Congratulations to the Houston Press and especially Bob Burtman for the article on the Cedar Point Industrial Landfill proposed to be sited near Trinity Bay at Beach City ["Waste Not, Want Not," March 12]. His article is factual, interesting and a tribute to excellence in journalism. I spent a considerable amount of time with Bob as he gathered facts and opinions for the article, so I know him pretty well. He is a fine journalist and a fine person.
Joe Monk ("environmental radical")
I am an avid Press reader, and I just finished reading your article entitled "The Dead Zoo" [by Randall Patterson, March 5]. I was so outraged by this little man's demeanor and attitude, I was compelled to write. A few years back, I worked at a local engineering firm and had the unfortunate assignment of interacting with Cecil Hopper. After reading your article, I think even less of him.
I understand the need to thin the herds. But something is wrong with someone who enjoys taking the life of another living creature for the reason that "the one who dies with the most heads, wins." I think everyone who reads this article gets a great insight to the true character of this little man. And I do mean little. Perhaps his need to kill is directly proportionate to his obvious lack of size. I guess he feels the need to be powerful. Well, guess what, Cecil: Carrying around a gun and shooting defenseless animals so you can adorn your walls does not make you powerful. It makes you a jerk.
Please do not print my name, as, unfortunately, I occasionally still have to deal with this man. Thanks!
Name withheld by request
I hope someone at the Press knows the animal labeled as a caribou on page 16 of the March 5 issue is actually a musk ox.
Shoot Us Again
Your article on Cecil Hopper's "dead zoo" shows him riding a "dead barren ground caribou." To my hunter's eye, the dead critter looks an awful lot like an Arctic musk ox and not a caribou or otherwise. I think Mr. Patterson needs to spend a little time at the zoo studying up on animal species before he writes any more none-too-subtle antihunting articles. We hunters contribute more money in one season of hunting, through taxes and license fees, than your average so-called wildlife conservationist does in a lifetime.
Then Again, Maybe We're Not So Bad
Thanks for your article on Cecil Hopper's museum and his adventures. I was expecting your paper to attack his ethics and call him an animal slaughterer, but it was quite nonabusive, and I appreciate it. Cecil is a great guy who has done many things for wildlife. Your article didn't mention it, but Cecil was instrumental in getting black rhinos here in Texas to help save the species from poaching in its native East Africa. When the rhinos arrived here, it was Cecil who drove the semi truck to South Texas with the rhinos. Again, thanks for not portraying him as an animal hater.
"Technicality, My Behind!"
I am personally incensed by the tone of your article entitled "How to Beat City Hall" [by Richard Connelly, February 26], in which your paper and Dick DeGuerin uninformatively opine that the lawyers in the city attorney's office "are not the best litigators." Since I am a litigator for the city of Houston, I take extreme offense to what I consider a personal and professional attack.
Where was the Press when Judi Sanchez, during the Piotrowski trial, got the city out of a lawsuit involving a claim of excessive force by the police? Where was the Press a few months ago when I got the city out of a potentially multimillion-dollar lawsuit involving a triple fatality?
I will tell you where. In my lawsuit, the Press claimed that the city got out "on a technicality." Technicality, my behind! My dispositive motion had 14 defenses, and after I argued against two older and/or more experienced lawyers at two separate oral hearings in excess of an hour each, the court ruled in the city's favor.
Where was the Press during countless jury trials involving everything from police shootings to slip-and-falls in which juries found no fault on the part of the city, its officers and/or its employees? Where was the Press when city litigators settled countless cases for pennies and repeatedly won dispositive motions?
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I am proud of the city legal department's record. I am proud to be part of a team of aggressive and hard-working lawyers. We may take knocks, but unlike private-sector lawyers, we do not choose the facts and lawsuits we are dealt. We simply fight like hell and win a lot more than anyone gives us credit for.
Kelly A. Dempsey
Assistant City Attorney, Houston
'Cause Sometimes the TV Is on the Blink
Why do you do these movie reviews if you do not like movies? I have read these reviews over the last few months and I have not come across a purely positive review yet. Are you disgruntled at major films? Are you all failed movie directors who are bitter at the success of others? Tip number one: Sometimes movies are not intended to be deep, intellectually stimulating genre-changers. They are just meant to entertain. Tip number two: Quit using the thesaurus when writing these reviews. Also, if you don't smoke pot before viewing movies, you won't dig so deep into movies that aren't intended to be deep.