Letters to the Editor – Mental health services, the Constitution, housing, semiconductors

Letters to the Editor - Mental health services, the Constitution, housing, semiconductors

Where do we live, again?

Re: “Woman cycled through courts — Suspect in shooting ‘perfect example’ of issues with mental health care waitlist,” Wednesday news story.

I was shocked to read the following paragraphs from the above-mentioned story: “The waitlist for state psychiatric hospitals is nearly 2,500 people long, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. More than 950 people are waiting for maximum security beds, and more than 1,500 are in line for non-maximum slots, per state data.

“On average, people spent about 511 days on the maximum security waitlist and 232 days waiting for non-maximum beds, according to numbers from September 2021 to June 2022. The wait in Dallas County can be longer.”

Texas sounds like a developing country in mental health care. What is so incredibly difficult about building more hospitals and hiring the appropriate staff for them? It is a commonsense solution, but one that apparently eludes the current Republican leadership.

The same problem seems to exist in finding appropriate homes and facilities for our foster care system, where something like 47,000 children founder with no settled placements. And then we look at our state prison population, where apparently air conditioning does not exist. Torture anyone, never mind rehabilitation?

James R. Bridges, Fate

Seems like a no-brainer, but …

Re: “Constitution 101 Should Be Required — Rep. Cheney has the right idea: All freshman members of Congress need a class like this,” July 24 editorial.

Shouldn’t any candidate, before they can run for elected office, have to prove some basic knowledge of the Constitution? This should not be applied to voting (we’ve seen the consequences of that in our country’s recent history), but our representatives and senators in Washington ― bringing in six-figure salaries and pretty nice pensions and health care packages — must be able to recall the three branches of government and list the first ten amendments of the Bill of Rights.

If you have to take a class after you’ve been elected, then it’s already too late. But if something must be done, such as a class or crash course, then just have them watch Schoolhouse Rock’s I’m Just a Bill.

Martin Friedenthal, The Colony

They likely know more than we do

Although never my favorites as a teenager in the ’50s, civics, history and government classes provided at least an introduction to the basics of our Constitution and state and local laws. However, I continue to be humbled by the knowledge required for a citizenship application in the United States. Looks as though many of us take citizenship for granted.

Perhaps there is a lesson for all of us from the newest members of our nation. A copy of the United States Constitution is inexpensive and easy to order!

Marye Davis, North Arlington

Not just a Dallas problem

Re: “Elevate housing policies,” by Ellen Magnis, July 18 Letters.

The Dallas Morning News has printed stories, editorials and letters from readers about housing issues faced by low-income residents and those displaced in older communities. Replying to a News story about the conversion of downtown office space to luxury housing, Magnis states the need for city leaders to rethink housing policies to address homelessness and affordable housing options for low-income residents. Yes, the city of Dallas does have its problems in this space. However, it’s time for suburban cities to step up to the plate instead of recasting the issue as a Dallas problem.

The suburbs experiencing robust job growth, notably those in Collin and Denton counties, tend to cherry-pick employers away from Dallas while dragging their heels in providing affordable housing options. If suburban cities use state and federal dollars to fund municipal projects and programs, then their feet should be held to the fire to incentivize and implement clearly stated affordable housing policies with teeth tied to their regulatory tools.

For all their boasting, the onus is on suburban cities to own the problem of affordability for low-income residents, as it is a regional problem.

Robert L. Prejean, Dallas/Oak Lawn

Invest in US-made semiconductors

Re: “It was a U-turn for TI in Sherman — Company went from phasing out plant to adding more,” July 17 Business story.

This story effectively demonstrates how investing in a robust domestic semiconductor industry is crucial for the economy at the local, state and national levels. Boosting domestic chip production will create many high-skilled jobs and reinforce America’s tech leadership, economic prosperity and national security.

Demand for chips is rising sharply. To support this critical industry, Congress has just passed legislation that includes CHIPS Act investments in chip production and innovation, and an investment tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing and design. Demand for chips is rising sharply.

Sherman is a great example of what could be happening all over Texas and the rest of the country, but it can’t happen without federal investments to level the global playing field. America’s future depends on semiconductors.

John Neuffer, Washington, D.C.

President and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association

Is this wise spending?

Re: “Texas sues federal government — State says Biden’s emergency abortion guidance is unlawful,” July 15 Metro & Business story.

Has anyone calculated how much money our attorney general, Ken Paxton, has cost our state in frivolous lawsuits? We could take care of foster children and so many other critical needs with those funds. Oh, but foster children are outside the womb!

This story states, “The attorney general filed a lawsuit this month challenging the administration’s assertion that hospitals must provide abortions in case of medical emergencies.” So just let the women suffer and die, but save that fetus! It’s hard to believe this man claims to be a Christian. Remember to vote in November!

Carol McNatt, Athens

At least we’re not being bitten

People should quit complaining about the heat since we can’t do anything about it. We should be at least thankful we are not being pestered by mosquitoes so far this summer.

Donald Reichert, Garland

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