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Allred the advocate
Re: "Athletes tackle politics — Allred joins rare list of ex-pros to serve in Congress," Tuesday news story.
U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, was the invited guest at our RESULTS meeting last Sunday. He discussed with us the focus of RESULTS: improving conditions for the poorest segment of humanity living on less than $1.50 a day. We concentrate on areas of health, education and economic advancement.
Allred was an active participant in our discussions and declared his passionate belief in education, citing his own life. On the issue of health, he offered to be a sponsor for the bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to support continued U.S. leadership of the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.
The 32nd District is fortunate that Allred is a strong advocate for issues that affect the lives of those who have the least opportunities. We wish him great success in using his football expertise to tacklethese critical problems in Washington.
Rudy Moras, Dallas
Recalling ’86 tax reform
Re: "There were once pro-growth Democrats — JFK could teach modern party members about the folly of overtaxing the rich," by Stephen Moore, Wednesday Viewpoint.
In the commentary, Moore states, "The Tax Reform Act of 1986 was a great bipartisan achievement that helped spur many years of strong economic growth."
I recall things differently.
I recall the act eliminated some strong incentives for real estate development. Rather than phase out, they ended immediately. That stopped the economic expansion underway in Texas in its tracks. First Houston, then San Antonio in 1986, Austin in 1987 and North Texas by 1989 went into severe contraction. Construction ended. The savings and loan industry ceased to exist. Unemployment spiked.
It took a decade for property values to recover. The recession spread to Los Angeles and New York City by 1991, and the ensuing weakness helped defeat George H.W. Bush’s re-election attempt.
Moore’s failure to recall that sequence of events leads me to doubt the rest of the conclusions in his opinion piece.
R.K. Crowley, Arlington
Re: "Atmos asks for $10M rate hike — Provider cites 88 miles of gas pipes replaced after fatal blast," Thursday news story.
In 2005, I had the opportunity to tour the Lone Star Gas Building, which was no longer in use. It was great to see the art deco adornments. When we reached the upper floors of the building, I was astonished to see numerous oil paintings; bronze sculptures; huge, expensive wooden conference tables; leather chairs and the like. That these furnishings seemed to have been left behind puzzled and horrified me; that they had been purchased at all angered me. For all these things to have been abandoned meant that they must have had replacements in the new headquarters. A second outrage!
I am happy to afford a $3 per month increase in my gas bill to replace the old pipelines in my East Dallas neighborhood and elsewhere in the older neighborhoods in our city. Having seen those expensive furnishings of our public utility company caused me then and causes me now to question Atmos’ use of customers’ money.
Ruth K. Woodward, Dallas/Lower Greenville
Problems beyond housing
Re: "A cry for housing in Old East Dallas," by Robert Wilonsky, Wednesday Metro & Business column.
Did not know a shade of paint was sentient enough to be contemptuous.
An affordable apartment complex — painted a contemptuous shade of dull green in a fast-gentrifying neighborhood
While the need for affordable housing is essential for survival, I’m not sure maintaining the Bryan Song Apartments described by Wilonsky would be advisable. If I had a 9-year-old, would I want him to continue to live in a place with no heat, rat infestations and squatters, regardless of the cost?
Saving these apartments would be a Band-Aid on a symptom of bigger problems. Jobs with living wages, affordable child care, access to public transportation, affordable health care and job training might help people be able to afford a more satisfactory place to live.
Cynthia Stock, Garland
Editorial nailed it
Re: "Pursue the Truth About Russia Ties — The American people deserve to know the veracity of the allegations," Thursday Editorial.
Congratulations for publishing one of the best editorials I have ever read. You nailed it.
President Donald Trump has been crying like Br’er Rabbit pleading, "Whatever you do, don’t throw me into the briar patch," regarding the Russian matter. The New York Times should be granted a Pulitzer Prize for the story revealing his cover-up of recorded translations for five meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his buddy. Trump is a disgrace to the position he never earned and never will.
Thomas Grimes, Waco
How about apprenticeships?
Many Democratic hopefuls for president are announcing support for free college education, reminding me of an interesting encounter I had with a fellow student in my online seminary class.
A German immigrant, he said that he was a journeyman electrician and apprentice millwright who worked in electrical maintenance. He said he had a college degree in broadcast journalism, which he obviously wasn’t practicing. He said that he had a dog kennel, where he raised Staffordshire terriers, and an apiary where he kept bees, producing honey for sale. His career shows that skilled trade workers often earn more than college graduates.
Free college is being proposed when every increase in student loans has caused a rise in college expenses. Conservative reform at Purdue University has capped tuition for a decade. Then there’s the 40 percent dropout rate from colleges, centered among minority and low-income students, many failing due to poor preparation in high school.
Wouldn’t it be more effective to promote apprenticeships so students learn skilled trades, like my electrician classmate, which are paying higher than some college graduates and which are needed in the U.S. economy?
Frederick W. Fraley III, East Dallas
Shield against competition
Re: "Test drive, anyone? — Tesla opens showroom in Galleria as Texas laws remain unwelcoming," Thursday Metro & Business story.
This is another example of the small-government, free-market, capitalist Republicans displaying their hypocrisy by preventing Tesla from selling cars directly to consumers. Apparently, the car dealership lobby has contributed enough to our Texas lawmakers so that they passed this protectionist law. Not protecting your average Texan but shielding car dealers from competition. Those with the gold do make the rules. Incredible!
Hans Voorn, Frisco