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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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Good News for Wildlife

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 11, 2017

Dear Editor,
    Along with wildlife advocates across the country, I’m cheering Travis County’s recent decision to stop contracting with Texas Wildlife Services [“County Kills Coyote Contract,” News, Dec. 8].
    That wildlife-killing program is responsible for the cruel deaths of more than 435,000 bobcats, foxes, coyotes, beavers, and other native animals in Texas just last year.
    These animals suffer and die by painful leg-hold traps, strangulation snares, and indiscriminate poisons. Not only are these lethal methods cruel, but recent science shows they are often ineffective for resolving conflicts between wildlife and livestock. That’s especially true for coyotes, which produce more pups in response to population losses.
    Now that Travis County has cut ties with this federal wildlife-killing program, local programs can be used to address wildlife conflicts with nonlethal methods that focus on prevention. That’s good news for the wildlife – and for everyone who cares about animals.
Collette Adkins
Minneapolis, Minn.

The Religion of Density

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 11, 2017

Dear Editor,
    Hard to believe what I'm reading here ["Public Notice: The End of Single-Family?" News, Dec. 8]. "So, instead of allowing a house and an ADU, for instance, code would simply allow two units, which could be in any configuration the property owner desired, and could fit on the lot under other applicable regulations. This seems eminently logical, especially as city staff and consultants have struggled mightily to describe and distinguish those definitions, with little success." REALLY?! This is supposed to be a FORM-BASED code. So we are to accept that $8.5 million in consulting fees cannot even yield a description of the FORM we call single-family residential? If so, then maybe all these staff and consultant people need to go find other jobs. Perhaps all concerned do not understand that not everyone wants a second residence on their lot, and would not want a doubling of intensity all throughout their neighborhood. Is there a reason this code would usurp the neighborhood planning processes? This is a market segment. For what reason, other than the "religion of density" that seems to have swept our "leadership,” would it seem appropriate to define it out of existence? Astounding!
David Venhuizen, P.E.

Glorifying DWI

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 11, 2017

My Dear Editor,
    The reason the roads are so dangerous is because of the culture we’ve created. Austin has the special shame of having a hit-and-run rate that’s 50% higher than the national average. For bicycling, it doesn’t matter how many miles of new bike lanes we stripe in; unless and until we change drivers’ hearts and minds, the roads will never be safe.
    That’s why it’s especially disheartening to see our alternative local weekly deciding that one of the few categories in its [“Best of Austin”] Readers Poll for Services should be for the Best Drunk Driving Lawyer. You didn’t think best doctor, best bank, or best dentist would have been more appropriate, not just because those categories are far less controversial, but also because those services are far more likely to actually be used by the average reader? No, instead you chose to glorify the defense of drunk driving. With friends like these ….
Michael Bluejay

Queer Gift Guide Rocks!

RECEIVED Sat., Dec. 9, 2017

Dear Editor,
    For the article published titled "Self-Care for Queers, by Queers," [Daily Gay Place, Dec. 7] I wanted to thank the writers of this article and the publication, The Austin Chronicle, for this content. Having content that is for the LGBT community and written by the community themselves is so vital today, and it's so appreciated. For a large and diverse city like Austin, having publications striving to diversify their content is necessary to meet the demands of a rapidly growing city. I just wanted to let everyone know that your efforts to do this are appreciated, and welcomed. I hope to see more amazing work by y'all in the coming years!
Jeffery Rose

They Can Watch It Anywhere

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 7, 2017

Dear Editor,
    It's sad our current City Council would even consider allowing a private soccer franchise to use prime Austin parkland ["A Tale of Two Soccer Stadiums," News, Dec. 8]. Butler Shores may be – according to the soccer team's lobbyist – shabby in its current state. But this parcel is at the heart of “natural” Austin: the confluence of Barton Creek and the Colorado River. As Austin's parks continue to be overloved, this irreplaceable land will be needed for natural parkland in the future. A soccer stadium does not require such a unique, beautiful site. Soccer fans (God bless 'em) can watch soccer anywhere. Perhaps there is another reason the City Council should not entertain this offer. According to media outlets in Ohio, the current owner of the team in 2013 promised to stay in Columbus for 10 years, and is now breaking that commitment. Is this the type of enterprise Austin should do business with?
Gary Price
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