Religion Class Clash
The A-list of leading Houston Buddhists was a venture into the inner workings of the privileged of Houston. Truth, in any form, is for all, not just the rich and powerful. The dissemination of that truth, when distorted by the creation of a golden circle of recipients, is reminiscent of the medieval practice of buying indulgences and absolutions. Let us hope that Western Buddhism does not repeat this embarrassing page of history. If the "well-healed" participants in the "Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century" were truly committed to the essence of spirituality, which is the unity of all sentient beings, then this seminar would have been openly shared (in a cost-effective manner) with the people of Houston as a gesture of raising the consciousness of a city.

Is Gail Gross fostering the image of Buddhism as a vehicle for only the socially affluent segment of the population? Then, if this is the case, we are seeing history repeated with the introduction of another religious class system.

Barbara W. Reiff

Check's in the Mail
I know you receive many letters to the editor during the year, but I know you won't get many like this one. Here is $60 for a one-year subscription.

This is the only way I can think of to reward an organization for consistently investigating and reporting stories that the "other major newspaper" won't. I offer, as proof, the article on Sheila Jackson Lee that appeared in "The Insider" ["Flying Miss Sheila," by Tim Fleck, May 14]. The story covered her various tirades -- at work, against her staff and on airplanes, where she demanded to always be treated like a queen. No doubt information about her queenly behavior has existed for months, if not years, and would have been an extremely interesting topic of conversation, especially during the time of Houston's affirmative action referendum, which she supported. But somehow, the "other major newspaper" couldn't find or wouldn't print this information.

Thus, it is not surprising that this same "other major newspaper" gave free advertising to the proponents of affirmative action. This came to light conveniently after the referendum, and after the Houston Press reported it. This was not because of poor or incompetent reporting by the "other major newspaper," but was a deliberate effort to mislead the people of Houston, which brings me to this point.

I find it very difficult to accept that the only watchdog for the masses and source for the truth may be the Houston Press. The "other major newspaper" is too aligned with the "powers that be" and can't be trusted to be honest and objective in its reporting. Its vested interest is with the status quo, which is fine, if the status quo stands for the good of all. But considering the recent trials of our City Council members, should we trust a newspaper that has in the past hidden the truth from the people?

William Machmer

Standing Flush
I read of your recent move downtown -- can it now be said that every morning Tim Fleck actually stands on the corner of Milam and Pease? A moldy bon mot, not New but perhaps Timely.

Michael J. Metyko

Shame on HSA
Thank you for being the lone truthful medium covering the continuing antics of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. The board is on the verge of being a larger embarrassment than either Bud Adams or Drayton McLane Jr.

Carl Womack
via Internet

Buy the Park Property
Perhaps Richard Connelly is unaware that the proposal for a beautiful park on the site of the ugly World Trade Center is not a new idea. The Houston Press ran an excellent article ["Restoring a Visionary's View," January 21, 1993] by Houston architect/professor Barry Moore strongly supporting a park. Why has the Press changed its position? If the Port Authority leases the land ["Value Added," by Richard Connelly, June 4] to the Sports Authority, city or county, where's the "pork"? The Port Authority would still own the land. Does the Press oppose the park because it doesn't like the idea of a new stadium partially funded by taxpayers, or is it because it doesn't like Jack Rains, or both?

In the early 1880s (not 25 years later, as Mr. Connelly stated), the steeple and some other features designed by famed Galveston architect Nicholas Clayton were added to strengthen the walls and to enrich the Annunciation Church's appearance, giving the city an architectural and artistic jewel (take a look inside).

Ultimately the point is: Do Houstonians want a beautiful city or not? Is a beautiful park on the controversial block a greater asset to Houston than the current building, a parking garage or a hotel? Some experiences are worth more than money, especially in Houston.

An easy solution to end the controversy is for several of Houston's philanthropic foundations to buy the property and give it to the city to be used as a park in perpetuity.

L. Tuffy Ellis
Former Director
Texas State Historical Association

Lighten Up, Lawlor
In Eric Lawlor's recent review of our new Mexican food restaurant, The Blue Agave ["Testosterone Mex," May 21] he complained that the cafe was decorated with serapes, Christmas lights and "gewgaws and gimcracks." Hey -- lighten up, Lawlor. You missed the whole point. The Blue Agave isn't a museum of ancient Aztec culture, it is a place to relax and have fun. Undo your tie and chill out, go with the flow and you will enjoy life more.

Lawlor also said the food lacked subtlety. Well, yeah, Eric, this is Mexican and Tex-Mex food, and deals in more primary flavors than French or Pacific Rim cuisines. We weren't trying to dazzle the critic, we are going for food that tastes good, very good. And anyway, why is someone with a veddy veddy clipped British accent doing a review of a Mexican food restaurant? I can see where he would think our food had too much zing compared to the kidney pie and crumpets he grew up on. Eric, you are a bit of a stuffed shirt, and I have got to tell you that I think you are absolutely full of hooey; but all is forgiven, mas o menos. Come on over to The Blue Agave and join me in tasting one of our premium tequilas; maybe it will loosen up that stiff upper lip, old chap.

Bill Sadler
Proprietor, The Blue Agave

In a June 4 review ("Tapped Out"), the Press misstated that the Ensemble's program notes for The Tap Dance Kid did not name the production's director. Those notes did, in fact, name Eileen J. Morris.

In the May 7 preview "Duncan Hindsight," the photo should have been credited to Sharon Babbitt.

The Press regrets the errors.


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