Letters to the editor

Aug. 13, 2013 @ 03:44 PM

Durham’s attractive inclusiveness

Thank you, Herald-Sun, for your enlightened editorial of Aug.9 on Durham's diversity. 

It served as a reminder of what we stand to lose if voters allow the N.C. legislature to continue dismantling the achievements of the past 50 years. What makes Durham so attractive to many old-timers and newcomers of all backgrounds is the true American spirit of inclusiveness.

Although we in Durham are by no means perfect, we at least know what kind of society we want to become. 

Heidrun Bartsch Erwin


Fully fund EPA

This is my first-ever Letter to the Editor.  I feel compelled to express my concern that deep cuts — roughly 34 percent totaling $2.8 billion — to the EPA budget, recently proposed by Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho, will severely limit the federal agency's ability to address climate change and keep it from limiting dangerous industrial carbon pollution, a key factor in climate change. 

U.S. power plants, the number one source of carbon pollution, emit more than two billion tons of the gas every year.  If left unchecked, these and other industrial carbon emissions will continue to exacerbate dramatic climate fluctuations and their consequences, from record-breaking heat waves to increased droughts and massive wildfires to more frequent and widespread tornadoes, flooding and coastal storms, like Hurricane Sandy. 

We need a fully funded EPA to safeguard our environment, both now and for future generations.  Polls show that a majority of Americans support climate action.  In fact, it seems to me that all other issues seem to pale in comparison to protecting the place we call home.

Rae Thompson

Chapel Hill/Durham

Letters of ‘wreckonciliation’

From the beginning, based on the national effort and on phone conversations left on the Internet, the bus ads sponsored by the Church of Reconciliation have been little more than an Israeli defamation campaign.  

We all want peace.  But does it help when, as this week, the al-Qaeda affiliates in Sinai were caught just as they were about to launch rockets into Israel for indiscriminate killing of infants, children and adults.  On the substance of the matter, neither Ted Shohfi nor his wife, who wrote a similar letter to the Chapel Hill News, acknowledge Israel must protect itself against terrorism.  That protection saves lives. 

Nor do the Shohfis acknowledge the sharp reduction in attacks and deaths since a barrier wall was built purposely to prevent terrorists from creating havoc .  Nor do they show any concern for Iran wishing to become nuclear-armed, simply for the purpose to remove Israel from this earth. 

Even other Middle-East countries, notably Saudia Arabia, are concerned by an uncontrollable Iran.  Certainly the Saudis do not wish the bomb to fall on their own people.  On the human rights side of the issue, the Shohfis ignore that Palestinians are living longer, have lower prenatal mortality than any other Arab Moslem group of people, and that tens of thousands of them get medical care at world-class hospitals in Israel.  The ridiculous notion that heavy armaments are used in that area does not even deserve a response.  Personally I would rather see letters of Reconciliation, not Wreckonciliation.

Robert Gutman,