2/18 Letters: This isn’t the national emergency we should be worrying about.

President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

False crisis

The president alleges there has been an “invasion” of people, most of whom are hell-bent on committing crimes in our country. While most agree that comprehensive immigration reform is needed, getting a wall by declaring a national emergency is a bridge way too far. I only wish the President were similarly obsessed with genuine national security threats. Climate change, the exploding national debt, and Russian interference in the workings of Western democracies are compelling examples of existential threats.

The president’s disinterest and his resulting inaction in addressing these threats is unconscionable. If any declaration of a national emergency needs to be made, it is one related to the presidency of Donald J. Trump, and not to those men, women and children fleeing from violence and lack of economic opportunity merely seeking to pursue the American dream.

Jim Witeck


Selective outrage

With all the recent sexual and racial misconduct allegations and the media attention, I can’t help but wonder why there seems to be an absence of (perhaps I missed it) editorial outrage about the governors of Virginia and New York advocating and encouraging the late- term abortion of babies… Just asking.

J T Finnegan

Wake Forest

No light rail

It is amazing that at the same time that the light rail is receiving attention in various city and county committees, the citizens who will be expected to shoulder the financial burdens of the project are receiving notices of property value increases, even before an expensive vanity project has been added in.

Let’s look at the history of another vanity project in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. In the 1970s, they foisted the construction of a massive incinerator onto their budget, using promises of secondary financial benefits as partial inducements. The expenses of construction escalated, the city was never able to readjust their tax bases, and these shortfalls eventually led to the city’s bankruptcy. The consequences also led to the ruination of their formerly vigorous civic life.

As a 48-year-long resident of Durham, I urge my fellow citizens to refrain from supporting this dangerous project. Demand that it either be abandoned or that those pushing it provide a much more robust and documented display of sources of support, reasons it would not injure existing important sites, provisions for construction surprises and overruns, and so forth. We need to be fully aware of the severe dangers that a new and out-of-control large budget item poses for the future of this city.

Laura Gutman


Don’t forget seniors

While the NCGA is considering Medicaid Expansion, I’d like to know that they are considering our elder population, especially seniors that need special care. Currently the max income limit to qualify for a Special Care Unit in an Adult Care Home is $1,515 a month. That includes the cost of Medicare Part B, which currently is $134 per month. This means that to qualify for assistance, your Social Security check can be no more than $1,381 per month. With the average cost for an assisted living facility at $3000 per month, what are seniors to do? Agencies and care facilities hear from families every day who are too poor to afford assisted living, too “rich” to qualify for the help they need. What provisions are in Medicaid Expansion for seniors who cannot care for themselves? Please don’t leave them out.

Shelby Reap


Why honor?

In the Feb. 9 piece “Confederate groups have a right to gather in peace,” the writer, as a spokesman for the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, made valid points about groups having a right to peacefully assemble without undue harassment. Unfortunately, by presuming to know the thinking and overall motivations of those who protest, he committed the same errors he attributes to the protesters.

More importantly, this spokesman missed an opportunity to enlighten all of us on what it is that is being honored by Confederate monuments. I fail to see how the origins and legacies of the Confederacy offer positive models for 21st Century America, but I am open to learning.

Throughout human history, brave men and women have died in the service of regimes and causes that most of us would find repugnant. Their courage and honor on the battlefield does not sanctify or legitimize the causes for which they fought. I’m waiting for someone representing Confederate groups to articulate why these monuments should occupy a prominent place in the public square rather than the hallowed ground of an appropriate cemetery.

Doug Jennette