Foaming at the Mouth
Your paper was the only Houston media organization that covered the LEGO robot competition held at Rice University ["Battle of the 'Bots," by Randall Patterson, December 17].

This is the same competition that has made national media news when held at MIT or Cal Tech. I attended and videotaped the competition. It was amazing. The students built and programmed the computers, built the robots and formed a strategy for each opponent. We showed the video to elementary school kids, and they were amazed and inspired.

Is it my imagination or do the local media seem to only be interested in negative news from UH or Rice -- and don't they practically foam at the mouth for anything positive to say about TSU?

Thanks to Randall Patterson for his coverage. I hope you will continue to cover interesting stuff at all of the major Houston universities.

By the way, did you know that Rice Forensics won the national parliamentary debate championship in successive years? Nobody else does either.

Keep up the good work!
Jerry Levy
via Internet

Sage Observations
I just read your article on Jim Short and was truly disappointed to hear he is going to lobby for the wrecker industry at the upcoming state Legislative session [Insider, by Tim Fleck, December 24]. The laws he is trying to change are already grossly tilted to the industry's advantage.

I have just had an experience with an independent wrecker driver/owner which left me with no sympathy for them. I was threatened and overcharged. To top it off, he harassed my family and extorted money from my girlfriend.

I contacted the Texas Department of Transportation, the city of Houston wrecker inspector and the Harris County Sheriff's Department. They all claimed lack of jurisdiction and had no complaint procedures. I have, however, filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General's Office, the only avenue I could pursue.

As with anything, there are probably only a few wrecker drivers who make the whole industry look bad. Immediately following my incident, I hired a decent, hardworking and honest man to tow my car to another location.

Joe Sage
via Internet

Deer Park Dear
I recently read your article regarding Garland Gross and his problems with the Deer Park Police Department ["The Truth Is Out There," by Richard Connelly, December 10]. I have known Mr. Gross since he purchased his business, and I have nothing but good things to say about him.

As a businessman, he has always been most professional. As an individual, he is caring and supportive, no matter who you are. Mr. Gross had told me about many of the incidents soon after they occurred, and I have no doubt that they happened just as he said. Mr. Gross is one of the most honest people I know and, like most of us, he has strong convictions regarding what is morally right and what is fair behavior.

In the many years I have known him, I have never seen or heard him do anything which would be considered inappropriate. However, I do know of some of the many "good deeds" he has done for a variety of people. The world needs more people of his caliber.

D. Pritchett
via Internet

Lettuce Help
I'm enjoying Margaret Briggs's "kinder, gentler" restaurant reviews.
One suggestion: Restaurants seem to view appetizers and entrees as a way to demonstrate "how many different ways we can prepare meat." As a great many of us here in Houston don't eat meat, could Ms. Briggs devote a paragraph or two to the restaurant's nonmeat offerings? I, a health-conscious eater, would also be interested in knowing if they have a decent selection of low fat/low salt items.

I think other people would be interested in knowing these things, too. The reviews make the restaurants sound so enticing, but I can't tell by reading them if they have anything to appeal to the average vegetarian/healthful eater-type like me.

Julie A. Young

Hogg Lover
It seems that Margaret Briggs and I have eaten at completely different restaurants, although they are curiously located in the same places.

I have enjoyed each and every meal at both the Palace Cafe and the Hogg Grill ["The Hogg Sisters," December 10]. The cafe has a tasty turkey wrap and tuna-in-a-pita offered at lunch, and the grill offers excellent salads, pasta and grilled items.

The side dishes have always been served at appropriate serving temperatures, and the vegetables are supposed to be somewhat crunchy to preserve some of their valuable attributes. Perhaps Ms. Briggs should worry less about who is being seen or the desire to be seen (and heard) and give both venues a more unbiased opinion.

Mark A. Flaum
via Internet


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