Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: July 25, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 25, 2017

Re: July 20 photos that ran with, “Quinceañera protest: Texas teens protest against SB 4 at Capitol.” I loved the photographs taken by Tamir Kalifa of the young Latinas on the south steps of the Texas Capitol in their quinceañera dresses. I’ve seen his photographs before in your publication and always admired them. He has a good eye and a real knack for capturing an...
Letters to the editor: July 24, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 24, 2017

Like many others, I find it strange that a state government that styles itself as conservative — against “big” government, and in favor of citizens’ rights — would be against local governments establishing ordinances to protect their trees. Is it that those trying to micromanage us from Austin are so deep into the pockets of developers that they are willing to forswear...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Can’t Lance simply ride off into the sunset? Re: “Sprinting to next stage,” July 15 In his regrettable publicity for Lance Armstrong, Brian Davis writes: “Some will never listen to another word this man … ever says.” Count me among that group. In fact, I’m somewhat embarrassed for Mack Brown, Lyle Lovett, et al., who agreed to be interviewed on Armstrong&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: July 23, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 23, 2017

Re: July 16 article, “UT officials confirm mumps on campus, 7 diagnosed this week.” There has been yet another outbreak of a preventable contagious disease, this time mumps at the University of Texas. The increasing number and severity of these outbreaks have been predicted by the medical community due to the increasing proportion of young people who have not received the recommended vaccinations...
Letters to the editor: July 22, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 22, 2017

Re: July 18 article, “Abbott campaign raises $10M in 12 days, totals $41M.” Why should a $41 million war chest scare anyone from running against Abbott in a primary or in the general election? As if having so much money was some measure of competence — whoops, I forgot this is the Republican Party we are talking about. The established state GOP machine would have raised that amount...
Letters to the editor: July 21, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 21, 2017

Re: July 18 commentary, “Gov. Abbott: Overregulation makes Texas dream a California nightmare.” Gov. Greg Abbott has his nerve. For a state government that has spent a great deal of capital suing the federal government for Texas to follow its own path, it’s the height of hypocrisy for the state to punish local governments for doing what is best for their communities. We have done...
Letters to the editor: July 20, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 20, 2017

The most recent version of the Senate health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, was crafted in an attempt to attract support from reluctant Republicans of all stripes. None of the trumpeted changes has made the package any better for Texas or America. As for the proposal from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — plans offering very limited benefits, with annual caps and questionable pre-existing...
Letters to the editor: July 19, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 19, 2017

“Can we all get along?” — Rodney King from his first speech after the Los Angeles riots As a Republican, I was excited to see our victories at the ballot box both statewide and nationally in November. Since then, those grand victories over the Democrats have been over shadowed by the fighting within our own party. We won because we had the best ideas for Texas and America; now it...
Letters to the editor: July 18, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 18, 2017

Re: July 11 article, “Bill aims to help veterans who need transplants.” I salute our eight-term U.S. Rep. John Carter from Texas for his prompt attention on behalf of the disabled Army veteran Charles Nelson and other with serious medical problems. When he finds out that the current Veterans Choice program has some hitches in it, he quickly jumps into action and proposes a legislative...
Letters to the editor: July 17, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 17, 2017

Re: July 9 commentary, “Here’s one way you could feel better in the scorching heat.” I was delighted to read the article by Susan Van Haitsma in which she explores the benefits of line-drying the laundry. At last — I have a partner sharing my delight in the Texas climate while saving energy by hanging laundry on the line to dry in the Texas sunshine. I began line-drying my...
Letters to the editor: July 16, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 16, 2017

I attended the Ted Cruz event held by Concerned Veterans of America in Austin on July 6. They billed it as a “town hall.” It was not a town hall; it was invitation-only and highly controlled. Questions had to be written and screened. The first “question” allowed went straight to liberal-bashing, which delighted Cruz. You could tell it was highly scripted. If it had been an...
Letters to the editor: July 15, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 15, 2017

Re: July 8 article, “Is Stubb’s changing its name to Liberty Lunch? Documents say ‘yes.’” My reaction to that headline was, “No, that can’t be right.” Liberty Lunch created its own identity as an iconic music venue from the 1970s to the 1990s. For another business like Stubb’s, which legally acquired the right to use the name, it leaves me puzzled...
Letters to the editor: July 14, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 14, 2017

Re: July 7 article, “New owner ponders future of prized Lake Austin tract.” If they really wanted a green future, why don’t the owners of the Lake Austin tract and the Grove donate these precious green tracts to the city as parkland? Why isn’t the City Council working to achieve this? How is it logical to develop every inch of green space in our city? We wouldn’t have...
Letters to the editor: July 12, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 12, 2017

Re: July 4 article, “Retired teachers: Texas lawmakers broke their promise on health care.” Thank you to Julie Chang for her article — but it’s a little too late to do any good. I had a letter to the editor published many months ago concerning the same issue hoping to energize some support for retired teachers but to no avail. Texas doesn’t care what happens to teachers...
Letters to the editor: July 10, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 10, 2017

Re: July 4 article, “Farmers angry about proposed highway in eastern Williamson County.” We live in the area of FM 3349/1660. It is beautiful, productive blackland prairie. It is the rich source of growing beautiful crops. It is also the object of a land grab — and money-hungry people of Williamson County. They will ruin this land, pocket their money and move away. We need to make...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Corona Extra deal a sad day for UT sports Am I the only person who thinks it’s sad, grotesque and inappropriate that UT Athletics believes it’s OK to have an official beer of Longhorn Sports? Maybe Corona Extra is just the latest addition to the “drink up, patrons” endorsement/marketing parade on the Forty Acres. Perhaps Budweiser, Miller, Shiner and/or Lone Star already beat...
Letters to the editor: July 9, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 9, 2017

Re: July 5 article, “AISD expands its services for dyslexic students” I was overjoyed to learn from Melissa Taboada’s article of the commitment Austin Independent School District is making to advance identification — as well as services — for students with dyslexia. For so long, this less-than-obvious learning difference was allowed to slip through the cracks. Parents...
Letters to the editor: July 8, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 8, 2017

Re: July 2 article, “Round Rock prepares for Cap Metro bus service launch.” I was gratified to read the article about the new Capital Metro bus service in Round Rock. It would be great if Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto would be connected by bus. Even better would be a comprehensive train service to include a stop at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. We need to think ahead...
Letters to the editor: July 7, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 7, 2017

The Statesman’s recent article about East Austin as a “trendy neighborhood” shocked me with its racist undertones. “A decade ago,” states the article, “Austinites would rarely dare to venture to the east side of the I H 35 corridor.” This sentence clearly implies that those who lived in East Austin were somehow not Austinites. It also ignores the ugly history...
Letters to the editor: July 6, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 6, 2017

Re: June 29 article, “Looking for a two-bedroom apartment here? You need to make $23 an hour.” This article disappointingly reads as an op-ed rather than a news article. It quotes only Isabelle Headrick of the National Law Housing Coalition, along with a study by that organization. Most egregiously, no opposing views or critiques are provided to Headrick’s advocacy for construction...
Letters to the editor: July 5, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 5, 2017

Re: June 28 commentary, “Herman: Boys State kick-starts its own Texas secession movement.” The high school boys who recently attended Boys State voted overwhelmingly for secession, declaring Texans’ right to “break the chains.” When Texas and 10 other states seceded in the 1860s, resulting in that little dust-up called the Civil War, it was for the right to keep humans...
Letters to the editor: July 4, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 4, 2017

I recently took a group of eighth-graders on a trip to Washington D.C. We toured the wonderful memorials to Lincoln, Jefferson, Martin Luther King and others. It made me wonder why there is no memorial to President John Adams. He certainly deserves one. In the Continental Congress, he became the chief advocate for American independence. As a diplomat during the Revolution, he ensured the financial...
Letters to the editor: July 3, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 3, 2017

The Fourth of July is around the corner, prompting excitement for a celebratory long weekend. But the holiday also brings anxiety about traffic and intoxicated drivers. Unfortunately, auto safety is getting more complicated today. The good news is that ride hailing has added another option to discourage drunk driving. Also, our vehicles are getting safer with sophisticated crash avoidance technology...
Letters to the editor: July 2, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 2, 2017

Re: June 24 article, “Creating guardianship when childhood protections end for daughter.” I applaud Sarah Barnes for helping educate parents who have children with intellectual disabilities. We obtained guardianship of our daughter in 1983 just prior to her 18th birthday. It is a very important thing to do — and the judge and staff from Travis County Probate Court were very helpful...
Letters to the editor: July 1, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 1, 2017

Re: June 23 article, “Perry defends his stance on climate change, budget.” Rick Perry says about global warming: “The science isn’t settled” and “What’s wrong with being a skeptic?” There have been thousands of informed skeptics; they are called “scientists.” Decades of research has left virtually zero doubt in the scientific community. You...
Letters to the edito: June 30, 2017

Letters to the edito: June 30, 2017

Re: June 21 article, “Can’t find a parking spot in downtown Austin? Here’s why.” The traffic situation will deteriorate when the construction begins for the 27-story Marriott Hotel at the intersection of San Jacinto Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Street. Defying all logic, our city granted a concession for the developer to double the allowed density. In order to support that high-density...
Letters to the editor: June 29, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 29, 2017

Re: June 26 article, “Fonda San Miguel chef shaped Austin’s food scene.” While house-hunting in Austin in 1981, my husband and I were directed to Fonda San Miguel for our first dinner in town. Throughout the years, its Sunday brunches became a favorite. Chef Miguel Ravago seemed to be always around. The passing of Chef Ravago brought a special and unique experience to memory that...
Letters to the editor: June 28, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 28, 2017

Re: June 21 article, “As Austin and Texas battle, city leaders look warily at partnership.” If the city is considering almost $7 million in fee waivers to the state for the Capitol Complex master plan, then I propose we ask the state for a $7 million reduction in our expected $534 million recapture payment for this year. The 85th legislative session didn’t tackle the much-needed...
Letters to the editor: June 27, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 27, 2017

Re: June 20 article, “High court to weigh partisan gerrymandering.” I’m pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to consider the legality of political gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is the biggest thing that contributes to the hyperpartisanship that we are currently experiencing. It encourages conflict rather than compromise — and compromise is essential in a democracy. Legislative...
Letters to the editor: June 26, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 26, 2017

Re: June 20 article, “Already pinched, Texas parks not getting promised state money.” Why am I not surprised! Texas lawmakers have once again siphoned off these state park funds for other purposes, including balancing the state budget. Enough already! The state parks have millions of dollars of backlogged maintenance of parks, facilities and equipment, while at the same time visitor attendance...
Letters to the editor: June 25, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 25, 2017

As the trial attorney for Fran Keller, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness by the actions of Margaret Moore and Keith Hampton. While the dismissal of charges is a remedy, the recompense that the state of Texas is offering does not begin to compensate for the years of abuse suffered during their incarceration. Consideration should be given to the severity of what the Kellers endured, as well as the...
Letters to the editor: June 24, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 24, 2017

Re: June 16 photo, “1,100 boys try their hand at governing Texas.” I was dismayed on so many levels that the boys at Boys State, an event sponsored by the American Legion no less, voted for Texas to secede from the United States! Where are the idealistic thoughts of making this country a better nation? It speaks volumes about the environment in which these boys were raised. Next time,...
Letters to the editor: June 23, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 23, 2017

Re: June 15 article, “Austin requires a permit for kids’ lemonade stands. Troxclair wants to change that.” So, this is why there is a lag at City Hall. How much time and rhetoric energy have gone on about removal of this code? How much time was spent to make this a city code anyway? Now, the “department is in the process of creating a formal policy to not require any permits...
Letters to the editor: June 22, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 22, 2017

Re: June 15 article, “Bike bridges open, linking South Austin to Zilker Park.” Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere” is not much worse than the ours. The bike-and-pedestrian bridge across the Barton Creek Greenbelt is a waste of money. First, it started out years ago as a $4 million project. Then it jumped to $8 million. Now nearing completion, it has cost $14.5 million. It&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: June 21, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 21, 2017

Re: June 15 article, “Foreshadowing fight, Straus rejects bathroom bill, school choice.” Kudos to Speaker of the House Joe Straus for showing that it is possible to be a conservative with a conscience and a brain — and not be automatically a doctrinaire conservative. Here’s what Straus reminded all of us about: • Property tax is not the primary issue; school financing...
Letters to the editor: June 20, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 20, 2017

Re: June 11 article, “How to score concrete results helping the poorest of the poor.” Michael Barnes’ article shows how volunteer advocates work effectively with elected officials. Rep. Michael McCaul is a leader on global education, tuberculosis and maternal and child health. His actions prevent needless child deaths and empower young minds for a brighter future. He understands...
Letters to the editor: June 19, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 19, 2017

Re: June 10 commentary, “Why I challenged women-only screenings of ‘Wonder Woman.”’ I consider myself a feminist — and I agree with J. Stephen Clark that female-only screenings of “Wonder Woman” are discriminatory and set feminism back by alienating feminism’s natural allies who might go to see it. Ironically, the movie itself failed to deliver on its...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Texas football now has misplaced priorities Recently, UT fired the football coach because he was trying to teach the players such nonsense as honesty, ethics and integrity. It appears UT feels they can do better with criminals. Perhaps instead of burnt orange, we should say prison orange. FRANK GOTCH, Austin
Letters to the editor: June 18, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 18, 2017

Re: June 11 article, “Is TxDOT paying too much for new office site?” The purchase of land on Stassney Lane by the Texas Department of Transportation does not pass the “smell test” in my opinion. Why would someone pay that kind of money for 43 acres when they can only use 26 acres because a creek runs through the additional 17 acres? Has there been flooding in that area? Is...
Letters to the editor: June 17, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 17, 2017

Re: June 11 article, “Texas anti-Sharia rally, counterprotest draw more than 100 to Capitol.” Thank you for printing the photographs on page B3 of Sunday’s paper. They accurately tell the story of who the real fascists are. The bottom photo shows average Americans peacefully protesting; the upper photo shows helmeted, face-covered haters, fascists and terrorists confronting the police...
Letters to the editor: June 16, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 16, 2017

Re: June 9 article, “Austin Energy, Audubon to seek new way to remove monk parakeet nests.” Kudos to Austin Energy and the Travis Audubon Society on their joint effort in the management of the monk parakeets. This is a great example of Austin residents speaking out — and the powers that be paying attention. This is a prime example of two organizations working together to address...
Letters to the editor: June 15, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 15, 2017

As a constituent and a member of the Lutheran church, I am opposed the current draft of the American Health Care Act. Lutherans teach that taking responsibility for one’s own health is a matter of human necessity and good stewardship. We also affirm that caring for the health of others expresses both love for our neighbor and responsibility for a just society. I am concerned that the American...
Letters to the editor: June 14, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 14, 2017

The legislature keeps reversing our local politicians’ decisions because those liberal decisions are so one-sided and usually make no real business sense. Our city and county elected officials continue to overreach their authorities — and their harebrained ideas are making it difficult to live here. To pay for these decisions, our taxes will continue to go through the roof. I am thankful...
Letters to the editor: June 13, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 13, 2017

Re: June 5 article “Lawmakers largely whiff on pregnancy-related deaths.” The report brought needed attention to the fact that the U.S. rate of maternal mortality is higher than that of all other developed countries except Mexico, and that Texas has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of pregnancy-related deaths in the country. The report also contained the fact that several...
Letters to the editor: June 12, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 12, 2017

Re: June 5 article “Austin Democrats emerge to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith.” I’m writing to say that while I understand District 21 is a historically Republican district, I do not feel that this is an unwinnable race. Between candidate forums, general interest inquiries and national news coverage, Derrick Crowe is mounting a legitimate campaign that can compete in...
Letters to the editor: June 11, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 11, 2017

Has every man been barred from the Alamo Drafthouse forever? Has every man been barred from seeing the movie “Wonder Woman” forever? Has every man been barred from seeing the movie “Wonder Woman” at the Alamo Drafthouse forever? If the answers are “no,” then please spare everyone your phony outrage. Two special showings of a movie are not a violation of Austin&rsquo...
Letters to the Editor: June 10, 2017

Letters to the Editor: June 10, 2017

Re: June 2 article, “Could CodeNext change the way people get around Austin?” When is the city going to realize that this is not “Field of Dreams”? Just because you build it does not mean people will come. You can build as many sidewalks and bike lanes as you want, but that doesn’t mean people are going to abandon their cars. Aside from people like me who are physically...
Letters to the editor: June 9, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 9, 2017

Dear Gov. Abbott, I have lived in Austin since 1981, and wanted to since I was 11, in 1973. One thing that made me fall in love with this city — aside from the rugged beauty of the Hill Country, the grandeur of the Capitol and the inspiration of the University of Texas — was the diversity of the people. You seem to not have the same love of the city, or its inhabitants, since you continually...
Letters to the editor: June 8, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 8, 2017

Re: May 29 article, “Austin was slammed in legislative session.” I have lived here for 25 years. I have never understood why Austin tolerates the Texas Capitol being here. We should disconnect their utilities, lobby for Dallas to be the Capitol — as it is a better fit for “Texas values” — and make life as difficult as possible for legislators. We do not need the...
Letters to the editor: June 7, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 7, 2017

On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris accord on global warming. Here are some readers’ reactions to the announcement: The decision to withdraw from the Paris accord puts America in disastrous position. I’m not talking about the effects that we see all around us from increasing carbon emissions; I’m talking about our economy taking...
Letters to the editor: June 6, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 6, 2017

On May 26, first responders from around the state paid their respects to San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem. The funeral program indicated that Gov. Greg Abbott would be making some remarks during the service. However, it was later announced that the governor would remain in Austin due to the legislative session. Though Abbott was unable to carve out a couple of hours to honor the sacrifice of a fallen...
Letters to the editor: June 5, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 5, 2017

Re: May 26 article, “DA reopens Greg Kelley sex assault case, names new suspect.” As a longtime Williamson County resident, we are witnessing a replay of the Michael Morton trials. An innocent man again wrongly convicted with no physical evidence tying the accused to the crime. Wilco juries seem blinded by their own hubris, convinced a crime was committed absent of physical evidence. Why...
Letter: Lyle Nelson has the experience, expertise to lead Bastrop

Letter: Lyle Nelson has the experience, expertise to lead Bastrop

It was my pleasure to be a candidate for Bastrop City Council. My sincere thanks to the community for their support in making the experience one to remember. And I thank the winner, Bill Ennis, for his gracious and professional participation in the process. We are well served with his and Mayor Connie Schroeder’s election. There is a runoff for Place 3 on the Bastrop City Council. I want to...
Letters to the editor: June 4, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 4, 2017

Re: May 27 article, “Budget, planning woes on the horizon for deteriorating Austin pools.” I strongly disagree with consultant Patrick Hoagland’s description of Austin’s neighborhood pools as “boring rectangles.” Northwest Pool, where I swim regularly, is beautiful. There are laughing, playing kids and parents teaching them to swim; lane swimmers tending to their...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Win at all costs is new UT standard It is comforting to know that Coach Herman is taking a self-acclaimed criminal into the football program. I firmly believe that football coaches (or any coach, for that matter) would accept anyone who can play football (or any other sport, for that matter) regardless of what kind of character they have (if any). Too bad Herman doesn’t have the high standards...
Letters to the editor: June 3, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 3, 2017

Re: May 27 commentary, “Spaying, neutering pets saves resources, lives.” I was stunned to read that Chani Wells is a “responsible pet care coordinator for Bastrop County” who enjoys watching feral cats hunt mice and snakes. I have owned pet mice and snakes, and watching them killed by free-roaming cats is definitely not my idea of responsible entertainment. Promoting spaying...
Letters to the editor: June 2, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 2, 2017

Re: May 26th commentary, “Stroke awareness month shows need for life-saving health care.” Dr. Justin Fairless, medical director for two subdivisions of Air Methods Corp., urges passage of pro-helicopter-ambulance legislation because the use of air ambulances sometimes enables prompter treatment of strokes. Consumer Reports had an April report on air ambulances that mentioned for-profit...
Letters to the editor: June 1, 2017

Letters to the editor: June 1, 2017

The CodeNext proposal assumes that enlightened Austin residents care more about how their neighborhoods look than how they function. If CodeNext is implemented, then quaint, old-fashioned single-family residences will be allowed to exist among clusters of small businesses, bars, restaurants, mini-motels, tiny factories, performance venues, party houses or any other legal human enterprise that can...
Letters to the editor: May 31, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 31, 2017

Re: May 22 commentary, “Webb Report: Where to go when you’re sad in Austin.” Eric Webb had a list of six places “to go when you’re sad in Austin” — and it made me sad that he forgot some very crucial ways to lift your heart. Here are three very simple ways to get your smile back: • Grab your mat! Yoga has been proven to provide enhanced emotional relief...
Letters to the editor: May 30, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 30, 2017

Re: May 24 article, “Lawmaker circumvents Texas Legislature to address school lunch shaming.” I agree children should not go hungry in school. As one who frequents school cafeterias in the Austin Independent School District, I see the source of hunger coming not from the lack of food available to children, but from children not eating what is served. Why? It is not palatable to them. I...
Letters to the editor: May 29, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 29, 2017

Re: May 24 article, “Sid Miller calls barbecue deregulation effort ‘horse hockey.’” While some of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s public initiatives go against the grain — pushing poisoning of wild hogs is not only environmentally hazardous, but is probably outside his legislative purview — the commissioner is acting appropriately in insisting...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Kudos to athletes for obtaining degrees Re: “Greater degrees of success,” May 20 Best news coming out of the Sports pages in a long, long time — athletes finishing their course work and obtaining their college degrees! CLOVIS WILLIAMS, Austin Why not give home schooling a shot here? Re: “Fight rages over Tebow home-school legislation” “… Concerns that home-schooling...
Letters to the editor: May 28, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 28, 2017

Re: May 20 commentary, “Austin school district voters need choices for bonds, not an ultimatum.” Since I am unsure the editors understand the lessons of the Round Rock Independent School District bond failure, here are do’s and don’ts, which may be helpful for the Austin Independent School District bond package. Do be inclusive if you are going to operate through an advisory...
Letters to the editor: May 27, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 27, 2017

Texas has passed House Bill 3859 — a bill protecting the religious rights for child welfare agencies. There are many articles discussing the discrimination at hand here, but what most are failing to recognize are the people who are truly going to lose. Are potential adoptive and foster parents going to be affected? Absolutely — but they have options. They can go to another state and adopt...
Letters to the editor: May 26, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 26, 2017

Re: May 18 article, “Dan Patrick issues bathroom bill, property tax ultimatum to House.” Dan Patrick wants to waste more taxpayer money on a special session? We were promised one priority for this session: school finance reform. Did we get it? No. Instead, we got the pee-pee police and an all-out attack on Texas women. Taxes are so high in Austin because schools raise twice their needs...

Letters to the editor: May 25, 2017

Of great concern are proposed CodeNEXT changes, which force a huge upzoning on or next to single-family homes. It takes hours to understand what a neighbor could do to their property. To understand Proposed CodeNEXT one must: Locate the property on the Code map, Transect zone, non-Transect zone or neighborhood conservation district. Consult the colored legend. ...
Letters to the Editor: May 24, 2017

Letters to the Editor: May 24, 2017

Re: May 5 commentary, “Why Cinco de Mayo has new meaning in today’s America.” Good commentary from Morán González on Mexican-Americans’ resolve to fight against racial discrimination in Texas. He mentioned the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and said that the group’s U.S. citizenship requirement was a “missed opportunity” against...
Letters to the editor: May 23, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 23, 2017

Re: May 17 article, “How to store spices and herbs in a hot Texas summer.” I’m compelled to comment on the article by Shefaly Ravula, which perpetuates misconceptions and stereotypes. No, all Indians do not keep their homes at 79 degrees. No, we do not lower the temp only when the “American” friends come over. No, we aren’t spoiled by a “lower room temperature...
Letters to the editor: May 22, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 22, 2017

Re: May 18 article, “Dan Patrick issues bathroom bill, property tax ultimatum to House.” If Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick forces a special session or sessions just to get his way on certain pieces of legislation that do not have bipartisan support, I think he should be forced to pay the expense of that out of his officeholder account or his own pockets. The waste of taxpayer money, not to mention...
Letters to the editor: May 20, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 20, 2017

Re: May 13 commentary, “A sacred bond: the unconditional love between a dog and his person.” Every day I read three news sources: the Austin American-Statesman, the New York Times and the Bible. All of these sources are filled with stories of lies, partisanship, quarreling and violence — including the Bible. Today the Good News was not from the Bible, but from Judy Knotts, a frequent...
Letters to the editor: May 19, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 19, 2017

Re: May 14 article, “Travis DA axes program that forced stiff penalties for downtown crime.” There was a time when folks came to visit — and a must-see experience was Sixth Street. Now, we will not take out-of-town guests there. Crime is the news despite of a fairly significant police presence. Side streets reek of urine. Unfortunate souls are everywhere. We remember a similar entertainment...
Letters to the editor: May 18, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 18, 2017

Re: May 11 Community News brief, “Fireworks sale OK’d.” It is sad that the Travis County Commissioners Court forgot what Memorial Day is all about. It is not about fireworks. It is not proper to sell, shoot or mention fireworks on such a solemn day. It is wrong to get married on Memorial Day. It is wrong to have sales on Memorial Day. This is a day to remember those who have fallen...
Letters to the editor: May 17, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 17, 2017

Re: May 10 article, “As AISD trustees eye $900 million bond election, recent failures loom.” So, Austin school district trustees are once again planning to put their hands in our pockets. My property taxes have more than doubled in the last decade, and the Austin Independent School District is the biggest cause of that. If Austin ISD needs funds, why doesn’t the city of Austin stop...
Letters to the editor: May 16, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 16, 2017

Re: May 9 article, “Rep. Lamar Smith laid groundwork for Trump EPA science advisers ouster.” U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith wants to replace scientists with industry officials and place prohibitions on any scientist who has a grant to perform research or has a grant-based delay of service to the Environmental Protection Agency. I propose that similar restrictions be placed on the industry personnel...
Letters to the editor: May 15, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 15, 2017

Re: Photo that accompanied May 8 article, “Two Views: Health care reform is a death sentence for Texas mothers.” Muchas gracias for taking and publishing this hilarious and inspiring image! Jay Janner, to me your pic captured at the moment Linda Overfield opens her mouth to chant is one of my all-time Statesman favorites. I’ve never met her but I can hear her voice! I love an intelligent...
Letters to the editor: May 13, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 13, 2017

Re: May 7 article, “Big changes coming to Austin health care — but will they work?” This article lacked a primary care doctor’s perspective. Health care needs change. Three factors intersect: cost, convenience an vfr4 d quality of care. But, prioritizing convenience negatively influences cost and quality. Dr. Clay Johnston, dean of the UT Dell Medical School, quipped, &ldquo...
Letters to the editor: May 12, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 12, 2017

Re: April 30 article, “Undergrads build prosthetic arm for 10-year-old violinist,” and May 3 article, “It’s buffalo baby time in Round Rock.” You folks at the Statesman hit a home run the week of April 30, not once, but twice. It’s always been my contention that more good than evil happens in the world, but we just don’t hear about the good things as often...
Letters to the editor: May 11, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 11, 2017

May is a busy month as we recognize National Nurses Week, from May 6 to 12, and National Hospital Week, from May 7 to 13. The Children’s Hospital Association of Texas welcomes this opportunity to recognize Dell Children’s Medical Center and its nurses who work tirelessly to provide children in the Austin area with the care they deserve. Texas is fortunate to have world-renowned children&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: May 10, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 10, 2017

Re: May 3 article, “Austin think tank seeks to unravel Obama-era climate change policy.” Is the Austin think tank — along with its allies in California — willing to destroy the progress made with environmental protection regulations? The EPA was established by a Republican — President Nixon — in 1970. Both Republican and Democratic presidents have taken actions...
Letters to the editor: May 9, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 9, 2017

Re: May 4 article, “At Austin Clubhouse, all mental health labels are left at the door.” Kudos to Statesman reporter Michael Barnes for the great article on the Austin Clubhouse. What a wonderful community and resource. And a big thank you to the Clubhouse members who were willing to share their stories. Mental illness must be destigmatized and treated as the medical condition it is. There...
Letters to the editor: May 8, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 8, 2017

Re: April 20 article, “As Tesla bills stall, Lege weighs loophole for Buffett.” It seems preposterous in this day and age that as electric cars are making a comeback, a state like Texas has a prohibition on sales of electric cars by their manufacturers. Though companies like Apple and Tesla have stores in this state they could use to sell their electric cars, an antiquated law on the books...
Letters to the editor: May 7, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 7, 2017

Re: April 26 article, “Lawmakers consider bill that would reduce the number of STAAR tests.” The core problem for school districts, teachers and students is not STAAR testing; it is TEKS. TEKS are lists of what students — and presumably all citizens — should know and be able to do. I would be amazed if any teacher or elected official knows and can do a majority of the items...
Letters to the editor: May 6, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 6, 2017

Re: May 1 article, “Texas parks boosters approach lawmakers once again for more money.” Once again, Texas state parks are facing funding cuts by the Legislature and governor. The sporting goods sales tax was implemented in 1993 to be used to fund state parks. But between 1993 and 2015, only 36 percent of the tax revenues were appropriated to the Parks and Wildlife Department; 64 percent...
Letters to the editor: May 5, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 5, 2017

Re: April 26 article, “Plastic bag ban protection wins hearing at Texas Capitol.” Last summer while driving through Dallas, freedom was blowing in the wind. Around Plano it got quite gusty and a multitude of plastic bags took wing. Some snagged on mile markers and other uprights, fluttering freely, unshackled from the tyranny of government overreach. Others, inflated with independence...
Letters to the editor: May 4, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 4, 2017

Re: April 26 article, “Parents of teen who died in police custody testify for change in law” and April 23 article, “Texas police withheld records of their son’s death. Now they know why.” At a time when professional journalists are routinely maligned by those who are threatened by the truth, I am delighted to be a subscriber to the Statesman, which has journalists like...
Letters to the editor: May 3, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 3, 2017

I am a student at the University of Texas. I am writing to express how thoroughly disgusted I am by the latency in our campus “warning system.” Our campus tests emergency response systems each month. Yet, they have put our lives in danger twice in two weeks with slow, incomplete information. Last week, a shooting was reported an hour late. On Monday, it was a stabbing. A warning system...
Letters to the editor: May 2, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 2, 2017

Re: April 23 letter to the editor, “Gun rights are from politicians, not God.” The right to self-preservation is a God-given right. The right to bear arms is a natural extension of that right. Without the right to bear arms, there is no realistic means of self-preservation or protecting our human rights. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 ruled the American colonies 102 years before the...
Letters to the editor: May 1, 2017

Letters to the editor: May 1, 2017

There are more than 430,000 registered motorcyclists in Texas. May is the beginning of prime motorcycle riding season. We can all expect to see more motorcycles on the road. Please be aware that motorcycles have a smaller profile, so not only are they easy to overlook, it is also more difficult to judge their speed and distance. A 2013 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found...
Letters to the editor: April 30, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 30, 2017

Re: April 23 article, “How does it feel to jump off a 10-meter dive platform?” As a sufferer of mild acrophobia, I say applaud Pam LeBlanc and her intrepid cohorts for jumping off the 10-meter tower at UT’s swimming center. I don’t doubt that it must have looked like a lonnnng way down. LeBlanc’s contributions to the American-Statesman are always informative and entertaining...
Letters to the editor: April 29, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 29, 2017

Re: April 23 letter to the editor, “Forget Muny; save black city residents.” Thanks to the author writing — and to the Statesman for publishing the letter regarding the city and state’s dishonest campaign to save Muny. It’s beyond disingenuous for the Save Muny effort to conveniently use a fleeting, apocryphal moment of racial integration as a noteworthy saving point...
Letters to the editor: April 28, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 28, 2017

Re: April 15 article, “CPS investigator: Is this the hardest job in Texas?” I am responding to your question — “CPS investigator: Is this the hardest job in Texas?” — with an unequivocal “Yes!” I speak from personal experience — 23 years as Child Protective Services caseworker and supervisor in the Houston area from 1979 to 2002. You have to be...
Letters to the editor: April 27, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 27, 2017

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams launched an attack on consumer financial protection by attempting to block an important rule for prepaid debit cards. The rule, issued in October by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, provides safeguards for those who use prepaid cards to make purchases and manage their money. In addition to protections against loss, theft and unauthorized charges, the bureau&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: April 26, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 26, 2017

I get it. We like blowing stuff up. It’s a primal attraction. Explosives are powerful — but indiscriminate. Fourteen states are using cyanide bombs to kill wildlife — and Texas leads the country in animal deaths by sodium cyanide M-44s. Thousands of coyotes, foxes, possums, raccoons and skunks meet their end this way in our state. According figures from the Humane Society of the...
Letters to the editor: April 25, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 25, 2017

Almost two-thirds of the population in our country’s jails have a mental illness. This means that jails are currently our largest provider of mental health care. Most of us know someone living with a mental illness and see the distress it causes in one’s life. When incarcerated, not only will a person’s symptoms likely worsen, but the person will be at higher risk of experiencing...
Letters to the editor: April 24, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 24, 2017

Re: April 13 article,“Texas farmers support bill to make hemp a potential cash crop.” Your article regarding the legalization of marijuana that appeared in the Texas Legislature in this session discusses the different bills that have been introduced that focus on issues like expanding the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana and the decriminalization of its possession. I...

Letters to the editor: April 23, 2017

Re: April 16 commentary,“Adler: Initial draft of CodeNext map could bring Austin together.” His honor, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, spends the bulk of the article encouraging us to “chill out,” saying “we’re all in this together” and supposedly advocating for “protecting the character and quality of life in our neighborhoods.” Then he ends his piece...
Letters to the editor: April 22, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 22, 2017

Re: April 8 commentary,“Meaux: Lawsuit reform works in Texas, but there’s reason for concern.” Hazel Meaux’s recent editorial was fascinating. Until she alerted me to the horrors of “abusive hailstorm lawsuits,” I had no idea they existed. Apparently, “storm-chasing lawyers” are “aggressively” recruiting Texas plaintiffs and collecting massive...
Letters to the editor: April 21, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 21, 2017

Re: April 13 article,“Bill to transfer Muny from UT to state parks unit wins easy Senate OK.” The University of Texas has a history of violating the spirit — if not the letter — of Col. George Brackenridge’s will that gave his large tract of land on both sides of the Colorado River to be used for educational purposes. His hope was for UT to move its campus there. But...
Letters to the editor: April 20, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 20, 2017

Re: April 6 article, “Bills stalling or stopping bullet train pass Texas Senate committee.” There are a few people who, apparently, have little knowledge of how efficient high-speed rail can be. I would ask them to travel to Europe to ride on ICE, TGV or the Eurostar. We Americans have such an outdated rail system. The Europeans built an entirely separate rail system for their high speed...
Letters to the editor: April 19, 2017

Letters to the editor: April 19, 2017

Re: April 12 article,“Senate OKs letting clerks deny same-sex marriage licenses.” The Legislature just can’t seem to find harmony between religion and sex. Last time I checked, we still operate as a nation based on the separation of church and state. It gets messy fast when the two collide. Case in point is religious beliefs that conflict with the law. County clerks aren’t...
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