Scouting for Food
Beginning on Monday, April 6, Scouts from all over Durham County will be participating in a Scouting for Food community service project. This event will end on May 8.
The items collected will be distributed to two local food panties: Catholic Charities of Durham and Urban Ministries of Durham.
One way the Scouts may use to collect food donations is the “Bag Drop” method. It works in the following way: food collection bags are left on people’s door knobs, and then collected, usually one week later. The bags are designed so the collection date can be written on them.
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If you find one of these bags at your home, please fill it as generously as possible with canned or other non-perishable food items. A Scout will be back to collect the food donation on the date written on the bag. Other methods may also be used to collect food during this time frame.
Unfortunately, we cannot leave food collection bags at every residence in Durham County.
However, if you would like to help, you can drop off non-perishable food items at the Durham Lions Club Scout Center, 1850 Hillandale Road. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the following dates:
▪ Saturday, April 11
▪ Saturday, April 18
▪ Saturday, April 25
On behalf of all Durham Scouts, thanks in advance for considering donating to this very worthy cause and helping to feed the hungry in our community. Please be as generous as possible to help feed the hungry in Durham.
Scouting for Food coordinator
Mawat District executive
Fractured fairy tale
The latest Republican fairy tale about tax redistribution is badly miscast. Our state’s municipalities are portrayed as villains enticing rural yokels to spend their money in town.
As punishment for this shocking abuse, legislators propose to take sales taxes collected in the cities and give it to mostly rural counties. I’m sure those counties can use it, but that’s not the point.
Municipalities provide services to the merchants within their bounds: water, sewer, fire and police protection, transportation, solid waste management and more. These services cost money, and people who live outside the cities contribute only sales taxes to pay for them.
A country dweller who goes to The Streets at Southpoint mall is allowed to drink the water, use the restrooms and call the city police if she is robbed. She doesn’t have to take home her trash generated at the food court. So who is subsidizing whom?
People choose to live in rural areas in part because taxes are lower than in cities. Merchants locate in cities because that’s where the customers are, but also because that’s where the costly infrastructure is that fuels commerce.
And rural residents aren’t hapless rubes. They make economic choices in their own interest. It’s called a market.
After noticing the letters published about our new state income tax structure (N&O, March 22) and reflecting on the decision of U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tills not to support Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general, I have the distinct feeling Republicans in the state General Assembly might have an unwelcome surprise in November 2016 provided senior citizens and African-American voters can find their photo identifications or birth certificates proving U.S. citizenship to obtain the necessary IDs.
My CPA has told me and my wife that we owe $936 in North Carolina income taxes because we can no longer deduct contributions made to two scholarships I support at the University of North Carolina, UNC TV, North Carolina Public Radio (WUNC-FM), the North Carolina Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art.
These contributions amounted to $2,630 last year.
Meanwhile our current General Assembly continues to reduce the amount of funding provided to these state-supported institutions and now punishes us by removing favored treatment on our tax returns. Our contributions to our synagogue ($1,600) and other charitable organizations also can no longer be deducted.
Shame on the General Assembly Republican majority. May they be hastily sent to the poor house!
Mark G. Rodin
LGBTQ mayors decry bills
An open letter Gov. McCrory,
LGBTQ people are represented in all walks of life in every corner of North Carolina, as business owners, teachers, parents, people of faith, and even as mayors. As North Carolina's openly gay mayors, we write to thank you for your leadership in opposing SB 2 (Magistrate Refusal) and HR 348 (RFRA) in their current forms. Our community was heartened by your comments that RFRA laws “make no sense” and your reaffirmation that government officials have a duty to carry out their constitutional oaths. To echo former Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, a conservative Republican who vetoed similar RFRA legislation last year, we believe the values of religious liberty and nondiscrimination to be core values of our state.
The State of Indiana has faced swift and costly backlash for its RFRA legislation. Tech giants Apple, Salesforce, and Angie’s List, as well as organizations like NASCAR and the NCAA are pulling or reconsidering tens of millions of dollars’ worth of investments there. The social implications of these laws are bad enough. North Carolina cannot afford adding a new level of economic uncertainty as workers struggle to get back on their feet after a long recession. We ask you to stand strong and commit to vetoing SB 2 and HR 348 should they reach your desk in any form.
Further, we ask you to join the growing bipartisan support for pro-equality legislation. In 2011, your Republican colleague, Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada signed an ideal set of laws protecting against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. This year, Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah signed anti-discrimination protections with the support of the Mormon Church as well as activist groups. LGTBQ people in North Carolina need your leadership and support to end legal discrimination in our state.
We share your concern that laws like Magistrate Refusal and RFRA are disturbing attempts to deny rights to citizens granted under the United States Constitution. Similarly, we believe a commitment to securing full citizenship rights for all requires that we respond to and act in support of the transgender community who add greatly to the wealth of experience in North Carolina; to that end, we commit to being a resource to help you connect with and learn more about the struggles of the transgender community.
We hope that as we move forward, we can count on you to be a leader for a vision of a North Carolina where all can live, work, play, and pray in peace. That requires an end to discrimination in public and private employment, housing, and public accommodations, as well as safe and affirming public schools. We would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss that vision with you at a time and place of your choosing.
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt
Mayor Lydia Lavelle
Mayor Elic Senter
Mayor Nick Breedlove
Turkish National Day
On April 23, Turkish-Americans celebrate Turkish National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. On that day, 95 years ago, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established realizing the aspirations of Turkish people for liberty, justice and peace, and leading to the 1923 founding of the Turkish Republic under the guidance of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Marked as Turkish National Day since 1921, April 23 had also been celebrated as Children's Day since 1927, signifying the role of future generations in building modern Turkey.
Since the early years of establishment, Turkish Republic has demonstrated its strong commitment to the universal values of peace, diversity and social justice. Turkey is the world’s first sustainable predominantly Muslim secular democracy and is among the fastest-growing emerging markets. For over 60 years, Turkey has also been a key U.S. and NATO ally in a vast region stretching from Eastern Europe and North Africa to the Middle East and Central Asia. During the 1950-53 Korean War, over 5,000 Turkish soldiers took part and over 700 Turks fell as heroes fighting alongside the U.S. forces. Today, with the ongoing Syrian crisis, Turkey’s role as a major U.S. regional partner remains pivotal.
Meanwhile, in less than a century of immigration, Turkish-Americans have also left a positive imprint on a diverse cultural spectrum of America and contributed to its advancement in the fields of business, science, medicine, technology and arts. On this occasion, I join members of the Pax Turcica Institute in requesting an official recognition of Turkish National Day (April 23) in form of a greeting proclamation or a legislative resolution. Sample text of such recognition is available at legiscan.com/MI/text/HR0095/2013