Letters to the Editor

What you’re saying: Steven Baldwin, W.B. Turner, Joe Moran, Kent Fletcher, Rob Ransone

The Durham we grew up in

Durham is changing. Those new condos start at $1 million. I wonder if those yuppies who clearly were not born in the dirty South know about all the people who have overdosed on the heroin that cycles through here on its way to Atlanta and New York?

Do they realize that years before we made a documentary about our diversity, one was made about our gang/murder problem? I wonder if they know what Black Wall Street is, and how many ethnic businesses got booted out to make way for those condos.

Do the shiny faces jogging the Eno River trails know it was named after our first inhabitants? I wonder how many remember what Hillandale Road used to look like ... or Ninth Street. Before developers cookie-cut the individuality out of there. Before it became too sterile for George’s Garage and Charlie’s. When an empty field was a buffer zone, not a pot of gold.

And does anybody remember when Braggtown used to be more than abandoned buildings? Remember there was a movie theater there! And people would go to it!

I’m sure I’ll come back in a year and once again not recognize a ton of these places. Especially around Duke and downtown. But Durham is my home because I grew up here, and the people aren’t out of touch. A true Durhamite knows all about the pain, the heritage, the legacy that is being erased day by day. Some of this new stuff is nice, but we will never forget the Durham we grew up in and the people we’ve lost.

Steven M. Baldwin

via Facebook

For the helicopter crew

I penned this poem just after the Duke Life Flight helicopter crash to honor and pay tribute to the crew who lost their lives. I posted it on the Life Flight Facebook page hoping it might give some comfort to those colleagues having to deal with this tragic accident. Little did I know it would be read and shared by so many people. I have been asked repeatedly by a number of people to share it with The Herald-Sun.

This poem is dedicated to the memory of pilot Jeff Burke, Crystal Sollinger, RN, and Kris Harrison, RN who lost their lives in the crash of a Duke Life Flight helicopter on Sept. 8, 2017 while transporting a patient to Duke University Hospital. I also dedicate it to the Life Flight teams who will continue to carry on these missions

Duty has ended for this Duke Life Flight crew

A tragic crash on a mission, the last they flew

A pilot, two flight nurses and their patient on board

It was to Duke Hospital they were headed toward

A medical mission flown like thousands before

The aircraft offered speed to the medical facility door

This crew was dedicated and professional for sure

Always armed with the knowledge, courage and stamina to endure

These angels of flight put it all on the line

Each time that huge rotor starts to whine

Their focus is on the patient for whom they care

The Duke Life Flight team is the best anywhere

I pen this poem in memory of those who lost their lives in this tragic event

Also to those who will continue to fly wherever they are sent

This crew will be remembered now and forever more

They still fly but with angel wings, much higher than ever before

Kent Fletcher


What’s in a name

A Sept. 4 article reported how a Duke University panel will advise on statues and names of buildings. This was after the usual hysterics and lost bladder control over the statue of Robert E. Lee at the entrance of the cathedral.

I have no interest in this as I am a Pennsylvania lad but am amused by the offended whining from those people. ( I will add that I have a personal interest in the Tennessee Monument at Gettysburg, but that is a family manner.)

But when we go about renaming things, Duke had best be careful.

The man whose name this university is named was a major dealer in the tobacco industry, How many millions of people did his tobacco and cigarette industry kill from lung cancers and hypertension or otherwise destroyed their health? How much did their treatments cost them before a slow death? How many hundreds of millions of dollars have gone into research, drug investigations and trials because of this deadly and nearly addicting plant? How much criminal activity goes into smuggling this carcinogen into high tax states.

Could have more people died from this weed than were killed under Lee during the Civil War?

So should Duke revert to its original name of Trinity University? No, that would really set of the Theophobes into a frenzy. It would be insulting and unwelcoming to islamics.

No, let us use a more appropriate name, I suggest “The University of New Jersey at Durham.

Donald A. Holloway

Chapel Hill

Keep fair alcohol free

Coming up in October will be state fair time. It’s usually a great time of the year when families and friends can take a break from their busy lives and enjoy time together.

Usually the state fair has something exciting for everyone. Great rides that the young at heart can enjoy. For the farmers they can enjoy the farm displays and progress that has been made over the years. Have a tractor pull, demolition derby, stunt show, laser light show, farm and garden shows and circus. Plenty of exercise walking from place to place. Great eateries such as pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Everything for family and friends to have a good time.

The state fair has been there for your enjoyment since WWII, but this year there is something different happening. According to TV, alcohol will be sold. Seemingly the beer companies have gotten their foot in the door and all the 5-year olds, many high school kids, older people and church groups will be exposed to those that drink. Why after all these years they have decided to let this happen?

I’ve got news for those responsible. In my opinion alcohol will not bring more people to the fair, it will bring less. Especially those with children that want a safe and healthy environment. Why not keep the state fair alcohol free.

W.B. Turner


A preemptive strike

I have decided that if North Korea in on the verge of developing nuclear weapons, that we should initiate a preemptive strike. Here’s why:

Kim Jong-un may be a belligerent tyrant who wants to see the U.S. destroyed, but he’s not stupid. He must know that if he attacks the U.S., our retaliation will annihilate his country. But what if he sells the nuclear weapons to ISIS, and ISIS sets one off in New York City? Who would we bomb?

Rob Ransone

Chapel Hill

Blind to our obligation

David Von Drehl “The Swiss-cheese Philosopher” (N&O Sept. 14) agrees with Steve Bannon’s statement that the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., is the result of its being a “successful business model.”

That is so. But it’s not just the “lawyers, lobbyists, consultants and contractors,” it’s Congress itself. Add to the mix, the Supreme Court – which has put its legal imprimatur on big money having a legitimate role in our electoral process.

There is another big “hole in the cheese” that emerged in Charlie Rose’s interview with the former White House’s chief strategist, but which Drehl does not mention, and that is Bannon’s view that there is one purpose of immigration.

Bannon believes it should be based solely on what the rest of the world can do for America. Never does it occur to him that the richest country in the world has a history of our offering something to the world – a haven, a hope for a new life, free from persecution, misery and poverty.

The religious tradition in which Bannon was raised is very clear about our obligation in that regard. Strange that he is so blind to it!

Joe Moran



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