Durham County

08/26 – What you’re saying: Christopher Forsyth, David Jolly, William Bowling

Too much noise

Kudos to City Councilman Charlie Reece who wants to reexamine the Durham noise ordinance. (“Noisy neighbors? Official weighs in on talk of revising Durham’s noise ordinance, Aug 4 2017).

Reexamining is one thing but enforcement is another. The present ordinance is a joke. It presents only ill-defined waffle about “unreasonably loud and “disturbing” noise. With no scientific measurement in decibels it’s almost impossible to enforce since what’s considered “”unreasonable” to one person is quite reasonable to another.

My issue is with the growing noise pollution of motorbikes and souped-up cars at all hours. I live quite close to University Drive and the intersection of Martin Luther King Parkway and the screeching motorbike and car engines can be heard at the police station on Shannon a half mile away. The noise created is certainly more intense than aircraft flying too and from RDU. Mr. Reece, if you really aspire to make a difference to noise pollution create an enforceable ordinance. Please.

Christopher Forsyth


Doing the right thing

I no longer reside in North Carolina, but I lived in Durham for 33 years and taught at N.C. Central University for 17, until May of last year.

In 2015, the N.C. General Assembly passed a law prohibiting local governments from taking down monuments without state approval. Its clear intent was to prevent the removal of monuments honoring and celebrating the Confederacy. These tributes should be an affront to us all. How can we honor and celebrate the South’s effort to preserve slavery, to continue allowing white people to own, sell, rape and kill black people?

Last week a group of young people, including at least two NCCU students, toppled one of those monuments on the grounds of the old Durham County Courthouse. Soon thereafter, Gov. Roy Cooper called for the removal of all Confederate monuments on state property.

These young people were doing what should have been done by state and local governments long ago, what the governor now recommends, and, incredibly, what state law forbids cities and counties from doing. They took matters into their own hands to do what was right when elected officials couldn’t or wouldn’t. All criminal charges brought against them should be dropped.

David H. Jolly

Penobscot, Maine

Rallying points for hate

If you had asked me a few years ago, should these Civil War statues be removed, I would have told you no. I never thought of them as a symbol of hate. I always saw them as a warning reaching through history a physical reminder of what could happen in the darkness of disagreement and uncompromising behavior.

Then I thought if someone wanted to raise a statue to Lenin or Stalin in my ancestral home of Estonia, how would I feel. I would be filled with animosity, simply put. So my opinion changed. I became more and more anti statues of the generals and leaders of the Confederacy. But the soldier and widow monuments should be left unchanged.

Again time passed. After talking with many people, I now feel those statues even at soldier monuments cause distress and have become rallying points for modern hate. I cannot support the removal of the monument for the innocent youth swept up by war and fraudulent glory paid the ultimate price for the sins of their leaders. However I now support the alteration of all of these moments to be far more generic.

If recent events are any indication of the status of our nation we need physical reminders of when brother stood against brother. Take down the statues, but reinforce the memory of one of lowest moments. Not honoring the men who led us there but the young men who paid so very dearly for their horrific beliefs.

Erik Raudsep


What you’re thinking

Please send up to 300 words to letters@heraldsun.com. All submissions may be edited for space and clarity. Thank you.