Letters to the editor: Dec. 13, 2017

Re: Dec. 6 article, “Applications open for city program that offers street musicians paid performance slots.”

Traditionally — and I am speaking from worldwide observations — buskers work for tips. Money from passersbys reward their performances. Austin’s Busking Pilot Program violates ages-old tradition.

Yes, I realize a private developer fund will finance the project — but you cannot tell me that the fund will cover all expenses. At some stage, city workers will become involved — and that involvement will be paid for by the average citizen.

Why not allow buskers to roam at will? Allow them to compete against each other. Let the best performers win, that is, earn the most money.

As I see it, art should by good enough to pay for itself.


Re: Dec. 6 article, “Austin report: Reduce car lanes, add bus and bike lanes to Guadalupe.”

Here we go again — the “close lanes on Guadalupe solution.” Another miracle cure for our traffic ills.

The car-haters think that if the city makes folks in private vehicles — forgetting, of course about the emergency, public service, maintenance and delivery vehicles — more miserable they will jump on a bus. But guess what? The bus is even more miserable — and ridership isn’t increasing.

Austinites recently approved several hundred million dollars in bonds to what for the most part will make private vehicle travel even more miserable on certain roads. That money could have been a great down payment on a transportation solution that is proven to successfully facilitate travel in the great cities of the world: public transit either above (elevated trains) or below (subways) the cars, trucks and buses. Let’s stop closing lanes and spend some time thinking big and planning a proven solution.


Re: Dec. 7 article, “Columbus Crew owners offer sketch of potential Austin soccer stadium.”

Let’s see: Build a huge soccer stadium with bright night lights and huge traffic jams in one of Austin’s most serene and family friendly areas? You must be crazy! Let me guess — you’re making a lot of money on this deal.

What about our children and citizens — the Little Leaguers, softball teams, parents, residents and visitors who enjoy exercising, lolling around, relaxing and just enjoying this beautiful and unique area of our wonderful city?

I moved here from New York 36 years ago. New York has two professional teams for every major sport. Each stadium has parking — and trains and subways that actually move the masses. The article mentioned one of my favorite cities, Portland, Ore. Have you visited Portland recently? Its traffic snarls are beginning to mimic Austin’s. Get real — I’d love an Austin pro soccer team, but not located on Butler Shores Metropolitan Park and Lady Bird Lake.


Re: Dec. 2 letter, “LBJ’s welfare programs have been a catastrophe.

It is a serious charge indeed that the writer places at the feet of unwed mothers: drugs, crime, the problems with the educational system and more. I can only hope that the writer supports a woman’s legal right to contraception and abortion.

Wealth and income disparity in the U.S. is the cause of these ills. The real problem is the welfare state for the rich, thanks to tax breaks deductions and subsidies made possible by Republican legislators and Wall Street lap dogs.

Our nation is insanely wealthy. The perversity is that an overwhelming percentage of that wealth is in the hands of so very few.


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