Letters to the Editor

12/30 Letters: Raleigh isn’t attracting businesses for a reason.

Skyline view of Raleigh, NC, as seen from the roof of the Holiday Inn Downtown on March 17, 2017.
Skyline view of Raleigh, NC, as seen from the roof of the Holiday Inn Downtown on March 17, 2017. cseward@newsobserver.com

Raleigh recruiters won’t say much about their offers to bring in big-name business. Makes sense to me. Instead of working to develop mass transportation and better roads, a park that can entertain the masses or bringing big city entertainment to our municipal auditorium like DPAC, Raleigh wants to have bike lanes, narrow roads, rail and bus stations without parking, giant concrete towers with empty retail spaces.

Raleigh doesn’t need a savior business to make it great. Raleigh needs to improve its transportation system, from roads to mass transit, create a more comprehensive theater experience, get the Dix Park going and provide parking for everybody wanting to come to Raleigh to live or visit. Raleigh needs to improve livability for more than a few downtown bicyclists. The big businesses that are escaping gridlock and lack of parking, will bypass Raleigh.

Recruiters are puzzled as to why Apple et al. left Raleigh behind. I know. I’ve lived in Raleigh for more than 50 years and have seen Raleigh refuse to grow their infrastructure. It’s getting worse, not better.

Jarles Alberg


Cooper’s tactics

Is there no end to Governor Cooper’s political grandstanding with his vetoes of our legislature? Then he has lawsuits paid for by NC taxpayers filed after his veto is overridden and loses there. It seems all he is doing is playing politics and costing the state tons of money. If he is smart he would try to start working with the GOP to try to get things done. He reminds me Pelosi and Schumer in Congress. I’m not getting my way so let’s do nothing. He is acting like a kid.

Hylton Lawrence


Voters need answers

As we head into 2019 the voters in North Carolina are waiting for answers two serious issues around gerrymandering and alleged voter fraud in the NC 9th District. Both of these important issues are tied up with bi-partisan legal challenges and appeals. Add to these two critical issues are the Legislators attempts to limit the powers of our Governor, restricting and reducing early voting availability, the passing of an undefined voter ID law and you might wonder why the Republicans are trying to control who they want to vote in our state.

North Carolina nationally is getting a bad reputation around fair voter access and representation. When other states like Wisconsin and Michigan mimics our repression of the power of the office of the Governor we must step back and say “ enough is enough” that is not who we are. In 2019 we need to stand up for fair and representative voter rights so we have equal access and transparency for the 2020 elections. Our future depends on it.

Stephen Berg
Chapel Hill

Environmental regulations

When DowDupont gave $1 million to the Trump inauguration they wanted him to overturn the ban on the sarin gas sister chlorpyrifos and his administration did that. Now farm workers are being sickened by the resulting contamination, and that concern extends to the food we buy at the market, the water we drink, and the air we breath. The health of our nation and the planet are under siege.

Of course, it isn’t just toxic pesticides that threatens public health and the long-term health of the Earth. It is the mass overturning of “unnecessary environmental regulations” across the board by Trump’s EPA that’s creating a toxic witches brew swamp that will be difficult if not impossible to clean and is pushing our climate toward the irreversible tipping point that climate scientists fear. The swamp has not been drained. It has been expanded to unprecedented levels as corporate profits trump public health.

William Delamar


Historical placement

Although I haven’t listened to all of the discussions about where to most appropriately display Silent Sam in the future, the NC Museum of History seems like a natural choice. It is located in downtown Raleigh, the state capital. In this location, Silent Sam would be viewed by many people. A plaque could be erected in front of the statue to explain its nuanced historical journey to this location. And this location would be considerably cheaper than the $5 million proposed for a special new building on the UNC campus. What’s not to like about this location for Silent Sam?

Tom Zimmerman


Better uses

Here we are, another government shutdown. And this time it’s because the president wants to throw a tantrum over funding for a pointless wall that won’t prevent people from entering the country illegally. Where will the money come from for this wall? Due to the tax cuts passed this year, the national deficit has shot up. How are we going to pay for that? Veterans aren’t receiving their benefits, but we can magically find money for a racist construction project? What about fixing our own crumbling infrastructure first?

I strongly oppose any and all attempts to build a wall on our southern border. That money could be used to pay teachers, provide better access to healthcare, fund education, repair bridges and roads and a hundred other things.

Congress needs to stop wasting our money and making us look stupid and provide us with a functioning government.

Molly Martin


Rallying cry

I believe it is time for President Trump to change his rallying cry from MAGA (Make America Great Again) to MABA (Make America Broke Again). Enough said!

Doug Jurney


Invoice Mexico

Message to Representative Butterfield, Senator Burr, and Senator Tillis: Here’s an idea that might resolve the budget/shutdown impasse. Pass a bill with the Democrats’ agreed upon $1.6 billion for enhancing border security, along with an invoice to Mexico to pay $5 billion for the border wall. Include a provision to penalize Mexico, if they don’t pay up, with tariffs to build up a fund to collect the $5 billion.

Ken Berger


Reduce consumption

With the glow of Christmas barely behind us, we look forward to the new year and the customary New Year’s resolutions: reduce social media, reduce weight, and, this year, reduce animal food consumption. Hundreds of school, college, hospital, and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even fast-food chains Chipotle, Denny’s, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell, White Castle are rolling out plant-based options.

A dozen start-ups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are creating healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, convenient, delicious plant-based meat and dairy products. Meat industry giants Tyson Foods, Cargill, and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods have invested heavily in plant-based meat development. So have a number of Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and PayPal pioneers.

The plant-based New Year’s resolution requires no sweat or deprivation - just some fun exploration of your favorite supermarket and food websites.

Ralph Cooper


Whole railroad

When I was young, they used to say, “A guy can drop out of high school and steal stuff out of boxcars at the rail yard, or he can study business at college and learn how to steal the whole railroad.”

Here’s the update: A guy can work at the precinct level and steal an election by tampering with absentee ballots, or he can get elected to the legislature and steal the election by gerrymandering.

Bob Williams