Letters to the editor
Too late for money back?
Several months ago, I wrote this paper asking for the definition of "FAIR SHARE," a term used quite often by President Obama during his last campaign.
One reader suggested that it was the numbers used during the Clinton era or about 3 percent more than current.
Recently, I read in the media that the Obamas in 2012 made over $600,000 and paid a little over $108,000 or what amounts to 18 percent. Since we now know what he thinks "FAIR SHARE" means, I sleep much better at night knowing that I do mine.
I wonder if the IRS will let me file an amended return and get some money back?
Robert A. Pendergraph
Park shooting deserves firm action
Durham is poised to be "the next big thing." First the success of the Durham Performing Arts Center, now Southern Living’s "Tastiest Town in the South.” Durham could become a great tourist destination and a city with a booming economy. But many still say they would never live in Durham because of the crime, and it’s not just a problem of image. Will Durham use its newfound success to fix the problems of poverty and violence that have plagued our community?
As a public school teacher, I have had students escorted out of my classroom by police. As a local business owner, I have seen businesses surrounding mine burglarized, multiple times. I once helped the police apprehend two teenagers breaking into my neighbors' house. I have had my own house burglarized.
It was not until the shooting at Forest Hills Park, my neighborhood playground, that I thought, "I have to move." The shooters were high school students in a playground full of kids. If it can happen at 7:30, it can happen anytime. How could I stay here if my child’s life is in danger by simply going to the playground?
The silence on this incident from the city and press brings me to believe that this is just business as usual, and no cause for alarm or action. I feel differently. Shooting guns in a public park should cause a loud condemnation. We must increase our involvement in crime reduction and renew our efforts to reduce gun violence.
Consider umbilical cord blood donation
As Mother’s Day approaches, consider this: a mom’s gift of life can take on new meaning for thousands of patients fighting life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.
Choosing to donate her child’s umbilical cord blood could provide a cure for patients whose only hope is a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor.
There is no cost to donate to a public cord blood bank and it is completely safe for both mother and baby. Cord blood is collected immediately after a baby is born and does not interfere with labor or delivery in any way. Donated cord blood units that meet criteria are listed on the Be The Match Registry, so they are available to any patient in need of a cord blood transplant.
I encourage everyone, especially those from diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds, to reflect on the gift of life this Mother’s Day and consider public cord blood donation. This simple act gives immense hope to patients around the world, and potentially offers someone a second chance at life. For more information, contact the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at 919-668-1119, or visit BeTheMatch.org/cord.
Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D.
Director, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank
Duke University Medical Center