No Use Is Wise Use
It is interesting to see the Memorial Park mountain bike controversy shape up as a local "wise use" issue [News, "Panic in Memorial Park," by Steve McVicker, May 19]. And like all "wise use" campaigns, the advocates promote the philosophy that nature should be used for human consumption and profit, and the opposing environmentalists are disparaged as special-interest groups.
But the issue here is not wise use, or even sustainable development.
Neither dry-season use restrictions nor city engineering can sustain the trails of Memorial Park enough to offset the erosive effects of mountain bike traffic.
The low-pressure, high-traction tire of a mountain bike was designed to stabilize wheel motion over unstable terrain. Significantly, the frictional drag imparted by a knobby, high-relief tire on soil is as destructive as sandblasting. Consider the "wagon ruts" of eastern Wyoming: 150 years after the closing of the Oregon Trail, wagon-wheel tracks remain etched in bedrock.
In evaluating a use of our public parks we must ensure, much like the Hippocratic Oath, "that it first must do no harm."
Bird Lover Bites Back
Craig Dickson's letter of June 16 ["Don't Toy with Me, Bird Lover"] encourages HAMBRA members to defy the City of Houston's (not Audubon's) attempts to prevent further destruction of Memorial Park habitat and further erosion along Buffalo Bayou. Yes, Houston Audubon Society supports the city's closure of the illegally created Ho Chi Minh trails, and encouraged the city to work with HAMBRA to create a custom bike trail on Memorial Park's HL&P easement.
Audubon does not stand for control; it supports conservation and creative compromise. I am happy to know some mature, responsible mountain bikers who welcome alternatives to the past year's blatant disregard for wildlife habitat, for bayou flooding and for the intention behind Miss Ima Hogg's gift of Memorial Park to the people of Houston.
Page S. William
It's the Same Old Song
The article regarding the "termination" of Donna McKenzie from KLOL/101 FM [Pop Moment, "Deep-Sixed at 101," by Brad Tyer, June 9] got me wondering. It's a shame to see her gone -- especially since she was the only DJ playing local bands on her shows, both at KZFX/107.5 and 101, and supporting Texas music.
On the other hand, am I the only one bored with these stations? Example: if the DJ says we're gonna hear, say, .38 Special (not that I like them), you know we're gonna hear "Hold on Loosely." If 107.5 says we're gonna hear Lou Reed, we know we're gonna hear "Walk on the Wild Side." I could go on and on.
I find these stations predictable, boring and increasingly uninteresting. Bring back some local and Texas shows please.
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Under the Covers with Toy Subs
If I could lay out the green stuff for one Houston band, I'd give the Toy Subs all I could. I see a lot of gigs all over the place, and these guys definitely have unity, professionalism and dignity.
Recently you focused in on Toy Subs with regard to their cover songs [Music, "Cover Boys," by Elizabeth Reeder, June 2]. Definitely, they do them all well. Too bad club owners shun the idea of playing more originals. Too bad club owners have to dictate their musical preferences upon the band. As a writer, I greatly enjoy the beauty of someone else's own original material.