From the February 24, 2000 issue

As a pulmonologist who treats adults with asthma, I can tell you that the problem is as bad in grown-ups. At Ben Taub Hospital we see elderly patients who have gotten asthma later in life. A recent study revealed that this group is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. I liked the fact that you mention pollution as a trigger, although I would have liked to see more emphasis on that in your article, especially with the state of air quality in Houston.

On behalf of the Environmental Health Committee of the American Lung Association, Southeast Texas Region, I would like to thank you for a job well done!

Nick Hanania, M.D., director

Adult Asthma Clinic

Ben Taub General Hospital

Thanks very much for the timely, informative article on asthma. I was very glad to see information included about that helpful technique for teaching children and their parents how to head off impending attacks.

The discussion of asthma triggers omitted only one factor, in my opinion: the role of ozone. As a member of the Houston Sierra Club Air Quality Task Force, I recently became aware of a 1985 study that found that each 100 part-per-billion increase in maximum one-hour ozone concentration resulted in a 60 percent greater chance of an asthma attack in Houston. Although the number of days we have exceeded the one-hour standard has decreased (from 66 days in 1987 to 52 days in 1999), Harris County recorded the highest ozone reading in the nation in both 1997 and 1999.

According to the American Lung Association, 1.13 million children ages 13 and under in Harris County were exposed to ozone exceeding the federal standard in 1990. Is it any wonder that children in the area are "drowning" on dry land?

Sonora Hudson


In Toto, Not Kansas

Thank you so much for your article "Good-bye Yellow Brick Road" [January 27]. I have loved the Oz books since childhood, and life with James has certainly expanded the borders of that wonderful place for me. After now discovering the great impact of Mr. Baum's visions on page, screen and stage, I am pleased to see him getting the accolades he so richly deserved. Kathy Biehl wrote an excellent and entertaining piece, and I am glad to see her work once again in your pages. Also, the photograph of James is just splendid.

Katherine Keene


Drawing the Line

I am writing in response to the article about the Texas artists selected for the Whitney Biennial ["Double Bogey," by Shaila Dewan, December 23, 1999]. Your comments about Joe Havel are as inaccurate as they are mean-spirited. Joe spends at least two-thirds of his time promoting the efforts and careers of young and emerging artists, many of whom may never again work with someone who cares so deeply about their success. That he is also succeeding as an artist is to the good fortune of us all.

Barbara Michels,

deputy development director

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Victoria's Secret

I strongly disagree with Anthony Mariani's characterization of Victoria's KTXN/98.7 FM (www.texasmix.com) [Amplified, February 10]. They do play music that originates from outside the Lone Star State. I'm sorry his tastes are such that he finds this station's format to be "only music you'd feel comfortable drinking beer and/or dozing off your barstool to." I don't find his opinion to be indicative of a critic with a knowledgeable sense of a format that leans toward Americana or alternative country.

I'm speaking from the perspective of a 41-year-old male who considers the Clash's London Calling to be one of the best albums of all time. KTXN's format is something that I never dreamed would surface from a commercial radio station. I wholeheartedly commend this station for taking a chance, bucking the mainstream crap that is coming out of Nashville and exposing the numerous Texas artists that deserve the exposure.

What a thrill to be driving to work this morning and hear Joe Ely's "Sleepless In Love" blaring from my radio! The last place I expected to read any criticism of a format that includes the local musicians the Hollisters was the Houston Press.

I am a faithful reader who is very disappointed.

N. Stanton Purser


Throwing a Curve

"Field of Dreams?" by Melanie Knight [Dish, February 3] scored some hits but also had one gripe that made us want to cry "foul ball." Unfortunately, our The Field House Restaurant and Bar did not overlook the jalapeño corn bread which Melanie laments not finding on the menu. In fact, it is one of our best pitches. Guests receive three tasty muffins for $2.95.

Actually, it was not Melanie's fault. We disguised the pitch by leaving the word "jalapeño" off the menu. Pitchers are crafty little devils! And practice makes perfect. For a limited time, The Field House invites Houston Press fans to try our hit, the jalapeño corn bread. Bring a copy of this letter, and you'll receive $1 off your corn bread order.

Melanie, we would not trade you for Mark McGwire!

We look forward to serving you up our best.

Perry Thomson, owner

The Field House Restaurant and Bar

Ground Zero

Exactly what brand of idiot is Mr. Mickey Kapoor? It seems that every statement attributed to him in the article "The Gumbo Shop Drop" [Dish, by Margaret L. Briggs, February 10] shows a man far out of touch with what people in Houston want or have access to when it comes to dining out.

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