Letters to the editor: Sept. 18, 2017


Re: Sept. 11 article, “Austin answered: Why doesn’t city have more east-west highways?”

Ben Wear’s article clearly explains the difficulty of widening roads in developed neighborhoods. What about an effective, lower cost solution — like synchronized traffic lights?

The time spent sitting at lights trying to cross the rivers at Airport Boulevard, Guadalupe Street and Lamar Boulevard adds considerably to transit times. Shorten some lights and lengthen others, both east-west and north-south, to optimize flow around the city.

FRED FLORENCE, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 10 commentary, “Who do Texas leaders call for disaster aid? Big government.”

Indeed, there are a variety of federal agencies that are set up to help states every day for many different reasons. But where does the money come to fund those agencies’ budgets? Easy: taxpayers, fees, treasury notes and bonds. Billions alone come from Texans.

So, a good bit of those dollars is simply being returned to our state for our use.

It would be interesting to know what Texas’ “balance of trade” with Washington is. Does Texas and its residents get back in entitlements, services and support as much as it sends to Washington? After all, it is our money to start with.

JOHN HOOPINGARNER, LAKEWAY

Re: Sept. 9 article, “Clinton book relives her agonizing defeat.”

The hurtful truth is that Hillary Clinton was not defeated — she was robbed. Consequently, the voters who cast their ballot for Clinton, outnumbering those who voted for Donald Trump, were robbed as well. Despite that detail about the popular vote, we, the people, who voted for Clinton, watched Trump take the oath of office on Inauguration Day.

Now, we, the people, watch Donald Trump make a mockery of it as he blunders about White House business like Barney Fife on steroids. It’s not exactly defeat, though it is thoroughly demoralizing.

KAREN STONE, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 10 commentary, “United States, a land of liberty and justice for some.”

Leonard Pitts always has an explanation for some current events in the sports arena. Today, it’s the right for “mostly African-American” football players to protest “America’s inequalities and iniquities” by their failure to stand for our national anthem before NFL games.

First, Colin Kaepernick had already turned down one offer to play. Then, Pitts points out that Kaepernick is “mysteriously unemployed and unemployable.” Evidently, he didn’t read the news on Sept. 6 that a former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was working on getting Kaepernick hired by the Ravens. Then, the tweet happened.

Nessa Diab, Kaepernick’s girlfriend, posted a racist tweet involving Steve Bisciotti, the Raven’s owner. Lewis said, “His girl [Diab] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed.”

And Pitts wonders why Kaepernick is unemployed?

CHUCK YARLING, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 9 commentary, “My eighth-graders know climatology better than congressmen.

Like the author, I’m a lifelong science teacher. It seems unlikely that the Texas Congressional delegation will take a crash course in climate science.

Fortunately, this isn’t necessary. The conservative Climate Leadership Council includes eight eminent Republican leaders, including two — James A. Baker III and George P. Schultz — who served both as secretaries of state and the Treasury under Republican presidents.

They, as well as groups like the nonpartisan Citizens Climate Lobby, argue for a carbon fee and dividend plan that makes sense even if one denies man-made climate change. Such a plan is supported by most Americans because it would strengthen the economy by stabilizing energy prices, reduce regulations, protect our natural heritage and reduce dependence on unstable despotic governments for our growing energy needs — all while encouraging the development of renewable energy. A big win for both our country and the planet!

MARTIN BYHOWER, GEORGETOWN

Re: Sept. 9 commentary, “My eighth-graders know climatology better than congressmen.

The hubris of a teacher with a bachelor’s degree who adopts his climate change opinion from a political party is dangerous to education. Wildfires are a major emitter of carbon dioxide. Canada Environment estimates wildfires emit 4.5 tons of carbon dioxide per acre burned. If President Barack Obama had been serious about reducing carbon dioxide, he would have had large fleets of fire-suppressant tanker aircraft based in western U.S. to extinguish wildfires. He didn’t because he wasn’t serious about reducing carbon dioxide.

Obama’s climate change hypothesis, increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide, was destroyed by the World War II carbon dioxide anomaly. Increasing fossil fuel did not cause increasing carbon dioxide.

SELDON B. GRAHAM JR., AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 9 commentary, “My eighth-graders know climatology better than congressmen.

Geoff Carlisle correctly points out that Congressman Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, the chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, denies the facts of climate change — strange, since Texans pride themselves on being real and taking action.

Luckily, the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in Congress — with 26 Republicans and 26 Democrats — is actively seeking solutions to the challenges of climate change. However, not one member of the caucus is from Texas. This must change. Surely, our Texas leaders must know that their action on climate change is a priority. It’s time they put on their Texas hats and get to work.

JOY CUNNINGHAM, AUSTIN



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