Scotch the Sodas
As the mom of a brilliant, gifted and talented child who has a deficit of attention and an abundance of energy, I can't thank you enough for publishing "Carbonated Cash" by Kimberly Reeves [December 17].
I feel angry and frustrated at schools, blinded by profits they earn pimping sugar and caffeine-laden drinks to kids, that see no connection to the poor conduct marks given their wired students. One of my son's friends teased him about the day he bought three (three!) Dr Peppers at school and was practically bouncing off the classroom walls.
My son knows "liquid candy" is off-limits on school days. But he still may be spending his allowance or using his lunch money to buy the stuff at school. He can't even escape temptation through "healthy" athletic activity: The vending machines found near cafeterias and hallways are even inside the school's locker rooms.
I'd never begrudge schools the money they need to do their next-to-impossible jobs. But the drink peddlers target more affluent districts, not the poor ones, which could justify their financial need.
Maybe Mr. Coleman doesn't see the difference between urging my kid to drink sodas and putting a Dell computer in his classroom, but I sure do. I'd welcome an exclusive contract with a computer vendor. But for kids struggling to sit still long enough to complete an assignment, liquid candy makes it that much harder.
I ask you not to use my name, only because my son might be embarrassed to read a letter describing his hyperactivity disorder.
Name withheld by request
Odor In the Court
It's impossible to feel sorrow or sympathy for convicted felon Ben Reyes ["Coming Down to the Liar," by Tim Fleck, December 17]. His so-called public-service career has been one long stench of lies, deceit, abuse of power and a particularly noxious fume of duplicity derived from exploiting his Hispanic heritage.
Though whining that he has spent all his life "trying to make life better for people," this poster boy in the something-for-nothing arena of politics has never attempted any sort of benevolence without first carving out a big chunk for himself, a practice which finally, and eminently appropriately, precipitated his downfall. Don't shed tears over Reyes or feel that he's being unfairly kicked while he's down. The man has no problems he didn't cause himself, and he really makes you wonder just how many others like him are on our public payroll and simply haven't yet been caught.
Motives? Try Health
Criminal charges for repainting your house ["Abatement by Any Other Name," by Brad Tyer, October 15; "Grinding It Out," by Tyer, December 3]! I am glad I don't live next to the Crimminses. I think the Crimminses need to open their eyes. Do they think their neighbor's house is the only house in the Heights that is being repainted where grinding is part of the process?
You can drive through the Heights anytime and see this going on. If grinding the paint off is such a bad thing, why has it taken 22 years for us to hear about it? And what about the old homes where paint is peeling and falling to the ground? Are those homeowners subject to criminal charges? I can't seem to follow the Crimminses' motive; is it to have their neighbor in jail, or is it to change the way we have our homes repainted? Maybe the Crimminses should be using their time to lobby their elected officials.
Name withheld by request
Interesting article about the South Houston mayor ["Under Siege," by Shaila Dewan, December 10]. I think the citizens of Houston could greatly benefit from some of the philosophies of Mayor Cipriano. Our tax dollars would be more carefully spent. The public works mess would be less of a problem. It appears that he fell victim to the city establishment when he resisted their shenanigans in the budget impasse. Similar to what the Democrats did to the Republicans in the government shutdown?
On assignment for the Houston Chronicle This Week section, I approached the polo fields with the same preconceived notion evinced by Randall Patterson; that is, if this is the sport of kings, what the heck am I doing out there ["The Patrón," November 19]? The difference between Patterson's approach and mine is I learned, he did not.
I found polo heroes just as worthy of adulation as were Mantle and Maris, the kings of my youth. One of these heroes is John Goodman. He is, as his last name implies, a truly good man. Modest, philanthropic, with a grace in personal manner that rides as sure as his equestrian abilities, Goodman is nowhere to be seen in the slanderous pettiness pricked by Patterson.
Sometimes, it's said, writers interject their own personalities into their writings. I think we read more of the Press's pusillanimous poison-pen than we do of the man who's helped to revitalize the sport of polo in Houston.