Dear editor:

I had a bad day the other day and am writing about it. It concerns the future of the whooping cranes that I love and have defended in federal court.

I recently discovered that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been engaged in a behind-the-scenes, secret process to downlist the whooping crane from its status as an endangered species. This action has been underway for some time without any coordination or communication with those dedicated to protecting the cranes in the private sector.

The Aransas Project (TAP) of which I and Ann Hamilton are board members has fought in federal court for these beautiful birds, and we are not going to let this happen without doing all in our power to stop this action at this time. It is hard to believe this is an action sanctioned by the Biden Administration, but who knows? It is certainly possible.

In my opinion, there’s a rat somewhere, and we are looking for it. We are trying to get to the bottom of this as quickly as we can, and I am calling on every one of you out there to be ready to help us once we get a better understanding of what action(s) we need to take.

Jim Blackburn

Dear editor:

I am opposed to the Economic Development Policy, and I urge the County Judge and commissioners to reject it entirely. First, Commissioner (Jack) Chaney was right when he said all his degrees didn’t make him smart. He said HEB was a pine forest. I am on my third HEB store since I’ve been here, and neither was a pine forest. The current HEB is located where an RV Park once was. When HEB purchased the property, they filled in the freshwater lake that was there. It had some pine trees, but it was not a pine forest. Pine Tree Center was next to what is Prosperity Bank.

Next, the talk of subsidizing business to come here is ridiculous. Whatever happened to free enterprise? If you open a business and it fails, you close the business. If you have good merchandise, good service, and fair prices, then that business will likely succeed. The talk about if new business comes here, it will lower taxes … that’s just bull. Have you ever seen anything come down?

We are still paying a war tax on our phones.

Years ago, we inquired about getting a McDonald’s here in Rockport. We were told they did not need an abatement or tax incentive. The fact was, according to McDonalds, we didn’t have the population then to support it. Starbucks coffee opened in Rockport and failed. That’s free enterprise. Also lowering prevailing rental rates will cause all landlords big and small to compete. This, of course, is a form of rent control. Never has worked well anywhere, and is known to become slums.

This is just another tax scam that I hope the people of Aransas County will wake up and say no to. We do not want a committee of unelected people who can afford to buy a seat on that committee to tell us what we can and what we can’t do. Call your commissioner today and tell them to vote no.

Americans will cease to be free and prosperous if we swap free enterprise for socialism.

George Riekers

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