Galveston mayoral candidate Elizabeth Beeton speaks during a public forum hosted by The Galveston County Daily News on Wednesday. A reader questions the lead sentence in the story published in The Daily News.

KEVIN M. COX/The Daily News

Last Wednesday night I attended the public question and answer forum at Ball High School where candidates for the upcoming election were hosted by The Daily News.

Imagine my dismay when the morning after I read the article (“Galveston candidates face off,” Daily News, March 20) reporting on the event.

The lead sentence of the article reads, “Elizabeth Beeton wants to make Galveston weird.”

This wasn’t just the lead sentence of the article — it stood alone and was the lead paragraph of the article.

Who, running for mayor, would go before the voters and claim that they “want to make Galveston weird,” whatever that might mean?

They would have to be stupid to suggest such a thing, and Elizabeth Beeton is anything but stupid.

So what did she say? Citing the city of Austin as an example, she said: “I see Galveston as being a destination for young people, for young people to want to live here.”

You heard it right, fellow citizens. Elizabeth Beeton wants Galveston to become the type of place where young people would want to live.

How “weird” is that?

The only thing “weird” was reporter John Wayne Ferguson’s associating that particular word with anything Elizabeth Beeton had to say.

Was it journalistic flair or deliberate misrepresentation? Inquiring minds want to know.

Martin Kelly


(12) comments

Carlos Ponce

Seeing Galveston as being a destination for young people is good. Citing Austin as an example, not so good. Please read "Top Ten Demographic Trends in Austin, Texas":

While some trends are okay, some do not represent Galveston. But vote for who you want. It's your city, not mine. I have no dog in this fight.

Jarvis Buckley

EB would make Galveston a friendlier city.

GW Cornelius

EB would destroy Galveston. She has and will continue to do the things that are bad for Galveston. This is the same EB that lead the charge to fire the best city manager in Texas and then lead the charge to fire the light weight she help hire because he would not cave into to her every whim. EB is bad for Galveston. She has proved that over and over again.

Steve Fouga

If EB could magically make Galveston similar to Austin, I would vote for her, volunteer for her campaign, maybe even contribute to her campaign. Austin is one of the finest places to live in the nation. If Galveston were anything like Austin, tourism would double and more citizens would be happy.

If she could make it like Denver, that would be even better.

I just wish Galveston could elect someone who's not a good ole boy, or gal.


Lars Faltskog

I can see the parallel in a journalist/writer wanting to insert the "weird" designation. I've said in all my adult life that the best places in Texas are indeed Austin and Galveston. Both places have an emphasis on all types of people enjoying the natural resources that accompany these 2 locations.

Austin, like Galveston, is casual and not like most of the rest of Texas. Yes, young people like to come and visit here, just as they do Austin, and Port Isabel.

Politically, Galveston proper is generally more progressive than the rest of the state. Same for a preponderence of Austin neighborhoods/areas. Finally, the off-the-beaten path crowd, artists, and so forth are prevelant meeting areas in both Galveston and Austin. Austin particularly is now a music and actor/actress location. None of this nearly as much for boring L. City or Waco, or Dallas (exception of some of their after-hour night life). So, yes, it would be cool to make Galveston "weird".

Leonce Thierry

Why would Galveston need to be like any other city? It's more unique in terms of history than most cities. It's architecture is second to none. It's people are diverse. There already seems to be something for everyone. Perhaps getting other folks to realize the true beauty of Galveston would be an accomplishment for any future mayor.

I certainly appreciate Elizabeth Beeton. She is a critical thinker and is unafraid to speak in unpopular terms for the greater good of the community.

Steve Fouga

Good point, Hank. Galveston doesn't need to be like other places. I know this because I'm one of the many who chose this city when I could have lived elsewhere. In choosing Galveston, I felt her good qualities far outweighed her bad. (On the other hand, my wife had to be talked into moving here from Denver.)

Hank, I'll take issue with one of your points. I don't feel there is something for everyone. Galveston doesn't support the high-end -- or even the mid-end -- consumer. No Whole Foods, Central Market, Costco, Ace Hardware, or Vitamin Shoppe. No Zoe's, Panera Bread, Chipotle, or Freebirds. This is because there are few high-paying and mid-paying jobs: energy, aerospace, engineering-construction, etc. Plenty of them 10-100 miles north, but not many here. Further, even with Galveston's admirable diversity and more progressive attitude than the rest of the County, it's not enough to attract people looking for Austin and Denver's "new-age culture," for want of a better term.

Despite criticisms in this forum, Austin is viewed nationally as an especially good place to live. I have to assume Mrs Beeton would like for our town to emulate only the attributes that attract educated middle-class people to Austin, and eschew Austin's bad points. A valid approach in my opinion, but we have to be careful to avoid comparing apples and oranges. In some ways Galveston can never be like Austin, simply because of the size difference. And it's doubtful that without surge protection the Island will attract high-tech employers of the type that fuel Austin's economy.

Still, I support Mrs Beeton's desire to improve Galveston by making it more like Austin in as many "good" ways as possible.

Leonce Thierry

Thanks for the kind words Mr. Buckner. I would state in support my own statement, that there may be Panera Bread in Anywhere, USA, but there certainly is not a Texas Star Bakery except for Galveston. I would also take Chalmers Hardware over Ace Hardware any day of the week.

Whole Foods or Central Markets? High end, upper middle-class national chain stores and restaurants? I can have specialized, near private-chef quality entrees from Shy Katz, Mosquito, or Leo’s Cajun Corner. And you certainly cannot get freshly made Andouille in Denver or any place north of the Hill Country.

I admit there are food deserts that exist for folks even like me, and I live east of 25th Street. But we are only talking a mile or two. Where I come from in Oklahoma, it was a two-mile country drive just to get to a gas station and a six mile drive to a grocery store.

Galveston has an eclectic urbanicity. Five months out of the year, there are endangered species of birds that nest in the oak trees on the East End. Their nesting behaviors can be marveled by eco-tourists or the local crackhead. Where else is that going to happen?

Every single day of the year, the sun will rise over the Gulf of Mexico and set in Galveston Bay. All property in Galveston is close enough to the seawall or the beach to be considered beach front. There is no stress of major highways. The back roads are easy to navigate. I have never had a 45 minute wait to eat out at any establishment in Galveston. I can have drinks and watch the sunset over the ship channel. I have a Meyer lemon tree that has given me over 300 lemons each year since Ike. My neighbors use tall kitchen trash cans to pick lemons off my tree and still can’t pick them all.

We are 40 minutes from a major airport and 50 minutes from the fourth largest city in America, with little-to-no noise pollution, fresh, breathable air from the gulf, and positive environmental factors that promote good health.

The quality of life is good on Galveston Island.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Jeez...It is just exactly the ability to avoid the sort of homogenization of America represented by all those chain businesses Jake lists, that is still a draw for Galveston. At least for those of us who consider America to be damn near ruined by the relentless sameness of a world that followed Holiday Inns right down the rabbit hole. And they are well on their way to ruining the larger world with Mac Donalds, Starbucks, Walmart ,, as well.

Thank God Galveston has not yet lost places like Sonny's or Shrimp and Stuff, or Sampson's fish house, or Aramco blinds. So, so many of those great places are gone forever.

I must admit that, even though I do appreciate the wonderful restoration of the Opera House and the shows there, I still regret that the Palace Club had to be put out of business to make that possible. He11, the space occupied by the Palace isn't even really used for anything. You like the Mosquito Café? It is nice but no different than a thousand nice little cafes everywhere. The old beer joint that previously occupied that spot, Streeter's, was a world class, unique, dirty dive that could only be found on the Gulf Coast and in an earlier time. We should focus on saving what we have left of that uniqueness in Galveston. Austin is already lost.

Austin was great in the '70's. It is now just a traffic nightmare rivaling Houston and filled with a disproportional number of pretentious, ersatz hipsters.

Steve Fouga

Well, I re-listened to Mrs Beeton's comments. She never said she wants to make Galveston just like Austin; she said she wants to make Galveston a place that will appeal to young people like Austin does.

I believe young people are drawn to Austin because it has high-paying jobs in appealing industries, and because it has a progressive, fun ambience.

Part of that ambience is provided by the type of retailers and restaurants available. Why isn't it possible to have both Mosquito and Zoe's. Sunflower and Panera Bread. I eat out almost every day. I absolutely love Island restaurants. But I don't feel there is enough variety or enough healthy choices. But I digress.

Mrs Beeton's comments mainly addressed a vision of Galveston being a place attractive to young professionals. (I never heard the word weird in her statement, BTW.)

Lars Faltskog

Response to miceal o'laochdha posted at 1:27 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014:

My sentiments exactly regarding Austin of today, compared to yesteryear. I went to UT there and as soon as I finished (early 90s), I left. My much older relatives who went there in the 70s say it was nice back then. It's OK now for an occasional visit. If I want traffic tie ups, then Houston suits me just fine. At least we don't have the curvy and hilly roads to contend with. I always remember FM 2222 in Austin to be particularly trecherous. And, I've heard they haven't done much in terms of road updates.

Lars Faltskog

Response to miceal o'laochdha posted at 1:27 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014:

I've often talked about how the chain restaurants do no community any favors with all of their proliferations. That is, unless the community is a sprawling suburgatory with no character to uphold. That's why I find it odd when folks come down to Galveston and the adults get together to ask where to eat: and some agree on places like IHOP, Saltgrass on the Seawall. Ho Hum. You can get that in League City and Dickinson. Why take the extra some-odd 20 miles to go down here and embark upon the banality of it all?

What might help Galveston attract visitors in a unique way are perhaps more things that are associated with the Port. I remember in Houston they have the San Jacinto Monument Inn. Sure, we have Fisherman's Wharf, Bennos, and now Bubba Gump. But, the more the island capitalizes on the nautical-type themes, the better.

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