Letters to the editor: Aug. 17, 2017


Officer William DeWayne Jones Sr. was shot and killed on Robert E. Lee Road while performing a routine traffic stop. He gave up his life for the residents of Austin. The person who shot him had an arrest warrant for sexual assault.

Jones served with dignity, courage and honor; an African-American who wore the badge, he was a real Texas hero. I ask the City Council and the governor to honor our fallen peace officer by changing the name of the road he died on — Robert E. Lee — to William DeWayne Jones Road. I ask Austin to contact our governor, state representatives and City Council to request that Officer Jones be honored in this way.

GILBERTO RAMOS, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 11 article, “Austin answered: Yes, Austin police do ticket bicyclists”

I was intrigued that the percentage of traffic tickets issued to bicyclists is much lower than one would expect, given the percentage of bicycle trips. Although a bicyclist is not required to carry a drivers’ license or identification, lying to a police officer with an inconsistent name and address can result in arrest.

The lower rate of bicycle tickets may be related to the number of miles traveled. I try to avoid breaking laws in my automobile or my bicycle, but my automobile trips are much longer than my bicycle trips.

GARY PREUSS, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 12 commentary, “Austin has spoken. Now it’s time to find a city manager.”

I was struck by the vacuousness of the column. What a bunch of hooey! After many months of research, the writers proudly list the following qualifications a city manager must have: Be able to advise the mayor and City Council, have communications skills, like Austin, know how to deal with rapid growth.

Duh! We need a City Manager Search Advisory Task Force to tell us what is as obvious as the nose on our face? Such a waste of tax money!

CHRISTINA JONES, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 11 article, “Impasse broken, do-not-resuscitate bill advances.

The do-not-resuscitate bill proponents have described the bill’s purpose in reassuring terms, saying it won’t interfere with legitimate advance directives. However, on this bill concerning hospital DNR orders, the Texas Hospital Association was excluded from discussions, while the Catholic bishops’ association was invited. The action of excluding the THA speaks volumes; there is an agenda at work.

The bill states that if a hospital or doctor does not want to comply with the patient’s DNR wishes, it can insist the patient go elsewhere to have their wishes complied with. This could be stressful, miserable or sometimes next-to-impossible for a desperately ill patient. According to the Texas Hospital Association, Senate Bill 11 “ will work to undermine patients’ choices and adds unnecessary confusion and ambiguity.”

Don’t be fooled by the soft sell; this is a bad bill, moving in a bad direction.

ANNE PETICOLAS, AUSTIN

I am appalled at the events that transpired this weekend in Charlottesville, when white supremacists, fascists, neo-Nazis the KKK invaded this hamlet bent on chaos and destruction. The toll, 3 dead and 39 wounded is an affront to the moral standards for which our country stands.

For the sake of my ancestors, who fled from Nazi Germany, for the black man who was dragged to his death here in Texas and for my friend who manages a thriving business in Dallas but cannot get a driver’s licence, I will speak out.

These scum need to be brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law, avowed as the terrorists they are, and barred from ever inflicting havoc again. —

FARIDA KHAN, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 11 article, “Opioid crisis declared a national emergency” and Aug. 11 commentary, “Trump’s policy is another ‘war on drugs’ certain to fail.”

Opioid addiction is a contagious mental disorder. Patients with psychiatric disorders and confused “lost sheep” do not reinvent injecting heroin and trying others’ pain pills. Treating the patients who transmit the disorder is key in fighting the epidemic. But how? The prognosis of “detox-rehab” is dismal. Many patients overdose lethally when relapsing. Hospitalizations needlessly disrupt functions that patients maintained and often destroy families.

Methadone maintenance, usually prescribed for several years, remains the most effective treatment. Methadone has a slow onset and long duration of action and works like nicotine patches: no “rush,” no “high.” Symptoms of the disorder plummet. No more uncontrollable craving; much less dysfunctional, unethical and dangerous behaviors. Patients function normally and can address what made them vulnerable to addiction. Buprenorphine (Suboxone) maintenance is an option for patients with less severe addictions.

Opioid maintenance is not continued addiction. Tragically, governments ignore the broad need for this treatment.

HEINZ AESCHBACH, AUSTIN

WHAT? HOW?

Years ago, I saw a movie about a country that had no money; the people were starving and dying. The government needed help. What to do?

Solution: Start a war with the biggest and wealthiest country; surrender after the first shot, and let the big-hearted winner feed the masses. I suspect that is North Korea’s game plan. I also suspect that the U.S. is in on the plan.

American taxpayers will not quietly send help, but as big-hearted conquers, they will.

Problem solved!

CLIFF PATE, LEANDER



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