After reading Richard Connelly's article "Peer Pressure" [March 26], I am much more grateful for my daughter's good fortune to be attending The Rice School/La Escuela Rice (the subject of Tim Fleck's article in August of last year). Whatever shortcomings may have been due to less than stellar leadership by former Rice School principal Sharon Koonce pale into insignificance by comparison to the situation at Anderson Elementary. I had no idea that any elementary school in HISD had an enrollment even close to Anderson's 1,600.
I hope that you take an editorial stance in favor of the next HISD bond election. It is shameful that a city that is spending a huge sum to build a retractable-roof baseball park is stunting the learning of its children by forcing them to attend such an overcrowded school.
Robert E. Walls
In the recent story about Anderson Elementary, an HISD school that has grown to enormous size (1,600 students), there was the repeated implication that HISD should be spending a great deal more money on this school. There was also a reference to a 1996 HISD bond issue that was defeated by the voters, which would have paid for building new schools, which, among other things, would have eased this overcrowding.
What the author of the story either doesn't realize or chose to ignore is that HISD faces a basic problem with funding, because there is such a difference between the demographics of the students who go to school in HISD and the people who can vote in HISD elections, including bond elections, with the percentage of Anglo voters being quite large and the percentage of Anglo students being small.
Unfortunately, there are a great many Anglo voters who take the shortsighted and rather mean-spirited view that since they can't identify with the HISD students they see, all they want out of HISD is a low tax rate. And whatever other shortcomings it has, HISD does have the lowest tax rate of any school district in Harris County, and no one seems to be in favor of increasing it.
It is necessary to understand the underlying cause of problems before we can effectively start dealing with the symptoms.
William S. Bailey, Jr.
Ah, Mr. Fleck, You Do Impress
I am writing to offer my kudos on the fine job Mr. Tim Fleck is doing on the coverage of the bribery criminal trials of several sitting or retired councilmembers and their playmates. Mr. Fleck's tongue-in-cheek humor never fails to impress me, but I really feel he has outdone himself in "Scenes from a Sting" [March 26].
When Mr. Fleck quoted Ben Reyes as bragging to Wayne Duddlesten that Ben had implied to Dan Morales that Wayne was "... ten times stronger than Vinson & Elkins," anyone in the know couldn't help but be reduced to rolling on the floor with laughter. Obviously, Ben never read Too Big for Their Riches, where the surface of just how deep V&E's power really runs was barely scratched.
Mrs. Phrogge Simons
Thanks for the positive review of my CD Honky Tonk Diary ["Static," by Hobart Rowland, March 12]. I believe your comments helped to bring in some people at the St. Patrick's Day show, and, like everybody else in this business, I can use all the help I can get.
It's also encouraging that my first review was done by someone who can tell the difference between C&W and the bad '70s pop music that seems, for the most part, to pass as country on the radio these days. Being without management or major backing at this point, my only real tools are a dream and a desire. It's nice to know that somebody likes it.
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Still Sickened by Elmer Wayne Henley and His Work
To this day, when I hear Elmer Wayne Henley's name or see his photo, I am still sickened ["To Die For," by Steve McVicker, March 26]. In 1973, I was attending high school just around the corner from that boat shed where mutilated bodies of teenage boys were being unearthed. Why anyone would entertain the idea of buying art filled with images culled from the mind of a monster like that is beyond me.
The one and only painting he should produce over and over is one that says: "I'm so sorry, so very sorry. Can you ever forgive me? Please forgive me...."