A life well lived
Over the course of my nearly 49 years, there are hundreds of people who have made a positive impact on my personal and professional life. There are a handful of those hundreds who went far above and beyond for me. To the extent I have been successful, it could not have occurred without their advice and support.
Former Councilman Howard Clement is one of those handful of individuals. When I think of the phrase “a life well lived” I cannot help but think of the impact this amazing man had on those who had the great fortune of crossing paths with him.
If you didn't know the man but love what Durham has become over the last 20 to 30 years, Howard played a significant role in our community’s renaissance. Rest in Peace Howard and thank you for everything!!
The writer is the Durham city attorney.
‘My Durham father’
My heart was broken again Wednesday as I learned of the passing of Howard Clement. It is very hard to describe how much Howard meant to me over the years, as a friend, mentor, and colleague. I often called him “my Durham father.”
The things I learned from Howard – practical, historical, philosophical, trivial, ephemeral – could fill volumes.
I had the great pleasure of sharing an office in Durham City Hall with Howard for a few years. There were many afternoons when he and I would sit in the office together, talking about many things.
There were also many times I drove Howard around town. He and I both remarked how much stuff we could talk about in a 10- or 15-minute car trip.
I always treasured those times with Howard. But they mean so much more now that I know we can never share them again.
Farewell and rest in peace, my great friend.
The writer is a state senator and former Durham City Council member.
Honor Hiroshima victims
My Uncle Charlie’s Army division slogged its way through the Pacific during World War II. He was wounded on Iwo Jima and then a second time, more seriously so, on Okinawa. After the war, he drank to excess.
I was 6 or 7 when I asked him whether he had personally killed any Japanese soldiers. He nodded. Unaware of how insensitive it was, I followed with: “A lot?” His eyes teared up and, after a pause, he nodded again.
Were Charlie alive today, I would not ask him to apologize for what he did, but here's the thing: Despite some historians calling a particular war a “good” war, despite some theologians calling some wars “just wars” in the eyes of God, in the end they are gruesome blights on humanity.
The White House has said that the president does not plan to apologize for Hiroshima. But should he express sorrow that our enmity back then led to such an epic, mutual waste of human life? Should he recommit our nation to do everything possible to avoid another world war, especially a nuclear war? And would it be appropriate for him to pause for a moment of silent prayer for all those who perished?
I think my Uncle Charlie would nod his assent.
Regarding the new story “Durham Distillery turns to public for return to local ABC shelves” (DN, May 22):
Sometimes if you want to get things done, you have to throw a fit about it.
I think many of us know that the ABC system serves the population poorly. The selection is abhorrent and the prices are terrible, the staff unknowledgeable about their products. Where is my Scapa 25? Pappy van? Absinthe? It’s a 500-mile drive to get high-end spirits, and unfortunately for NC, we are missing out on tax revenue from these sales.
via the durhamnews.com
HBCUs in danger
N.C. Senate Bill 873 is designed to destroy the longstanding history of five North Carolina public universities serving black and minority students.
The bill would force Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State, UNC Pembroke, Winston-Salem State, and Western Carolina to lower their tuition to $500 a semester, damaging their ability to provide the necessary services and education to their students. This bill would effectively defund and make institutions with a history of providing quality education for black, minority and rural populations unable to provide a four-year education.
We are not fooled by the NCGA’s attempt to blame our universities for lack of “success” when they have been systematically cutting funds to higher education, specifically HBCUs. We call on our legislators, the Board of Governors, and Gov. McCrory to end the war on HBCU’s and the UNC system. We demand that those in power uplift our communities by providing the necessary resources that prioritizes our students and communities. We will not be idle as our state destroys our education.
▪ Senate Bill 873 be immediately withdrawn as proposed legislation;
▪ Full funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, allowing black students to have opportunities that are currently limited to predominantly white institutions;
▪ Increased funding for all public universities, creating a debt free UNC system;
▪ Public input process that values the voices of students, professors, community and particularly the voices of HBCUs.
▪ The N.C. General Assembly and UNC system Board of Governors not sell our university by running it as a business, but instead upholds an institution of learning and critical thinking;
▪ Transparency from all decision making institutions regarding higher education;
▪ ALL workers on campus, including part time and contract workers are paid livable wages, and job security for our adjunct professors;
Submitted by Nhawndie Smith on behalf of Ignite NC
Morgan for judge
At the People’s Alliance PAC’s endorsement meeting May 12, members voted to endorse Judge Michael R. Morgan in his bid to be elected to the N.C. Supreme Court. There are four candidates running for one seat. The field will be narrowed to just two in June 7 primary elections.
Michael Morgan is a highly respected trial court judge with more than 20 years on the bench. In that time he has handled the widest possible range of legal issues. No other candidate can match the depth and breadth of his experience. He has strong ties to Durham. He is a graduate of Duke University and N.C. Central Law School. Although he is based in Raleigh, he frequently holds court in Durham. Attorney members of the PAC who have appeared before him praise his knowledge of the law, his judicial demeanor, his work ethic, his patience and impartiality, and his respect for litigants, attorneys, witnesses, and court staff.
PA PAC also noted that Morgan is a regular instructor at the National Judicial College, an organization created to train new judges and sharpen the skills of those who have experience on the bench. His desire to reduce the number of people in our jails and prisons through better funding of agencies and programs for the mentally ill, substance abusers, and other vulnerable persons aligns with People’s Alliance’s values. Judge Morgan also supports raising the age for youthful offenders – a position PAC members applaud.
Morgan is a registered Democrat.
For 40 years, the People’s Alliance Political Action Committee has been a vital part of the political life of Durham. PA-PAC takes the business of candidate endorsements very seriously. Candidates are asked to submit responses to questionnaires designed to test their political positions and their understanding of important issues. PA PAC endorsements are decided not by a small committee, but by a vote of the organization’s whole membership. The candidates’ responses to this election’s PA-PAC Supreme Court questionnaire are posted on the PAC webpage at www.peoplesalliancepac.org.
Submitted by Milo Pyne on behalf of the PA PAC
Ultimate special interests
So David Fountain, president of Duke Energy, is complaining of “special interests” in his Point of View “The full cost of excavation” (N&O, May 17). That is too rich. He is the ultimate “special interest” in this company’s massive polluting of our rivers and groundwater.
The old adage in hazardous waste is “follow the money, “ and Duke Energy is buying its way out of full responsibility “on the cheap” any way it can.
Duke’s successful political access to Gov. Pat McCrory has silenced and covered up objective scientific results.
Fountain constructs a false either-or situation of “special interests” (read affected residents) promoting that all the waste be excavated (at major cost) or capping most waste on site (the cheaper alternative that will save them from paying for their disaster). He then goes on to undercut his own argument to say that “each ash basin is different ... it may make sense to excavate a basin.”
The priority and number of those excavations are critical decisions that he is minimizing in the McCrory administration without the public’s knowledge.
Finally, he knows that business “special interests” have fought for decades the EPA’s ability to publish new drinking water standards. Industry then hides behind the statement that its contamination doesn’t violate outdated EPA standards.
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