Letters to the editor: Feb. 11, 2018


Re: Feb. 7 article, “Austin’s Guerrero Park becomes latest focus of MLS stadium search.”

Unfortunately, your picture of Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park fails to show the numerous large cottonwood trees that have been lost to “several decades” of “severe” erosion. Now, this is being used as a selling point to build a soccer stadium.

It appears that if the city mismanages and neglects parkland, this becomes an excuse to sell it to a private entity. The city failed to correct this problem, despite being aware of this for several decades. Guerrero Park has been promoted as “Zilker Park East,” but it is far from receiving the same respect it deserves. The city needs to address this inequity, not look for the private sector to profit from their failing both the people and trees of this part of Austin.

STEVEN STUMP, AUSTIN

The surest way for the City Council to torpedo the upcoming parks bond election for acquiring parkland would be for them to give away the riverfront parkland we already own at Guerrero Park for a soccer stadium.

Why should highly taxed citizens dig deeper into our pockets to buy more of what the city will just give away to the next out-of-town corporation that asks for it?

None of our dedicated parkland should be given or leased away — and none of the city property we paid for should be handed over to a for-profit corporation for less than full market value.

LARRY AKERS, AUSTIN

Shame on those members of the State Republican Executive Committee who voted to censure Speaker Joe Straus for actions taken “in opposition to the core principles of the Republican Party of Texas.”

The 266 “principles” in the party’s platform read like a racist, sexist, homophobic, theocratic, secessionist screed. Straus should instead be commended for defending decency and rationality. Despite its political domination, the Texas GOP routinely acts in opposition to its core principles. Examples abound, such as the platform’s stated opposition to unfunded mandates.

The governor, lieutenant governor and GOP-controlled Texas Legislature routinely heap unfunded mandates upon state and local agencies, growing government while maintaining the illusion of conservatism and fiscal restraint. So, when will the SREC be censuring the rest of our GOP officials? I’m guessing they’re too busy defending Texas from the existential threats of non-Christians, women, gays, ethnic minorities and federalists to ever get around to it.

ERIC FONKEN, AUSTIN

Re: Feb. 6 photographs, “Scaling the Heights of Fear.”

While it is not too surprising to see snakes slithering on the floor of the Texas Capitol in Austin, it is still deplorably shocking that such predator roundups still occur.

One more strike against the natural order — and a hundred strikes against the Texas Legislature for permitting this as entertainment.

MARILYN FOWLER, AUSTIN

Liberal outrage at Democrats for failing to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is misplaced. Threatening to run primary opponents against Democrats who refuse to shut down the government in defense of the program misses the point.

The problem is that a sufficient number of people who support DACA did not get out and vote in the 2016 election. Or if they did vote, they weren’t paying proper attention. Hillary Clinton may have been a flawed candidate, but there were clear differences between the two.

We are now seeing what happens when people are convinced that all candidates are equally flawed. Besides immigration, President Trump is implementing horrible changes in policy in the area of environmental protection, financial supervision, education, security from foreign threats and civil rights.

Your vote is important. Let’s hope that DACA recipients can be protected from deportation until such time Democrats can regain a majority in Congress.

STEVE GERSON, AUSTIN

Are we seeing a pattern here? He compares hand sizes, then nuclear buttons. Now, the president wants to parade his military might down Pennsylvania Avenue to show his support for the military — “his” military. What’s he compensating for? What will his ego cost the military?

Instead, he could showcase Americans in service worldwide. Imagine special events — air shows, guided tours and even parades – at our bases and facilities across the globe. Call it a Day of Readiness on, say, Nov. 10, just before Veterans Day. Shift the spotlight from Washington and the commander-in-chief to those who prepare for disaster or defense.

WOODY RAINE, AUSTIN



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