Letters to the Editor August 27
Don’t send Grinch to Washington
Since it's almost time to go back to school, I got to wondering what happened to the tax holiday on school supplies. Then I remembered that Thom Tillis and the Grinch Patrol done took that holiday away from us.
It's hard to see why anyone would want to send the Grinch to Washington, but that's what a vote for Tillis will do.
Protect us from fracking
Last week, I attended the Mining and Energy Commission’s public hearings on rules they’re proposing to keep us “safe” when fracking begins in North Carolina.
Of the 86 citizens testifying that day, fewer than 10 percent spoke in favor of fracking. Of those 10 percent, not one provided a shred of scientific evidence to support their position. In fact, most didn’t address the rules at all, arguing instead that fracking would bring jobs to our communities.
Fracking will, indeed, create some jobs, just as any construction job will do. But a recent study by the Institute for Southern Studies concluded “fracking workers are more than seven times more likely to die on the job than other types of workers” due to fracking’s hazardous working conditions. Many others will die or become disabled from exposure to toxic chemicals. Why wasn’t this mentioned by the pro-frackers?
If it’s jobs we’re after, why not develop sustainable solar or wind power in North Carolina? Not only are these enterprises safer for workers, but they’re safer for us all.
Current credible research shows a serious uptick in birth defects in babies born to mothers living within 10 miles of fracking drills. Yet, the proposed rules require a setback of just 650 feet between homes and fracking operations, and just 200 feet from our rivers and lakes!
The MEC’s rules simply won’t protect us. The commissioners must heed the overwhelming majority of citizens who are demanding protection from fracking’s lethal consequences. That is their job!
Updating the story
Leonard Pitts, referring to the seven teenagers who "broke into" the Coral Gables house of basketball star Ray Allen, states that authorities "thus far" have not prosecuted them (Aug 23 op-ed, "What's next in Ferguson?").
Pitts goes on to make the strong observation that if the seven were "black kids who invaded a home in a wealthy neighborhood" they would not "have likewise gotten off with a good talking to." To update this on-going story, it should be noted that on Aug 20, misdemeanor trespassing charges against the seven were filed by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office. The crime is punishable with up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.