Letters to the editor: June 17, 2018


Father’s Day for me is sweet and bitter. I soak up the love and appreciation, the hugs and treats. But I also feel the father’s duty to protect my daughters from harm. We fathers are rapidly losing control over that.

I feel for the California fathers whose children’s homes burned in wildfires last year.

I feel for the Puerto Rican fathers who couldn’t save the thousands of victims of Hurricane Maria.

I feel for the South Asia fathers whose homes were destroyed by summer floods.

Mostly, I fear for the desolate world I’ll leave my daughters if I can’t stop the relentless rise of global warming.

I’ll take off Sunday and celebrate, but I hope other fathers will join me to fight to protect our children, for legislation to leave them, if not a better world, at least a livable one.

BOB HENDRICKS, AUSTIN

The City Council resolution on discretionary arrests will do more than just target racial disparities in Austin. The measure also calls for quarterly releases of public-facing data on discretionary arrests by the Austin Police Department. This is an important step toward openness and transparency for the city of Austin.

Unlike every other department at City Hall, Austin PD has its own, notoriously slow, public information request process. In a Facebook post, Council Member Greg Casar, even the data his staff used to highlight these disparities “took us quite some time to eventually get.”

This is not open government. The City Council and city manager must act now and in the future to make Austin police are more transparent and accountable to the residents they are sworn to serve.

RAYMOND WEYANDT, AUSTIN

Re: June 11 letter to the editor, “Texas border a flashpoint in humanitarian crisis.”

As a pediatrician at People’s Community Clinic, I am greatly alarmed by the long-term adverse health consequences of forcibly separating children from parents at the border as described by the letter writer.

Research shows that traumatic events in childhood, even in infancy, are associated with poor health outcomes later in life. Chronic, unmitigated stress activation in the body — known as toxic stress — increases risks for everything from depression to heart disease. Parental support and nurturing, precisely what we deprive children of when families are ripped apart, are critical protective factors.

Families arriving at our border have already experienced profound trauma, from violence in their home countries to the hardships of their journey. Inhumane detention practices here inflict further harm. Separating children from their parents in the name of deterrence is an unconscionable injury to children at a time when they need their parents the most. It must stop!

LOUIS APPEL, PEOPLE’S COMMUNITY CLINIC CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER AND DIRECTOR OF PEDIATRICS, AUSTIN

Re: June 9 letters to the editor, “Lawmakers follow Trump even as families are torn” and “Sessions wagering soul on separations policy.”

Two letters published Saturday attacked the Trump administration because adults with children who together illegally enter the country are separated from the children when apprehended.

That situation is no different than when an adult takes children with them into a grocery store and is apprehended there stealing food. Stealing food or entry is not condoned.

Legal immigration is a blessing for the nation — but illegal immigration is a national scourge that must be stopped for the good of the country.

BRUCE YOUNGBLOOD, AUSTIN

Re: June 13 letter to the editor, “Trump is the Salty Sailor needed to rebuild nation.”

Sorry, folks. All those hands-in-the-air claims that not Russia but God made Donald Trump our president will not wash, ever.

One has but to ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” when witnessing the barbaric separation and incarceration of children from their parents at the U.S. border to know the truth.

That is but one example of non-Christian behavior by those in charge in this administration. Misuse of public funds and callous behavior by the Environmental Protection Agency administrator is another. No more lauding of the “heaven-sent” Salty Sailor? Please.

EDMUND L. NICHOLS, AUSTIN

Our family has been touched by Alzheimer’s disease in many ways. While the financial expense to our family feels a bit overwhelming, the emotional expense, missed work and lost opportunity to spend time with others is often not calculated.

The Alzheimer’s Association reports it the most expensive disease in America with an estimated cost of $277 billion in 2018, with 67 percent paid by Medicare and Medicaid.

I urge you to reach out to Congressman Roger Williams office and ask that more of our tax dollars be allocated to finding a cause or cure. Perhaps spend a little now to save a lot later.

EDWIN YOUNG, AUSTIN



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