2014-11-13 / Opinion

Letters to the Editor

Multiple invasions

I noticed that the sargassum odyssey being over, the city is now fighting the pepper trees. Asking what was wrong with the pepper trees, I was told that they are invasive. Invasive? What do they really mean?

We know that an invasive species is a biological system not native to a specific location that has a tendency to spread, which is believed to be detrimental to the environment.

Well, I am seeing lots of invasive species around. They take the form of realtors, builders, Spring Breakers, Winter Texans and other forms of tourists.

There is also some invasive activity going on Harbor Island in great secrecy. Is the city doing anything about these types of invasions? They are definitely not good for the environment.

Yes, I know, the history of the world is made of waves of humans invading new territories and claiming, after riddance of the native populations, that they have a God-given right to be there.

However, if we keep doing the same thing, we will have to stop one day.

Yves Coeckelenbergh
Port Aransas

about the activity going on at Harbor Island.]

Time to act is now

Through research and participating in education and outreach events, I have learned that in order to tackle the litter issues in Port Aransas we do need to employ multiple strategies.

Like most places, plastic bags are being targeted in Port Aransas because they are easily transported by the wind and end up in our waterways. These bags alone require tons of tax dollars to clean up (Corpus Christi calculates $500,000.00 per year cleaning up bags), clog storm drains, and are just offensive when seen covering the dune vegetation. Tony Amos has shown too many dead sea turtles and marine mammals with guts full of plastic bags.

Along with the plastic bag ordinance, education, outreach and informational signage is needed. For years, groups such as Skip the Plastic, Keep Port Aransas Beautiful, Surfrider Foundation and the Green Team have been working hard on education about the harms of plastics and litter in the environment. Education and outreach on this issue has already been done by these volunteers at events such the Whooping Crane Festival, UT Summer Science, Earth Day/Bay Day, Old Town Festival, SandFest, tables at IGA, etc. This certainly helps – but unfortunately it is not enough.

The City of Corpus Christi has delayed its bag ordinance for several years to do education. Their result: Nothing has changed. The City of Brownsville enacted a bag ordinance in 2009 and now has a cleaner city (reduction of 350,000 bags/day-for one city!). The City of South Padre Island has reported that businesses are doing fine and revenues are just as high as before its ordinance.

Since we know bag ordinances work, why not move forward and do what we can? Corpus Christi will vote again on its ordinance in 2015 and Rockport has been meeting about it – let’s lead the way.

Rae Mooney
Port Aransas

Good luck with coyotes!

Live coyotes are currently under a statewide rabies quarantine that prohibits them from being transported or sold in Texas.

Under this law (Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 169, Subchapter A, Rule 169.34), the city cannot trap and release coyotes anywhere. (There is an exception for peace officers and individuals hired by local, state or federal government agencies to transport these animals as part of their public duty.)

Question: What can the city do?

Answer: Get a long handled shovel and a 30-30. Good luck.

L.O. “Bubba” Garrett
Port Aransas

Split 13th district

I was the Republican candidate for Justice, Place 6, 13th Court of Appeals in the recent general election.

First, I would like to congratulate my opponent, Justice Dori Contreras Garza, for a fair, clean race in which she prevailed by a slim margin. I wish her the best in her continued service on the 13th Court of Appeals.

Second, and the real point of this letter, I urge the people and state legislators within the 13th Court of Appeals district to finally divide the area into two court of appeals districts and give a meaningful voice to the northern counties in this area.

If you look at the numbers in the recent election, I overwhelmingly won by as much as 80 percent in the northern counties – Aransas, Gonzales, Live Oak, Refugio, Wharton, Bee, DeWitt, Matagorda, San Patricio, Calhoun, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, Nueces, and Victoria. Justice Garza overwhelmingly won by as much as 70 percent in the southern counties – Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, Kenedy, and Kleberg. The north and south clearly have a different idea about whether change is needed on the court. Why then shouldn’t the northern counties have their own Court of Appeals? By adding one more justice to the state payroll, and with no extra cost for facilities and staff (the court already has two functioning offices, one in Corpus Christi, the other in Edinburg), the State could easily split off a four-judge court of appeals for the southern counties (with all current judges maintaining their residences there), leaving a three-judge court of appeals in Corpus Christi.

As long as judges are elected in Texas, the people who appear before them should feel that they have some meaningful say in that election. Isn’t it time to give a meaningful voice to the many thousands of people in the northern part of this district?

Doug Norman
Corpus Christi

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