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Arrest those who hire illegal immigrants

End illegal hiring

I have read with interest these past two days the articles detailing how ICE has raided several locations and taken numerous workers into custody.

I have yet to read what the penalties are for the business’ or business owners for hiring illegal workers. It would be appropriate to read that at the minimum each of the business owners, site managers and HR managers where the raids have taken took place have been arrested and charged with hiring illegal immigrants.

If you want to put a stop to illegal hiring, start arresting those Americans who hire the people. There is no excuse not to.

Charlie Keeton, Raleigh

Light rail vital

The proposed Durham Orange Light Rail is vitally important to the future of our region and our state. I say this as a Person County farmer and a downtown Durham property owner.

My greatest concern is the long-term viability of agriculture and farm land. Durham and Orange County have approximately 600 farms; the Durham Farmers’ Market has 65 vendors who come from within a 70-mile area. Our local farms are the backbone of some of the Piedmont’s economies and communities. They provide the high quality of life and beauty that North Carolina’s rural and natural landscape provides.

As a farmer I am committed to stewarding my family’s farm, so I support transit alternatives that concentrate development and curb sprawl. I also recognize that choices in travel for all citizens are needed to achieve sustainable and equitable communities. A light rail system that is safe, reliable, and convenient does this.

It will also improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion, and save billions of BTUs of energy every year. I can think of no infrastructure project worthier of significant public investment.

I call on the leadership, public and private, to do what is necessary to make this project a reality. It has been a long time coming.

Marcia McNally, Hurdle Mills

Fight sprawl

The Triangle’s population and traffic continue to grow at a faster rate than our road capacity. Currently, our growth in vehicle miles travelled outpaces our rapid population growth. This is the very definition of sprawl.

We need a transit plan to bring our communities closer together – literally. We need the places we work, shop, and live connected by more than just increasingly congested and lengthy highways. Sustainable economic growth and a clean environment require solutions that transcend asphalt and automobiles.

As the centerpiece of a comprehensive regional transit plan, Durham Orange Light Rail will serve the most travel-heavy corridor in the Triangle while linking 100,000 jobs, 55,000 university students, three major medical centers, and two rapidly growing urban areas. Light rail transit focuses growth and land use with environmentally friendly economic development that creates walkable communities.

Light rail will also create jobs and expand the tax base. It is economic development and sustainable growth that doesn’t choke our roadways, pollute our air, or consume our open spaces.

Sprawl is here. Time to get off our asphalt.

Thomas Farmer, Chapel Hill

Headline here

The article “Democrats seek Green New Deal to address climate change” highlights an ambitious, and needed, plan to move our economy forward into the 21st century.

Climate change is here and now and has already impacted folks in the Triangle and throughout North Carolina. The Triangle just experienced the wettest year on record and our state has felt the pain of two 500-year flood events in just two years.

The scale of the Green New Deal will require time to develop and there are actions we can take now to address this growing threat.
There is bipartisan legislation that has been reintroduced in Congress, named the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This bill will reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent in 12 years, add 2.1 million new jobs in 10 years and is endorsed by Democrat and Republican economists alike, including all living former Federal reserve chairs and 27 Nobel laureates.

By passing the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act we dramatically increase the ability for the Green New Deal to succeed and bring new prosperity to all Americans.

Donald Addu, Durham

Halt pipeline

I applaud Gov. Roy Cooper for his congressional testimony regarding the urgency of taking action to address climate change.

“Everything needs to be on the table here,” Cooper said. “The overwhelming scientific evidence shows that humans do cause climate change, we’re a significant contributor toward climate change and we need to act quickly if we’re going to have an effect and stop the disaster that may occur.”

I would only change the second to last word from “may” to “will.” So, I find myself wondering why in the world Gov. Cooper allowed the permitting of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline which will pump millions of gallons of fracked natural gas through our state?

Environmental groups and climate scientists are in consensus that fracked natural gas is at least as bad as burning coal in terms of its impact on climate change. Many experts say the long-term effect on our climate posed by fracked gas is worse than burning coal..

I call on Gov. Cooper to be consistent and genuine in his declaration that “everything needs to be on the table,” and do everything in his power to bring an immediate halt to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Keith Feather, Hillsborough

HIV hypocrisy

The president’s call to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030 is startling in its hypocrisy.

While a laudable goal – and one I have supported for decades as a physician and public health professional – we can’t end HIV, or any public health threat, with an administration that cuts health funding and services, opposes evidence-based public health interventions, undermines access to health insurance, stigmatizes at-risk groups, and attacks science, facts and social justice.

Miriam Rabkin, Chapel Hill

Be wary of Kim

As a Korean veteran I’m glad Trump is finally making it to Vietnam to meet with Kim Jong Un. Sure hope he doesn’t get cold feet, or whatever foot problem that kept him from going to ’Nam in 1968.

Even if he does, maybe he’ll go on. I had cold feet several times in Korea, but that didn’t keep me from “walking point.” So march on Mr. President, but keep Kim in your sights.

Donald Taylor, Raleigh

Let Schultz run

Howard Schultz’s announcement of his possible presidential candidacy as an Independent was a breath of fresh air.

At the same time, his lambasting by the Democrats as a spoiler who would take votes from the Democratic candidate and enable a Trump re-election was markedly disingenuous and un-American.

Where is it written that a presidential candidate must run as a Democrat or Republican?

Moreover, more Americans (39 percent) identify themselves as Independents than Democrats (34 percent).

The plurality of Americans are fed up with partisan politics. Both parties care more about re-election and their political bases than they do the American people.

Perhaps it is time to elect an Independent who would represent all the people and foster a consensus in Congress.

Barton Bloom, Clayton