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 asked him about what he missed most about Austin, this man from the land known for its cattle told me: “I miss going to get a steak at the Night Hawk with my friends.”


Re: July 28 letter to the editor, “Seniors eligible to defer their property taxes.”

I must disagree with the letter writer that accuses the county of not publicizing the property tax deferment for seniors.

I am an 82-year-old Travis County taxpayer. I can assure you that every property tax bill contains a complete explanation of the deferment program. You do have to read it to get the information.

Seniors will also learn that deferment does not stop interest from accruing, so be careful that you do not wipe out the equity in your home.


Re: July 21 commentary, “Find the humanity of feeding others in our community.”

More spin by Trump about how great Trump is — never the sad, irreversible consequences of the rich getting richer. Nothing about the environmental protection rollbacks; the degradation of our air and water quality, oceans, national monuments and forests; nor dropping the regulations leave businesses free to break all the rules of decency in the pursuit of money.

As T. Carlos “Tim” Anderson so eloquently wrote, as our country increasingly values “fiscal policy, as opposed to social policy … to create wealth. Our society has experienced increased inequality, and the existence and need for food pantries has sky-rocketed. As our commitment to publicly supported social safety nets has diminished, our childhood poverty rate — currently 21 percent — ranks, dismally, toward the bottom of the list of the 35 developed nations in the world.”

Greed and the abuse of power devastates cultures and societies. Wake up, America!


Re: June 28 article, “City report on Confederate monuments raises idea of renaming Austin.

The city of Austin’s Equity Office suggested renaming the city in a report about existing Confederate monuments that was published last week. Why not just decide our city name is a tribute to a different Austin?

No signs need be changed. Nor streets nor schools.

A suggestion might be Austin Dabney, a slave who was sent by his master to fight for American independence and was wounded in a battle with the Brits. Later, the state of Georgia paid his owners for his freedom and gave him some land.

His bio is on the internet, but he seems a whole lot more deserving than Stephen F. Austin — and more in tune with the remarkable community inhabiting this wonderful burg.


Sens. Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley and Thom Tillis propose that families with children remain in immigration prison until cases are decided. Imprisoning families brings to mind internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and Jews and others during the Holocaust. The American College of Physicians finds lifelong, negative health impacts on children and parents, from immigration detention.

Cruz has selected the cruelest and most expensive option. Family detention costs about $319 per day, while the Family Case Management Program costs $36 for a whole family per day, with over 99 percent success in appearing at immigration court dates.

Taxpayers will bear the costs, while private prison corporations profit. Cruz has accepted campaign contributions from private prison companies. Cruz is not a good steward of our resources, and his plan is cruel and costly. Beto O’Rourke says he will pursue more humane, less costly and more effective alternatives.


Reuniting families is one thing; massive illegal immigration is another crisis.

People of goodwill with mixed emotions about uncontrolled illegal immigration are made to feel guilty. The reality is there are many negative consequences connected to this unsolved problem. Foreigners don’t stand a chance to enter legally. Plus, the whole picture is usually ignored, sometimes intentionally, by key leaders.

The late Patrick Bascio, a Catholic priest and Vietnam veteran, had written about the fallout, calling it “the immorality of illegal immigration,” saying it is not a victimless action.

As pastor in Harlem, he saw how it lowers the work and wages of Hispanics and blacks, nurtures lawlessness and diminishes security. He called for those injustices to also be recognized and addressed by good leaders.


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