Many East Carolina University alumni and fans happily thought that UNC President Margaret Spellings’ pick for ECU Chancellor, Cecil Staton, was finally on his way out. From the start, Staton’s leadership has been controversial and negative for ECU. Spellings and her search committee failed to do a complete background check on Staton’s work and political career in Georgia. In 2017, Dr. John Bream, alumnus of the ECU Medical School, posted several pages of negative findings about Staton. Alumni donations are down, and sports attendance is down. If the ECU Board of Trustees will not investigate Staton’s Georgia background, why not have the UNC Board of Governors transfer him from ECU to fill the openings of president or chancellor of UNC?
Well done, Mr. President! Stand fast for sanity versus the left-wing media — including the N&O.
Richard A. Robken
Please refrain from referring to Crooked Creek as a “failed golf course.” My partners and I bought the land and built the course in 1994 because the golf course business was strong. It was a great investment and a lifelong dream. And land prices were also much lower. The decline in the golf business made it a prudent financial decision to close the course and sell the property. It was a wonderful project, for which I am most proud. Closing the course was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. We offered a tremendous closure plan that was rejected by the neighborhood. We agreed to sell the property at a significant discount to facilitate a park.
I was dumbfounded when the county agreed to buy it against staff recommendations and even more dumbfounded when they voted to sell it. I too will be watching to see how this soap opera ends.
Tony Withers, Former Owner Crooked Creek Golf Club
The City of Raleigh has raised the per scooter registration to $300 per scooter causing the scooter company to raise its fees too. Now a letter writer (“Rising profits,” Jan. 17) states that by raising the fees and renting all 500 scooters once a day that their profit will increase by $1.6 million dollars a year. Nothing could be further from the truth.
First, they have to buy 500 scooters for the city of Raleigh ($200-$400 x 500). Then they have to register them ($300 x 500). Then, hope people rent them. I suppose NC will want to add some sales tax. I suppose there’s going to be some state and federal Income Tax added. And let’s not forget the equipment tax that Raleigh/Wake impose yearly based on the value of the scooter. These companies have employees that must be paid, there’s maintenance on these scooters and their electrical supply, product/liability insurance, and the app that was developed for the rentals. There’s so much to it, it makes my head spin.
Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the American economy, and in many cases these people risk everything for these endeavors. I wish them all the luck in the world.
As a Tar Heel in Charlottesville, which was recently invaded by Klansmen and Nazis, I am filled with admiration for departing UNC Chancellor Carol Folt. Knowing that dangerous white supremacists all over the country are focused on issues like Silent Sam, she took the decisive action of clearing all visible traces of the inflammatory statue, because she loves the students and wanted to protect them. Her action followed years of fruitless prattle and pontification over what should be done about UNC’s tributes to the Confederacy. For her decisiveness, however, she received only the BOG’ disrespectful acceleration of her retirement notice. Would that we could keep the chancellor we love and retire those on the BOG who have sacrificed their dignity to spitefulness!
Hubert W. Hawkins
One might be forgiven for thinking that large trees and wooded areas have been declared illegal in the town of Fuquay-Varina. Mature stands of trees are being clearcut for rapid development, often during peak bird nesting season. Apparently there are no regulations in place to designate and protect tree buffers, or they are not being enforced by the town.
So, so sad that the Crooked Creek Golf Course may be developed, and kudos to Krista Padgett and Wayne Crawford for recognizing the significance of an historic White Oak (Jan. 9). Mature trees cannot be replaced in a lifetime. Yet amazingly, they aren’t valued. Poorly planted replacements fall woefully short. No fortune on earth could replace the trees. It’s our misfortune that this is lost on us.