Letters: Richardson, Pensions, Dallas Mayor, Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Red Light Cameras, Festival of Ideas

In praise of RichardsonMy husband and I wish to acknowledge the city of Richardson for its excellent service as well as the professional drivers of the trucks equipped to pick up the fallen limbs and trees from Sunday's storm. Since moving to Richardson in 1959, the city's planning (except for the streets) has been excellent. A thank you to all those past and present who guide the operation of Richardson. Paula B. and Edward Dardaganian, Richardson Answer state pension questionsRe: "Former chief is still receiving pension — Laws allow benefits to continue for Sorrells, facing 10-year term," Monday Metro & State story.Why am I not surprised that Rick Sorrells, Carolyn Foster, Lorenzo Garcia and others continue to receive full state pensions in spite of the fact that they have admitted to and/or been convicted of committing "serious financial crimes"? May I suggest that your "Curious Texas" staff do a little digging, and reveal to us the following?Who proposed the stupefying law to "allow benefits to stay in place even if serious financial crimes have been committed" (and please, name names). Why do "privacy rules" prevent the public (who funds the Teacher Retirement System of Texas) from finding out who that system is paying, and in what amount? Will the state of Texas garnish the pension payments as restitution for the ill-gotten gains received by these ne'er-do-wells?I do hope your staff is up to the challenge. I'm sure that many of your readers would love to know the answers.Wayne Hardey, Northwest DallasNew day hasn't arrivedRe: "A New Day for Dallas — Positive, unified vision emerges from election," Monday Editorials.The business elite was all on one side in the mayor's race. All the news coverage, including yours, said so. Then the editorial and some of the columnists claimed a "new day" had arrived.Dallas' business elite has taken another election. What's new about that? Gene Lantz, DallasSteer Dallas away from chaosI wish Eric Johnson all the best as the newly elected mayor of Dallas. Our region needs Dallas to continue the many successes that it has experienced over the years. No one benefits if Dallas morphs into a Los Angeles or San Francisco-type fiasco. The absence of law and "order" causes these islands of despair to form. Dallas, being at a historic crossroad, needs a mayor and staff that can steer the city toward civility and away from chaos.The Dallas Morning News is touting that the "us vs. them" mentality was defeated. I beg to differ. The division in this city, state and country is not going anywhere after any election just because the "us-es" win and the "thems lose." I believe the divisive mentality will remain. We can expect the lapdogs will be barking loudly at the new neighbors, and The News will be handing out early passes for transgressions.Jerry W. Halpin, LucasSenators, stop standing byShame on you, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. You were elected to do what's best for your constituents. You recognize that President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on Mexican imports would cause "substantial economic harm," but you're not sure you would block Trump if he actually followed through, although now he says he won't?Gentlemen, it is long past the time for you to stop putting yourselves and your "careers" ahead of what is right for the people who depend on you and often struggle due to the weak-kneed decisions you make or by choosing to simply stand by! Judy Wong, CarrolltonRed-light photos workedRe: "Red-light cameras off, but is that it? Some N. Texas cities won't make you pay off tickets, but others will," Thursday news story.With reference to this article, several weeks ago, The Dallas Morning News published the following justification from Gov. Greg Abbott for canceling this law, namely that the action would reduce rear-end collisions. These occur, of course, when someone who has obeyed the law and stopped at a red light is hit from behind by someone who did not stop. This has happened to people I know, but not (at least yet) to me.I guess that is yet another example of Texas' prized personal freedoms. (Personal disclosure: I live in Texas, but am not "of Texas.")This law, however, did work in at least one instance. My late husband, an ever loyal native son-of-Texas, received a fine based on a red-light camera photo some years ago. After initial denial, he realized that he had slowed down, but not completely stopped before turning right on red. He never made that error again.Louise Delano, RichardsonA place to grow older?Re: "A 5-day buffet of visions for Dallas Festival of Books and Ideas gave participants plenty of food for thought," Sunday Arts & Life story.I was pleased to see a write-up on the recent Dallas Festival of Books and Ideas. As a 45-year happily married couple who sold our house in McKinney and retired to Dallas, I was particularly taken by the "Physical City" item, alluding to "pockets of walkable, mixed-use developments ... great for older locals ... where you can gracefully, easily, naturally grow older." Might this include Victory Park where we now live, directly across North Houston Street from the Perot? Should it? Will it? Having spent much of our lives doing the usual of raising children and pursuing careers in various suburban locations, ranging from Austin to Indianapolis and back to Texas, in retirement we have been eager to pursue the unusual: live in the city where we can walk to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meyerson Symphony Center, American Airlines Center, Deep Ellum, Fair Park, Oak Cliff and anyplace else we care to go.Which is to say that "walkability" in Dallas is where we choose to make it. While we have no long-range plans about where we'll live, will Victory Park be "great for older locals" where we can "gracefully, easily, naturally grow older?" What say ye, Dallas?George Crain, Dallas/Victory Park  Continue reading...

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