Jim Pirtle is weird and authentic ["Unreal Estate," by Lauren Kern, May 6]. You captured everything so well. So well that I want to get down to No tsu oH and give him some business.
Overall, I commend you for a job well done on your tenth anniversary issue [May 6]. It was interesting to read stories about Houston happenings which received little, if any, attention over the past decade from the "mainstream" press. However, it would have been interesting if you had revisited some previously published stories and told us what happened in each situation since the story appeared.
Serious Music, Too
As I type this letter, my radio station, KUHF 88.7-FM, is broadcasting the final installment in our week-long series of reports on homelessness in Houston. KUHF's daily newscasts have been filled with our usual mix of stories about issues of public policy and politics, business and industry, education, community concerns and events, science, medicine and the environment.
So when I read Richard Connelly's piece ["The Bush Chronicles," May 6], I felt he got only half of the story when he wrote that radio stations all but ceded serious local news coverage to KTRH.
"There is," as Yoda said to Obi-Wan Kenobi, "another." You'll find lots of serious local coverage at 88.7 FM.
Bob Stevenson, KUHF programming director
University of Houston
I thoroughly enjoyed your tenth anniversary issue, especially Tim Fleck's retrospective on the political follies of the '90's ["Political Splashes and Splats," May 6], but I can't believe you passed up a chance to say "I told you so"!
Way back in 1991, when gay and lesbian political aspirants were firmly locked out of elective politics in Houston, the Houston Press was the very first to run serious, in-depth coverage of Annise Parker's campaign for City Council District C.
While others dismissed her as a flash in the pan, the all-seeing swamis at the Press predicted a big future for Parker. She spent the next six years inching her way across the city with the determination of a glacier to achieve what the "experts" claimed was impossible: an openly lesbian candidate winning an at-large City Council seat.
So whatsamatter, are you guys suddenly overcome by an attack of modesty? Why pass up a chance to thumb your nose when you can get it!
I disagree with Tim Fleck that future political scientists will catalog the Houston 1990s as the Bob Lanier years.
Future political scientists will catalog the decade as the Galvan years and the Galvanization of Houston. Galvan began a mayoral campaign in 1989 with telephone stickers, and he managed Elizabeth Spates's City Council campaign. He took on Kathy, Bob, John Castillo and Sheila.
Happy tenth anniversary!
I have the utmost regard for Sara Fitzgerald ["Back to the Front," by Anthony Mariani, May 6]. However, I must take exception with your inaccurate and misleading comment that an "employee opened her own club down the street using contacts and partners that she knew from Fitzgerald's."
That employee is my ex-wife, Pat Armstrong. Pat left Fitzgerald's many months before Hey Hey club was even a gleam in anyone's eye.
I strongly resent your context and manner that implies that Pat was somehow unethical. Pat was one of the most principled people in the music business and one of the best in any business.
Mr. Mariani, if you could have removed your nose from Sara's butt for a few minutes and taken the time to ask anyone, you would have found out that it was a stated concrete policy at Hey Hey never to solicit an act that had an established relationship with another venue.
I applaud your efforts at paying homage to one of the true greats of the local Houston music scene.
Russell Contreras ["Roping In Ratings," April 29] misses some serious points about Spanish television in Houston.
Channel 45 seems to think Latin America ends somewhere in Panama or Colombia. Telemundo does a mediocre job by trying to cover so much in 30 minutes. Channel 45's ratings are so high because it is the only choice in Houston and because of the Hispanic tradition of staying glued to the TV set.
And in an industry where ratings are everything and they equal money, Camacho's editorial is about ratings. I find it insulting. Does Camacho believe that the Hispanic people in Houston cannot move forward if we do not have scholarships specifically targeted to our community? Telemundo tries to do some form of bashing on Univision all the time.
I hope that I am not the only one who notices the terrible Spanish that is spoken in the local television news. By the time the news shows are over, I just want to put my fist through the TV set.
Radio Unica AM 1320 is the only in-depth news source from Latin America that is worth mentioning.
Time for a Change
Thanks for exposing the joke that has become the athletic program at Houston Christian High School (formerly Northwest Academy) ["Winning in the Worst Way," by Tim Fleck, April 15].
At a time when children need good role models and need to attend a Christian school where character is supposed to count for something, what a shame that the board members, both current and former, don't see the irony of having a program led by a head football coach and athletic director who is an admitted liar and alleged cheat.
Why do they, including former board chairman Dr. John Bisango, continue to support this man now that his true character has been exposed? Winston Churchill said, "Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on." The challenge for the Houston Christian High School board will be to do something about the truth they have stumbled over, rather than to continue on as though nothing ever happened.
John Hammond [Letters, "Pay Up or Else," May 6] has an attractively simple idea for resolving the dilemma about the 11th Street HISD property ["Cutting Class," by Margaret Downing, April 15]: "If the tight-ass residents of Timbergrove do not want a school on the school site, buy it!"
But real life is too complex for that solution. The property is not available for sale to us or to anyone else, unless an acceptable alternative site for HSPVA is identified. A HISD trustee told us, "A straight sale is not being considered; HISD needs sites, not cash."
People are working very hard to put together a complicated land exchange, whereby HSPVA will get a new campus closer to the arts corridor and the 11th Street property will be dedicated as a Houston park. This would be a "win-win" situation in the best sense of the term.
Nearby residents have tried to portray the relocation of the Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts as a Timbergrove issue ["Cutting Class, by Margaret Downing, April 15]. In reality, it is an issue for the Heights, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, Lazybrook, Shady Acres, Acres Homes, Norhill, Clark Pines and other nearby areas.
City Councilman Bruce Tatro is leading the drive to deny the near northwest area of the top school in HISD by proposing that HSPVA move to the MacGregor and Highway 288 area. Tatro has previously shown area residents his commitment to green space by ramrodding the East T.C. Jester extension and commercial development project ["City Pork Project," by Brian Wallstin, March 11].
Tatro and Neal Rackleff of Baxter-Nash development attempted to convince area residents at a meeting that required permits would be in place before any development would start. The following day, the clear-cutting slaughter of 27 forested acres took place.
Now Tatro is proposing this highly dubious bait-and-switch three-way land swap. Could HSPVA land-swap diversions be just another smoke screen by Tatro for his development buddies/campaign contributors to eventually acquire this land for their benefit, after these misguided attempts fail?
Susan from the Serbian Affront
KPRC-Channel 2 has Susan Lennon tirelessly prowling refugee camps looking for Kosovars with a Houston connection [News Hostage, by Richard Connelly, April 29].
It made me think of a Detroit Free Press column about the satirical 1970s' Dacron Republican-Democrat, published by the National Lampoon to parody newspapers.
Old-timers might remember its front-section headline, which screamed something like "Two Dacron Women Feared Missing in Nuclear Attack," with a far smaller subhead of "Japan Destroyed."
Thanks for some good work in News Hostage!
Loves Thy Neighbor
I picked up your March 25 issue of the Houston Press, the first time I ever read this newspaper. The feature story, the warring of two families in a controlled community ["Love Thy Neighbor," by Randall Patterson, March 25], was very well written and was, in my opinion, the highlight of the experience. The entire newspaper was excellent.
Jonathan C.R. Davis
The Press and most media outlets are guilty of the misconception that this is the last year of the 20th century and the last year of the second millennium [News Hostage, by Richard Connelly, April 8].
You see, AD began with Year One, not year Zero. Thus, each decade begins in the 11th year, and each new century begins with the first after the hundred (101, 201 etc.).
So these people seeking the "Millennium Baby" will be a year early. Hotels and casinos offering "Ring in the Millennium" specials should be prepared to allow guests to stay a full year. And that computer bug is the the "Pre-Millennium Bug."
I am a great admirer of your writing, going back to your days with Public News. Please blow the lid off of this odd but irritating error.
Wise to Our Y's
If your food review paycheck included a bonus for every gratuitous adjective or adverb ending in the letter y, you could be eating at Tony's every day. And if that's not enough, maybe there should be a reward for taking perfectly normal nouns and turning them into adjectives by gluing that ubiquitous y on the end.
Garlicky? Vinegary? Mustardy? Tomatoey? How about a review in plain English, not quite so thesaurusy or neologismy?
It is obvious that Dennis Abrams has something personal against Dave & Buster's ["Game Over," May 6]. My experience and those of my friends have been exactly the opposite. The food is good, and the entertainment and atmosphere are excellent.
How many times did Dennis go to D&B? It is not fair to blast a place based on one or two visits. This is the first negative thing I have ever read about the place. I hope Dennis doesn't go back. The lines to get in are long enough already.
I've been to several D&B's. You may want to visit them again. I cannot believe that they are as bad as you claim they are.
Wow, I hope Dennis used up his vitriol on Dave & Buster's and didn't have any left for his dog or significant other. I and my friends always enjoyed the food there. The usual comment I hear is that the food is "surprisingly good" for a bar and video-game place.
Judging from the mood you conveyed, what you really needed was a 300-pound Samoan lawyer, a briefcase full of drugs, a convertible Cadillac and a road trip to Vegas. Dave & Buster's probably doesn't fit the bill when you just feel like kicking the world's ass.
Yes, yes, I agree ["Best of Burt," by Paul J. MacArthur, May 6]. I agree, but you have to try all six minutes of "Walk On By" by The Stranglers (circa 1978) very late, very loud, extra bass. It skips the heart and soul and goes straight to the prostate.
Although there is some lukewarm material on Tom Petty's album Echo [Rotation, by Anthony Mariani, May 6], there are quite a few good tracks. His oeuvre is proof that he can write quality lyrics and craft a song.
The same goes for comments like he's "a little too quick to bend over for a buck." You probably are aware of his well-documented legal battles with MCA, circa 1979 and 1981. They were going to price his new record at the then-unprecedented $9.98 until Petty threatened to title the album "$8.98." Petty's attitude of "I'm not gonna let you screw me over" has endeared him to many of his longtime fans. His "heart" isn't missing either.
There's plenty of people who will never like his voice. It is just aging like plenty of other singers. I'd take voices that maybe aren't pitch perfect but have character. Echo is an album that may have to grow on one over time.
Even though I didn't necessarily agree with some of your opinions, I thought the review was very well written.
I love your article on the punk band GBH ["Punk Drunks," by David Wilcox, March 4]! They are my favorite punk band that's still alive and well. I just saw them a few weeks ago over here in Hollywood. Boy, did they wake up LA that night! The show was probably the best show I've ever been to! I just wanted to thank you for a doing an article on GBH!
Buck Teeth for Buckcherry?
I like KISS, but I love Buckcherry [Rotation, by Anthony Mariani, February 25]. Never have I read a more BS piece of criticism in my life.
I'd fight for them. I'd lose teeth for Joshua Todd. I'm sure they didn't just rip off KISS's chords. No one is that stupid. And what in the hell does Puff-friggin' Daddy have to do with anything? Unless you have seen them live, it's hard to get what they are about.
The band is going somewhere and will continue to. In a few years, the name Buckcherry may be known by everyone, whereas Anthony Mariani may still be lost on everyone. I know I'll forget someone's name after I hit "send letter." And I doubt that name will be Buckcherry.