As a family law practitioner in the family courts, I am nauseated at the gross and unprofessional conduct of Judge Galik ["No, No, Annette!," by Tim Fleck, October 1]. I call for her immediate resignation. She is totally unfit to be a family court judge.
A family court judge reflects in her very life the values of her profession: loyalty and fidelity to the family and sexual values of family life. In this, she has no private life, because she must live what she preaches. Family courts are supposed to stand for reconciliation, against the bane of adultery and, if at all possible, for the reconciliation of couples.
Here we have a family court judge committing open adultery, who lies to Athari's family by posing as just a professional friend and deceives her constituents by trying to hide it until after her election. What is that but hypocrisy, and a "Clinton defense" if ever there was one?
The Family Law Center is rapidly becoming a joke. I never thought I'd live to see the day I'd prefer the previous set of crooks in those courts to the unpredictable, scandal-mongering and ignorant judges we have there now.
Anyone who votes for the Republican Galik (I'm a Republican) fully deserves her at his/her divorce hearing. We teach not so much by words but by the lives we lead. Galik is utterly unworthy of that trust.
Peter J. Riga
You salacious pervert! Who cares what Judge Galik does on her own time? You yellow-dog journalists need to step out of the gutter and onto the curb. Surely there are more important issues in Harris County that could be brought to the forefront of public debate, instead of who Judge Galik accompanies to a Galleria-area store. Stop looking in people's bedroom windows.
F. Richard Leach
Yasir? No Sir
You state that you will publish comments on-line, provided they won't get you sued. I think you should use this same policy in your reporting. You made the Houston Press into the Enquirer -- full of schmuck!
Your statement that Magic Island has a picture of Yasir Arafat in its office is a lie! I do not understand your reporting ethics! Whether we have a picture of Jesus, Martin Luther King or King Tut in our office, it should not matter. However, your attempts to make us look prejudiced by saying we have an Arafat office picture, when we do not, only makes you prejudiced and a liar!
Magic Island hosts many bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs every month, and you will probably damage some of those sales. To help make up for that, I let our account representative know that we will no longer advertise in your publication. Now, if only I could recoup my lost commissions from your lie. Maybe you would like to be the one to take care of that? Maybe you got a "kickback" to print that article? It sure looks like it. However, I will not say if you did or did not. I do not lie in order to damage someone's livelihood, unlike you, Mr. Fleck!
I observed that the videotape of Judge Galik and Dr. Athari was taken on June 12, 1998, at 1:46 p.m. This was a Friday. Why was Judge Galik not presiding in her court? Did she receive taxpayer-financed salary for this time when she was videotaped, or did she claim a vacation or sick day?
Did you ask her how she is going to take care of her campaign-finance records to now show contributions came from individuals rather than corporate casinos? Perhaps the public court records should be reviewed to find out if any pending divorces in her court involved high-paid casino employees.
Did you mean to imply that Dr. Steven Hotze still supports Judge Galik despite her adulterous affair with Dr. Athari? If so, it goes to prove what many of us think of Dr. Hotze's integrity.
I know Sue Schechter. You cannot find a person with more integrity. Thank you for exposing what most of us around the courthouse know.
Name withheld by request
Although your article was enlightening, it was far from shocking for me personally!
I have to ask you, what about our children?
I was personally dragged through "Dishonorable" Annette's courtroom. I stood up to protect my daughter and plead for her safety and well-being. What I learned is, if you suspect your child has been "abused," don't report it. Don't follow the law! I was cast as "another revenge-seeking, bitter ex-spouse."
If you were to ask "Annette" about my situation, she would blame it on a jury panel. You can spend all the time and money, you can have two psychiatric evaluations stating you are honest, and all this does is irritate the system and prolong your case.
I am glad there are people like you, Mr. Fleck, and a paper that still prints "the truth."
Is there any possibility Annette was born and raised in Arkansas?
SUV the DINKS
I thoroughly enjoyed your recent article "It's Jackie's Neighborhood" [by Brad Tyer, September 17]. Of primary interest was the comment:
" ... And those who think that neighborhood security is more than just an alarm system and a chocolate lab named Bear."
I am a longtime acquaintance of Brandon Jacob. He and his wife, Kelly, (DINKs) are Heights residents who drive an Isuzu Rodeo (SUV) and have an AKC chocolate lab named ... Bear.
Whether or not your comment was a direct reference to Mr. Jacobs or a very lucky coincidence (for me and several friends) is irrelevant. I feel I owe you a debt of thanks. We've all had wonderful fun these past few days mercilessly haranguing Brandon regarding his establishment as the archetypal "Heights Evil Yuppie." (A recent three-sentence e-mail response from Jacob contained a full nine occurrences of words appearing on George Carlin's famous list -- it's easy to picture blood vessels bursting as he typed.)
Thank you again for, although (probably) not intentionally, bringing those who know Brandon so much joy. If, in the future, you may need any adjectives to describe "Heights Evil Yuppie," may I suggest: Jersey transplant, gap-toothed, scale-model enthusiast, CPA or (my favorite) Gen-X Yuppie Deadhead Wannabe."
The recent article on Jackie Harris was very accurate and points out a major problem that exists in America today. There are thousands of people with her exact same mentality living in neighborhoods all over the country.
Their attitude is basically the same: I make the rules, and if you don't go along with my game plan, I'll kick your rebellious ass outta here! There is clearly only one thing these types understand, and that is brute force and graphic violence! The problem is, no one in this country has the guts to stand up to white-elitist-racist smart-asses like Harris, who obviously has taken it upon herself to decide how the rest of us will act, think, dress and speak!
Right On, Jackie
If every neighborhood had a Jackie Harris, we would be living in paradise. Keep up the good work.
Best of Worst
The annual Best of Houston [September 24] edition is one of the major reasons that the Press is not considered a real newspaper. Who thinks up these crappy categories, anyway? And who cares? Why don't you stick to your regular format? It works, and think of all the trees you'll save by not publishing this toady tome.
Editor's note: Owens, incidentally, was not among the winners.
Lost and Found
I think you guys are doing a great job. Until I picked up the Press, I was lost to so many things happening in Houston. Your journalists love to push people's buttons, and I think that makes people take action. Keep up the good work. This is the best alternative publishing entity I have ever come across. And it's free!
The term for the job your article ["Rogue Elephant," by Stuart Eskenazi, September 3] did on the Log Cabin Republicans would be "Mau-mauing the flak-catchers." On the one side, members of my political club are fighting against the virulent homophobia of our own party's leadership. On the side of the Houston Press's Eskenazi are people afraid to leave a ghetto and fight for civil rights.
Our organization was shut out of the state convention because we actively object to discrimination against lesbians and gay people. The attitude that I've found in the Log Cabin Republicans isn't arrogance or self-congratulations but, in fact, courage. We are directly opposing the evil or prejudice where it lies.
Folding the Tent
Speaking as a white female Christian Republican, I was disappointed that the Log Cabin Republicans were not allowed a table at the recent state GOP Convention, at which I was a delegate. I learned that the party that had supposedly "opened its tent" to all people was using the same inflammatory rhetoric against gays, abortion and whatever pisses off the religious right. As a young GOPer, I'm hoping the dinosaurs die off quickly so we can take over and show Americans that the Democrats are not so sympathetic to causes, unless of course it's an election year.
From the very first paragraph, the article I read was biased against Log Cabin. We are not being led blindly and foolishly down any path, but are attempting to lead others (moderates and reasonable conservatives) out of the closet to reclaim their party.
We are the only group around with any balls to do that in today's environment of religious-right domination of party politics. We should be commended for being there, not condemned because we are there.
We keep getting maliciously backstabbed by people who should be friendly and supportive of our deeds, by press that should be reporting fairly what they saw and not be slanting their stories with an approach that used to be called yellow journalism.
I'm sorry Eskenazi missed the story and saw only what he wanted to see.
Gary J. Van Ooteghem
President of Houston Chapter
Log Cabin Republicans, Houston
Bigotry by the LCR
I generally applaud Stuart Eskenazi's expose of the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas. Eskenazi showed them to be the cadre of delusional, greed-infected misanthropes that a significant percentage of sexual and gender minorities have long known them to be.
However, Eskenazi's article would have been more complete had it had even a smattering of input from a segment of the community that the Texas LCR readily maligns, trivializes and openly seeks to exclude from the quest for equality: transgendered people.
The quote from the Texas GOP spokesman equating transvestites and cross-dressers with pedophiles certainly lets the world know that when it comes to reality, the Texas GOP is on the outside looking in.
Transgendered people are to the LCR what all non-heterosexuals are to right-wingers as a whole. Call it trickle-down bigotry.
Vice-President, Gulf Coast Transgender Community, board member, Texas
Association for Transsexual Support
I'm at least as hot as Dale Carpenter. I've written articles about the lack of political and ideological inclusiveness in the gay "community" in Austin, San Antonio and in Texas -- articles that are at least as sizzling as Dale's. And I don't even get a mention [as Texas Log Cabin vice president].
Why didn't they [Eskenazi and others] include me on their hit list?
I want my 15 minutes of fame among your readers, so please print this letter and just spell my name correctly. Thank you very much!
It is amazing to me that someone in the '90s would make a statement such as that made by John Craft, that your article about Shepherd Plaza ["Stirring the Pot," by Hobart Rowland, August 20] "... is representative of white/black relations and how stupid white people can be." While many people of all races are stupid, such a blanket denunciation of an entire race appears to be forbidden of all but the white race.
Yes, white people have feelings, too ... or does that matter?
I am also sure the Crow family appreciates Mr. Craft's business advice. Lord knows, they'll never succeed without it.
A Dog's Life
As an animal lover, I am very thankful for your article on Bruiser Tesar ["Hound's Hell," by Russell Contreras, August 20]. I hope you continue writing articles on animal welfare. There is a vast audience that aspires not only for a more just world for humans but for our animal companions as well. Keep up the good work.
Your review of Tasca Kitchen and Wine Bar ["Setting a New Standard," by Eric Lawlor, August 20] was not only detailed and extensive, it was also one of the best we have received thus far.
I do not want to seem petty, but being executive pastry chef is a title I have worked very hard for, and the desserts I created for Tasca are some of my best work. So when I read your review, imagine my dismay that, not only is the description of one of my signature desserts incorrect, but you credited it to the executive chef, Charles Clark, whom you called Charles Lane in one paragraph.
Can the Pans
As an avid theatergoer, I not only find your so-called play reviews 100 percent inaccurate, I find that you seem to go far out of your way to be 100 percent negative.
You decimated a tremendously funny, superbly acted and well-staged production of Sordid Lives ["Texan Turnoff," by Lee Williams, August 27] -- a comedy that was a genuine hoot.
Equally as disturbing is your just plain mean review ["Outdated Dinner," by Lee Williams, September 3] of what is America's longest-running musical of all time, The Fantasticks (at the Great Caruso). For you to knock not just this Houston performance, but to lambaste the play itself, shows that you know little about the productions you purport to "review."
Your so-called reviews are an insult to those of us who enjoy a good performance; you intimate that we are stupid for having done so. Try a little kindness. Nobody likes a grouch. Shame on you.
Drumstick-It to Us
Lee, Lee, Lee. You obviously don't know your fried chicken [in the "Sordid Lives" review]. Since it seems to be such an important point, that "homemade" Colonel Sanders just happens to be "homemade" Churchs -- made fresh daily by the women at Churchs who dump it from the freezer bag into the fry vat. Good eatin'.
Before you allow your Lee Williams to savage another local stage production, please give her a short course in general literary and theatrical conventions popular in earlier days. For centuries, "rape" meant "to abduct, kidnap or carry away forcibly." This is the meaning in The Fantasticks. They were, of course, playing the archaic meaning against its modern meaning purely for laughs in the song about the different kinds of "rape."
I have seen the Great Caruso production she found so unappealing, and I think, though you never forget that it's a local production, it's a lot of fun and a great way to spend an evening.
Score One for Lee
Your recent article on Civil War ["Blue and Gray Musical," by Lee Williams, September 3] was beautifully written and invites us all to experience the journey that Wildhorn, Boyd and Murphy have taken to discover the truths left behind by our ancestors. I am a huge fan of Wildhorn, who has my utmost respect and admiration for his musical genius, creativity and his willingness to take risks because he believes in what he's doing. The Alley Theatre should be commended for featuring his work. I'm still trying to figure out how I can get to Houston for this historical (in more ways than one) event. I'm really looking forward to the show making its way to Broadway.
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Past and Present
I've got no beef with Lee Williams's comments on the Great Caruso production of The Fantasticks, but I think your reviewer went overboard in savaging the play itself.
Lee, if you're going to carp about a plot in which the hero is callow and easily disillusioned by the evil in the world, and in which the heroine has no dreams more risque than going to town to have her fortune told, then why not just write off the entire body of American musical theater before, say, 1970? If you want to pretend the musical was written this year and criticize the heroine for falling for her abductor on political correctness grounds, then you ought to give the playwrights credit for describing a case of "Stockholm Syndrome."
And since the point frequently needs clarifying with this musical, the term "rape" in Fantasticks is used in the sense of the Rape of the Sabine Women -- an abduction, not an assault.