Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Feb. 25, 2018

Re: Feb. 21 article, “15-year-old student shot 5 times protecting classmates from gunfire.” Evidence over feelings. Shouldn’t the American people rally behind this mantra with pride? Isn’t this a hill worth dying on for the safety of our children? I am a junior in high school — and the reality of my life is that I live in a country with more school shootings than the...

Letters to the Sports Editor

The UIL got it all wrong with Ann Richards Kudos and applause for Leal Anderson (athletic director for the Austin school district, which includes the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders) for his gracious public reaction to the UIL’s questionable decision to have his school of 414 young women compete against schools such as Lake Travis, Bowie and Westlake with double or triple the populations...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 24, 2018

Re: Feb. 18 article, “Ellsworth Kelly crowns Austin with an artistic jewel.” I read with delight the article about the new Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin.” I recognized and empathized with the opening statement, “Patches of color drip ever so slowly down the walls,” for I am the pastor of St. Austin Catholic Church, a short walk from Kelly’s “Austin...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 23, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 23, 2018

Re: Feb. 18 article, “Playing to an audience of one, Dan Patrick doesn’t need your approval.” The article did a good job capturing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s lack of interest in good policies for our communities that government is supposed to oversee, like public education, transportation and water resources Instead, Patrick just wants to be the religious dictator telling us all...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 22, 2018

There are over 3 million dogs in shelters nationwide, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Of those, 670,000 are euthanized each year. Adoption is crucial in saving lives and appears trendy these days, especially in Austin. But consider this: Of those 3 million dogs in shelters, 360,000 are senior dogs. Senior dogs are less likely to get adopted; their adoption...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 22, 2018

If Congress has worked out a good compromise piece of legislation to resolve the situation for so-called “Dreamers” — and it isn’t to President Trump’s satisfaction — too bad. Congress is supposed to represent the will of the people, not the will of the president. If Trump vetoes the bill, then our Constitution gives Congress the right to override that veto. It...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 22, 2018

We are long overdue for legislation on gun safety. We must require permits to purchase firearms, contingent on 1) completion of firearm training and education, and 2) passing a universal background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. We must give private sellers access to this system and require them to use it. And we must require a Firearms Transaction Record form...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 19, 2018

On infrastructure funding, Trump has it right by proposing that states and corporations pay the bulk of maintenance and construction. In our early national history, entrepreneurs cut pikes through forests and built ferries to cross rivers. Users probably complained but paid the tolls nonetheless. It wasn’t until the highway system was established that we became accustomed to federal money paying...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 18, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 18, 2018

The United States is dealing with a public health epidemic. This disease is killing children, police officers, and young men and women. In the past, our nation has addressed serious epidemics such as polio, AIDS and lung cancer. First, we gathered valid information. We then studied the origins of these diseases. Ultimately, smoking cessation in the case of lung cancer, or vaccines and public health...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 17, 2018

Re: Feb. 14 article, “Austin school board to vote on renaming schools with Confederate ties.” This letter is in response to Austin ISD Trustee Ted Gordon’s statement that correlated low test scores with the name of a school. If that was the case then wouldn’t students who attend Grant or Lincoln High School have the highest test scores? As someone who was in education for 35...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 16, 2018

Re: Feb. 3 article, “Eateries, governments targeting plastic straws.” It’s estimated that we use 500 million straws a day in the U.S. That is enough straw waste to wrap the circumference of the Earth 2.5 times. And since you can’t recycle straws, most wind up in our landfills or as litter in public places like in Lady Bird Lake, marring our city’s beauty and injuring...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 15, 2018

Re: Feb. 9 article, “Austin Habitat for Humanity begins work on ‘net zero’ homes.” Hidden in the article about Austin Habitat for Humanity building “net zero” homes was a disturbing conundrum about providing affordable home ownership. Families can finance home purchases with zero-interest mortgages and are insulated from property tax hikes by leasing the underlying...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 14, 2018

Re: Feb. 11 article, “Statesman program raises more than $1 million for local charities.” Let me say thank you to publisher Susie Gray Biehle, writer Nicole Villalpando and all the staff at the Austin American-Statesman for their continuing efforts to make the annual Season for Caring campaign such a success. Each year, they identify some of the severest of needs among our friends and...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 12, 2018

This is an open letter to all political candidates using any advertising method. I’ve noticed over the years that most of you no longer list your party affiliation on your yard signs or roadway posters. Here’s my take on that: If you do not have the confidence to list the party you’re running for, you will not be getting my vote. If you are not proud enough to list the party, you...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 11, 2018

Re: Feb. 7 article, “Austin’s Guerrero Park becomes latest focus of MLS stadium search.” Unfortunately, your picture of Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park fails to show the numerous large cottonwood trees that have been lost to “several decades” of “severe” erosion. Now, this is being used as a selling point to build a soccer stadium. It appears that if the...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 10, 2018

The future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals kids and funding for a border wall should not be considered as a reciprocal tradeoff rolled into a tit-for-tat deal. It’s bad horse sense and bad horse trading — and it doesn’t represent what most Americans want to have happen. Even a cursory examination of the polls regarding these manners reveals this; effectively, two-thirds...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 9, 2018

Rep. Bill Flores and Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, I read the president’s speech in Ohio — you know the one I’m talking about — the one where he called people “un-American” and “treasonous” for not applauding for him during a speech. This is not normal! This is not OK. Please speak up about how this is not OK. You and I both know that it is absolutely...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 8, 2018

Re: Jan. 23 article, “New panel launching effort to identify Texas school finance fix.” Unable itself to come to grips with the dysfunctional Texas school financing system, the Legislature established a commission, the Texas Commission on Public School Finance, to come up with recommendations. So, why would Gov. Greg Abbott appoint as its chairman Scott Brister, former controversial Texas...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 7, 2018

What a surprise. East Austin could become the dumping ground for another project that everyone thinks is a great idea — but that nobody wants in their backyard. Council Member “Pio” Renteria is ready to sell us out by keeping Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park on the table as the site for the proposed major league soccer stadium. He says letting the voters decide would be &ldquo...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 6, 2018

Re: Feb. 2 article, “2018 deficit means another lean year for Austin teachers making $50K.” As a retired fifth-grade teacher from the Austin Independent School District, I read the recent article on salaries with great interest. The reporter neglected to factor in one of the greatest benefits Austin ISD teachers receive: Social Security. When we retire from Austin ISD, we receive teacher...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 5, 2018

When I saw President Trump deliver his first speech, I dreaded that I would have to endure it four years if he won. Although what was said wasn’t all that bad, it is an insult to call it a speech. It was a reading. He does not make eye contact at all and just looks at two teleprompters while squinting to read. Admittedly, I don’t like the guy — but his words are surprisingly acceptable...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 4, 2018

Re: Jan. 31 commentary, “How cellphones are connecting teens with danger.” Thank you for the article by Dr. Adrian Gaty regarding smartphones and children’s mental health. The relation between screen activities and teen’s mental health is disturbing — and good reason for parents to play a more active role in their children’s use of smartphones. I do think that smartphones...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 3, 2018

Re: Jan. 27 commentary, “De-escalation policy could help mend community trust.” A recent editorial stated that training is needed for police officers to learn to calm volatile situations. This will help accomplish three goals: save lives and money while improving community relations. One organization that can help with that training is the Dispute Resolution Center, an independent, nonprofit...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 2, 2018

Re: Jan. 28 article, “Texas Republican Party votes to censure House Speaker Joe Straus.” In light of the recent censuring of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus by his fellow Republicans, I would instead like to thank him for saving my and fellow Texas taxpayers’ dollars by tabling several Senate bills last session. Those bills — concerning fetuses, bathrooms, wombs and so on &mdash...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 1, 2018

Parallel realities exist in Rockport, devastated by Hurricane Harvey. This beautiful community will never be the same. Besides the physical destruction, finding housing is difficult — especially for those whose jobs disappeared when businesses closed. The alternate reality reflects progress. Schools re-opened, although many in portables. About a third of the businesses re-opened. Generous donations...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 31, 2018

Energy of the women’s march needs to be directed toward the health care of Texans, not sent around the world. Texas ranking on an overall health scorecard is 41 among 50 states. Yet, $10 billion of federal Medicaid funding is turned away annually by Republican legislators. Think of the good jobs that $10 billion a year would support — high paying jobs like nurses, therapists and Emergency...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 30, 2018

Re: Jan. 26 article, “Renteria urges Austin council to remain open to parkland for MLS venue.” Converting central city parkland to a sports venue will not help Austin thrive; we need more central city parkland, not less. Drive by Zilker Park some pretty Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It’s packed to the brim with people enjoying the park. The hike-and-bike trail regularly feels overcrowded...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 29, 2018

Trying to fund the Texas school finance system with local property tax is nuts. It is obviously inadequate and inequitable. A better way to provide solid, equitable state funding for education is to use the income tax option available under Texas Constitution. Before you overreact, learn what article 8 section 24 says: If the Legislature adopts an income tax, it requires voter approval of the tax...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 28, 2018

Re: Jan. 25 articles, “Harsh penalty unlikely for Texas judge who gave jury advice from God” and “Judge an advocate for Nassar victims.” Why does Michigan have Judge Rosemarie Aquilina — and we’re stuck with Judge Jack Robison? Aquilina allowed more than 150 girls and women to confront their convicted sex abuser in her courtroom, complimented them for their strength...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Super Bowl teams hail from patriotic areas With the acts by some of the NFL players to choose not to recognize the national anthem, I find it ironic when you consider the area from which the challengers for the Super Bowl come. The almost perennial Patriots are from the New England area that gave us “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” an initial action in our nation’s quest for freedom...

Letters to the editor, Jan. 27, 2018

Re: Jan. 23 article, “His son tried to kill him; now father tries to halt his execution.” I read Chuck Lindell’s story on the Whitaker family with great sadness. In our zeal for vengeance, we have crafted a death penalty that hinges on “future dangerousness,” but none of us can predict the future. If we could, Texans wouldn’t have sentenced over 13 people to death...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 26, 2018

Re: Jan. 23 article, “Offering a counternarrative, Cruz blames Democrats for 2013 shutdown.” So, now Sen. Ted Cruz stands in front of the media and claims that he didn’t cause the government shutdown in 2013. Why shouldn’t he? Because today, if you want to deny your previous words and actions, you just make up and tell a new story. Even if video evidence of your words and deeds...

Letterse to the editor: Jan. 25, 2018

Re: Jan. 22 commentary, “Two views: Why Supreme Court should rule against bag ban.” James Quintero wrote Monday about why the Supreme Court should rule against the plastic bag ban. Quintero leads the Think Local Liberty project for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The focus of his editorial is why local laws about plastic bag bans should not be allowed. Ironic (or just plain hypocritical?)...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 23, 2018

Re: Jan. 18 commentary, “TEA must commit to an overhaul of its special education practices.” I love Texas. That’s why we moved here in 1979. But I am very sad that we have not kept up with services for those with developmental disabilities. Capping the number of students who can receive special education services is beyond ridiculous in a state that encourages jobs and growth. Parents...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 22, 2018

Re: Jan. 18 article, “Expo Center trimmed from PSV’s list of Austin MLS stadium sites.” The possibility of Butler Shores being decimated for a soccer stadium worries me. I am absolutely against such a move. These negotiations appear to be similar to the bullying of Austin that Uber and Lyft attempted. Butler Shores, at the confluence of Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake, needs to remain...
Letters to the editor: Jan. 21, 2018

Letters to the editor: Jan. 21, 2018

Re: Jan. 16 commentary, “Herman: Sen. John Cornyn continues to tolerate President Trump.” Sen. Cornyn does more than “tolerate” President Trump. He voted for him, and by remaining silent when the president lies, bullies someone, insults our allies, makes a racist comment, or attacks America’s free press and all the millions of immigrants who have helped make our country...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 20, 2018

It is appalling the disrespect being shown to President Trump. The left, liberals and Democrats have turned a blind eye to the corrupt leadership shown during the eight years of Obama and the Democrats. President Trump has done very well so far. It is very apparent that the Democratic party’s leadership does not want Trump to succeed and they do not care about the cost to their constituents...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 18, 2017

Re: Jan. 14 photo, “Sharing a message of P.I.E. (Peace Includes Everyone).” Please accept my compliments on the photograph by Jay Janner of the American-Statesman that appeared on the front page of Metro & State section on Jan. 14. I think it’s a remarkable picture of two celebrants visiting at a table. Their expressions are so genuine — and it’s obvious that they are...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 17, 2018

The lawsuit by Laredo Merchants Association on the single-use bag bans flies in the face of reality. The fundamental is the effect of the ban, not the canard of inconsistent regulation. Within two weeks of Austin’s bag ban, we no longer saw white plastic bags in every creek, on every fence. I have never seen a more effective government action. It is impossible to ignore that the right believes...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 16. 2017

Every day that U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz remain silent while Trump obliterates our standing in the world is an indictment of their governing cowardice. Actions that will hurt Texas — such as repealing NAFTA, and throwing so-called dreamers out of the country — draw no pushback from those who should represent the interests of all Texans. And now, hideously racist and irredeemable...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 15, 2018

Re: Jan. 9 article, “Austin barbecue brothers face backlash over planned wedding venue.” In response to your article on the Mark Black wedding venue, I would like to say a venue this size has no business in a quiet little rural community. The Friendship Alliance has had several meetings already. In addition to the noise and traffic, I believe wholeheartedly this venue will greatly reduce...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 14, 2018

Re: Jan. 11 article, “Austin district hunts for partner to turn around Mendez Middle School.” I took exception to a comment by a disgruntled Mendez Middle School parent: “They’re not teaching my children anything.” That’s something I’ve also heard expressed by unmotivated, undisciplined students. But there are three equal elements in classroom education: teacher...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 13, 2018

Re: Jan. 10 article, “Despite rules, former Hays commissioner to remain at CAMPO board.” Will Conley, former Hays County Commissioner, was re-elected on Jan. 8 to continue to serve as chair of Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, although he is no longer an elected official. Conley stepped down to run for Hays County Judge, but was chosen by the CAMPO board to keep his chairmanship...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 12, 2018

As an Army veteran, I proudly took an oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. All of our representatives also took this oath. By all reports, our democratic process was attacked by a foreign source — and there is an investigation underway to determine if that attack was aided and abetted by domestic sources. This investigation is being led by a...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 11, 2018

Re: Jan. 6 article, “They didn’t know that they were great shepherds of Austin’s lake.” Thanks for the article on the various people who helped to put together the hike-and-bike trail. One should also thank the people who began to use this trail in the late 1970s. It has since become an important element of the public spaces available in Austin. My great fear now is that as...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 10, 2018

Re: Dec. 27 article, “New poison to be tested on West Texas feral hogs,” and Dec. 31 commentary, “Troublesome wild hogs leave us searching for solutions.” Really? Poisoning feral hogs again? Why is this terrible technique still even being considered? It is wrong to poison feral hogs because it is cruel, wastes a viable food source and creates risks to other wildlife. The new...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 9, 2018

Re: Jan. 1 commentary, “Time is right for Texas GOP to fix property tax system.” I totally agree that property taxes in Texas are egregious. I’m not surprised that, despite having no state income tax, Texas ranks as the 14th-toughest for taxpayers. What this commentary fails to mention is that it’s the portion of property tax we pay for schools that is the main culprit. Taxes...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 8, 2017

Re: Jan. 1 article, “Dog bite case makes it to the Texas Supreme Court.” I don’t get it. We have a dog-bite case that might jeopardize our military, even the defense of our country, and the potential payment of $1 million to the victim — all because the victim is a civilian “administrative clerk” working on a military base in a potential war zone. Should the base...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Texas still a long way from what it used to be It’s nice to see Texas win a game — a bowl game — but it shows how far they are since the days when they were a top team. They are bragging about a season in which they lost six games and had top players who wouldn’t even play in the bowl game. I’ll bet Nobis played in his bowl game despite having a pro career waiting. They...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 7, 2017

Re: Dec. 27 article, “New poison to be tested on West Texas feral hogs,” and Dec. 31 commentary, “Troublesome wild hogs leave us searching for solutions.” Really? Poisoning feral hogs again? Why is this terrible technique still even being considered? It is wrong to poison feral hogs because it is cruel, wastes a viable food source and creates risks to other wildlife. The new...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 6, 2018

This is election year is a time for all who support public education to step forward. Every candidate for state office, Democrat or Republican, should be required to answer five simple questions and held accountable for their response: • Will you support legislation that addresses adequate and equal funding of the state’s public schools? • Will you support legislation that provides...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 5, 2018

Re: Dec. 30 article, “Austin will appeal its most recent court loss involving the Texas Open Meetings Act.” I applaud City Council Member Alison Alter for asking city staff to study and recommend legally required agenda-posting procedures. However, it’s shameful that it took two court rulings in the people’s favor to prompt this action. The city of Austin was founded in 1839...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 2, 2018

Re: Dec. 24 article, “Why the best autism treatment is out of reach for poor Texas families.” The Republican governor of Texas, as well as all his supporters, should be proud for saving such vast sums of money by depriving poor autistic Texas children of the best medication for them. President Trump will also be proud of you. Texas for all Texans! ANDREW ZWARUN, AUSTIN Well, we are getting...

Letters to the editor: Jan. 1, 2018

If voter fraud is so rampant, as Donald Trump and Roy Moore have both claimed about their elections, do they both have such low self-esteem as to assume that none of the illegal votes were cast for them? Voting illegally is probably difficult and risky, so it would make sense that people casting them are so gung-ho about their candidate they would risk jail time to see their candidate win. Trump and...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Nobis’ passing should be a note of warning I read with interest your articles on Dec. 14 about the remarkable football career of Tommy Nobis. Both articles did a fine job of setting out the particulars of the successes Mr. Nobis had both at the University of Texas and with the Atlanta Falcons. What was missing in both, however, was any meaningful discussion of the terrible toll he paid for playing...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 30, 2017

It’s that time of year when predictions for the new year are rolled out. Here are some that won’t require a mystic or crystal ball: • People will argue endlessly about everything — and not a single mind will be changed. • Politicians will deliver speeches appealing to the middle class and then pivot to serve a different economic demographic. • Many people will earn...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 29, 2017

Now that Christmas is behind us, we are all hoping that you folks who made decorating a tree on Loop 360 and other roads a family holiday tradition will start another family holiday tradition: removing the decorations. Think of the great civics lesson you’ll be giving the kids. If you don’t, that teaches the kids another less uplifting lesson: polluting. RICHARD HARTGROVE, AUSTIN Re: Dec...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 28, 2017

Re: Dec. 26 article, “Food isn’t the only warmth some homebound elderly receive for Christmas.” Mary Huber’s story about Meals on Wheels food delivery on Christmas Day used the word “sacrificed” describing Christmas morning meal delivery. I feel the word “sacrificed” is very inappropriate. My husband and I delivered meals — and we felt honored...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 27, 2017

Re: Dec. 20 commentary, “Herman: Are crosses in Caldwell County office crossways with the law?” I was offended by the tone of Ken Herman’s recent commentary. While house-hunting in Lockhart in 2013, I met real estate agents who confided houses displaying crosses were more marketable. Indeed, if one looks at Zillow’s pictures of Lockhart homes, many have crosses displayed. Welded...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 26, 2017

Re: Dec. 21 letters to the editor, “Limiting Drag traffic will make matters worse.” A recent letter writer suggested that Cap Metro should invest in boring equipment and build an underground facility to avoid traffic woes in the future. This is not a fantasy solution. Many international cities have gone underground to take mass transit off main streets. For example, Brisbane, the capital...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 25, 2017

Everyone in Austin just got an early Christmas gift from Mother Nature — those gorgeous, colorful trees on every street and in many yards. They shimmer in shades of red, gold and even orange and you can see them when you drive or walk in your neighborhood. And the best part of this gift is that it’s free to everyone. Merry Christmas, Austin! MARY LOU GIBSON, AUSTIN What headlines reflect...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 24, 2017

I have written to my elected officials to let them know the tax bill is immoral and enriched GOP donors on the backs of working class Americans. It is even more immoral — absolutely incomprehensible — that you would vote to give yourself a tax break before reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Children in Texas will die while the idle wealthy line their pockets....

Letters to the editor: Dec. 23, 2017

Re: Dec. 13 commentary, “Proposed downtown soccer stadium will need parking options.” I couldn’t agree less with Gissela SantaCruz’s observations regarding the lack of parking at the proposed Major League Soccer stadium at Butler Shores Metropolitan Park. I’m not a soccer fan, but if Precourt Sports Ventures gets the necessary approvals and moves forward with the project...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 22, 2017

Re: Dec. 18 article, “Word guidance at CDC alarms health experts.” I’m writing regarding the restrictions on terms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can use in its budget. Words like “science-based” and “evidence-based” are crucial to a scientific organization’s ability to convey scientific conclusions as well as proposals to the public...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 21, 2017

Re: Dec. 15 article, “Austin council votes to send police contract back to negotiating table.” I was ashamed and embarrassed by the verbal assaults on Austin law enforcement by representatives of so many so-called worthy organizations and concerned citizens at the City Council meeting where it discussed the Austin Police Department contract. By disparaging the police, they seem to hope...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 20, 2017

Re: Dec. 17 article, “Viewpoints: Why Austin voters may have the last say in MLS turf deal.” Your editorial in Sunday’s paper encouraging a vote on the Major League Soccer team’s stadium location means that a very small percentage of Austin’s population will determined in which part of our city this stadium is placed. In the November 2017 constitutional and bond election...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 19, 2017

Re: Dec. 17 article, “New solar contract tips the scales on Austin Energy’s renewable efforts.” As the City Council voted to move ahead with the cheapest solar generation facility Austin Energy ever invested in, there was hindsight-quarterbacking that we should have waited until now to purchase all our solar, so it would have been cheaper. Austin was one of the original adopters...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 18, 2017

Re: Dec. 5 article, “UT seeking 2 percent increase in tuition in 2018, and again in 2019,” and Dec. 7 article, “UT graduate students protest low wages, possible tax on waived tuition.” Two recent articles caught my eye in the Statesman. One was that the cost of tuition could increase at the University of Texas. The other was about UT graduate students protesting the proposed...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Texas needs Tim Duncan to help with bigs I have been a season ticket-holder for the last 10 years. During that time, the UT basketball team has been fortunate to have recruited four tall men (Kevin Durant, Myles Turner, Jarrett Allen and now, Mo Bamba). When I look at the coaching staff with Shaka Smart, I would say that no one is considered “tall.” It would seem to me to get the best...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 17, 2017

Re: Dec. 13 commentary, “Your new home in the country comes with new billboards.” As residents of Driftwood, it with sadness and displeasure that we voice our strong opposition to the billboards and storage facilities that are being placed along this scenic and iconic stretch of roadway in the Texas Hill Country. FM 1826, leading to the legendary Salt Lick BBQ, various tourist venues,...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 16, 2017

Re: Dec. 11 commentary, “Two Views: This was the year Texas bucked restrictive local policies.” James Quintero’s commentary is a lot of hogwash and jibber-jabber. It was not cities, counties and school districts that came up with the issue of local control, but the tea party Republicans. This position is not that local governments know best; it is the people who elect their local...
Letters to the editor: Dec. 15, 2017

Letters to the editor: Dec. 15, 2017

Re: Dec. 9 article, “Surprise snowstorm in Austin brings havoc and joy.” Snow storm accidents on our roads? It’s no wonder. The drivers in this area have trouble driving safe on a summer day when all is hot and dry. The results, year-round, are another example of a state that “gives” driver’s license away by the millions at the Department of Public Safety and on...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 14, 2017

Re: Dec. 10 commentary, “Obamacare will die without the individual mandate.” Toni Inglis claims that without the individual mandate, Obamacare will die. Why? Because it’s expensive and getting more so each year, because the coverage may not be tailored to what the insured wants or needs, or their choice of insurance companies is now so limited? Socialized medicine in other countries...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 13, 2017

Re: Dec. 6 article, “Applications open for city program that offers street musicians paid performance slots.” Traditionally — and I am speaking from worldwide observations — buskers work for tips. Money from passersbys reward their performances. Austin’s Busking Pilot Program violates ages-old tradition. Yes, I realize a private developer fund will finance the project...
Letters to the editor: Dec. 12, 2017

Letters to the editor: Dec. 12, 2017

Re: Dec. 7 letter to the editor, “Invest in public safety when waste is cut.” A reader complains about the police as she observed some members in less than “combat” mode in public. The public can not know why law enforcement officers are in any place. They may have been dispatched to a certain location or activity because of previous crimes occurring at that location, or they...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 11, 2017

Re: Dec. 3 article, “UT students take on challenging musical in program’s finale.” Thank you so much for writing such a comprehensive and thoughtful response to the University of Texas’ final musical. As a UT student and a longtime lover of the theater, I am extremely disheartened by the end of the musical theatre program on campus. However, I find “The Drowsy Chaperone&rdquo...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Teammate’s view: Jefferson is NFL-ready My personal opinion playing football with Malik Jefferson and watching him grow this year, I think he is fit to play in the NFL. Malik is one of the hardest working players on and off the field. I believe that he will be a great addition to any NFL team and will have a positive impact on the organization. I hope the best for Malik and that he makes the...
Letters to the editor: Dec. 10, 2017

Letters to the editor: Dec. 10, 2017

Re: Dec. 7 commentary, “Gerrymandering and the great Texas property tax swindle.” Thanks to Mike Collier for bringing attention to the problem of gerrymandering in Texas. Not only has gerrymandering enabled the Legislature’s property tax scam, it empowers religious extremists who drive policy to the far right. Lawmakers ignore actual crises in education and child welfare so they...
Letters to the editor: Dec. 9, 2017

Letters to the editor: Dec. 9, 2017

Re: Dec. 4 article, “Could this lakefront parkland become Austin’s soccer stadium?” It’s sad our current City Council would even consider allowing a private soccer franchise to use prime Austin parkland. Butler Shores may be — according to the soccer team’s lobbyist — shabby in its current state. But this parcel is at the heart of “natural” Austin...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 8, 2017

I have been visiting Austin frequently since 2015. I appreciate the wonderful weirdness of Austin, but I have a bit of a problem when it comes to Austin being a friendly and welcoming to people who are not from Austin. When I walk along the lake, which I do daily, I say hello to joggers and people and families walking the trails, but seldom do people — young or old — say hello back to...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 7, 2017

For the first times in years, I can go on MoPac Boulevard peacefully knowing that I have an option of using the toll lane when I’m pressed for time. The toll lanes take the drivers in a hurry off the free lanes. This makes for an anxiety-free, safer and quicker ride for everyone. Extra traffic on Cesar Chavez Street after the toll lanes opened? It’s a direct indication that the toll lanes...

Letters to the editor: Dec., 6, 2017

Re: Dec. 1 commentary, “Herman: Is this South Lamar holiday greeting vulgar or good cheer?” The sign on South Lamar is really a sign of the times. The expletive used is an integral part of the dumbing down of America because those with limited vocabulary can use it as an adverb, adjective, verb or noun. What’s more, it doesn’t require much thinking — and vulgarity is...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 5, 2017

Re: Nov. 29 article, “Study: Texas lags behind most states in school funding.” The article cites a new study that finds that increased reliance on local tax revenue and sluggish oil prices have contributed to stagnant state education funding while education has become more costly. It is obvious that public education needs an additional source of funds. I suggest that the state Legislature...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 4, 2017

Re: Nov. 29 commentary, “U.S. Rep. Bill Flores: It’s time for a 21st century tax code.” Rep. Bill Flores’ comments about “updating” our tax system contain the same old propaganda his party has been putting out for years, especially his talking about the so-called “death tax.” An objective analysis of the inheritance tax shows that the number of families...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Jones is on the right side of the Goodell issue I have never been a fan of Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner. However, I am in total agreement with not agreeing to a new contract for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell has not done his job properly. He has mishandled numerous player allegations, giving some a pass and harshly punishing others. No rhyme or reason to the way he handles these situations...
Letters to the editor: Dec. 3, 2017

Letters to the editor: Dec. 3, 2017

Re: Nov. 28 article, “Gov. Abbott taps legal adviser for Texas Supreme Court.” Did I read that right? Chuck Lindell quotes Gov. Abbott as saying of his appointee to the Texas Supreme Court: “I wanted to make sure that the person I appointed was going to make decisions that I know how they are going to decide.” That, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with our current crop of so-called...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 2, 2017

Re: Nov. 22 article, “Capitol Police to investigate graphic photo leak, Joe Barton says.” Rep. Joe Barton has been caught with his pants down, literally, and as is the habit of most high-visibility “oopsies,” after the heart-felt explanation and apology, Lil’ Joe most likely will hightail it to rehab. Then, back to the D.C. in time for business as usual. He was &ldquo...

Letters to the editor: Dec. 1, 2017

Re: Nov. 26 article, “Mayor Adler: Landing Amazon’s HQ2 could push Austin to find solutions to some key issues.” Your interview confirmed my long-held suspicion: Our mayor is the loopiest thinker since Dr. Strangelove. Regarding affordability: How will adding 50,000 well-paid people to the community improve affordability? Does he not understand the law of supply and demand? Regarding...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 29, 2017

Re: Nov. 19 article, “After $269M in reforms, a glint of hope at Texas homes for disabled.” It was gratifying to read a balanced report in the Statesman’s coverage of state supported living centers. Liz Belile, featured in the story, echoes Austin State Supported Living Center’s Family/Guardian Association members when she praises the care and services her sister Shanna receives...
Letters to the editor: Nov. 27, 2017

Letters to the editor: Nov. 27, 2017

Re: Nov. 18 article, “Austin-area manufacturers battle tight job market.” The front page article about the difficulties of finding factory workers — along with our 2.9 percent or thereabouts unemployment rate — makes ludicrous the idea of luring Amazon’s second headquarters here. Similarly the idea of a convention center expansion. We are obviously not trying to bring...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 26, 2017

Re: Nov. 20 article, “Campaign cash, outreach to parents fueled big Austin school bond win.” I voted for the school bond. But make no mistake — that doesn’t mean I was part of some “Trump effect” reacting to the opponents. I am beginning to feel like property owners are an oppressed minority, getting stomped on so everyone’s kids can go to school. I am over...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 25, 2017

Re: Nov. 17 article, “Cost-cutting measures coming to Hancock Golf Course.” If the city really wanted to improve the popularity and corresponding increase in revenues at Hancock Golf Course, maybe they should consider renovating the existing course into 18 par-3 holes and install lights for evening play. It would be a fun course to walk — and with the extended evening hours, could...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 24, 2017

Re: Nov. 15 article, “France terrorism survivor: EMDR therapy helped me, could help others.” Though I am extremely sorry for the horrible violence Maegan Copeland’s family experienced, I was thrilled to see the front-page article on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. As an 18-year hospice chaplain with Hospice Austin, I underwent EMDR several years ago to address the...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 23, 2017

There is a well-worn real estate mantra: “location, location, location.” But poor design can ruin a great location. The city of Austin and the University of Texas have overlooked the need for a level of architectural control for years. UT is completing such a master stroke at Guadalupe Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard with the new Rowling Hall, which easily could be confused...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 22, 2017

Re: Nov. 12 article, “Blanco reforesting drive alters riverbanks, minds” Thank you for the inspiring and educational story about riparian recovery efforts after the devastating 2015 flood on the Blanco River. I am so happy to see that landowners are catching on to the new culture of river ecology and planting trees. The experts’ advice is simple: Leave shoreline grasses in a natural...
Letters to the editor: Nov. 21, 2017

Letters to the editor: Nov. 21, 2017

On Veterans Day, entering the grocery store I noticed “The Star-Spangled Banner” playing. Tables were set with finger sandwiches, chips, dips, and cake was being distributed by store personnel dressed in patriotic gear. As I shopped, the anthem kept playing on a loop. After the fourth repetition, I explained to a store employee when the anthem was playing, shouldn’t we stop our activity...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 20, 2017

Re: Nov. 13 commentary, “Wear: MetroRail station late and costlier? Yes and no. Maybe.” Apparently, our local transit planners have never heard of “connectivity.” Pieces of our transit system don’t connect. The Capital Metro downtown rail station is blocks from both the Megabus terminal and the north-south 801 and 803 routes. The 801 and 803 routes are several blocks...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 19, 2017

Nov. 15 commentary, “What if Sutherland Springs had no ‘good guy with a gun’?” “The fact that a bystander armed with his own rifle chased and shot the perpetrator in Sutherland Springs crucially transforms the terrain of the political interpretation of the shootings.” Say what? Twenty-six people died. Children died. Families were destroyed. A small town will never...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 18, 2017

Re: Nov. 14 article, “AISD moves to rename remaining schools with Confederate ties by August.” When will it end? If we’re going to re-name some Austin schools because they were named for Confederate soldiers and sympathizers, we also need to look at other places that bear these names. There is a street named after Lanier in my neighborhood. And then there is our major thoroughfare...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 17, 2017

Several people have written to the Statesman lamenting the end of the Regal Arbor Cinema at Great Hills. They have my sympathy, but it is important to point out that this area is full of venues showing remarkable movies, even outside the regular film festivals. The Austin Film Society has daily programming, including first-runs. The Alliance Francaise shows a French film a month. Cine Las Americas...
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