Mail Call

Go at the throat: I am bewildered by State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran's particular interest in snakes [“Reptile Riot,” Hair balls, May 3]. His Extreme Tight-assness clearly has no personal reason to be concerned, nor do any of his Republican colleagues in the State Legislature and Senate — unless such a snake were to have a go at the throat, and stop all the bullshit.

Name withheld by request

Hard Ball

Castrate the bridges: One explanation for the bridge balls is that the public officials who okayed the bridges didn't have the balls to tell the architect/engineer to shove it [BayouSphere, by Daniel Kramer, May 3]. We need a movement: “CASTRATE OUR BRIDGES!”

Name withheld by


The Almighty Dollar

Get a grip: I am astounded that some of the residents in Woodwind Lakes have buried their heads in the sand [“>Odd Man Out,” by Todd Spivak, April 12]. My family resided in Woodwind Lakes from 1994 to 2000. In 1998, my daughter, who was seven at the time, was diagnosed with leukemia. I have to wonder if there is any relation between her diagnosis and the fact that we lived in Woodwind Lakes for six years. I would love to know if there have been any other cases of cancer in current or former residents, the number of birth defects, if any, and whether there has been a high level of other health issues, such as premature births or birth defects.

I assure all of the residents that if they spent just one hour in the Texas Children's Hospital Cancer Center and witnessed the pain and sadness caused by childhood cancer they would quickly get a grip on the value of property vs. the value of their lives. My daughter endured three years of chemotherapy, extended hospital stays, bone marrow aspirations and spinal taps, in addition to taking a handful of pills every day. Every week for three years, my daughter was seen at the cancer center. She had a total of 132 painful injections in her legs over the course of three years. We met many children who, sadly, did not survive. Thankfully, she is now considered cured, but I assure you that it still affects her life every single day. She lives with the fear every single day at such a young age that cancer may return.

How dare the developers, builders and all of the other crooks involved make a bloody dollar at the risk of potentially harming all of our lives? It could take years to see all of the medical fallout because of this. Do you recall the movie based on a true story, Civil Action? An entire area of one city had a large number of children diagnosed with leukemia as a result of groundwater contamination caused by illegal dumping of chemicals. God help all of us. At seven years of age, my daughter had more courage, maturity and integrity than the developers, builders and the homeowners who are brushing this under the rug for the almighty dollar. I assure you that if one of your children were diagnosed with cancer, you would give up all of your possessions, your money and your home to save their life.

Kathy Rizzo
Suwanee, GA

The Fifth Element

Holy Crap, Batman! The Houston Press Menu of Menus event was so fucked up, Tanya Wilder couldnÕt keep track of her complaints [“Unhappy Customer,” Letters, May 3]. I read FIRST, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th, and 7th. SHAME on Houston Press!

Name withheld by request

Shot through the Heart

HouStoned blog readers respond to “The Nuge, Special to HouStoned,” April 20, by Craig Malisow:

Get your gun: It seems Ted Nugent has a firm grasp of our Second Amendment rights. Too bad the pantywaist liberals who think calling 911 will save you from an armed intruder who's about to rape your wife in front of you and then kill you both don't understand this.

Take the guns away from criminals, not hardworking, law-abiding citizens who have every right to have them.

U.S. Citizen
April 21, 2007

Secy. Nuge: We should just give more guns to the Nuge, and maybe make him Secretary of Arms or something, and let him go around the country and clean up this epic infestation of “Cat Scratch Fever.” And we should change the national anthem to that song by Damn Yankees as a sign of our good faith.

Billy Squier
April 23, 2007

Bang, bang, shoot, shoot: John Lennon sang it best: “Happiness Is a Warm Gun.”

April 23, 2007

Craig's calling: I hope they put this Malisow fellow on the Nugent beat full-timeÉ

Steve Bonus
April 23, 2007

Normal Nuge: Ahhh, c'mon you guys. Lay off The Nuge. He's just an ordinary guy. He puts his loincloth leg at a time...same as everybody else.

Junie Tune
April 24

Awards Trifecta
Houston Press staffers do well in national, regional and state contests

Houston Press staff writer Todd Spivak has been named a finalist in the national Livingston Awards for Young Journalists competition. He was named a finalist for his story “Run Over By Metro.”

The contest is the nation's largest all-media general reporting contest and designed to honor the best American journalists under the age of 35. Winners will be announced in early June.

In other contest news, Spivak was named a winner in two categories of the regional Maggies competition, an annual magazine-writing contest sponsored by the Western Publishing Association.

He won in the Best Feature Article/Consumer for his story “Hog Wild,” and Best Public Service Series or Article for “Run Over By Metro.”

Art Director Monica Fuentes also was named a Maggies winner. She won the Best Cover category for her cover design of the story “Penal Violations.”

In statewide competition sponsored by the Press Club of Houston, the following Press staffers were named finalists:

Feature Story: Spivak for “Hog Wild,” and Josh Harkinson for “Gator Aid.”

Investigative Reporting: Craig Malisow for “The Plane Truth.”

Public Service: Spivak for “Run Over By Metro.”

Politics/Government: Malisow for “Penal Violations” and Margaret Downing for “Opt In/Opt Out.”

Business Story: Malisow for “Wize Guys.”

General Commentary/Criticism: Downing for “Diary of a Mad Man.”

Sports Story: Daniel Kramer for “Tough Guys.”

Feature Photo: Kramer for “Day of the Dead at MECA.”

Sports Photo: Kramer for “Boxer Eduardo Escobedo.”

Internet Feature Story: Malisow for “Feel My Pain.”

Student Entries: News, Sports or Feature Story: Ruth Samuelson (intern) for “Gods and Lovers.”

Winners of the Press Club's Lone Star Awards will be announced at a banquet on June 8.

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