Letters to the editor

Oct. 30, 2013 @ 04:52 PM

Monstrosity downtown

To define the meaning of monstrosity, check out the new apartments being constructed at Chapel Hill and Gregson streets.

I pass this corner several times a day, and when I heard the old motel property had been sold and  a new apartment project was to be constructed I was very happy. The old motel property was long overdue to be demolished.

But I am not sure this project is any better than what was there. You would think our city planners would at least have such structures set farther back off the street. I suppose it all goes back to tax base, so let them proceed. 

I am sure the builders and owner are not Durham residents and will never see the project again once occupied. Durham should take some lessons from Cary about planning and beautification.

John Wood


Forgotten lessons from a crash

This week marks the 84th anniversary of the October 1929 stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression.  Two things contributed to that crash:  high market speculation and rampant income/wealth inequality. 

It seems these lessons have been forgotten.  Hedge-fund speculation led us into the recent “Great Recession,” yet it continues with few meaningful restraints.  Perhaps even more important, inequality between the wealthiest 1 to 2 percent and the rest of us continues to grow.  (This problem, and some solutions, are covered in the film “Inequality for All,” playing in the Triangle and available on the Web.)

Change is needed to prevent another economic catastrophe.  We need a higher minimum wage -- much higher -- enough for every full-time worker to live well, and for two full-time workers to support a family, including enough for decent housing, healthy food, health care, transportation and good childcare.  Many people, especially Republicans, fail to understand the importance of a living wage to good health and to reducing crime. Even more surprising, the same folks don't see the connection between substandard wages and the growing need for tax-funded services like WIC, SNAP and childcare subsidies, which they claim to want to decrease.  It's like opposing birth control when you want to decrease abortions. 

Next, how about instituting a maximum wage?  Who really “earns” $8,000,000 a year in base pay, which is only a third of their income?  Greater equality in income and wealth makes for a healthier and more peaceful society. 

Joan F. Walsh


Don’t kill the goose

"[Council]Members agreed downtown Durham is now a desirable enough location that they can afford to be choosier when it comes to incentive deals."

-- The Herald-Sun, Oct. 27.

Hmmm. Well, Durham is finally a "desirable" location!  I would remind the Mayor and the City Council that perhaps some of that desirability might have come from the efforts of our Historic Preservation Commission  This group, created by the council and blessed by the state, has, through its work, created the atmosphere in our historic downtown core that has made us desirable.

Lets be sure we don't kill the goose that laid the golden egg as we seek to make changes to the scope and processes of this important body.

David T. DeBerry