Mucho thanks for all the good stuff -- Best of '96 "Best Sandwich" and the "wayno" write-up on the joint in the last issue [Vol. 16, No. 13]. It's greatly appreciated by the Texicalli gang. May all your holidays be in the company of Mary Ann Brite.
[Ed. Note: Actually, Danny, you got "Honorable Mention," but you're still #1 for "Best Use of an Old Taco Bell."]
Dear Mr. Editor,
On a sports note: I, for one, was happy to see UT prevent the University of Nebraska from winning their 709th all-time football victory....
Like in 1950
A cut in schools and hospitals, or what they call 1996, health and education could be what medical students did request 1949, an M.S. in medicine, after two years in medical school.
That would be like in 1950, when nursing schools dropped the third year, less expense to student and the school, and the associate profs then remarking, "Get the theory first and then the practice,---"
Since P.A.'s, physician's associates have a license to practice medicine under the Board of Medical Examiners for the State of Texas, then a man or woman with an M.S. in medicine,--- would be a "certified physician,---"
As in the local Austin, TX, TV ad for Charter hospitals, admission by a certified physician, and that can be or is or includes a P.A., at the admissions desk.
That is the Charter Behavioral Health System of Austin at 8402 Cross Park Dr., Austin, TX, which says here "diagnosis by a licensed physician---" --- 512/837-1800 or 800/CHARTER.
That could include 1997, maybe some young ladies and gentlemen with two years in medical school and an M.S. in medicine,-- it is possible, and it could be,---
Mrs. Alice Kennedy Spooner
Seeing the Chronicle's review of Ballet Austin's performances on the Internet is a pleasant surprise. Keep up the good work! I have wondered, however, if the reviewer and the audience assume that they are seeing the best performers in lead parts on "opening night." That is not necessarily true. If the city wants to raise its cultural level, ballet goers need to become discriminating, and consequently appreciative of real artistry, they should attend ballet often enough to compare not only individual dancer technique and grace (qualities that hard work can produce), but more importantly, the degree of originality and creativity the dancer possesses (qualities that cannot be taught and are extremely rare). The surprise may be for Austin that you have one of the world's finest ballerinas in your company, and you may not always see her in opening-night performances. I have had the good fortune to see all the world's "well-known" ballerinas, and your city is extremely lucky although I suspect, as yet, unaware of your good fortune.
But Ma, Uncle Stan Moshes!
I agree with Paul Dellinger's philosophy behind moshing. I myself, 43-year-old Lost Boy, have also come under the spell of the pit. And believe me I'm no neckless, boneheaded huffer.
Having spent so many years on the stage and not down front, it was certainly not my first inclination to dive right in to what my generation would have considered a sacrilege to the peace, love, and dope mentality. That is until I found myself with gothic friends at the first of many, many Crash Worship shows.
It may have been something about the fire, or the "music," or the hour (generally 3am 'til dawn), certainly the people, but I found myself literally being drawn to the flame, and the fire of course, is the center of the pit. After my first session, at the Cavern, I came out oddly refreshed, cleansed, and hooked, despite the nightmarish atmosphere of the shows (the real ones, not that parlor room version they threw at Emo's!). I even save the white T-shirts I wear that become a canvas to any number of mysterious and indelible substances and stains. I've also been known to shock the uninitiated by proudly displaying the bruises I occasionally get. And like any good acolyte, I proselytize.
Thus, having ridden the tiger, indoors and out, in the heat, cold, wind, and rain, you get an attitude about any given musical event. One that necessitates always checking out the action. You get to where you can smell the pretenders. The pit becomes a kind of beacon luring you down front. Even before the music starts, there's an indescribable energy that you can almost measure as you head that way. And once the roiling begins it can make you feel the kind of "alive" that extreme challengers get from high adventure or holy rollers get from hosting.
In any event, you don't have to body-surf the crowd, or knock heads with someone (I wear glasses) or even flail for that matter. Just get as close to the "flame" as your inhibitions take you, then let nature, and the crowd do the rest. The next day, when friends ask you what that glow on your face is, you'll simply say you can't explain it, you have to be there. Let's go!
Stanley Gilbert, Jr.
¿No Legal? ¡No Enseña!
Your recent article on the Fox administration of the Austin Independent School District (AISD) did not mention the millions of dollars spent educating illegal alien students.
In a lawsuit filed against the federal government in 1994, the Attorney General of Texas estimated that educating illegal alien students had cost Texas taxpayers $623 million in 1993. The cost has continued and is probably higher now. AISD's share of that has continued and is probably higher now. AISD's share of that is a lot, but it could be avoided.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has the legal power to remove illegals, but they must know who and where they are. School officials should notify INS officers of illegals in their schools. They need not be immigration experts. They should just advise INS of students who do not present evidence of United States citizenship or legal immigration status. Then let the INS experts handle it.
Some teachers and officials will not like that, but Section 642 of the 1996 Immigration Reform Act prohibits restrictions upon communications with INS.
Bill Toney, Chairman
Texans for Fair Immigration
The Macro/Micro Connection
It's pretty clear that the Barton Springs Salamander is indeed doomed.
With TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) as one of the three unregulating agencies assigned to protect water quality under the agreement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, batching hazardous/toxic waste cement from Texas Industries' Midlothian Plant out at the Oak Hill 290W project on our delicately balanced recharge zone, I find it difficult to muster reassurance that good ol' Texas folks can do the job. The auto industry rules the roost, there's no way we're gonna find an easy way to stop those errant waste scrap tires from rolling (whole) right into the cement incineration kilns bound for highway expansions to beach the very same hazardous waste Travis County and the city are sending off to be used as fuel against us and our environment; this game is old and it's sick.
Earth First! Austin
I was present November 21 at the City Council meeting where Mayor Todd presented the proclamation giving thanks for Church/State Separation Week. I was appalled when, following the proclamations the council had the assembly stand for a Christian prayer before starting their meeting! Is this not in direct conflict with the tenets set forth by our founding fathers that government shall sanction no religion? As an atheist I was confused to say the least. What did they expect me to do during this prayer? Does the City Council not represent citizens of all beliefs?
Mayor Todd commented that "principles that we all hold about human decency and kindness... had origins in religious upbringing... etc." As if religion is the origin of morality. It is not. Nor is this justification for including religion in government activities. Government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" must represent all of the people. This includes atheists.
As citizens of Austin, atheists work and pay taxes and vote and live and die and raise our children right next door to yours. We are your spouses, children, siblings, neighbors, colleagues, and friends. We share many of the same values which you have. Just because we do not acknowledge your God does not give you the right to deny us fair representation in the government in which we are also a part.
Kellen Von Houser
218 B.C. (Before Coach)
I enjoyed Coach's column ["Coaches Corner," Vol. 16, No. 15]. And what's half a millennium among friends, especially when we're talking Texas football -- Hannibal fought the Romans in 218, but it was 218 B.C.
I read with amusement that Janet Stockard was voted "Best Lawyer '96". Is this a joke or do a lot of your readers need criminal defense attorneys?
As I am writing this, Austin is undoubtedly in the midst of media hype concerning the upcoming appearance of roots-country band BR5-49. Now, BR5-49 is a fine band with talented musicians, but their current success is a vivid illustration of the power of the Nashville music industry. Their recent show in Houston was preceded by a media blitz almost "worthy" of a Garth Brooks. Enthusiastic press articles chronicled the band's interpretation of classic country & western music, the same music that the industry has deliberately blackballed from the airwaves. A sellout crowd greeted the band, and the media machine has another success story. And while we can only hope that such success opens doors for other bands (KIKK disc jockey Rowdy Yates was roundly booed as he introduced the band, presumably because this is the type of music his station won't play), anyone with an honest ear would probably agree that there are a host of regional bands working this style as well as, if not better than, BR5-49. Bands like the Derailers, Don Walser, Dale Watson, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, and the Hollisters are, at best, on independent labels with little PR muscle. Heck, even Junior Brown is still without a major record label, in spite of success on the road and on cable. All because they don't have the right people hyping them. Hopefully, bands like this will get their shot at the big time, but it's obvious that talent is not the determining factor.