There is a well-worn real estate mantra: “location, location, location.” But poor design can ruin a great location.
The city of Austin and the University of Texas have overlooked the need for a level of architectural control for years. UT is completing such a master stroke at Guadalupe Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard with the new Rowling Hall, which easily could be confused as the Travis County Jail, a tan brick box with metal bars.
UT should have learned its lesson long ago when it trashed the winning design for the Blanton Museum of Art by Herzog & de Meuron, which resulted in a building nicknamed “the Bland-on.” Time has come for the city to take a stand on design to make Austin a more beautiful place with architectural integrity. City Hall’s superior design as example could have sent a message to all parties to get their act together because locations like these don’t grow on trees.
JIM LEMOS, AUSTIN
I am writing this letter in the wake of the recent horrific shootings. I tried to give myself ample time to calm down before writing this letter, but another horrific shooting recently occurred here in California.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting a friend and his family in the Austin area. One Sunday, I stopped by a sporting goods store and observed shoppers buying firearms. I then went to a major grocery store for the sole purpose of making a homemade Italian dinner of spaghetti, meatballs and sausage. Upon completing my selection of ingredients, I was informed that I could not buy a bottle of wine for the dinner because an ordinance forbade me to buy alcohol until a certain time of the day.
So, I ask you: It’s OK to buy a firearm, but not a bottle of wine for dinner on Sunday?
CHUCK VASI, WEST SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
It is not surprising that several area school bond measures passed easily this week. Good schools producing well-educated citizens is something we highly value as they will be the leaders of tomorrow. According to UNESCO, 263 million children around the world do not have access to any education, much less a good one. A future with limited possibilities lies ahead for them and their communities.
The Global Partnership for Education’s three-year plan could put 25 million more into school by working with countries and donors to create and implement plans to educate all children.
Countries with educated citizens have less conflict, are healthier and are stronger economically. By co-sponsoring resolutions in support of GPE, Senate Resolution 286 and House Resolution 466, our members of Congress can state their support for a meaningful investment by the U.S. We all benefit when all the world’s children have the opportunity to attend school.
ELOISE SUTHERLAND, AUSTIN
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz says that just after a mass shooting is not the time to talk about politics. There never will be a time; America averages nine mass shooting incidents every 10 days.
Mass shootings are the price we have to pay for freedom. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of gun deaths was 12 per 100,000 people in 2016.
Many people buy guns for protection. But according to Everytown for Gun Safety, 62 percent of firearm deaths in the U.S. are suicides.
A vast majority of Americans are for background checks for all gun transactions. If only we had a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
DON HAMMOND, AUSTIN
As a moderate conservative, our current political mess is especially worrisome. With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the only alternatives, I only voted the down ballot in 2016, seeing both as inappropriate for the presidency. President Trump is even worse than I had feared.
Both Democrats and Republicans are engaging in a destructive, hateful manner creating a national disaster. But with no clear political solution in sight, I see only one way out — faith in the Lord. Those nonbelievers who mock Christians see more hate as the only solution. Beware, my friends. Take advantage of the only way we can preserve this nation.
DAVID L. POINT, LAKEWAY
For some reason, the first words out of liberals’ mouths after a tragedy involving guns are “gun control.” These words are always spoken by leftist politicians and pundits.
Actually, it’s out of the leftist playbook entitled, “Never let a tragedy go to waste.”
Wake up: No gun law on the books would have prevented Sutherland Springs. The military screwed up by not reporting the felony conviction of Devin Patrick Kelley.
CHUCK YARLING, AUSTIN