I have been visiting Austin frequently since 2015. I appreciate the wonderful weirdness of Austin, but I have a bit of a problem when it comes to Austin being a friendly and welcoming to people who are not from Austin.
When I walk along the lake, which I do daily, I say hello to joggers and people and families walking the trails, but seldom do people — young or old — say hello back to me.
I know people are busy and they are very much into exercising, but would it be too much to acknowledge that someone has taken the time to say “hello” to you? If that is too difficult could, you nod to me as I say hello or something to you?
MITCH BALDONI, SAN ANTONIO
Re: Dec. 1 article, “Interim APD Chief Manley: I made tough calls on DNA lab, patrol fleet.”
Let’s hear it for interim Police Chief Brian Manley! Why go to a lot of trouble and expense when the guy for the job is right here in Austin?
If the “powers that be” are smart, they will realize this. A search process is not necessary. Manley has been with the Austin Police Department his whole career, loves the job, wants the job and is doing a great job. This is a no-brainer, folks.
JOANN TRAVER, AUSTIN
Mike Collier wrote to his supporters that the Republican-controlled legislature forced retired teachers to endure a benefit cut. PolitiFact confirmed Collier’s point when they wrote that higher costs to retired teachers is undisputed. That’s all that matters here, folks.
Thank you, Mr. Collier, for calling out Dan Patrick and his henchmen for turning their backs on teachers! Try telling a retired teacher, who suddenly has to pay $400 more per month for health insurance out of a retirement stipend that hasn’t been increased in more than 15 years, that her benefits weren’t cut, or that she somehow doesn’t understand the “context.”
ANNE BRATCHER, CEDAR PARK
Re: Dec. 3 letter to the editor, “Medical deduction must stay in tax code.”
We totally concur with this letter to the editor.
My wife had a severe stroke 18 years ago. Four years ago, I had open heart surgery.
Every year since her stroke, our medical expenses have exceeded our property taxes.
We’ll be contracting our congressman’s office to convince him to include the deduction for medical expenses when the House and Senate get together on the final version of the tax code.
I suspect there are many ailing senior citizens in Texas in similar situations. Without that medical deduction, our income taxes would really increase.
STERLING HARTMAN, CEDAR PARK
I cannot understand why the media treats the first lady so shabbily. I cannot remember when I read anything about her that is favorable. Instead, most of the media concentrate upon false reports such as, “she can barely even speak English” when she is fluent in many languages. Sure, she has an accent as many non-native Americans, such as Henry Kissinger, does.
Another case is the report that she wore high-heeled shoes to visit the disaster area in Florida. It was not mentioned that she had changed to “appropriate” shoes before exiting the aircraft. Now comes the nonsense that she did not even know how to appropriately decorate the White House for Christmas
The way she is treated is blatantly discriminatory and could be for a number of reasons — but I suspect it is only because she is the spouse of President Trump. I, for one, am ashamed of her treatment.
JAMES HEDGES, GEORGETOWN
Despite the reality that a potentially onerous tax bill will soon be before the president for his signature, I will contact my House and our Senate representatives prior to the vote in each chamber on the final conference bill to convey my concerns about this legislation. But rather than mentioning specific components of the law, I will ask them each this question:
In the event that the GDP growth that we are assured will come as a result of these tax “reforms” does not materialize, will your plan to cover the projected $1-1.4 trillion cost of the cuts be to:
A. Borrow the money?
B. Print the money?
C. Rescind the tax cuts?
D. Raise additional taxes if necessary?
E. Cut defense spending?
F. Cut domestic spending/
G. Cut Social Security and/or Medicare and/or Medicaid/
Contact U.S. Sens John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and your House representative prior to the final vote.
CHARLES MURDOCK, AUSTIN
When you act against the welfare and security of the United States, is it not treason?
The GOP in its desperation to remain in control have denied citizens their right to vote. They have gerrymandered our states into a farce of redistricting to ensure their election. Gov. Greg Abbott wants to ensure judges will rule as he thinks right, not to the letter of the law, the facts or the Constitution.
They want Democratic politicians having been accused of sexual harassment to resign from office, while at the same time asking Alabama voters to elect a Republican accused of being a child predator. Our Russian-elected president is a proud, self-professed serial groper.
How do these men sleep at night? They are earning their tenured positions in hell.
P. M. RAY, BUDA