Letters to the editor: Dec. 19, 2017

Re: Dec. 17 article, “New solar contract tips the scales on Austin Energy’s renewable efforts.

As the City Council voted to move ahead with the cheapest solar generation facility Austin Energy ever invested in, there was hindsight-quarterbacking that we should have waited until now to purchase all our solar, so it would have been cheaper.

Austin was one of the original adopters of solar — not because it was the cheapest thing, but because it was the right thing. Because our utility and a few others stepped up and said “yes” to solar, we helped drive confidence in the technology, so more utilities would follow suit. When more utilities adopted solar, costs dropped as solar production scaled up.

Here we are today, with solar prices so low they will decrease our rates. But it only happened because we had the courage to be early adopters when the technology was new — and we led the way.


House Speaker Paul Ryan tipped the Republicans’ hand when he said that the GOP soon will begin working to reduce America’s deficit by targeting federal health care and anti-poverty programs.

This is typical: The R’s push a big tax break for the wealthiest Americans, spiking the deficit. Then, they use the deficit as an excuse to cut programs benefiting the poorest Americans. We shouldn’t be surprised.

In 1981, budget director David Stockman, in a rare moment of candor, admitted that the Reagan administration never actually believed in “trickle-down” economics. It was always a Trojan horse designed to cut the top tax rate and blow up the deficit as a prelude to gutting entitlements. It was a cynical ploy then — and we’re reliving it today.

To paraphrase George Santayana, those who do not learn history are doomed to be shafted again by the Republicans.


Re: Dec. 5 commentary, “America’s Party of God doubles down on Trump.”

Mary Sanchez wrote “It is difficult for many Americans to understand how evangelicals can possibly believe that Trump is standing up for Christian morality and principles.” It may be difficult you, not for us.

Evangelicals supported Trump because he promised conservative judges for Supreme Court nominees. Simple.

“It appears, rather, that he has used them just as he has used and abused so many suckers before in his reckless career.”

He is our hammer — and we are using him to pound you into the ground. He says what we think — and he does what we want done. Your attacks haven’t touched him.

For every one of our “reprobates,” there will be tens of yours.

“Evangelicals own Trump. … will they disown him?” Is this a joke? He’s winning everywhere!


Re: Dec. 7 article, “Columbus Crew owners offer sketch of potential Austin soccer stadium,” and Dec. 17 article, “Viewpoints: Why Austin voters may have the last say in MLS turf deal.”

Alas, they’re b-a-a-a-ck! —- those people who can’t stand the sight of undeveloped open space — aided and abetted by a prominent lobbyist. Thanks to the Statesman for pointing out that the city charter requires voter approval before dedicated parkland can be commercialized.

Wake up, you folks who enjoy walking, jogging, sitting or biking on the wonderful open space of Butler Shores Metropolitan Park. Since a stadium would destroy six ballfields where 500 children now play baseball, softball, soccer and fast-pitch, those families are also paying attention.

Please, try to visualize a sunken 20,000-seat stadium “tucked in” to the western half of Butler Shores and occupied by 20,000 folks who did not have a place to park before being seated. Please also consider all the noise from loudspeakers and screaming soccer fans.

Here’s hoping our city leaders will nip this in the bud before it goes much farther.


Re: Dec. 12 article, “Democratic women in Congress take aim at Trump over misconduct allegations.”

It is important to continue writing editorials and articles exposing the side of politics that some news outlets may shy away from. Holding the president of the United States under equal lense is important for equality in the country, and I thank you for continuing writing about issues that have stopped becoming a priority.

As a Hispanic woman, being a double minority can feel like our worries are put in the backseat, but articles like these give hope to a future where accusations and instances like these will no longer be justified.


Re: Dec. 12 commentary, “Case of the Christian baker and secular empire can be instructive.”

I remember a time when that cake baker could have refused service to anyone without being questioned. In the 1950s, restaurants and businesses in my hometown in south Alabama and throughout most of the South could, and did, refuse service to black citizens simply because of their color.

Civil rights laws and Supreme Court rulings eventually put an end to that, declaring if you open a business to sell to the public, you must serve anyone who walks through your doors.

Ironically, because of the constitutional clause separating church and state, those changes did not affect churches, most of whom continued to exclude blacks from attendance. Perhaps that might be a workable compromise: Have the cake baker arrange to sell his wedding cakes through his local church.


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