Letters to the Editor

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...

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...
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