Letters to the editor: Dec. 17, 2017


Re: Dec. 13 commentary, “Your new home in the country comes with new billboards.”

As residents of Driftwood, it with sadness and displeasure that we voice our strong opposition to the billboards and storage facilities that are being placed along this scenic and iconic stretch of roadway in the Texas Hill Country.

FM 1826, leading to the legendary Salt Lick BBQ, various tourist venues, wineries and breweries, provides visitors and residents alike with a representation of our beautiful community. I urge our state representatives, local and county governments, and business owners to keep long-range goals in sight. Step up and make a sound decision for your constituents and voters. Don’t allow this important area of the state to become a concrete and billboard eyesore and blight on this prosperous and growing community.

CHARMAINE AND MATT MAZZANTINI, DRIFTWOOD

Re: Dec. 13 commentary, “Your new home in the country comes with new billboards.”

I am so very thankful that Rich Oppel chose to shed some light regarding our rural community’s recent surprising developments. These unsightly developments — giant billboards and inappropriately placed businesses — are not just a problem for us; they are the reason many areas in Texas look unattractive. Businesses have every right. Furthermore, they should be welcomed in our communities — they bring jobs and other opportunities. I just believe they should be appropriately planned and located in areas where other like facilitates exist or should exist.

We moved from Colorado, where a single owner’s land rights do not destroy the natural beauty of the heavily taxed residential communities, where higher values equal higher taxes collected. That’s something our Texas Legislature should fight for. You most assuredly cannot stop growth — but you can and should regulate it to the appropriate type in the appropriate location.

LAWRENCE AND MONICA WILLIS, DRIFTWOOD

Re: Dec. 13 commentary, “Your new home in the country comes with new billboards.”

Thank you for Rich Oppel’s column on the intrusion into rural development by the proposed billboards and storage units at the intersection of FM 1826 and Darden Hill Road.

Traffic safety also is a major concern along FM 1826, especially at Darden Hill Road, where new school traffic has increased significantly. I am concerned that the Texas Department of Transportation and Hays County officials did not do enough to take neighborhood concerns into account, whatever limited jurisdiction they might have. This commercial development in a residential area should not be happening.

SOLL SUSSMAN, DRIFTWOOD

Re: Dec. 8 letter to the editor, “It’s time media treat first lady with fairness.”

I don’t condone the mistreatment of someone solely based on who they’re associated with, but to claim that the treatment of Melania Trump is discriminatory is laughable. I sincerely hope that the writer was as appalled at the treatment of Michelle Obama over the last eight years as he is of Melania Trump. There is no comparison with how horribly mistreated Michelle Obama was to how Melania Trump is being treated now.

I can assure you that the main complaints with Melania Trump lie with her complicity. She advocates against cyberbullying, but her husband is the biggest cyber bully to exist. Of course, we can only speculate why she is silent — and why she and her step-daughter Ivanka do not stand up to Trump — but their silence speaks volumes.

AIDEN PLEMONS, CEDAR PARK

I am very strongly “pro-life” — and I am not upset that Roy Moore lost the election for U.S. Senate. Naturally, I’m not ecstatic that an abortion-rights candidate won. However, I cannot support any candidate who has committed sexual assault, no matter how their political beliefs align with mine.

Judging by the turnout of the election, I’m inclined to say that there are some people in Alabama who agree with me. If those of us against abortions continue to vote for candidates who have done some morally impermissible actions simply because they are against abortion, we will continue to see these types of people running.

However, if we refuse to vote for people who have done terrible things, the Republican Party will be forced to give us a respectable anti-abortion candidate. Compromising our morals is not an option — and we must stop doing that in order to get a candidate who we truly support.

PAIGE KUBENKA, AUSTIN

Rep. Blake Farenthold didn’t invite me to that party where he wore duck-print pajamas. I would have found a suitably whimsical wardrobe and stood to the other side of the scantily clad woman for a nice photo.

Don’t people understand that an arena for antic behavior is an important element of freedom itself? Once we surrender to the serial disapprovers — the people who hammer at joy, who would squelch the human factor with their astringent judgments — we are on the way to being prisoners of a totalitarian state.

Sexual harassment is a terrible thing if it is forceful or used as leverage by strength against weakness. Of course, as a young man, I was so attractive that I did not have to bother anyone to share sensual joy.

Let’s not give dominion to the clawlike grip of joyless tyrants and list-makers to take over and pulverize our humanity and our humor.

PAUL EHRMANN, AUSTIN

Re: Dec. 14 commentary, “Two Views: CodeNext will test Austin’s talk about community inclusion.

Niran Babalola makes some salient points, but building “six-plexes” as a tool to combat displacement of neighborhood residents needs clarified.

If a single-family or a duplex lot gets rezoned to allow a “six-plex,” the value of that lot will rise because of the increased construction entitlement. A higher property tax, the biggest factor in family displacement, will follow. Zoning for “six-plexes” in single-family or duplex neighborhoods is a bad idea.

DAVE PIPER, ZILKER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, AUSTIN



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