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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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Power to the People

RECEIVED Wed., April 28, 2021

Dear Editor,
    A quick look at Texas’ blackout response will tell you a lot about our Legislature’s priorities.
    The Texas House and Senate both recently held hearings on energy efficiency bills that were promptly left “pending.” [Senate Bill] 243 by Sen. Sarah Eckhardt would help Texans save money on utility bills by weatherizing their homes and would help Texas prevent blackouts and reduce pollution. Energy efficiency is widely known to be the most cost-effective way to improve our grid’s ability to withstand disasters.
    However, utilities like Oncor that serve the Round Rock area appear to oppose these bills because, one can assume, they are not a solution to sell more energy. Unsurprisingly the Legislature is moving much more quickly to build 10 new gas power plants.
    Texas needs to do something for people, not just corporations. This will only happen if we stand up and tell our elected officials we support SB 243.
Raphael Schwartz

Tribute to Denny

RECEIVED Wed., April 28, 2021

Hi Bill,
    Thank you for this sweet, beautiful tribute to Denny [“Beyond the Horizon with Denny Freeman,” Music, April 27]. We've been numb ever since we heard that Denny had inoperable liver cancer and would not be with us much longer. Your essay not only captured the essence of the man as well as the place he occupied in your life and your heart reverberates so strongly with me that I feel that if only I was capable of expressing my own feelings on the subject, I could have written it myself. Indeed, as I contemplated my own history with Denny, I think how special it was, how important he was to my sense of identity and my cultural relationship with Austin, with the blues, with guitar music. And then I pause and think, oh, right, there were like 10,000 people who probably felt the same way. Tens of thousands. And your essay finally unlocked the tears that have been held back because in many ways it feels like an obituary for a whole generation, a generation that I happen to be in. As ever, I appreciate you for your soulful insights and gifts at articulation.
Call me heartbroken,
Jesse Sublett

Keep Colon On!

RECEIVED Tue., April 27, 2021

Dear Editor,
    I’m the exact demographic for a key issue receiving overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle. SB 1028 and HB 3588 would be a lifeline for thousands of Texans by covering the cost of all recommended colorectal cancer screenings for those beginning at age 45 according to American Cancer Society guidelines.
    This is personal to me. I turned 45 in the fall of 2019 and received my first screening colonoscopy in June of 2020. I had no out of pocket expense incurred because my husband's employer offers incredibly adequate employer sponsored coverage. Thankfully, my colonoscopy discovered a polyp which turned out to be benign.
    Others aren’t as fortunate as I am. I constantly think: What if I had waited until age 50? Would that polyp have become malignant by then?
    My friend's spouse was faced with a cost prohibitive up-front coinsurance causing them to delay what could be a lifesaving screening. Their story is similar to thousands of Texans who have put of their preventive screenings due to this major financial barrier.
    Compounding this tragedy is that colorectal cancer is highly preventable when regularly screened. In fact, half of all colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented each year if every individual over 45 were able to receive their recommended colorectal cancer screenings.
    Rep. Israel, I urge you to pass HB 3588 and ensure Texas law reflect what current science shows us: colorectal cancer is being diagnosed at increasingly younger ages. Simply by updating state law, we could save thousands of lives.
Mandi Battaglia Seiler

Play On

RECEIVED Mon., April 26, 2021

Dear Editor,
    Denny Freeman’ s longstanding contribution made Austin’s music Austin’s Music. Play on 💜
Laura McEwan-Dase

Drive-Thru Voting

RECEIVED Sat., April 24, 2021

Dear Editor,
    Our Lt. Gov. is really something.
    He recently stated that "… statistics show that more people of color don't have cars than not. So how do (drive-thru voting centers) help those folks?"
    This comment is wrong on so many levels. And, despite numerous attempts to inquire as to exactly what "statistics" Dan Patrick was referring to, his spokesperson would not answer this simple question.
    Some spokesperson. Didn't want to defend the boss? Couldn't defend the boss is more likely.
    First, vehicle ownership analysis showed that in Harris County - which expanded drive-thru voting sites - 89% of the county's Black population owned at least one car. "People of color don't have cars …" – I do believe Mr. Patrick either failed math class or has a poor understanding of the word "don't.”
    As far as drive-thru voting centers "helping those folks", a careful analysis of Harris County's early voting rosters showed that Black voters used these sites at higher rate than their share of the population. Maybe that's why 'ol Dan doesn't like drive-thru voting?
    Dan says that he certainly doesn't want to restrict the opportunity for "people of color" to vote.
    Provided the color of the voter is white, that is.
Joe Pastusek

Make a Change

RECEIVED Fri., April 23, 2021

Dear Editor,
    There are many challenges our world faces today. Some of these challenges are huge. For example reducing inequalities. Yes, we have reduced them a lot. Women got better jobs and got to vote. It is illegal to have slaves in America anymore. People can love and marry who they want, whether it is a boy loving a boy or a girl loving a girl. All of this is thanks to our ancestors. We are so lucky to be where we are in this world today. But what about the next generation? It is up to us to give them a good life. IT IS OUR TURN TO MAKE A CHANGE. Many have struggled to have equal rights. Many have sacrificed so much for us to be where we are today. Including their lives and most precious belongings. But after all of their work, we can not give up. We will make their dream come true. Make a change today for a better world tomorrow. Let the next generation live in an equal world. Let no one suffer. We have our chance to save the world. The question is, will we take it? A small action can go a long way. GO AND MAKE A CHANGE!
Sydney Durrett
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