Letters to the Editor

01/16 What you’re saying: Calvin Deutschbein, and Bob Marotto

Troubling surveillance

It has been a busy time around the country but one of the most encouraging yet underappreciated events is the unique bipartisanship around the both sides of the debate over expanding surveillance powers that played out in Congress last week. While the measure to expand passed the House, resistance organized by the highly respected Constitutionalist Justin Amash (R-MI) and civil rights legend John Conyers (D-MI) formed a welcome sight in a time of ugly politics.

Thanks to many courageous whistleblowers and journalists, the willingness of the intelligence community to engage in unregulated surveillance of innocent is as well documented as it is troubling. While many advocates for expanding surveillance claim it will make us safer, there is neither evidence nor reason to believe that is the case and, in fact, past surveillance has already strained our relationships with many allies that we rely on to make the world a safer place without unnecessarily placing American lives in harm's way. And beyond that, when Representatives Amash and Conyers both believe in something, I feel I stand in good company.

The debate will now move to the Senate where I was deeply disappointed to find our own Sen. Richard Burr enthusiastically expressing his support for a bill liable to make Americans less safe while trampling on the Constitution and our civil rights. I can only hope that cooler heads, such as Sens. Wyden (D-OR) and Paul (R-KY) who have both pledged to filibuster, will prevail.

Calvin Deutschbein

Chapel Hill

Animal welfare winners

Orange County Animal Services is proud to announce this year’s recipients of The Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Grant: Independent Animal Rescue (IAR) and the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center (NCTRC). These two recipients were chosen from among a number of applicants for the award by a committee consisting of members of the Animal Services Advisory Board and Animal Services staff.

Thanks to a generous donation from Friends of Orange County Animal Shelter, Orange County established the Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Grant in 2016 in honor of Pat Sanford’s distinguished career in animal welfare. The purpose of the grant is to both recognize and support efforts that advance companion animal welfare in Orange County.

The grant can be used for a wide range of pilot or seed projects or to supplement other programs, projects, and grants which support companion animals, including those animals used in recreation or therapy. It is available to individuals, groups, and organizations and although the recipients do not have to live in Orange County, the funds must be used to aid animal welfare efforts in Orange County. IAR plans to use their award to acquire additional traps to help catch and sterilize free-roaming cats in Orange County. NCTRC will utilize their award to purchase additional pain medication for their horses that suffer from osteoarthritis.

Each of the grant recipients will receive their award from the Animal Services Advisory Board this month. Animal Services would like to congratulate these award recipients. We are fortunate to have these organizations as part of our community.

For more information on the grant and to find out more about giving opportunities for this program, visit http://bit.ly/2cuSJZi

Bob Marotto

Director

Orange County Animal Services

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