Letters to the Editor 11.05.17

CO-OP MEMBERS SHOULD VOTE

Is Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative (TVEC) your electric provider? If so, you do not simply purchase electric power from them as with other electric providers. One must be a member/owner to do so. When you filled out the application for power, you also applied for membership of the cooperative (co-op). A co-op is a nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors elected by the members.

TVEC has over 50,000 members. Each year, we are given both the right and the responsibility to elect members to the board of directors. Sadly, fewer than 5 percent of the members vote.

“The future of our co-op is in the hands of our members,” said TVEC CEO Jeff Lane in the March issue of Texas Co-op Power Magazine. So, why do so few of us exercise our right to have our voices heard? I am convinced that: 1. We did not know we could vote; 2. We do not know how to vote; 3. We do not know when to vote; 4. We do not know who to vote for. It could be a combination of any or all of these things. Texas Co-op Power Magazine is delivered monthly. The lower right corner of the cover indicates the pages dedicated to TVEC. The September issue will contain your ballot.

TVEC.net has information for member/owners. If you are on Facebook, check out TVEC One Voice for Choice to discuss concerns or ideas you may have.

Jean Riggs, Athens

Kelli Mapes Krieg, Brownsboro

Don Becker, Kaufman

Kim Barton Carlton, Forney

Victoria Spohn, Forney

Ann Webster, Eustace

COMPASSIONATE USE ACT

Editor's Note: The Texas House passed its version of this bill on Tuesday, after this letter was submitted.

Please visit https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home to find out who your state legislators are and write to them, Gov. Abbott, and members of the Health and Human Services Committee to tell them that you support Senate Bill 90 and House Bill 1365. Both expand coverage for "compassionate use" of marijuana and decriminalize it generally. The current law, short title: "The Texas Compassionate Use Act," allows partial cannabinoid consumption for only one condition: intractable epilepsy.

I have acquired epilepsy after an assault in 2009. I do not meet the criteria for marijuana treatment in the state of Texas because my epilepsy is not "intractable." That is, my seizures are controlled by medication. What legislators misunderstand about epilepsy, however, is that, often, epilepsy is the primary diagnosis but not the primary problem.

The medication used to control the primary seizures require secondary medications to control their severe side effects. These side effects are often worse than the seizures themselves. These secondary medications, in turn, have their own side effects and are often associated with early onset dementia.

During 2015, I lived in San Francisco. While it has since been made legal for recreational use, then I had a prescription for it. Many prescriptions were no longer necessary. I could sleep, had normalized my mood and was functional during the day. Upon returning to Texas, I became a pharmacy fixture again. For my sake and others, please support S.B. 90 and H.B. 1365 and let your state legislators know.

Joel Warne, Tyler

RETURN TO NORMAL STATE

For several years the majority of letters you have published concern politics and religion, with a little about schools. This time I'm writing about government and finance. The column "Fed signals neither rate hike nor cut likely soon" on Thursday was no surprise. As I understand the problem, in 2007 to 2009, banks suffered from bad loans for houses that were encouraged by the government. So the government helped out by nearly eliminating interest charges and providing money to prop up the entire system. It appears the Fed doesn't know what to do. Perhaps it's time to close up that chapter and let the banking system return to it's normal state.

I moved several times within a company I worked for, and my mortgage rates were high, about 11%. I paid money up front and usually had the rate reduced to 8%. During that time, my money in the bank earned anywhere from 6 to 12%. But the Fed saved the banks and my interest has been below 1% for years.

Since the chairman, Jerome Powell, can't decide what to do, perhaps it's time to stop interfering and let the banks establish interest rates. Maybe before I die what savings I have left will earn enough interest to keep me financialy stable. My primary concern is why other old people with savings haven't complained about the government making old people with savings support the banks. Or, do they complain but newspapers ignore it?

Norm Beavers, Tyler

SUPPORT FOR PHOENIX

During her ongoing service on the Tyler Planning and Zoning Commission, Pamela Phoenix has clearly demonstrated that she is a superb choice to represent District 3 as a member of the Tyler City Council. I personally know of her work as a member of the Smith County Appraisal Review Board, during which she has shown her dedication, clear understanding of the economics of property tax issues, respect for taxpayers and fairness. I urge all voters of District 3 to turn out for the runoff election and support Pamela Phoenix for Tyler City Council.

Theodore Gould, Tyler

LIKE MAKING SAUSAGE

Our constitutional “elections” are pure wisdom by our Founding Fathers. This confines “revolutions and revolts” to the voter box on Election Day! This is designed to give peace until the next election. If one does not like the results, they can mobilize voters and build bases and stockpile money for the next election.

The classic ways to get votes is to blame all problems on others and promise “free” anything and everything that voters want. Plus ignore the costs or simply promise someone else will pay for everything! Money buys advertisement and exposure for candidates. Incumbents have built in free exposure and that explains why most get reelected as long as they want!

Making laws has been described as an unpleasant messy job, like making sausage. Even local politicians are smart enough to table (put off) proposed unpopular issues like raising taxes or changing names of schools to try and change history or zoning!

At all levels election winners are determined by a relative few individuals who really care, understand the current election issues by experience and have political connections, willingness to work within the many establishment party committee elections rules and arouse voters. Yes, similar to making sausage the old-fashioned way, from local to national elections.

Harry Bergman, Tyler

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