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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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Frost Drill

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 23, 2021

Dear Editor,
    Good warmer morning!
    Wise adults set up "fire drills" for young people, in order to train them to react quickly and properly in case of fire. When the temperature is excessively high, you can expect a call from the mayor's office, asking people to check on their elderly neighbors and to leave water for the pets. When electricity is cut off, lots of heating systems stop working. At that point, the population should be able to consult a chart that lets people know how long it will take the pipes to freeze at different temperatures. That kind of information should be printed on every calendar. A "frost drill" will then practice shutting off the water coming from the street, and also draining the water from the pipes inside the house. There is no running involve but the damages can be as costly as those caused by fire. The most important thing is to cut off the water supply before the temperature rises above freezing. Some frozen pipes will not leak a single drop for days. Then just when the house feels warm again, comes the deluge. Water will make the floors buckle if you do not get rid of it soon enough. This is a giant setback for a lot of people. Sorry Texas!
Philippe Paul

KY Jelly

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 23, 2021

Dear Editor,
    I’m not understanding Greg Abbott’s response to the electric companies gouging us due to failure. Giving us 10 years to pay back high priced high demand profiteering. Demand was high due to the failure of the system. A failure of government and ERCOT to weatherize the grid. You had the 2011 study and you voted it down in 2017. Did you expect us to turn off the heat in the middle of a cold snap?
    You guys are trying to figure out how to be KY Jelly. How much can we screw Texans without them squeezing?
    You guys need to choose big energy or us paycheck to paycheck Texans who voted for you. There is no in between on this one.
    Let’s get this straight. Y’all ( big energy/big government) failed to weatherize the system. Y’all want us to accept the I’m sorry there was nothing I could do line yet when do y’all accept sorry in lieu of money for the electric bill or taxes? You want us to be cool with all the damage you caused and flip that bill then on top of that y’all want us to be ok with the electric companies gouging us and not a few cents 70 times our normal bill?
    ALL CAUSED BY YOUR FAILURE … HELL NO.
    You need to choose Texans this time.
    ERCOT and the electric companies as does the government need to be held financially accountable. That is the only way they will ever think if I screw this up it is going to cost me money in the future.
    That is the only way the electric company executives in charge of ERCOT will put Texans first.
    BTW, where did you think energy sector executives who run ERCOT would put their stock? Do they put Texans first? Or the energy companies (their companies) first? It is pretty obvious who is getting put first right now.
    DONT BE KY JELLY.
Roy Cantrelle

Through the Fog

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 23, 2021

Dear Editor,
    Upon reading the February 12th edition (and other various social media forums) it occurred to me that you receive a particularly large amount of people voicing criticism. In the example that prompted this email Lila O. was critical about the wait list for COVID-19 vaccinations. She wasn’t specific in her complaint as to it’s regards (APH, WilCo, Bell County, Texas, Mars, etc.) but I’d like to remind Lisa and everyone else that the fee for any criticism is three complements (thank you Nana). So for Lisa … great penmanship, wonderful use of wait list as two words, and excellent use of technology/this forum to communicate. 
    I would personally like to complement the volunteers working at APH and for how well the system is running given unprecedented times. I am also extremely impressed with WilCo's drive up system. Love that we live in a city with smart people. I’m sure if left up to me and Lisa we’d be up a creek without a paddle. Onward through the fog!
Aaron Walsh

Good on Ya

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 23, 2021

Dear Editor,
    Good On Ya, Chronicle. Thank you for your passion and dependability. Even through the Big Freeze, your dedicated staff put out a Chronicle for us. Grateful for your contribution to the Austin community!
Fancy Fairchild

The Buck Stops Here

RECEIVED Sun., Feb. 21, 2021

To the Editor,
    Before we even began to thaw out from this crisis, Governor Abbott was already blaming others for a catastrophe largely of his making. Calling for the resignation of the ERCOT CEO and board, he cunningly drew attention away from the fact that ERCOT answers to the Public Utility Commission, all three members of which were appointed by Abbott. The PUC in turn answers to the Texas Lege – mostly Republican.
    The bigger problem is of course a system which allows Texas to not comply with federal regulations that in part require electric producers to have adequate excess energy stores for emergencies. The Texas system minimizes this storage as well as weatherization measures so as to maximize profit to the producers.
    The buck stops with the governor. He and his appointed commissioners knew, as did his predecessor Rick Perry, that we were not adequately prepared for this. Now hundreds of thousands have suffered and some died, including, tragically, an 11-year-old boy who apparently froze to death in his bed. I call on Governor Abbott to resign.
Guy LeBlanc

Keepin' It AC Fresh

RECEIVED Sat., Feb. 20, 2021

Dear Editor,
    Huge thanks for everyone who worked hard this past crazy week to bring Austin Chronicle to print. I was surprised and happy to pick up a fresh copy from my local H-E-B. As a dedicated reader I commend each of you for making every publication a unique experience. Y’all rock!!
Brian Renel

Texas Can

RECEIVED Thu., Feb. 18, 2021

Dear Editor,
    I am a Texan currently finishing a master's in power and electrical engineering at Rheinish-West Faelishe Technical University in Aachen, Germany. This last week, I worried from afar as both my brothers and their families went without power for more than 24 hours. I worry about those who may not have been as prepared or fortunate as my brothers. This severe winter storm has revealed weaknesses in Texas’ power grid. Even without extreme weather, rapid population growth is stressing Texas’ aging power network. As Texas’ power grid is isolated from other US networks, we have an unprecedented opportunity to modernize our grid on our own. Renewable and alternative energy sources will continue to play a growing role in our infrastructure and Texas’ power grid already needs to be fixed: I say we fix the system in a way that uses renewables in the most efficient way. A “smart” decentralized grid with distributed storage will not only improve the power network’s efficiency, it could prevent millions from going without power in the next severe weather event. Texas is home to some of the best hardware and software manufacturers and universities in the world, and it is about to be home to one of the top lithium battery manufacturers: If anybody can do this, Texas can.
Paul Schleicher
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