Tablet Opinion

Letters: Water tower tales; local debt concerns; no Keystone pipeline

As a homeowner living in the shadow of a water tower, literally, similar to the one Rex Tillerson and Dick Armey are attempting to stop, I would like to offer the benefits they will be missing and assuage their concerns.

Aside from the obvious benefit of having water, the water tower that was built approximately 1,000 feet from our home offers the security of great water pressure, shade from the western sun, and eliminated the view of ever- changing sunset replacing it with consistent, beautiful graphics of the Texas Star Golf Course.

Also, there is no noise from pumps either at night or during the day.

However, I'm certain that they won't have to be concerned with pictures shifting on the walls and cracks in foundations and walls caused by the impact of the pile drivers setting the piers as we did.

Relax, it won't affect your property value! That's what we were told. But, I had neither the funds nor the political connections to challenge the process.

— Larry Anslem, Euless

No Keystone pipeline

In the Keystone XL Environmental Impact Statement there is no mention of PAH's, VOC or radioactive material and no mention of the human health concerns when there is a leak.

On April 18, 2013 in Nebraska a TransCanada representative stated if there was an oil leak we would do an “in-situ natural attenuation”, ”let nature take its course” in other words they are going to do nothing to clean up the oil spill.

The TarSands Oil refined in Texas then ships to China, it will not be sold in the US. So we get the pollution, the health risks, 35 permanent jobs plus the spills.

TransCanada’s first responders will take 12 hours to respond to an oil spill site. The very first responders will be land owners, farmers, volunteer fire fighters, EMT’s, and local sheriff department. Will TransCanada pay to train local first responders and provide hazmat suits?

Our gas prices will not go down, our food, water and cleanup prices will certainly go up and our farmland and water may become unusable. The money leaves, we get the mess.

No KXL please. People in Texas want jobs, but not to die for Chinese oil.

— Alice Burkhart, Fort Worth

Local debt concerns

Mike Norman unfairly stated that opposition would arise to the Arlington school district’s bond proposal due to a “simplistic assertion” that all debt is bad debt. Texans care about this issue because our state maintains more local debt per capita than every state in America, except New York.

Local debt is a bipartisan issue. “Examining local debt and bond elections is an important step,” said state Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) in the online Rio Grande Guardian. Hinojosa proposed increasing transparency and accountability, and outlawing capital appreciation bonds (CABs) where principal and interest payments are delayed 25-40 years.

While Norman’s column took a superficial approach to analyzing Arlington’s debt, it was still good to see the issue discussed. Is the scope and financing of the project appropriate, and how do the costs compare to similar projects on a cost-per-square-foot and per-student basis?

We all want the best education for our children. Making sure our schools are in sound financial condition improves their ability to deliver on that promise. But reflexively endorsing local debt proposals without weighing the rationale for the spending is a simplistic way to address education that does more harm than good.

— James Jones, Director, Accountability First, Austin

Letters

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