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Letters to the Editor

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...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 18, 2017

Re: Aug. 12 article, “Activists say Austin plan for 65 percent renewable energy isn’t enough.” If you had told me that Georgetown would achieve 100 percent renewable energy while Austin balked at making such a commitment, well — I guess pigs can fly! The unforeseen consequences of going to all wind and solar have equaled — if not overshadowed — the initial benefits...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 17, 2017

Officer William DeWayne Jones Sr. was shot and killed on Robert E. Lee Road while performing a routine traffic stop. He gave up his life for the residents of Austin. The person who shot him had an arrest warrant for sexual assault. Jones served with dignity, courage and honor; an African-American who wore the badge, he was a real Texas hero. I ask the City Council and the governor to honor our fallen...
Letters to the Sports Editor

Letters to the Sports Editor

This is about business, not racism, in NFL Re: “Kaepernick’s situation lacks good answer,” Aug. 11 Cedric Golden insinuates Colin Kaepernick is being treated differently because he is black and is being punished by white owners. Ridiculous! If owners were racist, as he insinuates, we would not have 85-plus percent of NFL players who are black. Kaepernick overplayed his hand and insulted...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 16, 2017

Like Austin, Charlottesville, Va., prides itself on its progressive values. This weekend we watched as the KKK and other white supremacists marched on their town, intimidating and attacking its residents in acts of terror. These events have made it clearer than ever that Austin cannot let Robert E. Lee Road remain named for a general who fought on the side of slavery. His cause was immoral and indefensible...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 15. 2017

Re: Aug. 11 article, “Soldiers sue U.S. over promise of citizenship.” Honesty and integrity seems to moving towards bait-and-switch with regards to the Pentagon’s reported request to the Homeland Security Department to not process naturalization applications of soldiers who enlisted in the U.S. military under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 14, 2017

Re: Aug. 8 article, “Opponent sends annexation bill on a House detour.” Of course residents of unincorporated subdivisions like River Place do not wish to be annexed. When they leave home to work, shop or be entertained, they pay no taxes for the streets they drive. Nor do they pay the police who protect them, the first responders who would aid them in case of accident or for the parks...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 13, 2017

The total solar eclipse this month should serve as a reminder to all about the importance of science to understanding our planet and its place in the cosmos. Science allows us to precisely predict the path of the eclipse and the time it will be seen at specific locations. It’s never a good idea to deny something that a great majority of scientists predict, but in the case of climate change our...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 12, 2017

Re: Aug. 9 article, “Texas Senate leaders reject $1.8 billion House school finance fix.” In response to Senate Education Chair Larry Taylor: Yes, the House education bill is a Band-Aid — but you cover a cut on the way to the emergency room, you don’t just let it bleed out. We welcome a long-term solution to education finance reform, though we have been promised that &ldquo...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 11, 2017

Letters to the editor: Aug. 11, 2017

Re: Aug. 7 letter to the editor, “Do we need national search for library head?” To the writer: Please tell me much you know about running a library in 2017. Tell me how qualified you are to manage a $47.4 million budget, over 400 employees and countless volunteers — and 1.8 million items in the collection. Tell me your knowledge of how to catalog items so they are easily accessible...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 10, 2017

Re: Aug. 5 article, “4.3% jobless rate still may improve.” There is much celebration over the latest jobs numbers with 209,000 jobs added in the most recent month. Closer inspection of these numbers should throw cold water on the party: 53,000 of these jobs, or one quarter of all new jobs created, were in bars and restaurants. Not exactly stable, high-paying employment with benefits. According...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 9, 2017

Letters to the editor: Aug. 9, 2017

I feel fortunate to have two bulk collections each year. The two men who picked up a vast amount of bulk items in front of my home were amazing. They worked diligently as a team; the forklift operator was extremely skilled as he carefully picked up the items and deposited them in another truck. Count your blessings for this service. Paying someone to come to your home and haul off bulk items would...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 8, 2017

Letters to the editor: Aug. 8, 2017

Americans have enjoyed the freedom and ease of driving for more than a century. Looking forward, it’s clear we can’t keep building huge roads for millions of cars forever. Oil and gas are increasingly more difficult to obtain and require increasingly severe extraction processes. We must choose between driving so much or accept fracking and pipelines that spill and destroy water. Toll-...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 7, 2017

Letters to the editor: Aug. 7, 2017

Re: July 30 article, “Finalists announced for Austin’s director of libraries.” Why does the City Council need to hire a search firm to hire a new head librarian? How hard can this be? Even I know the Dewey Decimal System. How hard is it to yell at a kid for dog-earring a page or sending out Mr. Bookman to retrieve overdue books? Anyone can yell, “Hey kid, reshelf that book!&rdquo...
Letter: Bastrop officials should reconsider increasing water rates

Letter: Bastrop officials should reconsider increasing water rates

Upon reading the July 27 article in the Bastrop Advertiser regarding future water rates, my wife Margie and I are alarmed and concerned. The outrageous increase in water rates considered to finance the water and sewer infrastructure for expansion is not acceptable. I take particular exception on “The highest price-tag expenditure is a new wastewater treatment plant that is expected to cost around...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 6, 2017

Letters to the editor: Aug. 6, 2017

I only saw John Kelso a couple times — but he and I shared a lot. We had the same dentist’s office, for example, and it was important, as we were both diagnosed with head-and-neck cancer. Austin remembers John Kelso as a humorist — and he was that. But for those struggling for survival, John Kelso was an honest example and a leader. He couldn’t eat salsa anymore, for example...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 5. 2017

Letters to the editor: Aug. 5. 2017

Re: July 29 commentary, “Castillo: U.S. policy stole 8 lives in a truck. Why the dying won’t end.” I am a very dedicated, long-time daily reader of the Statesman and just cannot let your story in today’s issue go without my comment. I am 83-years-old and have experienced a lifetime of witnessing how our government can injure people without remorse, it seems. Juan Castillo&rsquo...
Letters to the editor, Aug. 4, 2017

Letters to the editor, Aug. 4, 2017

Re: July 29 article, “What Texans in Congress had to say about the Senate health care vote.” So, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is worried about all the people being hurt by Obamacare. Are these the same people who were worried they would lose their health care if the Republican bill passed? Rep. Lamar Smith wants to replace with legislation that “lowers premiums, lowers taxes and makes better...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 3, 2017

Re: July 28 commentary, “Commentary: Trump didn’t give Scouts a speech. It was a political rally.” I am the proud Texas mother of two Eagle Scouts. My husband and I have tried to raise all of our children according to the tenets of our faith and the principles set forth in the Scout Law, including kindness, helpfulness and bravery. These past few months, we watched in horror as it...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 2, 2017

Letters to the editor: Aug. 2, 2017

I am writing to address my concerns that there is no statewide bicycle helmet law in Texas. As a pediatrician, I have seen the devastation a traumatic brain injury can have on children and their families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26,000 children and adolescents are treated annually for traumatic brain injuries in emergency departments as a result of bicycle-related...

Letters to the editor: August 1, 2017

Re: July 27 article, “Trump: No transgender people in U.S. military.” President Trump woke up and tweeted his decision to ban transgender people from “any capacity” in the military. He claimed that he consulted with “my Generals and military experts,” but the reaction from the Department of Defense indicates they were taken by surprise. I woke up this morning worried...
Letters to the editor: July 30, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 30, 2017

Re: July 21 article, “Waco Veterans Affairs office denies 92% of Gulf War claims.” This is not only tragic, but an outright failure and total disregard of our men and women who have put their lives in harm’s way. The Veterans Administration was established in 1930 to take care of all veteran affairs — and to this date it has been doing a very poor job of it. Remember Agent...

Letters to the editor: July 29, 2017

Re: July 17 article, “Carbon monoxide illness linked to Ford SUVs hits APD hardest.” I’ve worked on cars since 1952, military helicopters for 21 years and home air conditioners for 30 years. All of this involved troubleshooting. I find it astounding that the carbon monoxide problem with police vehicles is apparently not being solved. If the problem was caused by the vehicles being...
Letters to the editor: July 28, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 28, 2017

Re: July 23 article, “Hutto City Council replaces entire development board amid criticism.” Kudos to the Hutto City Council for replacing the entire board of directors for the town’s economic development corporation after discovering the lavish spending by the corporation on hotel rooms. It has too long been customary for many of our government employees to ignore the trust we should...
Letters to the editor: July 27, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 27, 2017

Re: July 15 article, “Climate change skeptic Lamar Smith takes Arctic tour with lawmakers.” For those of us concerned with climate change, this is a moment for cautious optimism. Recently the Statesman reported U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith visited Greenland and Alaska in May to learn about the effects of climate change in the Arctic. On July 13, 46 House Republicans joined with 188 Democrats...
Letters to the editor: July 26, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 26, 2017

Gov. Greg Abbott’s and Attorney General Ken Paxton’s view that cities’ tree ordinances violate the Texas Constitution by interfering with private property rights and is government overreach is confusing when the state regulating what a woman can do with her most private property — her own body — isn’t overreach. Let’s put this to a statewide vote by Texans...
Letters to the editor: July 25, 2017

Letters to the editor: July 25, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 24, 2017

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

Letters to the Sports Editor

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

Letters to the editor: July 23, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 22, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 21, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 20, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 19, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 18, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 17, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 16, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 15, 2017

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

Letters to the editor: July 14, 2017

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