Winning Hand

Fascinating "sport": I am probably alone and certainly biased in my assessment, but I must say it's nice to see some coverage on a player I respect ("The Player," July 19) and on a game I love to play and watch. For some reason, poker is treated like all other forms of gambling and looked upon with a certain measure of disdain. I find this ironic when it is so often coming out of the mouths of individuals who regularly play the Lotto and ignore the fact that their day-trading is unbelievably more risky than my occasional jaunts to Vegas, where I attempt to hold my own with the locals and pros.

It's a fascinating "sport" that I think would have a large following if the technology could be utilized so a viewing audience could be enticed to watch.

Jeff Fairey
Via e-mail

He knows poker: Congrats to Eric Celeste for one of the best-written stories about a poker player I've seen. It's obvious he knows poker, but he was able to convey the game and many of its complexities in a manner all could understand. Eric is a winner of a writer.

Via e-mail

Free the Cat

Shafted in Texas: Finally someone in Texas has the baseball savvy to print something on the "Cat," Frank Catalonotto ("Frank's Place," June 7). Frank is a native of Smithtown, New York, and there are hundreds of people up here who would love to see Frank either become a full-time starter (Jesus, the kid does everything except sell beer in the stands) or get traded to his and our beloved Yankees. What a chance for a trade Frank had, when our second baseman couldn't throw the ball to first without it first going into the field boxes. What was the Yankee general manager thinking at that time? Frank's riding the wood in Texas, and Chuck Knoblauch is killing the team and the fans who get hit in the head by his misguided throws to first. And for the first time in history, George Steinbrenner is keeping quiet. Frank is getting (frankly) the shaft down in Texas. Either fill him in on the lineup card every day or trade him to some team that appreciates a "natural" who comes along once in a blue moon.

Buzz Woods
Eastport, New York

Apology to Permheads

Not against anything: This is a little late in coming but still necessary to set the record straight. Overall, the extensive article that was written about ANHA and the nappy-hair issue ("Happy Nappy Girls") in the July 5 issue of the Dallas Observer was provocative, informative and well-written. But there were some spots where the writer (and/or editor) took some liberties that led to some distortion and misstatements. I am particularly concerned about a paragraph that was wrongfully attributed to me. The paragraph said, "ANHA, Jones says, is a rally against the 'chemical pushers' in black hair salons who don't respect black women, make you wait, charge too much and urge you to adopt a look that pulls you far away from who you really are."

For the record: I did not make those comments. I have never referred to hair stylists as "chemical pushers," nor have I ever said that ANHA is a rally against them. That is not our purpose.

It only takes a look at the mission statement on the About Us page and the Membership page of our Web site to see what our mission is. If ANHA rallies against anything, it is low self-esteem. We are a rally for a positive self-image and appreciation of our unique and natural characteristics. I have always maintained that.

I think it is very important that I make this clear to set the record straight, because there are enough "haters" out there who don't take kindly to our efforts to celebrate ourselves. It doesn't help when words are misinterpreted.

ANHA does not exist to attack permheads or purveyors of perms. We exist to support those who make the choice to take the natural path. I just want to be very clear about that.

Linda Jones
Founder, A Nappy Hair Affair

Editor's note: We apologize for incorrectly attributing the critical statements about chemicals and black hair salons to Ms. Jones. Those comments were, in fact, made by other ANHA members and natural-hair supporters.

Where the Buck Stops

All deserve blame: Regarding your article "Mea Exculpa" (July 19), I am a 30-year city employee, and it is standard procedure that when a department head prepares to screw an employee, the first stop is to seek advice from the city attorney, and the next stop is the city manager. There is no way that Chief Bolton could have carried out his plan without the blessings of both the city attorney and the city manager.

This is not the first time that this group has conspired to deny employees due process, and it will not be the last, unless the thousands of employees who have been victimized by such actions unite and take action. I feel that this represents gross mismanagement of our tax dollars, and there should be consequences suffered by all three individuals involved.

Ruby Anthony Alexander

Cheap Words

Dump The Door: I'm not a math wiz by any means, but something struck me as kind of strange regarding the Buzz story about The Door needing money (July 12). Ole Anthony said that it costs $1.35 an issue to produce 12,000 issues. That would be $16,200. He said that if circulation rose to 17,000, he could use a bigger press, and price per issue would drop to 30 cents. That would be $5,100. Why doesn't he print 17,000 issues and throw 5,000 of them away? He would still save $11,100. Is there something I'm not getting here?

Via e-mail