Letters to the Editor

Wake and Durham sheriffs need to do their jobs

Misguided sheriffs

The new sheriffs of Wake and Durham counties seem somewhat confused. They were elected to serve as law officers, not legislators.

They seem to want to write their own laws and not enforce ones they dislike or disagree with.

Having civil servants choose what they will or won’t do is not just a slippery slope, it is a vast chasm with no end. They should resign and run for the legislature and gain positions more attuned to their proclivities and sympathies – or decide to do all of their job.

Helmuts A. Feifs, Durham

Trump’s housing cuts

I am dismayed that the president is once again calling for cuts to housing assistance.

America is in a housing crisis. A person earning the prevailing minimum wage cannot afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. However, only one in four eligible households can get housing assistance because of inadequate funding.

It is unconscionable that President Trump would propose to put more families at risk of homelessness by cutting housing assistance in his budget.

Everyone deserves a roof over their head. Safe, stable housing has a positive impact on job performance and children are healthier, happier, and do better in school.

I call on our senators and representatives in Washington to reject Trump’s reckless budget cuts and instead increase investments in housing assistance programs.

Jeff Kulp, Raleigh

Privatize NC ABC

A recent Forum writer noted that private retailers would have problems accommodating new inventory and that a “licensure system” would result in liquor sales on Sunday.

First, it is not the state’s responsibility to ensure that retailers can effectively allocate their space. If they believe they can make a profit, they’ll find space.

Second, there is no reason to presume that privatization must result in Sunday sales.

The GOP has stated clearly and repeatedly that it wants to eliminate intrusive regulations. Now would be a good time to follow through on that pledge.

The ABC system can, in fact, be privatized, providing citizens with more choice, lower prices due to competition, and still bring in the level of taxation to support what the current system supports and likely more.

Only seven states limit liquor sales to government-owned stores. Thirty-three states have figured out how to privatize liquor sales. Why can’t North Carolina?

Phillip Hamilton, Raleigh

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It is readily apparent that we must have a combination of methods for people to travel across North Carolina in the future – a three-pronged system, focusing on road, rail and air transport.

The rail policy that could best serve N.C. citizens is neither cheap nor easy. But then again, when has a policy that benefits all and increases infrastructure ever been about ease or cheapness.

The state not only should have light rail, but branch line services between smaller cities and towns, main rail line services between major cities, and light rail in inner cities to ease congestion.

Those are the facts, facts that Duke and others are ignoring. We will pay for those crass decisions in the years to come.

Timothy Garrison, Conover

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A recent Forum writer advocated giving students and teachers the day off so they can vote.

While I agree that the percentage of young people participating in our democracy needs to increase, it is sad and disappointing that the writer feels they need an incentive to do so.

Each election, millions of Americans find time to participate in the electoral process before or after putting in a full day of work. Their “incentive” is electing officials they feel can best run our nation.

Yet students, who spend on average only six hours in school, need the incentive of a day off. This is another example of the under-education and failure of our youth to understand the importance and privilege they enjoy living in a democracy.

Scott Dillon, Cary

Apartment fires

Dwelling fires in cheaply built apartment complexes are scary and have become too common.

The solution is better construction. I can hear the builders howling.

A few years ago, I saw the aftermath of a fire in a masonry multistory apartment building built in 1967 in Brookline, Mass. The fire was caused by a tenant’s poor decision. His apartment was a total loss, but his neighbors’ apartments suffered only minor smoke damage.

Smoke detectors and sprinklers help prevent loss of life, as would adequate fire escapes. Better buildings contain the fire and prevent loss of homes.

Gertrude Kappel, Raleigh