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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your patience.
RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 8, 2013
I strongly urge the Chronicle
to do an early report on the differences between the two Democrats running for Travis County judge [“Eckhardt Father and Daughter Day at Scholz
,” News, Oct. 4]. Another approach might be to interview some of the high-profile players from both the Sarah Eckhardt and Andy Brown camps.
In my entire 42 years in Austin, I have never witnessed a more puzzling split among local progressives. I fail to understand why there is even a contest here. When did it become fashionable to toss away a hardworking, proven leader like Sarah Eckhardt? Not to mention that she might just be the gosh-darned smartest person we've ever had on the court. Doesn't experience matter?
I've probably attended a couple of hundred political events here, and the unspoken jitteriness of supporters in this race is unprecedented. The Chronicle
should try to unravel it, and do it sooner rather than later. I'd love to know who will speak on the record about why they would pass up the opportunity to elect the first woman as Travis County judge. My secret hope is that once in the voting booth, their collective conscience will direct them to do exactly that.
RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 8, 2013
I enjoyed your article about the Attal and Joseph families in last week's issue [“Lebanon Calling
,” Music, Oct. 4]. My father, Joe Lewis Joseph, was the oldest brother in the Cater Joseph family, and was born in Lebanon in 1897. His father, Cater, came back to Lebanon about 1900 to bring his wife, Nora, and son, Joe, to the United States. The other children were all born in Austin, Texas. Also, the photo labeled Cater Joseph is not my grandfather's photo. I would like to send a photo of my grandparents if you would like to have it. My father, Joe, owned and operated one of the first beauty colleges in Austin, Duel Arts Beauty School, and after World War II he opened an army surplus store on East Sixth Street. He also started several hot-dog stands called Dog House. In the Fifties he opened Joseph's Plumbing Supply at 1210 E. Sixth, which he owned and operated until his death in 1960.
Joe Lewis Joseph Jr.
RECEIVED Mon., Oct. 7, 2013
Many thanks to Michael Ventura for his perceptive tribute to Mayer Vishner [“He Took the Cat to Texas: Part 2
,” Oct. 4]. I worked with Mayer at LA Weekly
, and was very fond of him. I loved his confounding complexity, his dark wit, his humanity. I remember most of all his penetrating eyes as we talked, and the way he listened carefully to what I had to say. I admired his very original intelligence, his difference. Mayer Vishner had a lot things buried inside him, much turmoil and contradiction, but I know that one of them was simple goodness. He was a good man, and I'll really miss him.
RECEIVED Thu., Oct. 3, 2013
Can we, as a city, put some collective pressure on large nonprofit organizations to remove their panhandlers from Austin's sidewalks? Save the Children, Planned Parenthood, Greenpeace: We're looking at you. Your insistence on littering Downtown with friendly (though sometimes very pushy and obnoxious) fundraisers is negatively impacting the quality of life for all of us who work in, live in, and use this city.
I actually support a lot of the organizations and their missions, but having to run a daily gauntlet of clipboard-wielding, handshake-offering, shiny-faced kids makes me want to cancel my future donations. The annoyance of having to say no to the same people over and over negatively impacts the organizations' image in our community (not to mention, probably, the self-esteem of the kids who are being turned down hundreds of times each day). Beyond that, I don't completely fathom the business model. I'm sure the canvassers don't earn much money, but I know that there are more cost-effective ways to solicit donations.
Please stop. Give the streets back to the classic panhandlers. At least we have more clarity on where the money's going when we donate to them.