Durham News: Opinion

Your letters, Aug. 17

Former Hillside English teacher Jabari Sellars, 27, left Durham after three years for better pay teaching at a private school in the District of Columbia.
Former Hillside English teacher Jabari Sellars, 27, left Durham after three years for better pay teaching at a private school in the District of Columbia. hlynch@newsobserver.com

Wallace gets it half right

I am in complete agreement with Mr. Wallace when he says “What I know is that history has proven over and over again, particularly in the United States of America, that immigration – the notion that all people have a right to seek a better life – has made its host country a more stronger, altruistic, culturally dynamic nation.” (DN, bit.ly/1oyWeLt)

Mr. Wallace seems to “dis-remember” that those immigrants desired a better life and contributed to the welfare of the nation and added to its economic growth. And, besides, they arrived as LEGAL immigrants.

Those “poor” individuals now entering illegally are not contributing to the nation’s welfare but are using our welfare system to delete the economy that the legal immigrants have built.

They come for a better life, all right. One in which they get free food, housing, and transportation without having to lift a finger for it.

He asks, “So what’s the answer?” How about doing in their home country as we did in ours? I seem to recall, from reading America’s history, that we were oppressed by our then government, and instigated a revolution to free ourselves.

But then, why should they when they can travel to our southern borders and enter into a lifetime of benefits without working or even learning our language.

Felix Culpa


Predatory drilling

Recent articles in the Indy and News & Observer have reported Pittsburgh-based Crimson Holding Corp.’s attempt to lease mineral rights (natural gas in this case) in the western portion of the Durham Triassic Basin. This could include the area just east of Meadowmont, and other areas in and around Durham city.

Should the corporation apply for a drilling permit for fracking for natural gas next spring , it should be turned down due to the secretive approach it has made to acquire leases. Basically, it has not received permission by the state to conduct this business.

Should the corporation obtain permits, the state needs to apply all of the 120 items presented by the Mining and Energy Commission, even with the watered-down changes made already, and others to be made when the final report in completed in either October or January and turned into the legislature.

The state really needs to discourage the predatory drilling for drilling and hydraulic fracturing which could easily become common, especially by the fly-by-night companies. Note, that no major and responsible companies have opted to get leases. Natural gas is cheap, the geology is complex in the Sanford Basin where the gas does exist, and the potential volume is tiny, especially compared with the thick and extensive black shales in other states already producing. And, the state has no infrastructure to handle the transportation and refining of the gas if produced.

I understand that the Attorney General’s Office and the Mining and Energy Commission are on top of this.

If drilling does occur in Durham County, which I doubt will ever happen, the only natural gas encountered will be if the drill cuts into an existing gas pipeline!

Daniel Textoris

Emeritus Professor of Geology, UNC-CH

Chapel Hill

Sad to lose teacher

Editor’s note: Staff writer Jonathan Alexander’s story about Jabari Sellars leaving North Carolina to teach (DN, bit.ly/1lSTCU1) generated several online comments.

Sad to lose such a quality teacher. I know Mr. Sellars is passionate about what he does, and I know personally that he is well-regarded by his colleagues.

Major major respect to Mr. Sellers for speaking up about this difficult decision. NC loses another gem.

Lindsay Kosmala

via thedurhamnews.com

Tide has turned

Good to hear from a young teacher. And he mentioned the veteran teachers who probably has helped him along the way.

These are sad times for teachers. At least we could count on the general public to love and appreciate us, but the tide has turned.

Nisha Watson

via thedurhamnews.com

Republican values

It is an education to see Republican values in action. My daughter’s high school in North Carolina continues to lose good teachers each year. Hopefully enough voters will stop being sad and vote for public education advocates. That’s the thing about democracy: very often you get the government you deserve.

Dan Mackey

via thedurhamnews.com

A wonderful man

Mr. Kent Hinkson was a wonderful man. I’m so sorry this happened. He was a great customer at Domino’s in Woodcrooft and I know he loved each and everyone of his family members.

I’ll miss seeing he on Sundays after church and having small talk about his grandbabies.

Monique Lawrence

via thedurhamnews.com

People who care about kids

Community members of all stripes sitting and laughing together, cheering for each other’s kids, and in general having a good ol’ time. Where are you?

You are in the stands at a little league baseball game.

After home and school, where are our kids safest, having the most fun, and learning the most?

On a soccer field.

What investment leads to the greatest profits?

Investments in the character building of children. For example, start with a team sport and some kids. Invest several afternoons or evenings a week of coaching by unselfish adults. Add in a small amount of cash, and the dividends come pouring in. Kids learn that kids from other neighborhoods are just like them as they work and learn and win and lose together. Families experience togetherness never matched in front of a TV. All participants gather treasured memories that will ripple down through their lives.

All this good is made possible by volunteer efforts of a few good people who care about kids. These coaches and others who help are as much heroes as our teachers or first responders or military.

This good thing is reproduced in many sports with equally good results. It doesn’t seem to be the sport that matters (though every sport has its advocates), the good seems to come mostly from kids learning and growing together.

Next time you spot kids on a field and folks in the stands, stop and participate in an all good thing. If you can’t spot a kid you know, cheer for everyone.

Clarence Parks


Point-source pollution

Jordan Lake and Falls Lake are really the umbilical cords for our cities (Raleigh, Durham, Cary) and municipalities in the Triangle area that depend on these reservoirs for drinking water.

The “therapy theory” that Dr. Kenneth Hudnell advocated in his July 23 Point of View “The need for ‘therapy’ in water-quality plans” (N&O, bit.ly/1kBLVGh) has some relevance to the mess we have in our backyard. Nevertheless, this temporary stopgap idea with $1.4 million will not solve the problem at all, and it is still a Band-Aid approach.

Hudnell argues that these water reservoirs were impounded for increasing water quantity and not water quality. We need to address both quality and quantity. A long-term solution definitely depends on reducing storm water input and also septic tank failures. Funding for restoration is now very meager with both federal money linked to the Clean Water Act and state money from DENR.

Besides non-point-source pollution, we need to critically look at point-source pollution from permit-holders, both in Falls Lake and Jordan Lake.

Robert Y. George


George Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability

Wake Forest