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Letters to the editor: May 19, 2017


Re: May 14 article, “Travis DA axes program that forced stiff penalties for downtown crime.”

There was a time when folks came to visit — and a must-see experience was Sixth Street. Now, we will not take out-of-town guests there. Crime is the news despite of a fairly significant police presence. Side streets reek of urine. Unfortunate souls are everywhere.

We remember a similar entertainment area in St. Louis called Gaslight Square. It was a must-experience entertainment district. Over time, the Square became the target of criminals and people stopped going. It became unsafe and wasn’t worth the risk of becoming victims. Entertainment venues started closing and the death spiral was on because city officials did not aggressively work to make it safe. Within a few years, Gaslight Square went from city treasure to blighted mess.

Austin should protect its downtown entertainment treasures. This action by the district attorney’s office is a step in the wrong direction.

DALE KAESHOEFER, AUSTIN

Re: May 12 commentary, “How I’m honoring my immigrant mom this Mother’s Day.”

I would wager there are far more families “torn apart” by undocumented migrants voluntarily leaving loved ones in their home country than by those separated by immigration enforcement. Forbes reported that money sent from the U.S. replaced oil exports as Mexico’s largest source of foreign income – nearly $25 billion in 2015. That’s a lot of separated families.

They undoubtedly know the risk when they break our laws to live here — yet still choose to expose their families. While I have compassion when families are separated, primarily I’m thinking please, please don’t take that chance. I have far more compassion for those who play by the rules only to have a law breaker cut in line. How is that fair? And in case you’re tempted to think I’m just an ignorant bigot, I married an immigrant who courageously came here legally and became a naturalized citizen five years ago.

DAVID SCHWARZBACH, AUSTIN

At a time when it feels like our country is more divided than ever — and it seems our politicians can’t seem to work together and overcome partisanship — we must double down on our efforts to improve our country’s civility.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s decision to issue a proclamation declaring May as “Revive Civility Month” is a tremendous step in the right direction when it comes to reviving civility. By encouraging residents to engage with one another and pledge to be more civil, we can come together as a community to turn the tide on our nation’s declining discourse.

We want to congratulate Mayor Steve Adler and the residents of Austin for embarking on this important mission. We all have a role to play in reviving civility and respect, and we thank Adler for taking the lead.

DR. CAROLYN J. LUKENSMEYER, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CIVIL DISCOURSE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON, D.C.

May is National Skin Cancer awareness month. Please be informed by looking up the warning signs.

Have your doctor check your skin during office visits. Have family check the places you can’t see, such as your back, the back of your neck, your head and scalp.

Children exposed to too much sun may have a better chance of developing skin cancer in the future, so parents please take care.

Be aware that tanning facilities are the same as sunlight in that you are increasing your exposure to damaging light.

Lastly, keep in mind that skin cancer is not limited to fair-colored persons; other skin tones can have it also.

LISA ROBERTS, AUSTIN



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