Letters to the editor: Feb. 16, 2018


Re: Feb. 3 article, “Eateries, governments targeting plastic straws.”

It’s estimated that we use 500 million straws a day in the U.S. That is enough straw waste to wrap the circumference of the Earth 2.5 times. And since you can’t recycle straws, most wind up in our landfills or as litter in public places like in Lady Bird Lake, marring our city’s beauty and injuring wildlife.

Nothing we use for 10 minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years. I applaud cities like Seattle for banning single-use plastic straws. The Austin City Council should adopt a similar policy, where restaurants only serve straws upon request. That step alone can more than cut straw waste in half and will be an important step toward stopping the trashing of Texas.

LUKE METZGER, ENVIRONMENT TEXAS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AUSTIN

Dear Gov. Abbott,

Upon a recent visit to California, I discovered that it has an independent redistricting commission that eliminates partisan gerrymandering.

While you may not like avocados on your sandwiches and need the Golden State as a boogeyman for your base, I nevertheless urge you to contact Gov. Jerry Brown for some tips on creating such a commission here.

Governor, redistricting reform is far more important than bashing California.

STEPHEN SHACKELFORD, AUSTIN

For seniors aging in place, the presence of a good caregiver can provide comfort and create smiles during difficult times. It can result in improved attitude and, ultimately, better health outcomes.

Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day, according to Pew Research. With a growing number of seniors opting to stay in their homes, that’s going to create a need for 630,000 more home care aide jobs by 2024, which far outstrips the number of professionals available to fill them, according to the nonprofit research and consulting firm PHI.

On Feb. 16, National Caregivers Day, I would like to salute the dedicated professionals who provide vital in-home services to those who need them the most.

Caregiving is a noble endeavor. Those delivering care deserve the same dignity and respect they bestow on their clients and loved ones.

JIM ASKEW, GRISWOLD HOME CARE AUSTIN DIRECTOR, AUSTIN

Re: Feb. 12 letter to the editor, “Have faith in the party: Advertise your affiliation.”

I recently read a letter in your paper from a reader expressing his disappointment with candidates who did not list their party affiliation on their yard signs — and I agree that the signs should include that information.

However, unlike the other reader, I don’t think the candidates should be proud of their parties. I just think that placing Republican or Democrat on the sign will remind those seeing it that any other words appearing on the sign, such as honesty or integrity, are not indications that the candidate possesses those virtues; they are simply words the candidate likes to use.

JOHN DANIELS, AUSTIN

Among all the candidates running in the March 6 primary, one name stands out because of her energy and passion: Kathi Thomas. Democrats in Congressional District 25 should rally behind her — and send the Republican incumbent, Roger Williams, packing.

Thomas is running on her record as a Hays County community leader and Democratic precinct chair. She’s a former teacher and is now a small business owner. She absolutely nails it on all the progressive issues, which has earned her Rep. Donna Howard’s endorsement.

The only Roger Williams we need to remember is the pianist who gave us great music in the ’50s and ’60s. With Thomas in office, future Texans could be “Born Free” of inadequate education and health care funding, climate change denial and other misfortunes that today’s Roger Williams is famous for.

BILL OAKEY, AUSTIN

Never in previous State of the Union addresses has the opposing party exhibited such shameful and disgusting behavior as when the Democrats showed nonsupport for military heroes, terrorist victims and Trump’s decisions that have resulted in a booming economy and record low unemployment.

Some Democrats have even equated the Republican show of nonsupport during Obama’s address to their show of nonsupport of Trump. This assertion is ridiculous because the GOP nonsupport was only for Obama’s failed policies and not positive issues. The Democrats have carried their pledge too far to “Resist Trump” at every opportunity when they behaved like spoiled children during the dignified address. If the Democrats repeat this petulant behavior this year, the GOP success in the 2018 midterm elections will be probable.

FRED BLAZINE, AUSTIN



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