Bicycle path and busy road conflict
Regarding our story on the death of a cyclist in a collision with a car last week on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (CHN, bit.ly/10JAFio)
Sally S. K. McIntee: It should be pointed out that the cyclists are allowed to use the sidewalks here. The driver of the motor vehicle, then, was clearly at fault. At fault also is every single taxpaying and voting person in the state of North Carolina, for not creating the political will to arrange safe infrastructure for cyclists (and pedestrians).
Paco Marshall: Sally is correct; infrastructure design here is really at fault. I have bicycled through that intersection dozens of times; it is very dangerous. A major bike path empties onto a major road, where did the NCDOT expect the cyclists to go? It shows the conflict between a NCDOT designed road and a locally designed bike path.
Carrboro needs policing task force
An open letter to the Carrboro Alderpeople, Police Walter Chief Horton and Town Manager David Andrews,
I was unable to attend the public forum on policing in Carrboro, but would ask that this brief letter be included in the information gathered there.
My suggestion is that the Board of Aldermen create a citizens Policing Task Force. So that this subject may be considered in proper detail, I would suggest that such a task force also include representatives of our local police.
I would raise the following issues with such a task force:
1) De-militarizing police equipment. In my opinion, in sleepy, rural, arts-oriented Carrboro, our police really do not need any more weaponry than handguns and maybe shotguns. If we are in possession of anything more offensive, I would suggest we get an immediate refund from the federal government.
2) De-militarizing police uniform. Blues are sufficient. I really do not need to see my local police in camo, when asking a neighbor to turn down the stereo.
3) All police officers to wear body cameras. Rules for wearing body cameras to be drafted by citizens and police jointly. And to take into account the need of the community to be able to monitor police activity, and the sensibilities of those citizens who not not wish to be surveilled.
4) The creation of a permanent citizens Police Oversight Board, with power to monitor hiring, equipment, training, budget, strategy and rules of engagement.
5) New rules of engagement, to be drafted jointly by citizens and police, with an emphasis on reducing and avoiding tension and confrontation, not merely suppressing, and use of offensive weaponry as a last resort only.
6) The long-term and consensual implementation of a non-offensive front-line policing approach, leading ultimately to the disarming of front-line police officers.
7) A thorough review of police pay and benefits, to ensure that our police officers are properly remunerated for a new policing approach which will necessarily be more sensitive, complex and risky.
My approach is not to make life more difficult for our police, but to make the interaction between citizen and police more secure for all: the police, the protagonists and the community.
League not giving up
The League of Women Voters is disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned the Fourth District Appeal’s court ruling that allowed same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting for permissible elections for this November’s election.
However, in the absence of any explanation, I believe that the timing of the decision may have been a major factor. The question of whether local boards of election could in fact comply with the requirements in the three weeks remaining before the election may well have been the determining issue.
We remain confident in our position that the components of the law we are challenging are unconstitutional and violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Sadly, we anticipate that eligible voters will be disenfranchised this November. We know that in some cases citizens who had registered were not on the voting rolls, through no fault of their own, and same-day registration had allowed them to get registered. Same day registration during early voting has given citizens the opportunity to correct errors in their registrations and thus to improve the integrity of the voting rolls.
We are still early in this process, and we will continue to work untiringly in preparation for the full hearing of our case in 2015. The league is committed to protecting the constitutional right of all citizens 18 and older to cast a ballot and have it count!
Brenda Hyde Rogers
The writer is the director of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and the president of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties.
Teachers and Tillis’ term
James Hardy has an interesting perspective on North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race. (CHN, bit.ly/Zgq79n)
I agree with him that teachers have A LOT to lose if Thom Tillis remains in the General Assembly. However, he fails to mention that Tillis’ term in the General Assembly expires this year, so whether he wins or loses the Senate race, he will be out of the legislature in January.
Therefore, if he loses in the election for Senate, not only will he be out of the General Assembly, he not be a part of Congress either. That would be a win-win for North Carolina.
‘Village’ quote misleading
Regarding Superintendent Tom Forcella’s column, “Community support essential to providing quality education, (CHN, bit.ly/1xqCdJ9 )
John Tarpley: In my 44 years of teaching/administering, I have found the “village” quote utterly to be utterly misleading. To educate a child you need two very involved parents, and well trained and dedicated teacher and a physical environment which is conducive to learning.
College is too late
Regarding activist and author Jennifer Thompson’s guest column “University system fails college students who are raped” (CHN, bit.ly/1rhUMte )
Christopher Whalen: Many programs meant to increase awareness of college rape are well-intentioned and extremely important. But rapists & predators are created in dysfunctional homes. Waiting for men to enter college is much too late in the life of a predator for significant differences to be made. The link provides more detail: bit.ly/1rPKllY
Kim Cook: Tthis is excellent. Thanks for publishing this. Jennifer Thompson is an inspiration and force of nature!