More pressing needs
I see the ghost bikes are being taken down.
As a 12-year Durham citizen, I see much more pressing enforcement needs:
▪ ticketing drivers who tailgate
▪ ticketing drivers who run red lights
▪ ticketing drivers who block crosswalks
▪ ticketing drivers who flout speed limits
▪ ticketing drivers who don’t use a turn signal
▪ ticketing property owners who leave houses boarded up
The list goes on.
It would be most appreciated if the police and respective departments could start enforcing the above laws if the city has the time and energy to worry about one guy complaining about a few ghost bikes.
Bikes honor friends
Ghost bikes remind us to be aware of our surroundings and honor our lost friends. When your desire for curb appeal outweighs empathy and humanity, you really need to take a look at yourself.
Regarding “Durham rolls out new program to help some first-time offenders” (DN, http://nando.com/25-)
With the CDC statistics below becoming common knowledge it is time for the next step in logic. Either politicians and lawmakers who are against cannabis legalization are not up to speed, or they are paid off by the alcoholic beverage, tobacco and pharmaceutical corporations – corporations which together are directly responsible for over 650,000 U.S. deaths annually and are scared witless that cannabis legalization will ruin their deadly multi-billion dollar stranglehold on the U.S. public.
Numbers of deaths per year in the United States (Figures directly from the CDC.gov website):
▪ Prescription drugs: 237,485 + 5,000 traffic fatalities
▪ Tobacco: 390,323
▪ Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
▪ Cocaine: 4,906
▪ Heroin: 3,365
▪ Aspirin: 466
▪ Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
▪ Marijuana: 0, none, not a single fatal overdose in all medical history and almost no traffic problems.
So, which is safer?
Legalize it, regulate it, TAX it!
Ben James Yokel
Bell change shows leadership
The school board showed their strength making the hard but right decision to move the start times for all the DPS high schools to a healthier time. Spurred in part by the American Academy of Pediatrics position statement on adolescent sleep needs, last November the board resolved to find a way to get our teens more sleep.
Over the past decade the research has piled up demonstrating that teens who are forced to attend school as early as 7:30 a.m. have poorer mental and physical health, and lower academic performance. In response to these findings school districts across the state and country have been shifting to later start times for middle and high schools. The DPS board recognized that it is time for our district to follow suit.
Expressing their commitment to making evidence-based decisions about our children’s education, the board members found themselves facing a difficult decision. Trapped between the impossible (finding a schedule that is optimal for each and every family) and the necessary (finding a schedule that does not sabotage the health and academic performance of our teens), the board members did their best to find a path toward meaningful change.
After months of studying the issue, the board ended up with a handful of choices. The options they were forced to choose between were not perfect, but they were the result of hard work and careful consideration of all that might be logistically and fiscally possible. It turns out that the process of getting all of our children safely to and from school is impossibly complex. Even a small change to the system creates massive shifts throughout. Moving one school later necessitates moving some other school earlier, and so on. Thus making situations better for one family might make things more challenging for another. Perfection is not a possibility.
Fortunately, our board members did not let the perfect be the enemy of the very good. Refusing to continue to dance only with the devil they know, the board has bravely taken a giant step forward for our teens. Starting next year, our high school kids will finally be getting more of the sleep that they need, and as a result will be healthier and better educated.
Though it is tempting to criticize the board for not getting it exactly right, I am more inclined to praise them for choosing to show leadership on an important public health issue. Change is hard for all of us and the board will undoubtedly be hearing complaints from many of us next year as we struggle to adjust to our new schedules. That said, it is refreshing to see elected officials set aside self-interest and make a decision based on the best available evidence, doing what is right, even though it is hard.
Can’t wait for train
I’m an assistant professor in the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at N.C. Central University. I am also a cyclist and a commuter from Carrboro, and am writing to implore the development of a Triangle Transit train station on Alston Avenue.
We are on the cusp of progress in alternative transportation here in the Triangle. A history exists of people yearning for a vehicle alternative to connect the vibrant junctions of the Triangle, yet this discussion has been historically tabled due to disagreement and lack of funds. We are now standing on the precipice of a commuter train alternative that will connect the cities of Chapel Hill and Durham, facilitating safer commuting with more ease. Unfortunately, these plans are being met with various levels of difficulty.
As a resident of Carrboro, I am almost giddy about the prospect of a train system that I can use to enter Durham with my bicycle in tow. The station plans include bike rack systems at every station and will greatly diminish my car driving to campus. As one looks out at I-40 or U.S. 15-501 traffic during rush hour, it is very evident that majority of cars carry a single commuter from city to city. If a train system can diminish this in anyway, transportation will be greatly improved between cities within the Triangle and could serve as a template for other future connections. We need to make this happen.
I heartedly hope that city officials will continue to support the train proposal, and specifically the Alston Avenue station.
Thank you, Mary
I just wanted to thank Mary Carey for her insightful, funny, and compelling article on getting older (DN, nando.com/25f). I could definitely relate, and really loved her writing, as well as her nuggets of wisdom.
Far too often, getting older is seen as a negative thing, when in fact there are many things to celebrate. Mary’s article does a wonderful job of showing the full picture!
Like fish and tomato
I always appreciate George O’Neal’s columns and completely agree with him in his My View article “GMOs: You are what you breed” (DN, nando.com/260) that we should be very cautious about consuming foods that have herbicide residue, and that there certain ancillary ecological effects from GMO crops.
But Mr. O’Neal left out his opinion on the direct effects of GMO foods on human health. He used the example of inserting a fish gene into the DNA of a tomato plant for the definition of a GMO product. But to our bodies, this is no different than eating a fish sandwich with a slice of tomato. The altered DNA in GMO foods is broken down into nucleic acids in our digestive system, and are not at all harmful, but used by our body’s genetic machinery to assemble new DNA molecules.
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