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 years has been under 10,000 gallons. That doesn’t happen accidentally; it takes work and intention. It means I keep a bucket in the shower and use that water to flush toilets and water plants. I wash dishes by hand, save the water from rinsing foods, and collect leftover coffee or tea and toss it all on my xeriscaped yard — which gets rave reviews from people walking by. I have water from four rain barrels to distribute on my yard.

I hope the city has a system in place for charging $1 per gallon for anyone using more than 100,000 gallons annually.

MARY E. MILAM, AUSTIN

Re: July 31 article, “Austin’s top single-family water user in 2017: a U.S. congressman.”

So, Congressman Michael McCaul uses more water than anyone else in Austin.

As a resident of District 10, I am appalled and disgusted to learn that my so-called representative is either:

• Completely out of touch regarding the critical water issues in our area.

• Of the opinion that his wealth and status exempt him from the conservation needs that my neighbors and I follow for the good of our environment and the Austin community.

We will soon can replace McCaul with a District 10 resident who is a true part of our community and will be sensitive to the needs and struggles of all his constituents. Vote Mike Siegel on Nov. 6.

DEBBIE BERLINER, AUSTIN

Re: July 28 article, “8 boys removed from Burnet County boarding home amid abuse allegations.”

Parents obviously wanted assistance in assisting in the process of humanizing their children. Why is working wrong? These boys needed discipline, guidance and a way to learn responsibility.

The fact, they were doing lawn work — and working with movers, who could assist them — and on their path to maturity.

As a mother of two sons who worked from the time they could follow directions, they never served an hour in jail; they became professional productive members of society.

It is a very sad day when work is no longer honored nor respected.

VERA VASUDEVAN, CEDAR PARK

The wealthy naturally support Trump, who explicitly favors them while the GOP has cleverly redirected the economic resentments of many working-class citizens. Those in the middle class who voted for him, often holding their noses, are largely motivated by the well-founded belief that it is they who pay the taxes.

Although the benefit to the middle class of the vaunted Trump tax cuts has been derisory — as a certified full-time teacher, I gained $23 weekly — many support him because of this perceived unfair tax burden. Democrats extolling socialist utopias will run right into this widespread attitude.

It might be salutary to consider the UK, whose massive social safety net is financed by gruesome income and inheritance taxes. There’s no free lunch.

JOHN ROBEY, AUSTIN

Texas gun rights advocates love the old slogan, “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands” so much that they apparently intend it to apply to even potential mass murderers.

At least that’s the effect of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s death notice today for any attempt to pass a so-called “Red Flag” law in Texas, which would make it easier for courts and police to disarm a potential dangerous gun owner. Such laws have been passed in other states after the more recent murders at public schools, including one in Texas, but Patrick says “no” to Texas. It looks like here, you must have already used your gun to kill innocent children before we will disarm you — preferably when you are dead.

E. BRIAN GRAHAM, AUSTIN

Re: July 30 commentary, “Why the LCRA needs groundwater rights in Bastrop County.

The water we pump today won’t be here for our grandchildren. Haven’t we taken enough from them already? Combine that with carbon pollution, and we are producing a grim future for them.

Phil Wilson, general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority, proposes pumping 25,000 acre feet of Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer water to support “manufacturing, irrigation and power production.” LCRA is the confluence of both water and power in Central Texas. They must be held responsible for our grandkids’ future.

LCRA and Austin’s Fayette Coal Plant uses 5.7 billion gallons of Colorado River water a year just for cooling. That equals 17,500 acre feet, or 70 percent of what LCRA hopes to gain by pumping from Bastrop County. Closing that dirty coal plant would conserve water, save the atmosphere and provide a ready reservoir for off-stream storage of flood waters that could be used throughout the region. Think holistically about our future.

AL BRADEN, AUSTIN



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