It's Your Back Yard, Too
I am impressed with the Houston Press and especially Laurel Brubaker Calkins for her piece on Charles Hurwitz ["The Case Against Hurwitz," April 25]. Calkins did an excellent job dissecting Hurwitz's business dealings and writing it so that the common person can understand. I applaud the Press for having the courage to publish the article in Hurwitz's back yard.

Name withheld by request

A Bargain for the White-Collar Criminal
Laurel Calkins' article about Charles Hurwitz was quite interesting and generally well researched. However, in the interest of keeping the record straight for future scholars who may rely on this article, you should note that neither Drexel Burnham Lambert nor Messrs. Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky and Boyd Jeffries were "convicted in criminal court."

In all the above referenced cases, the parties agreed to a plea bargain rather than spending several years and millions of dollars fighting an opponent (the federal government) that has, literally, limitless time and money. A plea bargain is absolutely not the same as being convicted in a criminal court by a jury.

Mr. Hurwitz is the only one of the parties mentioned who will have the benefit of the cornerstone of our jurisprudence system, a trial before a jury of his peers. The outcome of that trial will indeed be a very significant commentary on what might have happened had the other parties chosen the same path to seek justice.

Paul J. Montle

Editor's reply: While a plea bargain may save the state or federal government the expense of a trial, a guilty plea is just that -- an admission of guilt -- and goes into the record as a criminal conviction. Milken, Boeksy and Jefferies all pleaded guilty to criminal charges, and Milken and Boesky served prison time as a result. They are considered criminals in the eyes of the law, as much as any drug dealer who agrees to a plea bargain with prosecutors down at the county courthouse. Charles Hurwitz, as Calkins' story noted, is not charged with any crime, but rather is named in civil actions by two federal agencies.

Yearning for a True Montreal Bagel
I have an important bagel story for your restaurant critic, Kelley Blewster [Cafe, "More than Dough," April 25]. I grew up in a Jewish household in Montreal, Canada. When I moved to the States 16 years ago, I came to realize that bagels are very different here. American bagels are "water bagels," which alludes to the boiling process Blewster mentioned. This "authentic bagel protocol" is what makes them all so similar in taste and texture.

For years I yearned for "Montreal bagels," which are prepared differently. As a result, their taste and texture are entirely different. All I know for sure is that they are baked in a brick oven and that they are outstanding. I have lived all over the U.S., and to my delight I happened upon a Houston bagel shop that boasts "Montreal Bagels." I was skeptical, but Bubbies and Zaida's Brick Oven Bagels at 3601 Westheimer is the real thing. If Blewster was surprised to discover that all bagels are alike, she must experience these.

Shoshana Stein


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