Dear Editor:

Early voting has begun, so I would like to encourage you to join me in voting for Robert Scarfo for Position 2 of the Humble ISD Board of Trustees. A previous board member (2008-15) and President (2014-15), he is campaigning to rejoin the board. I got the opportunity to work with Robert when we served together on the Citizens Bond Advisory Committee in late 2017. He had previously served as co-chair on the bond study committees in 2005 and 2008, so his sharing of knowledge of the process was very educational for me and other committee members for whom this was a first-time experience. In early January 2018, we, along with Connie Chandler, were elected by the Committee to present our results to the School Board. He also assisted with the campaign that resulted in a successful May 2018 bond vote, ensuring that the improvements needed for our growing school district would be funded. I am very impressed with Robert’s in-depth understanding of the school financing process and how it impacts district planning, from the big picture down to the minutiae. We need a variety of experience on the board, and I feel that it is his proven financial background that makes him particularly valuable for our district. He brings an excellent financial education to the table, an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BS in Economics from Seton Hall University, plus years of solid financial management and leadership experience in the business world. His efforts significantly contributed to Humble ISD being one of the very best districts in Texas for responsible debt management while seeing that spending needs were met. Early voting runs from April 22-30 at Atascocita Branch Library, Kingwood Community Center, and Octavia Fields Library. Please join me in voting for Robert Scarfo.

Paul Campbell



Dear Editor:

Thank you, Tribune Newspapers, so much for your very generous donation and joining our team as a sponsor for our upcoming 11th annual Society of St. Stephen (SOSS) Back to School Fundraiser to be held Tuesday, May 7. Through the generosity of yourself and others in our community, we anticipate this year we will be able to provide 1,000 children with school supplies, new backpacks and a $20 Payless Shoe store voucher for new shoes. Beyond the cost of the school supplies, additional tournament funds raised will be included in the need-based Margret S. White Scholarship Fund for area graduating seniors. On behalf of all the volunteers at Society of St. Stephen, we would again like to thank you for helping us to continue our much-needed community outreach programs. We also hope that you will be able to join us from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 7 at the Kingwood Country Club for our raffle and silent auction activity, which is open to the public.

Patty Carter, director
Society of St. Stephen



Dear Editor:

Terice Richards (3-13-2019 column) tells us that God answered her prayers by sending her a mate (boyfriend and then husband) before she turned 25. They married “three weeks before [her] 25th birthday!” She clearly is convinced that God really did answer her prayers. The tacit advice to readers is simple: “God answers prayers; so if you need something, then pray, and God will respond accordingly.” Well, let’s see about that advice. First, some 6 million Jews died in Hitler’s concentration camps. Surely many of them prayed for help. Instead of answering their prayers, God stood idly by and watched 6 million men, women and children (including 15-year-old Anne Frank, her sister Margot and their mother) be slaughtered. Second, consider this Biblical advice: “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well” (James 5:15). That statement led the parents of 15-month-old Ava Worthington and 16-year-old Neil Beagley to pray instead of taking their gravely ill child to a doctor. Result: the children died! So James 5:15 is demonstrably false! At age 12, Einstein concluded that “much in the stories of the Bible cannot be true.” Einstein (who described himself as “a deeply religious nonbeliever”) did not pray. His anti-prayer argument was: “Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the actions of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e., by a wish addressed to a supernatural being.”

Bill Bailey



Dear Editor:

You count and everyone in your home counts. That’s why I encourage you to take part in the 2020 U.S. Census. Yes, it’s months away. But preparations are well underway now, along with related public education campaigns, because your participation is important to the City of Houston’s financial future and in turn, your future. I know there are reasons why some people may hesitate about being counted as residents of Houston: Fear of being singled out, distrust in government or believing it doesn’t matter if you’re counted. But it does matter, and the information used in the census is not used against anyone. Houston could lose nearly $1,600 in government funding for each person who is not counted. If we undercount 10% of the city’s population, we could lose $3.78 billion over the course of a decade. The roads we all use, the parks we all enjoy, public health services, and public facility projects could be jeopardized. Housing and workforce development programs could be hurt and school programs could be cut. Racial and ethnic minorities, non-English speakers, low-income residents, and homeless people are some of the hard-to-count populations we are working to ensure take part in this civic duty of being counted. The City of Houston is partnering with Harris County and Houston in Action for a robust outreach campaign that includes going door-to-door in communities to encourage participation in the census count. You can earn extra money while helping your community to get a full count. The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring for a variety of positions, including census takers. You’ll knock on doors to get an accurate count on the number of people living in homes. When I was in school, I spent some time as a census taker. I met many of my fellow neighbors for the first time and it’s an experience I still remember positively. To learn more about jobs with the Census Bureau and to apply, please go online to The success of the 2020 Census, and making sure the City of Houston gets the proper funds to support our residents, depends on everyone’s participation. I know you count. Now let’s make sure everyone in our city is counted as well.

Mayor Sylvester Turner



Dear Editor:

Pigs are highly intelligent, inquisitive, sensitive animals, but at the “Bacon Bash” held near Bandera, they’re tormented and abused for “entertainment.” Last month, eyewitnesses recorded wild piglets and other young pigs, who as prey animals naturally fear humans, being chased around an arena, grabbed by the tail, ears and snout and hauled by a leg, their faces dragging through the sand. They were tackled, hit, kicked in the head and shoved face-first into sacks. Screaming in terror, they tried frantically to escape by digging under or leaping over barriers, wounding themselves as they crashed headfirst into metal fencing again and again. After reviewing the footage, two veterinarians with more than 24 years of combined clinical experience drew the same conclusion: The pigs were subjected to unnecessary and unjustifiable pain and suffering, which is prohibited by state law. If you care about animals, please urge Gov. Greg Abbott to protect them from this violent, cruel spectacle by issuing an executive order banning the Bacon Bash.

John Di Leonardo
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

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