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 firstname.lastname@example.org
. Thanks for your patience.
RECEIVED Tue., July 26, 2011
Re: The review of Winnie the Pooh
[Film Listings, July 22]: Ahem, having been raised on Winnie the Pooh stories and poems, I must protest: E.H. Shepard was the amazing and original illustrator of Winnie the Pooh
, not Stephen Slesinger.
Slesinger was a Disney artist and is in no way the "original," as Kimberley Jones insinuates in her review. Original for Disney, perhaps, but not for Winnie the Pooh.
[Kimberley Jones replies: Good catch, Barbara. In 1930, Stephen Slesinger acquired the rights to the Winnie the Pooh character from A.A. Milne, and it was Slesinger's red-shirted version of Pooh that the Disney films were based on and that I was referring to in my review. However, E.H. Shepard did indeed illustrate the original A.A. Milne books, as well as the equally iconic The Wind in the Willows.]
RECEIVED Mon., July 25, 2011
Ubiquitous free parking is the scourge of Austin. People say they want green space, then use half the space to park cars. Cars drive over the Johnson Creek Greenbelt in order to park in the dust bowl next to it. My local community garden devotes half its space to driving and parking cars and none of its space to bicycle racks. On most streets in Austin, there are plenty of parked cars and no pedestrian space. We can never afford sidewalks, but the city spends vast sums of money to park private cars at a loss. Why not leave car parking to the free market? Why does our government subsidize parking cars?
recently ran an article on the plight of blind people who cannot drive cars ["Access Denied
," News, July 8]. (The article didn't mention the problems of lack of sidewalks and failure of traffic signals Downtown to make sounds for blind people.) Blind people are just out of luck here, as are people in wheelchairs and even able-bodied pedestrians. But Council Member Kathie Tovo is anxious to help Downtown workers and visitors who own cars. (Those who ride the bus are out of luck.)
Cars do not need to be the dominant feature of every streetscape. Children don't need to be endlessly driven around in cars. Don't we have enough car lanes and parking lots already? What Austin needs is walking space on every street. Walking space is pleasant space: pretty, shady, green. Car space is ugly and smells bad.
We're all paying to keep people driving cars, and to keep treating people in cars as if they're much more important than the rest of us. This is bad for our city in more ways than I have space to name.
RECEIVED Mon., July 25, 2011
During the last few years, I have watched Capital Metro drivers struggle to maintain their place in the middle class and walked some picket lines with them. During the last few years, the University of Texas has been laying off people and reducing the benefits of those who remain. The state goal is to retain or attract prestigious faculty. If this pushes people out of the middle class, it's OK. The Texas Education Agency has laid off a third of its employees. There have been deep cuts at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the state library, and other agencies. The Legislature allows school districts to declare financial exigency and fire teachers and other staff. It is time to acknowledge there is an attack on the middle class – not an overarching conspiracy but many factors reinforcing one another. I know people say, "They won't mess with the middle class too much because we are the economy." Well, there are places that run an economy of a tiny, superrich elite; a small, cowed middle class; and a huge, very poor base. Many of the people who govern us, mired as they are in political battles, seem not to care. The financial elite who we bailed out are openly contemptuous of us. We can support each other. So, beware of efforts to get us to fight each other and manipulative slogans. Walkin' a picket line is pretty good exercise.
RECEIVED Mon., July 25, 2011
What’s with the ad for Liberty Lunch on p.60 of the July 22 Chronicle? I remember when Charlie Tesar bought Liberty Lunch decades ago and put all his friends and relatives to work there making it a real Austin music place. Are there plans to reopen it? The original Second Street location is now a trendy restaurant/bar place. And “trendy” is not what the original Liberty Lunch was. Thank heavens!
Mary Lou Gibson
[Editor's note: Thanks for the memory. The Liberty Lunch ad ran as part of the
Chronicle's Can You Find the Vintage Ad? contest celebrating our 30th anniversary. As to our knowledge, there are no plans for the Liberty Lunch to reopen.]
RECEIVED Fri., July 22, 2011
It's so hot you can fry a global-warming denier on the sidewalk.
RECEIVED Thu., July 21, 2011
Re: “Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect Highland Lake Water
” [Newsdesk, News blog, June 15]: Why should you care if Matagorda County gets a dirty, fish-killing, air-contaminating, groundwater-polluting coal-fired power plant? Because in order for the owners, who remain nameless, to go ahead with their plans, they must obtain a contract for water from the Lower Colorado River Authority that would take 22 million gallons of water per day, every day, for the next 40 years out of our Highland Lakes! Have you seen our lakes lately? Do you think we have that amount of water to spare? The LCRA staff thinks we do, but they are basing their calculations on the drought of record of the 1950s. I believe the drought of record may be happening right now, and there is no Plan B if their numbers are wrong. The water will be drained out of our already depleted lakes no matter how bad the future drought(s) may be. Since this would be a power plant (one that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the electric authority in our state, says we do not need), it would get first dibs on the water over all other users, including you, me, and the rice farmers down south. I moved here 20 years ago, and Lake Travis was a big reason why. I have loved that lake since I was a kid, but it is imperiled right now. It will be permanently imperiled if this contract goes through. Please contact the LCRA board of directors and come to the Aug. 10 board meeting and implore them to say no to the White Stallion coal plant. Thank you.
Elizabeth G. Craig
RECEIVED Thu., July 21, 2011
My name is Johnny Limón. I'm the neighbor that was interviewed in this story [“East Austin Studio De-Tour
,” News, July 15]. I want to clear up a couple of things in this story. This story should not
be about EAST, neighborhood vs. artist, old neighbors vs. new neighbors, or my family. It's about Philippe Klinefelter and Sunyong Chung vs. another neighbor. The neighbor parked a company truck next to her duplex, on a dead-end city street, next door to Klinefelter's property. It was the weekend of the studio tour. He asked her to move it. She said no. He filed a complaint against her. She filed one against him. He was found to be in violation. Now it's between Klinefelter and Code Compliance. That's it
! Klinefelter and Chung have lived in our neighborhood for many years. They've been doing their work all along. The neighborhood hasn't been filing complaints against them, or they would have been caught a long time ago. One thing that did raise some eyebrows was when they moved that huge building (pictured in the article) into the backyard of one of their rental properties. It was after midnight. Only one neighbor complained to the movers, because the huge truck went into his yard and left big tire indentions. He wanted it fixed. Still, no complaints were filed by the neighborhood. Then they brought the huge submarine-looking rainwater collector (pictured) into their rental property. I never heard of anyone complaining. As a neighborhood, we didn't know what had happened, until we received notices from the Planning Commission that Klinefelter and Chung wanted to create some kind of a separate subdivision from the rest of the neighborhood. It would require a zoning change. I do know that some neighbors opposed this change, including some of my family members. The article also states that I appear to be ready to accept newcomers to our community. For many years, my family, neighbors, and I have worked hard and put in a lot of time and pride to transform our street, Calle Limón, into the East Austin trail of lights during Christmas. We do it to bring people from all over Austin and Central Texas and to welcome them into our neighborhood. Also, the East Austin Studio Tour has helped some longtime residents showcase their artistic talent to the whole city. Thank you.
[Mike Kanin responds: Johnny Limón's letter essentially confirms my reporting of the overall story. However, I did check his information concerning a potential "zoning change" by the Klinefelter-Chungs and have learned that, in fact, they requested a change in lot lines in order to resubdivide their properties. According to city of Austin officials, this action does not necessitate a zoning change as Limón suggests.]