Letters to the editor: Sept. 4, 2017

    Updated Sept 05, 2017
Ryan Schnitzler, supervisor at Mansfield Dam and Tom Miller Dam, talks about a paradox floodgate, right, inside of Mansfield Dam in April. The floodgates are being dismantled and rehabbed at the dam, which was built in the ’30s. DEBORAH CANNON/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Today is Labor Day, a time to celebrate America. Workers back in the ’30s and ’40s needed jobs, which were hard to find. My dad and his brothers went to work on the Mansfield Dam, which was later praised in a 2001 article in the Statesman, “A dam built to last marks its 60th year.”

Labor unions helped make America a better place to live, and work got better with their help. The beautiful city of Austin is proof of the workers’ skills. Let’s show our appreciation for living in America.

Thanks, labor!


Re: Aug. 9 commentary, “Castillo: Cornyn’s border plan less Trumpian, more Texas-friendly.”

Sen. Cornyn’s “border plan” is comparable to the Texas Legislature’s “bathroom bill” in that they largely propose to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

If the senator is just beating the xenophobic drum about keeping our southern neighbors from crossing that border to better their standard of living, his efforts — and our $15 billion in tax dollars — would be better spent in creating and enforcing a system to lessen the incentive for those job-seekers to come here.

The E-Verify system could work. But it is not broad-ranging or fully enforced. Using it effectively against both employers and employees would retain and create jobs for Americans while helping to rationalize our immigration system, matching demand with supply.


The National Weather Service receives a great deal of criticism from amateur weather observers when the prediction does not become reality. So let’s give those employees a huge amount of thanks for being spot on with Harvey.

Days prior to the actual event, people were making preparations for this storm in an attempt to save lives and property where the possibility existed for a death rate equal to what Galveston saw in 1900.

And kudos to those who were able to take heed of the warnings, escaping to higher ground. Inconvenience for a few days is a small price to pay.


Re: Aug. 26 commentary, “Two Views: Why your Confederate grandfathers would not be pleased.”

I loved my grandfathers. I love being one myself. I agree with Mr. Youngblood that we are all vessels of history, and I agree we should always learn.

However, I see the writer has, in his 84 years, not learned the hazards of historical revision and general denial of facts. Removing statues for “hateful reasons”? Statue removal by “disgruntled agitators”? I don’t think he grasps the gravity of treason, armed rebellion and the enslavement of human beings.

Perhaps if his grandfathers were shackled, sold, beaten, ripped from their families, cheated their entire lives by white people and counted as three-fifths of a man each, he would be less enamored with the idols of the Confederacy.