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Hire inexpensive superintendent

As the Sharyland school board embarks on the crucial task of hiring a new superintendent for our school district, I would like to express a heartfelt concern about overpaying a new superintendent like some of the other districts in the Valley. I urge the school board to remember that the backbone of any thriving school district lies in its educators.

A well-compensated and motivated teaching staff is essential for maintaining a positive and effective learning environment, ultimately contributing to the overall excellence of our school district.

Students are released at Sharyland High School on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, in Mission. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

Please remember that teachers and staff have not been given a raise in many years. While the selection of a superintendent is undoubtedly a crucial decision, it is equally important not to lose sight of the invaluable contributions our teachers make every day.

Let us ensure that the financial resources allocated are distributed for teachers and staff raises.

Anthony Limon


Shelter decision draws criticism

Now that the city of Harlingen has ended the relationship between the city and the Humane Society, they want to build a new shelter. Even while they operate out of the current dilapidated facility, there will be astronomical costs that they have not communicated to the taxpayers. Seems they are putting the cart before the horse.

They have the facility, 11 staff salaries, plus benefits, maintenance, utilities, liability insurance, transportation, a veterinarian, costs of services such as spay and neuter, vaccinations and chipping, office equipment, computers, printers, medical equipment, medicines, food for the animals, crates, toys, leashes, pest control, grooming supplies, cleaning supplies, equipment for special needs animals, the list goes on and on. The city has no idea of the costs involved in running a shelter.

How much of our money will they contribute to operations this time around? They want to hire 11 employees for an animal shelter at a cost of approximately $366,000. That’s just payroll.

Taxpayers have not yet been informed of the price tag of operating the shelter, much less the costs to build a new shelter. A $400,000 contribution to the Humane Society was one thing. Building, maintaining and operating a multimillion-dollar animal shelter is quite another.

A view of the facade of the Rio Grande Valley Humane Society in Harlingen in Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

There has been no discussion outside their announcement and rendering of a new shelter. There have been no votes by the commission to undertake the construction and operation of a new shelter. The city just decided to go forward.

Has anyone asked the public if they are willing to spend their tax dollars on a new multimillion-dollar animal shelter? As wonderful as a new facility may sound, we still have to pay for it. Has a ballot initiative been discussed?

Before they spend, spend, spend, shouldn’t there be a feasibility study or cost analysis to present to the taxpayers? Where will the money come from? They can continuously amend the budget, but they still have to pay for it, and in a city of 70,000 people they will be way out over their skis.

Taxpayers, it’s your money. Transparency alert! Let’s see the price tag.

DawnRae Sealy-Leonard


Do your research

As a very young letter writer 20 years ago, I got blasted for criticizing President Bush. “Another America-hating leftist comes calling,” one responder said.

Wasn’t much internet access back then, so the TV people colored my political world view. All I knew was that Democrats were the good folks. They were given such glowing praise and adulation by pundits, how could you disagree?

Years passed, hard delving and their eroding of my BS detector, and I woke up.

Recent national polling found that only 3.2% college professors identify as Republican. Another recent study found college undergraduates to test almost exact average IQ as non-collegians. Correlation? The prevailing wisdom of today’s leftist is “settled science,” and to never question or rebuke the trusted authorities. Human advancement has never unfolded this way. Reinterpretation and expounding upon academic and scientific dogma is always necessary. In 2021, CNN’s Brian Stelter said four words — “do your own research” — were sabotaging the government’s COVID efforts. “The problem is that most people simply don’t know how to do their own research,” CNN claimed. So we’re too stupid to self-educate, then? Got it. Suffice to say, most of the pandemic protocols were disastrous failures.

The moral being, be more than just a filter-less propaganda retainer. Delve, inquire and challenge prevailing narratives. Do your own research. Take a peek outside your trusted echo chamber, branch out. You’ll grow exponentially, both personally and civically.

Jamey Honaker


Government called rogue

When our federal government chooses to impose against the states illegal migration that will hurt every state in our nation, that’s a rogue government.

The federal government is not our boss, king or dictator.

We have a federal government out of control. The federal government was meant to unite the states and the nation, not to divide a nation. This division today has turned America into chaos from our east coast to our west coast.

The problem is in our state representatives in Washington, D.C., who feel entitled due to their position, four decades long for some. They created a gang of thugs ruling over the states and feel untouchable and above the law.

The states need to rethink and readjust the role of our federal government. We cannot sit idle and let the federal government rule like a king without question on laws and decisions that affect all 50 states

Rafael Madrigal


Policies criticized

There are now 140 million Americans in poverty, according to the Poor Peoples Campaign.

There are millions of refugees all over the world because of U.S. wars for profit.

The U.S. government has a heavy hand in starving people in the Third World and killing people for profit.

We witness the half-million dead in Ukraine, because Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland chose not to continue the U.S. historic assurance to Russia that NATO nukes would not threaten Russia.

Some 30,000 dead in Gaza from U.S. bombs and counting, because Biden doesn’t care how many people he kills.

Time to stand up yet?

Review Martin Luther King’s sermon on Vietnam. U.S. mass murder is not new.

Tom Laney


Cheney’s concerns
Former Congresswoman Liz Cheney poses backstage before her conversation with David Rubenstein at the 92nd Street Y on Monday, June 26, 2023, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

The following are excerpts are from Liz Cheney’s best seller “Oath and Honor, A Memoir and a warning.”

“When we had a presentation on recent polling results, I asked about Trump’s favorability numbers among independent voters. I didn’t get a response. Any discussion of Trump that could be perceived as negative was clearly avoided. Only praise could be offered.”

“The discussion turned to social media and big tech. In the aftermath of January 6, Trump had been kicked off multiple social media platforms. Certain others who had amplified Trump’s false claims were also deplatformed. As (Kevin) McCarthy discussed conservative speech being silenced online, he claimed that the online platform Parler had been shut down simply because it was conservative.

“Parler’s online platform was shut down because users of the site were calling for violence, including political assassinations and Parler had failed to remove the posts, including the following:

>> “This cu** (United States Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao) should be hung for betraying their country.”

>> “Hang this mofo (Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger) today.”

>> “We are coming with our list we know where you live we know who you are and we are coming for you and it starts on the 6th civil war…..Lol if you think it’s a joke….Enjoy your last few days you have.”

>> “We need to act like our forefathers did Kill (Black and Jewish people) all Leave no victims or survivors.”

>> “After the firing squads are done with the politicians the teachers are next.”

>> “Shoot the police that protect these sh—bag senators right in the head then make the senator grovel a bit before capping they ass.”

>> We are going to fight in a civil War on Jan. 20th, Form MILITIAS now and acquire targets.”

>> White people need to ignite their racial identity and rain down suffering and death like a hurricane upon Zionists. ”Parler’s online.”

“The impact of this lie was especially toxic. It was not lost on those who had been posting racist, anti-Semitic, hate-filled calls for violence on Parler that Trump and his Republican supporters were defending them. The lie also fed the anger of Trump supporters who believed they were being silenced because of their political beliefs. After January 6, Kevin told us he was receiving FBI briefings about the serious threats of violence against members of Congress. At the time, he had admonished all House Republicans not to fan the flames of this potential political violence. Now he was doing it himself.”

Italo J. Zarate


Don’t blame Nancy Pelosi

Duane Rasmussen criticizes Nancy Pelosi for not calling out the National Guard to put down the riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 (Jan. 16 13). No speaker of the House, Democrat or Republican, has the authority to call out the Guard.

Guard units stationed throughout the country are under the control of the respective governors where those units are stationed, except when nationalized by the president. And, except the unit stationed in the District of Columbia. The unit in the District of Columbia is under the exclusive control of the president of the United States.

Following the riot, there were numerous articles that stated that the vice president and others pleaded with the president to call out the Guard, and of course he refused to do so.

I know Pelosi is a favorite punching target, but don’t blame her for not doing what she had no authority to do.

Melchor Chavez


Lacking knowledge

A song from the 1960s starts, “Don’t know much about history ….” The song features a young man who hasn’t paid much attention in school but has figured out which girl he wants to be with.

Ironically, the song writer’s admission is true of even those boomers and subsequent generations of public-school students who did pay attention in school. American elementary and secondary education went into a free fall after World War II, as plummeting SAT scores attested.

In an even more serious irony, what was taught in American public education was always intended to be just a starting point for life-long learning. Today, Americans are committed to life-long entertainment instead.

When our knowledge of history slides into the abyss, it turns out that it is not just government and politics we are clueless about. What we believe about God and religion, war and peace, business and law, family and science is weak or outright wrong as well.

The songwriter Sam Cooke knew he was ignorant. We don’t even know that.

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah

Referendum on secession

Buried in the Texas Election Code, Section 172.088, is a statute that was passed in 1985 that allowed voters, by petition, to place a ballot proposition on a political party’s primary election ballot.

A referendum is a non-binding survey of registered Texas voters. The referendum is first created by a sponsor and then presented to the public by way of a petition. The requirements are twofold. The first is that a minimum number of signatures are needed to approve the petition. The number required this year is 97,709 signatures. The second requirement is that the petitions be delivered to the Republican GOP offices no later than 6 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2023.

Roughly six months ago, the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM) sponsored a petition to place the following referendum on the March 2024 Republican primary ballot: “Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.” Yes or no. This is nothing more than survey of WeThePeople (Texas voters).

TNM gathered 139,456 signatures (audited). These were delivered to the GOP headquarters six hours prior to the deadline specified in the statute.

It is quite obvious that the Republican Party committee is afraid of what the results of this survey may show. Texans are fed up with the members of government who continue to blatantly break and bypass the law (Constitution) — i.e., criminals. When submitted, Matt Rinaldi, chairman of the GOP committee, rejected the petition based on a twisted and irrational interpretation of the lawful statute, thus denying WeThePeople from submitting an opinion very important to the people of Texas.

TNM is now suing the Texas GOP organization. If this situation alarms you, as it should, I would ask you to take action by contacting your state representatives. Further, submit a protest to

Jack Baker


Nation haters

America haters would never win the presidency in the future, when their hate brought undeserving tyranny, weaponization, economic destruction, character and racism calumnies, suffering and immeasurable pain to good, trusting and hardworking Americans.

Imelda Coronado


Editorial derided

It happened again. This newspaper published another comment knocking the efforts of our governor, from the Houston Chronicle. Obviously, the Chronicle offers no support to Gov. Greg Abbott for anything, just as the Valley newspaper gang continues to knock him for every move he makes.

The latest attack of Gov. Abbott in the issue of Jan. 17 concerned the action of the governor to close the park in Eagle Pass that was being used as a collection point for illegals. The order to close the park was intended to make it just a bit more difficult for those crossing the river illegally to take up residence in the U.S. And strong Democrat and Joe Biden cohort, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, was singled out for his predictable support of the do-nothing party as Cuellar misstated, or was outright lying, when he accused Abbott of allowing three people to drown by not letting U.S. Border Patrol agents enter the park to save them.

The problem is that we understand the drownings took place before help of any kind could reach them. And so it goes. Stories get twisted to make the Republican look bad.

Sure, it’s a tragedy, Rep. Cuellar and Houston Chronicle, but don’t look past President Biden and his administration for fault. Check back at the illegal problem while President Donald Trump was in office and contrast that record with what Biden has done since Day One of his administration. Leave Texas alone. None of the problem with illegals can lie in the lap of Texas or Gov. Abbott.

How about placing the fault of the drownings in the hands of those who drowned, who made the unwise decision to try to come here illegally? And the same question can be asked for those illegals who run into the barbed wire or floating balls. They are put there as a warning to not come into our country illegally. Only a supreme dolt takes the chance to surmount obstacles that are telling them to stay away.

We as a nation are suffering a silent and weaponless invasion, yet still an invasion. It is the great quantity of people overwhelming our ability to handle them that is threatening our existence as a nation. Cuellar thinks both parties can sit down and reach a solution. That is impossible as long as the radical socialist segment of our society continues to espouse its no-borders policy with open doors to all.

Gov. Abbott’s letter to the president that the liberals and the Chronicle seem to despise was only telling the truth. My contacts around the country support our governor and wish him even greater success in keeping the illegals out. They don’t want them in their back yards. Get the message, Rep. Cuellar and all of your tribe.

Duane Rasmussen

Laguna Vista

Trump judge

Aileen Cannon was nominated to be a U.S. district judge by Donald Trump on his way out of office in 2020. Now, she’s overseeing Trump’s classified documents case in Florida, and she’s doing everything in her power to delay the trial until after the election and let Trump off the hook.

MAGA Republicans have infiltrated deeply into America’s legal system.

Ned Sheats


Editor’s note: We welcome your letters and commentary. Submissions must include the writer’s full name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters of 200 words or fewer will be given preference. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar and clarity. Letters may be mailed to P.O Box 3267, McAllen, Texas 78502-3267, or emailed to [email protected].