Opinion


VIEWPOINTS: How Austin should reapproach police contract negotiations

We welcome the Austin Police Association’s decision to restart negotiations on an employment contract after the Austin City Council in December uncharacteristically rejected an agreement hammered out over months between city staff and the police union. In past years, when both parties reached agreement, the council routinely approved the deal. This time, however, it was the City Council voting...


TWO VIEWS: Let’s use better tools to decide which inmates get bail

TWO VIEWS: Let’s use better tools to decide which inmates get bail

Criminal justice reform is a prominent issue in the public square, capturing the interest of both ends of the ideological spectrum, as well as celebrities, think tanks and even the White House. Propelling this issue forward, both nationally and in the Lone Star State, is a recognition that change is needed. Especially when it comes to jails. One of the primary functions of county jails is for pretrial...
Herman: Politics, can we talk about it more please?

Herman: Politics, can we talk about it more please?

Texas, we need to talk. And we need to talk about what we talk about and what we don’t talk about. Apparently – surprisingly? – it turns out too few Texans talk about politics. A new study says that’s bad for our civic health. So, in the name of improving our civic health, please take time today get a political conversation going with somebody. Here are two suggested opening...
INSIGHT: From food stamps to harvest boxes, how we help the hungry

INSIGHT: From food stamps to harvest boxes, how we help the hungry

The Trump administration would like to slash what the government spends on food for low-income Americans. Its latest budget proposal calls for reducing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outlays by $200 billion over the next decade and replacing about half of the aid delivered through this mainstay of the American safety net with what it’s calling “harvest boxes” of...
Herman: Downtown public bathroom on the move

Herman: Downtown public bathroom on the move

I think we all understand the concept of any port-a-potty in a storm. We’ve all encountered those internal storms. That’s the very real notion underlying the current test, a joint project of the city of Austin and the Downtown Austin Alliance, of a portable bathroom facility that’s been moved around downtown to see if and where it’s needed. Oh, nature knows it’s needed...
ANALYSIS: Why security measures alone won’t stop school shootings

ANALYSIS: Why security measures alone won’t stop school shootings

When deadly school shootings like the one that took place on Valentine’s Day in Broward County, Florida occur, often they are followed by calls for more stringent security measures. For instance, after the Jan. 23 case in which a 15-year-old student allegedly shot and killed two students and wounded 16 others at a small-town high school in Kentucky, some Kentucky lawmakers called for armed teachers...
Commentary: 10,000 experts plan to make America ‘evidence-based’ again

Commentary: 10,000 experts plan to make America ‘evidence-based’ again

Ten thousand of the nation’s leading scientists are gathering in Austin this week to discuss the state of science in the country. High on the list of concerns for the American Association for the Advancement of Science at their annual meeting is the Trump administration’s antagonism to language used widely in the scientific community: “science-based” and “evidence-based...
Commentary: Don’t pave paradise to put up a parking lot — or a stadium

Commentary: Don’t pave paradise to put up a parking lot — or a stadium

Now that Butler Park has been removed from consideration as the site of the proposed Major League Soccer stadium, attention has shifted to an even worse idea: East Austin’s Roy G. Guerrero Park, a wild slice of the Colorado River 10 minutes from downtown that has somehow survived into the 21st century in its natural condition. The very fact that our civic leaders are giving attention to the...
Commentary: The Fabricator hears Mueller’s footsteps

Commentary: The Fabricator hears Mueller’s footsteps

Donald Trump lies more often without consequence than anyone to ever grace his position. Being a frequent liar, however, doesn’t make him a good one. Let’s see. Trump said dozens of times on the campaign trail that his campaign team had no interaction with the Russians. In fact, at least 12 Trump associates had contacts with Russians during the campaign and transition. CNN reports 19 face-to-face...
Herman: At long last, is motherhood approaching for UT falcon?

Herman: At long last, is motherhood approaching for UT falcon?

This is a love story, perfect for Valentine’s Day. It involves a local bird we’ll assume yearns for a mate and a family. It also involves a local man who misses his wife. Just about every day, semiretired carpenter Chris DuCharme, 66, drives in from Bastrop, parks his car and bikes to the University of Texas, where he spends hours and hours standing at Hogg Auditorium and staring up at...

Opinion: HBCUs, libertarian alliance can help fight poverty

In 2015, as told on the Center for Advancing Opportunity website, Johnny C. Taylor Jr., then-president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, heard libertarian billionaire businessman Charles Koch, in a TV interview, discussing eliminating barriers to opportunity. Taylor reached out to Koch, and the result was a Koch contribution of $25.6 million to the TMCF to establish the Center for Advancing Opportunity...
Commentary: On Valentine’s Day, let’s remember the evolution of love

Commentary: On Valentine’s Day, let’s remember the evolution of love

Falling in love is intoxicating. It feels unplanned and unconstrained, wild horses of emotion impossible to control. When in its grip, love crowds out other thoughts. It produces an exhilaration unmatched. Pain when apart become excruciating. Elation when reunited soars. Could this enrapturing psychological cocktail of hormones and emotions have an evolved function? Standard thinking in the social...
Commentary: Texas knows it needs NAFTA. Trump should keep it

Commentary: Texas knows it needs NAFTA. Trump should keep it

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady recently joined business and trade leaders in Dallas to champion the unparalleled success of the North American Free Trade Agreement to the Texas and U.S. economies. Unfortunately, on the heels of recent negotiations by leaders from Canada, Mexico and the United States — and despite continued leadership from Brady, his Texas colleagues in the U.S. House and Texas Sens....
INSIGHT: Why nonprofits are so vulnerable to sexual harassment

INSIGHT: Why nonprofits are so vulnerable to sexual harassment

Scandals rocking the Humane Society and the Red Cross are the highest-profile examples so far of how the #MeToo movement is bringing sexual harassment and abuse at U.S. nonprofits to light. More are probably on the way. While you might presume that this problem would be rare at organizations that exist only to do good, unfortunately it is commonplace and often goes unpunished. Even though the federal...
Is this the year of community bank regulatory relief?

Is this the year of community bank regulatory relief?

The calendar has flipped to 2018—a new year filled with great expectations. Will this be the year that comprehensive congressional regulatory relief for community banks finally happens? Many communities throughout Texas have seen their local banks shutter or be absorbed by larger institutions over the last several years because laws and rules, intended to curb the abuses of the nation&rsquo...
Viewpoints: Precourt is eyeing Guerrero Park. Why that’s worth a debate

Viewpoints: Precourt is eyeing Guerrero Park. Why that’s worth a debate

With Butler Shores Metropolitan Park in the rearview mirror, Precourt Sports Ventures has turned its attention on two other city-owned properties, with one – Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park – being the clear favorite for its Major League Soccer stadium. The focus shifted to Guerrero Park in Southeast Austin when the challenges regarding Butler near downtown became insurmountable, including...
INSIGHT: Is cushioning wrong? A look at how often it happens

INSIGHT: Is cushioning wrong? A look at how often it happens

Valentine’s Day tends to make people think about their romantic relationships. Single? Maybe there’s someone you’ve been texting regularly whom you realize you want to ask out on a date. In a relationship? You might start thinking that your current flame is your one and only. But no matter what your relationship status is, if you’re like the average young adult, chances are...
Commentary: Why I’ll dread my trip to the mailbox

Commentary: Why I’ll dread my trip to the mailbox

When we turned 60, my wife and I confronted a question we all face as we age: How would we pay for in-home or assisted living care if we could no longer take care of ourselves? The answer was long-term care (LTC) insurance. We bought policies from General Electric Capital. The decision made in 2003 meant annual premiums totaling $5,001 a year. That didn’t last. If you are under 50, you may ask...
The Donald deploys the O.J. strategy

The Donald deploys the O.J. strategy

Mike Pence, defending the release of a politically juiced Republican memo that Donald Trump said “vindicated” him, said it was all about transparency. As is Trump’s releasing his tax returns. As is Trump’s releasing of White House visitor logs. As are the names of foreign companies doing business with the Trump organization. Oh, wait. He’s not releasing any of those....
Castillo: Bloated water bills. Secret hiring. This isn’t ‘fake’ news

Castillo: Bloated water bills. Secret hiring. This isn’t ‘fake’ news

If you’ve ever received a faulty bill that was too high, and tried to rectify it, you know the experience is not for anyone lacking a steel will. Even if you are the unrelenting type who won’t take “no” for an answer, the task can fall somewhere between Sisyphean and Herculean. So, you can imagine how more than 7,000 Austin residents must be feeling now that Austin Energy says...
VIEWPOINTS: Precourt is eyeing Guerrero Park. Why that’s worth a debate

VIEWPOINTS: Precourt is eyeing Guerrero Park. Why that’s worth a debate

With Butler Shores Metropolitan Park in the rearview mirror, Precourt Sports Ventures has turned its attention on two other city-owned properties, with one – Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park – being the clear favorite for its Major League Soccer stadium. The focus shifted to Guerrero Park in Southeast Austin when the challenges regarding Butler near downtown became insurmountable, including...
Commentary: Replacing property tax with higher sales tax doesn’t add up

Commentary: Replacing property tax with higher sales tax doesn’t add up

It’s no exaggeration to say that Texans don’t like paying property taxes; we have some of the highest in the nation. Could we kiss those tax bills goodbye by modestly increasing the sales tax? That’s among the property tax relief options now floating around the Texas Capitol. If it sounds too good to be true, you’re right. Even a cursory look at the numbers shows that swapping...
Commentary: Texas saved $3B closing prisons. Why rehabilitation works

Commentary: Texas saved $3B closing prisons. Why rehabilitation works

Around 2 million individuals are behind bars in America’s criminal justice system. Almost all of them will eventually return to the communities they left behind. As a nation, we are failing to serve those communities by not preparing former inmates to re-enter society and lead productive and fulfilling lives. We are proud to be part of a new initiative, Safe Streets and Second Chances, that...
Herman: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mail ballot applications cause a stir

Herman: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mail ballot applications cause a stir

Gov. Greg Abbott is just trying to help some older folks vote. Oh sure, he hopes they’ll vote for him and that’s why his campaign staff picked out these particular older folks. But the overall goal of this effort can be couched as a helpful effort to help people vote. Maybe. I recently told you about it. Now I can tell you about how Abbott’s effort has caused woes for some local...
Commentary: Would Amazon avoid conservative Texas for HQ2? Think again

Commentary: Would Amazon avoid conservative Texas for HQ2? Think again

Amazon’s choice of a location for its second headquarters has led to much eye-of-the-beholder appraisal of the relative positives and negatives of the 20 cities on the most recent “short list” released by Amazon. Among the several factors Amazon is weighing that is frequently cited as a black mark against the two remaining Texas candidates, Austin and Dallas, is the conservative...
Commentary: The so-called GOP-FBI split is a Democratic fantasy

Commentary: The so-called GOP-FBI split is a Democratic fantasy

The Republican Party is the law-and-order party. That is not new, and it isn’t seriously contested. However, according to liberal media outlets such as HuffPost, Republicans are waging a “war on G-men.” The idea that Republicans are suddenly splitting from the FBI is a fantasy designed by the Democrats to attack a GOP strength and to distract from the growing revelations about anti-Trump...
Herman: Who pays for presidential guests at State of the Union?

Herman: Who pays for presidential guests at State of the Union?

The deal with President Donald Trump is that by any given Friday, you can’t remember what the previous Tuesday’s dust-up-du-jour was. Who remembers much about his Jan. 30 State of the Union speech? And that’s despite Trump keeping it in the news by alleging Democrats who didn’t applaud his every word committed punishable-by-death treason by America-hating. Me? I’m circling...
Commentary: Why U.S. needs immigrant labor to sustain economic growth

Commentary: Why U.S. needs immigrant labor to sustain economic growth

Two recent incidents illustrate for me America’s current quandary over immigration. The first came during my return to Austin from a needed midsummer break in Colorado. My friend and I made a wrong turn somewhere south of Lubbock. As a result, we drove through small towns we otherwise would have never seen. What we saw was heart-wrenching: boarded-up storefronts and empty streets. It felt like...

Opinion: Celebrate black history through black ownership

I have long been in favor of reforming Social Security by changing it to a system of personally owned retirement accounts. Instead of paying a payroll tax, with the U.S. government telling you what you’ll get when you retire, you take ownership of that money — the payroll tax — and invest in your own retirement account. I am for IRAs not the IRS. This is a good time to bring this...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 7, 2018

What a surprise. East Austin could become the dumping ground for another project that everyone thinks is a great idea — but that nobody wants in their backyard. Council Member “Pio” Renteria is ready to sell us out by keeping Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park on the table as the site for the proposed major league soccer stadium. He says letting the voters decide would be &ldquo...
INSIGHT: Why the biggest winners in Amazon’s HQ2 contest will be white men

INSIGHT: Why the biggest winners in Amazon’s HQ2 contest will be white men

Amazon may be hosting the biggest – and most economically important – reality show ever as city mayors compete to snag the retailer’s second headquarters. And just like TV, it has a diversity problem. More than 230 cities made the initial bid, and just recently Amazon whittled that list down to 20 that will go on to the next stage of the competition. Contestants have gone to great...
Commentary: Texas has another chance to fix funding for public schools

Commentary: Texas has another chance to fix funding for public schools

Educators always try to keep an open mind about new ideas — and we are trying to keep an open mind about the state’s new school finance study. Although previous studies have failed to produce results for Texas’ 5.3 million public school children, we still have hope. But at the outset, we have reasons for concern. The two main drivers behind this study were Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt...
Commentary: ‘Conscience’ division at HHS aims to reignite culture wars

Commentary: ‘Conscience’ division at HHS aims to reignite culture wars

Did you know that health care workers are complaining to the government that they’re suffering from discrimination by employers for declining to give care that violates their religious beliefs? I didn’t either. What’s more, in 30 years of providing health care, I’ve never heard of an employee who felt their religious freedoms were threatened. But the regulation-averse Trump...
Herman: A rough few days for Democratic governor candidate Lupe Valdez

Herman: A rough few days for Democratic governor candidate Lupe Valdez

Sometimes, political endorsements are more interesting for who doesn’t get them than for who does. In recent days, The Dallas Morning News and the Houston GLBT Political Caucus each endorsed Houston businessman Andrew White for the Democratic nomination to probably lose to GOP Gov. Greg Abbott in November. Those endorsements of White are solidly based. He’s working hard to get...
INSIGHT: 5 opportunities and challenges with Trump’s solar panel tariff

INSIGHT: 5 opportunities and challenges with Trump’s solar panel tariff

The Trump administration recently announced plans to impose punitive duties on solar panels imported from abroad. This decision came in response to a complaint filed by two solar companies, but much of the industry opposes the action, which trade groups say will increase the cost of solar projects and depress demand. To illustrate what’s at stake, energy scholar Joshua Rhodes provides...
ANALYSIS: Poverty. Overdoses. Obesity. Life in the South is getting shorter

ANALYSIS: Poverty. Overdoses. Obesity. Life in the South is getting shorter

Year after year, southern states consistently rank among the worst in the U.S. for health and wellness. This is not a new trend. The rankings have changed little over the last quarter century. What’s causing residents of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana and other southern states to live such short lives, while experiencing higher rates of cancer, diabetes and heart disease? As a researcher...
Herman: A GOP candidate explains her vote for Hillary Clinton

Herman: A GOP candidate explains her vote for Hillary Clinton

If this had been speed dating — and it kind of was — Jenifer Sarver’s pickup lines would have been a turnoff. The place was the Texas Disposal Systems Exotic Game Ranch in Creedmoor. The event was a forum featuring 13 of the 18 GOP candidates vying for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, who is retiring. The politically mandatory thing for all the candidates...
Why I voted to release the Nunes memo

Why I voted to release the Nunes memo

In 1885, Woodrow Wilson wrote in his treatise “Congressional Government: A Study in American Politics” that “the informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.” I voted to release the Nunes memo because, like Wilson, I believe that the duty to inform the American public is one of my biggest responsibilities as an elected representative...
Commentary: State of our union is linked to the state of our climate

Commentary: State of our union is linked to the state of our climate

President Trump opened his State of the Union address by acknowledging the heroic first responders who came to the aid of victims in the floods that devastated Houston and the wildfires that engulfed California. It’s a pity he didn’t mention what made these natural disasters so deadly and costly: Climate change. Last year, natural disasters produced between $300 billion to $400 billion...
Commentary: Why it’s time Americans try a little centrism

Commentary: Why it’s time Americans try a little centrism

We’re not even deep into 2018 — and it’s already a cultural steel cage match. Trying to editorialize the daily news has gotten to the point where we might as well post a .gif of a dumpster fire with the caption, “So THIS happened.” And then we’d collectively groan. Consider that we have a president on his third wife who allegedly had an affair with a porn star....
Commentary: Texans’ tax dollars pay for health care — outside our state

Commentary: Texans’ tax dollars pay for health care — outside our state

Turning down a $10 billion investment in Texas in 2017 is high-grade nonsense. Doing it for the last five years is unconscionable. That is serious money. It is a mistake with long-lasting consequences when you consider what we could have achieved had that money been invested in our state every one of those years, with continued investment for the years ahead. Think of the jobs that would have been...
VIEWPOINTS: UT’s uneven responses to sexual misconduct raise questions

VIEWPOINTS: UT’s uneven responses to sexual misconduct raise questions

At a time when women across the country are making a fierce stand against sexual harassment and abuse – and getting results, such as terminations of and sanctions against accused abusers – University of Texas professor Richard Morrisett might well escape such accountability. Morrisett pleaded guilty in 2016 to a felony charge of strangling his girlfriend to the point that she saw &ldquo...
VIEWPOINTS: Texas should follow — not fight — mandates to improve CPS

VIEWPOINTS: Texas should follow — not fight — mandates to improve CPS

A child needs much more than shelter, food and clothing to establish a healthy life. Children need a good education, positive experiences, life skills and a nurturing environment to have a chance at becoming productive adults. Most children in Texas get what they need, but the majority of children in the state’s Child Protective Services system do not. The mission of CPS is to protect children...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 19, 2018

On infrastructure funding, Trump has it right by proposing that states and corporations pay the bulk of maintenance and construction. In our early national history, entrepreneurs cut pikes through forests and built ferries to cross rivers. Users probably complained but paid the tolls nonetheless. It wasn’t until the highway system was established that we became accustomed to federal money paying...

Opinion: Mass killers should be denied notoriety they crave

An orgy of mutual disgust now greets every mass shooting in America. Liberals despise conservatives who, they predict, will offer only insipid “thoughts and prayers” in the face of what they conceive to be preventable massacres. Conservatives scorn liberals who, they believe, will propose “feel-good” gun measures that would have no effect on any mass shooting. But there is...
Author of quiet love story ‘Call Me by Your Name’ to visit BookPeople

Author of quiet love story ‘Call Me by Your Name’ to visit BookPeople

“Call Me by Your Name” is a graceful debut novel by memoirist/literary scholar André Aciman (“False Papers,” 2000,), joining young love to his familiar themes of dislocation and wandering. One could be arrested in certain parts of the world for the young love in question, which joins a 17-year-old bookish musician who is improbably well educated — not many college-educated...
Facebook comments: Feb. 18, 2018

Facebook comments: Feb. 18, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Ben Wear, although Capital Metro did not intend for it to become public yet, a copy of the proposed Project Connect “high capacity transit system” map emerged on social media. The map has the word “draft” marked in light gray across the various rail and bus lines arrayed across the Austin area. Many social media users were excited...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 18, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 18, 2018

The United States is dealing with a public health epidemic. This disease is killing children, police officers, and young men and women. In the past, our nation has addressed serious epidemics such as polio, AIDS and lung cancer. First, we gathered valid information. We then studied the origins of these diseases. Ultimately, smoking cessation in the case of lung cancer, or vaccines and public health...

Opinion: Infrastructure spending won’t transform America

“MASON CITY. To get there you follow Highway 58, going northeast out of the city, and it is a good highway and new.” — Robert Penn Warren, “All the King’s Men” (1946) WASHINGTON — Appropriately, Warren began the best book about American populism, his novel based on Huey Long’s Louisiana career, with a rolling sentence about a road. Time was, infrastructure...
Letters to the editor: Feb. 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: Feb. 17, 2018

Re: Feb. 14 article, “Austin school board to vote on renaming schools with Confederate ties.” This letter is in response to Austin ISD Trustee Ted Gordon’s statement that correlated low test scores with the name of a school. If that was the case then wouldn’t students who attend Grant or Lincoln High School have the highest test scores? As someone who was in education for 35...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 16, 2018

Re: Feb. 3 article, “Eateries, governments targeting plastic straws.” It’s estimated that we use 500 million straws a day in the U.S. That is enough straw waste to wrap the circumference of the Earth 2.5 times. And since you can’t recycle straws, most wind up in our landfills or as litter in public places like in Lady Bird Lake, marring our city’s beauty and injuring...
Gail Collins: Who’s President Trump’s worst minion?

Gail Collins: Who’s President Trump’s worst minion?

Does every terrible employee in America work for the Trump White House? O.K., probably not. Donald Trump didn’t hire the guy who told Hawaiians they were about to be hit by a ballistic missile. Or the airline representative who was accused of pressing a passenger to flush her hamster down the toilet. But for overall ineptitude and ability to create crises at the highest level, you have to go...
Jackie Cushman: Consider how Washington and Lincoln shaped our country

Jackie Cushman: Consider how Washington and Lincoln shaped our country

This coming week, we recognize the federal holiday celebrating George Washington’s birthday. Many states now recognize President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on the same day. For retail advertisers, it’s more about the sales than anything else, and for some school systems that had snow days earlier in the year, it’s a chance to make up a day of instruction. My challenge to you...

Facebook comments: Feb. 16, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Chuck Lindell, a San Antonio man tried to overturn his four-year prison sentence that resulted from his fourth DWI conviction in 2016 by arguing that Texas’ legal limit on intoxicated driving discriminates against alcoholics. Ralph Alfred Friesenhahn argued the law ignores the higher tolerances that frequent drinkers. However, the Austin-based 3rd...

Opinion: Is U.S. being sucked into Syria’s war?

Candidate Donald Trump may have promised to extricate us from Middle East wars, once ISIS and al-Qaida were routed, yet events and people seem to be conspiring to keep us endlessly enmeshed. On Friday night, a drone, apparently modeled on a U.S. drone that fell into Iran’s hands, intruded briefly into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights, and was shot down by an Apache helicopter. Israel...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 15, 2018

Re: Feb. 9 article, “Austin Habitat for Humanity begins work on ‘net zero’ homes.” Hidden in the article about Austin Habitat for Humanity building “net zero” homes was a disturbing conundrum about providing affordable home ownership. Families can finance home purchases with zero-interest mortgages and are insulated from property tax hikes by leasing the underlying...

Opinion: President Trump, how is this immigrant a danger?

President Donald Trump suggests that the aim of his crackdown on immigrants is to “defend Americans” from “savage,” “worst of the worst” intruders who kill Americans or at least are “dangerous criminals.” What does Trump’s crackdown look like in real life? In Lawrence, Kansas, the other day, immigration agents handcuffed a beloved chemistry professor...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 14, 2018

Re: Feb. 11 article, “Statesman program raises more than $1 million for local charities.” Let me say thank you to publisher Susie Gray Biehle, writer Nicole Villalpando and all the staff at the Austin American-Statesman for their continuing efforts to make the annual Season for Caring campaign such a success. Each year, they identify some of the severest of needs among our friends and...

Facebook comments: Feb. 13, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Sean Collins Walsh, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he would try to prevent the filming of a movie about former state Sen. Wendy Davis’ 2013 filibuster from being shot in the Texas Senate chamber. “If I have anything to do with that, I’m not going to let them use the Senate chamber to shoot because they have already disgraced it once. I&rsquo...
Sean Penn coming to Austin April 3

Sean Penn coming to Austin April 3

Actor/director/activist/colorful personality Sean Penn is coming to Austin to chat with historian Douglas Brinkley about Penn’s debut novel “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.” They will be talking about the book and probably some other things (Penn’s Oscars, his blend of activism and journalism, not finding Chris Rock’s 2005 Oscars joke about Jude Law funny) 7 p.m. April 3...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 12, 2018

This is an open letter to all political candidates using any advertising method. I’ve noticed over the years that most of you no longer list your party affiliation on your yard signs or roadway posters. Here’s my take on that: If you do not have the confidence to list the party you’re running for, you will not be getting my vote. If you are not proud enough to list the party, you...

Opinion: The anti-Porter conspiracy

I’m having trouble understanding why Rob Porter had to resign his job as White House staff secretary. Yes, he was credibly accused of domestic abuse by two ex-wives. One produced a photo of her black eye and bruised cheek; the other had phoned 911 when he allegedly punched through the glass of her front door in an effort to break into her house. She obtained a protective order against him. Well...

Letters to the editor: Feb. 11, 2018

Re: Feb. 7 article, “Austin’s Guerrero Park becomes latest focus of MLS stadium search.” Unfortunately, your picture of Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park fails to show the numerous large cottonwood trees that have been lost to “several decades” of “severe” erosion. Now, this is being used as a selling point to build a soccer stadium. It appears that if the...
Mexican-American grapples with lessons learned on Border Patrol

Mexican-American grapples with lessons learned on Border Patrol

A Mexican-American student of international relations becomes a United States Border Patrol agent to learn what he can’t in the classroom in Francisco Cantú’s “The Line Becomes a River.” Cantú is a talented writer who knows where to find great material, even as he risks losing his soul in the process. His Mexican mother had worked as a ranger in West Texas, and...

Facebook comments: Feb. 11, 2018

As reported by American-Stateman correspondent Chris Bils, Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park has become the new center of attention in the search for a site for a possible Major League Soccer stadium after Precourt Sports Ventures withdrew interest in its preferred location, Butler Shores Metropolitan Park. There has already been protest over the idea, but Austin City Council Member Sabino &ldquo...

Opinion: The question Trump failed to answer

This is about a question Donald Trump failed to answer. Granted, there are a lot of those, but this was a particularly tough one. Indeed, it was likely more difficult in its way than anything April Ryan or Lester Holt has ever asked him. But then, they’re only adults. Ava Rose Olsen is 7 years old. As anyone who has experience with human beings of that age can attest, no one asks more pointed...

Opinion: Snakes on a plane for emotional support?

WASHINGTON — When next you shoehorn yourself into one of America’s ever-shrinking airline seats, you might encounter a new wrinkle in the romance of air travel. You might be amused, or not, to discover a midsize — say, 7-feet long — boa constrictor named Oscar coiled contentedly, or so you hope, in the seat next to you. Oscar is an “emotional-support animal.” He...
More Opinion Stories