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Ironic that trespassers think they know better, says Craig tract timber owner

P.H. Craig’s plans to remove old pine trees from a portion of his 77-acre forest in Chapel Hill and Carrboro have raised concerns among some people who like to hike and mountain bike there.
P.H. Craig’s plans to remove old pine trees from a portion of his 77-acre forest in Chapel Hill and Carrboro have raised concerns among some people who like to hike and mountain bike there. File photo

Craig responds

In his guest column, “The value of the Craig tract goes beyond its timber. Let’s protect it,” Mr White simply ignores or misrepresents the facts.

The recommendations to clear the old, unmanaged pine comes from N.C. foresters. Three at present recommend harvesting these 90-year-old pines.

N.C. statutes control tree farms along with county enforcement in order to retain the “in use” tax category. Mr. White conveniently ignores this fact along with many others.

I am not clear cutting my 77-acre tract; nor am I clear cutting in Bolin Forest; I am cutting 90-year-old unmanaged pine thickets. A very small percentage of the cutting is of hardwood. Critics have apparently circulated that I am clear cutting Bolin Forest. Remember the Save Bolin Forest posters that were prominently posted in about 15 subdivisions in the Bolin Forest neighborhoods? When in fact there are no forests in Bolin Forest. That was deliberately misleading.

In those very neighborhoods where the signs were posted, the developers cleared virtually every tree except for a few strips of young growth. Over half of the top soil was destroyed by roads, foundations, gutters, sidewalks, drives, patios, garages, carports and walks. And the entrance to Craig tree farm is miles from the entrance to all of those neighborhoods.

Isn’t it ironic that those same neighbors that have trespassed on my property for years are now telling me that they know better than the forest service and that I should violate statutes. I would violate that with some jeopardy to my status.

All this in spite of the fact that I have done something absolutely unheard of. I have kept absolutely pristine for 50 years that same tract that once was zoned for 13.5 units per acre. I fully expect most of my hardwoods to be there as long as anybody’s. He failed to mentioned or agree that there is not a pine tree in Orange County’s richly endowed Duke Forest that is over 16 years old.

My tree farm is, and has been maintained out of my hip pocket over these many years. I sure hope Mr. White has been better in his profession than he is with his logic in that opinion.

P.H. Craig

Orange County

No place in public spaces

My ancestors lived in the Carolinas for more than two centuries. At least three Confederate soldiers were among my forbears, and they might have been the models for the anonymous statues standing guard over Southern courthouses.

I respect them for the families they raised and the careers they followed, but not for their service to the Confederacy. Whatever their motivations, they fought for a rebel government and an economic system that depended on and defended the subjugation of slaves, and in that I believe they were at best misguided or misled.

During my time at UNC-CH in the 1970s, I passed by Silent Sam often. For many years I felt he was an important warning: we, his descendants and fellow students, might have been like him at one time, fighting against our nation and enslaving our fellow human beings. Without careful attention we could become like him again.

Thus, I saw these monuments as cautionary examples. I no longer believe that. There are those today who see our Confederate forbears as exemplars of patriotism and bravery As long as these monuments are revered in this way, I think they have no place in public spaces. The men they represent rebelled against my country. They fought for a cause that I abhor and that our society, at its best, has rejected. All of these statues should be taken down or moved to battlefields where they can stand as relics of a time that must be remembered but never repeated.

David Smith


UNC has lost moral compass

For many years I was proud of the UNC leadership, but it has lost its moral compass. There is not the strong, courageous and principled leadership of yesteryear that would not have allowed students and outsiders to act as a mob and take down “Silent Sam.”

I am no longer proud of our newspapers in failing to report the whole story of “Silent Sam.” It was not a symbol of “white supremacy” but, rather, it was a tribute to the UNC students who died in battle during the Civil War.

Over and over we heard about the speaker, Julian Carr, at the dedication of the monument who was reported to have said he “whipped the skirts of a Negro ‘wench’.” There has not been a word written about the other aspects of Carr’s life and philanthropic contributions, donations of land to Trinity College (now Duke University) and UNC, donations to black colleges, and the electrification of the entire town of Carrboro, as well as his mill. The media and some professors do not tell the whole story and speak only “half truths.”

I would hope that this recent act of vandalism will stiffen the spines of the University’s leadership. I believe we should not succumb to mob rule, that the statue should be restored to its original place and plaques installed that explain the entire historical context during which it was originally created.

Eunice Brock

Chapel Hill

Brave young Americans

There is irony in John Hood’s rejection of mob rule (“There has to be a better way to oppose Confederate monuments than vandalizing them” Aug. 13) and “UNC and State Officials’ “Mob Rule Won’t be Tolerated” (Aug. 21) and the fact that during the 70 years after the Confederate rebellion mob rule lynched and slaughtered thousands of blacks in the South, going unchecked by the “authorities.”

While true that mob rule violates the rule of law, there can be no comparison between unarmed mobs toppling statues seen as glorifying that rebellion, and the armed mobs that for so long exacted blood from their former slaves and their descendants. Elected officials should keep that fact in mind as they decide how to deal with young Americans brave enough to finally come to terms with what is our nation’s greatest collective sin, and then with all the Confederate statuary.

Joe Moran


Descent into mob rule

Once again, with the blatant consent of our left wing radical political leadership, the anarchists are celebrating our descent into mob rule and lawlessness.

Apparently, the rule of law does not apply to the destruction of governmental property. The political leadership simply rules the criminal justice system, specifically in radicalized areas such as Durham, and the judges and district attorney submit to the dictatorial rule of the political elite. This is the recipe for disaster in a democratic republic.

As is usual the radicals simplify complexity by targeting a Confederate statue with the goal of creating racial tension between black and white. They then openly scream racism at anyone who disagrees with their radical agenda.

Unfortunately, these radicals have been allowed to usurp the civil rights movement in a planned effort to shut down any discussion of all topics with which they disagree. Our political leadership is using this tactic to maintain political power, thereby advancing this anarchistic and dictatorial concept. The citizens of Durham now live under the control of tyrants.

Maj. Paul Martin

The writer is a write-in candidate for Durham County sheriff.

Hare raising

Let’s run through an end game scenario for Trump.

The Democrats take the house in November and take the Senate by one or two votes. The Congress votes to impeach, and the Senate votes to remove. Then what? A national day of reconciliation?

My advice would be not to let your emotions drive you down a rabbit hole that has no happy exit.

Alan Culton

Chapel Hill

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