Letters to the editor: March 14, 2017


Re: Feb. 21 article, “Where are the women in architecture? New exhibit tries to answer that.”

I can speak for one woman. I was excited about finally reaching the class for Mechanical Drawing, then told no girls were allowed. That was 1947 and we lived in Port Neches. (I turned 85 on Feb. 25). It was such a disappointment. I didn’t fight it. Hard to believe today. I worked with a good builder and he used my design for the home I live in now. Architecture wasn’t a job for women back then. Sad.

JAYNET CAWLEY BAYE, SUNRISE BEACH

Over the past year, we have watched as hateful language has gained traction. We have watched as hurtful actions have been dismissed as supporting a belief. We have watched as a man who consistently belittles others was elected the leader of our country. Time and again, the president has done or said things contrary to what I work tirelessly to teach the high-school students with whom I work to: learn from people who are different from you; respect personal boundaries; if you disagree, discuss their actions, not who they are as a person; be kind.

Many of my students are living in fear — for their own safety, for their family’s, for their community’s. As tales abound about Immigration and Customs Enforcement involvement in Austin, now is the time to stand with all who are frightened, for it is in coming together — in being kind — that we stand stronger in the face of hatred.

ABBY NICKLE, AUSTIN

Re: Feb. 15 article, “Some Austin teachers warned not to give students information on ICE.”

As a relatively new resident of Austin, it’s refreshing to see such a constructive approach taken by members of the Austin school district. Teachers should strive to serve students while looking out for their well-being. Educating them of their rights should by no means be controversial — and yet it has.

Seeing the responses to this article alone is unsettling. There exists this notion that in providing students with resources that enable them to effectively handle confrontations with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, teachers are aiding and abetting criminals. People actually have the audacity to compare children with criminals? The fliers are in no way advocating for illegal activity but rather are informing them that they too have rights. There’s no wrong in this, and in fact, they are entitled to this information. It serves to ease the anxiety permeating through these communities and addresses the concern for the safety of kids and families, regardless of status.

JULIO SANCHEZ, AUSTIN

Re: Feb. 18 article, “Central Texas Republicans sidestep calls for town hall meetings.”

I attended the Wilco Indivisible Town Hall in U.S. Rep. John Carter’s district. His office has said he prefers tele-town halls due to the Gabrielle Giffords shooting; yet he sponsored gun silencer legislation and spoke to a gun club. This was a family event. We asked questions and listened just as we wish our representative would listen to us.

What will happen to my family when Carter repeals the Affordable Care Act? Will my autistic son be cut from my insurance at 18 instead of 26? We pay $7,000 per year in co-pays. Will anyone insure him when he ages out of my plan? How can you represent Texas families if you refuse to attend a town hall, hold your tele-town hall, meet with us, meaningfully reply to our letters and emails or pick up your phone? How is that so-called representation?

STEPHANIE MARTIN, ROUND ROCK

Re: Feb. 25 article, “Trump aide asked FBI to rebut Russia reports.”

Donald Trump insists that mainstream media like The New York Times and CNN, among others, are “fake news.” So it is instructive to remember that Trump cited The National Enquirer to claim that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was affiliated with Lee Harvey Oswald and insisted that “This was a magazine that frankly in many respects, should be very respected.” He also recently said that reporters “shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name.”

And yet he used unnamed sources in a tweet asserting that President Obama was not born in United States: “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” How disheartening to have a president that quotes from a supermarket tabloid and seeks to discredit legitimate news organizations. As Trump likes to tweet, “Sad.”

CHERYL MCVAY, ROUND ROCK

Politicians are scared. You can tell because they are playing the “us” vs “them” game. The “leftist paid protesters” are just like the tea party’s “crazy right wing nuts” — and also like the tea party, they sprang up to initially rally against taxes and moneyed influence in government.

The indivisible groups are standing up for American values which they believe are under attack by Trump’s behavior and policies. They are not all leftist. There are many Republican and many, many centrists, as not all of the tea party followers are “alt-right.” It is better for politicians to keep us divided. All they need is support from a little over half of us who actually show up to vote. They know we are more powerful together. It’s time to keep our eyes open wide, really think about what our values are and realize the cliché is true: “United we stand; divided we fall.”

AMY HUNT, AUSTIN

Re: Feb. 20 article, “Defense secretary disavows Trump’s ‘enemy of the American people’ claim.”

Of all the despicable comments that Donald Trump has made since he slithered into politics, nothing is more un-American than his low-life labeling of the press “the enemy of the American people.”

This statement is simply cowardly name calling by an insecure president who only likes nice questions from pretty reporters.

That is not how real journalism works. The freedom of the press is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment states that the press has the right, as well as the responsibility, to report the truth to the American people, no matter how ugly or painful the facts.

Just because Donald Trump does not like the truth the media reports does not make the press the enemy. Just the opposite is true.

The American press, who have the courage to seek the truth and report it, are the heroes of the people, not their enemy.

JULIANNE RICHTER, AUSTIN



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