Thanks for “NC justice’s speech cost taxpayers $36,000” (Sept. 10), on the indefensible waste of money by Chief Justice Martin – which he now claims is free of his own fingerprints. Since his name was used by his own staff in justifying the deviation from competitive bidding, he is stuck with answering for this egregious waste of taxpayer funds.
As an attorney, I find it incomprehensible that the chief justice of the state’s highest court needs help in public speaking. Lawyers must be able to speak in public.
While the people in Houston and Beaumont are working to try to get their lives back together, I hope the rest of the country will get serious about the twin threats of climate change and toxins in the environment. Higher carbon dioxide and methane levels (often from fracked natural gas drilling) in the atmosphere increase the likelihood we’ll have periods of higher and lower temperatures, and both heavier rains and droughts, which is why climate destabilization is much more accurate than saying “global warming.” We see it now in costs of recovering from fires and floods, and we’ll soon see it in higher food costs and more displaced populations.
I also worry about our collective acceptance of toxic releases into the environment. North Carolina waterways historically have had trouble with high sediment and nutrient runoff in our rivers, but recently we’ve added compounds from coal ash and toxic compounds, and there are still state and federal policymakers (and residents) who would like to have fewer environmental protections instead of more. How many disasters such as Hurricane Harvey will it take for us to get clean water and 100 percent renewables as quickly as possible?
Center vote ‘black eye’
Regarding “UNC board bans legal action at Civil Rights Center” (Sept. 8): The recent ban on the UNC Civil Rights Center is indeed another black eye on North Carolina. Make no mistake, the Board of Governors’ 24 to 3 vote to end the litigation activities of the center was personal and mean-spirited. Despite the verbiage that has been expressed, there were members of the BOG who did not want the center to exist and finally came up with a way to get rid of it. Their words about supporting civil rights fall short based on the votes cast. You cannot be for civil rights while pulling away a needed service in North Carolina.
The personal angle seems to be attached to those BOG members who allowed the whispers in their ears to manifest by stopping the center from doing its job. The irony of this rests on the shoulders of BOG members like William Webb who claimed that he “would not serve on such a board.” Those who voted to end the center clearly sent a message that they do not support civil rights. The smoke has been blown away from those hollow statements. The residents of North Carolina must make sure the center survives and thrives.