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Contributions to our public forum this week include comments on the value of police escorts for school buses, immigrants’ contributions and campus protests, as well as a remembrance of a deceased mother on Mother’s Day.

As always, we welcome your commentary, and thank those who have shared their thoughts with their fellow readers.

Protests opposed

Responsible and patriotic Americans should be totally disgusted with the recent and ongoing antics at many of our colleges and universities. In my school years I was involved in a couple of flare-ups, but never such a display of hate and anger against a particular race or ally. It is extremely difficult to understand what is provoking such outbursts and conspiracies of obstruction to campus activity.

As a country we have not awakened to the fact that we are at war right now. Not a declared war, but certainly at war as we are being encroached on from several directions, some in a passive way and some in a more active way. Israel is among the top three or four nations we can always count on to be our allies. We should be supporting them 1,000%

Students protesting against the war in Gaza, and passersby walking through Harvard Yard, are seen at an encampment at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on Thursday, April 25, 2024. Protest camps have sprouted up over the past two weeks at dozens of campuses across the nation. Some schools have set up encampments on campuses, including Harvard University. Others like Boston College have been calm. (Ben Curtis/AP File Photo)

What is being done by the present college generation would make their grandparents turn over in their graves. They knew that war has many casualties and that the innocent are hurt along with the guilty. But I do not worry about the Palestinians when I realize that many of them are loyal to Hamas and the rest must keep any opposition quiet or they are dead. Also, many teach their children from birth to hate Jews and Americans and seek any and every way to kill them. That “them” is us. So, it is our war, too, and don’t forget it. Also, don’t forget that Israel is fighting our war, too, so let them bring it to an end their way.

As for the rabid college students, I have this solution. Demand that college presidents bring immediate order to their campuses or resign before they are fired. Gather the violent and obstructive students up and put them in a wire city with one canteen of water a day and four hours of reeducation with the rest of the time to build and renovate their encampment. Cause the institutions that cannot or will not control their students to lose all government contracts except those concerning national defense. Finally, take all scholarships from the students for four months, the length of their confinement, so that they can re-study their position and learn a little history and practical thinking.

Four months of free thought to open their minds reality might work.

Duane A. Rasmussen

Laguna Vista

Playhouse offers thanks

We did it! Camille Playhouse triumphantly celebrated your community theater’s Diamond Jubilee with six classic musicals, as you requested! Arduous work, but all worthwhile to maintain the high standards that we are known for and that you expect.

On behalf of the board of directors, staff, all our casts, technical and non-technical volunteers, we humbly express our gratitude for sharing our joy and passion for this gem of our community.

Camille Playhouse is the largest live-stage performance theater south of San Antonio, and we are proud of our non-stop (except for the COVID years) effort to entertain, enlighten and educate our audiences.

A view of the fly tower at Camille Playhouse from Dean Porter Park in Brownsville. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

Please visit our website or Facebook page to stay updated on our craft and don’t ever hesitate to offer your talent or volunteerism; we welcome all!

Thank you, Rio Grande Valley community, for accompanying us on this memorable year and as we close this curtain, we move forward to raising it on Season 61.

Martie DiGregorio

President, board of directors

Camille Lightner Playhouse


Place police with buses

Upon reading about the Harlingen elementary student who was struck by a vehicle, I think it is not only for the drivers to watch out whenever they are driving near a school bus, but also the families of those children. There should be more protection for the kids because a simple flashlight and a stop sign will not keep the children out of danger.

Providing more security when dropping off the children will reduce the injuries and deaths of students. It is known that there have been deaths caused by reckless drivers not caring about the safety of the children. A lot of kids are traumatized, wanting not to take the bus anymore because of the fear of getting hit by a car when getting off the bus. Injuries from falling or running leave children unable to go to school. There should be an officer with the bus to maintain the order of the cars and show authority so that the cars do not pass the buses.

A view of a Harlingen CISD school bus Wednesday, May 25, 2022, after school dismissal. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

Having a police officer providing bus security will help drivers reconsider their actions and not act inappropriately. Illegal passes occur every day, but few are caught by officers. And the few who are caught usually do it again, as there is no constant police surveillance of the buses. Reports of improper driving by the community are ignored because a police officer cannot get to the scene quickly enough. Without sufficient evidence and information it is impossible to make a citation. That is why it is necessary for an officer to accompany the buses so that the drivers do not commit the crime again.

Although there are comments that the safety of the children should be the responsibility of the bus driver and that he should get off the bus, this action is not taken. Some people think the bus driver should play the role of traffic officer. According to the school department, bus drivers often are required to follow specific rules and procedures. They can’t leave the children alone for behavioral issues and safety concerns.

By providing security there will be more control; parents will have confidence in the buses and children will not be harmed.

Edna Carballo


Immigrants contribute

A few months ago, we met a couple from Michigan while on vacation. My wife was a migrant worker and I worked in fruit and vegetable processing lines, and they owned motels and this might have been the reason for our differing of opinions.

They were terrified of the migrants coming into the U.S. The wife even exclaimed that “They will destroy our country.”

I didn’t know how that was going to happen, countering that whether they were Irish, Italians, Poles, Germans, Chinese or Jews we have always benefited from migrants coming to the U.S. They would have none of it and we agreed to disagree.

Well, in two recent articles, one from Bloomberg News and the other from the Associated Press, there were headlines: “Immigration fueling economic growth while politicians rage,” and “Immigrant workers helped boost job growth and stave off recession.”

Without getting into the body of the articles, the research done by the authors essentially explains that in the long run, immigrants, rather than being a burden on society, ultimately contribute to it.

To be sure, initially there is a burden with busing, feeding and housing. But in the long run as the headlines state, migrants contribute to our economy and society. (Please note that in the 19th and early 20th centuries, unless a migrant was diseased, they were allowed into the U.S., so essentially there was no legal or illegal migrant.)

Now, as to that economy. Yes, inflation is higher than we would want (at least it is not 9% like during COVID), and yes, interest rates are high as the Fed tries to keep that inflation in check and prevent a recession. But, the U.S. is much better off than much of the world. CNN reports that the International Monetary Fund stated: “The U.S. economy’s standout performance will be a major driver of global growth.”

The “New York Times states: “Inflation … has been falling for the past year and a half ….” And finally, the Bureau of Economic Analysis states: “Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.4% in the 4th quarter of 2023 (and) … in the 3rd quarter (at) 4.9%.”

For those of you who say: “It’s the economy stupid.” You are right. It is the economy and our economy is doing well.

Gerard Pahl


Contrasting commentary

In her commentary on April 17, Imelda Coronado vilified Democrats; calling them blood-sucking vampires among other things. She even vilifies members of her own party calling them Republicans in name only. I don’t know what other folks saw in Imelda’s letter, but I saw a lot of hate.

And then, in her letter on April 24, Coronado preaches that we are cowardly feeding the destruction of America by empowering and enriching hate. What?

Hoo-boy, talk about talking out of both sides of her mouth! “A mouth that prays, a hand that kills” (Arabian proverb).

Italo J. Zarate


Low water pressure

Water pressure: Where is it? Where did it go? Not only has mine gone down for over two weeks, but so has water pressure within a 4.8-mile radius of my home.

I contacted McAllen Public Utilities but they had no answers, especially when I told them that pressure had fallen within this radius.

It is what it is, I guess. I look at it pragmatically; I am not going to have to pay for water if it doesn’t come.

Let’s find out what has happened, shall we? Contact MPU if you have a similar situation.

Martha Medina


Tragedy recalled

I always make sure to read the newspaper’s story about what happened on a specific day in history. The story on April 19 took me back to that date and I felt fear and chills in my bones.

I went to Waco to attend a refresher course on rebuilding automatic transmissions at the local technical school for a week. I remember going to the local supermarket to buy some snacks for my stay and something made the hair at the back of my neck stand up, something chilling.

I witnessed very young teenage boys and girls being controlled by a person in charge like cattle as they went down each aisle in the store. It sparked my interest because this was not normal at all; it reminded me of when I was in Army basic training where my life was controlled 24/7. There was an invisible net keeping me under their control and I did not dare cross that net because there were serious consequences if I did. This image stays in my mind to the present.

I fear that these were the young teens who became the victims in the fire in the Branch Davidian compound only half a mile away from the technical school I was attending. I remember asking the instructor about smoke close by the school and he told me, “Did you not hear? The Branch Davidian compound was set on fire, and that’s where all that smoke is coming from.” It took months to finally find what really happened that unfaithful day.

Rafael Madrigal


Letter decried

I read Mr. Rasmussen’s letter against protesting students on college campuses (May 6) and his suggestion that they be placed in what amounts to as concentration camps with limited water and intensive reeducation or brainwashing. Doesn’t he see his own rhetoric for what it truly represents, intolerance for anyone and anything that he doesn’t believe in himself? Is this his America?

Mr. Rasmussen, when and where have you recently been to any type of protest? If you had, you would know that these people and organizations preach peace and lawful protest, such as we recently saw at the University of Texas at Austin. Peaceful protests are essential to protect our democracy and our way of life for thoughtful dialogue on controversial issues — such as the war in the Middle East.

According to the Texas Tribune, the UT Austin University protest was dealt with in a heavy-handed manner as “the protesters were surrounded by law enforcement including Texas Department of Public Safety officers — who formed a perimeter behind a chain-link barrier and pushed protesters onto the sidewalks. A procession of mounted state troopers and officers on foot herded students farther using body shields and their horses, which at times came within grazing distance of protesters,” and one news cameraman was slammed to the ground.

Do you not remember Kent State, Mr. Rasmussen? During a May 1970 rally opposing expanding our Vietnam/Cambodian war involvement, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed college students killing four, along with injuries to nine students.

In your America, will this be the fate of our students in Texas universities that you propose ultimately, Mr. Rasmussen? I sincerely hope not.

Diane Teter


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].