Put mask example in schools
While Governor Greg Abbott bans any masking requirement in schools, he has stated that we have reached “personal responsibility time”.
Trustees, administrators and employees have the opportunity to give an example of masking indoors.
As COVID-19 cases rise, hospitals fill up and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that even those who are vaccinated wear masks in a confined space, schools are becoming petri dishes for the disease to spread , mutate, make sick and kill.
When children and their parents see local adults choosing to mask themselves, many will follow suit. Masks in school were the norm last year, and can continue to be, when leaders practice responsible behavior.
For the teacher living with an older parent, for the student whose young sibling is at risk, for health workers facing another wave of hospitalizations, use your individual power to promote a healthy culture.
School boards and administrations have a long tradition of non-partisan focus on doing what is best for their district. Don't let the politicization of a deadly pandemic sway you.
Ann Madonia Casey, Fairview
Competition lowers tariffs
Re: “Behind the epic state failure of Texas – electricity is treated like a commodity, but it is a critical service. And as the February blackouts prove, people can die without them, ”by Robert Bryce, Sunday Opinion.
Bryce's comment on the February Texas power outages repeats an unreliable and likely false claim about the benefits of competition in retail. He cites a Wall Street Journal claim that “Texans paid $ 28 billion more for home electricity because of the competition.” The claim rests on a number of hidden assumptions which, when revealed, show why it is almost certainly wrong.
The analysis assumes that electricity tariffs for consumers in competitive areas should match tariffs in parts of the state that are still served by regulated utilities. For example, the cost in Houston, Austin, and Dallas should be the same as in El Paso, Amarillo, or Texarkana.
I'm sure homebuyers in the major cities would wish this were true! These rates were not identical in regulation in the 1990s, so the assumption that they should be the same in competition is unfounded. The problems with the WSJ estimate go deeper. You are using fifth grade math to solve a PhD assignment.
Fortunately, Rice University economists have tried to carefully measure the interest rate effects of electrical competition in Texas. They found that the competitive prices were lowered for both residential and commercial customers.
Michael Giberson, Lubbock
Renewable energies will be reliable
Bryce's column on the causes and outages that led to the Texas blackout in February is excellent, with the exception of two points he makes. First, the lack of wind and solar power was less than 3% of the problem. Several gas and coal-fired power plants as well as a reactor in the South Texas nuclear power plant went out of operation due to plant failures due to the ice and the low temperatures as well as due to lower natural gas deliveries. That was 97% of the problem.
Second, the “generous federal tax incentives for wind and solar energy” are not examples of “crown corporatism”. They were conscious incentives for the expansion of renewable energy capacities. Fossil fuel burning needs to be phased out by 2050 and replaced with renewable energies and possibly advanced nuclear power to meet our national (and Paris Climate Agreement) targets to reduce atmospheric carbon.
Most solar parks today are built with battery storage and in the near future energy storage will be available on a utility scale. Our evolving renewable power grid with its energy storage capability will provide Texas with resilient and reliable power.
Charles R. Foreman, Arlington
Check these numbers again
Re: “Count the Immigrants,” by Lynda H. Leake, Sunday Letters.
The latest letter stating a 900% increase in COVID-19 cases among immigrants crossing the border is a classic example of fake / misleading news. Fox News published a story about a reporter who claimed these numbers. The numbers affected were so small that a 900 percent increase resulted in 135 incidents over two weeks. So the number they started with was about one a day. With numbers this small, you could say the airlines tripled by adding just two a day. Sounds awful if you don't know how small the sample was.
Then the story was picked up by various right-wing “news” agencies, but they conveniently forgot to explain that this was just a reporting station. It now sounded like the entire frontier was seeing this surge. Even a local NBC partner in Alabama misread the story.
I'm sure the social media channels had a great day with it too. I wonder how many Russian trolls pumped this story through the Republican base.
I would guess that millions of people have gotten the impression that the COVID-19 problem in border states is an immigration problem. Please guys, check out the messages you get. We are too easily fooled.
Kerry Mayer, Lewisville
‘Superbug' update required
Re: “4 die after the fungus spreads – hospitals struggle with untreatable ‘superbug' outbreaks, officials say,” July 24 news.
It has been approximately two weeks since this article was published about a superbug outbreak in a Washington, DC nursing home and two hospitals in the Dallas area. The hospitals have not been identified. The district judges, the DFW hospital council and the hospital management have been completely silent about the hospitals affected.
How does a Dallas-Fort Worth citizen feel safe going to a hospital emergency room for treatment or visiting a sick family member when hospital groups refuse to find out where they are?
We have requests almost daily that we all get vaccinated to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but this supervirus appears to be pretty deadly. Where's the coverage? Where is the DMN watchdog? Grilling!
F. Howard Manning, North Dallas
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