Re: Feb. 21 commentary, “Why the U.S. should strengthen SNAP, not add restrictions.”
Cossy Hough nails it when she says the federal government should be strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, not adding more restrictions. The Feds propose delivering “Harvest Boxes” of government-selected processed foods instead of allowing SNAP recipients to purchase their food, in an effort to prevent fraud. However, fraud is minimal, now less than 1.5 percent.
Processed foods, which are an obesity factor, go against the SNAP program goal of promoting a healthy diet. Currently clients may buy fresh produce at farmers markets. Making food choices leads to more self-sufficiency.
The new plan’s proponents claim that the current program is too costly, about $70 billion annually. SNAP lifted nearly 5 million people out of poverty in 2013 according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
I urge the USDA to propose SNAP changes that show that our government values the health and nutrition of all U.S. citizens, and I urge our elected officials to support them.
MARTHA ROGERS, AUSTIN
Let’s get off this train to nowhere. Renaming the schools is bound to offend persons on both sides of the issue.
Maybe that is why New York uses public school No. 1 or so forth for their school names. How can anyone take offense at that? Oh, and be sure to spell out “public school” so no one in the future will be offended by anything “PS” might come to stand for, other than public school.
KAY HOLLIDAY, ROUND ROCK
Enough of this holding up Billy Graham as “America’s Pastor.” Graham did not represent all Americans. He did not truly support the civil rights movement and forcefully discouraged the rights of LGBT.
Wrapping Bible quotes around your hate doesn’t make you holy. Whatever good things he may have done pale in comparison to the hate-mongering that continues on in his name.
LESLIE SHOLL JAFFE, AUSTIN
Re: Feb. 21 article, “Instant access to news may scar some children.”
Although having immediate news access provides less of a filter to the corruption of our society, it’s necessary to ensure the tragedy is not repeated. If the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was only shared on television and newspapers, how long would it take before media deems it no longer important and removes it from headlines and the minds of the American people?
As a student, I believe exposure to such tragedies will not reduce us to indifference. America, you have a whole new generation of leaders rising up to take their place in society. Sheltering us will not change the fact we live in a chaotic and violent world.
Respect those who are having the courage to stand up for change. Don’t block those images and video clips from your mind. Remember them, so these victims’ stories will not be forgotten.
MEGAN MAROTZ, CEDAR PARK
Re: Feb. 22 article, “Texas Democrats see big jump in turnout on first day of early voting.”
The story about more Democrats showing up to vote early than Republicans is probably correct, but the numbers don’t tell the full story. I detest today’s GOP, but I live in the highly gerrymandered 21st Congressional District where a Dem stands little chance.
Therefore, I opted to vote in the Republican primary so I could cast a vote for Samuel Temple and vote against Abbott, Patrick and several propositions supporting another bathroom bill, outlawing abortion in Texas, and a few other things I find anathema. If I have to be represented by a Republican, I want it to be someone like Temple who has a brain and a heart, and I want a chance for my voice to heard when the all the ears are red.
RONA DISTENFELD, AUSTIN
The Florida shooting was a terrible thing. The only good thing to come from it is the debate over the safety of the students.
The most common thing I am hearing are demands that Congress solve the problem. That is a part of the solution.
I believe the immediate responsibility starts with the superintendent of schools. If you don’t start immediately controlling access to the buildings, you are vulnerable to have people come in with bad intentions.
Students also need to be convinced that they must report what they see and hear that could save their lives.
JAMES BOLDEBUCK, AUSTIN
After the umpteenth shooting of children — this time in Florida — isn’t it time to take a new approach?
Identifying folks with mental illness just isn’t working. Turning schools into fortresses isn’t a solution.
Banning AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, bump stock devices and high-capacity machines could be a workable solution.
Why do I think so?
Here is an analogy that I think works.
My automobile is just as much a lethal weapon as any AR-15.
We have stiff regulations that influence when and how I drive.
I must be at least 16 years old, pass a written and practical driving test, and my car has a maximum speed.
An AR-15 is like a car on steroids, i.e. a racing car.
Let’s stop this foolishness and get rid of these weapons.
JOANNE RICHARDS, AUSTIN