Lurking at Grade
Thanks for the exposure of our neighborhood's fight with the Texas Department of Transportation ["Make It Ugly, By All Means," by Michael Berryhill, February 1]. I can tell from your story that you lurked in our "dark, sinister spaces" -- a perfect description of Graustark under Highway 59. The Hazard bridge needs to be rebuilt -- that is the direct walking route from the Richmond barrio to Poe Elementary. The Dunlavy bridge must come back as well; it's the most direct route for fire trucks. The money saved by not rebuilding the other two bridges could certainly go toward a South Main exit -- and go a long way toward keeping the cut-through and Medical Center traffic off of neighborhood streets. Should we lose the fight on the HOV elevated, dispensing with the Mandell bridge would also allow a much gentler grade -- at least safer for those who transit our neighborhood but never stop to enjoy the oaks.

Thomas A. Wright

Beware the Metro Monster
I appreciate Michael Berryhill's coverage of SWAP's efforts to rally community support against the TxDOT and METRO expansion plans for the Southwest Freeway and the Louisiana (527) Spur. This project raises much more than a concern about property values and museum district mansions. METRO answers to no one. METRO is planning a monster of an elevated HOV without adequate environmental planning or alternatives analysis, as mandated by federal law. What is the documentation justifying their position that the Louisiana Spur backs up, therefore necessitating the elevated HOV running blocks down this route? An HOV fly-over from Westpark to the Southwest Freeway would be an abomination. What Houston needs is a narrower at-grade HOV or dedicated bus lane, an entrance and exit from the Southwest Freeway to Main Street, improved highway capacity eastbound from Mandell to Highway 288 and adequate sound mitigation. These solutions would serve greater Houston and the neighborhood.

Liz B. Dantone

He's Simply Irresistible
It was with great pleasure that I read about Carlos Martinez's rise and ultimate success in the radio/entertainment business ["Afternoon Delight," by Claudia Kolker, February 1]. Carlos and I have been close friends for about 15 years, and I can honestly say that you hit the nail on the head in describing him, his wonderful personality and his "simpatico" with his listeners. Your article, I felt, accurately and fairly described his position in the Hispanic community. You were open-minded enough to show the positive and negative aspects of his job, giving equal time to the fans' viewpoint as well as his critics. You were fair and objective on both sides of the coin, which is hard to do, because I feel that once you get to know Carlos, you can't help but fall madly in like with him! Thank you on a job well and fairly done!

Lettie Sandoval Joudat

Dali Would Have Dug It
Bruce Guynn thought the sets for Four Saints were minimal [Opera, "Saints and the Surreal," February 1]. That they were! The last tableaux evoked Magritte -- pieces of art right off the walls of the Menil. What a coup to have experienced this wonderful mix of surrealism/minimalism, lyrics and music. Dali himself was at the opening of Four Saints in 1933. Director Robert Wilson did a great job; Dali would have enjoyed it.

Margie Beegle


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