FEEDBACK
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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Cars: Not "Viable" Transportation

RECEIVED Mon., Dec. 17, 2018

Dear Editor,
    Kathy Marcus said, “If scooter riders … wore helmets [and] stopped at red lights, then they would be viable forms of transportation.” ["Boot Scootin'," Feedback, Dec. 14.]
    Great, then cars aren’t viable forms of transportation, either. According to the surveys, most drivers admit to running red lights. They wind up injuring a whopping 126,000 people in the U.S. every year, killing 800 of them. In Austin, law-breaking drivers cause 16,000 collisions a year, and in half of those cases a vehicle is towed or someone has to be hospitalized (or is dead). Hit-and-run drivers in Austin maim and kill over 500 people a year.
    Oh, and drivers don’t wear helmets, either. (Helmets’ protective value isn’t magically tied to only non-motorized vehicles).
    It’s amazing how often people are motivated to write to the paper to screech about scofflaw cyclists or scooter-riders, but never drivers, even though it’s the latter who are actually killing people. Law-breaking scooter riders are generally a threat only to themselves. Selfish law-breaking drivers, however, are a threat to us all. Once scooter riders start hurting others in numbers anywhere approaching what drivers do, then I’ll be more concerned. Until then, let’s focus on the bigger problem.
Michael Bluejay

Give Me a Break

RECEIVED Fri., Dec. 14, 2018

Dear Editor,
    So a female UT student signs up with an all-women off-campus dorm that has a well-known and longstanding policy against male visitors ["Flight From Scottish Rite," News, Dec. 7]. This is so the 315 female residents can focus on studying and not be distracted by romantic liaisons and attendant drama. Kaj Baker, a lesbian, is upset that she can’t bring her girlfriend into the dorm during times that male visitors are barred? That sounds like equal treatment to me, not “discrimination.” Yet the Chronicle tries to turn SRD’s even-handed response into a controversy? Give me a break. Baker is seeking preferential treatment, at the expense of her fellow students. Find something real to complain about.
Sincerely,
Mark Pulliam
   News Editor Mike Clark-Madison and writer Beth Sullivan respond: Actually, Baker's complaint is that she was asked to not have any guests, including her girlfriend, at times when other visitors – male or female – were not barred. SRD Director Mary Mazurek's explanation for this, ultimately, was because some residents had allegedly expressed they were uncomfortable with Baker's sexual orientation. That's what makes it potentially discriminatory.
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