Letters to the Editor

The current light rail plan isn’t the solution the Triangle needs

A conceptual design presented at an April 2018 workshop featured multiple, short gull wing-type canopies over the platform of a Durham-Orange light-rail train station. The Durham Area Designers group called the designs "basic" and offered several suggestions in July.
A conceptual design presented at an April 2018 workshop featured multiple, short gull wing-type canopies over the platform of a Durham-Orange light-rail train station. The Durham Area Designers group called the designs "basic" and offered several suggestions in July. Contributed

The Research Triangle and RDU are great assets for the region and need to be part of the greater discussion on placement for the light rail. The stress put on I-40 and the surrounding roadways because of increased population and more commuting to jobs and activities in Triangle has greatly reduced the quality of life in the Triangle.

The billions of dollars being considered for the current plan will only connect Duke University Medical Center, N.C. Central University and the UNC Medical Center, all of which do not have adequate park-and-ride offerings for commuters. The route also goes through New Hope Creek, a wetland swamp and wildlife reserve.

This plan is more of a stumbling block for commuters than a solution. The people of North Carolina deserve better and will support a more common-sense approach to getting to work or other activities.

A view into the future with routes that will better serve us is needed. I ask that the current plans be changed and placed in ways to help reduce traffic between major points of interest. This will encourage many commuters to take the light rail and eliminate the current car-dependent system, reduce fossil fuel emissions and improve our quality of life. And, in the long run, eventually make mass transportation our main way of travel.

Don Pendergraft

Chapel Hill

Health care history

Regarding “GOP claims Democrats want to ‘end’ Medicare for seniors” (Sept. 8): Lest we forget, 69 years ago, Harry Truman proposed a universal health care program which was rejected by the GOP and Southern Democrats. President Kennedy, in 1962, addressed the nation on the need for a Medicare program. Ted Kennedy worked tirelessly on a health care plan, and held hearings before issuing a report ‘The Health Care Crisis in America,” rejected by GOP.

Lyndon Johnson, in 1965, signed the Medicare/Medicaid bill into law. In 1974, Nixon called for a universal health plan that also died. Within his first week in office, in 1993, Bill Clinton called for a health task force headed by Hillary Clinton. After months of work, the GOP rejected the plan.

In 2008, John McCain and Barack Obama proposed universal health reform and it became a work in progress. The ACA was signed into law by Obama in 2010. The GOP has tried 71 times to repeal it and President Trump has undermined it.

Facts show that aside from President Nixon, the Democrats are the party that has worked for health reform. If anyone is trying to kill Medicare, it is the GOP.

Nedra G. Mills

Holly Springs

Distribute fairly

Regarding “How progressive should NC’s tax system be?” (Sept. 11): Americans hope for financial security, not the biggest slice of the economic pie. They support a progressive income tax not because the rich have more money. Instead, they expect more taxes from the rich whose income is due – in considerable part – to their good fortune of being in the U.S.

Compare the CEO of a national delivery service and its drivers but we see everyday. Does one work longer hours? Does one have greater personal risk? Greater financial risk? Who gets the golden parachute? How many times smarter or more energetic or talented is one over the other? Is it actually harder to recruit a successful CEO than drivers?

Progressive taxation rewards our common efforts as Americans. A team effort warrants a fair distribution of the fruits of victory.

Douglas A. Johnston

Raleigh

Need or deserve?

Liberals tend to believe that government should help people who need help, whether they deserve it or not. Conservatives tend to believe that government should help people who deserve help, whether they need it or not.

And many of our elected officials demonstrate that they believe that the fact that a person needs help is clear proof that that person does not deserve it.

Bill Spencer

Raleigh

Admissions practices

I enjoyed Michael Jacobs’ column “There’s more to college – and life – than brilliance” (Sept. 2) and couldn’t agree more. Apparently, Harvard has been using the type of admissions criteria discussed in the piece for generations.

When my father, C. M. Smith, graduated as a history major from Newberry College in the mid-1930s, he applied to the University of South Carolina’s master’s program and was not accepted. His advisor at Newberrry told him to forget USC and apply to Harvard – he did and earned his master’s degree there.

Jim Smith

Raleigh

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