FEEDBACK
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.
Browse by Week:

State Schools Getting Unfair Rap

RECEIVED Wed., May 7, 2008

Dear Editor,
    It really bothers me when I read bad press about state schools (for persons with mental retardation). For drama, the author will take a few isolated examples and generalize these to the whole. But, as a whole, the state schools provide an invaluable service to our most fragile citizens – a service, mind you, that not many are willing or able to provide (including their own families).
    The average resident Joe is provided a safe community-like environment. He has a place to work and opportunities for educational and recreational activities. He has peers with whom he can socialize, and he has a routine which he helped create. His living and medical expenses are completely covered, and he has 24-hour staff ready to care for his needs.
    The average resident Joe is at a facility, for he is also mentally ill or physically challenged to the point that community living is difficult at best. The state schools generally care for the more intensive cases.
    All employees who come in contact with average resident Joe have been screened for criminal backgrounds and gone through a two-week training orientation before providing care. Volunteers are even screened and trained. Every employee is trained at spotting signs of abuse and all are encouraged and expected to report abuse of any form to the authorities.
    So, yes, there may be isolated incidents that get sensationalized, but for the most part, these facilities are adequate and safe, especially when considering the population being served. Also, all are in the process of upgrading services to comply with improved standards.
    What the state schools need now is support in their improvement efforts, not criticism. If this is a cause you are concerned about, then donate your time or money to help out. Improvement projects are currently under way.
Robin McKnight

'Shout-Out' to Austin Police?

RECEIVED Wed., May 7, 2008

Dear Editor,
    A shout-out to the Austin Police Department: Last July, a new era began with our "rock star" police chief and his mostly positive changes to the department, like the long-awaited disciplinary matrix, tighter use-of-force policies, a dedication to open government, and improved community relations.
    But reform can't erase a brutal legacy. Over the past 14 years, 15 people of color have died from police bullets, 50,000-volt relentless Taser shocks or outright beatings, some coupled with chemical sprays, flashlights, batons, and one in 1998 who was then hog-tied and perhaps fed antifreeze (APD claimed he digested it to commit suicide – while he was on his way to meet a date!) for the crime of jaywalking in a predominantly white neighborhood. No apology or admission of wrongdoing was ever offered to the family of Rodney Wickware or to the other families (until recently), and we've seen no grand jury indictments, no criminal charges and only two firings. More than 40 officers’ actions in these cases still remain in question, at least in the community's mind.
    It's almost June, and in four out of the past five Junes, an APD officer shot or Tasered to death persons of color, all unarmed at the time of the shooting except in the case of a mentally disturbed woman with a knife. Let's see if this June, heading into the final month of the chief's first year, we can make it all the way through without seriously harming anyone, especially people not posing deadly threats.
    Also, last year APD put out a press release on Juneteenth insinuating falsely that the tragic death of David Morales was due to race disputes, making national headlines.
    So chief, what can we do this year to ensure APD doesn't defile the spirit of Juneteenth again? I hope we can do more than just keep our fingers crossed.
Debbie Russell
ACLU-TX Central Texas Chapter president

Mayan and Pre-Columbian Book Series from UT Press

RECEIVED Wed., May 7, 2008

Dear Editors,
    I read “Living Maya” [News, May 2] by Rob D'Amico with great interest.
    I work at the University of Texas Press (www.utexaspress.com). We are a nonprofit book publisher based at the University of Texas at Austin. Founded more than 50 years ago, we've published quite a few books on the Maya (www.utexas.edu/utpress/subjects/maya.html) and other areas of Latin American studies.
    In fact, the press has a book series entitled the Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies. This series publishes titles on the the Maya and pre-Columbian subjects and was created in honor of Linda Schele and the pioneering contributions she made to the field of Maya studies.
    Thank you for bringing attention to an area of the university and a field of study that rarely receive attention in most media.
Best regards,
Celeste Mendoza

Wonderland Is Wonderful!

RECEIVED Wed., May 7, 2008

Dear Editor,
    I appreciate and completely agree with Margaret Moser's piece last week on Carolyn Wonderland (“Miss Understood,” Music, May 2).
    As a native Austinite, I have seen many places (Soap Creek Saloon, Raul's, Armadillo World Headquarters) and musicians come and go, but Carolyn Wonderland first blew me away at the Austin Peace Festival in 2006. When I first heard her play and sing, I was stunned and enthralled. This tiny, soft-spoken woman channeled Janis Joplin and Johnny Winter all in the same body. She can play any instrument (guitar, trumpet, mandolin, etc.) and sings rock, R&B, gospel, and just about anything else with ease and grace. Cole El-Saleh on keyboards and Eldridge Goins on drums show a tight band that has played together for years.
    One thing that can't be said enough is Carolyn genuinely cares about people who tread through this world. I have seen her many times donate her time as a headliner at events for peace and social justice to bring attention to important local, state, and national causes. Topics have ranged from peace and women's rights to improving jail conditions. Ray Benson had it right when he said, “She's also an incredible guitar player and a great person, so humble. … That's magic."
    Do yourself and the Austin music scene a favor, and pick up your own “magic” by buying a Carolyn Wonderland CD, or check her out at the Saxon Pub, where she plays frequently on Thursday nights. You had better haul your ass down there soon, because I don't expect her to be in Austin much longer … if Bob Dylan and Ray Benson recognize amazing talent, she's not long for the River City.
Paz y amor,
James M. Turpin

On the Right Path

RECEIVED Tue., May 6, 2008

Dear Editor,
    On Feb. 8, I sent the Chronicle an e-mail with a change for “What in the Hell Is Wrong With the System?” [“Postmarks” online, Feb. 1] that was left out of the previous letter before it was printed, I added: "Now with bankruptcy changes, people can't play hot potato with their bills. Let's just repeal the gasoline tax! We can all save some money and not have to depend on receiving government stimulus packages, which came out of our pockets to begin with." Now it's the hot topic in the battle for the empty chair in the White House. I had that idea two months ago and posted it in a blog on Hillary's website. Did someone on team Hillary read it, or was it just another odd idiosyncrasy? Could it have been a road sign telling me I am on the right path? Anyway, I had another idea awhile ago that could save us Texas taxpayers some money. Reverse the subsidies that are helping make biodiesel. Since that is driving up the cost of food worldwide, I think it's time to stop that industry cold. Now for something completely different: Many of us weirdos know that under the Ann Richards Bridge in Austin is a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats calculated between 750,000 to 1.5 million bats at peak season. I suggest we build a platform 6 feet under the bridge. Why you ask? To catch the bat guano. It's estimated that this bat colony consumes between 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects per night. Guano sells for about $45 for a 25-pound bag. If we pitch a plan to the Texas Department of Transportation to collect an average of 15,000 pounds of guano that collects on the platform, instead of falling into Lady Bird Lake, that would generate $27,000 per day, or $2.43 million a season.
Mike Homa

Why Is 'Chronicle' So Vehemently Against Meeker?

RECEIVED Tue., May 6, 2008

Dear Mr. King and Mr. Black,
    Anyone who wonders why good people don’t run for public office needs to look no further than The Austin Chronicle’s disgusting coverage of Jason Meeker’s campaign for Austin City Council to see why.
    In editorials and reports, The Austin Chronicle has continually skewered Meeker’s campaign with a level of vehemence and derision that is missing from every other race.
    The question is: Why?
    Meeker’s campaign offers new ideas like a Department of Neighborhoods, an Office of Public Advocate, and commonsense ways to cope with our traffic problems, the latter of which has been echoed by other candidates.
    Does the Chronicle focus on any of this? No. It calls Meeker’s campaign a “comedy circus” and “amateurish” without ever giving his ideas any attention. It never reports why Meeker earns applause at the forums he attends for his clear command of nearly every issue and his lighthearted demeanor.
    Instead, the Chronicle calls him a hothead. It dreams up conspiracy theories about rogue ads (which it profits from!) and reprints the fiction-filled ethics complaints of Lee Leffingwell cronies like Mike Blizzard, who stands to profit highly from a Meeker loss.
    Meeker’s campaign has faults. And he does deserve a serious examination while seeking public office. But it was clear from day one that once Meeker paused from the Responsible Growth for Northcross fight against the Wal-Mart Supercenter at Northcross and took on the insiders at City Hall, The Austin Chronicle fought Meeker like it was under attack. Was it?
Respectfully,
Kat Correa, MBA
Crestview neighborhood

Cindy Fisher
Brentwood neighborhood

Peggy Maceo
Allandale neighborhood

Sharon Blythe
Balcones Woods neighborhood
   [Staff writer Lee Nichols responds: I focused on Meeker's ideas, including the Department of Neighborhoods and Office of Public Advocate, in "The Long Shadow of Wal-Mart," April 25, an article which may still be read at austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/elections.]

Difference in Interpretation Is Not a 'Lie'

RECEIVED Tue., May 6, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Michael King posits that “truth is a frequent casualty” in local City Council races, then proves his point with at least two falsehoods [“Point Austin,” News, May 2]. If I were to jump to unsubstantiated conclusions, I’d call them King-sized lies. But perhaps they were innocent errors. Either way, they should be corrected.
    King writes that Gus Garcia, Brigid Shea, Robin Rather, Ann Kitchen, and myself “lied” in a letter we wrote that council candidate Randi Shade supported compromise with Stratus/Freeport-McMoRan, the megapolluters developing the 4,000-acre Barton Creek development, rather than passing the voter approved Save Our Springs Ordinance. I would agree that Ms. Shade’s comments to Brian Rodgers and then on camera (which Shade graciously admitted were accurately transcribed) are not clear as to whether she supported compromise with Stratus/Freeport before or after passing SOS. A difference in interpretation is not a “lie.”
    What is indisputably wrong is King's claim that we were addressing Ms. Shade’s “politically incorrect opinion … about a film.” Ms. Shade’s relevant comments were clearly talking about the real world. And whether she meant compromise before or after passing SOS, either path would have led to far more pollution and development in the Barton Springs Watershed.
    On this point, Shade was wrong, and it should matter to voters. She stated, “Because really, when you saw the original proposal, less land would have been developed than what did get developed.” The most offensive part of the Stratus/Freeport 1990 development plans was its proposed 3 million square feet of office and retail. At the time, Freeport also claimed a five- or six-year build-out. It is now 18 years later, and virtually none of the commercial and retail has been built. Had the community compromised, it would have given a green light to paving the Hill Country with high-density Houston-style sprawl.
    King also wrongly claims that I have been “on record multiple times dismissing the entire current council as environmentally regressive and corrupt.” Regressive, yes; owing their seats to bundles of developer campaign cash, yes; but corrupt, no, I never said that. Prove it, or please issue a retraction.
    As for King's claim that I “blame” people for the demise of Barton Springs, your readers can use their own judgment by reading what I actually wrote at www.sosalliance.org.
Don't forget to vote,
Bill Bunch
   [Michael King responds: If Bill Bunch wishes now to make a distinction between accusing City Council members' seats of having been bought by developers, and accusations of personal corruption, I'll accept his clarification, although it seems largely a distinction without a difference. As for the rest of his letter, I stand entirely by what I wrote.]

Are There Any Real Investigative Reporters Left in Austin?

RECEIVED Tue., May 6, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Why a lack of follow-up on the so-called suicide of Austin Independent School District teacher and Palestinian activist Riad Hamad? After months of being subjected to harassment and surveillance by the FBI and Homeland Security, Hamad was found floating in Lady Bird Lake bound in duct tape.
    A close friend of Hamad's told talk-radio host Alex Jones that he viewed Hamad's body after the autopsy, as part of the Islamic law procedure of cleansing the remains before burial. He said Hamad’s body appeared as if he had been “attacked by an animal in the jungle." Hamad was cut from the shoulder to the stomach; his arms were cut, and his face was bruised, and the rear of his skull was bashed in.
    Hamad's friend also stated that witnesses had seen men with "foreign accents" carrying Israeli firearms at Hamad's residence several weeks prior to his death. Could this have been a political assassination? Any real investigative reporters left in Austin? Get on it, please!
Mike Rieman
   [News Editor Michael King responds: See "The Uneasy Death of Riad Hamad" in the May 9 issue for more. For the record, Imam Ibrahim Dremali, interviewed by Alex Jones, did not know Hamad before the burial preparations. Dremali did not say Hamad's body was "cut from the shoulder to the stomach" other than criticizing the repairs of the standard autopsy incisions (essentially "Y" cuts to the torso for internal examination), and he did not say "the rear of [Hamad's] skull was bashed in," only that he believed the autopsy brain examination had not been adequately repaired for burial purposes. And only Jones claimed, without substantiation, that "armed men with foreign accents" had visited Hamad's home, which was raided Feb. 27 by FBI and IRS agents pursuing an investigation of the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund. We will continue to follow the story.]

Another Movie About People Wreaking Havoc on the Earth

RECEIVED Mon., May 5, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Recently you reviewed films about “Humans wreaking havoc on Mother Earth” [“You Do It to Yourself, and That's What Really Hurts,” Screens, April 18]. You can add The Unforeseen to this list. This documentary focuses on the greed and corruption of real estate developer Gary Bradley, who was like a growing cancer cell in Austin. His huge development posed a danger to Barton Springs. Later in the film, Bradley shed some tears, not for the destruction and pain he had caused but because his pride had been crushed. At least in the film we see environmentalists of the Save Our Springs Alliance bitterly fight against him to try and save these pristine natural reservoirs.
    According to Native American spirituality, every living thing is sacred – all life is divine. We are stewards of the land and morally do not own it, and our existence depends on living in harmony with nature. The hills west of Austin were once occupied by the friendly Tonkawa tribe until they were killed and forced off by Anglo settlers in the 1800s. Maybe water that flows into the ground supply really is “holy water.” In the 1950s and 1960s, I swam in the crystal clear waters of Barton Springs; now it’s murky and unsafe. The more natural places we lose, the less sustainable society becomes. Poet Wendell Berry said, “To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”
    With the help of weaselly lobbyists and lawyers, developers continue to infringe upon the rights of the community and change its culture. Besides Bradley, there are other notorious developers such as the ones who swindled my family out of our Rainey Street property. This also involves the issue of gentrification, which I believe is a form of cultural genocide, but more on this later.
Anita Quintanilla

Likes Float Attacking Governor

RECEIVED Mon., May 5, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Page 24 of your April 25 issue had a photo of a parade float depicting our Texas governor sucking on a smoke stack [“Naked City,” News]. The Midlothian, Texas cement kilns have been incinerating toxic wastes since 1986. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allow huge amounts of toxins to be burned there and call it “recycling.” What TXI can't burn is sent to cement kilns in Monterrey, Mexico.
    The float clearly shows our governor's tragic addiction. The fumes affect all the Dallas-Fort Worth region's health. The residues of this organized crime (poisoning the public for profit) are mixed in with cement for playgrounds, water pipes, houses, etc. The Downwinders at Risk made the float with the letters TXI on the side. The letters need to be larger. Perhaps in full color on the front page? Hideously poisoned, the folks in Midlothian have been struggling against all odds for 20 years. Please see www.downwindersatrisk.org. Austin is often downwind from the toxics-burners and the two old, leaky, shoddy reactors at Glen Rose, Texas (Comanche Peak is actually closer to Austin than the Z-STNP reactors). Follow the plume 40 miles, and you will see.
Thanks,
Bob Schroeder
Texas Environmental Research Networking

Coyote Article Refreshingly Mature

RECEIVED Mon., May 5, 2008

Dear Editor,
    I am an ecological restoration specialist with the city of Austin. Melissa Gaskill's article "Urban Coyotes: Meet the neighbors" [News, May 2] is perhaps the most sensible and well-considered article on the urban coyote issue I have ever read in a journalistic-style publication. Thank you for rising above the sensationalism of schoolchildren being carried off by menacing coyotes and taking a more holistic approach. Very refreshing.
William McCaw

Worry About the Community, Not the Drug Dealers

RECEIVED Mon., May 5, 2008

Dear Editor,
    I realize that Travis County has a tendency to feel sorry for drug dealers and has a liberal point of view regarding the prosecution of these crimes. The problem with that is it leaves the rest of the law-abiding citizens at the mercy of the drug dealers that are arrested, charged, and then let right back on the streets. Someone somewhere needs to feel sorry and show a little empathy toward the rest of us in the community that have to live around these same drug dealers. If those same liberals had to live in the same neighborhoods as these drug dealers they feel so sorry for, they just might take a different tack when dealing with them. Either move us out of the bad neighborhoods, or get the drug dealers off the streets for as long as the law will allow. It isn't fair to the rest of us and our families who aren't involved in the drug trafficking for the justice system in Travis County to keep a revolving door at the county jail.
Sincerely,
Delwin Goss

Don't Champion a 'Command and Control' Economy

RECEIVED Mon., May 5, 2008

Dear Editor,
    The good news is that, after taking a gamble on installing a timer on his water heater, Jim Lacey found that he saved a lot of money and wrote the Chronicle to report his findings [“Postmarks,” May 2]. This sounds like a great idea … I might try it on my own water heater, with thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, comrade Lacey's next thought is to force all water-heater manufacturers to include a timer on all their water heaters and to beg "someone in authority [to] investigate this [proposed mandate] further.” How about just leaving it at reporting the facts, Mr. Lacey, and let the manufacturers and their customers decide what features they'd like on their heaters? Russia had a nasty experience with a "command and control" economy that collapsed about 20 years ago, and I'd rather not repeat their error here.
Sincerely,
Alan McKendree

Good Water Policy Is Necessary for a Sustainable Future

RECEIVED Sun., May 4, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Access to drinkable water seems to be a huge social issue most places around the world but apparently is not commanding the attention it deserves here in the U.S. It is my contention that the bottled-water industry, and water being traded in the private sector in general, does nothing but harm the future of our municipalities. The same billion-dollar industry of privately processed water can potentially be put toward the cities that support us. I am encouraging my fellow citizens to make the efficient and effective effort to fully support our city's water systems. Supporting clean, affordable, city-processed water can only encourage its sustainable future.
Best,
Patrick Sullivan

Bikers Just Need to Exercise Reasonable Judgment

RECEIVED Sun., May 4, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Those who complain about Austin's bikeability have obviously lived nowhere else. Those who complain about bikers on major thoroughfares are absolutely right. Nearly without exception, when a cyclist is killed, it happens on a street where they should never have been in the first place and often at a bad time of day (or night). I bike all over this town and take all the back streets that parallel the busy ones, and I rarely have a problem. My bars got clipped once on North Loop on the block and a half that has no bike lane, and that was by a retiree who probably did not see me or misjudged (I stayed up and probably cost her a broken mirror). Just because Guadalupe is designated as a bike route does not mean one shouldn't exercise judgment and ride elsewhere. Stay off of the damned interstate access roads, South First, 360, Lamar, Burnet Road, etc., and enjoy your ride (and drivers will enjoy their drives).
Tim Pipe

Housing in East Austin: Land Availability and Transportation

RECEIVED Sun., May 4, 2008

Dear Editor,
    There are two reasons why so much affordable housing is being "dumped" in East Austin [“Postmarks,” May 2]. The first is (obviously) the availability of affordable land, and the second is transportation.
    Bus riders complain enough about the range and frequency of buses, but the fact is that the bus "system" is a lot worse in West Austin than in East Austin. We could perhaps double the Cap Metro sales tax and improve the buses in West Austin to East Austin service levels, but it would be much better for bus riders to just double the service levels in East Austin (and North and South Austin, too).
    We could also double the road budget, widen Manor Road, and upzone the properties alongside for condos and McMansions, which would presumably raise surrounding property values enough to pay for the increase in the road budget. That way the neighborhood would be helping to pay for its own destruction.
    Any neighborhood that compares itself to Hyde Park or Tarrytown is being disingenuous at best – those aren't typical Austin neighborhoods.
    The trailer park planned for along 183 really needs to go where it's going – there isn't any place else that is both so isolated from surrounding residents and so close to a bus route. The property on Manor Road could go anywhere along the north/south bus routes or even be incorporated into one of the new transit-oriented developments.
    However, East Austin neighborhoods deserve their share of growth, and they should seriously consider the advantages of affordable housing with people who ride the buses. The neighborhoods getting affluent newbies with fast cars and big trucks who will soon be demanding road improvements haven't been all that happy about it either.
Kirk Becker
Homeless neighborhood association

Trent Turner Fantastic Blues Guitarist

RECEIVED Sat., May 3, 2008

Dear Editor,
    My wife and I happened upon Darwin's Pub Friday night and heard a screaming-hot blues guitar cutting through the crowd on the sidewalks and into the streets on a warm Austin night. We ducked inside and heard the fantastic playing of Trent Turner & the Moontowers. I picked up his CD while I was there and was not disappointed. If you are a fan of the blues-guitar masters, be sure you go see Trent play live, whatever you do. He is simply magical in person.
Darrell Sensing

Differences Between Cemetery and Park

RECEIVED Sat., May 3, 2008

Dear Editor,
    With all the City Council election hype, I feel compelled to write the Chronicle. Jennifer Kim and Lee Leffingwell voted on Aug. 23, 2007, to rent a historic city cemetery, Austin Memorial Park, to a special-interest group so that group could use the cemetery as a construction site, couching the use as temporary. However, Kim and Leffingwell did not understand the difference between a cemetery and a park. If Kim and Leffingwell cannot understand that difference, how can the public expect that they have a real understanding of city issues? Cemeteries should be protected and not rented as just another piece of property.
Sharon Blythe

Mayoral Task Force on Energy Is Off Base

RECEIVED Thu., May 1, 2008

Dear Editor,
    A mayoral task force is studying how the private and public sector can use less energy partly through mandating (stick approach) existing structures conform to a standard of acceptability at the point of sale. It is circulated that this kind of requirement may cost from $1,500 to $15,000. This mandate puts substantial, additional burden on the property sale – another dilatory effect on Austin’s housing market. This adverse impact of required inspections and upgrades will be huge in terms of not only cost but also delay of sales transactions due to a third party (city) meddling in sales in which they currently have no standing and should never have a standing, unless they want to condemn property under eminent domain, pay the fair market value, and then do whatever they please to upgrade it for "the public good." In other words, such an ordinance is simply a piecemeal way of confiscating private property without recompense to the injured/losing party. This proposed energy-saving ordinance is supposedly geared toward federal funding. Instead of forcing behavior, how about offering incentives to energy consumers to limit their use? This carrot approach involving the user’s pocketbook should get immediate results, since money can be saved. Among the intelligent, economy-minded Austin citizenry, significant reduction in usage should follow, and it will have been achieved through individual choice, savoring the carrot, rather than by the force of an ordinance, responding to the stick.
    This free society plan for downsizing Austin’s environmental footprint would certainly cost less to administer than the proposed mandatory alternative with its manpower and bureaucracy required.
    This will be a win-win situation: The consumer gets lower energy bills, and Austin gets coveted federal funds. The environment wins, too. Austin could be an example to the nation!
Gary Hoffarth
Austin Advantage, realtor since 1983

Was It Opposite Day?

RECEIVED Thu., May 1, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Was April Fools’ Day expanded into April Fools’ Month this year, and I missed it? Something like that must have happened since the Statesman endorsed Robin Cravey but the Chronicle didn't, even while proclaiming that Cravey “would undoubtedly be a stalwart environmental voice on the dais” and is “the likeliest choice for voters whose first priorities are environmental defense and preservation” [“'Chronicle' Endorsements,” News, May 2]. Maybe it was opposite day?
Mike Blizzard

Black's Brevity?

RECEIVED Thu., May 1, 2008

Louis Black,
    You are the man. I love the sensibility and brevity of your work and The Austin Chronicle. There is a really insidious and serious anniversary coming up and that is the National ID Act from the Republican Satans – Dick Cheney and James Sensenbrenner. I am surprised that normal one-handle-pulling Christian conservative Republican droids allowed this end o' times, mark of the beast freedom-killing stuff to be passed into law. The states can just say "No," but the Republican yes-man machine will do all it can to destroy individual freedom at any cost to the taxpaying slaves.
    It is definitely worth addressing and stirring up your readers to call all public figures and yell.
    Here's a couple of pages for research: www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd242.htm and www.news.com/2100-1028_3-5702505.html.
Will Person

Why Has AISD Forsaken South Austin?

RECEIVED Thu., May 1, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Why has the Austin Independent School District forsaken Southeast Austin? On May 10, vote against the school bond proposal. The school board has neglected to apportion any funds to the Akins Vertical Team (i.e., Akins High School, Paredes Middle School, and a handful of Southeast Austin elementary schools that feed into Paredes Middle School). These schools are the only schools in the city of Austin that did not get any money from the 2004 bond package and will get nothing from this bond package. All of the Southeast Austin schools are above capacity, while many of the schools which received 2004 money and will receive 2008 money are under capacity. At the last minute, the bond committee responsible for this proposal rescinded the inclusion of a Southeast Austin school. The language used on the ballot, however, masks this renegation. As well, the misleading usage of the term "undesignated" is highly suspect, as the bond committee has already made the decisions as to where the money will go. Any school bond proposal should include all schools or should not be proposed.
Dusty Gibson
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle