Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Sept. 24, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 24, 2018

Re: Sept. 18 article, “Searching for new wedge issue, Cruz says O’Rourke will ban barbecue.” Despite marrying a California vegetarian who has dyed her hair, and despite using technology, hypocritical Cruz acts as though these ideas are anathema to him and foreign to Texas. Does Cruz know that Texas farmers grow over 5 million bushels of soybeans annually and are dependent upon a...
Letter: Liberals point out GOP misdeeds, forget Democrats’ failures

Letter: Liberals point out GOP misdeeds, forget Democrats’ failures

Leftists like political columnist Bill McCann make a fine art out of painting with the most possible wide brush the misdeeds of Republicans and conservatives while conveniently ignoring the egregious moral turpitude of politicians such as Bill and Hillary Clinton. Starting with the Whitewater scandals, the Rose law firm billing records, the $100,000 return on a $1,000 futures investment, the dalliances...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 23, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 23, 2018

Re: Sept. 20 commentary, “Hard liquor ban is first step in safer Greek life culture.” Fraternities are to be commended for addressing hazing and alcohol misuse. However, your editorial leaves the misleading impression that some forms of alcohol are “softer” than others. While the new policy requires a licensed third-party in order to serve spirits, a more effective approach...

Letters to the Sports Editor

It was right to kick UT’s Foster out of game I am so grateful for the letter to the sports editor in Thursday’s Statesman decrying UT’s B.J. Foster’s brutal hit on the USC player, his thuggish stance after the player was down, and his teammates’ subsequent accolades. On the same subject, it is disappointing to have Kirk Bohls in his Wednesday column gush over Foster&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 22, 2018

Re: Sept. 18 article, “Is Ted Cruz’s ‘summons’ letter deceptive, illegal or fair play?” I am writing in response to the recent mailing of “summons” letters on behalf of Cruz’s campaign. As the race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke becomes tighter, the Cruz campaign has resorted to unfair play in my opinion. Though the article did state that what...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 21, 2018

One intriguing aspect of “all politicians lie” is no politician ever disputes the claim. Politicians welcome the phrase as normal behavior in society. Once accepted, politicians are free from the burden of telling the truth. A trial defendant caught in a lie will be convicted. An applicant who lies during a job interview will not be hired. Politicians, on the other hand, can lie without...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Foster should be kicked off for his behavior I watched the game on television between USC and UT and found the behavior of B.J. Foster and fellow football players disgusting. As he was being escorted off the field, his fellow teammates were giving him praise for his illegal behavior. I think the whole incident (was) ugly and even Foster’s behavior while the USC player was laying on the ground...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 20, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 20, 2018

Re: Sept. 16 commentary, “Both-sideism presents more than journalistic problem.” Leonard Pitts raises an important structural issue in journalism related to fairness. Some would have us believe that ethical and moral considerations exist as mathematical equations. This inevitably leads to false equivalencies in which cultural values are treated as numbers. One Klansman or conspiracy theorist...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 19, 2018

Re: Sept. 16 commentary, “Lower blood-alcohol limit for DWI.” Marcus Kowal makes a convincing case for more stringent laws for driving while intoxicated. Years ago, I served on a jury for the first and only time. It was a DWI case. I was the only holdout for conviction. My fellow jurors had the attitude of “it’s not as if the accused had committed a ‘real’ crime...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 18, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 18, 2018

Re: Sept. 9 article, “’Broken’ economics impacts preschool workers, child care sector.” Sally Ho astutely recognizes Seattle families’ struggle to find affordable, high-quality care for their young children. I believe it’s important to note that Austin isn’t immune from the preschool workforce challenges that Seattle grapples with. In Austin, more than 60...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 16, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 16, 2018

The current race between Sen. Ted Cruz and challenger Beto O’Rourke is a classic case of the adage that you “sell the sizzle and not the steak.” O’Rourke is playing the “everyman” game as he drives around in a pickup truck and uses salty language to impress his audiences. On the other hand, Cruz has proven by his actions in the Senate for the past six years that...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 14, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 14, 2018

Re: Sept. 9 article, “PolitiFact: How Cruz’s ad distorts what O’Rourke said about protests” and Sept. 12 letter to the letter, “Cruz, his ethics, have no place in U.S. Senate.” Even after President Trump attacked Ted Cruz’s family during the Republican primaries, Cruz has said he’d “welcome” support from President Trump for his campaign....
Letters to the editor: Sept. 13, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 13, 2018

Re: Sept. 10 commentary, “Wear: The road goes on, but this reporter is taking the exit.” It was with sadness and regret that I read Ben Wear’s final column in Monday’s paper. Wear had an uncanny knack of making a dry subject like transportation interesting. His columns were informative and clever, and always a joy to read. I will miss his voice and wish him well in any future...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 12, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 12, 2018

Re: Sept. 9 article, “Unintended targets: How pain patients suffer in the opioid crisis.” I, too, use opioids for pain relief. I don’t schedule anything before noon either, because it takes a long time to get up and around. It allows me to function: getting groceries, cooking and doing household chores. I also use massage, chiropractic care and acupuncture — all at my own cost...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 11, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 11, 2018

We constantly hear of partisanship in politics today. This is a misuse of the word. Partisanship was when the two major parties were nonideological. Today, the divisions are ideological, not partisan. Using the word “partisan” cheapens our discourse and reinforces the “mainstream” — another outdated word — idea that our political differences are not fundamental...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 10, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 10, 2018

If Amazon picks Austin for its so-called HQ2, I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. Why? Because Austin is already near full employment. So, 50,000 new jobs might mean up to 50,000 new families moving to Austin. Results? Increased demand for housing, which would cause the already high average house price in Austin to increase. Fifty-thousand more families commuting on Austin’s already...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 9, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 9, 2018

I am a Texan with a medically complex child diagnosed in utero with several life-threatening diagnoses. I stay home with my child and give her the best care possible. My family of four has private insurance through my husband’s employer that gives us access to health care. My child’s life depends on access to health care that accepts pre-existing conditions. Though the Medicaid funding...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 8, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 8, 2018

Re: Sept. 4 article, “Austin apartment complexes throwing doors open to short-term rentals.” Your article conspicuously omits one key stakeholder group: apartment dwellers in buildings leasing units to short-term renters. Sharing your community with a constant rotation of drunken strangers is both a nuisance and a hazard. Building owners do not disclose their short-term leasing to their...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 7, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 7, 2018

Sen. John McCain’s funeral honored a courageous maverick unafraid to speak truth to power — a public servant who placed people above partisan politics. He tackled climate change against his party line. Students repeatedly raised this issue in 2000, so he held hearings on climate change. Scientific evidence made it clear action was imperative. He crafted bipartisan legislation for a price...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 6, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 6, 2018

Re: Aug. 31 commentary, “Can we escape 1968? Only if we stop living in the past.” I enjoy E.J. Dionne’s columns and nearly always agree with him — but I must take issue with his Aug. 31 column about us baby boomers living in the past. The U.S. cannot recover from the Vietnam War because it divided the country so badly and did not unite people, as World War II did. While living...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 5. 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 5. 2018

Re: Aug. 31 article, “Trump says he’s canceling pay raises.” If you ever worked for the federal government – and there are legions of us – you must inwardly weep at President Trump’s having canceled the previously budgeted 2 percent cost-of-living pay raise for federal employees. The president’s justification: The imperative to get government spending under...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 4, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 4, 2018

Re: Aug. 30 article, “Feds target border-area passport seekers.” We have recently learned that the Trump administration has been revoking passports from citizens of the United States based solely on where they were born. Every American who supports our ideals of civil liberties and equal justice for all should be outraged by this revelation. Our representatives must investigate this abhorrent...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 3, 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 3, 2018

Concerning the front-page article about the right to stand or kneel or anything during the National Anthem, the opinions are off-base. This is about the rights of the employer at his workplace. I believe the employer should have the right to make reasonable rules concerning behavior at their workplace. The workplace is not for the employee to exert their constitutional right to free speech. If you...

Letters to the editor: Sept. 2, 2018

Republicans in Congress failed repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act because, surprisingly, people like having health care. On Sept. 5, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will try to end it for good. Rather than defend protections for Texans who have pre-existing conditions, Paxton and 19 other states have filed a lawsuit that could hammer nails into our coffins. Twenty-seven percent under the...
Letters to the editor: Sept. 1. 2018

Letters to the editor: Sept. 1. 2018

Re: Aug. 28 article, “We asked Longhorns what new UT Austin students should know before school starts. Here’s what they said.” Maribel Molina had a lot of good advice. However, one idea that could have been suggested was the enormous support that student groups at area churches provide. Our church, University Presbyterian Church, on San Antonio Street, is just one that feeds, encourages...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 31, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 31, 2018

Re: Aug. 27 commentary, “Two views: The sad ABCs of the Texas’ A-F school ratings” It’s a shame that Glenn W. Smith needs to cherry-pick his facts to advance Progress Texas’ agenda of denying Texans school choice. Had Smith read the Statesman recently, he might have realized that: • Public school districts will get about 38 percent of their funding from the state...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 30, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 30, 2018

Thanks to Beto O’Rourke for his clear defense of players who take a knee during our national anthem. Players routinely take a knee when a player is injured on the field. Subjects kneel before their king or queen to show loyalty and respect. People of all faiths kneel at prayer. Kneeling is the opposite of being disrespectful. Players taking a knee are showing respect for the injuries our country...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 29, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 29, 2018

Sen. John McCain knew what so many American soldiers know: That even in war, soldiers can remember basic decency and morals. We often ask soldiers to do a dirty and nasty job. The least Americans can do is support them in their efforts to keep to the high ground whenever possible. JOHN STETTLER, DALLAS The passing of the mighty Sen. John S. McCain III on Saturday marks a milestone in United States...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 28, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 28, 2018

Re: Aug. 20 commentary, “The fix to Texas’s doctor shortage lies abroad.” I am writing to correct an assertion that Dr. G. Richard Olds made in his Aug. 20 commentary: “The fix to Texas’ doctor shortage lies abroad.” Because of Texas’ attractive physician practice environment, our state has licensed record numbers of physicians for several years — at...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 27, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 27, 2018

Since April, Austin has swarmed with motorized scooters for rent. They look fun to use and fill an important transportation gap for many people. However, I see a problem in the pricing model for these rental scooters: Charging for the minute instead of by the mile creates incentives for riders to drive them dangerously fast and to disobey stop signs and other traffic signals. I would like the City...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 26, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 26, 2018

I will never forget being summoned one morning by Bishop John McCarthy to the Austin Club, along with another attorney, Ed McCarthy. He gave us a directive to begin the rollout of the Red Mass, which coincides with the opening of the fall term of the U.S. Supreme Court. At the Red Mass, the legal community prays to be imbued with the understanding, wisdom, fortitude and counsel for the right and just...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 25, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 25, 2018

Re: Aug. 21 letter to the editor, “Stadium another burden on taxpayer.” A recent criticism of Austin’s “liberal City Council” and Mayor Steve Adler’s decision to fund the soccer stadium through corporate welfare was spot-on when it noted the burdensome financing is now on property-owning taxpayers. Where the critic got it wrong was implying corporate welfare is...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 24, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 24, 2018

Re: Aug. 13 article, “College costs tied to foreclosure rate.” Over the past generation, our state Republican leaders have conducted a systematic disinvestment in public universities. We’re already seeing the negative economic and personal consequences as those with massive student debt are more likely to: • Face foreclosure on their homes. • Defer major purchases, such...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 23, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 23, 2018

Last weekend, some conservatives — or, perhaps, white nationalists — tried to have a March Against Far-Left Violence. Their speeches were drowned out by banging on pots and pans, and bells and sirens. I think that shutting down the haters was a bad idea. First, it is not neighborly. I have been to several liberal rallies at the state Capitol. Conservative protesters stood silently with...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 22, 2018

Beto O’Rourke is right that health care is a moral issue, but the issue remains complex, because people operate within differing moral frameworks. Many Texans believe they deserve to keep what they earn, and shouldn’t be forced to subsidize health care for others. Though this moral principle has its merits, it ignores the fact that many uninsured Texans are very hardworking, with financial...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 21, 2018

I purchased a new 2018 Tesla all-electric vehicle this year. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Texas Emissions Reduction Plan program offers $2,500 rebates on new electric vehicles. The rebate’s mission is to encourage residents to buy clean energy vehicles (tceq.texas.gov/airquality/terp). Teslas are not eligible for this rebate because of their business model. Because customized...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 20, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 20, 2018

Re: Aug. 15 commentary, “Georgetown’s renewable energy push earns worldwide acclaim.” Kudos to Mayor Dale Ross for taking advantage of the available renewable power in Texas. Yes, for the city of about 70,000, it is doable — but it required future vision and willingness to move away from fossil fuels. It took years for Georgetown to contract for wind and solar power that was...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 19, 2018

Thanks, and congratulations, to retired admiral William H. McRaven and the other National Security officials who have spoken out about the decisions being made by the current administration. They, along with some journalists, business leaders, and a few members of Congress, are finally calling to task the current president for decisions that are destroying our democracy. It is time for concerned Americans...

Letters to the editor: Aug. 18, 2018

Re: Aug. 14 article, “Bastrop County sheriff looks to open gun range to train deputies.” I want to firmly express my opposition to the gun range proposed by Bastrop County Sheriff Maurice Cook on John Craft Road. This might be considered a farming community, but we are certainly not “hillbillies” living in the boonies out here. We are educated, active and retired professionals...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 17, 2018

Re: Aug. 13 commentary, “Two views: ‘Red flag’ law makes us vulnerable to ‘thought police.’” Monday’s Two Views on extreme risk — or “red flag” — legislation missed the mark; extreme risk laws are evidence-based policies. These cutting-edge, commonsense laws follow established protective order systems with due process protections in...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 16, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 16, 2018

While Major League Soccer is professional, today it is very small in America. MLS wants to start small using a space in Austin that doesn’t accommodate expansion and also lacks necessary parking and retail expansion space. That is a shortsighted idea and creates a throwaway facility. MLS needs to think about its strategy for real success when the sport catches on, requiring a bigger facility...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 15, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 15, 2018

Re: Aug. 10 article, “Texas’ VW emissions settlement: $209M. Austin’s cut: $0.” When Austin residents purchased more compromised Volkswagens as a percentage of state population, why is Austin to receive no share of the $170 million pollution mitigation funds? This smacks of political shenanigans — and it is so unfair that a lawsuit should follow. We breathe the air in...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 14, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 14, 2018

Re: Aug. 8 article, “Greg Abbott tweets bogus Winston Churchill quotation about anti-fascists.” Instead of misattributing a quote to Winston Churchill, perhaps Gov. Greg Abbott should have posted: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross,” a quote often erroneously attributed to Sinclair Lewis. Either way, considering the state of...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 13, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 13, 2018

The proposed soccer field should only go forward only after receiving approval of this new neighbor through a District 7 primary vote. District 7 will feel the most impact of the soccer field, both good and bad — namely, the increase in nearby business opportunity and income verses the increase in traffic, lack of parking, more noise and, likely, crime. Only by a primary vote will these District...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 12, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 12, 2018

Re: Aug. 1 article, “Top federal officials defend handling of separation policy,” and Aug. 8 commentary, “Find mental health services for children reunited with parents.” I was 8 years old when I went to sleep-away camp for the first time. My mother was two hours late picking me up on the final day. I was the last kid in the parking lot. Was she sick? In an accident? Did she...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 11, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 11, 2018

Re: Aug. 8 article, “Travis County to purchase $8 million paper trail voting system.” It is not common for government workers to receive outside praise, but Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir certainly deserves a huge pat on the back for fighting for and finally getting approval for a state-of-the-art voting system. The new digital system will include a paper trail for each vote that...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 10, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 10, 2018

Re: Aug. 6 commentary, “Wear: Cap Metro plugs into a new transit outlet: electric-powered buses.” While I applaud Cap Metro for doing something, its move to begin testing electric buses shows how far behind the rest of the world America is in transport technology. The Chinese city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, currently operates a fleet of 16,000 buses — all of which are electric...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 9, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 9, 2018

Re: Aug. 4 article, “Amid Trump-Koch feud, Abbott talks Texas v. California.” Gov. Greg Abbott, given his long reign as top politico is this one-party state, must be credited for his electoral prowess and devoted partisanship, though his views regarding matters of political economy and social theory are peculiar. His vision of Texas as the “leader of the national movement for capitalism&rdquo...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 8, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 8, 2018

Re: Aug. 5 commentary, “Myth, not renewable energy, generates Georgetown’s buzz.” This piece is poorly researched with broad unsubstantiated conclusions and worn-out ultraconservative arguments. If Texas Public Policy Foundation is going to present a rational case, it needs to be well-researched and reflect a firm understanding of the industry and its issues. Cutter W. Gonzá...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 7, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 7, 2018

Re: Aug. 1 commentary, “How America can birth a just and loving world.” I was deeply moved by midwife Paula Rojas’ stunning analogy of the current horrific refugee situation to a difficult childbirth. She says our country is in the middle of a difficult labor. We still have a long way to go — and it will get more intense before the birth comes. As with any labor, we must remember...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 6, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 6, 2018

The coverage of the closing of The Frisco, the last of the Night Hawk chain, reminds me of a great compliment from the past. In the early ’70s, I enjoyed meeting artists and public figures as a member of the University of Texas Unions speakers committee. I got to host the well-known Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges. He had previously spent time at UT and had come to make a speech. When I...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 4, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 4, 2018

Re: July 30 commentary, “Why the LCRA needs groundwater rights in Bastrop County.” I am a homeowner in Circle D directly affected by the wells. I understand the need to consider water supply for all Texans — but not being honest with the homeowners in the neighborhood and talking with them and listening to hear our point of view was short-sighted. Could we not still talk to each...
Facebook comments: Aug. 5, 2018

Facebook comments: Aug. 5, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Kevin Lyttle, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein made a case Wednesday for why COTA would be a good site for a Major League Soccer team. Epstein was approached by Capella Capital Partners about a joint effort with Precourt Sports Ventures to build a stadium at COTA. “I made Capella the same offer I made (Anthony) Precourt,” Epstein...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 5, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 5, 2018

Re: Aug. 1 article, “Retired Texas teachers face giant hurdle to pension boost.” As a retired teacher, I am concerned with the health of the Teacher Retirement System. It was interesting that system officials stated that “changes in marketplace and the global economic outlook” were to blame for the projected return decrease. Seems I’ve heard this before, yet the stock...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 3, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 3, 2018

Re: July 31 article, “Austin’s top single-family water user in 2017: a U.S. congressman.” To users of more than a million gallons of water a year: What is it about the term “limited resource” you do not understand? Being able to afford it doesn’t entitle you to use more than your fair share of this limited resource. My average annual water use for the last three...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 2, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 2, 2018

Re: July 29 article, “Why more don’t try to shop for health care.” Health care shopping might work, but it is in no way like shopping for socks. Inquiring about the price — without insurance — of a possible procedure at a hospital for a relative, I was stonewalled. One hospital will not give an estimate until you have already signed up for the procedure. You must know...
Letters to the editor: Aug. 1, 2018

Letters to the editor: Aug. 1, 2018

Re: June 28 article, “City report on Confederate monuments raises idea of renaming Austin.” A suggestion in a report by the city of Austin’s Equity Office to rename Austin makes no sense. Stephen F. Austin, the city’s namesake, was a man of his time. Slavery was common when Austin colonized Texas, and he realized that attracting white settlers from the south to Texas would...
Letters to the editor: July 31, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 31, 2018

Re: July 27 article, “Traffic crackdown targeted common violations by immigrants.” What is wrong with Bastrop County’s “zero tolerance”? In a car accident, would you like to be hit by a driver with no license or any financial responsibility? “Zero tolerance” is the price you pay for being in this country illegally. But what about the legal citizens caught...
Letters to the editor: July 30, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 30, 2018

Heat exhaustion can sneak up on you, causing increased body temperature, rapid pulse, headache and fatigue. If you don’t get cool, you’ll dehydrate, possibly suffer a stroke, or worse — die. Of 8,000-plus heat-related fatalities in the United States reported from 1999 to 2010, 36 percent were among those age 65 and older, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and...
Letters to the editor: July 29, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 29, 2018

It seems everyone has an idea about the best utilization of the McKalla Place property, from a new high-rise to affordable housing. By themselves, they’re not bad ideas, but no one on the council gave a thought to McKalla Place until it was put forward as a site for Major League Soccer. Before soccer became a possibility, no one gave a damn about those 24 acres. Stadium cost? The team owners...
Facebook comments: July 29, 2018

Facebook comments: July 29, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, released the first ad of his U.S. Senate campaign Thursday. The 30-second video was created entirely from livestream footage shot on the campaign’s iPhone. His campaign says it’s the first U.S. Senate ad anywhere to do so. Titled “Showing Up,” it is a montage of scenes from...
Letters to the editor: July 28, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 28, 2018

Austin homeowners who are 65 years or older often have a hard time affording Austin’s residential property taxes. More of us are losing our homes as our taxes keep skyrocketing. A wonderful program exists for taxpayers 65 or older to defer their property taxes until they sell their houses or when their estates are settled after death (the deferred taxes will accrue interest). I recently filed...
Letters to the editor: July 27m 2018

Letters to the editor: July 27m 2018

“Congracklations” to your staff writers and photographers, and the outside contributors who did such a great job of giving voice to the daily avian experience that unites Austinites of all neighborhoods, newcomers and old-timers alike. One reference was overlooked though. In the fine comic novel “The Boyfriend School,” set in 1980s Austin, the name of the slightly subversive...
Letters to the editor: July 26, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 26, 2018

It takes the power of law to save people’s lives. Texas laws around gun safety must be improved. I testified at a Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence hearing about increased penalties for gun negligence. My family owns guns. Our guns are stored securely, unloaded and separate from ammunition. I know firsthand what it’s like to lose a child to a gun owner’s negligence. What hurts as...
Letters to the editor: July 25, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 25, 2018

Following the president’s unsettling denial of U.S. intelligence’s findings to the former-KGB head of our greatest geopolitical foe, Sen. John Cornyn was the sole dissenting voice on one nonbinding bipartisan resolution in Congress, backing the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in our 2016 elections. On the same day, he backed another warning for the president...
Letters to the editor: July 24, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 24, 2018

Re: July 14 letter to the editor, “Bullock exhibit could use photos of black cowboys.” Bill Metz’s July 14 letter to the Statesman is absolutely right: There is a long and proud heritage of black cowboys and rodeo circuit competitors in Texas, and our “Rodeo!” exhibit could do a better job of making that known. To that end, we’ll be adding images related to African-American...

Letters to the editor: July 23, 2018

Re: July 17 article, “U.S. judge defends actions as trial on Texas’ fetal burial law begins.” Regarding the legal case of final disposition of a medically aborted fetus, the judge’s presupposition about a fetus seems paramount. The deep and legally unresolved issue in the case of bury/don’t bury an aborted fetus also seems rather straightforward — to me, anyway...
Letters to the editor: July 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 22, 2018

Re: July 18 article, “Grading glitch incorrectly ranks Reagan High valedictorian No. 2.” I am keeping a list: Who are the up-and-comers brightening the horizon, quietly preparing academically to make their mark? Thank you, Statesman, for bringing forward Naomi Lands, valedictorian of Reagan High School, so I can add her to my list. My list includes those to whom I might send $10 when they...
Letters to the editor: July 21, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 21, 2018

Re: July 15 commentary, “From any moral standpoint it’s time Texas ends death penalty.” So, what do we do with those people who kill children, peace officers, firefighters, judges or murder multiple victims? How about 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombings? Does Rep. Joe Moody remember Sutherland Springs by chance? We really let these animals live out their lives with all their basic...
Letters to the editor: July 20, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 20, 2018

Re: July 14 article, “Army: Quality of life, tech culture helped Austin land Futures Command.” I’m saddened and outraged to learn that the U.S. Army has selected Austin as home to its new Futures Command center. Perhaps more sickening is hearing U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett say: “Austin fits the mission as a city of innovation — a community that promotes creativity, entrepreneurship...
Letters to the editor: July 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 19, 2018

Re: July 14 article, “City to hold information session about MLS stadium benefits.” Three times, I had to read over part of the article to make sure I understood it. Are you really telling me that this soccer stadium deal that our “esteemed” City Council is considering will allow them to lease all that McKalla land for a dollar a year — and they won’t have to pay...
Letters to the editor: July 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 17, 2018

Re: July 12 commentary, “Sorry, city employees. Your second job is our business.” While I agree that an employer has good reason to need to know about other business or employment that may conflict with the duties of a public-sector employee, I disagree that the general public has the right or need to have access to information. Most second jobs are quite innocent, and the employees should...
Letters to the editor: July 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 17, 2018

Re: July 8 commentary, “If Texas won’t give sick leave, at least let Austin do it.” If paid sick leave was really about protecting income of workers, that would be one thing. Instead, the ordinance is about providing anyone who works, whether full- or part-time, paid time off. Should a small business be required to pay a part-time high school student money to miss work whether he...
Letters to the editor: July 16, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 16, 2018

I think we should have a city law — a state or national law would be even better — that says every business must have its address number posted where it is easily visible from the street. This is apparently already a requirement for residences, since they are usually easy to find. I am often frustrated in trying to find what block I am driving past because buildings do not have visible...
Letters to the editor: July 15, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 15, 2018

I am urging my elected officials to address the withholding of $10.4 billion in risk-adjustment payments required by the Affordable Care Act. Any increase in the health insurance premiums and co-pays for my family will be catastrophic. My husband and I, along with nearly half of Americans, struggle with chronic disease. Nearly 70 percent of deaths each year are due to chronic disease. While I am no...
Letters to the editor: July 14, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 14, 2018

Re: July 9 article, “Central Texas suspensions of young students raise concerns.” So, those who advocate banning suspension of misbehaving kids in second grade and under, for most situations, “warned that suspensions caused students to fall behind in their classwork, to be disciplined more in the long run and to be ostracized by their peers.” Someone doesn’t understand...
Letters to the editor: July 13, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 13, 2018

From early New England colonies’ town hall meetings, where most citizens attended to decide what was best for their community, now we locals know what is best for our locality. If our City Council votes support for sanctuary, a Texas Legislature that votes otherwise for our city is just wrong. If a community through its City Council votes to ban plastic bags, that ordinance counts for more than...
Letters to the editor: July 12, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 12, 2018

Re: July 2 commentary, “Two Views: Ruling helps fight Austin’s restrictive STR ordinance.” Texas courts may have said “[t]he right of individuals to use their own property as they wish remains one of the most fundamental rights that individual property owners possess,” but that is clearly not true. Federal courts have consistently upheld restrictions on use of property...
Letters to the editor: July 11, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 11, 2018

Unfortunately, many Americans abhor our president, who is perceived as not caring about anything other than himself. Now is his final chance to “Make America Great Again.” He can do this simply by nominating a moderate Republican judge or a truly high-quality, middle-of-the-road and highly respected justice to fill the open slot on the Supreme Court. This would show that he truly wants...
Letters to the editor: July 10, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 10, 2018

Everyone wants affordability, but saying that CodeNext will lead to affordability is lying to the public. From Nashville to Portland, cities are endeavoring to accommodate new residents, keep housing prices down and maintain the charm that draws people to the area. It can’t be done. As Austin remains attractive to businesses and outsiders, people will move here — and prices and congestion...
Letters to the editor: July 9, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 9, 2018

Re: July 1 article, “On July 4, this Austinite will try to eat as many hot dogs as possible.” Hot-dog-eating contests? Corn-dog eating-contests? You get the picture. What a complete waste of food that could be going to feed more deserving people, like the homeless. Why let a few people brag about eating 20, 30, 40 dogs a piece, when those 40 dogs could feed 40 people — and more?...
Letters to the editor: July 8, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 8, 2018

Re: June 30 commentary, “How paid sick leave ordinance will hurt Texas economy.” I had to laugh when I read Sen. Donna Campbell’s column. Campbell states: “It is not the role of government to involve itself in the day-to-day operations of private businesses.” Where was that hands-off policy when bathroom use was the topic? Campbell was right on the front line of that...
Letters to the Sports Editor

Letters to the Sports Editor

Isn’t it in Kawhi’s best interest to stay in SA? Re: “Spurs can’t risk getting zero for Kawhi,” July 3 Cedric Golden is a fine columnist and human being, evidenced by his body of work in Austin, but why in the wide, wide world of sports does he think Kawhi Leonard would be traded to a team in the Western Conference? The Spurs organization is transparent to a fault. Take...

Letters to the editor: July 7, 2018

Re: June 29 article, “Texas lawmakers weigh bolstering school security, mental health.” Everyone wants students, teachers and all other school personnel to learn and work in a safe environment. That may indeed call for “school resource officers” to monitor the campus and prevent dangerous situations from escalating. Reading this article, I was struck by a comment from the Granger...
Letters to the editor: July 6, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 6, 2018

Re: June 28 commentary, “Court’s plastic bag ban ruling creates a mess for cities and June 22 article, “City bag bans violate state law, Texas Supreme Court rules.” Consumers and socially responsible businesses can still promote green practices despite the state’s effort to promote pollution. H-E-B was first to comply with the Austin ordinance — and it can continue...
Letters to the editor: July 5, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 5, 2018

Re: June 27 article, “Mayor encouraged about Austin’s MLS shot after council session.” Unfortunately, the discussion of locating the soccer stadium at McKalla Place does not consider the long-term environmental impact of using the land for a stadium as opposed to using it for housing. A stadium there would only be used a few times a year. Housing there would be close to the Domain...
Letters to the editor: July 4, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 4, 2018

I have recently been hearing about how the governor is trying to get more counselors in schools as part of the effort to help decrease mass shootings — but what about school social workers? Social workers were once very commonplace in Texas schools. It’s time to get them back in schools, because they can help just as much as counselors in decreasing violence, addressing mental health issues...

Letters to the editor: July 3, 2018

I see there are 2,646 officers and support personnel of the Austin Police Department. Two of the best must be Sarah Foster and Doug Broadwater. On June 23, my wife and I had a blowout on Texas 71 at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport exit. Cars were zooming by at seemingly Indy 500 speeds — it’s a very dangerous spot. Foster and Broadwater pulled behind us with their cars to protect...
Letters to the editor: July 2, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 2, 2018

Prior to the last presidential election, Democrats tried to disparage Republicans by castigating them and accusing them of being the elite and the disgusting “rich” in our midst. After President Trump won the election, they have changed their tune, and now Republicans — Trump voters — are the uneducated ignorant working class who elected him citizen president. As for myself...
Letters to the editor: July 1, 2018

Letters to the editor: July 1, 2018

Re: June 16 article, “Big Ass Fans founder buys Lance Armstrong’s Austin home.” The American-Statesman recently reported the sale of Lance Armstrong’s Old Enfield neighborhood home. This article reminded us — once again — of the continuing inequities in our property tax system. The home was listed for sale at $7.5 million, but was appraised and paying taxes on a...
Letters to the editor: June 30, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 30, 2018

I am extremely horrified that our elected officials are allowing Texas to be used by the Trump administration to be a hotbed of anti-immigration sentiment. They are dividing Texans on this issue and speaking about immigrants as insects, essentially dehumanizing them and taking their children from them. This is not the Texas way. I want Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Rep. Roger Williams to represent...
Letters to the editor: June 29, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 29, 2018

Re: June 25 article, “Gun-makers cite banks as new threat to rights.” Gary Ramsey, whose business manufactures handcrafted guns, feels that companies that choose not to process payments of his credit card sales violate his rights. His cause is supported by the legal counsel for Gun Owners of America, who said, “If a few banks say ‘No’ … all of a sudden the industry...
Letters to the editor: June 28, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 28, 2018

Re: June 22 letter to the editor, “Army command site is bad fit for Austin.” Austin was home to Bergstrom Air Force Base for many years, housing B-52s, B-47s and F-4s. There were Nike Hercules nuclear missile sites in Austin during the Cold War. Our class visited one on a field trip in the fifth grade. I personally witnessed two Nikes being hauled into Austin down Balcones Drive on Air...

Letters to the Sports Editor

This Spurs, Kawhi mess can be fixed easily Born and raised in San Antonio, moved to Austin in 1970. Spurs fan for life. The whole team should be ashamed of itself starting with Tony Parker for even hinting that Kawhi Leonard’s injury was not real. This insult to this wonderful man infuriates every Spurs fan in the world. I would feel the same way after year after year of busting buttocks for...

Letters to the editor: June 27, 2018

Several questions arose after reading about the mayor and Austin City Council members visiting Tornillo: • Since the mayor and Austin City Council have no authority in Tornillo, what was the reason for their visit? • Were they on annual leave or were they on taxpayers’ time and tax dollars? • How was the information they wanted to receive to be used in the management of the city...
Letters to the editor: June 26 2018

Letters to the editor: June 26 2018

Re: June 22 article, “City bag bans violate state law, Texas Supreme Court rules.” Since our Republican-led state has such a problem with local governments representing — of all people — local constituents, why not just abolish all local governments and have direct rule from the Imperial Government of Texas? Let’s just let Gov. Greg Abbott replace all our local elected...
Letters to the editor: June 25, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 25, 2018

The Austin City Council voting on CodeNext dishonors the act of voting, the 2012 council vote for Imagine Austin and the individuals who sacrificed for voting rights and our form of government — veterans, first responders and citizens. It’s time to stop the process, otherwise the city’s goals set forth in Imagine Austin will go unfulfilled. CodeNext’s goals include promoting...
Letters to the editor: June 24, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 24, 2018

I don’t believe Austin will ever get a major league sports team. The people who run the city either don’t want a team, or choose to make it impossible for a team to come here. While I don’t have a dog in this hunt — as I have never attended a soccer game — it seems the team from Columbus is being mistreated. Austin is now the 11th-largest city in America. It has a greater...
Letters to the editor: June 23, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 23, 2018

Greater Austin’s population will double, whether we like it or not. If we don’t densify the city’s core, we “sprawlify” the countryside: the Blackland Prairie, the Hill Country and the aquifer contributing zone. Take your choice. It is so much cheaper to add population where we already have the infrastructure — streets, pipelines, transit — than to build infrastructure...
Letters to the editor: June 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 22, 2018

Re: June 16 article, “Austin among final 5 candidates for Army’s high-tech Futures Command site.” Austin is known for being a progressive, open, creative, peace-loving city. It is not forward-thinking to consider placing an Army Futures Command center here. Let Austin’s innovative talent in medical, engineering and academic fields continue to address the civic and global challenges...
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