LETTERS: Don’t permit development

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The City of McAllen Parks and Recreation Disc Golf Course is seen off of South Ware Road on Thursday, April 13, 2023, in McAllen. The sport of disc golf evolved as an offshoot of many games spawned by the Frisbee craze. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

Our families want more than a concrete jungle, they want a thriving environment in which to raise their children. At a recent town hall meeting, residents expressed concerns about additional flooding in the area, environmental impact of development, loss of a Frisbee golf course and family access to nature.

I believe children have a right to access nature, specifically, community areas like Green Jay Park that are natural and free. The city should be preserving and improving these community green spaces to make them more accessible and welcoming for all families. There are tremendous benefits to the community when families spend time in nature.

>> Children play and engage in deep learning.

>> Children develop their creativity and connection to the natural world.

>> Families develop a greater sense of connectedness.

>> Adults and children experience physical and mental health benefits.

Re-zoning and further business development of Green Jay Park is not progress. It is a failure to meet the fundamental needs of the community.

I would love to see the company Zoho develop its plan in another area within McAllen. An area that is not a community green space with a longstanding ecological and historical context.

Green Jay Park belongs to the community and should be a city park. Please listen to the community and do not assume that the few city leaders who have been planning this alliance know what is best for the community.

Michelle Medina


SpaceX a risk to LNG ports

In April, SpaceX launched its largest rocket yet, which erupted in a fiery explosion causing much more environmental damage than expected. The launch pad broke apart, hurling chunks of concrete and rebar up to a mile away as a plume of pulverized concrete as much as 6.5 miles away from the launch site was reported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A view of SpaceX Starship from Texas State Highway 48 as the rocket launches from Boca Chica/Starbase April 20, 2023, exploding soon after liftoff. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

Now, recall there are three proposed LNG export pipeline terminals close by. In 2016 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission queried about the proximity of risks posed to Rio Grande LNG by building so close to the SpaceX rocket launch pad. At the time, data were amassed for the less-powerful Falcon rockets in service at the time, and it was estimated that there was little chance of debris striking the liquefied natural gas terminals; however, Elon Musk in the ensuing years has increased SpaceX rocket size to heavy boosters launched as quickly as possible with an additional fuel change for greater propulsion.

The coastal towns of South Padre Island, Port Isabel, Laguna Vista and others have opposed the LNGs locating near their communities to FERC for human health and environmental reasons. Consider that the Department of Housing and Urban Development does not approve projects due to the risk of fire within 6.2 miles. The SpaceX launch showered debris 6.5 miles away.

So, we have our small RGV coastal towns bearing the brunt of a catastrophic combination of ever-increasing heavy booster rocket experimentation nearby LNG export terminals with their super-heavy transport tankers. Is FERC really monitoring for safety, or are it and the Federal Aviation Administration unable or reluctant to regulate fossil fuel exports and rocket sites — in coordination and cumulatively — for the safety of our RGV citizens and environment?

Diane Teter


LETTERS — Limit letters to 300 words; all letters are subject to editing. Mail: P.O. Box 3267, McAllen, TX78502-3267; Email: [email protected]