Solid Gold 40 is shocked and dismayed; non-fans of Carole Keeton Rylander add their two cents; a tear for Tony's Vineyard; and more letters to the editor.

Solid Gold Response


Vol. 19, No. 1 of The Austin Chronicle: "Live Shots." Last week we were excited to see the August 27 Hole in the Wall Solid Gold 40 show reviewed. We were really very shocked and dismayed, however, to see the song "Wake You With My Love" mislabeled as "Rape You With My Love." While we consistently poke fun at any number of taboo subjects, something as violent and abhorable as rape is not, nor will it ever be, one of them.

We have always been glad to see our efforts noticed by the Chronicle and we understand that David Lynch is not a staff writer. However, a mistake such as this really can't be overlooked. We have always prided ourselves on the music we make and the fact that there is an ever-present element of inclusion in the recordings and the performances we produce. This printed error clearly misrepresents what we do and who we are.

Furthermore, any member of the band would have eagerly provided Lynch with a CD, set list, or any other information that could have been of use to him. With the exception of the aformentioned blunder and another mistaken song title or so, the review was great and a lot of fun to read. We just wish that this journalist would have taken the time before, during, or after the show to check his sources.

Thanks for your attention to this matter and we hope to see a retraction of some sort in this week's Chronicle. Hopefully, you can understand the sensitivity of this clerical error.

David Wyatt

(Stinky del Negro)

Solid Gold 40

Mixed Review


1) As a longtime non-fan of Carole Keeton Rylander, I agree with your analysis of her politically ambitious character ["Page Two," Vol. 19, No. 1]. However, you forgot to mention the proud tradition of the comptroller's office for grandstanding -- remember Bullock's Raiders?

2) If Robert Bryce would stop using Chuck Herring (counsel for Ms. May) as the source for his work, it might have more credibility ["Burying the Past," Vol. 19, No. 1]. Read the Aug. 31 front page, column six story in The Wall Street Journal for a more balanced view of Ms. May's handling of the SCI matter. (Then compare it to the Rylander tactics you so appropriately criticized.)

3) So the "Coach" was de-credentialed by UT ["Coach's Corner," Vol. 19, No. 1]. If he even tried to be a half-decent sportswriter, instead of boring everyone with his endless blather about his pitiful personal life, things might have been different.

Keep up the good work,

Harvey Cohen

Damn Good Work

Dear Louis,

Thanks for being brave enough to print the (appropriately) strong negative statement "Damn Carole Keeton Rylander" as the first words in the paper this week. I was furious with her tactics also, and was proud of you for your harsh response to her actions. Good work.

Jan Ziegler

Ex Chron Art Director, 1982

Fine Design


I must say that the new format is much easier to use and appealing to the eyes. A big round of applause to everyone at the Chronicle for making it Austin's best paper!

Great Job!

Matt Piskorz

Don't Pay? Don't Naysay


As "Postmarks" becomes the forum of choice for dissatisfied public-radio listeners to unburden themselves, I'm wondering if these people are paying their dues as members of KUT. If you are a KUT member, might I suggest addressing your complaints directly to the station's management?

If you are not a KUT member, you can voice your complaints to the bathroom mirror because no one else gives a damn what you think.

Most sincerely,

Phil Riley

Not Amused


[Re: Review of The Muse, "Movie Listings"]

Three stars, my ass. It was so bad that I was depressed the rest of the night.

C. Roadman

Bye to Bondo

Dear Friends of Bondo:

When I heard a month or so ago that Bondo's life had already come & gone I looked forward to seein' you, hearin' you reminisce. I'd heard that there would be a memorial on his birthday, which was yesterday -- if there was one, I couldn't find it. When or if you have the time, will you please either write (Texana Dames, PO Box 3132, Austin, TX 78764) or call me (512/448-1820) with your clearest memories of Bondo? However long or brief, detailed or generalized, I'd love to hear from you. I believe that many of you would agree that there was a time when Bondo's presence in our music community -- though perhaps behind the scenes -- was significant. Thank heaven for roadies, soundmen, stage managers, and security -- especially ones with common sense and a sense of humor who can take it all with a grain of salt and maintain a sweet love of music. I hope you're doin' well and I look forward to hearing from you.

-- to Bondo --

Love and thanks,

Conni Hancock

A Tear for Tony's

Dear Editor:

I note with sadness the closing of Tony's Vineyard on the Drag. While attending UT, it was always comforting to make a trip to Tony's to get some hearty food and listen to the music after I bombed a test or had a stressful week. The pizza and calzones had a crisp, textured crust, flavorful sauce, and spicy sausage. The music would always be something like Sinatra or opera, something to take you away to a faraway time or place.

Since I graduated from UT, I have not been able to make it to Tony's quite as often, and it was probably on one of my recent biweekly trips that I neglected to notice the sign saying it was closing. Unfortunately, on my last trip it was abundantly clear as the place was empty and dark. I know that Tony's wasn't the most popular place in town and that most Austinites probably did not know it existed, but to me it was the best pizza place in town and there will never be another place like it.

Ryan T. McDaniel

Weird City Folks


Hey, nice traffic jam. That's what I love about Austin; vegetarians wear leather, buy six-packs of beer, then jump into an economy car to go see live music. The air is filled with filth, air conditioning is on full-tilt, everyone is trying to get laid, and then they drive home drunk. And we're told that Austinites are more intelligent than your average Texan. Of course they are! Didn't anyone notice that a large percentage of your economic activity is subsidized by taxpayers from all over Texas? Millions of people at work so that we can argue who is the best guitarist on a bicycle drinking draft beer to vote for Gore.

Cool concrete,

Todd Alan Smith

Colmesneil, Texas

Scary Science


Mr. Bodmann wrote in the Aug. 20 Chronicle that an "ignorant fear of viral promoters" is behind the "environmentalist's" opposition to genetic engineering (GE) ["Postmarks"]. Opponents of these "Frankenfoods" aren't afraid of science as he presumes; it's their knowledge of the science behind GE that fuels their fears. Dr. Mae Won-Ho explains that viral promoters are used in their "naked" form in bioengineering. This means that a virus that is harmless in its intact form can become infectious in its altered form. Furthermore, the presence of a foreign genome "could reactivate dormant viruses, which are in the genomes of all higher organisms," or "could generate new viruses --"

Dr. Won-Ho doesn't hold an isolated opinion. Dr. George Wald, Nobel laureate and professor of biology at Harvard, stated that GE foods "could breed new animal and plant disorders, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics." There has not been adequate safety testing, and there is disagreement within the FDA over the safety of GE foods. Prof. Richard Lacey, microbiologist and professor of food safety at Leeds University, states that "it is virtually impossible to even conceive of a testing procedure to assess the health effects of GE foods -- nor is there any valid nutritional or public interest reason for their introduction." Dr. Lacey predicted the "mad-cow disease" crisis more than seven years ago.

Biochemist Dr. Erwin Chargoff warns that GE brings a greater threat to the world than the advent of nuclear technology. We can't afford to continue research in such a potentially destructive field, as no amount of remediation can correct the damage once it occurs -- genetic information can't be recalled. For more info on this subject, visit these Web sites: indexeng.htm and

Best Regards,

Jennifer Schaffer

Ozone Action

Dear Editor:

It sure would be nice if Austinites were as environmentally conscious as we think we are. Our air is now so bad that even the Environmental Protection Agency objects to it. It's within our power to do something about this, through our individual behavior. But I'll bet that the "environmentalists" who drive cars with green bumper stickers will find any individual change in behavior just too much trouble.

Please, if you think you care about the environment, consider inconveniencing yourself just a little in the hope of changing things. If you drive a car everywhere you go, please consider carpooling. Try driving less; keep track of your mileage and figure out ways to reduce it. If you live within 10 miles of your destination, you might even go there by bicycle. Or take the bus, even if it's slower than your car.

Scott Johnson's air-pollution letter of September 3 contains the admonition to limit physical activity on high ozone days. Every day in Riverside, California, the newspaper tells people not to go outside or exercise physically. Unfortunately, people interpret this to mean that it's better to drive around in cars and produce pollution than risk lung damage by walking or bicycling.

If you're a healthy adult, for heaven's sake be brave and assume a little personal risk for cleaner air. The attitude that it's better to produce pollution for others to breathe than to breathe it oneself is very destructive. Please don't buy into it. If we all work to reduce our personal contribution to air pollution, we'll have cleaner air.

Yours truly,

Amy Babich

Discriminating Growth

Howdy y'all,

The major problem with Smart Growth "visionaries" is in authenticating their "visions."

Oracles routinely have visions, messages thought to be sent from above and divine. Austin City Hall visionaries are autocratically and automatically placed on angelic pedestals and woe to anyone who questions their visions.

So here's the awful truth about those who herald their visions as wise and virtuous.

How do we know they are not just lying? What if Austin visionaries are just running a selfishly motivated plan of oppressive class distinctions?

It's not just a rumor that the Smart Growth plan in Austin is a carbon copy of Portland's Smart Growth plan. Ten years of Smart Growth planning has left Portland with the highest property land values in the nation. It's those rising land values that accelerate the "tax base increases."

So what's the connection between the two cities? Elitist white-collar planners.

Who funded the Internet Web site? That would be the EPA. Yep, the feds hired a "contractor" to build and manipulate this Smart Growth Web site. And who is that contractor? That would be the International City/County Management Association. Our Austin city manager is a member and scheduled to attend the annual ICMA conference at the end of this month. And where is the 85th conference of the IMCA being held? Portland.

The leadership of Austin expects us to adopt Smart Growth planning with funding we all supply through federal and city taxes. Planning consists of extreme rezoning and the resulting higher property taxation, which just happens to evict low-income Austinites from an imaginary "downtown doughnut hole."

Ponder the lack of morals and ethics in this inner city land grab that appears to run throughout City Hall. There is no difference between discrimination based on financial oppression instead of racial oppression.

Rick Hall

Not-So-Great Society


I was always told a great society was judged by how that governing body took care of the least fortunate of the whole.

So when I, as a lesser part of this whole called Austin, asked for help I was amazed at how little the great metropolis was not able to help me. Let me elaborate.

I, a white disabled Scottish American found myself in need of financial assistance from the utility department of our growth-gorged city. I exhausted the resources I had at my disposal and even borrowed against tomorrow's. This was not smart on my part and I admit it, but when all my options were exhausted and I was reduced to begging, I asked the city for help. (It is not too hard for those of you who can't comprehend, it's just survival.) People, what amazed me was the difference now in 1999 and the last time I had to ask back in 1992 or '93. Today, Sept. 1 '99, the people at the city of Austin assistance program for utilities and ETC -- said at all assistance locations, and I quote, "We accept applications and we may or may not call you back and we have cases we haven't helped since April so don't hold your breath." In '92 it was walk in and be helped! Wow, I can sure breathe easier now that the feds have taken over Austin.

You may ask why I make such a bold statement, but if you ever deal with the federal government even the local offices here in Austin, you will find the laziest most dishonest unscrupulous band of thieves in history. (There are exceptions and they are, for the most part, weeded out quickly, of this well-glued fortress of bureaucratic naysayers.) So Mr. Caesar Mayor I ask you one simple question before I am undone to the elements that made me. Are these great architectural and cultural wonders that you put before Austinites going to be a marvel for all to enjoy or will this city's leaders see the needs of the poor as an acceptable sacrifice in your quest for a new coliseum?

Joseph W. Harrison

Trashtown, USA

Dear Chronicle:

Is there anyone else out there that notices the disgraceful amounts of trash strewn all over the city of Austin? I would love to hear from you because I sometimes wonder if anyone else cares. I know you bike riders see it. It can't be missed. What about you bus riders? At any given Cap Metro bus stop you will find litter laying on the ground inches away from trashcans! How about you smokers? Austin is not your ashtray! The piles of cigarette butts laying by the side of the road at busy intersections sicken me. Business owners, big and small, your storefronts and parking lots are cluttered with garbage. Cleaning it up would be good business sense. I am dumfounded by the people standing at street corners downtown while litter blows all around them. No one bothers to pick any up. Are we this apathetic, lazy, or oblivious?

Whatever happened to "Don't Mess With Texas"? How can this go on in a city so proud and profoundly concerned with its environment? Beer cans, plastic bottles and bags, are everywhere. Trash litters virtually every part of the city. It's not just up and down I-35. It can be found on Barton Springs Road, the hike-and-bike trail on Town Lake, Lamar, downtown, and in our neighborhoods. Just look around. Let's hold ourselves to a higher civilized standard and behave as if we care as much about this city as we profess to. Put your trash in the trashcan, or, better yet, bend over and pick some up.


Ty Hurless

Border Patrol


The real problem with crime in my neighborhood is not the criminals themselves. It's the kind of opportunities they can grab, and a good dose of media poisoning at an early age, including the subtle, pervasive dislodging from the family block by the state -- as an effect on their feeble minds, that drives them to do "things." However, learning how to work around the law is what makes some of them so good. I have focused on these when trying to convince the cops I've had the chance to talk to that their agenda is so wrong, and their state of mind is even worse, when confronted about this problem. And guess what? Half of these cops are not from Austin! So, upgrade my grief to disgrace: You haven't been able to breed in all these years anybody able to occupy a high-paid position at UT, at the Statesman, or most of the TV or radio stations here, command AISD, manage the airport, the police or fire department, but not even a lousy cop, you pile of pendejos? (Gail Brekke, from Connecticut, is the new general manager at KXAN.) We all have a problem. I think Mr. Stan Knee should resign as police chief for incompetence and negligence, as far as crime is concerned, and he can take with him UT's Mr. Cunningham and Mr. Mack "Million Dollar" Brown for pushing back the locals on their aspirations, promoting misery and ignorance, and maybe we can stop this dangerous trend of introducing privileged swingers into this wrecked environment that we call Austin.

Paul Aviña

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July 9, 2004

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