Eccentric? Sez Who?
I have been a resident of Houston for two years and have read your paper regularly. I enjoy your investigative work and have followed the responses from readers accusing you of bias with bewildered amusement. Now, I find, I am writing just such a letter.
Your attitude regarding Cameron Frye and his plans for a new stadium complex was both puzzling and disappointing. ["Cameron Frye Has a Big Idea," by Bob Burtman, July 4]. I was unfamiliar with Mr. Frye and his plans until I read this piece. Your description of his flailing arms and facial tic in the first paragraph seemed unnecessary, irrelevant and unflattering. Due to this, my initial impression was not positive.
I read on to find that his "eccentric" persona was based on his attempt to save the life of his dying mother, his creation of a successful business in the hopes of preventing others from dying, his support of non-traditional medicine, his overwhelming generosity to his employees, his belief that the public should choose where and what the stadium complex should be and his belief that the major political players in this town could work together for the good of the people just once! This makes a man crazy?!
Having experienced countless allopathic and non-allopathic medical treatments firsthand, I must say that the facts of this story portrayed Frye as more of a hero than a lunatic. I don't understand your need to fill in the gaps with speculative phrasing and comments regarding Mr. Frye's sanity.
In fact, it sounds like Cameron Frye might be one of the most stable minds in this town.
Editor's note: We couldn't agree more. And for what it's worth, Frye liked the article.
Letting His Freak Flag Fly
Was Steve McVicker [photo on Page 5, July 11] separated at birth from David Crosby, the musician?
He Lost It at the Movies
Joe Leydon is losing it -- bigtime! His review of Striptease [Film, "Hold the Creamed Corn," July 4] was way off the mark. A seasoned reviewer like Joe should realize that this movie was in trouble when it resorted to expressions such as "you dumb f----k" to raise a laugh -- and failed even at that level. Sitting in a packed movie theater watching Striptease, I was struck by how quiet the audience was. Is this a comedy, or what? More like cheap melodrama, I'm afraid.
Talk about stereotypes! They are all here. Two-faced sleaze ball congressman, slimy strip-joint manager, reluctant stripper, low-life relatives -- who live in a trailer park, naturally. The list is endless and pathetic, as is the film in its totality.
The story is thin, to put it mildly. And what about Demi Moore's dancing? Wooden and hopelessly over-choreographed. You can almost hear the off-camera instructions. Not sexy at all. The rehearsal scene at home, where Moore performs a reverse strip, was much more titillating. Too bad that the director -- or maybe it was Moore -- chickened out here: this was the one scene where a bit of good, old-fashioned eroticism was starting to rear its fascinating head. Striptease is like a bad marriage: when the relationship between two people is irretrievably broken down, even the good times are swept away. The two bright spots in this movie -- the acting of Ving Rhames as the bouncer/protector and Robert Patrick as Darrell, Moore's ex-husband -- are all but buried in the avalanche of idiotic scenes. The ending is one of the worst pieces of convoluted rubbish to have been foisted on film audiences in a long, long time.
Bert du Plessis
Not Buying It
In his article on the death of Jaciel Gonzalez ["Death in the Back Seat," June 27], Steve McVicker says, "In all probability, the official explanation is true." The official explanation being that "a limber teenager such as Gonzalez could have squirmed around to pull a gun out of the front of his pants while his hands were cuffed behind his back." And go on to put a bullet through his brain at the right temple ....
Did McVicker not see the news film (that I saw broadcast twice) of Gonzalez lying dead across the back seat, with his hands still handcuffed and behind him below his waist? Was this boy so limber he could go back to that position after putting a bullet through his brain? Or was that film the video evidence mentioned that allows HPD's "standard procedure" of cleaning, wiping and adjusting crime scenes?
Name withheld by request
Not Buying It, Either
With the demise of the Houston Post, I enjoy having an alternative newspaper to read, and for the most part, believe you do a creditable job in your reporting. However, your story on the death of Jaciel Gonzalez -- particularly the picture accompanying the article -- was biased journalism at its worse.
The picture obviously is not of a 15-year-old boy, but apparently a boy who is considerably younger. Though it is a tragedy that he killed himself, and I believe he did, he apparently was driving a stolen car, though not mentioned in your article, and he definitely stole a bike, ran from the police and had to be tackled. This is also a 15-year-old who "had previous problems with the law," and was in the seventh grade when he should have been at least in the tenth grade. A fine upstanding young man!
One can hardly call it being brutalized that his wrist was broken during his arrest; after all, he ran away and had to be tackled.
The trouble is that some money-hungry attorney is going to represent this family and sue everyone she can think of, when the responsibility rests with the parents of the boy.
Yes, the gun should have been found, but what is a 15-year-old doing with a .38 gun? Did he buy it and register the gun like the Brady law requires? I think not.
This article was a waste of ink. If he had not died in the back of that police car on that day, he probably would have died in some violent manner in the very near future.
Department of Self-Promotion
The State Bar of Texas has belatedly announced its "Gavel Award" winners for 1995, and Houston Press staff writer and amateur David Crosby impersonator Steve McVicker was honored in the individual articles/editorials category for two 1994 stories. "Assembly Line Justice" examined the quality of legal representation provided capital murder defendants by court-appointed attorneys in Harris County, while "The Cloud Over Lightning Strike" was the first media account to raise questions about the FBI's behavior during its investigation of NASA contractors and employees at the Johnson Space Center.
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