Letters to the Editor, March 3

Mar. 02, 2014 @ 11:48 AM

Playing whack-a-mole

As a small government conservative, there was almost nothing about President Barack Obama's election and his public policies that didn't cause me grave concern.

I am called however to find the positives. One of the positives was the impact that the election of America's first African-American president would have on his own community and the possibilities of what he could do.

My son worked with the D.L. Forbes Youth Foundation here in Durham all through high school. He was the only white volunteer in this amazing organization that works with at-risk youth. He saw first hand the disintegration of the family, the need for male role models and the lack of respect for anyone that this climate fosters.

My Brother's Keeper program is exactly what I had hoped President Obama would do early in his administration. Instead he came out talking about "turning off the video games" and other generic admonitions. This program has good intentions and I will pray for its success. But it is still playing whack-a-mole. Until someone in the African-American community addresses the real seeds of its problems -- 72 percent of children born to single mothers and the encouragement of the welfare state for fatherless homes -- we will still be only wielding the hammer and no real solution.
Janie Wagstaff


We can do better

Wake up, North Carolina. We can do better. Our children are our future and our teachers the vehicles to help them be all that they can be. As one of the lowest in the nation, an N.C. teacher's yearly starting salary is just over $33,000, and they have not had a raise since 2008. The pittance of a raise they did get was basically used up by the simultaneous increase in the cost of their benefits.
Our governor's effort to increase the salaries of starting teachers is laudable, but this seems backwards to me. We are leaving behind, yet again, those experienced teachers who have been working so long for so little. Is it plausible that a new teacher might actually be making more than some experienced teacher? Where is the fairness in that?
A better idea might be to take some education lottery money which is being wasted on excesses such as state-of-the-art multi-million-dollar tracks in high schools, and give our teachers a much needed substantial raise. Dare I even suggest retroactively as per agreements originally in place when they were hired and which have not been honored?
Yes, North Carolina, we CAN do better!
Margaret Dickson


Makes sense for Islam

The Herald-Sun  on  Feb. 27 carried this Associated Press story, with a Tehran dateline: "Iranian teacher builds robot to teach prayer."

This makes a lot of sense.  For Islam.

Frank Hurley

Chapel Hill