The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on voter ID, safe spaces, sales tax, civil debate, education, Lindy Brown

Letters that got overrun by other issues before they could see print:


Nonsensical Burr

Regarding the March 12 news article “ Lacking photo ID, Burr casts provisional ballot”: I found it funny that Richard Burr showed up to vote and did not have proper ID. He had to file a provisional ballot.

We would think that responsibility would dictate being sure he had some ID with him prior to going to the polls. He wouldn’t be without a driver’s license, would he?

He isn’t someone who is just in off the boat, which is what the law is supposed to control, is he?

His political ads are still taking jabs at President Obama, even though he says he will continue to fight Obama if he gets re-elected. Even his political ads don’t make sense. Obama will be gone, and he’ll continue to fight Obama?

It is interesting to think that Americans are voting for representatives who don’t show one bit of common sense. And we will gripe when these politicians get put back into office?

Terry Kelly



Selling safe areas

In regards to the Feb. 1 news article “ Police create safe spaces for Internet sales”: This is a great idea and should be encouraged in more areas of North Carolina.

As a college student, I can understand the desire to go and find the best deals that can fit a student budget, even with the potential risks. With these new “safe areas,” transactions will be more legitimate rather than going to some stranger’s house or having the stranger come to our house to have the sale.

Although I do think this is a step toward a safer buy-sell system, I do not think it will significantly lower the number of bad sales or unhappy customers that Craigslist or any similar website may bring. This is a good start but with anything, buyers beware!

Luckshume Ketheeswaran



The obvious winners

Regarding the Feb. 28 news article “ Sales tax on dozens of services starts Tuesday”: Thanks to our Republican leaders in Raleigh we began paying sales taxes recently on another list of services that were exempt before (appliance installations, car repairs, etc).

The main reason is to help pay for income tax reductions given to everyone. That’s right. Most people saw their income tax rate lowered. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this strategy benefits the wealthy more than the middle class.

The tax burden on the wealthy has been lowered far more than for the middle class. If this is what’s best for the state, then fine. But don’t sell it like a fair plan with equal benefits for everyone.

Most of us are not idiots. Unfortunately however, there seems to be enough who are.

Mark Kinlaw

Holly Springs


Indefensible waste

How many millions of dollars are we willing to spend in defense of bad legislation? The voter ID legislation and numerous other laws passed by this legislature and affirmed by the governor have been challenged repeatedly in the courts and found wanting.

Bad law after bad law is often being defended by private counsel at taxpayer expense because the duly elected attorney general recognized bad law and counseled against committing state resources to its defense.

Still, this legislature sticks doggedly to its agenda, wasting our money in defense of its prejudices and its ill-conceived fumbles of the public interest. So much positive law could be passed with a majority in power, but that opportunity has been wasted as a narrow ideology is systematically applied to promote its private interest at all costs.

How much longer can we condone and afford this?

John Pilutti



DSCC support lacking

In North Carolina eight years ago, Kay Hagan defeated Liddy Dole and flipped a U.S. Senate seat. That was the last time the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had a positive impact here.

Since then, the DSCC has made one head-scratching move after another. Today, North Carolina has two Republicans in the Senate.

Cal Cunningham was a strong candidate in 2010, or so the DSCC thought. After Cunningham finished a distant second in the primary, the DSCC doubled down and insisted Cunningham participate in a runoff, instead of conceding to the eventual winner. He lost, so the DSCC shunned North Carolina in the 2010 general election.

DSCC’s failure to support our Senate candidate was a major contributor to N.C. Democrats’ decimation at the polls.

Now the DSCC has anointed Deborah Ross. What happens if Chris Rey, Kevin Griffin or Ernest Reeves wins the primary and becomes the Democrats’ standard-bearer in November? History suggests the DSCC will again ignore this battleground state and concede the race to the GOP.

To borrow a line from the great Randy Newman, “If you won’t take care of us, won’t you please, please let us be?” DSCC should let the voters decide, then support their choice 100 percent.

Jake Quinn



Respect the law

Regarding the March 1 news article “ Tension follows fatal shooting by police”: When is someone going to inform all residents living in America that we are a nation of laws? Color nor race has anything to do with obeying the law. We cannot commit crimes, run from law enforcement and expect there not to be consequences.

Quit wasting time coddling criminals instead of teaching them how our system works . Stop the politically correct speech that sends wrong messages to non-law-abiding persons.

The movement against our laws and law enforcement only gives passage to the behavior shown in the disrespect for our laws and the police who are charged with enforcement. Also, the justice system needs to start doing its job in prosecuting criminals and putting them behind bars instead of putting them back on the street. Most of these criminals have rap sheets longer than I-95.

When a person enters the judicial system and pleads not guilty knowing he or she is guilty, it seems to me that they have committed perjury right then.

Mary Lou Smith



Talking going out of style

Regarding the Feb. 6 Point of View “ Why civil debate is becoming more difficult in our wired world”: What used to be an obsession with the millennials has now worked its way into all generations. Conversation has gone out of style!

I have people tell me all the time, “I’d rather text than talk.” How much brain power does that take to peck on that little screen? Have we evolved to the point that we don’t need real friends? All we need is to read from a tiny screen, all we need to know.

I disagree with those who say there is no need for education because I can find out anything I want to know by pecking on some device.

I think there is a basic need to be loved; how does a machine give us that?

If someone has some information for me or just wants to talk, then tell me, don’t text me, don’t tweet me, don’t Facebook me, don’t toot me, because I will not respond. They can call me, and I’ll talk to them, or better yet we can meet somewhere and talk.

Jimmy Smith



Equal access for all

We were very disappointed to learn last year that our daughter, despite her qualifying test scores, was not allowed to apply to the Ligon Middle School “AIG Basics” gifted magnet program because Wake County public schools also required “Wake County AIG identification.”

This meant that somebody at WCPSS would need to confirm that her scores met the cutoff, a process that reasonably might take only a few minutes. Instead, we were told, our daughter would already have to be attending a Wake County public school in order to obtain the label and be eligible to apply to the Ligon program. This policy applies not only to Wake County private school students, like our daughter, but also, I was told, to Wake County homeschool students and to new arrivals in Wake County.

WCPSS administrators seem comfortable obtaining tax dollars from these Wake County families without offering their children the same opportunities available to other Wake County students, but such policies deter families from choosing public schools and further encourage support for alternatives such as private and charter schools.

Public schools should not deny students equal access to educational opportunities based on their neighborhood or where they attended school the previous year.

Leigh Thorne

Chapel Hill


Brown disses working moms

Regarding the March 5 news article “ 2 primaries, 4 hopefuls for new at-large seat”: Lindy Brown attacked her Democratic opponent on the basis that she is a working mom of small children. Never mind that she got the facts wrong (the children aren’t small).

Brown, a woman, just advocated discrimination against working mothers of small children.

I am no friend of the Republican Party, but Brown is not someone I will vote for in the primary or, if she gets the nomination, the general election.

Heather Travar