Mail Call

Juvenile: Your "cover story" on the Astros was weak, weak, weak ["Season of the Bitch," Hair Balls, by Richard Connelly, March 29]. I put "cover story" in quotes because there was no actual Astros "story" in last week's issue, just the usual BS and snide remarks that make it into your Hair Balls column on a weekly basis, albeit about baseball this time. If you're going to put something on the cover, shouldn't you actually include a related story in the issue? Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like it should work that way.

And as for Richard Connelly's "insights" into this year's Astros team, well, I don't understand his juvenile urge to piss on them. To hear him talk, the Astros will be one of the worst teams in baseball. My guess is that the offense will be above-average and both the pitching and offense will be good enough to contend. In fact, I'll bet Connelly $100 right now that the Astros either win their division or take the wild card. But see, I know baseball, and I'm also an Astros fan. Plus, I'm mature and intelligent enough to not dump on something just for the sake of dumping on it.

What's the matter, Richard, did the Astros deny your Astros Buddies membership?


Houston Astros

Scott Rose

Condo Woes

Pony up: Nowhere in your article ["Hanoi Hilton," by Ruth Samuelson, March 29] is there mention of a standard procedure of condo complexes (whether they be million-dollar gated complexes or $25,000 condos) all over Houston. One wonders what the residents are getting for their $117-a-month fee. I know of no complex where all units, regardless of size, pay the same fee. They should charge on a per-square-foot basis -- the larger the unit, the more the resident pays.

One also wonders...what about the reserve fund? If the complex doesn't have one, then they are managing it poorly and not charging enough. The current situation did not happen overnight. Procrastination has brought it to a head. If there isn't enough in the reserve fund, then condo associations decide upon an assessment to pay for such things as the $100,000 exterior renovation. No taxpayer funds should be involved in this matter. I would venture to say that most of the units are owned free and clear. A resident might have to pay $200 a month for a period of time to resolve the problem, but that is what must be done.

It sounds like the leaders of the Village need to take some courses and/or join Community Associations Institute. It's an educational/advocacy organization that has courses and resources for condo owners/managers.

Garth Whittington

Gratis Gras

Get a clue: As a former Mississippian, I used to enjoy Mardi Gras every year for free ["Tough Ticket," Hair Balls, by Rich Connelly, March 22] I remember fondly arriving at the parade site hours before start time just to walk the parade route and run into old friends. Galveston should get a clue and realize that Mardi Gras should never be a paid event. Then maybe the city would see the revenue that they are expecting.

Candace Roberts

Pampered Animals

No abuse: This is to those who see rodeo animals as abused [Letters, March 22]. The animals that perform in rodeos usually have to work a horrendous eight-to-30 seconds two or three days a week. In exchange for that, they are cared for as any asset and kept healthy. During the off-season and between rodeos, they are turned out to pasture. How cruel. The alternative for those animals is not being turned out to pasture -- it is being sent directly to the slaughterhouse. I have no doubt which alternative they would select if given a choice. And if you think most of the bucking stock is docile by choice, BS! Most of them are renegades that have been given one last chance, bad boys that are doing what they like best. If you want to do something worthwhile, crusade for the abused kids that haven't had a chance and may not live long enough to have one.

Dale Beaty

Double Take

Online voting is now closed for the first month of our contest for high school photographers. We got 338 votes, and we'll let you know who won in next week's edition. (Of course, you can always cheat and log on to and count for yourself.) In the meantime, send all entries for this month's contest to The theme for April is sports -- baseball, football, badminton, you name it. Visit for more information and to view last month's submissions.

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