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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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"Scooter Farm"?

RECEIVED Tue., Nov. 13, 2018

Dear Editor, 
    Only a bird brain rides a Bird or a Lime. 
    A new song idea for Ray Wylie Hubbard! 
Gib Jensen
   Editor's note: For more thoughts on scooters in Austin, see "'Best of' Scooter Outrage," Daily Chronolog, Nov. 7.

Downtown Demilitarized Zone

RECEIVED Tue., Nov. 13, 2018

Dear Editor,
    I just read your article about Thunderstars bassist Omar Richardson getting beat up by a panhandler downtown ["Musician Hurt in Panhandler Attack Outside Show," Daily Music, Nov. 12]. I hope he fully recovers. It’s a disgrace what’s happening to our “live music capital of the world.“ In no time, even musicians aren’t going to want to come here.
    My wife and I have lived here since the Seventies. Going Downtown used to be a normal venture for us. We would stagger from bar to bar without a care in the world. As our lifestyle changed, we found ourselves Downtown less often.  But recently, we decided it was time to venture out to the Empire Control Room. As soon as our feet hit the Downtown payment we felt like we were in a demilitarized zone. Every step of the way we were confronted by aggressive panhandlers. When we didn’t engage, they threatened us and shouted profanities. We will never go back. Our spineless City Council has a let yet another thing that makes our city what it was, turn to crap. 
Regards,
Bronco Broussard

Dumbfounded

RECEIVED Mon., Nov. 12, 2018

Dear Editor,
    Just received my property tax bill for this year.  Incredible. How can we allow our taxes to increase by 10% each and every year?? Other states have been very smart to have propositions that limit the increases to much smaller amounts, like California (2%). Why wasn’t something similar to this in our recent elections? And what about Robin Hood of our school taxes? That’s a long discussion for another day ….
    I’m also dumbfounded why Austinites keep voting for more propositions that just increase everyone’s taxes.  Housing in Austin is even more unaffordable because our taxes keep going up!! Where do you think this money comes from? Us, of course!! Pretty soon many people will not be able to afford their taxes, but of course, we will have over-priced nice city amenities. Perfect places to pitch tents for all the homeless people of Austin. More inefficient, wasteful, overreaching government isn’t the answer. 
Paul Jacobson
Austin, Texas

Gerrymandering at Work

RECEIVED Thu., Nov. 8, 2018

Dear Editor,
    The 2018 election provides further example of effects of gerrymandering in Texas. Travis County voters picked Democrats by a 71%-26% margin, yet ended up with four R and one D representation.
    Furthermore, if you look at the total votes, including other counties, for these five districts, Democrats just slightly edged Republicans by ~1200 votes out of 1.35 million cast.
Mike Vermeulen

Right on the Money

RECEIVED Thu., Nov. 8, 2018

Dear Editor,
    I am deeply concerned about the recent budget cuts in funding for public schools that have grown to be a problem and do not show any signs of slowing down. ["Texas Education Agency on the Money," News, Sept. 21.] The Texas Education Agency's responsibility is to ensure that the primary and secondary education system in Texas is well maintained and that students are getting the best possible education that they can receive. Cutting funds could hinder the growth of students and could have irreversible impacts on their academic development.
    By cutting funds by $3.5 billion for public schools over the span of the next three years, some possible repercussions could be teacher layoffs, technological downgrades, and overcrowding of students in schools. Laying off teachers would entail that class sizes would be bigger, meaning that there would be a lack of direct communication between teachers and students (negatively impacting students' academic performance). Budget cuts for public schools are additionally unprecedented because they can cause cuts in programs that require more funding to flourish, such as fine arts; as a result, these budget cuts have the potential to inhibit the creative side of students.
    I deeply encourage the Texas Education Agency to reconsider this movement to cut funding from the Texas education system, because it is imperative that our youth have the best access to educational resources to ensure further academic advancements.
Sincerely,
Riya Chopra
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