Letters to the Editor for March 7, 2019

Special to the PRESS


In the past couple of weeks I have seen at least two written pieces that referenced my retirement from the City is South Padre Island CVB. Both pieces indicate a connection between the November City Council election and my departure. In the interest of setting the record straight, the election had nothing to do with my departure.

First and foremost, I gave notice of my retirement more than 90 days before the election, and officially left the CVB Director’s position on October 31, 2018. Obviously, in view of those time frames I had no idea, whatsoever, of who would be elected to the City Council in November. My decision to retire was in no way predicated by the results of the November election, but driven by entirely different circumstances.

I sincerely hope this email clears up the misconceptions that have been circulated in this matter.

Keith Arnold
Past Director


Good evening and I hope you are doing well. I am reaching out to you in reference to a misconception that has been rumored in reference to my resignation as Planning Director of South Padre Island. Specifically, for the record, I did not resign from the City because of any City Council changes or displeasure with the political climate of the Island. My resignation was based upon an amazing opportunity to relocate back closer to my family and home while taking a position that provided me with multiple opportunities to advance my career.  During my year at SPI I found the island to be an amazing place that will provide me lifelong friends and memories which is why the decision to relocate back closer to home was difficult but one I could not pass up. In closing, the purpose of this email is to refute any misconception that I relocated based upon any displeasure with the political environment but solely because it provided me an amazing opportunity to relocate closer to my family.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my refutation of any misconception concerning my resignation from South Padre Island.

Clifford Cross


I want to share how a person of advanced age is navigating the present challenges present in all levels of our society.

At the age of 78, I had the opportunity to travel four times to Ajijic, Jalisco within the last year. It is a magnificent place, with excellent weather and a lot of art. Situated between the Lago de Chapala to the south and the Sierra de San Juan Cosala to the north, a great cultural atmosphere where one can meet people not only from the USA, but from Germany, Canada and other places, abounds. To view the USA from the outside is good.

We can see that Mexico, like the USA, has the same economic model: Capitalism. However, Mexico is not imperialist and I can see and feel the difference. In the USA, we face many challenges at present. I will concentrate on the border wall, immigration and militarization of the Rio Grande Delta region.

The issue of immigrants can be solved, or reduced, if people are not displaced. All we have to do is look at our country’s military and covert interventions in many of the countries from which migrants are currently fleeing. A wall is not the answer.

Border walls/barriers are weapons to promote racism instead of alleviating economic inequality that create economic migrants in the first place. My suggestion is to get involved with your elected officials and express your positions to protect the immigrants, especially the children. Question and follow the money: Which corporations are benefiting by building the wall and housing the immigrants? Militarization is a business in which a few corporations make profits and the community is exposed to less security.

My other approach is to avoid following only the mainstream media for information. Remember, they’re corporations to make profits. Check with alternative media. Look around and verify facts. Finally, the month of March celebrates International Women’s Day and I want you to enjoy it and, if you want to review the issue, see the movie On The Basis of Sex. The 2018 film, which profiles the extraordinary life and career of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, verifies the work involved by others to enjoy more rights for women right here in the USA.

Follow the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who is engaged in litigation to preserve our free speech rights here in Texas. Our right to free speech or to boycott is being challenged and we need to protect it. Remember, no race has a monopoly on beauty,  intelligence or strength. There is room for everyone. My solidarity and our security is more guaranteed when we respect others and promote justice. War and interventions creates the opposite.

Yolanda Garza Birdwell
Laguna Vista

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2019/03/08/letters-to-the-editor-for-march-7-2019/

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