Letters to the editor: June 10, 2018


Re: June 6 commentary, “What 1984 could teach us about CodeNext.

This article is one of the most honest critiques of CodeNext that I have read.

As an Austin native, I have seen many mayors and City Councils come and go. We used to trust and have confidence in our mayor and council to be open, fully informed on issues, communicate all the information and to look out for the best interests of our citizenry, so their recommendations were accepted with little fanfare.

Many of us don’t feel that way anymore, as the current mayor and council have abandoned transparency.

CodeNext needs to be fully vetted — with all negotiations open to the public — and then put on a ballot, so that we all have an opportunity to vote on its implementation. We do not want CodeNext rammed down our throats.

BONNIE CAROTHERS, AUSTIN

Re: June 6 commentaries, “Why Texas should reject proposed changes to Title X” and “What 1984 could teach us about CodeNext.

The two contributions to Wednesday’s editorial page represent the best and worst of this section of the Viewpoints page.

Dr. Janet Realini puts forth a well-reasoned, factual and sourced set of observations and clearly states what the implications of the changes to the Department of Health and Human Services family planning services will be for women in Texas. Realini is clearly invested in this issue as she is the chair of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition.

James B. Duncan, in contrast, uses his platform to claim vociferously that the changes to Austin’s 1984 zoning code — which were made when he was Austin’s planning director — were done correctly, while CodeNext has been a disaster. Duncan is clearly invested in this issue, but he provides nothing for the reader to work with.

I hope your standards for publication will change to favor the type of contribution that Realini made.

SUSAN JOHNSON, AUSTIN

Re: June 2 article, “Seton, Dell Medical School reduce opioid use for pain after childbirth.”

Though I had my last child 37 years ago, I was stunned when I read this article. I couldn’t believe that anyone would ever think it is alright to give opioids to someone who has just delivered a baby.

Sure, childbirth is painful, but sometimes a person becomes stronger if they put up with some pain. Also, are these new mothers not nursing their babies? We were taught to be very careful about what we ate and drank while nursing. I am sure opioids were not on the list of acceptable things we could take.

The article stated that Dell/Seton had decreased opioid use by 40 percent, but that failed to tell me how many pills that is. I hope to read that that has been reduced to zero pills in the near future.

MARY KAY HANSON, AUSTIN

As a U.S. president, Donald Trump should not display a heart, regardless of social duty and a mouth bent on mean mischief. Name-calling shows a lack of any generosity, which diminishes our country.

I remember when JFK opened the American consciousness to space exploration, and LBJ wanted to free Americans from poverty. Even Reagan told Gorbachev to “tear down this (Berlin) wall.” Americans sang the same song together.

Contrast the Trump chant of “lock her up” and “build a wall.” It sounds like prison talk.

Oh, and there’s beat the system talk as well. Trump doesn’t pay taxes because he’s so smart. And as a celebrity, he can get away with sexual assault. Further, he gloated that he could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue. Well, shoot the piano player, too, because some of us just can’t sing the same song with Donald Trump.

KAREN STONE, AUSTIN

Re: June 7 article, “Travis wants to combine prosecution offices — will Republicans approve?”

I was surprised reading attorney Martha Dickie’s objection to the merger of the Travis County and district attorneys’ offices. Different focus for the misdemeanor and felony prosecutions, says she.

I thought that justice was the focus? It is in my merged office. Having dealt with separate prosecution offices, I suggest that the proposed merger would speed justice. Justice deferred is justice delayed.

Swift justice in Travis County — and, at a projected savings to the taxpayers. Imagine that.

BILL TORREY, MILAM COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, CAMERON

I reminisced recently with a colleague about the many changes in mathematics curricula over my 46 years of teaching. Mathematics has been especially susceptible to lowered expectations in school systems, since many students and their parents see it as a specialized tool whose absence in their education will have little impact on their lives.

One hears similar arguments about literature or history or philosophy. I asked: Is there no Plato left in our academies to insist these three are as critical to full human development and societal cohesion as learning how to make money?

Then, the brick fell on my head, bringing insight. Every day from our nation’s capitol, for better or worse, we can observe a teaching example of a life devoted almost exclusively to money-making. But, who cares if the Canadians burned down the White House, as long as they left the eponymous hotel down the block intact.

STEPHEN B. RODI, AUSTIN



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