As “As the Triangle drifts, a growth tsunami looms” (Mar. 11) noted, a “growth tsunami” is coming to the Triangle. A smarter approach to growth is needed if this area is to maintain a high quality of life. In order to confront challenges such as worsening traffic and lack of affordable housing, appropriate density balanced with walkable neighborhoods will be critical moving forward.
In this context, I wanted to add a point on the $19.9 million Blue Ridge-Hillsborough grade separation TIGER grant award. NC DOT collaborated closely with the Blue Ridge Corridor Alliance among other partners in developing a thoughtful and context-sensitive solution, which will also very intentionally allow safer bicycle and pedestrian crossing thru the corridor as well as enhanced transit options.
Improving the transportation infrastructure is a first step towards creating true mixed-use in West Raleigh connected by transit-oriented development. The Alliance is committed to a visionary approach on the ground by promoting a healthier community through walkable urbanism. We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with governmental, institutional, business and residential stakeholders to achieve this goal.
President, Blue Ridge Corridor Alliance
Regarding “Schools renew focus on cursive writing under NC ‘Back to Basics’ law, report says” (Mar. 3): I’m not able to tell whether Rep. Pat Hurley and the General Assembly are further trying to destroy public schools or are truly interested in going back to the days when cursive writing was important. Despite Hurley’s claim that learning cursive “helps develop their brains” it doesn’t. It’s a mindless waste of time.
If lawmakers were really interested in helping students, they’d replace cursive with typing. Typing is a skill easily learned by children and beneficial for using and programming computers. But then I guess helping students become successful wouldn’t further the argument about our failing schools.
In “Blue Cross reports first ACA profit after 3 years of losses” (Mar. 2), it was reported that BCBS of North Carolina recorded a profit for the first time on its ACA exchange plans. The profit was about $600 million. Proponents of the ACA touted this news as proof that the ACA is working. I would beg to differ.
The only reason BCBS was able to produce a profit and “stabilize” the local ACA market is because of massive rate increases. Over the last four years the average premium for BCBS on the ACA exchanges has gone up by 79 percent. To me, this paints a very concerning picture. We can’t be blind to the fact that the only way this system works is by tapping into the seemingly endless federal credit card. Premium increases of 20 percent per year are not sustainable. Paying for these increases with more federal debt is not sustainable.
So, before anyone declares victory for the ACA and its ability to control costs, we should look at the facts. As John Quincy Adams said so well, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
President, Fulcrum Strategies
Change gun laws
I want to join those praising former state Supreme Court Associate Justice Bob Orr for his heartfelt and courageous commentary “My party is beholden to the NRA” (Mar. 1). With a father who loved quail hunting and wanted the company of his oldest child, I have been around guns all my life. I have also been a defender of the rights bestowed by our enduring Constitution.
As a part-time prosecutor (Wilson Recorder’s Court) ages ago at the beginning of my legal, business and public service career, I was especially sensitized to the enormous risks our wonderful law enforcement officers face daily in the performance of their duties. The perils of that day, however, fade to virtual oblivion compared to today. The difference, I believe, is the enormous amount of money in our now-corrupted electoral process in the hands of the NRA.
Enough is enough. I ask the many thoughtful members of the NRA to call on their leaders to lead in enabling, not obstructing, sensible gun legislation.