Several people have written to the Statesman lamenting the end of the Regal Arbor Cinema at Great Hills. They have my sympathy, but it is important to point out that this area is full of venues showing remarkable movies, even outside the regular film festivals. The Austin Film Society has daily programming, including first-runs. The Alliance Francaise shows a French film a month. Cine Las Americas and Indie Meme (dedicated to South Asian film) sponsor movies throughout the year.
The closure of a favorite theater is always a personal loss, but fortunately Central Texans live in a terrific film community with lots of opportunities to see interesting movies of all kinds. I’ve been to see Arbor films only once or twice this year — but I’ve seen more great movies since the Film Society theater reopened than I have in decades.
NICK DAUSTER, AUSTIN
The move afoot to rezone the parcel between U.S. 183, Great Hills Trail and Jollyville Road is ill-considered and should be rejected.
The height of the proposed development is more than twice that of anything else on the other three corners, where no building is higher than the surrounding trees. It is out of character with the rest of the neighborhood and would do away with our favorite theater, the Regal Arbor Cinema at Great Hills — the only one in the Northwest area of town that shows foreign and nonblockbuster films — as well as TJ Maxx, restaurants and existing shops.
A large residential complex, the Overture Arboretum, is already under construction on Jollyville Road near the H-E-B — and we don’t need more in an area where traffic at certain times of day is awful already. Residences on top of shops is a good model for cities, but not for this area.
JUDY B. ROESSET, AUSTIN
There is a well-worn real estate mantra, “location, location, location.” But poor design can ruin a great location.
The city of Austin and the University of Texas have overlooked the need for a level of architectural control for years. UT is completing such a master stroke at Guadalupe Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard with the new Rowling Hall, which easily could be confused as the Travis County Jail, a tan brick box with metal bars.
UT should have learned its lesson long ago when it trashed the winning design for the Blanton Museum of Art by Herzog & de Meuron. Time has come for the city to take a stand on design to make Austin a more beautiful place with architectural integrity. City Hall’s superior design as example could have sent a message to all parties to get their act together because locations like these don’t grow on trees.
JIM LEMOS, AUSTIN
I am disheartened by the seemingly consecutive mass shootings over the country. It is time that a new generation begin elect representatives that mirror this sentiment with effective policy.
Over my past three years as a student at the University of Texas, I can stay there is no more shock value in these incidents because we’ve allowed it to become a norm.
We must choose human life over our right to bear arms. As these occurrences make their way closer to our homes, I hope more 20-somethings like myself continue to ask how we can stop this before we’re next — and then recognize the significance of their own voice. We must practice our right to vote in every election. Millennials are becoming more aware of social injustices — and we still fail to realize that we are the missing voice that can end mass shootings as a norm.
ASHLEY OLIPHANT, AUSTIN
There is an old truism that almost always holds up in the context of political influence and corruption: follow the money.
That would be NRA money buying Republican politicians, which sadly means that their own political power is more important than their nation.
JIM HARP, AUSTIN
Maybe it’s too soon after Sutherland Springs to talk about sensible limits on guns. But it’s not too soon after Las Vegas. Or Orlando. Or San Bernardino. Or Sandy Hook.
I’m a Texas gun owner. And I believe no one has a legitimate use for an AR-15 outside of the military. The deer aren’t shooting back at the hunters. The targets at the range aren’t shooting back either.
Our elected representatives should either publicly state that they support increased profits for the gun industry or man up and support laws to protect Texas. There’s no room to sit on the fence.
DEBORAH GRONICH TATE, AUSTIN
For some reason, the first words out of liberals’ mouths after a tragedy involving guns are “gun control.” These words are always spoken by leftist politicians and pundits.
Actually, it’s out of the leftist playbook entitled, “Never let a tragedy go to waste.”
Wake up: No gun law on the books would have prevented Sutherland Springs. OK, the military screwed up by not reporting the felony conviction of Devin Patrick Kelley.
Leftists always want to have a “discussion” about gun control. But here is the kicker: Not one gun control “patriot” ever mentions that cities with the strictest gun control laws have the highest gun violence in the country.
So why is that? Willful blindness? No, the bottom line is to rid us of our guns and the Second Amendment.
CHUCK YARLING, AUSTIN