Greater Austin’s population will double, whether we like it or not. If we don’t densify the city’s core, we “sprawlify” the countryside: the Blackland Prairie, the Hill Country and the aquifer contributing zone. Take your choice.
It is so much cheaper to add population where we already have the infrastructure — streets, pipelines, transit — than to build infrastructure from scratch.
I would choose a strong, vibrant city surrounded by clean air, clean water and outdoor recreation in close proximity.
Unaccountably, some environmentalists are joining those who would throw nature under the bus. Has the Earth shifted on its axis?
DICK KALLERMAN, AUSTIN
Re: June 18 article, “Austin school board on path to deplete district reserves in 3 years.”
I recently read the article about Austin’s school budget problems. Wow! Another budget deficit is expected to further drain reserves.
More taxes will be collected; more expenditures will occur; more money will go to poorer school districts; enrollment will continue to decline; test scores may decline; graduation rates will probably be disappointing; teacher morale will remain an issue; administration will continue to scratch its head; many parents will remain uninvolved; many students will get their nourishment at school; and taxpayers like me will wonder just what the heck our school board will come up with next.
Granted, these problems took time to evolve and will take time to be solved, but I think we are just digging a deeper hole. Leaders wasted little time renaming some schools. The time for serious leadership is now. In light of these facts, I suggest some major housecleaning. Good grief.
MIKE EDGAR, AUSTIN
Re: June 17 commentary, “Families seeking asylum deserve compassion and due process.”
How can we as a nation look in the mirror and not be ashamed? Since April, approximately 2,000 children have been taken from their families. Why? To teach the desperate parents a lesson? To give an irrational president his wall?
Remember the “Stolen Generation” of Aboriginal children in Australia, or the adoptions forced upon unwed mothers in Ireland? Those disgraceful policies were government- and church-sponsored and went on for many decades. In recent years, both countries made amends and issued apologies. Shame on us if we permit our society to make similar mistakes.
Regardless of political or religious affiliation, it should be clear to us that our government is in the wrong. One even suspects that they know they are, for why else the secrecy and denial of access to all the children’s facilities?
Our silence equals complicity.
CHRISTINA JONES, AUSTIN
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
Horton, the iconic elephant from the Dr. Seuss book, reminded us of the absolute truth of each person’s worth. The children brought to us in desperation should be treated with all the care Horton showed to the small immigrant people of “Whoville.” The Trumpetts blared it was someone else’s fault and someone else’s problem to correct.
The elephants in the rooms of the White House and the halls of Congress could hear the distraught voices of the smallest “Whos” among us if they stop tooting their own horns.
AVIS MEEKS DAY, AUSTIN
Re: June 19 letters to the editor, “Scriptures warn not to oppress migrants.”
While I don’t have a Ph.D. in the New Testament like the writer, a careful reading of the second chapter of Matthew tells the reader that the holy family was fleeing government persecution.
When Congress originally passed the immigration asylum laws, the intent was to protect those seeking asylum from oppression by their own government — and not to protect them from all criminal activity in their country. The writer also conveniently left out the part about Jesus and his family returning to Israel once Herod died.
DANIEL ROJO III, AUSTIN
To the governor and lieutenant governor:
The world is watching in horror the incarcerated immigrant children in Texas. Where are the girls? Is Child Protective Services monitoring the abuse of these children in the camps? Have you visited these camps? Why are the camp operators denying access to U.S. elected officials?
We now know that when a significant moral crisis emerges in our state that both of you will remain silent. Texans deserve better. We expect our elected leaders to show moral courage to face and fix this crisis affecting innocent children in our state.
IRENE LEHTONEN, AUSTIN
Re: June 17 article, “100 fathers strong: Austin church celebrates dads with annual photo.”
The “100 strong” men at the Church of Christ at East Side heartwarmingly support each other to be great fathers. Fathers everywhere desire to see their children grow healthy, smart and happy.
The Reach Every Mother and Child Act sets a goal of ending millions of preventable maternal and child deaths in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. As a family must spend their income wisely, our foreign aid must be invested effectively. The Reach Act strengthens evidence-based interventions with accountable business practices to save more lives. Reps. Michael McCaul and Lamar Smith support this bill.
If Congressmen John Carter, Lloyd Doggett, Bill Flores and Roger Williams, and Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn co-sponsored the Reach Act, this bold but obtainable goal could be realized in a generation.
ANNE CHILD, DRIPPING SPRINGS