Letters to the editor: July 22, 2018


Re: July 18 article, “Grading glitch incorrectly ranks Reagan High valedictorian No. 2.”

I am keeping a list: Who are the up-and-comers brightening the horizon, quietly preparing academically to make their mark? Thank you, Statesman, for bringing forward Naomi Lands, valedictorian of Reagan High School, so I can add her to my list.

My list includes those to whom I might send $10 when they step into politics — those who I cheer on when their persistent research reveals something new that solves a problem.

On this list I include the secondary school young women and men who are part of a promising generation of entrepreneurs. They know how to make things, fix things and troubleshoot a variety of problems in teams that cooperate; they will not turn their backs on changing environments nor ignore societal issues like equity, money-politics and good soil.

So, thank you, Statesman, and thank you, Naomi Lands, valedictorian, for taking that stage and lengthening my list, because I crave hope.

MARILYN FOWLER, AUSTIN

Re: July 18 article, “Grading glitch incorrectly ranks Reagan High valedictorian No. 2.”

For shame! Does anyone remember the very old adage “garbage in — garbage out” in regard to computer programming? Sad.

Of course, Reagan High School will get her the academic stole with “valedictorian” on it — but I think she deserves so much more.

How about a picture and well-publicized gift of an all-expenses-paid bachelor’s degree?

ANN T. RUIZ, PFLUGERVILLE

Re: July 18 article, “Hemp could be big Texas cash crop if state legalizes it, advocates say.

As a baby boomer who uses hemp products, I read with interest about the push to legalize the production of hemp here in Texas. One of my favorite blouses is made from imported hemp, and I regularly use organic CBD oil, derived from hemp, to ease the aches and pains of arthritis. It actually works better for me than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The article points out the many benefits of hemp, including that growing hemp requires very little water and improves the quality of depleted soils. Another benefit is that hemp can be made into high-quality paper, allowing us to stop cutting down trees just to produce paper products.

I urge lawmakers at the federal and state levels to seriously consider the legalization of growing hemp in Texas. Let’s let Texans get in on the ground floor of this exciting new industry.

LUCY F. PETRUCELLI, AUSTIN

The announcement that Congressmen Beto O’Rourke and Will Hurd received the National Press Club’s Civility in Public Life award recognizes what a growing number of Texans know: Yes, we can live in a welcoming, civil, generous, respectful and productive society, and expect our elected representatives to walk the talk. To achieve these goals, we must participate in the process.

Democracy works when people participate. When we don’t, we get Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the 2012 Republican primary runoff with the support of under 4 percent of the eligible voting population.

Send the senator we deserve to Washington. Someone who asks Texans in all 254 counties what we think, so he or she can truly represent us; who wants to make Texas a better place to live; and who can argue passionately but with civility for our beliefs.

Your participation determines who articulates our aspirations for a better future. Get engaged. Send award-winning Congressman Beto O’Rourke to the U.S. Senate.

ELENA COATES, HOUSTON

Grand Old Party: What do you stand for?

There was a time when the Republican Party said it stood for family values. Now, it stands with a president who separates tiny children from their families and denies asylum to women fleeing personal violence and gang violence.

There was a time when you stood for patriotism and as a bulwark of western democracy. Now, you stand with a president who insults our allies in that task and threatens the cooperation that has ensured European stability for 70 years — and who instead gives aid and comfort to our most threatening enemy.

There was a time you stood for fiscal responsibility. Now, you sponsor tax cuts that primarily benefit the very wealthy and gut health care for the very poor.

Republicans, it is time to regain your party and regain your souls. You cannot stand with this president and call yourself Republicans.

LYNDA WEST, AUSTIN

I never imagined that the integrity of my vote would fall prey to the president’s diplomacy efforts with Russia.

At the very least, I expected the president to make a strong and clear statement that said, “Past interference in U.S. elections will not repeat itself in any future U.S. elections and, to that end, all branches of government will work to ensure it. The U.S. citizen’s vote is the benchmark of our democracy.”

I understand the importance and the power of my vote. I hope my government will protect it.

GLORIA MILLS, AUSTIN



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