Letters to the Editor

04/14 Letters: Don’t close Wake public schools so teachers can attend a rally

Teachers should rally another day

Please, somebody help me understand why Wake County public schools are closed on May 1.

Yes, I know there is a N.C. Association of Educators rally, so they are closing schools so teachers can attend.

But why? Educators need to be educating and not closing schools to attend to attend a rally about education.

Why not have your rally on Saturday?

Schools are closed all too often for bad weather. Don’t close the school because you want to have a rally. This is ridiculous!

Ron Fazio, Cary

Unsung heroes in the explosion

As a frequent visitor and nonprofit partner of Prescient, the innovative building technology firm whose offices were leveled Wednesday in Durham, I cannot tell you how grateful we all are for the quick-wittedness of the team.

Satyen Patel, Prescient’s chairman, saluted two remarkable executive assistants – women who were Wednesday’s unsung heroes. These two pushed the workaholic team to take the evacuation seriously and usher everyone out of the building with minutes to spare.

I remain saddened by the death of the owner of Kaffeinate, the welcoming coffee shop at street level below Prescient’s offices.

Kindness permeated that building, upstairs and down. Blessings to all who averted greater tragedy.

Wanda Urbanska, Raleigh

Hat’s off to N&O on blast coverage

The News & Observer’s coverage of Wednesday’s explosion in Durham was brilliant, reminding me yet again of why I still rely on news from the newspaper when so many others go only to TV.

My hat is off to your team of reporters and the editors who no doubt managed them.

Well done, N&O!

Tom Generous, Carrboro

Fund better election security

While much attention has been focused on absentee ballot fraud in the 9th Congressional District, little attention has been paid to improving the accuracy of our state’s voter rolls to curtail other types of election irregularities.

These election security problems cannot be addressed with Voter ID.

The Electronic Records Information Center (ERIC) is a nonprofit, state-controlled membership organization that would allow North Carolina to identify inaccuracies and improve integrity of our voting systems while improving security.

In Virginia, South Carolina and West Virginia, ERIC identified more moved, deceased and duplicate voter records than those states achieved alone using their own records.

The League of Women Voters urges the N.C. General Assembly to provide funds to allow North Carolina to join ERIC, as well as to provide necessary technology upgrades and election processes.

By making these investments, the General Assembly can truly be the impetus for improving the accuracy and security of our voting systems and regain voters’ trust in our elections.

Marian Lewin, Raleigh

President, League of Women Voters of Wake County

I question FBI’s role in all this

The biggest unasked question of the last two years of FBI investigations is why a small group on the seventh floor at FBI headquarters was in charge of both the “Midyear Exam” investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and pivoted immediately to the Trump-Russia “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.

The FBI director is a political appointment. Why wouldn’t these investigations be assigned to the field offices to avoid any politicization or accusations of bias?

What we know now is that the top echelon of the FBI controlled all of it because it wanted to.

Janie Wagstaff, Durham

I want answers from Trump

The American people deserve an answer to the following questions for Donald Trump:

1. If he has nothing to hide regarding his tax returns, why doesn’t he release them? Previous presidents have willingly done so.

2. If there was no collusion, why is his administration adamant about not releasing Robert Mueller’s investigative report to Congress and the citizens of this country?

With no answers, we must assume there is a reason for all this secrecy. Does he protest too much or maybe the truth hurts?

Georgie Brizendine, Raleigh

Fed up with political bickering

I’ve radically changed my TV viewing habits.

Once, I watched the news believing politics was merely promoting different views on how to tackle economic, social or international disagreements. The most serious problems would generate governmental action and once addressed we’d move on.

Now, it appears our current leaders, regardless of political leanings, perpetuate and spew forth the same old talking points. They resurrect ageless squabbles only preparing for the new election cycle. No problem solving or compromise is allowed.

I’ve come avoid the cable news channels and the endless bickering. I don’t care to hear the latest tweet by either side.

The incessant flow of “breaking news” of illegal, immoral, ruthless or self-serving actions of our elected leaders has soured me on the intentions of state and national Democrats and Republicans.

Channels that focus on travel, home improvement, wilderness living, history, or wildlife are my go-to sanctuaries. I’m sure I’m not alone in my self-imposed exile from cable news.

Bill Krupp, Raleigh

Remembering a man, his message

At age 99, economist Dr. Howard Ammerman began writing a yearly birthday letter to the N&O regarding his concerns for the environment.

Sadly, he passed away last month. Today would’ve been his 104th birthday.

In a 1988 letter to Disney/Epcot, Howard pitched an alternative approach to Epcot displays that emphasized new technology.

He wrote: “With a background in International Economics, I am painfully aware of the grossly disproportionate use of the world’s material resources for our nation’s roughly 6 percent of its population. Yet technological developments push us in the direction of a world outlook. A better tomorrow can be in terms of personal development and improved relations with others from the family level to and including the planet.

“In my opinion, greater happiness, or even security, via ‘more things’ for much of the population of the United States is questionable, or at least will be until the economic lot of many others here and abroad has been improved.”

Those of us who knew and loved Howard agree that owning fewer things, sharing more, and caring deeply about other people and the environment is the only sustainable way forward for a better world.

Alice Ammerman, Chapel Hill