“It seems government leadership has been usurped by a zealous sheriff and district attorney.”

Henry Glaister

Cowboy justice & bikers

The Twin Peaks shooting by now raises serious questions: Who knew what and when? To me, it’s obvious that McLennan County citizens have chosen “cowboy justice” with their election of a sheriff and district attorney who have taken the law into their own hands at the cost of local citizens’ pocketbooks and principles.

And does Justice of the Peace Walter “Pete” Peterson, who set all these million-dollar bonds, actually have a law degree? A county attorney, if the county had one, could have acted as a firebreak between Peterson’s establishment of unreasonable bonds and due process.

It seems government leadership from the city and county perspective has been usurped by a zealous sheriff and district attorney. Examination into the part played by the Texas Department of Public Safety also needs investigating. The Texas attorney general, governor and state legislators need to evaluate how justice is being handled in McLennan County.

Henry Glaister, Harker Heights

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For what it’s worth, my family and I stand with Tone Mahon on the Twin Peaks incident [Letters, Wednesday]. We live in the United States of America and “One is innocent until proven guilty.”

Richard Parker, Robinson

Campus-carry controversy

The latest article designed to inflame, not clarify, from the Bloomberg factory [Francis Wilkinson, “Have Texas state legislators been to a keg party lately?”] appeared in Wednesday’s Trib. Gun-hater Michael Bloomberg continues his campaign to deny law-abiding citizens gun ownership. This column continues the fear-mongering. At every turn the writer ignores or twists facts. He quotes surveys involving alcohol usage and violence in the 18-through-24-year-old.

He conveniently ignores the fact that the campus-carry bill restricts legal possession of handguns to those who have a Concealed Handgun License. That permit requires the person to be 21 years old. Training for this permit is specific about gun safety and responsibility. Those who now carry illegally will continue to do so. When the CHL program was instituted years ago, those of Francis Wilkinson’s ilk predicted massive increases in gun-related violence. Statistics have soundly refuted this. Gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent from 1993-2011, according to FBI statistics. Gun ownership reached its highest level since 1993 in 2011.

Bloomberg and Wilkinson should restrict their opinions and activities to New York City where they might have some awareness and information relative to the population they are addressing.

Pat Stroman, Woodway

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I suppose older generations have always put down younger generations. Everything from hairstyles and tattoos to clothing, music and morals have given the older and supposedly wiser generation a soapbox upon which to stand and slam the next generation.

Turn the clock back 20 years, though, and this writer was the younger generation — and, by his standards, he came out all right.

Men and women — many younger than some college students — are and have been defending this nation since its inception. So take your lame anti-gun rhetoric and stow it. Your alcohol-fueled gun battles are not going to happen.

Oh, and for your information, the acceptable level of alcohol for a person possessing a Texas CHL is 0 percent. If you’re going to drink, lock the guns away — period!

Dan Dayton, West

Eat more plants

Last Tuesday President Barack Obama directed federal agencies to serve antibiotic-free meat and poultry in government cafeterias. The FDA will require animal producers to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use drugs to treat a specific disease rather than just to promote rapid growth, as is current practice. As much as 80 percent of all U.S. antibiotics are used in animal agriculture.

These moves come amid growing concern about the link between routine antibiotic use in animal agriculture and human infections by bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics because of their excessive use. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that antibiotic-resistance causes 2 million illnesses per year in the U.S. and 23,000 deaths. It also adds $20 billion per year in health care costs and $35 billion in lost productivity. And we thought that animal products were just linked to heart disease, cancer and stroke.

While government agencies reduce antibiotics in animal products, the rest of us can do better immediately with wholesome vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains and a rich variety of plant-based meats, cheeses, milks and ice creams available in every supermarket. These foods contain all the nutrients we require without deadly pathogens, antibiotics, carcinogens, cholesterol and saturated fats.

Warner Farwell, Waco

A taxpayer sounds off

With regard to the Waco ISD Track & Field Complex on Fourth and Jefferson, let me see if I’ve got this right:

Waco ISD owns this land, paid for by taxpayers.

The new Track & Field Complex was paid for by taxpayers.

The new Track and Field Complex was given additional money through Tax Increment Financing (TIF funds), contributed by taxpayers and landowners.

The cost of replacing the drainage tunnel underneath the Track & Field Complex at a cost of $3.2 million is being paid for by taxpayers.

The cost to restore/rebuild the Track & Field Complex after the repairs to the drainage tunnel has not been revealed. Is it part of the $3.2 million or is it a separate cost? Taxpayers are paying twice for this effort.

My questions:

Who is responsible and who is accountable for not doing an engineering study on the serviceability of the drainage ditch prior to the Track & Field Complex being constructed?

Will they be reprimanded or terminated?

Will there be an investigation?

The TIF application request specifically included sidewalk repairs. (I have seen a copy.) Yet all I ever saw after completion of the complex was about a 30-inch strip of new sidewalk on the Fourth Street side. Most of the sidewalk remaining is in an unbelievable state of disrepair — badly buckled, dangerous and lots of grass and weeds growing through the concrete. Furthermore, how was WISD able to avoid installing ADA-compliant ramps at the corner of Fourth and Jefferson or designate ADA parking spaces in the dirt parking lot with acceptable wheelchair access into the complex?

Any answers?

J.L. Rader, Waco

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