Letters to the editor: Jan. 7, 2017


Re: Dec. 27 article, “New poison to be tested on West Texas feral hogs,” and Dec. 31 commentary, “Troublesome wild hogs leave us searching for solutions.”

Really? Poisoning feral hogs again? Why is this terrible technique still even being considered?

It is wrong to poison feral hogs because it is cruel, wastes a viable food source and creates risks to other wildlife.

The new poison, sodium nitrite, might be less evil than Kaput, but the concept of poisoning is still simply unsound.

With all the gun owners and hunters in Texas, it would make more sense to use the $20 million to hire full-time hunters and trappers. It would create lucrative, secure jobs and provide food for soup kitchens and Texas chefs. Mike Leggett points out the unique hunting skills needed to take a wild hog.

Early Americans managed to decimate herds of buffalo for no good reason. I propose creative solutions to deal with feral hogs and the damage they do without resorting to wasteful and cruel poisoning.

JENNY CLARK, AUSTIN

Re: Dec. 24 article, “Why the best autism treatment is out of reach for poor Texas families.”

Thank you for your recent article on Texas’ lack of coverage of applied behavior analysis treatment. ABA is evidence-based and has been rigorously tested and proven to work, allowing people with autism to reach important developmental milestones.

If our children, instead of having autism, had cancer or HIV, lifesaving medical treatments would be available through insurance. For our children, ABA is our chemotherapy or antiviral medication. Without ABA, there is not as much chance for improvement in the primary attributes of autism: communication, social and behavioral challenges.

Our son, now 16, has received 10 years of ABA and has improved greatly, going from nonverbal with constant tantrums to AP classes in high school. I once asked my son how he accomplished this great feat. His answer: “Therapy worked.” ABA is the most important therapy available for autism — and it should be funded.

RENE CRAFT, AUSTIN

Re: Jan. 1 commentary, “Time is right for Texas GOP to fix property tax system.”

A recent editorial had a headline that stated that the “Time is right … to fix property tax system.”

The writer wants the Texas Legislature to fix the problem, though they are the cause of the problem.

The worst example is school funding. The Texas Constitution calls for the Legislature to provide free public education. But they refuse to properly fund schools so they can brag of low taxes.

The public schools must somehow be paid for. Therefore, we have local property taxes. If the Texas Legislature cares about fixing the “property tax problem,” then it must own up to its constitutional duty and enact state taxes to pay for schools.

JIM EDRINGTON, GEORGETOWN

Designing a reasonable tax code is noble service. Sadly, the approach by the current GOP is opposite of noble. Enriching corporations, shareholders, landholders and trust-fund babies is not public service. Conversely students, teachers, fledgling startups and many lesser-abled are offered the short end of the stick.

Beyond this, the GOP have now amplified the sellout by adding provisions to get votes. This shameful add-on to boost real estate income will further enrich people like U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, President Trump and others. What about the millions in our county who can’t afford exorbitant rent with stagnant wages?

Voters have made a mistake to put such corrupt politicians in charge. We are lied to every day when flowery speeches express concern. In reality, the only concern is for donors, lobbyists, land barons and Christian fundamentalists.

The GOP is on the wrong path with any tax code that clearly favors the rich.

LUCY SANCHEZ, AUSTIN

Dec. 30 commentary, “How Republicans in Congress made great strides in 2017.”

Sen. John Cornyn certainly thinks highly of what he and the GOP have done for us Texans in 2017.

I have another view: Cornyn and Republicans took health care from millions, cruelly deported people and divided families, alienated international allies, denied climate change, promoted fossil fuels, worked to take birth control from women, ignored pleas from “Dreamers,” enabled racists and white supremacists, attacked LGBT protections, moved to undo National Monuments’ protections, attacked the free press, removed the open internet protection of net neutrality, gave “bigly” to their billionaire donors and corporations and a little trickle down to the rest of us in their tax scam — and they now have plans to further attack Social Security and Medicare to pay for the enormous federal deficit that the tax scam has caused.

Sorry, senator. I don’t think thanks are in order.

MARY LEY, AUSTIN

It appears clear that our senators and representatives feel government should not provide health care to the public. The public should have wages and jobs that support the ability to purchase their own. Corporations have the money but not the will to pay a living wage and are attempting to force you, via government, to subsidize this gap. It isn’t bleeding heart liberals putting you in this bind; it’s your own donors.

As a physician, I don’t really care how people get health care, as long as they do. Millions will suffer and die due to poor leadership. If this leaves you untouched, then the economic losses from this should carry more weight. It all leads to a clear choice: Support and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, or bring legislation forward that gives people the ability to purchase their own.

LAURA WALTRIP, AUSTIN



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