Letters to the Editor, Jan. 22

Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:33 AM

Mentoring helps break cycle

I agree with C. Lester Parker's letter (Jan. 20, “Do the crime, do the time”) which states some good old-fashioned wisdom concerning staying in school and out of jail. 

We have a repetitive generational problem with youth who have lost respect for the value of life, the law and the rights of their fellow citizens.  As working fathers in the home have decreased, gang culture has filled the vacuum left by those absent fathers. 

For several years, I and many like me volunteered our weekends and some evenings to mentor young men at Agape Corner in Durham.   Young men worked with me while plumbing. I taught them firearm safety, how to shoot, hunting skills, how to fish, play sports and just to enjoy each others' lives and respect for others.  Today, the majority of those boys are working, loving fathers raising their families to respect and love others.

A mentor is not a substitute for a father in the home, but fathers spending time mentoring other young men will make a positive difference in their lives.  The generational cycles have to be stopped and mentoring works to end those cycles.  

Respectful and loving men and women are grown one day at a time.      

Wallace Chambers

Bahama 

OK recycling tax

On Thursday evening, our Orange County Commissioners will address the challenging task of how to fund the county’s rural recycling program.  At the center of the discussion is whether we, the county residents, will be assessed a new tax to replace the former recycling service fee or whether we will be allowed to fund the service on the basis of individual choice. 

Orange County was the first county in the state to reach, and to exceed, the state’s goal of 40 percent waste reduction.  Our recycling program is recognized nationally for its ongoing leadership and success.  Faced with the monumental challenge of disposing of an ever-increasing amount of household waste, recycling has moved from an opportunity to a responsibility. As a result, recycling has become a growth industry in North Carolina with a 12 percent increase in private-sector jobs over the past three years.

If Orange County rural residents are given the choice of participating in the rural recycling program rather than paying a modest tax that is roughly equivalent to the former recycling service fee, then we will be stepping back from our social responsibility, and the Orange County recycling program will lose rather than gain ground.  We must keep in mind that every pound of material that we recycle is one less pound that we truck through Durham to someone else’s back yard.

Robert Long

Chapel Hill