We are not in the last year of the old millennium, and we are not about to experience problems "that could conceivably accompany the birth of the next century." ["Preparing for the Millennium," by Brian Wallstin, April 8].
January 1, 2000, is not the first day of the new millennium. Instead, it is the first day of the last year of the old millennium. That's why 1901-2000 is called the 20th century. Y2K is about truncated dates and digital bad assumptions, not the end of the century.
Travel agents and party planners stand to make a killing from this misinformation. But the fact remains, on January 1, 2000, partiers will be waking up with the last New Year's hangover of the 20th century, not the first of the 21st.
I lost all potential respect for Laurel and Peter in Brian Wallstin's story when I read that Laurel is considering marketing her chicken tiller on the Internet, and Peter's Houston-based apartment renovating business keeps him too busy to prepare for the upcoming "disaster" of the millennium. Likewise Lynn, who is engaged to a local real estate developer with an air-conditioned home, ceased sounding like a true revolutionary and seemed more like a whiny child who can't get her way in modern society.
Selling on the Internet? Working on big city apartment complexes? Real estate development? Sounds more than a little hypocritical to me. These folks are "ecofascists" (Peter's term) of convenience as far as I can tell.
Will the Port of Houston Authority ever stop behaving badly ["Lindsay's End Run," by Richard Connelly, April 8]? I think not! When this Bayport project was first discovered, the PHA had a meeting in Seabrook where the city of Seabrook and the citizens were told that if the Port came into Seabrook they would go by the local zoning codes.
At an August 1998 meeting in Pasadena, the port's H.T. Kornegay said he would go by Seabrook's zoning codes. I asked him if the PHA had ever used the power of condemnation before. His answer was I don't think so.
I believe one-third of Morgan's Point was taken by condemnation by the PHA. I am beyond shocked that they could get away with such actions and use taxpayer funds to do it.
We must work to preserve local government. This month the city of Seabrook is the target, maybe next month it will be your city. I say no to the Port! I say no to Ned Holmes!
Gimme an L-I-F-E!
I really enjoyed reading about the athletic, talented cheerleaders ["Pyramid Scheme," by Jennifer Mathieu, April 8]. I know people who make fun of Texas cheerleaders. As head cheerleader of an East Texas high school in 1974-75, I can promise these young women that the experience will positively enhance their lives.
Whenever football season comes around and I see the lights around the stadiums, I still remember running onto the field in front of the Tigers. It just doesn't get much better than that.
Kaye M. Horn
Jennifer Mathieu has struck a mother lode with her article ["The Mad Hatter vs. the Homeowners Association," April 1]: There must be hundreds of horror stories about homeowners associations. They wield more power than authorized by their charters. Indeed, their actions tend to be fascist, the very antithesis of what this nation stands for.
The Clear Lake City Community Association, Inc. went so far as to intimidate or otherwise coerce homeowners into paying a few dollars for so-called "back door" garbage collection after the City of Houston annexed the area. It encouraged garbage collectors to stigmatize recalcitrant homeowners by having the street in front of their houses marked with paint close to the curb, to signify refusal to pay the unauthorized fees.
Its original charter specifically prohibited trying to influence legislation. Yes, a bill was signed into law by Governor George W. Bush which not only gave it unbridled power but uniquely extended the life of the association beyond its terminal date of 40 years after incorporation.
Anibal Jose da Silva
This is a difficult letter to write, as the subject is generally taboo in America today, but I feel compelled to respond to the interracial love story of Jamey Lacy and William July ["Book of Love," by Wendy Grossman, February 11] and the subsequent letter [Letters, March 4] praising their love.
Each race has unique characteristics and qualities, manifested not only on the obvious physical level, but spiritually as well, as we can see expressed through music, literature, religion and mythology, and visual art, to name a few.
Few whites realize that they are the true "minority," constituting less than 15 percent of the world's population, with a projected share of only 3 percent by the year 2100. Once we are mixed, there is no going back. Putting aside such scare words as "racism" and "superiority," could someone please explain to me what is so wrong with biodiversity and genetic and cultural survival?
Historically art criticism has proven useful when it is thoughtful and well reasoned. Over the years critics have increasingly used the media as a platform for self-promotion and witty put-downs rather than thoughtful criticism.
"Drawing a Blank" [by Shaila Dewan, March 25] is one more example of a critic bent on self-promotion. The reader is left with a disgust for the art world and an eagerness to avoid both shows mentioned in the article.
Enjoyed Shaila Dewan's "Drawing a Blank" article and appreciate the candor. I have been trying to follow the art scene in different cities using the Internet. I have found that criticism is often used either as a sharp stick to trash or sugar syrup poured over a badly written review.
I found your art review refreshingly honest and smart. It set the stage to not only critically discuss the CAM show but to put it in context with what else is being shown and use it as a successful argument that choices are a major part of the curator's vision for the show. I liked that you put the responsibility on the curator; curated shows sometimes are interpreted as being the fault of bad art, not the eye of the curator.
Your review gives an even argument that puts the responsibility for such shows where it should be, on the institution, and doesn't dissuade the artist or the public from forming its own opinions about the actual art.
Children of Heaven was the best movie I have seen this year or in the past three years ["Allah My Children," by Andy Klein, March 18]. It was absolutely refreshing and wonderful for the kids. It deserves an Oscar without any doubt. Thanks for your wonderful review.
In your review of the hit Iranian film Children of Heaven, you refer to the father as being Turkish. An important note of correction is in order. The father is from the province of Azerbaijan and speaks Azeri, a Turkic language with some similarities to Turkish.
However, the Azeri language people are not Turkish, as you say. They are Iranian, and they speak Azeri. As you correctly pointed out, there are many Azeri people living in Teheran.
I always appreciate local press coverage of dance in Houston. But (you knew this was coming) Cynthia Greenwood's review of Houston Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty ["Bolshoi Beauty," March 18] had one disappointing omission. After singling out Mireille Hassenboehler's performance as the White Cat, Ms. Greenwood fails to mention that this recently promoted soloist would be appearing in the title role of Aurora the following Saturday.
Dancing such a demanding role for the first time is a significant event in the life of any ballerina and should not have been ignored.
Geoffrey Palter, M.D.
Blues over Celine
I don't usually read music reviews, because I like to form my own opinions about the music I hear, but I have seen some very disappointing opinions in the past few issues. There was a bad review of the Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsies CD [Rotation, by Anthony Mariani, February 25].
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Then I saw a caption below a photo of Celine Dion [Early Warnings, March 18] calling her the greatest singer in the world. You print a bad review of Hendrix and say good things about Celine Dion. What is wrong with this picture? You obviously need help in your music criticism department.
I am writing to correct you on the name of our upcoming CD, which is Lonely Grill, not Lonesome Grill ["It Takes One," by David Simutis, March 4]. The release date is June 1. Also the article states that there are five members of Lonestar, but we have been a foursome for more than a year. Thank you.