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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Fair Federal Judge Journalism

RECEIVED Wed., Oct. 4, 2023

Dear Editor,
    The report on the state of the federal judiciary in Austin (and Texas) was excellent and much appreciated. [“Austin's Sole Federal District Judge May Be the Most Overburdened in America,” News, Sept. 29] No axe-grinding, just informed and highly relevant information on a neglected and important subject.
John Farrell

Vote No on Vouchers

RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 3, 2023

Dear Editor,
    Although our Texas Constitution explicitly guarantees a “provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools," Governor Abbott has called a special session in yet another attempt to ram through school voucher legislation, holding teacher pay raises and public school funding hostage to appease his billionaire mega-donors and their Christian-nationalist agenda.
    As veteran public school teacher of 30 years, I fear the voucher system will result in the underfunding of public schools, inadequate compensation of teachers, and demise of esteemed public school traditions:
    Private schools aren't subjected to federal laws protecting students with disabilities.
    “School choice” has long been a whistle call for school segregation – in which affluent, mostly white, parents are subsidized for sending their children to private schools.
    In rural counties, Friday Night Lights will become a remnant of the past with vouchers. There is nothing like the smell of popcorn popping, the triumphant sound of the marching band, the vibrant colors of the drill team and cheerleaders, and the roar of an excited crowd. I loved it when I was in high school 40 years ago, and I still enjoy going to the stadium and supporting the team, even as an empty nester.
    Please urge your state legislators to stand firm and say NO to vouchers and save our beloved Texas schools and the traditions we hold dear.
    Find your Texas state representatives here:
Becky Villarreal, Cedar Park

Cover Corrupt Prison Practices

RECEIVED Thu., Sept. 28, 2023

Dear Editor,
    I read the article today about the prison shutdown in Texas [“Prisoners Report Going Hungry Amidst State Lockdown,” News, Sep. 15] and wanted to thank you for covering this issue. My son is currently housed at the Estelle Unit and, as of 9/28/23, continues to be on lockdown. Not only are the heat conditions intolerable, showers infrequent, and laundry rarely washed, but inmates are unable to purchase food from the commissary to get enough nourishment while the lockdown continues. The quality of prison food varies by unit, but it is greatly diminished when on lockdown. The main staples are white bread and peanut butter for most meals. They are not given any time outside, and remain confined to their individual cells the majority of the day similar to solitary confinement. They have no television, no exercise options, limited recreation options, and no visitation.
    My son was only supposed to be in Huntsville for a short time as he transitioned to a Prison Entrepreneurship Program he was accepted into. Then the fire occurred and now he seems to be stuck in limbo in a very unpleasant place. I pray for his safety, his health, and his sanity (along with everyone else in similar situations.)
    The inhumane treatment of any Texans in our state should be a concern for all Texans. Regardless of their legal status, they deserve to be treated with dignity and given basic human rights like adequate food, daily showers, clean clothing, and the opportunity to go outside to get fresh air and see sunlight. Please continue to cover the injustice our prison system perpetrates on both inmates and family members trying to survive difficult circumstances.
Rebekah Marshall
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