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Letters to the Editor – Opening up Texas, ‘Eyes of Texas,’ For the People Act, Shingle Mountain, vaccine process



TX – I am writing this just after Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state’s mask requirement will be rescinded and that all businesses can open at 100% capacity. It is incomprehensible, and here’s why.

First, the pragmatic issue. I am 68, just got my second dose of Moderna and just went to Costco for the first time in almost a year. With no masks and 100% open, I won’t be doing that again after this week. And that’s not just self-interested — I refuse to behave in ways that risk the health and well-being of others. Those who are conscientious will likely also be pulling back. No bars, no restaurants. And when the inevitable increase in cases occurs (spring break is coming), that will cascade.

Second, the governor, his allies Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton and many of their fellow legislators claim to be pro-life. That is a miserable misnomer. It is foreseeable that, as a result of this pandering to their business donors and the misguided and misled voters who support them, many will die and others will suffer.

Two words describe Gov, Greg Abbott’s decision to reopen at full capacity and lift all mask mandates next week: foolish and reckless!

My life vs. your base

Gov. Greg Abbott, thanks for ending the mask mandate. I have two risk factors and am still waiting for my vaccination but love politicians rolling the dice with my life in order to play to their base.

By the way, I also love the recent unintentional national tourism ad about our state: “Y’all come on down to Texas, where we can’t guarantee water or electricity.” Now, we can add a tagline: “And, heck, we’re even increasing your chances of catching COVID-19. Don’t mess with Texas; we can do it to ourselves.”

Racist past calls for change

Re: “Alumni take stand for ‘Eyes’ — Emails show wealthy donors demanded more support of song,” Tuesday news story; and “Rename Texas prisons — Some corrections facilities carry the legacy of slavery on their front gates, and that must be changed,” Tuesday Editorials.

The battle over “The Eyes of Texas” song and the battle to rename Texas prisons are painfully related. Both battles center around Texans admitting that actions in our state’s racist history were wrong. Changes are needed following the study of our history.

Thank you for the editorial recommending changes to prison names. I hope another editorial about the history of “The Eyes of Texas” and the need for change will follow.

Giving citizens a greater voice

I strongly urge the people of Texas to learn about the For the People Act, a bill (HR 1) in the House of Representatives designed to expand voting access and change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, and express their support for it to their representatives. Currently being amended in the House, this bill will soon move to the Senate as Senate Bill 1. If passed, this bill will give every citizen a greater voice in our government.

He moved a mountain

Re: “Shingle Mountain’s mover treats residents to a joyous concert — With asphalt gone, a pile of smiles,” Saturday news story.

I loved this follow-up article on Shingle Mountain. It was past time for that situation to be cleared up. Kudos to Quincy Roberts for completing this job and for the celebration for these residents. The icing on the cake, though, would have been if the story had been written by Robert Wilonsky. Miss that guy!

Kleinman to the rescue

I was needing my second vaccine this week at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, but my submission form got deleted. I spent several days on the phone and on emails trying to get reinstated, but nothing worked. Then a friend suggested calling our city councilman, Lee Kleinman. Within minutes, I was connected with someone who took my information and then said to go to the center and I would be seen.

I received my shot in minutes, compared to the 4-hour wait to get my first shot. Kleinman’s office couldn’t have been more helpful. I just want to say a public thank-you to the councilman and his staff. They truly came to my rescue!