2/15 Letters: As Durham taxes rise, GOP is silent

The Durham skyline changes day to day with the massive construction projects surrounding the downtown area. Here is a view from the 9th floor of the Durham County Courthouse shot March 15, 2017.
The Durham skyline changes day to day with the massive construction projects surrounding the downtown area. Here is a view from the 9th floor of the Durham County Courthouse shot March 15, 2017. cliddy@newsobserver.com

GOP silent on taxes

For those in Durham, have you gotten your 2019 property tax assessment yet? Wow. The sound of chirping crickets from the Durham County Republican Party is deafening.

You used to be able to count on our Republicans to show skepticism and resistance to rising taxes, but not today. The GOP has decided it will drop its responsibility as an opposition party to free-spending, high-taxes Democrats. Why?

I have an idea. Stop separating families and putting thousands of minors into tent prisons at our southern border and get back to what matters — keeping a check on rising taxes?

I know it looks like our local GOP leaders have high-tailed it to a bunker in Rougemont, but they are blowing their one chance to be relevant in Durham. These ridiculous, newly-minted high property taxes will push seniors out of their biggest investment — their homes — and make it harder for younger people to buy a house.

Tony Madejczyk, Durham

Unequal schools

The writer is a former Orange County Schools board member.

I applaud the desire to avoid the racial and socio-economic segregation that are likely to occur if county school districts are permitted to break into smaller ones (“Big Is Best for School Districts,” Feb. 8).

However, before we get too heated about this, those of us in Chapel Hill and Orange County should look in our own backyard. We still have two districts — the larger city district and the smaller county district — that are woefully unequal in funding (county schools get 47 percent less local funding), racial makeup (county schools have a higher percentage of Black/Latino students), and poverty rates .

If we believe these two separate and unequal districts are acceptable within Orange County, we should support Wake and Mecklenburg in their pursuit of smaller districts. But if not, then before we go protesting, we’ve got work to do at home.

Elizabeth Brown, Chapel Hill

My solution for DMV

Over the last several years I have seen information that the State of North Carolina has several empty buildings and groups of offices not being utilized.

Granted, these unused facilities may not have the beautiful glass and shiny face, but the N.C. DMV could occupy these buildings on a temporary basis while the current facilities are demolished and rebuilt over the projected two year period.

It would be interesting to know how many DMV employees would choose working in an old building over driving or moving to Rocky Mount. The downside of of putting DMV in old buildings could be some necessary renovation costs, yet such costs could be recouped if the state sold these buildings or transferred them to the Wake County school system after vacating them.

Eugene M. Simmons Jr., Raleigh

N&O caved on comic

The N&O has reached a new journalistic low in self-censorship with its decision to drop “Non Sequitur” from its comic pages.

I went to the online version to see what caused the uproar. I tried in vain to decode the offending message, including enlarging it to the max. Please tell us what the encoded message possibly said that caused the N&O to kowtow to pressure from a small but vocal fringe group!

And now that you are actively engaged in censoring the comic pages, you need to immediately take down Mallard Fillmore, for reasons succinctly stated by another reader. Likewise, Candorville must go, because it is overtly political in nature, although it comes from the opposite end of the political spectrum.

But you can’t stop there — Dennis the Menace has some very troubling themes concerning corporal punishment of children, and Blondie indulges in blatant and dated stereotypes of women. The N&O has got a lot of work ahead of it to make its comic pages inoffensive to its readers!

Art O’Connor, Raleigh

Don’t bow to NRA

I saw mention of the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” in the Feb. 14 On This Date column. Though termed a massacre it was really a gang war.

In recent times massacres have occurred in our schools with 33 killed in Blacksburg Va., 28 at Sandy Hook, 17 at Parkland. Let’s also remember the 58 killed in Las Vegas and nine at a church in Charleston, plus too many more to recount.

These were not gang-related crimes, but the responsibility lies heavily on our politicians who bow to the wishes of the NRA despite polls showing a majority of Americans wish to see stricter gun laws.

Marti Van Horne, Raleigh