Regarding “Amendment to protect hunting, fishing not needed, critics charge” (Aug. 5): The proposed amendment “to protect the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife” may have a kicker in it: the sentence “Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife.”
Why was this sentence included? Is it a way to weaken or destroy rules and laws governing endangered species and environmental safeguards for animals threatened by a highway or development? What could it mean for commercial fishing limits? What is the intent of this sentence and how will it be interpreted?
As someone who fears our current General Assembly wants to do away with environmental safeguards, I think it would be a wise course for voters to turn down this amendment and leave it to custom and current laws to safeguard the ability of North Carolinians to hunt and fish as we always have.
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Carol W. Pelosi
Stop tax cap
Regarding “Election puts unusual spotlight on constitutional amendments” (Aug. 12): First, let’s all recognize that, no matter where we live in the U.S., it takes the same amount of money to run good but not profligate local governments, assuming we all want decent roads, schools, police and fire protection and other services. States that have little or no income tax must have higher property, sales, gas and other taxes to compensate.
In North Carolina, the state pays for most of our total public school and road costs, which is why our local property taxes are relatively low. But if you cut income from one set of taxes, the others eventually have to go up, or our local schools, roads and more go in the dump.
Also, whereas income taxes can be graduated according to income, flat income taxes, property, sales and gas tax rates are not, and always disproportionately tax the poor and the less privileged.
Limiting the state’s main income source by constitutional amendment will only mean that more constitutional changes will eventually be needed to allow for more local taxation. Which also means that our rural, less populous areas will again suffer the worst.
The proposed constitutional amendment for a state income tax cap, while seemingly innocuous, is really only there to limit what can be taxed on higher-income individuals and to limit any future progressive taxation rates.
Don’t be fooled. With our current state Constitution determining what the state must pay for, such a tax cap is not a good idea.
Many are sorry to read the announcement “Kroger closing all remaining Triangle stores Saturday” (Aug. 9) and upset about the 1,652 employees who lost jobs through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, these workers will soon learn that North Carolina ranks last in the nation among all states and the District of Columbia in average weekly unemployment benefits and ranks 50th in the nation in the duration of these benefits.
All of this started in 2013 under the leadership of Phil Berger and Tim Moore. Under their leadership, not only have they achieved this remarkable record, but at the same time, they have managed to accumulate the unbelievable sum of $3.17 billion in the NC Unemployment Trust Fund (as of February).
Instead of showing compassion for unemployed workers and their families – and using this fund to increase the benefits for unemployed workers – Berger and Moore have chosen to lower the unemployment tax rates paid by employers.
Perhaps less time spent passing laws that are found to be unconstitutional, less meetings behind closed doors and more efforts devoted to the average person would be most constructive.
Regarding “Players protest during anthem, drawing rebuke from Trump” (Aug. 12): While I don’t question the NFL anthem kneelers’ cause or sincerity, I do believe their strategy is misguided. Our flag and anthem are symbolic of an America that is founded on values and principles found in our Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, which enables us to “form a more perfect union.”
“More perfect” is a paradoxical phrase that tells us perfection is never achieved; nevertheless, we have strived for it since 1776 in a continuous search for truth and justice, and are the better for it. To protest the associated symbolism aforementioned is to protest the framework that will actually allow for the change the players seek.
Moreover, it is so disrespectful to those who have died or served our country in protecting this framework for all to use, including protestors. Our flag and anthem are symbols of an idea, its values and our republic. It is a moment when all stand together as one, despite differences or shortcomings, because we honor a creed and an aspiration in America with all its possibilities of “more perfect” as the best way forward.
W. Richard Cobb