Durham County

04/15 What You’re Saying: Wendy Burns, Richard Carleton, Tom Edwards, Nicole Crutchfield, Onnie Gitelman, and Elena Ising

Blackwood for sheriff

My law enforcement career has spanned 34 years, including positions as a local police officer, deputy sheriff, special agent with the FBI and recently retiring after 25 years with the U.S. Marshals Service. My career involves thousands of hours of in-service and specialized training, in addition to domestic and overseas assignments. I only highlight some of my career background and training to qualify my endorsement for Charles Blackwood for Sheriff of Orange County.

I have worked with Sheriff Blackwood (then major) when I supervised the Marshals Service violent fugitive task force and the Sheriff’s Office was a participating member. I found it extremely rewarding and beneficial working alongside him. He offers legal, ethical and professional leadership that is greatly needed. Furthermore, Charles has the experience to understand and lead a complex organization like the Sheriff’s Office. He also possess the values, determination and demeanor to lead an organization of dedicated men and women as they serve the citizens in a courteous, compassionate, and professional manner.

Charles Blackwood clearly has a vision, a plan and a promise for the Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Orange County. It is this vision, defined by a plan, which has made the citizens safer these past four years. He is well liked and respected within the law enforcement community and the citizens of Orange County. Charles Blackwood has a proven track record of accomplishments by due diligence and hard work. He is honest, trustworthy, and credible.

Charles Blackwood has dedicated his life to the citizens of Orange County. One quick look at social media will highlight his love and compassion for children, especially those with special needs and critically ill. Countless hours of his personal time is spent comforting and making dreams and wishes a reality for those young individuals who desire personal contact with emergency service providers, including the Sheriff’s Office.

I know firsthand Charles Blackwood’s excellent qualifications, experience, and leadership clearly set him apart from the other candidates. I would urge the citizens of Orange County to keep a proven leader and vote Charles Blackwood for Sheriff.

Richard Carleton

Supervisory Deputy

U.S. Marshals Service (retired)

Support Sheriff Blackwood

I am writing this letter to share my wholehearted support for the re-election of Sheriff Charles Blackwood.

Sheriff Blackwood’s commitment to strengthening our community has been evident in every interaction I have had with him over the past several years. He has been a true leader in the Recovery Alliance’s efforts to bring together organizations and individuals to fight the terrible health crisis in our state. He has been steadfastly committed to getting those individuals and families affected by the consequences of addiction to the treatment, resources, and support they need to become healthy, productive members of our community. He treats these families with compassion and with dedication.

Not only has Sheriff Blackwood been a leader in the discussions about the opioid crisis, he’s been an integral team member in developing solutions as well. He is open-minded to innovative approaches to solve serious problems. Sheriff Blackwood does not just talk the talk, he has rolled up his sleeves, sat at the table, and gone to work with many groups to address the problems. He has remained optimistic, dedicated, and focused on real world solutions not only in Orange County, but beyond.

Tom Edwards

The Recovery Alliance

Chapel Hill

Don’t blame the university

The problem of low graduation rates among black male athletes cannot be blamed on a university alone. As an athlete at UNC, I can attest to the plentiful resources that each student-athlete has the opportunity to use.

Our academic building, Loudermilk Center for Excellence, is devoted to giving each athlete the tools to succeed. This academic support program gives us access to classrooms for tutoring, a writing lab, and reading rooms. Furthermore, all of these resources are available at times that work with our busy schedules.

The university should not be blamed if a student-athlete does not succeed. If they choose to disregard these opportunities throughout the duration of their time at UNC, then they should be blamed. My favorite quote embodies this idea:

“College is about books. And by the word books, the proposition means this: College is about the best available tools – books, computers, lab equipment – for broadening your mastery of one or more important subjects that will go on deepening your understanding of the world, yourself and the people around you. This will almost certainly be the last time in your life when other people will bear the expense of awarding you with four years of financially unburdened time. If you use the years primarily for mastering the skills of social life – as though those skills shouldn’t already have been acquired by the end of middle school – or if you use these years for testing the degree to which your vulnerable brain and body can bear the strains of alcoholism with which a number of students depart campus, or the sexual excess that can seem so rewarding (to name only two of the lurking maelstroms), then you may ultimately leave this vast table of nutriment as the one more prematurely burnt-out case.” – Reynolds Price

Nicole Crutchfield


Impressed and amazed

Re the news story “He shot a 10-year-old Durham girl in the stomach. Restorative justice has begun the healing”:

The April 6 front page headline and article impressed and amazed me.

Finally, a humane legal process applied to a firearm mishap. Reporter Virginia Bridges’ article deserves a wide audience.

And James Berish is to be commended for his compassion and honesty about the misuse of his gun . He learned a lesson the hard way. He has a lot to offer in conversations with gun owners.

Onnie Gitelman

Chapel Hill

Stop for school buses

On Wednesday, April 11, at approximately 8 a.m. on N.C. 54 a school bus was stopped with its stop arm and sign out for drivers in vehicles to stop at Carolina Apartments in Carrboro so children can board the bus.

Three cars passed the bus, with an Orange County deputy’s car fourth in line. Once the bus and the deputy drove on, the deputy made no attempt to stop any of those cars that violated the law.

There was no indication that there was a call of an emergency as the deputy just drove down the road.

In these times of distracted drivers and or drivers that don’t respect the law to protect children surely the police should be held accountable to uphold the law.

Wendy Burns


Protect Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake is a valuable resource to multiple growing communities, providing drinking water to over 300,000 people and a recreational area to over 1 million visitors per year. Since its creation, the lake has had a growing pollution problem fed by the nutrients picked up upstream by tributaries from runoff from local farms and discharge from wastewater plants.

In addition to nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which cause harmful algae blooms, recently, potentially harmful chemicals used in industrial manufacturing have been found in treated and untreated water from the lake.

Along with delaying the implementation of legislation known as the Jordan Lake Rules until 2019, which have the ability to greatly lessen the amount of pollution in Jordan Lake, the North Carolina legislature has wasted millions of dollars on ineffective, experimental solutions. The legislature has focused on trying to treat the pollution already in Jordan Lake, despite the source of pollution being the streams and rivers flowing into the lake. It will be impossible to solve Jordan Lake’s pollution problem without passing legislation that effectively regulates the source of pollution and prevents this pollution from entering the tributaries.

Elena Ising

Chapel Hill

Speak up

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