Lawmakers should address the amendments in January

N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, left, and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore
N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, left, and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore ehyman@newsobserver.com

The people of North Carolina went to the polls in unprecedented numbers and made a profound statement. They broke the Republican super majority in the House and Senate. Voters rejected one-party rule that has stripped away good policies and threatened their way of life.

However, Republicans still hold a super majority until January. And before power changes hands, they are planning to push through last-minute legislation to make what they’ve done difficult to undo, to weaken the power of the governor and to write new policies on approved amendments. What I want to suggest is that Sen. Phil Berger and his super majority should refrain from any attempts to cram through any new policies.

Perhaps the amendment that will generate the most attention this week will be the voter photo ID. Republicans are now writing the details for this law. This comes after a previous voter bill was struck down by a federal appeals court, which found that the law appeared to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”

Lawmakers should address all amendments in January. To craft any laws without bipartisanship will be a betrayal of the public’s trust and is clearly the wrong thing to do.

Rev. Dr. Earl C. Johnson


Too little, too late

The article Smithfield possibly using “new” technology to create energy from pig waste is too little, too late (“Smithfield Foods may turn pig waste into biogas,” Nov. 23). Perhaps their new pledge has something to do with the numerous lawsuits against them that they are losing in court.

Skepticism of this turnabout is in order. The technology was developed 20 years ago, but only now is it considered viable. In addition the article states that a system of pipelines will have to be developed to do this.

Is that really what NC needs to do? Look up, at the sun; let’s build solar farms instead of pig “farms.” North Carolina could lead the way in solar energy, and much cleaner energy as well. Can’t we take a step back and realize that profiting off of the suffering of innocent animals who face a violent death is immoral to say the least?

Ellen Canavan


My day-after-Thanksgiving lunch, accompanied by my Friday N&O, became suddenly less appetizing upon reading your page one headlines: “Smithfield Foods may turn pig waste into biogas,” followed by “Creative ways to transform all those leftovers.”

Forrest Johnson


Eating habits

Can eating habits change the impact the world around us? I don’t tell folks around me what to eat. I do consider the impacts of my own diet to the world around me. As a result, I do not eat meat. I am a vegan for what I believe are all the right reasons.

One very important one is the treatment of animals in industrial animal production. By eating, whether it be of plants, animals or both, you are participating in the production of that food. You become responsible for the production methods and any related harm it brings. No, you cannot simply close your eyes, ears and mouth as if nothing else matters except the cheap price and availability of the product. That would make you no less responsible. Another problem is pollution. It too is heavily impacted by our eating habits.

As we end 2018 and look to the new year for the many changes that need to take place, please take a hard look at your eating habits and what it means to the future of this beautiful state and planet.

Rick Dove

New Bern

N&O panel to preview ACC basketball season

As the 2018-19 ACC men’s basketball season gets underway, a News & Observer panel on Wednesday will assess the prospects for North Carolina’s four ACC schools and offer predictions on which teams are likely to finish where.

The panelists are Luke DeCock, N&O sports columnist; Bridget Condon, ABC11 sports reporter; Chucky Brown, former N.C. State and NBA player; and David Shumate, play-by-play announcer for the Duke Blue Devils. Ned Barnett, N&O associate editor, will moderate.

This Community Voices forum — “ACC men’s basketball, this season and beyond” — will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the N.C. Museum of History. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com. (N&O Rewards members can receive free tickets by using the promo code on the N&O website’s Rewards homepage.)