Letters to the Editor, June 9

Jun. 08, 2014 @ 03:25 PM

Polling users would help

The Veterans’ Administration scandal has apparently been going on for years.  When you depend on the folks doing the work to tell you what kind of job they are doing, what do you really expect?  Without some independent look, this cannot be fixed.  

The solution is deceptively simple: Poll your users.  Invariably when I go into a chain restaurant that is a mess, I can find no comment card.  Duke Hospital always polls me on the service I got during my last visit.  They ask how long I waited, how I was treated and if it was easy to get an appointment.

This idea will solve many problems.  Poll folks who get traffic tickets.  Were you treated respectfully?  Was the stop fair?  Did the policeman ask to search your car?  Statistics tell the tale.  Compare responses from white, black and hispanic to see if problems exist.

Poll users of the court system.

Prisons are a lot like schools.  If you have a good principal, it leads to a good school. Some prisons really aren’t “correctional” facilities. Prisons take on the character of their leadership and as I have seen, the difference can be radical.  Poll men who have been released from prison and ask them how they were treated.  Poll volunteers who come to the prison to see how they are treated.  Whistleblowers lead a hard life.  Let the results tell the tale. You will easily find where the problems are if you want to know.

Larry Bumgardner


Don’t forget bus drivers

I write this editorial with much appreciation to all bus drivers, monitors and transportation staff at northern transportation for Durham Public Schools. 

I recently had an accident and am unable to return to work this school year or work over the summer. My coworkers took up a donation and sent to me with thoughtful cards and best wishes for a speedy recovery.  I cannot tell you the appreciation that I feel for all of their kind words, cards, prayers and gifts.  What humbles me the most, is that these people were willing to give to my cause despite the fact that they all are on a limited budget and are one of the lowest-salaried positions in the school system in Durham. 

We all are hearing so much in the media about teacher pay raises but nothing about bus drivers and monitors. I do not dispute the teacher pay raise, I just ask that school bus drivers and monitors are not forgotten about and are equally deserving of a pay raise. We face a tremendous amount of responsibility and liability every day while driving to ensure the safety of our students.  I ask that Durham County does not forget to reward those of us who deserve to be rewarded for hard work and such demanding responsibilities.

Again, thank you to all of my coworkers at DPS Transportation for your generosity!  I will see you all in the fall!

Mark Young


Losing a friend

I have lost a good friend. My friend used to stick up for me and I knew my back was covered.

My friend used to take care of my other friends and cover their backs.

My friend used to protect me and fight along my side to be sure all was safe.

My friend used to help others in need.

Now my friend has turned his back on me and my buddies and will lie and try to cover up his indiscretions.

My friend was the great United States. My friend has turned against me and my real friends!

But "what difference does it make?"

To me, it makes one hell of a difference!

Jack Lamb