Letters to the editor: Jan. 30, 2018

Re: Jan. 26 article, “Renteria urges Austin council to remain open to parkland for MLS venue.”

Converting central city parkland to a sports venue will not help Austin thrive; we need more central city parkland, not less. Drive by Zilker Park some pretty Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It’s packed to the brim with people enjoying the park. The hike-and-bike trail regularly feels overcrowded.

We need to be thinking about how we can add places for people to get outside and exercise, not take them away. If we give treasured parkland to a soccer franchise, then a football franchise will have every reason to expect the same. And after that, a baseball franchise will expect well-appointed parkland also. Why not?

We don’t have enough central city parkland as it is. Let’s preserve what we have and encourage the soccer franchise to consider other options.


Many people would love to see Major League Soccer come to Austin. This is a prize worth pursuing.

Looking at the pro sports landscape, MLS is the best opportunity for Austin to enter the so-called major leagues. It is a stretch to call the MLS “major league,” as it has a minor league reputation around the world. But it is Austin’s best chance to join the Big Guys.

The NBA is hot right now. But with three NBA teams already close to Austin, it’s not likely a franchise will be coming. Same for the NFL. The NHL has great success with markets such as Nashville, Columbus and Tampa. There’s only one NHL team in Texas, so Austin would be a great natural rival one day. Major League Baseball won’t be coming to Austin anytime soon. For now, until Austin can snag that NHL team, the MLS is it.


Just opened my paper to another day of “hate the immigrants.”

So, let’s take the exact argument using God’s children as your context. If the conservative Christians wish that all these unwanted babies be born, maybe they should each take a few home with them. Let the people that take them support them, feed them, house them, educate them. Of course, they will not do that — because they don’t love them that much. They have served their real purpose.

They are God’s children while in the womb, but once they are born, they are then labeled fosters, adopted, troubled youth, wards of the state and welfare kids. What happened to God’s children? But they expect the people who work and pay taxes to pay for them. The letters do show one thing: The hypocrisy is never ending.


It is seven months past time to protect the special counsel, Robert Mueller, from the president. News broke recently that the president had ordered Mueller be fired in June of last year, just weeks after he was appointed. This is utterly unacceptable. The order to fire Mueller is further evidence that the president is actively obstructing justice in the investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election and Gen. Michael Flynn’s involvement with the Russian and Turkish governments.

It is the responsibility of Congress to protect the rule of law, which the president is subject to. They must protect this investigation, protect Mueller and do this now.


I know it has been years since I took a civics class. However, as I remember it, the founders via the Constitution provided for three separate coequal branches of government — the executive, the judicial and legislative branches. Recently the leaders of both the Senate and the House said they were waiting to see what the president wanted before they passed anything. I must have missed it but when was the executive branch granted dominion over the legislative branch? God help us if the Supreme Court states that they are waiting on what the president wants before they render a ruling.

Please ask your national elected officials to do their job. Since they appear to have forgotten, please remind them that their job is to represent us — the people who elected them, not just dance to the tune of one man, even if he is the president.


Re: Jan. 23 article, “Big washing machines, solar panels get tariffs.”

President Trump’s imposing a tariff on solar panels is ill-advised.

First, more costly solar panels will reduce demand, costing U.S. jobs installing solar. Most U.S. solar jobs are in solar deployment, not manufacturing.

Second, tariffs hurt American companies that make hard-to-outsource racks, tracking systems and electronics that are part of power systems.

Third, the tariff increases costs to individuals and utilities that purchase solar panels.

Fourth, if American solar manufacturers are already noncompetitive in the world market, after relying on tariff protection for years, they will emerge even further behind while others hone their manufacturing skills.

Fifth, China may institute retaliatory tariffs, as happened following the 2012 Obama tariffs on solar imports from China.

Finally, less solar power means burning more fossil fuel. This produces the greenhouse gases that cause climate change-induced floods, fires, droughts and strengthened hurricanes.


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