Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sharpstown is not Bellaire

I have two things to say about the story "Suspect in Bellaire murder surrenders in California" that was posted on the Chronicle's website yesterday afternoon:
Murder charges have been filed against a Houston man accused in a fatal shooting at a nightclub earlier this month, according to Houston police. The suspect is currently in custody at the San Diego County Jail in Vista, Calif., awaiting extradition to Houston.

Alain Paredes-Ruiz, 30, is charged in the Oct. 15 fatal shooting of Wilfredo Salinas Reyes, 34, at the Casa Blanca Club, located at 8282 Bellaire Boulevard. Reyes died at the scene.
First, I'm sorry that somebody lost their life and I'm glad the suspect has been apprehended.

Second, the title of this article is highly misleading. This was not a "Bellaire murder" in that it did not occur "in Bellaire." Bellaire is an incorporated municipality of 16,885 souls and my current place of residence. 8282 Bellaire Boulevard, where this murder occurred, is over three miles to the west of the western boundary of Bellaire and is is located within Sharpstown, a community which is entirely within the City of Houston.

An accurate headline for this story would have begun "Suspect in Sharpstown murder" or even "Suspect in Bellaire Boulevard murder."

Unfortunately, the Chronicle editors who titled this story are not alone in mistakenly referring to anything and everything along Bellaire Boulevard - stores, restaurants, etc. - as being "in Bellaire" even though they are miles to the west of the actual City of Bellaire and are actually within distinct communities of their own: Gulfton, Sharpstown, Chinatown, et cetera.

To make this easier for Chronicle editors and others to understand, I've created this handy map:
Get it right, folks. Geographic accuracy matters!

No comments: