Harvey Reflections

Dear Editor:
As I write this, some Houston homes are still flooded following Hurricane Harvey, and sheltered evacuees are seeking longer-term housing. And yet is also a time to be proud of Houston. In terms of rainfall, we took the biggest punch that nature has delivered to any U.S. city, and we are still standing. In fact, Houston is already “open for business.” After seeing the product of all the hard rescue and recovery work by first responders and other city employees, after seeing neighbors helping neighbors in every neighborhood, after leaning on the support we have received from across the country and around the word, I am confident that Houston will bounce back with startling speed. Houston has been innovative before. Houston has built unique public projects before, such as the Ship Channel and the Astrodome. Houston has been a leader before in science and technology in places such as the Texas Medical Center. So my confidence in the next Houston comeback isn’t just based on our great charitable spirit of cooperation. It’s also based on our civic history, our mutual experience. Not that a full recovery will always be easy. We need homeowners and commuters to be patient. We need state and federal government agencies to drop the red tape and find new, flexible ways to provide us with the funding we need to get individuals back on their feet, to repair infrastructure, to develop housing for the displaced. We also need the Federal Emergency Management Agency to put in its best performance as it carries out its mission to aid areas of the country that are wounded by natural disasters. I suggested to President Trump when he was here that the federal government carve out funding to help the hundreds of Houston first responders whose homes were flooded and who lacked flood insurance. He literally gave me the thumbs up on that idea. Overall, every Houstonian can hold their heads high as we move forward to a future that is stronger than ever.

Mayor Sylvester Turner

FOLK thanks Kingwood community

Dear Editor:
On behalf of the Friends of the Library, Kingwood (FOLK), I want to thank members of the Kingwood community who, as of mid-September, have so generously donated over $9,000 so that we can help the Kingwood Branch Library purchase new children’s books and equipment lost in the Hurricane Harvey flood. With over 3 feet of water in the first floor of the library, the entire children’s collection, DVDs, books on tape, offices, and the FOLK Used Bookstore are gone. FOLK exists for one reason only, which is to help our local library in any way we can. Normally we use income from book sales in our used bookstore to help the library. Without this income we are, more than ever, dependent on individual donations. Our website, kingwoodfolk.org, has the latest information on the rebuilding process and ways to contribute. Again, we want to express our most heartfelt thank you to all who have responded to our plea for contributions to help in this effort.

Emily Maas
Friends of the Library, Kingwood

Ugh! The Trucks!

Dear Editor:
I read the letter to you from Mr. Richard T. Britton who lives in Kingwood. I also live in Kingwood and in close proximity to the areas he mentioned in his letter to you in the Aug. 16 edition of The Tribune. It is ironic that just two days earlier, my wife and I called the City of Houston “Help Line” to solicit their assistance toward investigating this issue. I live in the Elm Grove section of Kingwood and about 100 feet from the new stretch of West Lake Houston Parkway that connects to Mills Branch Road. There is a gravel or sand business just off Mills Branch where these heavy trucks get filled with gravel/sand, travel west on Mills Branch and then turn south on West Lake Houston Parkway. They start their travels by 5 a.m. Monday through Friday and go into the late hours of the evening. As I type this at 11 a.m., there have been 75 trucks traveling down this road. The city was polite. They took my name, address and phone number and said a representative would be out to assess this “situation.” I remain hopeful as this heavy traffic is both a continual disturbance and a hazard to the many residents who walk this area with children and pets. Thank you for your assistance.

Ralph Rhodes

Tin Roof is the best

Dear Editor:
I live and work in the Atascocita area and am a member of the Pentecostal Church of Atascocita. We opened the church for guests that needed to rest after they were rescued from their homes. I want to thank Tin Roof BBQ for stepping up and helping feed our guests and workers every day since Wednesday. What a blessing. Of course, many have stepped up nameless and helped, but I truly believe that Tin Roof BBQ went above and beyond the call of compassion, helping all our local shelters.

Carolyn Ellis

Great Job!

Dear Editor:
Recently The Tribune carried an article written by Ms. Celine Wallace on the Kingwood Photo Club. The article was titled “The Kingwood Photo Club Explains the Significance of Displaying Prints.” We thought the article was well written and did a great job of capturing our meeting event and the presentation by the Humble Camera Center. Celine really went above and beyond on this piece. We always appreciate the exposure, especially when it’s so well done. Thanks on behalf of all our members.

Chuck Dugand
President, Kingwood Photo Club

Thanks so much!

Dear Editor:
I wanted to send you a thank you for writing the article on the Kingwood apartments. As you may be aware, I launched this fight against Kingwood Lakes in 2015 and have continued the fight. I am also going after Kingwood Lakes for the unlawful and fraudulent gas utility charges and could use your help to notify tenants and gather momentum. Anyone with an interest may email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Melanie Bittone

The Gardener is great!

Dear Editor:
Thanks to Darrin Duling, columnist for “Ask The Gardener” in The Tribune for his sage advice on perking up my lantana! I was able to identify and eliminate the spider mites thanks to you!

Russ Ford

Waiters! Pay Attention!

Dear Editor:
To prevent awkward moments at restaurants, servers (and those who train them) should never assume a single check when serving two or more diners. Ask if in doubt or if the situation is not obvious. Such an assumption is presumptuous at best and conveys laziness at worst. Servers should always be observant but unobtrusive. A smile on a server’s face and tone of voice may increase diners’ tips. Breakfast servers could better serve their customers by keeping focus after the meal is delivered by leaving a check/bill at the same time. Also, be mindful of that second cup of coffee. That way, customers will not have to wait while trying to catch the server’s eye … which at too many times is a long time. The above suggestions will help many, many enjoy eating out much more.

Name Withheld by Request

Just walk away

Dear Editor:
The Charlottesville tragedy where a young woman senselessly was killed and others were injured raises an important issue regarding the way in which one expresses displeasure with a particular point of view. That tragedy occurred when protesters – white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups were protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue – clashed with counter protesters, including the young woman who died. Two forms of protest exist. One is active; the other is passive. To clarify them, consider this example: As I am walking across a college campus, I encounter X (X is a white nationalist or a neo-Nazi) atop a soapbox expressing his views. I stop and listen to his message, with which I strongly disagree. I then can (1) argue with him or (2) turn around and walk away. I prefer the latter option, and if everyone who comes along follows my lead, then the speaker will be left addressing no one. After many hours or days of being left there alone, X should realize that his point of view interests no one. To argue with X is, in my opinion, a waste of time (it will accomplish nothing), and it is likely to result in bitter feelings and/or violence (witness Charlottesville). If Charlottesville’s counter protestors had chosen the passive option that I prefer, then no clash would have occurred; the young lady who died still would be alive; and no one would have been injured. Surely that outcome is preferable to the alternative.

Bill Bailey

Statues? The Rest of the Story …

Dear Editor:
For many years a certain popular radio personality became well known for taking a story that everyone thought they already knew and presenting it with all the background and details that revealed a completely different understanding. In today’s climate of closed minds and tribalism that can be a tough sell. But I believe there are still many folks who genuinely just want the facts. So what are the facts about all these Confederate statues scattered across the South? First, almost none were put up right after the Civil War. The vast majority were erected during the Jim Crow era, a time when states enacted laws segregating African-Americans, dooming them to poor schools, services, extreme voter suppression, and violence. That violence included a documented 186 lynchings of black people in 1893 alone – mostly men but women and children, too. It is widely believed by historians that these statues were primarily a continuation of this display of white supremacy.
“But it’s history! Removing them is erasing history!” That seems to be the reasoning by some to leave them up. I suggest they be put in a museum. Teaching history is the primary function of history museums and we have lots of them. Placing a statue on public property conveys a celebration, an honoring of what that statue represents. This is 2017. Do we really want to communicate that we honor people who sought to destroy our union or who fought to preserve an idea as repugnant as slavery? “So it’s Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis now. Who’s next? George Washington and Thomas Jefferson? They owned slaves!” This is so ridiculous that I can’t believe anyone genuinely can’t see the difference in our founding fathers who created this great country and those who fought to destroy it. Come on! “You are trying to destroy our culture!” Seriously? As a fifth-generation Texan who grew up in a small Texas town and who has traveled throughout the South enjoying its beauty and hospitality, I have to say that argument for keeping the statues up is probably the worst. If you think a losing insurrection ending 152 years ago is our region’s claim to fame then you don’t know the South! We have produced some of our nation’s greatest artists and writers (how about a statue of Faulkner?), the best cuisine anywhere (OK, I’m prejudiced) , and did I mention the first word spoken on the moon was the name of our own Southern city? Wouldn’t it be great to have statues in Hermann Park and other prominent public places that celebrate and honor astronauts or scientists or others who had a positive impact on our nation and deserve our respect and admiration … That’s what statues are for! … and that’s the rest of the story.

Deborah Mowery

Protest gone bad

Dear Editor:
I am amazed at the reports by the press and mainstream media on how President Trump didn’t condemn the racial right in his statements. I have watched and listened to his statements and it is very clear that he did and furthermore he has condemned David Duke and the KKK publicly many times in the past. So what is the problem? Are they so blinded by hatred that their eyes and ears won’t allow them to comprehend what they see and hear or are they so intent on pushing their agenda that they chose to tell their public what they want the story to be? The really sad part of this latest protest gone bad is the comments by the members of the GOP swamp who are willing to recite the press’s account of the events without even taking the time to listen to what Trump actually said in his several statements. Is it so comfy in the swamp that they will attempt to overthrow their own party to keep him from making waves or heaven forbid, actually start the draining process? The questions we should be asking ourselves are: What would have happened if only the white supremacists showed up? Would they have destroyed public property, set fires and robbed businesses like other protest groups have in the past when there were no white supremacist to confront them? Would the violence have been avoided if the police had been allowed to do their job and kept the two groups separated? I know the mainstream media wants a story they can run with that boosts their agenda, but how can the local government defend their actions with their own citizens?
Trump’s statements that both sides participated in the fighting was exactly correct and both groups came to fight with helmets and clubs in their possession. Peaceful protesters don’t need these items. Lastly, where were the media’s and the politicians’ outrage during the many recent protest rallies across the country where the liberal left protesters attacked free speech at numerous colleges? They have destroyed public property, set fires, broken into businesses where they robbed and looted and even attacked law enforcement. Where are the politicians’ outrage and condemnation? Is freedom of speech not protected in the U.S.A. any longer? I am aware that the liberal left politicians support and fund the protesters that push their agenda so will never speak out against them, but where were the politicians on the right during these events that seemed to somehow find their voices now? Dead cops … when do you want them? .. Now! I saw, I listened and I remember, do you?

Sid B. Nice

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