Letters to the Editor

Right on Track

Your feature article on track is great ["A Dying Race," by Jesse Washington, May 11]. Our daughter, Kelley Wright, lives to run. You built in so much good advice from real athletes that have made it -- not just to a big contract but to winning in a sport where you are on the line.

Thank you. That one is worth saving.

Tom and Mary Davis


She'll Do It Her Way

I was glad to see your article on HISD and how they handled the condemnation proceedings ["The Dispossessed," by John Suval, May 11]. I live across from Reagan High School and it has come to my attention in the past year that they will possibly be moving on my house.

Although your view of HISD's handling of the situation looked dim, I feel as though I'm more familiar with them and more comfortable handling my own situation.

Thanks for the article.

Jane Nicolson


Modern Myths

Thanks for your great work ["Bullets After Brunch," by Wendy Grossman, May 4]. The story is amazing (in the fourth-largest city in America?). Sadly, Marc's fate is a graphic illustration of the brutality, intolerance and indifference in our "modern society." Hopefully this story will open some eyes -- and minds!

Russell Murrell

Chicago, Illinois

I was one of Urbana's waiters when the restaurant first opened. I didn't work there long (I quit), and the main reason was owner John Puente. I thought I had met some class-A jerks in my life, but he took a spot high above all of the rest. To me, the only people who thought Puente was all right were those who wanted something from him (i.e., his managers).

Marc was my favorite person at Urbana. He was all the things that were written about him in the article: funny, friendly, someone I was always happy to see. When I watched the news and saw what happened to Marc at Urbana, a sick feeling came over me. The thing that floored me about the news broadcast (and speaks volumes about Puente's attitude toward the situation) was that they were going to be open for business that night. Such disrespect and utter disregard for a human being's life I had never seen before.

While it is not my place to say what Puente or the police should have done to prevent Marc's death, I do believe the people of Montrose should rally against such a man conducting business in their community. I hope the lawsuit hits him where it hurts.

Name withheld by request


Your story about the Urbana murder is awesome. Thank you for presenting this story. Let us hope that it will do something good in the fight against domestic violence.

Brandon Wolf


I can't tell you how devastated I was to pick up the Houston Press and see your article. Marc was one of my best friends in middle school and through the first year of Madison high, until his family moved to Klein.

Even after, the phone would ring and it would be Marc. Though I hadn't heard from him in years, it was always in the back of my mind that one day we'd pick up where we left off, as always.

Marc was one of the sweetest, funniest people I ever met. Because both our birthdays were in October, and we were both Scorpio, we always had a connection. We read the same kinds of books and the same type of ice cream.

Marc was a gentleman, and a gentle man even then. My life was enriched for knowing him, and is diminished with the knowledge that he isn't somewhere around, waiting to renew our friendship. It breaks my heart to know I've talked to him for the last time.

Please extend my sincere sorrow and deepest sympathies to his family, and my wishes for their success in trying to obtain justice. The person that took him away is, I pray, finding his own punishment, just as I know Marc is receiving his reward. But those that stood by and allowed it to happen should not be allowed to just walk away, shouldn't be allowed to let it happen to someone else.

Carmen Strickland


Duke's Downfall

After reading your newest article, I was very touched with your kind and sympathetic tone and attitude toward a fellow Vietnamese of mine ["Duke Truong's Freedom Ride," by Steve McVicker, May 4]. I want to help him the best I can. Hopefully you will be able to write another article on how Vietnamese treat their compatriots with problems.

Huy Tran


Gayle Force

"School's Out Forever" [by Lauren Kern, April 20] was a good article, contrary to the public opinion that is reflected in your Letters column ["Radical Unschooling," May 4]. If people who sign "Name withheld by request" would begin to have the courage and the backbone to have their names printed, perhaps the young whom I enjoy listening to, working with and encouraging would believe that some of us really care enough to have our letters published with our names printed.

I resent the hell out of the sly innuendos, outright slander and defamation of characters that have become a habit by gossipy Americans. Gayle Fallon is straightforward and honest and works probably 16 hours a day to see that we can help save our kids. And she does her outright best with her candid comments to see that teachers don't go back to working for $2 an hour, like in the good ol' days.

As a professional writer and researcher, I have also become a people-watcher who is cussed, discussed and slandered every time I go downtown. Frankly, activists like Fallon and others like myself must fight established routines just to stay alive and survive.

Tommie R. Smith


Apple Nuts

I read your article about the Apple II users group ["Soul Machine," by Lisa Gray, April 27] and want to congratulate and thank you for capturing the essence of being an Apple II user in 2000. You really got it 100 percent correct.

I bought my first Apple II in 1980, and it changed my life, so much so that I gave up my chosen profession in order to work with my Apple II. And here we are, in 2000, and I continue to publish new software for the Apple IIGS. Seriously. The latest release was just a few weeks ago.

Perhaps Woz wasn't the only "gentle, bearded hippie geek" to leave his mark on the Apple II world. This bearded hippie geek learned a long time ago that life is short and that one should always follow his heart, as that's the only way to true happiness.

If you have an interest in how Apple II hippie geeks manage to survive, please check out my Web site at users.foxvalley.net/~joko. Thanks so much for portraying Apple II users accurately.

Joe Kohn


Stock in Bonds

Houston, and all of Texas, is lucky to have men like Johnny Bonds to help keep our lives free of the likes of Walter Waldhauser Jr. We also owe Steve McVicker our thanks for keeping us informed about killers like this ["Farewell to a Killer," May 4]. Now I wonder why the parole board let this killer out so soon. Perhaps someone with Mr. Bonds's skill should investigate if Michael Lee Davis bought his way out of prison.

Bob Williams


Fade Out

I got the impression I was reading two different articles in Robert Wilonsky's "The Final Cut" [May 4]. It begins with what seems to be a featured interview with Criterion's Peter Becker, who deserves praise for fine detective and curatorial work.

But then he indulges in a more personal tirade against the trend of copycat special editions from other companies, which are increasingly obligatory when a film is released on DVD. Well, nobody is forcing you to watch these extra features. One can treat them like footnotes or critical commentary in a book. I suppose someday we will have the DVD equivalent of Nabokov's Pale Fire and have someone prepare five hours of behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes along with four commentary tracks (perhaps one culled from interviews of subway passengers) for an obscure film short from an NYU film student.

I agree that we should continue to have access to the original versions of films. This isn't limited to video releases, of course. When Tony Richardson recut Tom Jones, the original effectively disappeared. In the mid-1990s Disney threatened to "add" new episodes to Fantasia and suppress the original, but by the time Fantasia/2000 came out there was only one of the original episodes. Vertigo now has a completely new set of sound effects that threatens to destroy the balance of sound to visual that Hitchcock was so careful about. When it's done right (Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus), nobody complains, however.

Neal Kurz


Out for a Spell

You misspelled my father's name, Artie Villasenor [Listen In, by Aaron Howard, May 4]. I hope in the future you will remember.

Thank you.

Nina Villasenor


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