LETTERS: On Paris Accord withdrawal, McAllen commissioner’s help and working hard

Withdrawal of Paris Accord ‘misstep’

As a designer and future architect, one of my key goals is designing sustainable buildings for current and future generations who will live and work in these spaces. A sustainable and resilient built environment not only is better for the earth; it’s the best bottom line investment for my clients. From energy savings to lower insurance costs, smart buildings make smart business.

That’s why I’m so concerned about President Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from The Paris Accord. On top of being one of only three countries that are not a part of this first-ever international climate deal, U.S. withdrawal creates a big obstacle for those of us who are competing for work throughout the world.

Many people don’t realize that architects have a unique role to play in achieving the Agreement’s goals. According to the Department of Energy, buildings are responsible for 73 percent of all electricity consumption in the United States.

American architects are focused on designing buildings that are energy efficient and in some cases, nearly carbon neutral. And we’ve always counted on the federal government to be a partner in this work, not only in the policies that affect our work, but also as the world’s largest landlord.

Withdrawing from the Paris climate accord is a major step back for America’s global leadership in sustainable design. But I write to let you know that my profession will continue to design the world’s best, sustainable buildings, despite this misstep.

Rolando R. Borrayo,

Brownsville

Grateful for City of McAllen’s help

I want to express my deepest gratitude to the City of McAllen for their consideration and prompt response during a recent utility shutdown. Thanks, especially, to Commissioner Veronica Whitacre for her immediate response to solve my situation and to Steve Boggus and Mark Vela for their courtesy and quick ingenuity to help me avoid a complete operation shutdown. They solved a major situation for me in a matter of an hour with the utmost courtesy and professionalism. Thanks again to the City of McAllen and their associates for a job well done!

Bernard Watson,

McAllen

‘Keep America great like your ancestors’

I have news for those manufacturers mentioned in your Friday’s business section. We, U.S. taxpayers, do not need to train your workers! Ask not what your America can do for your bank account but what you can do to keep America great like your ancestors did.

If I was younger and could start a manufacturing plant, I would visit the local school administrators setting up a program to select twice as many young people as I needed to train to fill my job requirements. I would select the youth who are good at math. I would explain my job requirements, salary, benefits packages and expect loyalty to my company.

If these young people were willing to learn, work and be responsible, I would bring high school juniors to my work place once a month to observe the different operations, how to do the jobs, even the lowly jobs of cleaning up the work areas. Their senior year, I would bring them in twice a month to actually work the jobs they are training for, supervised at all times. Upon graduation, I would put them on the payroll full time with all benefits.

Bill Williams,

Palmview

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