Letters to the Editor

4/18 Letters: Teachers have every right to rally

Teachers should rally

As a former high school social studies teacher, now frequent substitute teacher, I take issue with the letter from the teacher who opposes the May 1 rally.

I question her condemnation of colleagues who choose to travel to Raleigh to engage in discourse with legislators. Those teachers are not “on strike.”

Our constitutional rights guarantee all citizens, including teachers, the right to peacefully assemble and present their grievances. I don’t believe such actions run counter to teaching students how to “deal with adversity through discourse and research.”

Too often those in powerful decision-making roles do not appear to be listening. As a parent, teacher, and N.C. citizen, I say to those teachers following their conscience to Raleigh: You most certainly represent me.

Lily Keyes, Raleigh

Parents will suffer

I am disappointed that teachers are unwilling to demonstrate on a weekend, holiday or teacher workday.

While they seem to want public support, they choose a school day which will probably yield the opposite result.

Thousands of parents will have to make special arrangements for their children and many will incur additional expense. This will be especially hard on single parents.

Maybe teachers can help me with the appropriate word: Is it arrogance, ignorance, or just insensitivity?

Bob Jensen, Holly Springs

Tax drivers per mile

I agree that all of us who use the roads should pay to fund road maintenance.

Let’s do that without discouraging adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles: Eliminate the gas tax and raise the needed revenue by adding a per-mile-driven fee to vehicle registration.

This could be implemented by having the vehicle’s mileage reported as part of the annual inspection process. The per-mile-driven rate should be higher for heavier vehicles, which cause more road deterioration.

Charging per mile instead of per gallon better reflects the impact of driving on our roads and solves the problem that gas tax revenues have been declining as vehicles become more efficient, while road maintenance costs are independent of fuel efficiency.

Lee Nackman, Chapel Hill

Despicable hate fest

Regarding “Congressman wants investigation of alleged ‘anti-Semitic rhetoric’ at Duke-UNC conference” (April 15):

How dare UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University co-sponsor a conference, funded by taxpayer dollars, that spews anti-Semitic rhetoric!

Bad enough to host an unbalanced conference that was anti-Israel, but to have a “concert” with a self-proclaimed anti-Semite claiming to be singing an anti-Semitic song, and to ignite hatred through audience participation, is beyond despicable.

As a second generation Holocaust survivor, this kind of behavior conjures up thoughts of 1930s Germany. Thanks to Rep. George Holding for calling for an investigation into this hate fest.

Susan Newman, Raleigh

On Citizens United

Colin Campbell’s excellent Opinion piece on the corrosive effects of political contributions (April 15) reminds one of a sad indictment of our governance by no-nonsense bank regulator William Black during the 1980s savings and loan crisis: “A campaign contribution always generates the best return on investment.”

If this wasn’t bad enough in the 1980s, the 2010 Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court essentially legalized this sleazy practice, thus further biasing corporate investment decisions away from the normal considerations.

Thomas McKee, Cary

Don’t cut history

I cannot believe serious consideration is being given to cutting a history course for something as inane as a high school financial management course.

In a country where at least a third of the population can’t name the branches of government or doesn’t have a clue when the Civil War was fought, history should be the last thing to be cut.

Hopefully, this is Sen. Phil Berger raising a trial balloon to show “interest.”

Fenton McGonnell, Durham

Powell will be missed

Although I never met Dwane Powell in person, I felt as if I knew him from his thought-provoking, skillfully-executed political cartoons and his candid, always interesting Facebook posts.

He spoke our truths. He helped us grieve over situations in our country’s divisive politics that we cannot fix and he gave us a voice to publicly protest injustices and irregularities.

He held people in public service up to the light and responsible for their actions and missteps.

So, thank you, Dwane for your gifts and your presence in our lives. You will be sorely missed.

Theresa Moore, Raleigh