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Letters on wrong direction on ADA, guns for mentally ill, East Texas Regional Airport

Longview News-Journal - 2/18/2018

Step in wrong direction

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that passed in 1990. Section 3 requires public businesses to make accommodations for disabilities. If someone encounters a barrier to service, they can file a civil suit in order to get the barrier removed.

The U.S. House recently voted to approve HR 620, which requires people submit their complaints in writing to a business owner. Then the business has 120 days to show "substantial improvement" before the person can sue. Proponents of the bill say this will reduce frivolous lawsuits. Disability rights organizations argue that this severely weakens the ADA by changing the standard of compliance from proactively removing barriers to "show substantial improvements," which means barriers may never be removed. Also, they say that disabled peoples' rights to immediate civil suit is being replaced with legal hoops and waiting periods.

I am not a lawyer, but I do remember my mom fighting for my sister's rights to carry insulin into her public school classroom, even seven years after the ADA was passed.

There are invisible barriers to access in all kinds of public spaces.

This is a step in the wrong direction.

Amanda Drabek, Longview

Anniversary of atrocity

The 15th of February marks the one-year anniversary of a law sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and signed by President Trump that made it possible for the purchase of guns by the mentally challenged. It is another example of our government's inability to vote the nations' 85 percent will and desire to curtail such an atrocity of this latest massacre of our children. Check the congressional record.

Our president, a photo opportunist, also refused to have this signature occasion published or released after repeated requests from the media.

Our prayers are with all involved in this travesty, which we as a nation are very much responsible for.

Sondra Scalco, Longview

Applause for airport

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt and the entire Commissioners Court should be applauded for the improvements at East Texas Regional Airport. Gregg County can now be proud of its modern terminal and other additions at the airport.

The new American Airlines schedule makes it possible to travel to anywhere and back home conveniently. I have used East Texas Regional for years, and it has improved year after year. I can't drive to Dallas and back for the difference in price flying out of East Texas Regional.

Next time you need to take a flight somewhere, check it out. I bet you will be surprised. We can all take pride in the air service we have, and we can thank our county judge and Commissioners Court for their forward thinking and making this a better place to live.

Harley Dilday, Kilgore

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