Letters to the Editor

1/12 Letters: This shutdown is doing more harm than good.

The US Treasury Department is closed as a result of the government shutdown. (AP aPhoto/Carolyn Kaster)
The US Treasury Department is closed as a result of the government shutdown. (AP aPhoto/Carolyn Kaster)

The “wall” that Trump is demanding is costing the U.S. millions of dollars a day with the government shutdown. Millions of workers and families are performing the equivalent of slave labor — working without pay. And those who aren’t working are a greater risk to the safety of the nation than undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants have murdered substantially fewer American citizens than domestic terrorists in mass shootings. These immigrants are trying to escape violence the US caused through manipulation of Latin/South American governments during and after the Cold War. Most of the immigrants who have dominated media — the caravan, for example — are seeking legal asylum. Prioritizing the wall over the daily safety and well-being of American citizens is not an act that the Senate should support. I urge Sens. Tillis and Burr to remember that they are getting paid while other government workers are not during a shutdown. So they need to work.

Alyeska Dronsfield


Fostering competition

Many thanks for the article “Popularity of charter schools is causing this NC school district to lose students” (Jan. 7) and the quotation from Terry Stoops, vice president of research for the John Locke Foundation. Directly from Stoops: “ Charter schools were designed to foster competition with districts.” Not, as we were told in 1997 when charters started, to foster innovation. Not labs free from some regulations so we could find the best ways to benefit all kids. Not think tanks full of the best people working together with school districts on behalf of equity and excellence for all.

Finally we hear the truth about why charters are here and why the public is paying for them. We are creating winners, losers, and inequity as a sharp and documented result. If factors of diversity and inclusion are factored in, we are in reality simply creating losers and inequity in both systems, no doubt about it, in an unprecedented move for our great state.

These are children. We know better, and this rare admission can help us choose better for the state of North Carolina, once a national leader in education.

Kelly Morris Roberts, PhD


Voting consequences

I strongly expect the four Wake County Commissioners who foolishly voted to sell the recently purchased property will not be commissioners after the next election.

Bob Edmundson


Sidewalk needed

Fayetteville Street and Martin Luther King Parkway are streets that citizens of Durham are familiar with. The first runs through North Carolina Central University, and the second has shopping centers on either side of it. Between them there is a small street, called Cook Road, that connects Hillside High School and the Hope Valley Commons Shopping Center. It is a mile-and-a-half long and runs through a residential area, yet does not have a completed sidewalk.

Our local government has set aside $20 million dollars to install sidewalks throughout Durham, in order to improve accessibility and quality of life for the city. I’m writing this letter to bring attention to this small stretch of road, with the hope of getting it added to the priority list of our leaders.

Students, the elderly, and homeless people traverse this road daily — walking both in the lanes and in the adjacent dirt. I walked down this road with City Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton, and we were greeted with honks of swerving cars trying to avoid knocking us into the ditches that parallel Cook Road.

Though there are sidewalks on Fayetteville Road and Martin Luther King Parkway, the sidewalk ends on Cook Road. This small road provides a big opportunity to improve the commute and the connectivity of the surrounding community.

Moriah Webster


Not victimless

While one can sympathize with Peter Marino’s interest in protecting his daughter (“Claims of ‘relatively light sentence’ are wrong, father says”, Jan. 6), his emphasis that she made restitution rings hollow.

Shortly after being hired by Laura Riddick, Darryl Black recommended that Riddick’s office adopt more rigorous accounting methods. This recommendation was met with stern resistance by Riddick, who eventually gave Black a choice: resign or be fired. Black chose the latter, but not before setting in motion the investigation that would lead to Riddick’s trial and conviction.

What thanks has Black received for his selfless and morally straight actions? He has been effectively blackballed by Wake County and the NC GOP, unable to find any government work. Darryl Black is one of Riddick’s victims. Where’s his restitution?

David Snyder