Letters to the Editor

09/29 Letters: David Price, Ernie Wendell, Larry Bumgardner, and Janie Wagstaff

Help Puerto Rico

The devastation we have seen in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is heartbreaking. Millions of American citizens are now without access to food, electricity, and potable water. The Trump administration should act immediately to make Department of Defense and other additional resources available to aid in search-and-rescue, law enforcement, transportation, and medical assistance. In the immediate wake of a disaster of this scale, these resources could literally mean life or death for thousands of affected residents. Additionally, Congress should move to swiftly pass a comprehensive relief package that provides assistance for these American territories and addresses unmet need in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and other states still recovering from recent disasters.

U.S. David Price

Chapel Hill

A veteran speaks

I think I’ve earned the right as a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, from the age of 17 to 38, to comment on our flag, our country and our national anthem.

When I see the flag – waving in all its glory – I still shed a tear as I recall all those who gave their lives in service to this great nation and, for ALL of us. When I see that same flag being burned or shredded, in mob-angered disrespect and outright stupidity, I become sick to my stomach. So, to keep my sanity, I turn to thoughts of all the good this country has done to prevent the enslavement, starvation and death of millions almost everywhere the sun shines in this world.

Perhaps the flag – Old Glory – has not always been flown honorably – but if not, it was not the flag’s fault!

When I hear the Nation Anthem, which I was taught to respect from my very earliest memories, I still want to salute. Habits are hard to break! Why someone would actually refuse to show that same respect is a mystery to me. It’s a song that attests to freedom, liberty and bravery. That song has never caused harm to anyone! It is meant to remind us of who we are – or maybe who we want to be. It is meant as a reminder that an oppressed people can rise above their circumstance, cast off tyranny, and live as a free people and the message is meant for everyone. No exceptions!

Ernie Wendell


Gross basic unfairness

Our system of justice is shameful. A “speedy trial” can takes 2 years or more. If you can’t make bail you may sit in jail for two years without being proven guilty of anything.

We have racist juries that show sympathy for opioid users in small-town white America but no sympathy for black men selling or using cocaine or marijuana, which is less harmful.

We have underfunded courtrooms and an overfunded prison system. This situation is politically motivated out of an unfounded fear of blacks and Hispanics.

Is it any wonder that some athletes are refusing to stand for the National Anthem? Once you understand why they are upset, you should not stand either. This has to be fixed. But it cannot be done without public support.

Until I became a foster parent years ago and later began to take incarcerated men out into the community prior to their release, I had no idea of the gross basic unfairness of our justice system. But we all need to know the truth. Fixing this will make us a better country.

Larry Bumgardner


McCain and insurance

John McCain campaigned on “Repeal and Replace.” But on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, Sen. McCain said he “will find the best doctors” with his special congressional health insurance while he prepared his second no vote condemning Americans to the limits of “in network: doctors under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Janie Wagstaff



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