly aware of the humanness of our way of being. I look forward to more of your superior journalism as you continue to comb the margins of society and narrate the stories of real people living authentic lives. May the goddess shine her light upon your path and fairies dance throughout your days.
Jean Marie Zirger
Lasting union: Fabulous insight, charm, sophistication, professionalism, kindness, caring and sensitivity in your story about Christie Lee. Love prevails over disparity. This union between Christie and Mark is a bond that few ever realize in their lifetimes. As a transgendered woman whose marriage has succumbed as most do, I hope I find a love half as trusting, loving and caring as Christie's. You and your paper should be standing tall and proud! Thanks.
Randey Michelle Gordon
Making adjustments: Thank you for writing the article "Tackling the Taboo" [by Melissa Hung, September 14]. The Asian community really needs to be reached. The old culture of not telling people anything bad is so deeply rooted that it has prevented a lot of people from seeking appropriate treatment. My parents had some hard times adjusting to their new environment for about a year after immigrating to Houston in '93.
Had I known about the center, I would have taken them there. Maybe when more people are utilizing the center, it will receive more funding from the government.
Main (Street) course: This letter is intended to clarify George Alexander's item about our restaurant in his Dish column ["Cheaper By The Bottle," August 31]. Salumeria d'Oro at 306 Main Street opened for business September 5 in the old Stuart Building; the Sweeney, Coombs & Fredericks building is across the street at 301 Main. The Italian and kosher-style deli is based on a concept by Aldo Elsharif, who has no financial or business involvement with Salumeria d'Oro. His residency at 306 Main was terminated earlier this year.
Please come by the deli and make yourself known.
H.J. "Joe" Foster
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