Get What You Pay For
I just read the article "Trickle Down Protection," by Steve McVicker [March 30] on contract deputies and their "unfair" placement. While I agree that there is a problem with these deputies staying in their contract areas all the time instead of the 70 percent that they are supposed to, I find no problem with the basic premise. If I can afford to pay extra, and choose to do so, there should be nothing to stop me. In fact, I do choose to do so.
The neighborhood that I live in is by no means affluent, yet we have at least one contract deputy that I am aware of ... and part of my reason for living here is because I knew beforehand that this subdivision had an added police presence. And I pay for that. Lest anyone out there call me a rich person, let me assure you that the $14,000 that I earned last year sure doesn't make me feel too rich.
I do feel that these deputies should patrol other areas when they are required to do so -- I have no complaints about that. But this is not a trickle program. This is getting what you pay for, and if we choose to pay extra, above and beyond the norm, we should be able to receive extra protection, above and beyond the norm.
Political Hue and Cry
After reading Steve McVicker's article concerning contract deputies ["Trickle Down Protection," March 30], it is my conclusion that some elected officials will do just about anything to remain in the eyes and minds of the voters. Coupled with the often cried threat of a lawsuit, the issue raised concerning the contract deputies and the services they do or do not provide seems nothing more than a feeble attempt to garner the low income and minority vote in North Houston.
If State Representative Kevin Bailey wants to improve the quality of life in some crime ridden areas in the 140th District he should direct his efforts toward Harris County Commissioners Court. According to the information provided to me by Lynnwood Moreau, president of the Harris County Sheriff's Deputies Union, most of our paid deputies are locked up with the convicted in the downtown jail. These deputies are providing security to the inmates instead of the crime weary taxpayers in unincorporated Harris County. An attempt to free these law enforcers to combat crime on the streets should be a consideration. Perhaps Kevin Bailey could do something like bringing in more state and federal funds to District 140 for law enforcement purposes. He should let his neighborhood contract deputies come over to some of the not so affluent areas on a regular basis to conduct real law enforcement needs such as patrolling or establishing mere police presence.
Jamail the Genuis?
In reference to Joe Hon's comments about Randall Jamail [Rotation, March 16], we were wondering exactly what he meant by "bad producer"?
Does he know what a producer actually does? As a bassist and a drummer, we know a great deal about a producer's function; the many, many hats that he or she must wear; the amount of B.S., etc., that they must deal with from the "artists" and the record companies, not to mention overzealous critics.
Having collectively worked with Randall Jamail on at least ten projects, we also have a good idea of what it is that he does. Randall is critically concerned with every instrument's tone, the musician's parts and how they interact, while amazingly keeping the overall "big" picture paramount. The "artists'" performance, vibe and overall feel is ultimately what Randall is after, and he will go to whatever extreme necessary to achieve this. "Acceptable" is unacceptable to him, and he could and would spend two full days getting a guitar tone that, in the end, was "incredible."
NARAS picked him for a Grammy nomination, the Pope picked him as a producer, many artists and musicians we know pick him as a favorite producer to work with and Joe Hon picks on him because he doesn't like some of his work.
We have a few suggestions for Joe Hon: 1) Get an education; 2) Don't take yourself so seriously. We don't! Oh, we do agree with you that Randall is not a "good" producer; he is a great producer.
Steve Bailey, Los Angeles
Kenny Aronoff, New York
Brad, Yes; Randall, No
What's all this fuss being made over Randall "Shmuck" Jamail's comments about Brad Tyer [Letters, "... Or Even Brad Tyer," April 6]? Anyone who has their eyes open would see how obvious it is that the only reason Jamail's involved with the alt-scene is to cash in on bucks and/or the popularity of the talent of some of Houston's up-and-coming bands. What was once considered Top 40 has taken a 360-degree turn in radio. Statistics clearly show that the largest percentage of people who attend concerts, buy records/CDs, posters, band T-Shirts, etc., are the people of the younger generation. Some of the bands on the Justice compilation represent this majority. Randall's concern is not for Houston's music scene nor is it for the bands on his compilation, Hellhole. Nightmare stories have leaked out on how he took some of the band's songs and butchered/cut and pasted them back together, left out critical parts of the songs, then later, after he was done, bothered to call the bands to fill them in on the changes and insulted the artists if they didn't agree with his version of their song. What's even more absurd are some of Houston's music critics who clearly don't have a clue to what's really happening here coming to Jamail's defense. Randall Jamail doesn't even have enough integrity to be reincarnated as Brad Tyer's dog's toe-jam, much less employ Brad Tyer.
Houston's music scene lacks a great deal of support when it loses one of its key critics, and Brad Tyer is sorely missed by the majority of musicians in this town. Intelligent and caring music critics do not come easily, especially in Houston. I think that the Houston Press should consider rehiring one of the finest music editors H-Town has had. I know the position has not yet been filled, and we hear Brad's still available.
Wise Up on Rodeo
Kenneth Wise takes the Press to task [Letters, "Roping Fry," March 23] because Michael Fry dared to take a shot at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He claims that "rodeo stock are in no way abused". How can that be? Are not bulls and horses strapped into devices designed to make them extremely "testy" to say the least? To say that they only "work" eight seconds at a time and that they are handled humanely at other times is to evoke a comparison with death row prisoners claiming that they are only at risk for eight or so seconds as well.
In addition, he states that the livestock show has a full-time veterinarian in the area at all times. If that is the case, then why on March 2, 1995, when the first calf out of the chute in the calf-roping contest broke a leg, did he lie on the floor of the Astrodome writhing in pain receiving no assistance whatsoever? One of the participants roped the calves legs together, and then a group of four tried to carry the calf on a stretcher. In the space of a hundred feet they managed to dump the calf on the ground three times. When they arrived in the holding pens they were not given any direction, and by now the wild eyed-calf was bellowing, and still without medical attention. If this is "the best care available" then I wonder what must go on behind the scenes.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is not holier than thou. They have innumerable faults, animal handling being one. Don't be so blind, Mr. Wise. For you to think that they can do no wrong makes me wonder whether you have ever been able to look at rodeo in general, and the Houston Livestock Show in particular, with any fairness and objectivity.
Eric A. Orzeck
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