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 Thanks for your patience.
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Pessimistic Slant

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 9, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I am writing to express my disappointment in the article that appeared in the Dec. 5 edition entitled “Iraqis Find a Home in Austin” [News]. While I appreciate the effort to address the significant challenge refugees face integrating into American and Austin culture, the tone of the article was pessimistic and lacked hope. The United States and other Western countries have been part of the international humanitarian effort to assist refugees for over 40 years. As a part of this enduring effort, Caritas of Austin expects to resettle 500 refugees this year and over 90% of them will fully integrate and have no need to return to our organization for service. The overwhelming majority of refugees in Austin make it their home in every respect of the word. It is unfortunate the article included such a slanted focus on the rise of ISIS since the refugees we are currently resettling have no connection to that crisis whatsoever. The staff members featured in the article were harmed rather than helped by it. I hope The Austin Chronicle will, in the future, work more cooperatively with the subjects of such articles to ensure that the facts and tone are accurate.
Jo Kathryn Quinn, Executive Director
Caritas of Austin

Mind the Gap

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 8, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I am excited to vote for Susana Almanza because our city has gained so much from her community organizing with PODER [“District 3: Divided Powers,” News, Dec. 5]. Today we have more units of affordable housing, we have a higher quality of life without the Holly Street Power Plant and tank farms, and have a better police force without the officer who shot unarmed teen Daniel Rocha. Susana's grassroots community organizing is a big part of why that happened. That's more progressive change than almost any elected official in Austin can say. When the Chronicle's editorial board skips over all this to say she is too aggressive and unworthy of an endorsement, it illustrates the striking gap that exists between the editorial board and the experience of low- to moderate-income families being priced out of their own city.
Tim Eubanks

Fair and Balanced?

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 8, 2014

Dear Editor,
    The Chronicle is really embarrassing itself with its continued infatuation of "reporting" about Mike Martinez.
    Nary a word has been uttered in the Chronicle's pages about Mike Martinez's true record – leading the charge to break the 2010 Sanders settlement deal (one of the most shameful civil rights moments in this city's history), his antagonistic mockery of African-American leaders in emails (for which he had to apologize), his very questionable environmental record, and his bullying ways around City Hall. There seriously has not been a critical word of Martinez. Instead, the Chronicle just serves up vague platitudes about how Martinez is a champion for working people.
    The Chronicle has been a PR platform for the Martinez campaign. It is very unbecoming but thankfully, the voters will have the final word on Dec. 16, and it is obvious this city wants change. I just hope the Chronicle covers the Adler administration in a much fairer way than they covered this campaign.
Adam Loewy

Front Line of Defense

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 8, 2014

Dear Editor,
    We live in a nightmare world of endless war, rape victim blaming, national politicians hostile to the very idea of public service, the dumbest and soulless of society flooding television, movies, and the music industry, corporations using Free Trade scams to evade environmental and labor laws, unarmed racial minorities being gunned down and choked to death in the streets, etc. Maakies provides a needed front line defense against these crimes against humanity. In fact, if you fail to see the humor in Maakies, you are a part of the problem that corrupts the promise of what the world offers into what we see around us today [“Not a Fan of Maakies,” Feedback, Nov. 12]. While you can dismiss it as juvenile scribblings, Maakies belongs in the tradition of Aristophanes, Jean-Paul Marat, Nellie Bly, Upton Sinclair, George Orwell, Howard Zinn, and others who risked their lives to defend the defenseless, the poor, the neglected, pointing out society’s flaws to improve life for all.
Josh Ronsen

Sorry Not Sorry?

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 5, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Last year, the ACL Festival immediately announced they would refund one-third of the 3-day-pass charge to its patrons because they were forced to cancel the last day of the second weekend due to rain, a force of Mother Nature out of their control.
    This year, Fun Fun Fun Fest immediately announced they would not refund the same percentage to the thousands of patrons who were forced to miss most, if not all, of the first day of their festival because of a function the promoters had total control over: the disorganized and short-staffed will call for tickets.
    Even while admitting huge mistakes and profusely apologizing, FFF has been adamant that they will not refund anything to their patrons.
    The city of Austin should not make a habit of enabling businesses who treat our citizens with such little regard. The City Council should withdraw or withhold FFF promoters' park permits for next year's festival unless they change course and treat their patrons from this year fairly and honestly.
Roy Cipple Jr.

Church and State

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 5, 2014

Dear Editor,
    I was disappointed to see that The Austin Chronicle allowed a false and misleading advertisement attacking mayoral candidate Steve Adler to be printed in your Nov. 28 edition. The advertisement lists an anonymous comment left in response to an online story by the Austin Bulldog, and then claims that the anonymous comment was “reported” by the Austin Bulldog.
    The ad also attempts to mislead voters into believing that Steve Adler “worked against the Save Our Springs ordinance.” The ad, paid for by the the Shudde Fath PAC, also states, “Shudde Fath, age 98, loves Barton Springs.” I don’t doubt the truth of that statement, but I would hope that Ms. Fath would spend some time getting to know Steve better before allowing her political action committee to attack him. Steve also loves Barton Springs and would never work against the SOS Ordinance.
    These types of false attacks appear to be defining the Martinez campaign more and more every day. I have faith that Austin voters won't fall for them, but I am disappointed that The Austin Chronicle is serving as a medium to deliver them.
Mario Bravo
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