It seems everyone has an idea about the best utilization of the McKalla Place property, from a new high-rise to affordable housing. By themselves, they’re not bad ideas, but no one on the council gave a thought to McKalla Place until it was put forward as a site for Major League Soccer. Before soccer became a possibility, no one gave a damn about those 24 acres.
Stadium cost? The team owners will pay for it and lease the land under it for a $1 a year. It’s a great deal and it benefits everyone in our metro area who loves soccer. They will fill the stadium during games and proudly support the team — and it will strengthen the bonds in our community.
It’s time for City Council to forgo tax revenue and just do something good for the people who love soccer and live in the Austin area.
DICK SMITH, AUSTIN
Re: July 21 commentary, “Grumet: Klan painting may not shock. But it forces a reckoning.”
“It’s a sad fact that Vincent Valdez’s ‘The City’ has a diminished power to shock in the America we know today.”
That’s the interesting opening statement of the July 21 commentary regarding the Klan painting.
Such a painting might have diminishing shock value, but it does not decrease the awareness that the Klan and Klan sympathizers still very much exist and walk among us, faces exposed and clad in regular clothing.
ELAINE COCO, AUSTIN
Re: July 24 article, “Red-light ticket could cost state millions.”
Russell Bowman calls his red-light ticket a “rip-off.” Seems more like a consequence for a bad choice.
Bottom line: You run a red light, you take responsibility for what you did and pay the ticket. Don’t try to take away the intersection cameras that keep me and mine — and yours — from being T-boned by red-light runners, free up police officers for other duties and save everyone money by providing funds for other services.
And as for Sen. Don Huffines calling the cameras a “money grab” by “cities trying to get hard-earned money from our taxpayers,” doesn’t it serve society better to have the red-light running taxpayer suffer the consequence of paying for his or her bad behavior?
As the other endangered taxpayer in the intersection — whose daughter and grandson were T-boned in an intersection — I say “yes.”
SUSAN CEFAI, AUSTIN
Re: July 27 letter to the editor, “Left cartoonists use imagine scenarios.”
The writer uses two cartoons from the July 23 Statesman to make what he thinks is a clever point about how Democratic and Republican cartoonists express themselves, claiming Republican cartoons “convey humor using facts,” while Democratic ones convey “anger using imagined scenarios.”
I guess he didn’t look closely enough at the two cartoons he uses as “examples” to notice that they were done by the same cartoonist, M. Scott Byers.
Byers frequently supplies cartoons for opposing viewpoints represented in op-ed pieces appearing in the Statesman. The letter writer’s point would make sense only if Byers is a Jekyll-and-Hyde type who becomes an angry, vitriolic Democrat or a gentle, good-humored Republican — depending on which cartoon he is drawing.
JANET L. LACHMAN, AUSTIN
Last week, President Trump said he was ready to put tariffs on all Chinese imports. If you need antibiotics, chemotherapy, kidney dialysis or any other life-saving medicine, you had better learn where the ingredients are made. Tariffs on drugs or their ingredients could have a big effect on your life — and your wallet.
If China ever stopped selling drugs to the U.S. altogether, it could be as devastating as an atomic bomb drop. We must tell Congress to act now to stop the trade war. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue; for millions, it is a life-or-death issue.
SARA PUIG LAAS, AUSTIN
Since U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has been hailed as a master debater, responsible Texans must learn to see past the pitchman within, so he cannot con us into voting against our core principles.
• Beware the senator’s “my father was a Cuban immigrant” story, which may evoke positive emotions but skirts the matter at hand.
• Beware his folksy “aw, shucks” demeanor. How else has this Princeton University and Harvard Law School graduate been able to demonize the intellectual “elite” of which he is part?
• Refuse to respond to buzzwords designed to evoke knee-jerk reactions. Can he claim to promote “family values” when he continues to champion a man who insulted Cruz’s family?
Does Cruz respond to arguments, or does he speechify?
If Texans value steadfastness to ideals that benefit us all, we must not be blinded by slick debate tricks that score meaningless points.
BARBARA CHIARELLO, AUSTIN
Does President Trump have any concept of our form of government? After meeting with the Russian dictator, he praised Putin for being strong man and blamed our own government for Russian meddling in our 2016 election. After meeting with the North Korean dictator, he said Kim Jong Un is a strong leader: “He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
Then, he treats our sincerely held democratic allies with distain and contempt. He separated children from their parents on our border without enough documentation to expeditiously reunite them with their parents when he was forced by public opinion to do so.
The principles set forth by Thomas Jefferson and his contemporaries developed a fair democratic republic in which the people talk and the leader, and representatives sit up and pay attention — a nation with morals that knows all people are equal.
ELIZABETH YEAMAN, AUSTIN