Letters to the Editor, June 15

Jun. 14, 2014 @ 04:56 PM

Helping inmates’ children

Sunday is Father's Day. Children proudly present homemade cards with a hug and “I love you Dad!” We smile at the havoc in the kitchen after the kids lovingly make breakfast for daddy. Similar scenes played out last month as families celebrated Mother's Day.

But what are these special days like for children dealing with parental incarceration? It is estimated that there are 2.7 million children nationwide with a mom or dad in prison, and 24,000 in North Carolina.

Our Children’s Place is a non-profit agency dedicated to supporting these children by raising awareness about their numbers and needs, and by working with diverse partners to ensure they receive beneficial services.

It is our belief that with community support these children can remain connected with their parents, when appropriate, and grow to lead productive lives.  We are also hopeful that community efforts can help to reduce the risk that these children become involved in the criminal justice system and reduce recidivism for their parents.

As you celebrate Sunday, think about the children facing so many special days apart from their parents and consider joining us in support of these families. To find out what you can do, go to www.ourchildrensplace.com.

Rhonda Angerio, board chair, Our Children’s Place
Sabrina Bristo, board member

This letter was also signed by two other board members

Don’t rush to judgment

Rushing to judgment without all the facts is not the American way. If Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan, he should be prosecuted using the Uniform Code of Military Justice. But first bring him home. This is in keeping with the military code “leave no one behind.” That is that, no if’s.

Who is to blame for inflaming this uproar about Bergdahl’s release and the swap of the five Talibans? The news outlets, some members of Congress, talk shows and the social media speaking as if they are speaking facts. Are these facts known about Sgt. Bergdahl actions:

-- What were his duty assignments?

-- What type of post security allowed him to walk away undetected?

-- What contemplated the act of desertion?

-- Was he the only member of his unit to have ever gone into the village?

-- If Bergdahl was a bad soldier, how did he receive two promotions when he was a P.O.W.?

-- How dangerous are these five Talibans who have been out of the loop for 10 years

There are some who suggest leaving Sgt Bergdahl behind without the facts being known or hearing his defense. America is better than this. He is a son of two parents who did everything to get their son back home. And most of all he is an American soldier.

Wilbert J. Hamilton Sr.

Command Sergeant Major (US Army Retired)

Durham

Alternative to tax hike

During the mid 1980s city and county officials opted to  donate 4.5 percent – 5 percent of an employee’s salary to a 401K or 457B Plan toward their retirement. This is separate from Social Security and retirement funds which employers and employees pay into.

I have suggested for the past three years or more that  these funds be used to offset some of the shortfalls we were facing in our economy. Both governments are now proposing a tax increase for the upcoming budget, and I would like for them to look at eliminating this perk for employees  making $50,000 or more a year, or reducing the amount to 2.5 percent for all. For the city the 2.5 percent reduction should generate about $2 million dollars

This is $800,000 more than the half-cent tax earmarked for parks would generate according to an article in The Herald-Sun on May 30. I do not have a breakdown of what the county would save, but hopefully it is enough to forgo an increase in taxes.

Janet B. Kennell

Durham