Letters to the Editor

American billionaires aren’t 100 percent Republicans

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon New York Times file photo

Short-term rentals, long-term problems

In his Feb. 3 column, “Short-term rentals force cities to weigh rights of owners, neighbors,” (5B) former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene wrote that there are no easy answers to the problems posed by short-term rentals. I respectfully disagree. The answer is relatively simple, and the solution is already in place: zoning.

Texas has ruled that short-term rentals are hotels and are obligated to pay the 6 percent state hotel occupancy tax (though many do not). Therefore, they should operate in areas zoned for hotels and abide by the same rules.

Zoning laws were developed some 100 years ago to protect residential areas from commercial businesses popping up. Residential zoning is critical for providing peaceful, secure, safe neighborhoods for families.

All residents should hope and pray courts and legislators continue allowing cities to control their zoning and protect neighborhoods. Otherwise, you might wake one morning and find yourself living next to an unsupervised short-term rental hotel or party house, and your family’s life will be forever scarred. Ours was.

Andrew Muras,

Grapevine

Walls work here, there, everywhere

A recent statement from the Democratic Party said it supports “smart, effective border solutions — just not the president’s wasteful and ineffective wall.”

By the time you pay for more ICE agents, unmanned drones, underground sensors and towers with infrared cameras in lieu of physical walls and fences, the cost would be prohibitively expensive, potentially surpassing the $5.7 billion the president is requesting for part of the wall he wants.

Border walls or fences are standard practice in other parts of the world for historical, cultural or political significance — and, yes, to cut down on illegal immigration.

A wall may not be a panacea, but it’s the best option available and it is doable.

Delbert L. Cantrell,

Fort Worth

This support makes no sense to me

I just read a recent letter in the Star-Telegram about how great President Donald Trump is and how much he loves our country. At the same time, the top security officials he himself chose delivered the most recent Worldwide Threat Assessment to define our nation’s top security threats. It completely contradicts the president on Iran, North Korea and Russia.

Even more surprising, while it acknowledges Mexican drug traffickers are a significant problem, would-be migrants from Central America — not Mexico — are literally the last items mentioned.

I hope the president’s supporters can understand my confusion. His top experts say the president who appointed them is wrong. Meanwhile, Trump again threatens our national security by considering another shutdown that would stress the very people who protect us at airports and on the sea.

I don’t understand continued support for a president whose decisions seem more tied to his ego than to common sense.

Mary Dittoe Kelly,

North Richland Hills

One party only? It’s complicated

Where did a Jan. 2 letter writer get his information that American billionaires are “essentially the Republican Party”? (15A)

Has this writer looked at the Forbes 400 rankings of the wealthiest Americans lately? The top four are Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg. Are they Republicans? All have histories of donating to candidates of both parties, though many perceive their social views as leaning to the left.

Maybe it would be a good idea if both parties’ billionaires put a few million in the pot.

Frank Vondra,

Arlington

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