$5.3 million for Silent Sam? UNC is confused.

As a retired faculty from the School of Nursing, I am stunned and furious that the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees can suddenly come up with $5.3 million for a new building for a statue, when the School of Nursing suffers in a 60-year-old building that is in desperate need of being replaced. This was true when I retired over 15 years ago and remains so today.

Carrington Hall, where over 600 nursing students are enrolled in classes, has leaking roofs and windows, with rain felt in classrooms, a yearly attack of bugs, and a failing heating system. Every other health science school has had a major overhaul or new building in the past decades. In addition, many of the other schools of nursing in the state have brand new buildings because their university understands the importance of educating nurses with innovative technology.

Margaret S. Miles

Professor Emerita, UNC School of Nursing

Chapel Hill

Confirm Harris

I suggest everyone who cares about justice, elections and North Carolina call Gov. Cooper’s office and urge him to call on the state Board of Elections to certify the U.S. House District 9 election results so that Mark Harris can start helping North Carolina.

The Board of Elections will not release the reasons for failing to certify Mark Harris’ victory. They will not respond to questions. They just let the media run wild, speculative stories without merit. The Board of Election does not have a legal basis to refuse certification of this election.

Failure to certify the election prevents Representative-elect Harris from setting up office in D.C., hiring staff and leasing office space for local constituent services offices. He is also prevented from being seated on committees, such as the Agriculture Committee that can support North Carolina farmers.

Dennis Britt


No compromise

I used to think it was unlikely Silent Sam would come down, but it would be impossible to put him back up if he did. On Aug. 20, the students and citizens of Chapel Hill triumphantly proved me wrong. On Monday, Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees shamefully proved me wrong again.

Some may say, “It’s a needed compromise.” There can be no compromise with white supremacy. Don’t believe that Sam represents white supremacy? Read Julian Carr’s dedication of the monument. Some may say, “There were legal threats, and worse.” We need leaders of courage who will stand up to threats. But we don’t have leaders of courage. A threat is a command for the coward.

I still hope that we, the people, can somehow prevent this tragedy. But that’s probably my old naivete. Who will be the Julian Carr of our generation? Who will tell the story of how hate had no place on UNC’s campus, so they had to build it one?

Alex Karsten


Detained, deported

In response to Steve Trexler’s letter (“Cooperate with ICE,” Dec. 1): In 2008, my son was driving home from soccer practice. He had just turned 18, was working as an electrician while going to school, and only had one day off during the week when he could have fun. The police pulled him over, saying that the tires were unsafe on the car he was borrowing. What should have been a minor ticket became a nightmare that has continued to this day.

Less than a month into the 287(g) partnership between ICE and the Wake County Sheriff’s Department, my son became one of the first 40 individuals to be detained and deported. We were never allowed to see him during the proceedings and paid thousands of dollars to attorneys who couldn’t save him from being taken out of the country.

The only thing that gives me justice is knowing that my granddaughter was able to motivate her friends last month in joining her in voting against 287(g), because nobody should have to endure what our family has gone through, regardless of documentation.

Yolanda Zavala

President, Colectivo NC


Price increase

Would someone please explain to our administration that imposition of a tariff does not result in foreign businesses paying money to U.S. businesses. Instead, prices to U.S. businesses are raised and those increases then passed on to U.S. consumers, who provide the money.

Dan McConnell


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