Letters, Jan. 2

Jan. 01, 2013 @ 06:35 PM

Leading to another ‘cliff’

According to both "Eastern, Gulf Ports Brace for Strike" (Wall Street Journal, Dec, 20) and news I heard on the radio the morning of Dec. 30, the United States may be facing not one but two fiscal cliffs.

Of course, the first cliff, as a result of political marksmanship of those not interested in providing our nation with the right answers, is one of which we are all too well familiar ("he who holds the gold" rules). The second cliff is related to the expiration of a two-sided contract extension to avoid a longshoreman's strike, which, if not extended a second time, expires Dec. 29 at midnight.

Quoting from the Journal item referenced above: "A key sticking point in the negotiations is a management proposal to cap 'container royalty' payments that companies make to a union fund that supplements worker salaries and funds worker health care."

As it relates to both the strike and our nation's debt, when are people going to start asking the right questions?

Why do health care costs continue to remain unaffordable?

John Rhodes


Check out charities

As I ride around the triangle, North Carolina, and other nearby states I frequently see donation boxes (often yellow) with the name Planet Aid on them. I recently spoke to a friend who has regularly dropped off used clothing in one of the boxes in the country near where she lives. I was curious about Planet Aid so I went online via a search engine and found out some disturbing facts.

Rather than write about what I discovered I encourage readers to use their preferred search engine (Yahoo, Bing, Google) and type in “Charity Navigator Planet Aid.” Charity Navigator is a widely respected organization that looks at a variety of aspects charitable organizations so that anyone who contributes to them has the facts to make a good decision. They have a lot to say about Planet Aid.

Even if you are not going to donate, reading about the Planet Aid organization is interesting reading … you end up reading about a cult, Denmark, teachers, and more.

If folks want to donate items that they no longer want, but may be useful to others, I encourage you to give them to local charities and not to Planet Aid. If you have friends who have businesses with the boxes in front, please encourage them to go online and learn about Planet Aid. They may want to have them removed.

Stephen Dovenitz

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