Boys on bicyles
I was fascinated with state Sen. Floyd B. McKissick Jr.’s story about being a Durham Sun carrier when he was 12 years old (Jan. 2). He was taught how to manage his own business at an early age. He bought a wagon to carry his papers, a very good idea since 160 papers, with ads, were heavy. He learned how to collect and the best time to collect.
It reminds me of the times in the early ’40s when I became a newspaper carrier. I wanted a route. The only route available in my small town of Teachey, NC, was the N&O and it was taken. Somehow the man from The Charlotte Observer found out I was interested and asked me to build a route. I contacted those interested and built a small route. Eventually, the N&O route became available and I delivered both papers. My customers were far apart, and I delivered on a bicycle. I remember well Dec. 7, 1941, when the headline was Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. At age 16 I gave my routes up to a younger boy. Later he went into the Army and was killed in Korea. I too was drafted at age 18. My life story is in my book, “My Journey Through Life.”
In 1956 I was given a job with the Herald-Sun Papers in the circulation department, of all things, replacing and mentoring young boys on bicycle routes outside of Durham. In 1964 when Sen. McKissick Jr. was delivering the Durham Sun in the city of Durham, I was also teaching young boys in other cities how to deliver, collect and make some money running their own business. I spent 13 years of my life working with young boys and learned a lot from that experience. Young boys today don’t have that privilege of how to run a business at an early age. As the old saying goes, time changes everything, but not always for the best.
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W. B. Turner
Regarding the Jan. 9 letter “Free-ride unfairness”: GoTriangle is excited to be testing our Go OnDemand service that allows residents and workers in and around Research Triangle Park to summon rides when they need them to get where they want to go.
GoTriangle is offering this “microtransit” service around RTP on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. over the next six months with the hope of later expanding it to other communities. Fares are free during this pilot period to encourage people to try the service so the testing is more meaningful.
Money from the N.C. Department of Transportation is supporting the pilot, and results will be shared statewide so that other communities can learn from our test.
Microtransit options actually help agencies serve lower-income residents who might not have easy access to transit by augmenting traditional transit options or even by making it possible to get underserved residents to jobs, schools and health care when there are no traditional fixed-route options.
With Go OnDemand, riders use the TransLoc Rider App, a computer or a phone to summon a ride when it makes the most sense for them. During the pilot period, the service replaces four shuttles that had operated on fixed routes only at peak hours.
GoTriangle expects actual vehicle miles traveled to decrease with On GoDemand because the shuttles won’t be running when there is limited demand.
To learn more, please see gotriangle.org/ondemand.
GoTriangle director of regional services development
We have all heard of sore losers but this is the first time I have ever heard of sore winners. The Republicans keep clamoring for more investigation of the loser in the election when there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence indicating the winner needs further investigation. This calls into question what the republicans truly believe in.
For decades the Republicans have screamed about deficits that could destroy America. Yet the largest increases in our deficits have come under Republican presidents like Reagan, Bush I and II and now Trump. Apparently doing things that could destroy America is only bad when done by Democrats but is perfectly fine when done by Republicans. This says a lot about the thinking of Republicans.
The council vacancy
Editor’s note: We asked readers what they thought about the Durham City Council vacancy after the People’s Alliance endorsed Javiera Caballero and the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People objected to some council members stating a preference for a Latinix candidate. Here is what some of you said:
Natasha Teasley: Javiera Caballero is highly qualified and should get the job.
James Shackleford: Race is not reasonable criteria for voting in any election. Experience and hard work all that matters. Mayor Bell never stated race was an issue or any others. Latinos, Hispanics, black, white [should all be treated] all the same.
Rodney Derrick: What a load of hypocrisy from the Durham Committee and its one endorsee on the council! ... There should be a Latinx member on the council giving a deserved voice to the Latinx community, which has not received adequate representation in Durham in the past on a number of issues. By appointing the PA-endorsed candidate and highly qualified Javiera Caballero, the council would have a majority of women, three of them African-American and one Latina, and there would still be a majority African-American council. Yes for that, and for the excellent and committed new Mayor Steve Schewel! [Note: I voted a balanced vote in general election with two candidates each from PA and from Durham Committee.]
Kevin Primus: The word choice of “quota” by the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People’s to characterize a preference for appointing a Hispanic or Latino applicant to the City Council is both disappointing and disturbing.
Quota means a limited, minimum, maximum, or fixed number.
The word “quota,” as we know, is also politically charged, conjuring up the most negative sentiments, arguments, and reactionary policies of those opposed to the opportunity for previously excluded groups to have access to institutions historically dominated by other groups.
Is a preference that the Durham City Council have a representative from a significant and growing community a limitation, a minimum, a maximum, a fixed number?
No. It is a preference. It is not a policy.
I am having a hard time believing that representatives of the Durham Committee are ignorant of the historical baggage of “quota.” On the contrary, it feels this concept was deliberately invoked to cry foul before the decision is even made – before the game has been played.
To be clear, the language of “quota” was not used by Mayor Schewel. DCABP introduced this language.
For the mayor to express his preference that Durham’s Latinx residents would have representation on the council prior to announcing who will fill the vacant seat serves at least four clear purposes:
▪ It encourages potential applicants from an under-represented minority that their minority status may be perceived as an asset, rather than a liability,
▪ It declares that those in power do not intend to see others’ exclusion from power to continue,
▪ It reveals that at least some current council members intend to be transparent in the disclosing what they believe a representative council needs at this time,
▪ It sends a signal to Durham and the watching world that this is a city where a diverse Latinx community is actively welcomed, not paternalistically and not just as residents, but also as decision-makers competent to bring vital insight, to provide missing perspective, and to make decisions in the best interest of the entire Durham community.
A preference is not a policy. To proactively reveal a preference to the public prior to a decision - to let the public into “the room where it happens” - is an act of hospitality, an act of solidarity, an act of transparency, an act of bravery.
So here is my question to those who may still oppose this preference: Why shouldn’t we ALL want the significant and growing population of Latinx residents of Durham to be represented on city council?