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Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form, or email your letter directly to mail@austinchronicle.com. Thanks for your patience.
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Get Out and Stay Out

RECEIVED Wed., Feb. 15, 2017

Dear Editor,
    Austin Rodeo CEO Rob Golding thinks he can tell Austinites about their “cultural identity” to make a quick buck. He doesn’t realize Austin loves animals and that we’re done with events that inflict abuse, injury and death on our four-legged friends. The writing’s on the wall, Rob: Austin City Council banned cruel devices in circuses, which shut them out, and you’re not wanted either.
    Many rodeos electrocute the animals in the chutes so they exit looking wild. Metal spurs and "bucking straps" cut into animals’ skin causing them to buck in pain. Events such as roping, wrestling, and busting violently jerk, flip, and wrench animals, resulting in injuries, sometimes fatal.
    Skeptical? Check YouTube for examples. Read statements by State Veterinarians condemning roping and steer busting. Look into the underreporting of injuries, the low bar set for animal protections, and exemptions offered rodeos by the USDA and Animal Welfare Act. When animal protections interfere with reaping a little more profit, guess who loses? You already know.
    Austin is packed with fun events for all ages. Support local activities that make this city a better, unique place instead of lining the pockets of Rob and his corporate sponsors. Is it weird to keep rodeos out of our city? Maybe. But I think there’s a good slogan about that.
Sincerely,
Rocky Payne
Action for Animals Austin (AFAA)

Regular Occurrences

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 13, 2017

Dear Editor,
    Our January was spent rehearsing for and performing The Bowie Project 3 at Ironwood Hall, 505 E. Seventh, directly across from the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. Leaving aside whether or not the Austin Chronicle cover article, “It’s Like a Jungle Sometimes,” from Feb. 3 was insensitive in its description of the homeless, or whether the homeless person’s perspective was not taken into account, the detailed description of the area around Red River and Seventh Street is accurate. If anything, the article undersells the human waste problem, possibly giving the misimpression that vomit, urine, and feces can be found only in the alleys. Discovering vomit in the gutter on Seventh Street, seeing urine flowing down the Seventh Street sidewalk, and the stench of shit wafting from the space between Ironwood and Caritas were all regular occurrences during our time across from the ARCH. And if there was enforcement of a “no sit, no lie” ordinance, we saw none of that in our three weeks at the epicenter of Austin homelessness. In fact, we had to have two people push open the main front door from the inside at the end of one afternoon rehearsal because there was a person sleeping outside against it.
    Having said all that, once the show opened and we had security out front, there was zero direct impact on the performances. Ironwood Hall is a beautiful event space with amazing amenities and an incredible staff. You should definitely book an event there!
    My intention is not to communicate a lack of compassion for an individual’s addiction, mental health, bad luck, life circumstances, judge any person in any way, or offer a solution. I do wish to confirm that the problem is as acute as Kevin Curtin wrote, probably worse.
Colin Lowry
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