Assess This
Mr. Lee is not alone in his ever-growing frustration and anger in dealing with the Harris County Appraisal District ["A Taxing Situation," by D.J. Wilson, May 12]. At the end of 1992, on a Friday at noon, when my family and I were having lunch, somebody hammered at my door. When I answered, a stranger flashed some type of ID and demanded to see the inside of my house. I rejected his demands and asked who he was. "Appraisal District," he mumbled. l asked him to visit again by appointment.

He made me pay for refusing him access to my house. This appraiser raised the value of the improvements on my property from $44,300 to $103,000. He also enlarged the (original) size of my 40-year-old house by about 25 percent.

Each year the appraisal district makes us "customers" go through the same silly, costly and time-consuming process to correct their employees' mistakes and begging for fair appraisals.

Name Withheld

Your Money or Your Mouth
How exquisite that your cover story on Vernon Maxwell ["The Man Behind Mad Max," by Alex Hecht, May 12] should appear on the heels of Maxwell's Mother's Day tirade against Houston fans. The next time that Vernon or Hakeem or Mario Elie or Matt Bullard wants to complain about Houston fans, I want to hear how many tickets they've bought and given away to people who have families and mortgages and kids in school.

You know what I love about spoiled athletes who become millionaires for playing a kid's game? That they remember what it was like before they were rich.

David R. Dow

Can an Ayatollah Slam Dunk?
It's hard to decide who's done a greater disservice to Allah in recent years: the Iranian ayatollahs, Louis Farrakhan or Houston Rockets players Hakeem Olajuwon and Vernon Maxwell ["The Man Behind Mad Max"]. Certainly, Farrakhan and the ayatollahs are more disciplined. But the Rockets players seem to be their equals in paranoia and excuse-making. Perhaps, in the soon-to-start off-season, Hakeem and Vernon can spend a little more time with the Koran. Or the three-point shot. Or in rehab.

R.T. Castleberry

No More Excuses
The frustration expressed by the Crip Patrol in Steve McVicker's article [News, "The Crip Patrol Rolls," May 12] is not an isolated occurrence. Rather it is indicative of the perspective of many of the 43 million Americans who have disabilities and who have been segregated from many areas

of society.
In addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) there are federal laws preventing discrimination on the basis of disability in housing, voting, education and air travel. Unfortunately, in spite of all this legislation and the abundant media exposure that resulted, many businesses and governments have not taken enough action to improve access.

One significant correction to the article is that the ADA applies to all businesses that are open to the public, regardless of size. The ten-employee and $500,000 revenue limits expired on January 26, 1993. In short, if your business is open to the general public, take reasonable and effective steps to become more accessible.

Bob McDonald



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