Letters: Jon Stewart, Dallas Weather, Canada's Plastics, Gov. Abbott, SB 1804, Mueller Report

Show up for 9/11 first respondersBravo to Jon Stewart for calling out the House of Representatives for not showing up for a hearing on the continuation of benefits for 9/11 first responders. How dare we abandon them as they face the illnesses caused by their extraordinary response on that day we watched the towers fall, the Pentagon be attacked and bravery of Flight 93 passengers. We owe these people just as we do our war veterans, and this time the attack was on our soil.Kathy Minde, RichardsonWhy were sirens silent?Re: "Questions remain after deadly crane collapse — Apartment residents won't get to move back; accident cause studied," Tuesday news story.Questions remain about that crane? How about questions remain about a silent siren during devastating winds that lifted massive trees out of the ground and dumped them on houses and cars? Electricity poles downed like dominoes across streets and no electricity for days. Creeks rising past their 18-foot banks and flooding homes. In neighborhood after neighborhood, one can't walk 10 paces without seeing an uprooted tree, huge limbs ripped off and cast about, or other devastation. Do we have to wait for a tornado to have a warning siren?Julie Raffkind, Dallas/Northwood HillsPower message from AlabamaJust got power back after a 48-hour outage. The guys who restored our electricity were from Alabama Power. Great guys. Many thanks.One of them said, "Looking at the way you guys manage your lines, I'm surprised we ain't been here before."Think about that.Tom Wright, Dallas/Hollywood HeightsSwitch to paper strawsRe: "Canada to ban single-use plastics starting in '21 — Trudeau: Similar move by EU was inspiration; items covered still to be determined," Tuesday news story.Is it time to change our plastic use habits? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced, "Canada will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021". Canada is considering the ban of items such as water bottles, plastic bags and plastic straws. These items are also a ubiquitous "eyesore" to the Texas landscape and a known danger to wildlife. With many Asian "recycling" countries telling us to keep our trash, maybe it is time to rethink our plastic use habits. An easy solution is using paper straws again and on a request only basis for restaurants and schools. Especially the schools, as I recall in my younger mind's eye those "things" sticking down from the ceiling.John Jasper, PlanoBill was contaminatedI have conflicted feelings over Gov. Greg Abbott's veto of SB 1804. On the one hand, we lost a widely supported bipartisan bill that was intended to make victims of domestic violence safer. On the other, the governor blocked waste control specialists Rep. Poncho Nevarez and Rep. Brooks Landgraf's plan to sneak in an unrelated amendment that would have allowed the import of radioactive waste to Andrews County without paying a share of fees into the state's Perpetual Care Account to clean up existing sites contaminated by radiation. Sen. Lois Kolkhorst neglected her responsibility by not blocking that amendment in the first place, since it had nothing to do with the bill to which it was attached. Presumably everyone who voted in favor of the amendment that appeared late on the last day of the session assumed it was submitted in good faith to correct a detail in the timing of the law. Abbot redeemed the state's government with his veto, but everyone else involved ought to be ashamed.Christine A Guldi, DallasCommunication advice for TrumpLike many, I awoke last Thursday to watch President Donald Trump and other leaders mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. This was a moving ceremony, reminding us of a critical moment in history and celebrating the contributions of those who fought gallantly and gave their lives to save the world. As a partisan, I normally am critical of Trump's rhetoric. In that vein, I was delighted that French President Emmanuel Macron used his speech diplomatically but clearly to lecture the president about the importance of Western values that make America great. However, as a scholar of communication who understands the importance of separating political beliefs from professional judgments, I salute Trump for his excellent speech. It hit the right note in content and form.I wish Trump would not return, as no doubt he will, to his usual habit of following scripted speeches with shameful and unpresidential tweets and remarks undermining Americans, American institutions, America's closest friends and international allies, and the Western world's most cherished democratic values. Richard Cherwitz, AustinIt's all in the reportUpon completing my reading of the Mueller Report, I wonder: How many Americans have or will read it? How many professing Trump supporters? How many Republican (or Democratic) lawmakers? I recognize the report contains several extended passages of dense legal reasoning, difficult reading for non-lawyers such as myself, which provide the necessary legal justification for investigations of possible obstruction and abuses of power, congressional oversight of the executive branch, etc. But, hey, much of the report's bulk consists of the copious footnotes and references, leaving just a skinny pulp novel's worth of reading, providing a clear, objective account of disturbing and, I would conclude, illegal behavior by the president. To hear so many people and elected leaders blindly dismissing these findings amazes me. A foreign adversary has provided a tailwind for one American political party, and the reaction is: "We don't care. We won. Case closed." Wow.John Leslie, PlanoWhy we need journalistsRe: "Two tales of Tiananmen — In Hong Kong, thousands gather to remember; it's just another day in Beijing," June 5 news story.This article is a reminder of why we need a free media. In the Chinese media, the Tiananmen Square crackdown has been reported as "justified."Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne, AustraliaGet back to the golden ruleRegarding the general attitude of the country, when did "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" become "not my problem?"Annabelle Masse, PlanoGet in the driver's license lineThe only way to fix waiting times at driver's license centers is for voters to demand all Texas government employees and elected officials must also appear in person at licensing centers and without favor stand in line on a first-come, first-served basis to get or renew a driver's license!Ronald Larsen, Fairview  Continue reading...

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