I believe "Battle of the Bonds" [News, by Steve McVicker, July 7] was an excellent article by your fine newspaper, but a couple of clarifications might be in order for the benefit of your readers. Federal Judge Bue was persuaded when he ordered the Pretrial "Release" Agency put in place that it would reduce the jail population. Research has now proven it has not reduced the jail population, and it may have increased it.
Judge Love has always been a very interesting man of the most liberal persuasion who was instrumental in the Pretrial "Release" Agency's being formed. He naturally doesn't want anyone to think he has been wrong all these years. He has always ranked low in saving the taxpayers money. All victims' rights groups I know give him poor ratings. His statement that we have more bail agents in Harris County than in most states proves how poorly informed he is. There are nearly 8,000 bail agents nationwide. He never was good with figures. Nice fellow....
It is common for Pretrial "Release" Agencies all over the nation to set up their formulas to cook the Failure to Appear rates. I suggest it is being done here. An audit of the Pretrial "Release" Agency here should disclose some interesting problems.
In addition, it is really grasping at straws for Mr. Nobles to go back six years to find a crime of violence that a defendant of mine committed, and it is ludicrous to compare it to his Peavey case. People who understand bail would laugh at this feeble, desperate statement. I have never denied that people who are out on bail to a professional bondsman might commit a crime.
I have said that because of adverse selection of risk, the professional bondsman would have 75 percent less of a chance of one of his people out on bond committing a crime. The reason is simple: if a defendant on bond to me commits a crime, he knows in advance that I can surrender him and he will get no money back. He knows I mean what I say, and I will go after him.
It is normal for any public service agency to say a person in private industry is more concerned about his pocketbook than quality service, but competition produces quality. The truth is that the Pretrial "Release" Agency is just another government program that was well-intended, but has failed the poor, the oppressed and the taxpayers, and has promoted crime.
Gerald P. Monks
Regarding the letter from Alex Squyres in the June 30 Houston Press [Letters, "It's the Same Old Song"], he says Donna McKenzie was "the only DJ playing local bands on her shows and supporting Texas music." I would like to take this opportunity to invite Mr. Squyres and other disenchanted Texas music fans to listen to the original Texas radio music program, Made In Texas, on KZFX/107.5 FM Sundays from 8-10 p.m., which Donna originally hosted, and which I now proudly host and produce.
The ground on which we all stand is sacred to music fans around the world. Our area is so rich in musical heritage! Here in Houston, and elsewhere in the state, some very exciting things are happening. Made In Texas tries to bridge the gap between what was and what is going on in Texas rock and roll.
So, Mr. Squyres, I invite you to not only listen, but to participate in the show. Let us know what you're excited about. The more excitement we create about music around here, the more viable a music scene Houston can become. That's something we all want.
We are by no means perfect or complete. But we play a lot of music and we're having a blast doing it. I, too, am sorry that Donna is off the air. She remains an ardent supporter of Texas music even as her former employers have apparently chosen not to be.
?Habla Ud Espanol?
The list of candidates for the 1994 Houston Press Music Awards, and the composition of the nominating committee, both illustrate that the Houston Press lacks a knowledge of (or interest in) the Hispanic music scene in Houston. The list has only three nominees for "Best Tejano" and four nominees for "Best Latin," and has eliminated last year's category of "Best Latin/Tejano Club," a step backward.
The question arises as to why the Press has decided to ignore or downplay a significant element of the music scene in Houston.
Owner, Elvia's Cantina
Mr. Parsons is correct in noting that the "Best Latin/Tejano Club" category was deleted this year. What he fails to note, however, is that all the club categories -- rock, C&W, jazz, blues, folk, dance, zydeco
-- were eliminated in order to make room for more performer categories. He also fails to note that last year there was one "Latin/Tejano" performer category. This year that was broken into two separate categories, doubling the possible performer winners.
-- The Editors
For the Record
With regards to your article "Squashed Toad's" [Pop Moment, by Brad Tyer, July 7] and David Stalie's brash comment on Gary Tyson, let me just say: David is a real dick, too and you can quote me on that.
It's funny how he forgot to mention the local musicians who made an effort to see Toad's succeed. He also forgot to mention how he "pulled the rug out" from under those who were sincere about making it work, like playing for no money while they charged inconsistently high covers, and changed drink prices more often than their underwear.
Yes, he is "a bit younger" as far as managers go, which explains why he didn't conduct himself in a professional manner.
What goes around comes around, and you can quote me on that.
New, Improved Nile
Alison Cook's review of my restaurant [Hot Plate, "The Raw and the Cooked," July 7] was like a wake-up call: painful, but necessary.
True, we had opened without our experienced waitstaff, which had not yet arrived from our restaurant in Washington, D.C.
True, our menu wording was less than clear; hence the surprise with "raw" beef. The dish in question, Gored Gored, is a great favorite in Ethiopia, and even among Americans (when they know what to expect).
Having corrected these early kinks, we're confident that our food, which Ms. Cook enjoyed, will take center stage during her next visit.
Owner, Blue Nile Restaurant
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.