Local Issues Articles

Immigrant scapegoating, roundups bear echoes of the Third Reich

Austin American-Statesman, March 7, 2017

When I was a girl, I was captivated by “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.” The aspiring journalist wrote her diary from 1942 to 1944 while she and her family were in Amsterdam hiding from the Gestapo. She wrote in such a way that I felt as though I were hiding there with […]

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Ann Richards warned us; now we march to protect women’s rights

Houston Chronicle and Austin American-Statesman, January 19, 2017

I’ll be marching in the Texas version of the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21. Why? Because women’s reproductive rights are being taken away, just as the late Gov. Ann Richards predicted. On a brisk night in October of 1990, many of us had gathered for a hastily called rally for gubernatorial candidate Ann […]

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Officer’s suicide shines light on complexities of mental health

Austin American-Statesman, August 21, 2016

After 32 years of service, the July 25 death of Travis County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Craig Hutchinson made suicide real to our community at large. What better moment to try to better understand the complexities of suicide? News reports paint a picture of a respected, even beloved member of the sheriff’s department. Sheriff Greg Hamilton […]

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Uber: The case of the fox guarding the henhouse

Unpublished, April 28, 2016

[Author update: Uber and Lyft lost Austin’s May 7 election by a margin of 56 to 44 percent, making national news.]  As a casual observer, it looks to me like Uber and Lyft rode into town in 2013, operating outside the law. People liked the service, so the Austin City Council, taking seriously its responsibility for […]

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Planned Parenthood attack has nothing to do with women’s health

Austin American-Statesman, October 25, 2015

Now that Texas has officially alerted Planned Parenthood of their intention to yank Medicaid funding, that decision admittedly based on doctored-up videos taken by stealth anti-abortion activists, it’s time to get honest about what’s really going on here and in backward states all over the country. Make no mistake, it’s not about protecting the unborn, […]

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Why local prosecution of crimes by state officials is a bad idea

Austin American-Statesman, June 17, 2015

As Republicans pound their chests trumpeting the success of the 84th legislative session, many of us are left wondering which was the lousiest bill passed. Open carry? Guns on campus? “Repatriating” Texas gold bullion from Fort Knox to a depository in Texas — huh? Let’s not forget failing to pass a ban on texting while […]

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Positives edge out negatives for staying downtown

Austin American-Statesman, December 31, 2014

My last column reflected on the ten years since my husband Ian and I became empty-nesters and moved downtown. I concluded, “despite the year-round drunks, car alarms, lack of decent public transportation, sirens, nightly loud amplified music played without permits and way beyond the legal decibel limits and cut-off times, distracted and aggressive drivers, deafening […]

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Downtown blues: Boozers, losers and cellphone users

Austin American-Statesman, December 30, 2014

This year marks the tenth anniversary since my husband Ian and I had three garage sales, sold his truck and downsized into a 1,500 square-foot space downtown. (My son Burton was prompted to write that we were in the prime of peri-geriatric, empty-nest decadence. But enough about Burton.) It seems like everyone has asked us […]

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Abstaining is not the way to serve the public interest

Austin American-Statesman, September 12, 2014

Of all the monikers for an elected official to strive to be known as, “the abstainer” is not one of them. That’s how Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis is known, and as a Sept. 8 American-Statesman story explained, on 26 votes cast in the 2014 budget sessions, Davis racked up a staggering 19 abstentions, four […]

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Dress-down of media merited regarding Hillary Clinton coverage

Austin American-Statesman, June 25, 2014

The line into BookPeople on June 20 snaked from West Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard (in full sun) north to West Ninth Street, east to Henderson Street, then south back to West Sixth Street. I live a few hundred feet away and was on an errand when I saw it. I pulled my scooter over […]

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