The Opinion Shop

March 25, 2014

Letters to the Editor: Coal burning, Josh Hardy, teaching, Cuba, Gov. Pat McCrory, voter fraud

These letters were not published in the print edition but deserve a look.

These letters were not published in the print edition but deserve a look.


I had to giggle at Khalil Haddad’s Feb. 10 letter “No to coal plan.” As chair of the N.C. Federation of Young Republicans, he is calling on us to rise up against proposed federal rules that would put “new regulations on America’s coal-fired electricity.”

This is a top priority of the Young Republicans? This, after the Dan River coal ash spill and revelation that more are just waiting to happen? This, when traditional energy industries are already heavily subsidized (read the accompanying letter “Crucial renewables”)? And he wants us to be alarmed that the regulations might threaten the state’s 9,000 jobs that depend on the coal industry?

Continuing levels of dirty air and water will cost far more in lives, medical bills and remediation than would the added regulatory expense to industry and taxpayers. As for the 9,000 jobs, what’s to worry? The Republicans’ new unemployment insurance policies will “encourage” them to quickly find new jobs.

Carol Conway

Chapel Hill


The March 11 news article “Family takes bid for drug public” on Josh Hardy made me sick to my stomach as it really hit home.

My mother has battled cancer for over three years, and there have been critical times when she could not get the medicine she needed at the time she needed it. If it were not for my father’s being extremely aggressive and diligent in getting that medicine, we would not have her with us today.

The article brought up a point that I have found to be so true: The medical system favors some over others. If someone is really sick, he better have money to get what he needs. I think we all understand “company policy,” but I pray this young man will receive mercy in this life and get the drugs he needs. This type of situation is hard to understand in a society where we have so much.

J.D. Howard



In regards to the Feb. 9 news article “N.C. losing teachers at every turn”: When first awarded the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarship/Loan my senior year in high school in 2010, I had a burning passion to be a teacher.

I am now in my senior year of college and reconsidering being a teacher in North Carolina. The N.C. Teaching Fellows policy manual requires that I enroll in a graduate program (which it will not fund). In 2010 it made a lot of sense to get my master’s degree and earn a little more money, but in 2014 it is almost costing me more (both time and money) to get a master’s degree.

With teaching becoming more demanding and the resources and income decreasing, a passion for teaching is barely enough to keep me in a profession that is clearly underappreciated.

I was called to be a teacher; the classroom is my battlefield. I looked forward to teaching in the state that inspired and encouraged me for 21 years, but it seems I’m entering this profession a day too late and getting paid a couple dollars short of nothing.

Jessica Peacock



Sharon Campbell’s Feb. 22 Point of View “Sanctions on Cuba need closer look” raised a lot of interesting questions. She said that when she visited Cuba, she met fellow visitors from Germany, France and England. They asked her why the United States maintains an embargo that is 52 years old.

Let us not forget that Cuba, under the same regime it has now, crawled into bed and got cozy with the Soviets. Fidel Castro allowed ICBM missiles from the USSR to be placed in his country. Those missiles had one target and one target only: the United States of America. They weren’t aimed at Germany or France.

During the early 1960s, communism, not capitalism, was on the rise around the world . Many were betting on Soviet-style communism to carry the day over U.S.-style capitalism. (Guess who won?)

Just let bygones be bygones, Campbell appears to be saying.

Leave the embargo in place. Let Cuba continue to be the decaying, life-zapping hole it became under Castro’s communist reign. Doctors doubling as cab drivers? Way to go Cuba!

Robert Peele

Rocky Mount


On Feb. 24, Gov. Pat McCrory appeared on the CNN television program “Crossfire.” Among the remarkable things he said was comparing requiring a picture ID for voting to submitting an ID to buy Sudafed at the drugstore.

The reason for controlling Sudafed is that it is fairly simple to convert it into the dangerous illegal drug methamphetamine, or “crystal meth,” which causes all kinds of physical and mental disorders that destroy its users. Another purchase for which one must show an ID is ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which Timothy McVeigh used to make the bomb that killed 168 people, including many children, and wounded 600.

Does the governor really think that the risk of a few instances of voter fraud, an illegal but almost nonexistent offense, can be compared with the effects of these chemicals? If he does, there is something seriously wrong with his judgment.

Tom Kirby-Smith


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