Letters to the Editor

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...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 16, 2017

Those of us who respect Mayor Steve Adler’s stand on the inclusion of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the Veteran’s Day parade were probably already fans. I doubt whether he won over anyone. Politically, it might not have been clever. Morally, it was right — and every one of my veteran associates agrees. Only the confused and excessive generosity of America would trick us into...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 15, 2017

I went to vote this past Tuesday. After providing my voter registration card and driver’s license, I was deemed eligible to vote, signed the book and was taken to a voting machine. I don’t trust voting machines, so I told the poll worker, “I cannot in good conscience vote on a voting machine. I want a paper ballot.” I was told I could use a provisional ballot. But since I had...
Letters to the editor: Nov. 14, 2017

Letters to the editor: Nov. 14, 2017

Re: Nov. 8 commentary, “Herman: Hail to Texans who helped liberate Nazi concentration camps.” After reading about the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp by Herbert Stern and Birney T. “Chick” Havey, I could not help but reflect that they did not mention one word about the perils they faced to get there. More than likely, they were on foot, carrying a 50-pound backpack...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 13, 2017

Re: Nov. 5 commentary, “Our signs are nice, but yards from truth.” I am writing in response to Ken Herman’s comments on yard signs. Sadly, he has missed the whole point. As silly as it seemed, at first, I thought his comments were a joke. I guess it was to him. His tone implies that he seems to prefer hate over peace and love. President Trump’s message of hate and dividing...
Letters to the editor: Nov. 12, 2017

Letters to the editor: Nov. 12, 2017

Ted Cruz, during his visit to Sutherland Springs following the tragic shootings, replied to a reporter’s question by saying, “We don’t need politics right now.” Cruz, you are a politician — it’s your job. You are not a first responder; you are not a chaplain; you are not a doctor; you are not a law enforcement officer. If you don’t want to answer questions...
Letters to the editor: Nov. 11, 2017

Letters to the editor: Nov. 11, 2017

As we give thanks for those who have served our country in the military, let us remember the 65,000 “war widows” whose spouses died of service-connected causes and who are being ripped off by our Congress through an offset that denies us the monetary benefits we paid for but are not receiving. For years while our spouses were alive many of us paid into an annuity, the Survivor Benefit...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 10, 2017

The city manager is not an elected official; he or she is chosen by our elected City Council. I am glad to delegate that decision to people I trust. I personally know several members of the council and am certain that they are people of high integrity and good intentions. I appreciate their willingness to be public servants. City manager is a very public position. Qualified applicants who are in similar...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 9, 2017

Re: Nov. 4 commentary, “We failed Austin with overbuilding.” Professor Thomas Palaima’s elegiac piece concerning Austin feels off the mark to me. We can mourn what we no longer have, but we would then be mourning everything that grows and changes. Although the CodeNext effort has its critics, it represents a sincere effort to cite the principles that ought to guide the city&rsquo...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 8, 2017

I was saddened and appalled to learn that while I sat in my house of worship on Sunday, dozens of people were being slaughtered in a church less than 100 miles away. I am greatly angered by the mockery made by our governor and other elected officials by their request for prayers for the victims and their families. Their prayers ring hollow when they alone have the power to stop the bloodshed by passing...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 7, 2017

Re: Nov. 3 article, “Council may have broken open meetings law with ‘secret’ city manager search.” I am stunned by the lack of judgment on the part of our City Council members in the actions they took while interviewing prospective city manager candidates. Leaving “the posted location of a meeting and (being) rushed away in vans that took them to an undisclosed place&rdquo...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 6, 2017

Re: Oct. 27 article, “Trump declares opioids a public health emergency.” Upon reading this article I had a mix of feelings. I am in recovery from substance use disorder and was pleased to hear that the president was finally addressing the opioid epidemic in this country. Something I appreciated about this announcement was that President Trump made it personal by talking about his brother&rsquo...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Signed, Forgotten Fans of Royal-Memorial I’m a Horns fan relegated to the Mezz seats at basketball games, GA at baseball games and the nosebleeds at DKR because I don’t make much money. Which is fine. God has blessed me, no doubt. But as I sat in the dark seats of DKR during a night game (the stadium lights don’t reach section 115), I felt the need to pen this letter. Please consider...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 5, 2017

I have been fortunate to work in the justice system for 15 years. When I heard President Trump refer to it as a laughingstock and a joke, I was angered and saddened. Lawyers and judges dedicate themselves to honorable service in that system. Litigants rely on that system to arrive at a just outcome to disputes and protect their rights. Many of us nonlawyers serve in supporting roles in that system...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 4, 2017

We always look for the answer as to why such terrible acts take place. It seems obvious to me that the answer to this recent act of terrorism in New York is to get rid of all of the guns. Oh, in case getting rid of the guns isn’t the solution to this horrible act, then the answer must be getting rid of all of the trucks. Or some other liberal nonsense. Seems to me a solution to some of the problem...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 3, 2017

Re: Nov. 1 letter to the editor, “Library parking anger will swell before long.” A possibly perpetually negative letter writer moaned — for want of other valid complaint — about the shortage of parking at the magnificent new library. Perhaps the city should have waved its magic wand and caused parking to materialize. Or the library could have been built more conveniently in...
Letter: Congresswoman did not politicize soldier’s death, Trump did

Letter: Congresswoman did not politicize soldier’s death, Trump did

An Oct. 26 political opinion column by Donald Loucks in the Bastrop Advertiser falsely claims that Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson politicized the death of an American soldier. Loucks misrepresented and omitted facts that would have destroyed his column’s premise. The issue became a national story because of President Donald Trump, who lied when asked by journalists about the deaths of four American...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 2, 2017

Re: Oct. 29 commentary, “Herman: The unmystery of the 2018 Texas U.S. House races.” I understand Ken Herman’s reasoning, but the Democrats finally do have reason to hope. Stats show a big increase in Democrat voters. We have a president who is alienating everybody — and we have unresponsive representatives. Like many in Travis County, I spent much of this past year reeling...

Letters to the editor: Nov. 1, 2017

Re: Oct. 27 article, “On southbound MoPac, toll lane drivers win, Winsted drivers lose.” In the article about the problems created by restriping MoPac Boulevard to allow a thru toll lane at the expense of entering Winsted Lane traffic, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority seemed to think that the fact that this bad idea had been part of the plan all along was a sufficient excuse...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 31, 2017

To Council Member Alison Alter, Regarding the proposed development at Great Hills Trail and Jollyville Road, adding 400 apartments and more business space in an area where traffic is unmanageable now is abhorrent. Presumably new residents will have one or two cars; together with the active adult housing under construction on the other side of Jollyville Road, the situation will be untenable. Combined...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 30, 2017

Former President Carter’s recent statement regarding the media’s treatment of President Trump is right on. Trump is being treated the same way Vietnam veterans were treated when we came back from the war — and by the same kind of people. We were despised, cursed at, lied about — even spit on. Trump gave up a pleasant billionaire’s lifestyle to help us recover from the...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 29, 2017

Re: Oct. 25 commentary, “Congress presents a tax code that’s fairer and simpler.” U.S. Rep. Roger Williams says the cutting the corporate tax rate will “help U.S. companies invest and grow in this country.” Except it won’t. Recent history has shown that companies use most of that cash to pay dividends to stockholders and buy back their own stock to increase share...

Letters to the editor: Oct., 28, 2017

Re: Oct. 22 commentary, “‘Be prepared’ for bringing girls into Boys, Cub Scouts.” The Boy Scouts of America Capitol Area Council Blackland Prairie District Roundtable handout states that Cub Scout packs can become coed by the choice of their charter organizations, with single gender dens within the pack, or remain boy-only Cub Scout packs. As these girls in Cub Scouts reach...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 27, 2017

Voters should look behind the ballot language and notice a real stinker among the seven constitutional amendments on the Nov. 7 ballot. Deceptive language has often been used to sneak outrageous things into our Constitution. Proposition 2 on home equity loans is one of the sneakiest ever. It would change the fee cap but would raise — not lower — consumers’ total costs. While it would...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Ahem, Texas’ colors are burnt orange and white As an old Longhorn — graduated in 1958 — I do not understand why the University of Texas athletic teams wear black. The women’s teams seem to favor this color. The school colors are white and burnt orange. Please, let’s hold with tradition and wear our school colors! Please, Tom Herman, find a white or burnt orange shirt...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 26, 2017

Re: Oct. 15 article, “Claim about proposed Austin school bonds is silent on increased dollar costs to property taxpayers.” I imagine that the Austin Independent School District is very happy about receiving a “Mostly True” rating from PolitiFact on its opaque claim of “no tax rate increase.” However, they are called “trustees” and they have a higher...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 25, 2017

Re: Oct. 22 article, “Average Austin property tax bill hits $7,600, up $517 from last year.” I am just stunned by the mindset of the tone-deaf Austin City Council. Homeowners have been crying out for tax relief for years. Increasing taxes are forcing families out of their Austin homes. Instead of helping them, Austin is increasing taxes by 7.9 percent, not giving constituents a chance...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 24, 2017

Re: Oct. 19 article, “Austin’s bid is officially in for Amazon’s giant HQ2 project.” Could we stop with the dog and pony show regarding Amazon? It’s a done deal. Welcome to Austin, Amazon HQ2. In Belton and Temple, everyone is rapidly building new housing developmentsand apartments, new roads are going in, new schools are being constructed and new small businesses are...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 22, 2017

Re: Oct. 17 article, “As jump in water bills riles Circle C residents, few answers from city.” I laughed out loud after reading Austin Energy spokesman Robert Cullick’s statement that “we have very accurate meter readings.” In February, they misread my water meter by transposing one number and then overbilled me for 2,700 gallons of water usage. A simple problem caused...
Letters to the editor: Oct. 21, 2017

Letters to the editor: Oct. 21, 2017

Two of the more inspiring Statesman photographs in the last year were both of young women standing up — or kneeling — for what they believe in. The first was of the 15 young Latina ladies protesting Senate Bill 4 — the “sanctuary cities ban” — at the Capitol while wearing their quinceañera dresses to draw attention. The second, more recent, was of the McCallum...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 20, 2017

Re: Oct. 17 commentary, “Let’s view science as a powerful tool, not as a threat.” Professors Michael Starbird and Jay Banner encourage universities to engage the public in the appreciation of science. It is dangerous, they rightfully state, to develop energy or public health policies not based on the best scientific information, and advocate that artists, humanists and social scientists...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 15, 2017

Re: Sept. 24 article, “Is Austin the landlocked surf capital of the world? Some say yes.” A recent Statesman article highlighted an inland surfing park in Austin that doesn’t rely on boats. It would be great if all the wake surfers on Lake Austin were to take their sport over to the surfing park. Wake surfing relies on really big wakes generated by large boats, often weighted down...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 19, 2017

Re: Oct. 16 article, “CodeNext: Is Austin doing enough to reach out to non-English speakers?” Why translate? If anyone wants to live in the U.S., let them learn the talk of the country. Last I heard, here it was still English. If I moved to Mexico, do you think that they would print everything in English? Of course not. When my ancestors arrived from Germany, they learned to speak English...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 18, 2017

Re: Oct. 12 commentary, “Herman: Superman rappelling. What’s wrong with this picture?” Ken Herman must need work. His write-up demeans the Austin Police Department’s voluntary rappelling effort to put a smile on ill children at Dell Children’s Medical Center on Superhero Day. According to Mr. Herman, it could possibility traumatize the children for many years. I am sure...
Letters to the editor: Oct. 17, 2017

Letters to the editor: Oct. 17, 2017

The East Austin Coalition for Quality Education’s Equity by Design Forum emphasized to me that responsible citizens must do three things. First, we must remember that the goal of the Austin school district’s bond measure is to provide better schools for kids. Secondly, we must insist that the board and administration begin to not only have more discussion about equity issues but also to...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 16, 2017

Barbara Jordan was the chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform from December 1993 until her death in 1996. She said: “Immigration, like foreign policy, ought to be a place where the national interest comes first, last, and always.” In 1995, testifying before Congress she said: “To make sense about the national interest in immigration, it is necessary to make distinctions...

Letters to the Sports Editor

DKR’s loud speakers driving this fan away Last week was probably the last UT football game that I will attend. I have been a season ticket holder for over 30 years. We sit in the westside upper deck, Section 106. The newly installed speakers caused decibel levels to average 90 to 94 and at times reached 97. Yes, we measured it. After the 30 minutes of pregame, nonstop music and the first quarter...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 14, 2017

Don’t tell me that recent “guns on campus” legislation didn’t contribute to the shooting at Texas Tech University because the perpetrator was too young for a concealed handgun license. The law was another societal statement that guns are OK. Don’t tell me that allowing guns on campus levels the playing field by permitting innocent people to defend themselves. A trained...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 13 2017

An open letter to Jeff Bezos: Please protect LGBTQ Amazon employees from the Texas Legislature, Texas Supreme Court, Lt. Gov. Patrick and Gov. Abbott by not bringing Amazon HQ2 to Texas. The Texas Supreme Court held that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling making same-sex marriage legal doesn’t include publicly funded benefits to LGBTQ spouses. The Texas Legislature passed a law that allows faith-based...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 12, 2017

Football players respectfully kneel when another player is hurt. It follows that when our country is hurting because of discrimination, they “would take a knee” as a plea for healing. They have not turned their backs nor taken any other disrespectful actions. Kneeling has not ever been a disrespectful gesture — and it should not be considered one now. Why has no one mentioned that...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 11, 2017

I am a long time Red Cross volunteer. Over the years, I have worked disaster relief operations in Texas and around the country — and no place does a better job of taking care of folks when disaster strikes than we do here in Austin and Travis County. During Hurricane Harvey, I observed city and county operations in the Emergency Operations Center, the Austin Convention Center, numerous Austin...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 9, 2017

While America searches its conscience to find a reason for the tragedy in Las Vegas, it may be helpful to search even deeper — into the consciousness of our culture to find the ultimate reason. That reason would be, in short, a lack of empathy. Our culture has so evolved over the years that its members feel increasingly cut off from one another. We don’t identify anymore with our neighbor...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 8, 2017

While visiting the Czech Republic, I broke my shoulder and had to go to an emergency room. Four people — including myself — were waiting to be seen. No one showed outward signs of illness or distress. I quickly was seen by a doctor who ordered X-rays. He reviewed the films, copied them to a CD for me to take and told me to return to the U.S. for surgery. I was fitted with a substantial...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 7, 2017

This concerned papa of adult daughters looks at what has recently happened on our hike-and-bike trails in our areas and has concluded we must get involved. Commence working together with our law enforcement forces to build a stronger foundation for a more secure and resilient Austin and Travis County. As I’ve suggested to our girls: That the criminal’s first thought is to use the advantage...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 6, 2017

Re: Oct. 1 article, “Can Austin win Amazon’s HQ2 — and could city handle impact if it did?” and Oct. 1 commentary, “Viewpoints: City should define ‘affordable housing’ in CodeNext talks.” So, the mayor sees a “pretty unique opportunity” for Austin if he can lure Amazon and its highly paid workers to Austin. I read this article after I had...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 5, 2017

Recently, I talked to my brother Johnand and his wife, Diane, who live in Salinas, Puerto Rico. They do not have electricity, phone or water. They were in San Juan at a friend’s house. They went to San Juan to make airline reservations. Their flight is in three weeks. As far as relief efforts, they have seen one case of water and six meals ready to eat since Sept. 21. Pinocchio is lying about...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 4, 2017

Once again, we wake up to another mass shooting in America. Even greater than the 49 killed in Orlando last year. A disturbing trend, but one that I believe will continue since our country, and our state, will do nothing to address gun violence. Texas even rejected a safe gun-storage education campaign last legislative session. This is the only public safety issue of this magnitude in our state that...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 3, 2017

Re: Sept. 28 article, “Trump calls tax plan ‘middle-class miracle.’” Charities and churches should be alarmed about the new Republican tax plan. With the standard deduction doubling and state and local taxes no longer to be deductible, many millions of taxpayers who usually itemize will not do so. Even though charitable donations will remain deductible, the deduction will no...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 2, 2017

I’ve concluded that the proposed CodeNext is just a land grab for speculators, not relief for the people who live here, pay taxes and vote. Code revisions should reconcile conflict, like when we have one ordinance that allow permitting unlimited bedrooms for a duplex but another limits occupancy to four unrelated people. Data shows that the houses to be torn down are always cheaper than their...

Letters to the editor: Oct. 1, 2017

Re: Sept. 24 commentary, “Sean Spicer at the Emmys is really no laughing matter.” “Sean Spicer is one of the reasons we live in a nation filled with millions of angry, frightened and deeply misinformed people.” I agree. These “millions of angry, frightened and deeply misinformed people” are all Democrats who simply cannot process their failure to see what was happening...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 30, 2017

Re: Sept. 26 article, “Texas congressman: Recall, replace John McCain over health care vote.” Dear Rep. Louie Gohmert, I read about your comments regarding Sen. John McCain on Fox News. I am appalled that as an elected official you would kick a man when he is down just because you don’t agree with his vote. It’s beyond my comprehension you can be so cold-blooded. Does this...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 29, 2017

Re: Sept. 25 article, “Amid Austin budgeting and Amazon talk, debate over incentives rises.” I’m astonished and concerned by the position City Council Member Leslie Pool is taking on existing incentive agreements. Specifically, an agreement with the Domain, a highly successful retail/hotel/office/residential project in her district. If it were up to her she would back out of this...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 28, 2017

The Graham-Cassidy bill is the latest in a line of ill-conceived pieces of legislation that members of the GOP have hastily thrown together. These so-called health care bills cannot stand the test of regular order, so they are kept secret in hopes that few will notice that they cut millions of sick, elderly, disabled, children and veterans off their health care plans. Lacking any input from medical...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 27, 2017

I am so amazed that in the entertainment business there are so many mean-spirited, ignorant and thoughtless people whose purpose in life seems to be to bash and ridicule the president. How much better it would be that instead of stooping to such lows, they would use their time to better their country and, among other things, do volunteer work. What kind of an example are they giving to the world and...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 26, 2017

Re: Sept. 21 article, “Kitchen calls to name Robert E. Lee Road for only black U.S. treasurer.” As a resident of the Zilker neighborhood, I applaud Austin City Council Member Ann Kitchen’s proposal to rename Robert E. Lee Road for Azie Taylor Morton, who by all accounts was a patriotic and honorable local resident. Lee, most assuredly, was neither patriotic nor a resident. The name...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 25, 2017

I think many Americans feel that air travel is already quite nerve-wracking: Arriving at airports hours early to submit to extensive inspections by the Transportation Security Administration, suffering weather and mechanical delays, being on-edge about airlines’ computer failures and flight cancelations, and worrying about being “bumped” from our seats by airlines. These all contribute...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 24, 2017

Re: Sept. 17 commentary, “Sanders’ drug plan puts Texas patients, companies in peril.” I read the commentary by Russell Withers. Typical dialog of big pharma, a group of corporations who seem to think they can pick prices out of the air. Oh yes, the free market will solve this. My question is how? The doctor writes a prescription, then you take it to the pharmacy and get it filled...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 23, 2017

Re: Sept. 20th letter to the editor, “Wrong to link Harvey to climate change.” Thank you, Lamar Smith, for adding to the important conversation around hurricanes and climate change. I seriously applaud your assertion that we need to be data-driven when attributing hurricanes to climate change. Your comment about frequency and intensity of hurricanes being flat sounds conclusive. However...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 22, 2017

Re: Sept. 16 article, “Round Rock boy selling soap to help Hurricane Harvey survivors.” What an inspirational young man Ezekiel is! In the midst of hurricane tragedy, I hope that survivors will hear the story about Ezekiel’s compassion for them and how it led him to selfless action on their behalf. They aren’t just getting soap; they’re also getting love. Now, where can...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 21, 2017

Re: Sept. 15 article, “DA to hold off on felony charges in Rep. Dawnna Dukes case for now.” For the past several years, East Austin and all of House District 46 has essentially been unrepresented in the legislature. Sure, technically we have a “representative” in criminally-indicted Dawnna Dukes — but for the past two sessions she has had by far the worst attendance record...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 20, 2017

Hillary Clinton’s new book “What Happened” is a how-to guide in playing the victim card. Clinton blames a plethora of individuals and organizations for her loss in the 2016 presidential election. How tiresome and unbecoming. When Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Robert Dole, John McCain, Al Gore, John Kerry and Mitt Romney lost the race for the highest office in the land, they quietly...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 19, 2017

Re: Sept. 12 commentary, “Help Harvey victims. Don’t bring up climate change now.” The author argues that Harvey victim relief organizations will receive more donations the less we talk about the role climate change had in worsening Harvey’s impact. Pointing to recent studies of motivated reasoning, he says that because Texas went for Trump and apparently only 25 percent of...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 18, 2017

Re: Sept. 11 article, “Austin answered: Why doesn’t city have more east-west highways?” Ben Wear’s article clearly explains the difficulty of widening roads in developed neighborhoods. What about an effective, lower cost solution — like synchronized traffic lights? The time spent sitting at lights trying to cross the rivers at Airport Boulevard, Guadalupe Street and Lamar...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 17, 2017

Re: Aug. 11 article, “Old Settler’s Music Fest moving to new location near Lockhart in 2018” and Sept. 7 article, “Conflict arises between Old Settler’s Music Fest and new Driftwood fest.” A month ago, the American-Statesman reported that the Old Settlers Music Festival was being forced to move because the owner of the Salt Lick was giving them the boot due to &ldquo...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 16, 2017

Re: Sept. 6 article, “City food inspectors knocked for too-frequent breaks.” While the headline and most of the article seem written to enrage people, crucial information is buried near the end: All inspectors completed required inspections. In addition, one inspector noted that the stress of the job requires destressing. Since the work may lead to fraught interactions when pointing out...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 15, 2017

The proposed gigantic bond being floated for the Austin Independent School District this November — $1 billion — should perturb every Austin resident who pays rent or property taxes. KIPP, IDEA, Harmony and other local charter schools — free to the public — all maintain high-achieving campuses with little or no public funding for their buildings. Their teachers are paid on...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 14, 2017

Was horrified to see how many motor boats were filling up with gas recently. I even heard reports of some filling up garbage containers in the back of their trucks! Many people had to work over the Labor Day holiday, and knowing that they had difficulty finding gas to go to work while seeing people enjoying being out on the lakes was very disturbing. I’m sure the number of boats was down from...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 13, 2017

Re: Aug. 6 letter to the editor, “Hernandez needs to get her priorities straight.” Obviously, the letter writer did not read the entire article — Travis County offered help. Houston and Harris County officials said not to come — to wait — because they would be needed later, so Travis County helped in other ways. This is what happens when only the headline of an article...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 12, 2017

Re: Sept. 3 commentary, “Viewpoints: City should look to proven models to address homelessness.” As a taxpayer and volunteer working with our homeless neighbors, I appreciate the Statesman’s highlight of the issue of homelessness, an undeniable reality that impacts people of all ages, ethnicities and life circumstances. However, this societal problem impacts all areas of Austin,...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 11, 2017

Re: Sept. 4 commentary, “I’m diabetic. If I stop working, I don’t have money to live.” Julius Casey’s editorial is both encouraging and discouraging. Casey is obviously a hard, dedicated worker struggling to get by on part-time, minimum-wage jobs while dealing with health issues. That said, why would anyone work jobs at these wages for 20 or more years? No promotions...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 10, 2017

I am saddened by the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program decision. As a teacher in Texas for close to 20 years, I can guarantee that I have had a hand in educating someone who is in the DACA program. It is tragic to me that they will be shown the door out to another country. This was an investment that we are choosing to waste. These kids were raised as American citizens...

Letters to the Sports Editor

When it came to coverage, it was ‘same ol’ ’ It was with great dismay that the Sports headline on Sunday read “Same Ol’, Same Ol’.” It’s confusing to me that the hometown newspaper would not be behind our football team. When you buy a new car, sometimes you have to return it for certain problems, and eventually it gets fixed. Were you expecting a national...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 9, 2017

Yesterday, as I was driving by the Capitol on West 11th Street, I looked just inside of the wrought iron fence and what I saw brought me joy. I saw an African-America family admiring and taking photos at the newly installed statue commemorating Juneteenth and the Texas African American History Memorial. It made me appreciate our diversity and the contributions of all Texans, especially in these difficult...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 8, 2017

Today was the first time I loved being in a long line. We were dropping off three truckloads of new toys and blankets to the relief center. I love seeing people give their own time and money to help those in need. We know people who took time off work and used their own boats just to help those who need. Thanks to Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody who cut the red tape and just did the right thing...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 7, 2017

Re: Aug. 31 commentary, “Herman: President Donald Trump’s ill-chosen words.” Hard to believe that when Texas is experiencing its worst natural disaster in our history, Ken Herman decides to write an article nit-picking our president’s comments during his visit to our state. What’s wrong with thanking Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn for showing up, then thanking his staff...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 6, 2017

Re: Aug. 31 article, “While Houston got swamped, Travis rescue boats sat idle.” Texans in Houston are hurting, and need help. Sheriff Sally Hernandez decides to wait to send help, so she can be assured her office will be reimbursed, leaving fellow Texans to wait in the water. But when Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants a violator held, no help is afforded. Though she violates constitutional...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 5, 2017

Letters to the editor: Sept. 5, 2017

While making donations to Texas areas hit by hurricane, I read that inadequate flood control and density of development are blamed for much of Houston’s flooding from Harvey. That made me worry that CodeNext could be setting Austin up for similar problems. We already have inner-city areas with flood issues, and our development practice seems to be build it first and worry later about traffic...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 4, 2017

Letters to the editor: Sept. 4, 2017

Today is Labor Day, a time to celebrate America. Workers back in the ’30s and ’40s needed jobs, which were hard to find. My dad and his brothers went to work on the Mansfield Dam, which was later praised in a 2001 article in the Statesman, “A dam built to last marks its 60th year.” Labor unions helped make America a better place to live, and work got better with their help...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 3, 2017

Letters to the editor: Sept. 3, 2017

Re: Aug. 29 article, “Julián Castro, ex-housing chief and San Antonio mayor, to teach at UT.” Just what we need — another liberal Democrat to indoctrinate and intimidate our kids with his political positions. I wish someone would tell the UT administration that it is the University of TEXAS and not the University of Austin. During this time of deafening calls for diversity...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 2, 2017

Letters to the editor: Sept. 2, 2017

Re: Aug. 20 article, “With rejection of special session core agenda, is GOP civil war next?” In response to losses in his special session, Gov. Abbott opines, “Texas remains the model for governance in the United States of America.” Really? Does Abbott truly believe this? One can only assume that Abbott is talking about our economy. U.S. News and World Report ranks the Texas...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 1, 2017

On Sunday, Aug. 27, despite the rain and wind from Hurricane Harvey, the Austin American-Statesman was on our porch, double-bagged, waiting to be read. We know how much trouble it is to “porch” a paper when the driver has to stop and exit his or her vehicle instead of just slinging it out the window. Three of our sons delivered the Austin American-Statesman in the 1970s, when they were...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 31, 2017

Code Next winners are developers and their political allies, city tax coffers and wealthy, mostly childless, more densely packed condo-style urban dwellers who enjoy having their favorite bars, restaurants, loud performance venues and shops — without adequate parking — right next door. Code Next losers are a variegated Austin, nonwealthy middle- and lower-class families with kids and dogs...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 30, 2017

Re: Aug. 20 article, “West Texas sand rush exposes faults in state’s lizard protection plan.” So, the state’s much-vaunted plan to avoid regulation and protect a rare species has run off the rails. How’s that for voluntary conservation by industry? We were all told that companies engaged in fracking operations in the Permian Basin would go out of their way to protect...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 29, 2017

On Aug. 15, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 214 into law. Even in case of rape or incest, women will now have to pay an extra premium for abortion coverage — rape insurance. Because of course, each woman plans her abortion, as all women plan their rapes, and take proper precautions. A world where this is etched into existence by the four white men who authored the bill — who have never...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 28, 2017

Re: Aug. 20 commentary, “Viewpoints: On racism, a president who’s lost the moral authority.” I enjoyed reading your well written and thoughtful editorial. In my opinion, President Donald Trump not only lacks moral courage on hate, he has no morals. In other words, Trump does not care whether his behavior is morally right. Trump’s behavior — both prior to and during his...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 26, 2017

I firmly agree with those who say the Confederacy and its war heroes should be confined to history rather than honored. Austin has taken a step in the right direction with regards to streets and monuments honoring Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, but the school district seems to have overlooked their school named in honor of John H. Reagan, who headed the new Confederate States Post Office Department...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 25, 2017

Re: Aug. 18 commentary, “Herman: The silence of the senior senator.” Kudos to Ken Herman for nailing the political cowardice of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. As Cornyn sits with his finger to the wind assessing which way the voters of Texas will react to Trump’s latest but most outrageous actions concerning Charlottesville, the senator’s staff releases a thoroughly generic condemnation...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 24, 2017

Re: Aug. 16 article, “U.S. court voids 2 area congressional districts.” If the chief financial officer of a corporation were found guilty of embezzling company funds over the course of a decade, the logical first step would be to terminate his control of the company’s money. Yet, after the court’s finding that the Texas Legislature has repeatedly violated voters’ rights...

Letters to the editor

Re: Aug. 16 commentary, “Phillips: Is Patrick lieutenant governor or viceroy? Let voters decide.” Viewpoints writer Alberta Phillips observes that Texans are not people ruled by a viceroy. I don’t think the lieutenant governor and the governor ever got that memo. They are royalty who fabricate stories. Dan Patrick once said, “People are happy with their governments at the state...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 21, 2017

Letters to the editor: Aug. 21, 2017

Re: Aug. 16 article, “Confederate rally set for Austin on heels of Charlottesville outcry.” It is hard to believe that after what happened in Virginia that Austin would allow such an event to occur. There is no reason to honor Confederate heritage. This is a time in the South’s history that we should be moving away from, not honoring. You know that the neo-Nazis, the Klan and other...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 20, 2017

To those who say that Confederate memorials do not support racism but merely celebrate culture — and that men like Robert E. Lee did good deeds other than their participation in the Civil War — I ask, “Why should we be publicly honoring traitors at all?” Benedict Arnold was a fine general and a worthy colleague of George Washington until he committed treason by switching sides...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 19, 2017

Some may be aware of my efforts to have a statue of Leslie Cochran placed at Sixth Street and Congress Avenue. In light of the current spate of controversies, I suggest that the bronze Jefferson Davis statue be melted down for Leslie’s new incarnation. Now, wouldn’t it also be special if we have him his own street? Down with Lee; up with Leslie! SPENCER NUTTING, AUSTIN What I learned about...
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