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, follow this link, or email your letter directly to Thanks for your patience.

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EMS Always Capable of Handling Situation

RECEIVED Wed., July 9, 2014

Dear Editor,
    It has come to our attention that the article “X Games X-Factors: Heat, Booze, and Meth,” has been recently published by The Austin Chronicle [News, July 4]. While “EMS” is subtitled in this article, Austin – Travis County EMS (ATCEMS) provided no input or had any involvement in the content of the article.
    ATCEMS responded to, evaluated, and treated many patrons throughout this event, but our resources remained in a constant state of readiness. Our personnel worked hard and at times were very busy, but our EMS system was always capable of managing the anticipated call volume. At no time, during any part of the four-day event, did ATCEMS believe that we needed to activate our Emergency Disaster Plan.
    The collaborative planning efforts of the Circuit of the Americas, the X Games staff, and the Austin – Travis County EMS special events team made this event very successful and safe for those in attendance. We enjoy and look forward to our continued relationship with the Circuit of the Americas and X Games.
James Shamard, chief of staff, EMS Department

Agree With Hamilton

RECEIVED Sun., July 6, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I agree that Sheriff Hamilton should continue to honor S-comm detainers for illegals in Austin [“Cold as ICE,” News, July 4].
    The United States allows more legal immigration than any other country on Earth. People have respected our process and waited their turn to immigrate legally. It is a slap in the face of legal immigrants to allow any amnesty or lack of enforcement to illegals who have broken our laws, work for cash and rarely pay taxes, and keep wages artificially low.
    We currently have millions of unemployed American workers that need to be considered in this debate. The middle class in America is being ignored by the White House. President Obama has attempted to make this a humanitarian debate, while the Democrats really want future voters and the Republicans want cheap labor. Everyone knows a real E-verify system in the workplace would solve this problem.
    The short sighted City Council resolution is just the sort of thing that is driving the border surge we are presently spending millions on weekly to contain. Until President Obama enforces the law we will continue to be under siege from the south.
    Former Austinite Barbara Jordan, who chaired the congressional committee on U.S. immigration reform in 1995, said that illegal immigration undermines America's tradition as a nation of immigrants, and concluded the report with "Immigration policy, like foreign policy, ought to be a place where the national interest comes first, last, and always."
Jack Swingler

Fireworks Experience Horrible

RECEIVED Sat., July 5, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I have to say, seeing the fireworks at the Circuit of the Americas turned out to be a horrible, terrible, no good idea. The food was a little better than usual, at three times the usual prices. The show itself was mediocre, prefaced with nearly endless sponsorship shout-outs and pleas to upload the Austin Symphony's new app. I'm not sure, but the cannon fire at the end of Tchaikovsky's “1812 Overture” sounded recorded (if so, lame! Especially in gun-loving Texas). The fireworks were late and then marred by whatever nitwit decided that it would be a good idea to shine super-bright, white stage lights on the crowd throughout the show. Everyone around us had a hand raised to block out the lights from the stage.
    But it was after the show that the real you-know-what hit the fan. After making our way with the masses back to our car in the parking lot, we proceeded to wait along with thousands of others for over two hours to get out of the lot and onto the road. It was July 5th before we'd even exited the lot. Our daughters were troopers as we sat in line with the engine off playing hand after hand of Hearts and Deuces (thank God I packed a deck of cards). We got home at 1am.
    Neither ATX or COTA had any kind of shuttle service, which kinda sucks for anyone who might have wanted to see the show but didn't have a car. That said, the people who decided to skip this one were clearly the winners. I guess we paid our bourgeoise tax that night, driving out there, thinking we'd be home that same day.
    Shouldn't a racetrack know how to run a parking lot? I can't think of any event that would entice me back to COTA ever again.
Rebecca Schwarz