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Maine

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Airport security, property tax, incivility, DART, gerrymandering, Juneteenth

Assuming bias

Re: “Extend your outrage to Muslim victims,” by Ramiro G. Hinojosa, Saturday Viewpoints. This commentary tells a story of outrage in which the author’s friend was detained by Customs officials at DFW International Airport, “most likely based on his appearance and name.” That statement needs to be proved, not alleged. His detention coming from Jamaica could have been due to drug screening, search for contraband, outstanding warrants, past criminal activities, etc., or maybe even a mistake. Nevertheless, this temporary restriction of movement was deemed a “trampling of his basic rights.”

Of course there are no interviews with Customs officials, no mention of complaints being filed (there is a process), nor any other follow-up to confirm the events were in fact true. Its basis assumes that any actions were not justified but were caused by bias.

John Beall, Dallas

Other inconvenient truths

Talk about inconvenience! Please consider the inconvenience of hundreds of thousands of travelers every day due to security checks at airports, trying to keep people safe from mostly Muslim extremism. And the inconvenience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide who are trying to keep their families safe from Muslim extremists. A better title for this piece would be: “Extend your outrage at the Muslim extremists who kill thousands each year by cars, knives, guns and suicide bombs.”

Don Skaggs, Garland

Tax protest system unfair

I believe the Dallas County tax appraisal protest system is unfair to older homeowners for two reasons: The process for appeal is mainly online, and a hearing is involved in a location unfamiliar to the homeowners, if they have transportation. What are they to do if they do not have a computer or transportation? What if they are not physically able to go to a hearing?

Rozanne Holmes, Coppell

The pox of incivility

I have a question for all of the letter writers asking for more civility in our political discourse who then turn around and blame it on the media or Democrats. Did you feel the same way when the right wing was calling President Barack Obama a Muslim, an illegitimate president, an anti-Christ, and every other name under the sun? Did you feel the same way when local elected officials were referring to the first lady as a gorilla? If not, then you’re part of the problem every bit as much as the most rabid Trump-hater.

Until this country recognizes that this is an issue that completely spans the political spectrum, we will make no progress.

Miner Raymond, Waco

Suburban transit

Re: “Take the regional approach — DART needs to build Cotton Belt line, says Ron Whitehead,” Tuesday Viewpoints. I support the firm appeal made by Whitehead, city manager of Addison from 1982 to 2014, for Dallas to take a balanced, regional approach to building both the downtown D2 route and the suburban Cotton Belt Line in Far North Dallas. I can appreciate Dallas’ new desires for walkability, bikeability and availability of transit for poor Dallas residents, but the promises of a regional transit system satisfying interests of suburban cities can’t be deferred forever. Suburban population growth and business development have advanced far beyond the expectations upon DART’s founding in 1982.

We have reached the point where two major cities exist side by side in North Texas: the city of Dallas and suburban Dallas. Does Dallas want to provoke the suburban cities to merge into a major city, challenging Dallas politically in Austin? If DART can’t work regionally, that’s the next alternative for suburban cities. Looking at the Cotton Belt route, one sees significant facilities to be accessed: University of Texas at Dallas, North Lake College and an alternate route to DFW Airport. Is Dallas’ real motivation to deny competing suburban business districts access to DFW Airport?

Frederick W. Fraley III, Dallas

As easy as 234

DART did have a connecting nonstop express route across North Dallas. The route was the 234 express bus running from the LBJ/Central rail station to the North Irving bus station then eventually into the Las Colinas rail station. The route started in the late ’90s using the old HOV lanes across LBJ. Ridership grew primarily due to the fast commute times across LBJ. With the LBJ construction, we lost the HOV lanes. Due to poor planning, lack of effective connections, increased commute times and inconsistent performance by DART, the ridership dropped dramatically. Before the route was canceled a year ago, the 234 bus briefly used the new HOV lanes across LBJ. Commute times were around 20 minutes from LBJ/Central to North Irving.

DART should consider connecting the Blue, Red, Green and Orange rail lines with a North Dallas crosstown express bus like the 234, using the LBJ HOV lanes. This North Dallas crosstown connection would be cheaper and easier to implement than the Cotton Belt route.

Glen Suhren, Garland

Gerrymandering begone

Re: “A Blow to Gerrymandering? Court decision could reshape American politics,” Tuesday Editorials

We, the voters, have tolerated our rigged election system for too long! We don’t get to choose our leaders. Thanks to partisan gerrymandering, they choose us. Without competitive voting districts, collaboration and compromise are unnecessary and even harmful to our complacent “representatives.” We continue to suffer partisan deadlock in Washington, D.C., and in Texas. The Supreme Court partisan gerrymandering case is both hopeful and long overdue. However, real change will be slow and more litigation is inevitable. States, like our Lone Star, continue to weaponize the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by willfully diluting the representation of minority voters. This shameless persistence is perplexing, and the failure of the House Redistricting Committee to hold any meetings since 2013 is unconscionable. Joint resolutions calling for an independent redistricting commission have been soundly ignored in every session. With Independence Day in mind, let’s raise our voices to our “elected” leaders for democracy’s sake. Call often. Ask them to end gerrymandering and to support joint resolutions for an independent redistricting commission.

Joanne M. Mason, Coppell

Erasing history

Re: “Juneteenth, about fun or freedom? Older generations want the emphasis to be on holiday’s historical significance,” Monday news story. I agree wholeheartedly with those quoted in the story about the younger generation not learning about history and their heritage, but from a different point of view. Being a fifth-generation Texan, my heritage includes the Confederacy; however, it seems a lot of people would like to erase this period from our history by removing statues, memorials, markers, etc. I am not a redneck white supremacist, but the Confederacy is a historical fact and should be remembered as such.

Sam Myers, Balch Springs

Man stabbed with watermelon knife in Giant Food on Connecticut …

An argument between two employees in a storage room of a Giant grocery store near the Van Ness Metro station on Thursday ended with one worker stabbing the other with a large knife used to cut watermelons, D.C. police said. The injured employee, in his 40s, was hospitalized in serious condition with three stab wounds, according to police, including one in the abdomen that fractured his ribs and caused extensive internal injuries. Fred Allen Irby, 28, of Southeast Washington, was arrested at the store and charged with assault with intent to kill. A D.C. police officer working overtime as a store security guard was at the store in uniform. The store in the 4300 block of Connecticut Avenue NW across the street from the University of the District of Columbia closed for several hours after the stabbing, which occurred out of view of customers.

An arrest affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court on Friday says Irby and the other man began arguing about 5 p.m., with the employee alleging that Irby rarely did any work. At least one worker tried to intervene by getting between the two men, but police said the suspect retrieved the knife from a cooler and attacked the victim.

I hope he dies, witnesses told police that Irby said as he walked out of the store with the knife in his hand, according to the court affidavit. Police said they found the knife in grass outside the store.

Man stabbed with watermelon knife in Giant Food on Connecticut Avenue in NW

An argument between two employees in a storage room of a Giant grocery store near the Van Ness Metro station on Thursday ended with one worker stabbing the other with a large knife used to cut watermelons, D.C. police said. The injured employee, in his 40s, was hospitalized in serious condition with three stab wounds, according to police, including one in the abdomen that fractured his ribs and caused extensive internal injuries. Fred Allen Irby, 28, of Southeast Washington, was arrested at the store and charged with assault with intent to kill. A D.C. police officer working overtime as a store security guard was at the store in uniform. The store in the 4300 block of Connecticut Avenue NW across the street from the University of the District of Columbia closed for several hours after the stabbing, which occurred out of view of customers.

An arrest affidavit filed in D.C. Superior Court on Friday says Irby and the other man began arguing about 5 p.m., with the employee alleging that Irby rarely did any work. At least one worker tried to intervene by getting between the two men, but police said the suspect retrieved the knife from a cooler and attacked the victim.

I hope he dies, witnesses told police that Irby said as he walked out of the store with the knife in his hand, according to the court affidavit. Police said they found the knife in grass outside the store.