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Toll- and road-builders have burdened the next generation with a debt of$ 4.3 billion while perpetuating an outdated model. How much better if they worked on redesigning communities on a more human scale, so we wouldn’t have to jump in our cars every time we need something. Driving may continue into the next century, but not on the grand scale toll road builders hope for.


Austin residents know about our city’s reputation. We’re a live music capital, unique, eclectic, exciting, proud, beautiful — and wealthy. While true, there’s something much less talked about, yet just as important: The large population of disadvantaged people who live here. Folks who can’t enjoy the cliché Austin hipster lifestyle because they can’t afford it.

Fortunately, there are true gems to be found here: organizations, nonprofits, the community college and the universities that haven’t forgotten these people. In fact, they create programs to eliminate educational gaps and free lives from the force and cycle of poverty.

One such program is Free Minds Austin, of which I’m a graduate. It provides classes, professors, books, dinner and child care for free in the community where it’s needed. Participants earn college credits towards a degree.

A shout out to those who strive for creating opportunities and making better lives a realistic possibility for so many.


When Donald Trump sabotages the Affordable Health Care Act, he attacks the health of millions of American families.

When Donald Trump threatens LGBT Americans honorably serving in the U.S. military services, he undermines and divides this country and its military forces.

When Donald Trump encourages the environmental pollution of America’s air, water, and natural resources, he does the work of America’s enemies.

And when Donald Trump isolates America from its international friends and allies, he weakens every post-WWII alliance and treaty.

Donald Trump may be as big a threat to America’s security as Putin.


Re: July 28 commentary, “Herman: I’ve got the answer for the Texas bathroom situation.”

Have you seen that funny email that, among other questions, asks why it is that men can go to the restroom alone but women go together? Well, this is the answer: Men are bigger and stronger and can take care of themselves if an attacker lurks in the restroom.

Ken Herman needs to ask his wife what she thinks about this. I’ll bet she will agree with me. The restroom is one of the places where women and girls are the most vulnerable. Though I have sympathy for those fellas who think they were supposed to be women, I vote for leaving the restroom policy as it has been for generations.


Unbelievable! Gov. Greg Abbott will make a list of those Republicans who don’t agree with every word of his 20-item special session agenda? Well put me on your list too — and I consider myself a relatively conservative Republican. You sound like a fifth-grade bully. And if you force passage of this ludicrous bathroom bill, you must include bonded bathroom monitors at every public bathroom to confirm each person’s birth certificate with genitalia. Anything less would be unacceptable.

And Ken Paxton says the Texas Constitution prevents cities from having tree ordinances? Where does it end? I recommend Abbott and Paxton add a bill to their special session to eliminate all city governments. Obviously, Abbott and Paxton can run everything from the Capitol.

Oh, please Joe Straus — the common-sense stalwart — run for governor!


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Facebook comments: Feb. 20, 2018
Facebook comments: Feb. 20, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Philip Jankowski, Austin became the first city in Texas to regulate sick leave. The Austin City Council voted early Friday to make paid sick leave a mandatory requirement for all nongovernment employers. It passed 9-2, with Council Members Ora Houston and Ellen Troxclair voting against it. The ordinance...
TWO VIEWS: Let’s use better tools to decide which inmates get bail
TWO VIEWS: Let’s use better tools to decide which inmates get bail

Criminal justice reform is a prominent issue in the public square, capturing the interest of both ends of the ideological spectrum, as well as celebrities, think tanks and even the White House. Propelling this issue forward, both nationally and in the Lone Star State, is a recognition that change is needed. Especially when it comes to jails. One of...
TWO VIEWS: Return to real criminal justice reform, like it’s 1989
TWO VIEWS: Return to real criminal justice reform, like it’s 1989

It will surprise many to learn that once upon a time — and not so very long ago — a bipartisan coalition of Texas legislators approved an innovative plan aimed at reducing crime through progressive health and education strategies. The year was 1989, and the proposals were put together by Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, a Democrat, with the cooperation...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 19, 2018
Letters to the editor: Feb. 19, 2018

On infrastructure funding, Trump has it right by proposing that states and corporations pay the bulk of maintenance and construction. In our early national history, entrepreneurs cut pikes through forests and built ferries to cross rivers. Users probably complained but paid the tolls nonetheless. It wasn’t until the highway system was established...
Opinion: Mass killers should be denied notoriety they crave

An orgy of mutual disgust now greets every mass shooting in America. Liberals despise conservatives who, they predict, will offer only insipid “thoughts and prayers” in the face of what they conceive to be preventable massacres. Conservatives scorn liberals who, they believe, will propose “feel-good” gun measures that would...
More Stories