Rodeo Austin needs better acts, marketing
Re: Jan. 2 article, “New CEO wants to put Rodeo Austin back at the center of city’s culture.”
The ideas of Rob Golding of improving the rodeo by incorporating craftspeople, artists, bootmakers and salsa cooks might be promising but nothing will work unless the rodeo is promoted more vigorously. The acts that are hired are usually has-been stars. Maybe one or two might be popular but that’s it. The acts are the draw, not farmers markets that are held every weekend in every surrounding town. Rodeo Austin is nowhere near the caliber of the San Antonio or Houston rodeos. Creative thinking must be a priority.
PATRICIA GUNN, PFLUGERVILLE
Trump a great leader? Don’t hold your breath
Recently, at least two letters have appeared suggesting that one day the president-elect will do great things and approach the status of Jefferson and Lincoln.
One asked if those who hate him might considering diving off the Washington monument. Hate is an emotion which requires consumption of energy. I see nothing in this person worthy of my energy.
However, and I do not speak for others with IQs above that of a doorknob, but as for me, should that day arrive, I will be on the papal plane en route to Rome to be fitted for the red shoes and assume my duties as the newly elected Pope.
RICHARD P. IEZZI, KYLE
Williams’ corruption evident from the start
Re: Jan. 4 article, “Roger Williams was probed by ethics office targeted by Republicans.”
I am not surprised that questions are being raised about Roger Williams’s ethics. My only question is: What took you so long? Roger Williams first got on my ethical radar when he was secretary of state. I noticed what were presented as public service announcements to promote voter registration, but they prominently featured Williams’s name and his photograph. I thought that was very odd.
It was obvious he was using taxpayers’ money to promote himself for a future run for elective office — and lo and behold — before long there he was running for Congress.
It is clear that Williams’ moral compass, if he has one, is severely out of calibration. Clearly he is just another corrupt politician out for personal gain rather than public service.
JOHN M. MOORE, AUSTIN
Ben Hur Circus isn’t fun for its captive animals
Once again, the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park welcomes Ben Hur Shrine Circus. This show promises “fun adventure” for all — except for animals forced to perform in this show.
Life for circus animals consists of cruel training and confinement. Tigers are forced through rings of fire despite being naturally terrified of flames. Migratory elephants are forced to stand for hours and to walk in circles giving rides.
As the public learns about the misery of circus animals, some acts have responded proactively. In 2016, Melha Shrine Circus went “animal-free.” Other acts, like Cirque du Soleil, continue to enjoy success while never relying on animal suffering.
Until Ben Hur Shrine follows this humane path, we should consider whether they deserve our hard-earned dollars, time and support. We should also demand that our local venues promote compassionate forms of entertainment.
ABIGAIL E. CAMERON, ACTION FOR ANIMALS AUSTIN
Dear President Trump …
What are your hopes, fears and expectations for the next president? We’d like to know.
Send us your “Dear President Trump” letter by Jan. 13, and we’ll publish as many of them as we can as part of our inauguration coverage. Keep your letters to 150 words or less. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your full name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. Or submit online at www.mystatesman.com/opinion/letters/form/