Letters to the editor

Jul. 08, 2013 @ 01:49 PM

Make trail safe, or shut it down

Durham leaders, it’s time to make a decision about the American Tobacco Trail.

On Friday as I cycled home, I encountered a man who had just been robbed at gunpoint on the Trail. Fortunately, he met a helpful cyclist with a phone and was able to call 911.

I shouldn’t be surprised – I commute to work regularly on the ATT by bicycle and it’s been a month or more since I’ve seen any police presence. I never use it on foot anymore unless I’m with a group -- it’s not safe. I’m sure after this incident police will be back out, but as soon as they withdraw again something else will happen. Will someone be shot next time?

Here’s the thing: Law enforcement presence to make the ATT safe is expensive. I get that. But if it’s too expensive, then we need to just shut it down. Use the funds for some other Durham park or recreational program. The constant reactive ebb and flow of police presence just makes Durham look bad. It makes citizens write off the ATT completely. It’s time to decide before someone gets killed out there: Either make the trail safe, or shut it down.

David Criswell

Durham

Honoring dog’s legacy

This letter is in response to an article in The Herald-Sun June 23.

I am a friend of Charlene Hayes, the foster parent who raised Worthy,

the golden retriever who was being trained as a service dog by EENP

(Eyes Ears Nose Paws) in Carrboro. He died a tragic and untimely death

June 10 as a result of becoming overheated when he was left in a

car for two hours by Deb Cunningham, program director. Had he

survived, he could have been placed with his owner at a

graduation ceremony June 29.

have known Charlene for many years, and have always admired her

ability to “turn lemons into lemonade.” In characteristic style, she

is transforming her grief at the loss of Worthy into a cause to

prevent such losses in the future. Apparently, each year dozens of

children and pets left in parked vehicles die from hyperthermia.

Charlene has set up a Facebook page (facebook.com/worthy project)

entitled “The Worthy Project” to raise awareness about the danger of

pets confined in cars.

Sadly, Worthy’s premature death prevented his ever having the

opportunity to be a service dog for which he had been trained.

However, we can all honor his legacy by being proactive in spreading

the word and changing the laws so that fewer such tragedies

to occur. In this way, Worthy’s death would become truly “Worthwhile.”

Carla Shuford

Chapel Hill

Taliban and the Republicans

The Taliban and the Republican party have a lot in common. They both have a thing about education – or their attempt to stop people from getting an education.

Also, they both seem to not care too much for women. Remember when the 15-year-old girl was shot in the head in Afghanistan, because she wanted to learn?

The Republicans can get more anti-abortion bills passed, but cannot stop the interest rates for students loans from going up.

The Taliban and the Republican party have this theory, if you can keep the people ignorant, you can control them. That theory seems to be working more than great here here in the South. To more than prove that point good old North Carolina is now a red state, and it may take the us a year or so to understand the mistake we made.

Jeff Albright

Hillsborough