Letters to the Editor

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...
Letters to the editor: June 21, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 21, 2018

Re: June 16 article, “Owner’s plan for Lake Austin site: elevator tower, restaurant, marina.” The proposal by the developer is vastly inferior to the 1986 approved plan for the property that included up to 64 single family homes. The developer is wanting a change that will create a commercial and residential development that will add about 300,000 square feet of commercial development...

Letters to the Sports Editor

What Kody Clemens did was right, not wrong Re: “Clemens, Pierce both showed a lot of class,” June 14 Apparently this letter writer is not aware of what provoked Kody Clements to flash the “Hook ’em, Horns” sign to the Tennessee Tech dugout. Before the first game between the two teams, Tech players were flashing the downward Horns sign to UT’s players. Furthermore...
Letters to the editor: June 20, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 20, 2018

The policy that results in the separation of minors from their parents for no other reason than that the parents brought their children with them across the border into the United States to seek asylum is morally repugnant and reprehensible. It must be rescinded immediately — and those parents and minors separated must be reunited as soon as that can be reasonably accomplished. Such a cruel...
Letters to the editor: June 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 19, 2018

Re: June 14 article, “Willie Nelson on immigrant separation at the border: ‘Christians everywhere should be up in arms.’” A Christian follows the law. You may not like the law. You cannot choose which laws you follow. If everyone did that, we would have anarchy. You should work to change laws and policies you don’t agree with, not ignore those laws. It is well-known to...
Letters to the editor: June 18, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 18, 2018

I’ve read stories about babies being torn from their mothers while breastfeeding — and children being taken away to bathe, never to return. I read of a father who hanged himself after being separated from his wife and three-year-old. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Rep. John Carter all claim to be Christians. They claim to represent family values. Do they really think that separating...
Letters to the editor: June 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 17, 2018

Father’s Day for me is sweet and bitter. I soak up the love and appreciation, the hugs and treats. But I also feel the father’s duty to protect my daughters from harm. We fathers are rapidly losing control over that. I feel for the California fathers whose children’s homes burned in wildfires last year. I feel for the Puerto Rican fathers who couldn’t save the thousands of...
Letters to the editor: June 16, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 16, 2018

The plight of the American teacher is all too real and affects our community. It’s been said the era of the lifelong teacher is over, and a career in the classroom is becoming unsustainable. Salary aside, the real scourge is a lack of respect and appreciation for those who choose to serve our communities children. All too often, principals, parents and students fail to recognize the sacrifices...
Letters to the editor: June 15, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 15, 2018

Re: June 11 article, “Adventure Girls inject excitement into everyday life.” I applaud Pam LeBlanc for encouraging all of us to live an active life. But I cringed when I saw the photo of the Adventure Girls jumping off a cliff in May at Pace Bend Park on Lake Travis. I always caution friends and family about jumping into Lake Travis. There are jagged rocks and other hazards below the water&rsquo...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Clemens, Pierce both showed a lack of class I have been watching the college baseball super regionals and to say I was disappointed at the lack of class of Kody Clemens and his coach is an understatement. I can see some cocky, arrogant kid doing something stupid, but for the coach to condone it is unacceptable. Clemens’ actions against A&M and Tennessee Tech were a disgrace. Texas’ head...
Letters to the editor: June 4, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 4, 2018

Re: June 10 commentary, “We’re still missing the full score on McKalla soccer stadium.” The Austin City Council needs to put the brakes on Precourt Sports Ventures’ demand for an end-of-June decision on building a soccer stadium at McKalla Place. One should never trust someone who sets an unrealistic deadline to pressure you into accepting a deal before all, or at least most...
Letters to the editor: June 13, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 13, 2018

Re: June 8 letter to the editor, “Re: June 8 letter to the editor, “Plenty done for minorities. Stand.” I’m getting straight to the point: Saying “If you don’t love our country, then leave” is the same old racist rant from racists. This country is not yours; it is all of America’s, even those who it discriminated against in the past — and still...
Letters to the editor: June 12, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 12, 2018

It seems we want to honor our Confederate forefathers but are uncomfortable acknowledging why they fought. Should you feel guilty about slavery? Of course not. You never owned slaves. But you should be aware of the effects of slavery that persist. Consider accumulated family wealth. The G.I. bill enabled soldiers to buy homes, but banks refused to grant loans to blacks. Then, there is the wealth accumulated...

Letters to the editor: June 11, 2018

I am concerned about how we and the media are being manipulated into listening to the rhetoric that keeps coming out of the White House. Rather than looking at the daily minutia, I wish we would all look at the macro issue we have been witnessing. We have a leader showing no regard for the truth — and a pattern of written and verbal disrespect for just about anyone and anything. We still don&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: June 10, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 10, 2018

Re: June 6 commentary, “What 1984 could teach us about CodeNext.” This article is one of the most honest critiques of CodeNext that I have read. As an Austin native, I have seen many mayors and City Councils come and go. We used to trust and have confidence in our mayor and council to be open, fully informed on issues, communicate all the information and to look out for the best interests...
Letters to the editor: June 9, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 9, 2018

Picture this: Starting in kindergarten, children learning skills of citizenship, such as civil communication, tolerance for others’ beliefs, nonviolent conflict resolution and “good citizen” practices — voting, financial responsibility, building community. Currently, middle-school students who did poorly on the STAAR test in math, for example, must take two periods until they...
Letters to the editor: June 8, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 8, 2018

I’m stunned when I see the next — and the next — wrongful shooting by police when customary justification is “it looked like he had a gun in his hand.” I’m equally appalled we have NFL football players taking a knee in disrespect to our flag and what it represents. As a war veteran, it is disturbing to see people — including our president — who have...
Letters to the editor: June 7, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 7, 2018

Re: June 1 commentary, “David Brooks: Educated elite lost touch with sense of community.” David Brooks has me wondering, once again, why anyone pays him so much to think so little. He blames President Trump, rabid partisanship, and what he sees as the decline of decent society on – of all things — a turn toward meritocracy and equal rights for those who aren’t white,...
Letters to the editor: June 6, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 6, 2018

Witch hunts never end well. The Salem witch hangings and the McCarthy hearings are grim examples. Now, our scapegoats are darker-skinned refugees fleeing their deadly homelands. We just murdered a tiny, unarmed, Mayan woman named Claudia Patricia Gomez González. She hoped to find work. For this, a Border Patrol officer shot her through the head. Ironically, her ancestors were here for thousands...
Letters to the editor: June 5, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 5, 2018

Re: May 30 article, “Study: Maria’s toll is in the thousands” It has been more than eight months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and knocked down electricity and infrastructure. Six months’ worth of rain fell in four days. It tore off roofs from many buildings, including hospitals. The Harvard study’s estimate of 4,645 deaths is shocking and distressing....
Letters to the editor: June 4, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 4, 2018

Everyone wants to take guns away or change laws to stop school shootings. Maybe we need to have our kids see other kids as human and get off all our media devices. Kids would rather be on media than with the one in front of them. I would also like to know why all government offices have everyone behind locked doors, but not our kids. Their lives are just as valuable. THERESA STILIES, LEANDER One fact...
Letters to the editor: June 3, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 3, 2018

Re: May 24 commentary, “Everyone should be less afraid of the STAAR test … because it gets results.” We’ve been subjecting our children to high-stakes, punitive testing for decades and the achievement gap is as persistent as ever. Instead, these are the unintended results: the narrowing of the curriculum for students in high-poverty elementary schools, where social studies...
Letters to the editor: June 1, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 1, 2018

Re: May 23 commentary, “To fix property tax problem, start with appraisal boards.” Rahul Patel is absolutely correct about the failures of the property tax system in this state. My husband and I disputed our evaluation one year and found, to our dismay, that the gentlemen on the board had no real estate appraisal training, no information regarding the property and seemingly just put a...
Letters to the editor: May 31, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 31, 2018

Re: May 24 article, “Lawsuit: GOP judge fired secretary for anti-Trump Facebook posts.” I fear that our current environment is degrading the basis of our democracy. Reminiscent of the 1930s in Germany, having opinions diverse from our government leaders is becoming cause for punishment (see “Lawsuit: GOP judge fired secretary for anti-Trump Facebook posts.”). If the employee...
Letters to the editor: May 30, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 30, 2018

Re: May 24 commentary, “I got arrested for standing up against poverty.” Kudos to Mark McKim for his excellent editorial on the current Poor People’s Campaign — and for highlighting the economic injustices that make it pressingly relevant today. I’m proud to say that I went to the original Poor People’s Campaign 50 years ago in 1968. I was a junior in high school...
Letters to the editor: May 29, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 29, 2018

To: Congress Please act now. Our students and teachers are literally under attack on so many levels. I believe that our schools should be funded per pupil at the national average. If you value knowledge and believe that your teachers should be compensated for longevity and advanced degrees, then positive changes need to be made. As for safety in our schools, we need to act now to get down to facts...
Letters to the editor: May 28, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 28, 2018

My idea to improve our children’s safety is to install two stage doors on all primary or unlocked entrances. The outer door, or immediately inside outer door, is equipped with a metal detection system. If triggered, the inner door would immediately automatically lock, as well as the outer door, trapping the person between the two doors. It is a simple solution and cost effective. STEVE RILEY...
Letters to the editor: May 27, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 27, 2018

Why do we consistently elect poorly prepared, privileged and disconnected trustees into positions where they end up way over their heads and quit instead of fulfilling their responsibilities to the Austin ISD community, parents, students, taxpayers and constituents? The texts released were only one side of a conversation that showed one person’s arrogant, racist, self-righteous, savior thoughts...
Letters to the editor: May 26, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 26, 2018

When Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said we live in “a violent culture where we devalue life,” he neglected to take responsibility for his role in dehumanizing his fellow Texans. He obsessively promoted the bathroom bill, which unnecessarily violated the privacy of schoolchildren. He fights to destroy public education, a building block of our democracy. His answer to Texas’ high maternal mortality...
Letterst to the editor: May 25, 2018

Letterst to the editor: May 25, 2018

Re: May 21 letter to the editor, “Carbon tax would help planet, get us on bikes.” You advocate for expensive gas to force everyone to bike to work. What about those who travel from client to client all over Central Texas? Without a car, I couldn’t earn a living — and if you make gas unaffordable, I won’t be able to afford to work. What about people who drop their kids...
Letters to the editor: May 24, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 24, 2018

Re: May 19 article, “What’s the best sunscreen? We put more than 20 to the test.” The article failed to emphasize that no matter how good the product, sunscreen is ineffective if not applied correctly. I swim outdoors year-round and know from firsthand experience and close observation that most pool visitors apply sunscreen incorrectly. Products applied poolside immediately prior...
Letters to the editor: May 23, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 23, 2018

Dear fellow baby boomers, The recent news about the lowest U.S. birth rate since 1987 should give us all pause. Those of us who get Social Security now, or plan to soon, should realize that we need workers to pay Social Security taxes into our Social Security retirement fund to keep it financially viable. And we will need those funds sooner than the 20 years it will take for the new generation to...
Letters to the editor: May 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 22, 2018

Re: May 19 article, “Abbott calls for immediate talks to find ways to end mass shootings.” Another school, another slaughter of those whom every human being and every society should hold most dear: our children. Another slaughter, another round of moral posing, political posturing, and empty calls for solutions by our politicians. Clearly the causes of this problem are complex, but effective...

Letters to the editor: May 21, 2018

Breakthrough! Refreshing news: President Trump’s lead lawyer says he wanted to have “the Hillary Clinton treatment” for the president. What a breakthrough for transparency. Clinton was treated to 11-plus hours of testimony to Congress, her files and servers turned over to the FBI, and Republican leaders asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation. It is just terrific...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Safe bet: State won’t offer gambling Re: “Texas needs to be in on gambling,” May 16. Kirk Bohls makes a number of very convincing and persuasive arguments as to why the state of Texas should consider allowing its citizens to legally gamble on sporting events. He astutely points out that the not-insignificant financial rewards to the state could be used for a variety of civic-minded...

Letters to the editor: May 20, 2018

Re: May 5 article, “Charter amendments could bring significant shifts in Austin governance.” You may have read in the American-Statesman that some underutilized fussbudgets on the Charter Review Commission are contemplating having a yet-to-be-named agency sending $100 vouchers to all registered voters to distribute in $50 increments to their candidates of choice for council and mayor....
Letters to the editor: May 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 19, 2018

Re: May 16 article, “Texas sues national drug maker for ‘deceptive’ opioid practices.” I see that Attorney General Ken Paxton is filing a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for worsening the opioid crisis among Texans — for placing corporate profits over the well-being of people’s health. Good. I’m surprised that Paxton is interested in people; I thought his job...
Letters to the editor: May 18, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 18, 2018

Re: May 13 commentary, “MLS can win Austin’s heart with the right deal.” In response to your editorial about Major League Soccer moving to Austin: We don’t need bragging rights — and while the American-Statesman’s editorial board may know that MLS is a good fit for Austin, we citizens don’t necessarily know that or believe that. The biggest question is not...
Letters to the editor: May 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 17, 2018

Texas does most things right, but car titling, registration, inspections and issuing drivers’ licenses is certainly not one of them. When I lived in New Jersey, you could walk in with your previous state’s documents and walk out with your car inspected for free, your new license, registration and car title. One-stop shop. The fact that we must go three separate places — inspection...
Letters to the editor: May 16, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 16, 2018

Re: May 12 commentary, “CapMetro uses traffic woes to disguise its bad ideas.” Gerald Daugherty’s analysis of Cap Metro is the best I have ever read. We need more — many more — like him. My thanks to Daugherty and those who put him in office. Rail is a 19th-century mass transit solution. It wasn’t bad when there was no highway system and virtually no one had an...
Letters to the editor: May 15, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 15, 2018

Re: May 11 article, “On-duty police pack court as jury sentences man who shot SWAT officer.” I am a police supporter and support Interim Austin Police Chief Manley, with no sympathy for Tyler Harrell. But allowing police officers on duty, in uniform, to attend the sentencing phase of the Harrell trial en masse was a mistake I hope will not happen again. The judge should not have overruled...
Letters to the editor: May 14, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 14, 2018

Re: May 10 article, “Up to 35 days of 100-degree heat this summer in Austin area, LCRA says.” I’m losing sleep. What will I face if I stay in Central Texas in the coming decades? Despite warming trends and projections of increasing numbers of triple-digit heat, rampant development surrounds me in Dripping Springs and in western Travis County. I wonder how we will supply water to...
Letters to the editor: May 13, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 13, 2018

Re: May 9 article, “Central Texas members of Congress react to U.S. abandoning Iran deal.” This article quoted Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and also Reps. Michael McCaul, Lamar Smith, Roger Williams, John Carter and Bill Flores as supporting President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. I suggest this is not the time to simply applaud everything our president...
Letters to the editor: May 12, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 12, 2018

I am fearful that the folks involved with the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan are as bad at designing roads as they are at designing a public survey. I found their survey at asmp.metroquest.com to be extremely marginalized and horribly biased. It makes me think they are working in a very narrow window of options — more bike lanes, for example — and missing the bigger picture of the need...
Letter: Allen qualified, experienced for Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace

Letter: Allen qualified, experienced for Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace

I am writing to personally endorse Cindy Allen for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1. Cindy is very professional and shows no partisanship. She is very active in our community where you will see her volunteering her time at multiple events. She is a business owner in our community with a solid work ethic. Cindy is honest, intelligent and experienced. If you care about justice regardless of your political...
Letters to the editor: May 11, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 11, 2018

Re: May 7article, “Emotions high as residents weigh fighting East Austin gentrification.” Events in East Austin mirror the gentrification of Clarksville back in the 1960s and ’70s. The mostly minority Clarksville residents were overrun and run out by opportunistic real estate brokers and developers. Rutted and potholed streets were repaired and paved as monied, nonminorities started...
Letters to the editor: May 10, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 10, 2018

Re: May 6 commentary, “Continue with CodeNext — or try to freeze Austin in amber.” The author says that young people are not interested in “owning cars, large houses, big yards and the acquisition of stuff.” Let’s say for the sake of civil conversation that this is true. But as the headline suggests, her support of CodeNext would have us freeze these young people...
Letters to the editor: May 9, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 9, 2018

Re: May 6 commentaries, “What to do about black worshippers leaving white churches” and “Dear Senator: Equating you with Trump not a large leap.” Professor Chad Seales makes some very good points regarding the history of practical exclusion of blacks from white religious institutions. The polemical wrap-up of the column brings us up to date on racism in America. Remarks by...
Letters to the editor: May 8, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 8, 2018

Re: May 2 commentary, “Bomber’s confession tests police pledge of transparency.” Alberta Phillips makes a very good point that the press should not publicize the name of mass shooters and avoid showing pictures of them, but then she wants his confession to be released? Why would the police release what the bomber obviously wanted the public to hear? That would give him the publicity...
Letters to the editor: May 7, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 7, 2018

State legislators constantly use the mantra, “We need to do it for the children.” A prime example is last year’s Texas legislative debacle with the “bathroom bill.” Dan Patrick pushed this issue all the time saying, we need to protect the children. Teachers’ raises and school funding took second or third stage in any discussion. Now, arming teachers will be the...
Letters to the editor: May 6, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 6, 2018

I lived on Jeff Davis Avenue during my teens and knew people living on Robert E. Lee Road. Several Austin high school students stated school names were never an issue and were content with the status quo. The students felt that due to current racial implications applied to some schools, they understood changes were needed. It wasn’t until KKK zealots and hate groups and their defenders started...
Letters to the editor: May 5, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 5, 2018

Re: April 27 letter to the editor, “Paper ballots not immune from hacks.” Hamilton Richards, you are right: I was misquoted in the “By 2020, Travis to have new vote setup” article. Our new voting system will contain a paper audit trail for the voter to use in order to ensure that the selections they make on the electronic marking device match their intent. That piece of paper...
Letters to the editor: May 4, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 4, 2018

Mayor Steve Adler says to end homelessness, we must expand the Convention Center, employ minimum wage workers, create low-income housing and a permanent funding stream — brilliant! Nationwide, the epicenter cause of homelessness is the federal government. Between 1997 and 2007, the federal minimum wage was not raised a penny. Also, during the Reagan administration, funding for the nation&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: May 3, 2018

Letters to the editor: May 3, 2018

Holy guacamole! Call the pope, as we’ve witnessed a miracle: Our new city manager actually listened to the people and is going to make our assistant chief the chief of police. Who knows, maybe our City Council can start listening to the people about our voices on other issues? I am referring to natives like our new chief, as well as us who are being forced out of Austin due to taxes. GREG MONROE...

Letters to the editor: May 2, 2018

Re: April 29 article, “Is Austin training police to be too aggressive? 10 ex-cadets say yes.” The article was quite interesting. Let’s face it, in the real world an average police officer spends 90 percent of their time as a guardian and maybe 10 percent as a warrior, though they may wish us to think otherwise. Therefore, training should reflect this. However, my main concern is...

Letters to the Sports Editor

Poking fun at Bradford’s injuries? Not funny Re: “Staubach weighs in with thumbs-up on Mayfield,” April 30 Good morning. Couldn’t help but notice the line “Sam Bradford will temporarily hold the Arizona job until his next injury” in your article this morning. Really? Could you be a snarkier jerk (could think of other names)? I’m not a big Sam Bradford fan...

Letters to the editor: May 1, 2018

I’m writing to express my concern regarding the recent increase of individuals experiencing homelessness in Austin. Each year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development enforces communities across the nation to conduct an annual census count of all individuals experiencing homelessness, called the Point in Time Count. The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition has reported that the...

Letters to the editor: April 30, 2018

The U.S. justifies strict immigration policies by blaming immigrants for lost jobs and violence. However, the U.S. fails to see its own role in the historical context as a major contributor to immigration problems today. U.S. policies and military interventions have led to economic strife and violence around the world, with people migrating to the U.S. for job opportunities and safety. Instead of...
Letters to the editor: April 29, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 29, 2018

Re: April 24 article, “The purpose of environmental laws.” Thank you for the new “explainer” feature in the paper. The purpose of environmental laws seems obvious to me. But, it is now necessary to remind younger generations and antiregulation crowds about the important progress made thus far. Now, if only our state leaders would get on board to support local city ordinances...
Letters to the editor: April 28, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 28, 2018

The League of Women Voters Austin Area appreciates the Statesman’s coverage of the Austin Charter Review Commission proposal for an Independent Ethics Commission. We encourage its inclusion on the November ballot. The proposed Independent Ethics Commission is similar to the Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission, successfully overseeing the transition to single-member council districts...
Letters to the editor: April 27, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 27, 2018

Re: April 22 article, “By 2020, Travis to have new vote setup.” A recent article attributes to County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir the statement that, “the paper slip voters can take away from the polls with a record of how they voted is important to each voter.” One can only hope that DeBeauvoir, one of the savviest of county clerks, was misquoted. Surely, she understands that giving...
Letters to the editor: April 26, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 26, 2018

Re: April 23 letter to the editor, “Mafia? Comey flatters Trump.” I’ve stood blithely by while insults are hurled back and forth between opposing political and social factions without ever saying or writing a word of protest. But now one of your readers has gone too far. As co-captain of the Hooligan golf group in Georgetown, I must stand up and vehemently protest the reader&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: April 25, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 25, 2018

Every time I endeavor to enter MoPac Boulevard at Enfield Road going south during the afternoon-evening rush “hour,” I feel screwed yet again. The backup of traffic from downtown at the southbound Winsted Lane entry ramp causes at least a 15- to 25-minute wait to enter the horribly backed-up freeway. In the meantime, those few drivers who can afford the $5 or greater charge for the express...
Letters to the editor: April 24, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 24, 2018

Re: April 22 commentary, “Castillo: Why the ‘hyphenated Americanism’ comment triggered outrage.” The creator of the saying “the law is what the judges say it is” might also have agreed that it is what five judges say it is — until five judges change their minds. So it is with history. The struggle to integrate Mexican-American Studies into Texas high schools...
Letters to the editor: April 23, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 23, 2018

I know this is the wrong media to reach the audience that I want to hear this, but here it goes. Students, let me tell you that what you say does not matter! You are not putting your efforts to good use. Politicians do not care what you have to say. You do not contribute to their campaigns, you do not have any lobbyist in your back pocket, and most importantly, you don’t vote. Those of you who...
Letters to the editor: April 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 22, 2018

Re: April 22 article, “Study finds serious shortcomings in Travis County indigent defense.” Most don’t know that Travis County has no public defender’s office for adults, like other Texas metropolises. Sarah Eckhardt is right that we must revisit how we provide representation for poor people charged with crimes. Right to counsel is a bedrock of our legal system. Yet, as the...
Letters to the editor: April 21, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 21, 2018

Re: April 19 commentary, “First step in fixing Austin Energy’s customer service: ‘We have to really revisit empathy.’” Unfortunately, what Austin Energy is doing is nothing but marketing. I recently received the same runaround for a crazy high electric bill for a vacant home. Our bill jumped from $27 to what would have been over $900 had the increase been for an entire...

Letters to the editor: April 20, 2018

Re: April 18 article, “Fans turn on political Pop.” Don’t let the screen door bang on the way out if you turn your back on your team because of politics. Team owners won’t tell you what this fan will: Good riddance to fair-weather fans. Maybe you leaving will free up a better seat for me. Reality is we are a country politically divided 50/50. When you make a political stand...
Letters to the editor: April 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 19, 2018

Re: April 16 article, “UT Co-op aims to remake itself after ‘challenging times.’” An excellent description of The University Co-Operative Society’s financial woes and recent comeback, this article concludes by summarizing the importance of the Co-op to the university’s history and culture. But more than that, the University Co-op really should be considered a &ldquo...
Letters to the editor: April 18, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 18, 2018

Re: April 16 article, “More businesses allow dogs, saying they calm employees.” The “feel good” story about dogs in the work place was cute, but animals at a work place is a bad idea. They may improve mood and productivity for some, but for others they are a distraction — and their presence can be life threatening. The American College of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology...
Letters to the editor: April 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 17, 2018

Re: April 13 article, “Bids sought as parents call for a nurse at every Austin ISD school.” The discussion about school nurses begs the question: How many nurses would be required? How many schools? That would help us understand the cost. One nurse per campus is great if we can afford it. CRAIG WARNER, AUSTIN Re: April 12 commentary, “What we lose if we lose DACA and Dreamers?&rdquo...

Letters to the editor: April 16, 2018

Re: April 10 article, “Study: Number of Texas women dying in childbirth was overreported.” I was glad to learn the Texas maternal mortality rate was not as drastic as earlier reported. Getting the data right is crucial to good policy. In developing countries, it is even more difficult to get the data right. These rates are actually down — and we know we can end preventable maternal...
Letters to the editor: April 15, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 15, 2018

It seems the Great State of Texas isn’t so great anymore. Due to Austin lawmakers, our nursing homes are the worst in the nation. Children in need health care or special education are severely limited. And the state does not enforce the immigration laws already on the books. At the federal level, Congress has made a mockery of the way are tax dollars are handled. Congress now calls Medicare...
Letters to the editor: April 14, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 14, 2018

Re: April 6 article, “2 Texas members of Congress urge Texas universities to cut China ties.” The front-page article about to responses by Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Michael McCaul, R-Austin, to the situation with the U.S. and China was a sad bit of information. This seemed to be a knee-jerk response to the fact our president is clueless about diplomatic matters and had no real...
Letters to the editor: April 13, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 13, 2018

Re: April 9 letter to the editor,”Second Amendment taken out of context.” “A well regulated militia.” This phrase in the Second Amendment engenders considerable debate on its exact meaning. Some founding fathers’ comments are: • Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper No. 29 wrote that the people have a right to weapons. Comment. The National Guard is a formal military...

Letters to the editor: April 12, 2018

Re: April 8 commentary, “Herman: What’s more Texan, Patrick’s Chevy pickup or Collier’s Ford?” Ken Herman took issue with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s “ruggedly manly barn coat” in last Sunday’s Austin American-Statesman. Apparently, it is Herman’s sworn duty to annoy the lieutenant governor and his wearing apparel whenever convenient. The idea...
Letters to the editor: April 11, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 11, 2018

Re: April 8 article, “Is Austin finally ready for light rail? The answer may come in 2020.” An April 8 Statesman article asks if Austin is ready for rail. Some only view rail as belonging to the past. But others know that rail is the future and the answer. Every world-class city has a good passenger system, either heavy, elevated or light rail. These cities learned the lesson that there...

Letters to the editor: April 10, 2018

Re: April 7 article, “Austin Energy customer service fail: The tale of a $12,000 water bill.” I am absolutely shocked by the callous ineptitude of Austin Energy. Any person having a normal water bill of $7 a month and who is then suddenly charged a $12,000 bill should be given the respect to be heard respectfully and have the issue acted on promptly and courteously without fiscal penalties...
Letters to the editor: April 9, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 9, 2018

Re: April 4 letter to the editor, “Schools should teach the Constitution.” As a Texas public school teacher for 20 years, I can respond to the writer’s concerns. Texas Education Code 29.907 requires instruction about the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, during Celebrate Freedom Week. Students must recite the preamble to the Declaration...
Letters to the editor: April 8, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 8, 2018

Re: April 3 letter to the editor, “Students not properly taught Constitution.” The writer suggests the students who march are disregarding the Second Amendment and should instead be seeking to amend the Constitution. What a blatant mischaracterization of what the marches are about. While there may be some who would like to see all guns banned, the purpose of the marches is to have legislators...
Letters to the editor: April 7, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 7, 2018

Re: April 2 commentary, “Wear: Money-making tollways a good thing in Austin, not for state leaders.” Ben Wear does it again. Toll roads are unconstitutional highway robbery schemes arbitrarily set up to double tax and steal taxpayers money. What part of this is not obvious? How many letters to the editor have been published about how San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Beaumont, Abilene, Amarillo...
Letters to the editor: April 6, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 6, 2018

I am a seventh-grader in the Austin Independent School District. I do not think kids should go to school hungry or undernourished. It puts them at a disadvantage at learning and focusing in school. Schools help some with this by giving kids who qualify food for free or at a reduced cost. But more than not just being hungry, studies show that having a diet of healthy foods is better for learning than...
Letters to the editor: April 5, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 5, 2018

Re: April 1 commentary, “Grumet: Why Travis County wants to build a kinder, gentler jail.” An opinion piece last week, “Why Travis County wants to build a kinder, gentler jail,” explained that county officials want a “more therapeutic environment” for the women’s jail, suggesting that a jail designed with “natural light, cushioned seats, soothing colors&rdquo...
Letters to the editor: April 4, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 4, 2018

Re: March 31 article, “EPA expected to roll back gas mileage, pollution standards.” Many people understandably feel helpless about climate change. Certainly, there are things we can each do, but the problem is too massive for even the noblest of personal efforts, requiring a comprehensive change to our energy economy. The only people who can make that happen are our legislators &mdash...
Letters to the editor: April 3, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 3, 2018

Re: March 30 article, “As wait times grow, calls to the Texas abuse hotline go unanswered.” Lest this story’s headline be interpreted as another dig at lazy government workers, note that while Child Protective Services was getting more funds, the hotline had its budget cut, leading to a staff reduction — despite having asked to hire more workers. Being a social worker in Texas...
Letters to the editor: April 2, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 2, 2018

Re: April 1 commentary, “I’m a Texas superintendent. My school district arms teachers.” I’m a teacher in the Katy Independent School District. Harrold ISD Superintendent David Thweatt’s commentary on arming teachers doesn’t mention the key fact that is missing from most proposals to arm teachers: training teachers to be ready to take a human life, possibly that...
Letters to the editor: April 1, 2018

Letters to the editor: April 1, 2018

Re: March 29 article, “Newly hired Austin ISD executive to oversee his current employer.” Austin Independent School District staff described Mathias Segura as “uniquely qualified” to be hired as the district’s new operations officer. An important part of the work of an operations officer is to push back when needed and question the work of contractors. One of the two...
Letters to the editor: Saturday, March 31, 2018

Letters to the editor: Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cap Metro should bring the Dillos to the streets of downtown Austin. For newcomers, the Dillos were trolley-like buses that traversed the streets of downtown Austin for many years, essentially transporting folks in the central business district. The problem back then was very few people were downtown, and no one was riding the Dillos except for a few folks called to jury duty. Now, however, downtown...
Letters to the editor: March 30, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 30, 2018

Re: March 26 commentary, “From Iraq to Austin, motives behind violence are elusive.” Steven Alvarez expressed disappointment due to lack of attention given the 15th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. I am shocked. Have we already forgotten how many people were injured and killed? Have we already forgotten that we invaded Iraq due to false reports of weapons of mass destruction?...
Letters to the editor: March 29, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 29, 2018

Re: March 26 article, “Texas DMV seeks to clarify dealership law — as it tries to enforce it.” As a retired Texas Department of Motor Vehicles enforcement attorney, I find problems with the definition of “ownership” and Cummins Inc. doing warranty work demonstrative of the DMV’s problem. The statute is clear: It is any ownership interest, even Warren Buffet&rsquo...
Letters to the editor: March 28, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 28, 2018

If we refuse to acknowledge terrorism, we will never learn why the United States is producing white male terrorists. Austin police called the bomber who terrorized Austin for three weeks a “challenged” young man. He murdered Anthony Stephan House, the father of a little girl, with a bomb. He murdered Draylen Mason and wounded Mason’s mother with a bomb. He wounded Esperanza Herrera...
Letters to the editor: March 27, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 27, 2018

As a 72-year-old native Texan, mother and grandmother, I have never been more proud of our youth than today. They seek a future free of fear, death and destruction so prevalent now. Millions of youth showed this in marches throughout the world. The old guard of millionaires and power brokers cannot stop this wave of peace and love for our fellow man. Race, nationalities, religious beliefs or social...
Letters to the editor: March 26, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 26, 2018

We urge members of Congress to support struggling families in Texas. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps millions of Texas workers put food on the table to feed their families. We thank Rep. Mike Conaway for wanting to have bipartisan support for the SNAP program. Food assistance has been bipartisan ever since Republican Bob Dole and Democrat George McGovern designed the modern program...
Letters to the editor: March 25, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 25, 2018

Truly we all feel the Austin Police Department did an outstanding job of apprehending the bomber that terrified the city. As many other law enforcement agencies assisted in this process, the Austin police served as the base to create the successful outcome. The mayor and City Council can now come to terms to provide a mutually agreed upon contract for the police department. We have a police department...
Letters to the editor: March 24, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 24, 2018

Re: March 19 commentary, “How Amazon’s HQ2 could advance the clean energy economy” and March 2 article, “Council member: City, chamber mishandling Amazon pursuit.” The commentary encourages finalists in Amazon’s HQ2 search “to make public all sustainability provisions” in their proposals. This sets the transparency bar far too low. Voters should know...
Letters to the editor: March 23, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 23, 2018

If our City Council chooses to look elsewhere for a permanent chief of police, they are existing further from reality than I imagined. This man has been dealing with situations that are very far from what is normal — and he has handled it with authority and grace. Our police department needs him because he is familiar with the problems here in Austin. I am very concerned that the mayor and council...
Letters to the editor: March 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 22, 2018

I live in Austin, and so do many of my family and friends. While we are terrified by the recent bombings, we are reassured by the many local, state and federal agents that are working 24/7 to track down the perpetrator of these heinous crimes. There are currently over 500 agents working on this case, including 350 from the F.B.I. These are career civil servants, often working at risk to their own...
Letters to the editor: March 21, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 21, 2018

Standing in the crowd at the Los Lobos show at Auditorium Shores, carried away in musical bliss, the thought popped into my head: “This is why we can never have a wall.” Austin elementary schools in the early 1960s had 30 minutes of Spanish language instruction a week. It was way too little, a little too late. Here’s an idea: Instead of spending money on a wall, use it for top-notch...
Letters to the editor: March 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: March 19, 2018

Since the 19th century, scientists have been warning us that continued and increasing burning of fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere, will eventually make life for humans all but impossible. I wonder if the folks who don’t choose to believe these warnings would be happy if we didn’t have pasteurized milk, radiation treatments or antibiotics &mdash...
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