Letters to the editor

Mar. 11, 2013 @ 02:45 PM

Durham needs governor's help on Falls Lake

For years, Durham has been under the gun to comply with expensive Perdue D)-era regulations for Falls Lake, but has had no success in getting them reviewed. This week, Mayor Bill Bell (D) and other city leaders announced they’ll soon be looking for some relief from Gov. Pat McCrory (R). The mayor called the new governor “a smart man” who “could figure it out”.

 Welcome praise from someone across the aisle. But the mayor needs to be consistent in his approach for aid from Raleigh. This week, a progressive policy group, called NC Warn, launched an attack-ad campaign accusing the governor of being a tool of Duke Energy, asking him to “come clean” and stop “stonewalling”.

 One of the directors of NC Warn, the attack group, works for the mayor as a senior city attorney. In fact, on the group’s website the person is identified with their official City of Durham government affiliation.

 The governor is either a smart man to whom Durham can look for help in undoing Perdue-era excesses or he’s the cartoon villain that NC Warn slams. The mayor can’t have it both ways.

Mr. Mayor, don’t let attack-dog groups speak for you or send the wrong signals to our governor when Durham needs his help.

Jane Wagstaff

President, Triangle Republican Women


Exploring suspensions

After reading "School leaders grapple with troubling statistics" March 6, I went on line and opened reports from the State of North Carolina on suspensions in Durham schools. 

The numbers of short term suspensions for Durham schools in 2007-2008 were 3,865 black males, 460 Hispanic males and 305 white males.  When you look at the state report for 2009-2010 the figures are about the same.  In the 2011-2012 state report for Durham 3,185 black males, 579 Hispanic males and 262 white males are noted.  Female suspensions are not as high but mirror the same trend.

Why are school officials so surprised at these numbers when the situation has been ongoing?  What would be helpful is a list of the reasons for the suspensions, the grade of the students and how many students are responsible for the total short term suspensions.  What are some of the programs DPS used to deal with short term suspensions?

Changing attitudes about the need, the importance and the possibilities that education can bring, is a concept to develop in students and their parents. Yes, if parents instill in their children by words and deeds that education is important, it will be perceived by their children.  Children do watch and listen to what parents say and do, even though as parents we don't always recognize that fact.   

Donald Lebkes


Cheney and torture.

I see that Dick Cheney is making the talk show circuit again, claiming that water boarding is not torture.

It is interesting to note that the Inquisition listed water boarding (Toca) as one of the "Greater Stress Traditions" (pp. 88-94 in Cullen Murphy’s “God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World.”) One might assume if the Inquisition calls it torture it surely is torture.

Perhaps when Cheney arrives at his well-earned location in Hell he can check it out with Torquemada, Spain's inquisitor general.

Paul D. Naylor