Bar Codes

Ooh! Wow! My, my! The Houston Press committed the unthinkable act of criticizing the State Bar of Texas for antisocial behavior ["Love Hurts," by Rose Farley and George Flynn, January 13]! And only for doing what the state bar has been doing for decades with no adverse reaction from the media.

The state bar has never shouldered its duties as the sole state agency charged with maintaining the highest moral and ethical standards of conduct among its members, the lawyers and judges. The agency's disciplinary rules and the self-administered enforcement system are piously fraudulent.

The state bar is a "lawyer protection agency" -- always has been -- and protecting the public interest is certainly not its primary focus. So we have hundreds of Catherine Shelton types doing well, protected by a system in which neither the state bar nor lawyer-prosecutors can or will move to eliminate blatant, outrageous criminal conduct.

I assume the Press used six contributing reporters so Ms. Shelton won't be able to single out one perpetrator -- there's always safety in numbers in cases like this. Don't count on aid from the state bar.

Ray E. Dittmar


Curry Favor

I was sitting in a doctor's waiting room with nothing to read that was written within the last decade, when I saw a copy of the Houston Press with your article "The Goode Son" [by Lisa Gray, January 6]. I didn't think a story about barbecue and the Goode family would make for great reading, but I figured it was better than a sports magazine from 1991.

I was very impressed. Somehow you figured out a way to make the subject worth writing about. You have a terrific style of writing that compelled me to read the entire article, even though I was less than thrilled about the subject matter. You're a very talented writer, and I look forward to reading your articles in the future.

Ray Curry


Dry Humor

Wendy Grossman needn't have worried about making her Y2K story interesting ["Y2Krazy," January 13]. She (like Shaila Dewan, Lee Williams and Liz Belile) could make a piece about watching paint dry a hilarious gem of cultural insight.

Gail Donohue Storey


Ayres to the Throne

Well, you beat us and did it in fine fashion. Nice piece in this week's newspaper about Leslie Perez and Sylvia Ayres ["Political Sex Change," by Tim Fleck, January 13]. What made this an even more interesting story was the background and your history of political coverage in Houston that you pulled from to include in the story. The cartoon didn't hurt, either.

Nice job.

Matt Hennie, editor

Houston Voice

Your article on Ms. Leslie and Mrs. Sylvia was a hoot, but truthful. How can you bomb out when you've got such great subject matter with which to start! You forgot to ask if they also resigned from the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, since now they are so much against homosexuality, or if they'll join up with the Log Cabin Republicans!

I've know them for many years and realize that despite how they may present themselves and their point of view, there is usually some truth to it. For example, when Leslie calls the Harris County Democratic Party "a sinking ship" and claims, "I couldn't do worse than what they've done," I thoroughly believe her. The last three Democratic Party chairs left the party broke. Despite Sue Schechter's recent fund-raising dinner accomplishment, she has fallen down on her campaign promise to recruit Democratic candidates for judicial positions. Republican incumbents are unopposed. What's the incentive to vote -- Al Gore?

Name withheld by request


The Cost of Crack

Mr. Millet was easily the best teacher I've ever had or can imagine having ["Rock Slide," by Wendy Grossman, November 25]. If I had kids, I would send them to him for an education.

Please note that, at least in California, possession of six grams of crack carries a mandatory five-year minimum sentence. I believe the street value of that much crack is a few hundred dollars. The same sentencing level for powder cocaine (the typical rich white man's drug) would require 500 grams, worth roughly $35,000. Not terribly fair, is it?

Lamont Lucas

San Francisco, California

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