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 Zilker or other parks if landowners of the past hadn’t worked to preserve them. I’m sure the proponents of “density” think Zilker should be filled in as vertical, mixed-use development too. There is smart growth that does not require destroying everything that makes our city attractive and livable.


How many lives could be saved in Texas if the Legislature had the intestinal fortitude to do just one thing: require all motorcyclists to wear protective headgear? Just about every day, I read or hear about another Texan who died riding a motorcycle but wasn’t wearing a helmet.

If all passengers in vehicles are required to use seat belts, then common sense dictates that those on motorcycles should also be wearing some type of protective headgear.


Our governor seems to have adopted the attitude of the president that “he’s governor and you’re not” with his anti-local-control proposed special session agenda. The idea that the state knows best reeks of federalism, which as most of us recall was the last thing our governor and Republican-led Legislature believed while President Obama was in office for the past eight years.

For those Texans who believe the state should be able overrule local ordinances, just wait until they come after your precious homeowners’ association restrictions on paint colors — and even what model car can be parked in front of your home.


Re: July 4 commentary, “Let’s recognize the true role immigrants play in our nation.”

Gregory L. Fenves lauds the sacrifices and courage of immigrants coming here, though he does not once praise the men and women who settled this country in the 1600s. Coming to a place with unfamiliar language and customs and making a life is one thing. Coming to a place unsettled and with no support except for themselves and the others who sailed with them and establishing a country is a much bigger accomplishment. My ancestors are in the above group — and I feel slighted that Fenves ignored the people who made this country the desired destination for others, including himself.


Re: July 6 article, “Congress will face logjam upon return.”

How is it that massive taxpayer-funded subsidies for the cartel that is our health care system and massive tax breaks for the wealthiest among us is the best the GOP can do to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act? Reducing egregious profits in this industry is a better approach.

We need one negotiating team — without politicians — with fiduciary responsibility to citizens negotiating rates for us as one group, doing away with all unnecessary middlemen. Currently, hundreds of insurers come up with thousands of negotiated prices for services, medical devices and drugs, which is highly inefficient and makes no sense.

Repealing ACA — which reduced the overall cost of the Medicare program — would sabotage long-term programs to reduce medical costs in a system that badly needs reform.

The divide-and-conquer approach by private insurers never worked to control costs. Handing even more business over to this failed model is a recipe for disaster.


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