A Sober Judgment
In your review of Meg Ryan's new film, When a Man Loves a Woman ["Drunk, But Not Disorderly," by Peter Szatmary, May 12], the last two sentences were, "And after shamelessly pulling its few punches, it even ends sentimentally. That's not a word that goes well with alcoholic."

I found this extremely offensive. It is apparent that you haven't done your research properly. True, some alcoholics are very temperamental and angry. But most alcoholics are overly sensitive and very sentimental. I'm not one to judge your past experiences, but please don't stereotype. Alcoholism is a disease that is painful enough to endure without anyone adding to the guilt and shame.

Karin Kay Marsh

Music to His Ears
I had almost given up hope. From the insidiously bland music reviews of (the former) Tom Tarbox Kiersted to the clinically degrading Brad Tyer, I thought that the Press' ideas of music ingenuity had gone straight to the toilet.

However, while reading the May 5 issue, I stumbled upon an (egad!) positive review of the Houston trio King's X [Rotation, by Brad Tyer]. I cannot even begin to explain what a good feeling it was to see some positive press feedback about this severely underrated band. I have watched this band grow since 1988, and what a pleasure it is to see that they are appreciated by at least one form of media in their hometown.

I applaud Mr. Tyer's positive review of Dogman by King's X and encourage the music staff to give a little more support to bands that are trying something different (Galactic Cowboys, Atomic Opera, etc.) other than the (dare I say overdone?) Texas rock and roll sound.

James Grace

A Modest Proposal
Spring is passing into summer. It's time for another story of one taxpayer's frustrating efforts dealing with Harris County's Central Appraisal District ["A Taxing Situation," by D.J. Wilson, May 12]. I have 16 years of experience working in the area of property tax appraisal. During that time I have read many articles on the subject. In my opinion, D.J. Wilson's is better than most. However, some misunderstanding prevails.

Although my interaction with [Harris County Chief Appraiser Jim] Robinson has been limited, I believe he tries to be fair-minded. However, I also believe that many of his statements in the article were inaccurate and some inflammatory. I was upset by Mr. Robinson's dismissal of [Paul] Pennington's report on [Appraisal Review Board] operations by saying, "The guy is a paid advocate for property owners. He works on a contingency." The first part is just as true as saying that Mr. Robinson gets a paycheck. The latter may be true. Some client taxpayers just like it that way. The fact concerning the report is that it was prepared from operating figures supplied by the appraisal districts examined by the report. Were the figures misleading?

Finally, Texas does not need a Jarvis-like Proposition 13 as implied. Proposition 13 has led California to near-bankruptcy and screwed up real estate deals. What Texas needs is: 1) a state-level ARB, especially for industrial properties; 2) an income-based exemption system with credit vouchers for renters to pass to landlords; 3) alternative methods for state and local revenue; 4) full disclosure of all real estate-based transactions; and 5) fewer misinformed and ignorant statements from taxpayers, appraisers and representatives when asked to make a statement for publications.

Todd K. Meadows


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