Space Not Wasted
Thanks for your thorough and illuminating story on the proposed dump ["Trench Warfare," by Shaila Dewan and Stuart Eskenazi, July 23]. I appreciate the space you gave to get out the full story. A fine piece of work.

Fran Sage
via Internet

Atomic Monkey Business
Great article by Shaila Dewan and Stuart Eskenazi on Governor Bush's mad drive to dump the nation's commercial radioactive waste in an earthquake zone on a loudly protesting international border, just upstream from Big Bend National Park. The Sierra Blanca's license bars the state from making a profit on the dump, thus guaranteeing atomic utilities like HL&P and Texas Utilities access to what will become the Wal-Mart of radioactive waste dumps and a sure magnet for nuclear waste from everywhere in the country.

Get ready to share the highways with trucks whose occasional accidents are going to be showstoppers on the evening news. The nuclear industry is likely to be grateful to presidential candidate George W. Bush for his willingness to sacrifice those of us west of the Pecos; ditto the politicians from other states who will have their own atomic monkeys lifted off their backs as Texas becomes everyone's low-cost dumping ground. Both Texas senators and the Houston congressional delegation, a truly disgraceful band of curmudgeons, support Bush's plan to poison West Texas. Shame on all of them.

Gary Oliver
via Internet

Dirt on the Dump
Thanks for a great series on this truly rotten idea; I'd love even more details on the Texas politics involved, since it's a notoriously corrupt state (and I'm from there)! Here in Vermont, we're trying to stop the dump, but I fear the fix is in. Keep up the good work!

Eugene Price
via Internet

All for Smut
I must say that I am quite intrigued with the article about Mike Marquez, a.k.a. "Smut Peddler" ["Naked Ambition," by Brad Tyer, July 2]. I know this man, very well, in fact, and he is definitely driven to make Jack Cash work and to stand out, regardless of the hordes of other porn mags out there, including John Gray's. Despite the fact that he is still bartending to pay his bills (which, by the way, you make sound as if it is a bad job or something), Mike is very smart and extremely self-determined to get Jack Cash off the ground and make it the best porn magazine around.

I also would like to add that I am just a friend of the "Smut Peddler," and I have never been featured in his magazine, and I'm also not a dancer. I am just your better-than-average girl next door who happens to love porn. There are plenty of others out there like me! Keep on reading, girls!

Michaelynn Dreiling
via Internet

Judge's Ruling
State District Judge Sharolyn Wood threw out the results of the November 4 ballot on affirmative action ["Insider," by Tim Fleck, July 2]. Judge Wood stated that the City Council's rewording of the ballot initiative misrepresented the true meaning of Proposition A, which more than 20,000 Houstonians petitioned to place on the ballot.

Now that a court of law has declared Houston City Council's ballot-rewriting action illegal, I wonder if the Houston Chronicle will continue to offer financial aid (free advertising space) to the proponents of affirmative action? I also wonder, if the Houston Chronicle does offer its financial support again, whether the people of Houston will again only be informed of this fact after the election?

William Machmer

Death and Drugs
Thank you very much for your July 9 story, "Two Bullets in the Back," by Randall Patterson. Travis was a great friend and an incredible person. I would like to see you keep up with the case's progress to help Travis's family -- just to show them that the police were wrong. Travis was very much responsible for what happened, except for his death. We all know he put himself in that position, but in no way should the Bellaire police have fired a shot in that house.

What I did not like about the story were the insinuations that it was a drug crowd or a group of friends who enjoyed drugs often. We experimented about as much as any high school group of friends do -- seldom. The insinuations, however, did not affect the story as a whole.

Martin Kansas

Leave the Words Alone
Come on, NaTasha Hall ["Word Worry," Letters, July 30], all words are "plain old word(s)" if you know them. Let's just be offended by those we understand, okay?

If we start removing words from the language just because the less educated among us only see their similarity to ones they are aggrieved with, then we are acquiescing to the same ignorance that corrupted the Latin word "niger" (black) to begin with.

Shall we insist that Africa change the name of the river and country to placate the overly sensitive? After all, there are already those lobbying to remove the Spanish equivalent from geographical locations in the United States.

As a journalist wannabe (now there's a corruption!), do you wish to be restricted to words approved only to people who use the expression of your annoyance as a greeting?

Glen Brooks
via Internet

High Impact
I beg to differ with the woman who wrote in ["Smuck the Muck," Letters, July 30] with regard to "Courtship, River Oaks Style," by George Flynn, July 16. I will agree on one count. Some of your articles I don't give a fuck about, but I still find them incredibly informative and always fascinating. Who can say that this week's articles ["An Open and Shut Case," by Steve McVicker, and "Mission Impossible," by Bob Burtman, July 30] do not have an impact on the city or the people in it? I suspect that Montgomery County law enforcement and their chicken-shit ways have an enormous effect on many. I love the Press and its knack for the offbeat and the obscure. If I want mainstream hype and hoopla, I will force myself to pick up the Houston Chronicle.

Libby Brew
via Internet

Critical of Critics
I am so bored with the jaded, pseudo-sophisticated wannabes the Press has for film critics, who use their reviews to massage their petulant little egos. Here's a novel idea: Why don't you try hiring people who actually like movies, and are willing to be entertained? Also, if you are going to provide a forum for every movie in town to be predictably trashed, at least take the trouble to list all of the movie theaters' schedules. Then I would be getting at least a little something useful out of your film section.

Carolyn Blake
via Internet


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