Margie's Ordeal

Baloney: This case should make everyone sit up and take notice ["Whose Best Interests?" by Todd Spivak, January 25]. Margie Hill goes into the hospital for breathing problems, and the next thing she knows, she's lost everything -- her life, her liberty, even the right to complain.

This unnecessary and abusive guardianship should be investigated fully to find out why a doctor would declare a person incapacitated by breathing problems. That's insane. Makes you want to take your chances at home rather than go to a hospital, doesn't it?

And the social worker charges in, ignoring Hill's wishes and best interests. The judge gets out his big rubber stamp, and it's a done deal: The county's snagged another paying customer.



All the people involved in this deliberate miscarriage of justice should be held accountable.

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Make no mistake: When Jan McLaughlin, director of the Harris County Guardianship Program, says that she's always supportive of wards reuniting with their families, that she's sorry the family is in this predicament, and that she understands the family is distressed, she's serving up a big baloney sandwich and thinking everybody will think it's steak.

"It's the court's decision. It needs to go through all the appropriate channels," is not true. She can send Margie Hill home to her son, and she can do it today. Instead, she chooses to throw the heat to the court and away from her.

Don't let her get by with it. She can send Margie home, inform the court and start the process to dissolve this lawless guardianship. It's well within her power.

People recognize baloney, Jan McLaughlin, and many just don't like it.

Elaine Renoire
Beech Grove, Indiana

Boo hoo! Cry me a river. I smell a rat with this "unemployed due to chronic back pain" in your cover story ("Whose Best Interests?"). Putting up six-foot Christmas trees, decorating for the holidays, walking six miles every day, standing in the kitchen making gumbo, bathing and caring for his mother? Sounds like Marvin Evans can work a job just fine. Quit being a sponge on my dime! I have no sympathy for either of them.

Monica Sherman

Big government at work: Todd Spivak's article "Whose Best Interests?" once again shows the truth about our governmental abuse. Over and over, we hear that this politician or that politician is going to fix some government problem, yet all they do is increase the problem by adding more laws (and lawyers) to confuse the issue rather than fix it. When will the American public realize that our government is too large to do any service? Why do we keep adding agencies that do nothing, and allow multiple agencies to tackle the same issues?

In the article, we see just how well our government works. Everyone knows what needs to be done, yet we have to wait for someone else to do it. Jan McLaughlin, director of the Harris County Guardianship Program, should take the lead and make sure that this woman is given the care she needs, and it certainly isn't county care. Give the guardianship to the Liddells now. Quit wasting time and money, and take action to close this issue.

Tim Scholten

Sickening: This situation is an absolute travesty! Margie Hill is so blessed to have family and friends that love her and want to take care of her. It's sickening what kind of "home" Harris County deems safe and appropriate for the elderly. While county officials make insulting comments about how Mrs. Hill's family's only motivation is wanting control of her assets, it appears the county doesn't wish to give up cashing her Social Security check themselves.

Joy DeRaimo
Texas City

Let her go home: The story about Margie Hill is disturbing and sounds to me like false imprisonment. It is clear a mistake has been made. Since the workload is so heavy for those who oversee wards of the county, they need to let her go home. This situation is probably making her and her son's health conditions worse. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. If you can contact Evans on my behalf, please let him know. I will come get him to take him to visit his mom any weekend.

JD Larimore
League City

Raise the Bar

Get creative: While I applaud the notion of having a column [Stirred and Shaken, by Chris Boyd] that highlights Houston's diverse cocktail scene, the dearth of creativity showcased is nothing short of embarrassing. Whiskey sour? Long Island tea? A Cape Cod!? What's next, a vodka tonic? C'mon, I know that most bars, whether they are cantinas, bistros or nightclubs, are staffed with a plethora of talented mixologists who can produce a signature drink that rises above the banality of a simple vodka mixed with cranberry. If a bartender is so lacking in imagination, then why showcase his simplistic renderings? Which is more egregious, the bar staff's insipid recipes, or your editor's willingness to applaud them? Please don't lower the bar so far that we are now stepping over it.

Michael Fulmer

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