Examining, Defining and Promoting a Sustainable World

Category: Sustainability

Social sustainability defines itself by examining the health, education, and class economics of a society.  What defines social sustainability and a “good” society?


Words Matter.

The HOA at Cattails Townhomes Advises “Not Safe”

The Cattails HOA Board of Directors said in their December 2021 newsletter that “Teenagers conjugating in large groups isn’t safe”. Imagine my surprise to learn that teen sex parties are happening openly in the neighborhood! The HOA newsletter goes on to suggest other places in Houston for the teens to gather.

“I hope they’re using protection!” I responded to Marshall Management Group, Inc., the company that manages the HOA and distributes the newsletter.   As of this publishing, Marshall Management Group, Inc. of Stafford, Texas has not responded.

An Actual Thing or the Wrong Word?

I don’t consider myself a prude, but agree that teen sex parties are probably not so safe. So, if teens are truly “conjugating in large groups” on the property, that should be Item #1 on the next HOA meeting Agenda!

Perhaps, the HOA really meant “congregating”, not “conjugating”.  But these two words have very different meanings. And words matter.

Just to review:

  • CONJUGATE means  “joined together especially in pairs:  COUPLED // a conjugate relationship” according to Merriam Webster. The Urban Dictionary defines the term as “to have sex”. Conjugate can also refer to grammar, as in the tense of a word; although, I wouldn’t consider that an unsafe activity.
  • CONGREGATE is defined as “to come together into a group, crowd or assembly”.

Can We Trust the Words from Our Elected HOA?

When we receive a newsletter from an elected governing body, we trust the information is truthful, thoughtful, and purposeful. And perhaps, dare I say, professional.

Confusing the word “conjugating” with “congregating” is certainly not the worst error in the newsletter.  For example, an ad for the video game “Hitman 2” is placed with information on “Gun Shots” in the neighborhood. Probably a bad graphics choice. “No gun shooting for fun” they remind us as they hawk glorified violence.

Even if we look past the poor word choices, lack of editing and bad layout, much of the Cattails December 2021 HOA newsletter information is confusing or misleading. Sprinkled throughout are “rules” that aren’t clear, posted or made available. Neither do they appear in the “CC&Rs”, or “Restrictive Covenants” that guide the HOA and community.

HOA Newsletters: Our Leaders’ Words Matter

My larger point is this:

WORDS MATTER. Especially, when they come from a BODY OF POWER. 

And make no mistake, Homeowners Associations have a lot of power. HOAs have the power to define your living environment. HOAs have the power to seize your real property. And they enjoy this power with little to no accountability. 

The Texas Property Code offers laws to guide Property or Homeowners Associations and protect homeowner members. The Texas Open Meeting Act considers HOAs in large metros the same as a government body regarding transparency. Yet, in Texas, there are no government oversight agencies. In fact, an aggrieved member of an HOA has little recourse other than to hire an attorney and sue.

Demanding Accountability from an HOA

The first step to holding an HOA accountable is to learn about them. Attend meetings. Read the Bylaws and the Restrictive Covenants. Ask questions about where your hard earned fees are being spent. And when their words confuse teens assembling in the streets with teens having group sex, post about it in a blog!

Cattails HOA Newsletter December 2021

About Cattails Homeowners Association



In January of 2017, SB 269 was sent to the Heath and Human Services Committee of the Texas Legislature for review.  Filed by Senator José Menéndez (D),  the proposed legislation would expand the compassionate use program beyond low-THC (CBD).  Legal exceptions would allow medical grade cannabis under strict consultation and recommendation of a doctor. SB 269 would also increase the number of debilitating conditions that qualify for the Texas Compassionate Use Program (T-CUP).

“Doctors, not politicians, should be determining what is best for Texas patients,” said Senator Menéndez. “This is legitimate medicine that can help a variety of sick people, from the grandmother suffering from cancer to the veteran coping with PTSD after returning home from war.”

“Doctors, not politicians, should be determining what is best for Texas patients,”


If SB269, or any other medical cannabis legislation, does the State of Texas have the ability to administer the program?  Under the current legislative plan, the Department of Public Safety would continue oversight, and monitor, enforce, and regulate the program.   But the current program is ineffective:  Even those who qualify for the program claim that the quality of the product and dosages are often inadequate.

“My son Miles would qualify under the T.CUP program.” states Debbie Tolany in support of the bill.  “However, it’s not an effective treatment for his disease because he needs stronger and more reliable medicine than what is allowed.”   Tolany supports Senator Menéndez’s bill because under current regulations, her son still suffers.  He needs medical cannabis.”

In addition to intractable epilepsy, cannabis has been shown to treat PTSD symptoms, without the side effects of dangerous anti-depressant medications.  Texas is home to 1.7 million veterans who are left out of the current program. After years of sacrifice and valor, the state needs to honor our nation’s heroes by granting them access to medicine that would treat PTSD, TBI, and other wounds of war.


Medical cannabis has proven to be a safer and more effective drug than many prescription painkillers currently offered.  “Psychotropic and opiate based drugs have lasting and dangerous side effects for many veterans,” said Kate Cochran-Morgan, retired Hospital Corpsman Fleet Marine Force 3rd Class, Petty Officer. “As a service member in the United States Military, I fought for our country’s freedoms.”  Cochran-Morgan supports and advocates expansion of the Compassionate Use program.  “My fellow veterans and I should have the freedom to use medical cannabis to treat the diseases that still haunt us.”


The Texas Compassionate Use Program statistics shows a correlation between a reduction in prescription drug abuse by allowing alternative medicine. “Doctors should be able to recommend cannabis to their patients if they think it will help alleviate their suffering,” said Amanda Berard, a retired Army medic and current nurse in San Antonio. “This is especially true with regard to treating chronic and severe pain. We are facing an opiate epidemic in terms of addiction and overdose death.”  Berard also notes that states allowing access to medical cannabis for chronic pain have seen a reduction in the number of overdoses.


The term itself begs the question of the intent of “compassionate use” laws. “Compassion should not be exclusive” Senator Menendéz claims.  Yet these programs are ineffective and restrictive, offering little comfort or compassion.   It does allow a state to offer a pathetic (pathos) appeal to anti-prohibitionists, while maintaining its 20th century stance on cannabis.  Senate Bill 269 will  provide real relief for those who need it most .

“It is time Texas steps up to the plate on behalf of our sickest patients.”  – Sen. Jose Menendez