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Contributions this week included thoughts on fighting child abuse, foster care and the need for technological advances to address the needs of people with disabilities. Other opinions addressed water pollution, our shortage of healthcare workers and the treatment of women.
As always, we welcome opinions from all our community, and thank those who have done so.
Water worries

After reading that dozens of Texas water systems exceed new federal limits on “forever chemicals,” I noticed that we as a society need to start worrying about our planet. We need to stop over-polluting and start recycling.

There is a lot of dangerous waste that could be in the water that we drink every day.

We need to start taking care of the planet because of the chemicals that are being found in our water systems and where we usually get our water.

Dozens of Texas water systems exceed new federal limits on “forever chemicals;” 49 public water utility systems have reported surpassing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever limits for five “forever chemicals” in drinking water, according to data submitted to the federal agency.

There are around 7,000 public water systems on Texas and we need to be aware of the chemicals they use. When COVID-19 started; no one believed it was going to invade the world or even touch the United States, but it did, and it is going on till today.

“These are very harmful chemicals. It’s even more important for (water systems) to address this in the drinking water to minimize the exposure of people in Texas,” Maria Doa, a senior director of chemicals policy for the environmental nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund, told after looking at Texas’ PFAS results.

Since there hasn’t been a lot of news or exposure of this damage to our water systems, people are getting worried for our health since water is a resource needed to survive.

I find it very interesting how the government is not applying pressure in this theme and how some water utility systems haven’t said a word. Water is a resource that everyone in this planet uses to live.

If Texas’ government does not do anything about these carcinogenic chemicals in our own water, we are all going to die as soon as expected by drinking the liquid that gives us life.

Dante Gómez


Why vote?

A presidential candidate who had a snowball’s chance in hell, whose opponent said would lose a million to one, surprised everyone to include me by winning the electoral vote and shocked everyone, his and his opponent’s supporters. It turned the political system upside down. How was it possible?

His first term in office began under attack on day one by bogus charges and continued through the end of his term. He did well, considering he was under attack day after day to include the destabilization of America through violent protests on the west and east coast at the same time. The reluctance to charge people with crimes, only to increase the violence from repeat offenders.

A sign directs voters to the poll location Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at Lark Community Center in McAllen. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

The American people are left with a bad taste in their mouth to even consider not voting at all. Does it really matter? If the candidate expected to win loses, will there be another revolt to oust him or her out of office? Create mayhem for the next four years just because the expected winner lost?

Personally, I may just take a pass on this coming November election. Does it really matter if I vote? I don’t think so. That’s the feeling I get today. They need to make drastic changes to lure me to the voting booth this November.

Rafael Madrigal


Unimportant obsessions

America is fixated on breaking records. But do new records change the course of history like we think they do?

America has been the “greatest nation on earth” for so long we think we must look for some exotic frontier to conquer to top our current greatness.

After World War II we planted 800 military bases and outposts across the earth to prove our invincibility and further our national wealth. After that, what was there left to do?

Here’s what we are doing today. We are going back to space. We are counting Super Bowl rings. We are building massive new baseball, football, basketball and hockey stadiums and arenas. We are drooling over an aging Madonna’s record-breaking beach concert in Rio. We are throwing tons of money at Caitlin Clark just because she can lob a round ball into a 10-foot-high hoop from farther away than most girls and boys.

We are ballooning up to 400 pounds and then losing 150 so we can turn body shame into body fame.

We go to excess in personal consumption because we can. We have all the resources we need. We waste “news” media time on stupid reports of celebrity sightings because there is nothing left for us to do. Or is there?

What is really going on here is irresponsible focus on the unimportant accomplishments while important things, mostly negative, are happening all around that need attention but are going unreported and uncorrected.

How about we go back to school, whether literally or figuratively, learn from history, and accomplish some things that will go down in real history books, instead of the “flatter ourselves” evening news.

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah

Conservative goals touted

The Heritage Foundation, the foremost conservative think tank in America, has produced a letter to be sent to President Joe Biden, Majority Leader of the Senate Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader of the House Hakeem Jeffries that gives the best and only way to make life better, more hopeful and freer for every citizen. History has proven that all people suffer whenever they are ruled by radical, leftist policies and people. The list is a conservative list and one that should be supported by all freedom-loving people.

Close our borders and end illegal immigration.

Reestablish our energy independence.

Eliminate government collusion with Big Tech to censor free speech.

Demand law and order and prosecution of criminals on our streets.

Keep government bureaucracy off the back of working Americans.

End the weaponization of government agencies against law-abiding Americans.

Cut spending and restore faith in the American dollar.

Eliminate government money for the diversity, equity and inclusion programs and critical race theory curriculums that are corrupting our culture and poisoning the minds of America’s children.

Uphold the Constitution.

Put America first.

I would add that financial support for unlimited social programs must end. We were founded as a nation of individuals who were encouraged and driven to make of their lives what they willed, not as a people who wait at the trough of public goodies provided by those who would work for their own salvation. We were advised that a democracy works until people realize that they can vote themselves anything they want so long as someone else pays the bills. Let’s be willing to return to self-determination and hard work.

Duane A. Rasmussen

Laguna Vista

Foster care needs fixing

I read the article about Texas’ troubled foster care program that says the state should care for abused and neglected children. According to the article, a federal judge ordered Texas Health and Human Services officials to pay $100,000 per day in fines for alleged abuses.

Texas HHS should fix the way it investigates children’s care and protect them from any harem. With recent concerns about Texas children’s safety there should be a better foster care system and people should learn how to report abuse.

Texas should provide children a good and safe place to stay.

According to the article there were “9,000 children in permanent state custody, removed from their homes due to circumstances that include abuse at home, complex health needs, or the loss of their family caregivers.”

Texas has a Department of Family and Protective Services for any children who are being abused or neglected at their home. They will make sure Texas children are safe by placing them in foster care if they can live safely at home or CPS will try to find relatives and family who can provide stability while the children can’t live with their parents. Teaching children how to report abuse for their own safety is important. Children have the privilege of knowing how to report abuse and not stay quiet or let it happen repeatedly.

As stated in the article, “a girl was left in the same residential facility for a year while 12 separate investigations piled up around allegations that she had been raped by a worker at the facility.” People should listen to children when they are talking about not being treated correctly, things that are happening or someone is making them do something that is wrong.

There was a temporary charge of $100,000 a day for contempt that hit Texas HHS officials over the agency’s routine neglect of investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect by children in the state’s troubles in foster care system. The agency failed to prevent children in custody from being physically and sexually abused. An appeals court has temporarily blocked this, but that can never negate the harm that has been caused to these children. Texas should care about children’s safety and not let them be abused and neglected, and teach them how they can report negative happening at any time.

Yahaira Alvarez


Assumptions of MAGA foes

I would like to pose a question to letter writers who seek to convince readers that MAGA Republicans (former President Donald Trump and his supporters) are an existential threat to this country and its democratic institutions:

What course of action should be taken to deal with MAGA Republicans who have been labeled or characterized as a “clear and present danger” by the above-mentioned Trump-hating “guardians of democracy”? I would venture to guess that most would be in favor of the actions outlined below.

(1) Round up MAGA Republicans and relocate them to deprogramming centers as has already been suggested by some.

(2) Relocate Trump supporters to Soviet-style” reeducation camps” or internment camps as was done to Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The ends justify the means.

Ben Castillo


Trump foes draw attack

For those fake pillars of the church rejoicing and daily passing the popcorn over Juan Merchan’s tawdry persecution trial of Donald Trump, a political opponent of global power-addict Joe Biden, who allegedly pressured his minions to revive this statute-limited matter to easily secure his anarchist regime, we must all remain mindful of that divine quote in the Good Book: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Beware when celebrating somebody else’s persecution and suffering. Hate-obsessed Marxists openly wish Trump dead on their hate-filled mainstream media clown shows. Divine karma is God’s justice, and it will come. God’s still in charge.

Kudos to the multitude of peaceful, steadfast, good people who never wish anybody dead, no matter the egregious attacks and aggression against them.

Imelda Coronado


Near miss on Combes

It’s spring 1967, a warm Friday evening in Harlingen. Like most high school kids with the family car for the evening, I’m at Clyde’s Drive-In (a carbon copy of Mel’s Diner in American Graffiti), sipping a Pepsi when word comes down that there’s going to be a drag race on New Combes Highway. B*B*’s Shelby Mustang was going up against T*G*’s Hemi. New Combes was the favorite venue for muscle car drivers showing off their wheels. Clyde’s starts to empty.

A regular I’d seen at Clyde’s but didn’t know personally comes up to the window and asks if I’m going to the race. I say yes and he asks to ride along. OK, He hops in.

We joined the exodus. Every car burned rubber as it left; some got second-gear scratch. A carnival atmosphere blossomed as we joined the caravan. By the time we arrived, cars lined both sides of the road. the race was about to start when sirens and flashing lights pierced the distant darkness. The cops were coming.

Headlights flickered to life. Both lanes of the two-lane road bore one-way traffic – away from the cops.

I pulled into a nearby driveway and turned off my lights as the contestants and all the other cars vanished into the night. One cop stopped a few yards past the driveway then backed up slowly, blocking it. A search light found us. My heart sank as it scoured the back of my car and finally stopped on my back window. We ducked down, but it was useless. We were busted. Back then, anyone participating in an illegal drag race – even as an observer – faced the same fine and penalties as the contestants. The cop radioed in to check on my plate. It took several agonizing minutes before he got out, walked over to my car and shined his flashlight on me. I thought it was odd when the beam eventually fixed upon my passenger. As I recall, the conversation went something like:

Cop: “Hi, Joe.”

Passenger: “Hey, Carlos. Busy night tonight?”

Cop: “Yeah, Fridays are like that. Get home and get some sleep, Joe, you have the early shift tomorrow.”

Passenger: “How’d you find us?”

Cop: “Brake lights. Y’all be careful now, y’hear?”

I’d left my foot on the brake and Joe was a rookie officer at Harlingen police department.

Jack McNally


Performance draws kudos

On April 27 and 28 the All Star and All Star Kids Club presented the musical The Addams Family at the McAllen Performing Arts Centre. This musical comedy was a great entertainment to four full houses (two performances on Saturday and two on Sunday). Kudos to director Joel A. Garza and the All Star Team: Sophie Casas, Holly A. Amstutz, Daniel Garza, Priscilla Villarreal, Emily Villarreal, Andrea Cantu, Christina Luera, Carlos Perez, Bryanna Barrera and Christian Guzman!

And kudos to the entire cast of The Addams Family and to the parents who support their children! McAllen has a great talent!

Alma Saavedra Anzaldua

Georgetown, Texas

Women slighted

Kimball Shinkoskey from Utah recently wrote a commentary quoting “his bible,” about his disappointment of the family structure nowadays and its inability to measure up to his standards of conduct (May 10).

Let’s explore how women have been discriminated against throughout U.S. history and how this writer’s ideal nuclear family c0ncept is distorted and deserves another viewpoint.

1) It wasn’t until 1920 that women could vote in elections.

2) It wasn’t until 1963 that the Equal Pay Act was supposed to eliminate wage disparities between gender, but according to pay-scale research, for every $1 that men make, women earn about 83 cents today.

3) It wasn’t until 1972 that Title IX federal law prohibited sex-based discrimination in educational programs and activities.

4) From 1973 until 2022, women had reproductive freedom of their health/welfare and the ability to secure an abortion.

5) Not until 1974, with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, could women obtain credit cards in their own name.

6) Not until 1994 was there a Violence Against Women Act that addressed domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

So, Mr. Shinkoskey should consider that his narrow biblical concept is woefully inadequate when it comes to his actual knowledge and experience of what girls and women have endured yesteryear and today (heartbeat bill) under men who wish only to control and mold the female gender into their own beliefs — religious and/or legislative.

Diane Teter


Local gym too noisy

Can it be that Pharr with all its resources cannot keep the peace? I am referring to a local gym that evidently believes it has the right to wake up the elderly and ill early in the morning and keep them awake using some kind of bass machine that should be completely turned off.

Pharr police have been notified on numerous occasions as well as the city manager’s office. But it appears they have been taking lessons from the Uvalde cops and decided they are powerless to keep the peace. The city manager has not returned my calls. I have been told he is at a meeting.

The irony is that a gym is supposed to be for people’s health. But this one won’t let people sleep.

Physicians say sleep is necessary for good health. A further irony is that the city government, I have heard, is composed of members of the medical community who should know the importance of sleep.

Will the city take action and protect the sleep of all residents? I’ll let you know.

Jose Guerra


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].