Letters to the Editor

No airport stop? That’s a major flaw in Durham light-rail plan

A big hole in the light-rail plan

We have seen cost data and benefit estimates for the proposed Chapel Hill-Durham light rail – each very large – but I think that it’s quite a stretch to call this a helpful rail plan when a major node, the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, is not included as a major service.

When you can’t use your whiz-bang new facility to get to a key destination like your commercial airport, there’s a hole in your boat.

G. A. George, Chapel Hill

Don’t punish Tillis for doing his job

Rockingham County Republican Party chairwoman Diane Parnell believes Sen. Thom Tillis should be “primaried” for not blindly following President Trump to support his emergency order regarding the border wall. Inexplicably, she seeks to punish Tillis for doing his job.

To be clear, his job is not to mindlessly do the bidding of the president, rather, it is to represent his constituency – the people of North Carolina.

Polls tell us a majority of the population is not in favor of the president’s end-run around the constitutionally mandated role of Congress: budgetary appropriations.

Further, Tillis has made it clear that his vote is to specifically protest the shifting of funds from military construction projects at installations like Fort Bragg to apply them to the fulfillment of Trump’s campaign promises to build a wall.

A senator’s job is to fly in the face of any president if that president’s policy proposals are contrary to the interests of the senator’s constituency. History is replete with examples. The man’s doing his job.

Peter A. DiMeo, Cary

GOP abandoned its principles

The reactivity of the Republican Party to Sen. Thom Tillis’ break with Donald Trump’s extra-legal grab for a border wall funding says less about Tillis than the Republican Party.

The president could have asked Congress for the funds when Republicans controlled both houses or he could have used the money which he gave away in a tax cut. The “emergency” is that Democrats have taken the House. It is all very clear. Congress has the power of the purse.

The GOP has abandoned all of its former frameworks of fiscal conservatism and bonds with allies. Now its only guiding principle is lock-step obedience to a morally compromised leader.

Tillis’ problem is that he wouldn’t be Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Adams Wofford, Durham

Here’s my plan for Silent Sam

The remains of Silent Sam have yet to be disposed. I propose that he be properly buried at the site on which he was erected. I propose that his pedestal be used as the base for a proper granite headstone. This should be a win-win for all.

May he rest in peace.

Gardner Temple, Clayton

No to offshore drilling in NC

The March 2 op-ed by Nat Robertson that favored drilling for oil and natural gas off the N.C. coast failed to mention the dangers to our coast and economy that would be created by offshore exploration and drilling.

There are many productive ways to create jobs in our state that don’t involve offshore drilling. Investing in renewable energy is just one example.

North Carolina should use all means possible to prevent offshore drilling by Big Oil.

John Bridgers, Fuquay-Varina

New Green Deal gives me hope

I have lived with fear about climate change all my adult life. Until now, I largely felt despair as it seemed clear our political leaders were more interested in their short-term profits than our future.

The introduction of the Green New Deal legislation by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey finally gives me hope.

We need to implement a Green New Deal now to avoid the kind of climate disaster experts predict will happen just decades from now. For the sake of our children, let’s get all hands on deck and turn this ship around before it’s too late.

Miriam Brodersen, Durham

NC midwifery law should stay as is

It would not be prudent for our state to allow midwives to practice independently and perform home deliveries. (Midwives, banned in NC, want state to change law,” March 3)

As a pediatrician who has attended thousands of high-risk deliveries when babies need the attention of a qualified pediatrician/neonatologist, I can honestly say that home deliveries are a bad idea – unless the delivering health professional has the expertise, equipment, drugs, and nursing assistance to resuscitate a really sick newborn.

Obstetrical health professionals, in spite of the best prenatal technology, cannot know in advance about 30 percent of the situations in which babies need aggressive resuscitation at birth.

Our state has an unacceptable infant mortality rate. Many child deaths are newborns who are delivered prematurely and need aggressive resuscitation.

Our babies deserve first-class medical care. This issue should not be about family comfort or economics – it should be about what is best for our children!

Dr. David Tayloe Jr., Goldsboro

Change school rating scale

The state’s inflated 15-point school performance scale gives the N.C. General Assembly cover for spending less on K-12 education. Under this system half of all “B” schools look like “A’s.” Half of all “C” schools like “B’s.”

Maintaining this mythical excellence must end. When parents think their “B” school is an “A,” opportunities to pressure legislators for better funding are lost. Adopt the 10 point scale.

Bolyn McClung, Pineville

Let athletes to go pro at any age

“Bill will seek to allow athletes to profit from name, image” (March 7) made me think of possible unintended consequences.

There is essentially no difference between flat-out paying athletes and allowing them to profit from their names and images. Imagine this conversation between a deep-pockets alum and a high-school athlete who is being recruited: “Hey kid, come to my school and here’s what we can do. We’ll get 10,000 T-shirts printed up with your picture on it. We’ll charge $100 per shirt and you’ll get a big cut on the profits. I’ll buy all the shirts, give them to charity, and get a tax write-off.”

If this bill becomes law, what next? A salary cap for college teams? Students having to attend the college that drafted them rather than the college of choice?

There are no simple way of solving all the often-discussed problems outlined in the article, but just allowing athletes to go professional at any age would go a long way – and I doubt college athletics would be harmed in any significant way.

Steve Spiker, Raleigh

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