Letters to the Editor

02/25 – What you’re saying: Nicole Mayer, Gordon Hansen, Laura Gutman, April Kemper and Kimberly Brewer, Wanda Hunter, James Williams

The country we live in

Late last year I was out with a couple of friends and we saw a man with a shirt that said on the back “Want to know when my AR-15 becomes an assault rifle? When you try to take it away from me” with a picture of the gun along the side.

In Florida, someone didn’t take Cruz’s AR-15 away and look what happened. This is the country we live in. No one tried to take it away and it still became the weapon of a mass school shooting.

Reach out to your Congress and don’t just give thoughts and prayers. Our leaders need to take action and not justify MURDER with mental illness. It has nothing to do with the fact that people can get their hands on weapons like this!!

If they don’t do anything about these gun rules we have, this is bound to happen again and again.

Contact your members of Congress, reach out, I beg you. We cannot keep losing innocent children like this. Sending them to school and not having them return home that afternoon. I am 16, so were some of the people that were killed on the Feb. 14. You don’t know who could be next. What school could be next. Change won’t happen unless our leaders hear our voices and do something about it. A child’s right to go to school and come back alive everyday is far more important than your right to keep a gun like this.

Nicole Mayer


Guns don’t kill

I too am truly shocked and saddened by the carnage in the United States by people using guns to settle a beef against someone else. Often we see bleeding hearts, liberals and politicians are at the scene of the tragedy, weeping and demanding that the U.S, remove all guns, as if that would solve this problem. These misguided people have never realized that guns don’t kill, people kill people. That shouldn’t be too difficult to comprehend.

When someone decides to carry a gun, uses it and kills someone else, that person should know, that they will suffer the same fate, which will be their death. In virtually every state today, convicted murderers are sentenced supposedly for life as punishment for what they did. They have three healthy and hearty meals each day, free medical services, air-conditioned buildings, libraries with ample space for study, board games and well equiped exercise areas and the list goes on.

The reasons often voiced are that the killer was so young, they didn’t realize the gravity, they lived in poverty all their lives, or they are deeply troubled. As a result these unfortunates shouldn’t have to suffer the fate of other murderers. They knew enough to load a gun, aim the gun and pull the trigger, so they would be old enough to realize they will have to give up their life as a result. All the excuses of the bleeding hearts and liberals won’t matter, if a person that willfully kills another, pays the ultimate price and wouldn’t look forward to life in prison, eating well, playing board games, and going to the gym to stay in shape.

Gordon Hansen


Reward for vandalism

The rule of law suffered a spectacular failure in Durham this week. It is inconceivable that there was not sufficient evidence to press charges for legal action against the perpetrators of the public vandalism that we all know all about, and that many of us witnessed.

We, the citizens of Durham, are left to assume that the outcome of the investigation and legal processes were deeply influenced by politically motivated goals. It really is a disgrace and a horrible example to our community. What we reward we will get more of, and dropping charges is a huge reward for vandalism.

As an aside, Budapest has an important public park to display and preserve the many totalitarian statues that had been erected during the hated Russian occupation. Those statues had been created by Hungarian artists and reflected the historical reality of that era, and so were not just destroyed. Instead, they are used to teach about the past with the forces and ideologies that they represented. The same respectful and educational use could have been made of our statue, but we have been denied that opportunity by the vandals.

Laura Gutman


Give Tiny Homes a chance

Last year the median closing cost for a single-family home in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district was over $442,000, and the median for multifamily home was over $350,000.

We all know that we have a housing-affordability crisis in our community – not only for the very poor, but for young people who will never earn what many of us have earned, for older people who do not have the pensions and savings that many of us are fortunate to have, for people we work with every day at the university and town, and for service people that we rely on that cannot afford to live in our community.

We need all the different affordable housing options we can get. There’s one option that has not been seriously explored and could make a difference: Tiny Homes

Tiny Homes are 400 square feet or less. They can provide all daily uses of a typical home at a fraction of the cost. While not the total answer to our problem, they could be a part of the solution for many people.

Unfortunately, there are numerous barriers in local codes to Tiny Homes on foundations and Moveable Tiny Homes.

Our building code that regulates how a house is constructed – from ceiling height to width of stairs and minimum size of the rooms – is meant for larger traditional housing. Also, the building code requires a permanent foundation, which rules out Moveable Tiny Homes. Development codes also have requirements that limit affordable Tiny Homes – such as minimum lot-size requirements, parking requirements, and zoning district limits.

On Feb. 13, we also submitted a petition to the Town of Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board: “Make Tiny Homes a Legal and Affordable Housing Option.” You can view and sign this petition at www.chalt.org/. We will take this petition to the Town Council.

Please join this conversation.

April Kemper

Kimberly Brewer

Chapel Hill Tiny Home Initiative.

Valuing school custodians

Editor’s note: Our recent story on whether Durham Public Schools should spend an extra $800,000 to make school custodians DPS employees (bit.ly/2FjvVpj, Feb. 12), keeps generating comments on our Facebook page, including:

Wanda Hunter: Paying custodians a living wage and benefits is a key part of creating racial and economic equity in our schools. Not only is it important in terms of valuing the work and the people who are doing it (and the messages about this that we send to them and to our students), but also that these employees are better able to support themselves without needing to access welfare services. And these workers may be the parents of some of our students and our valuing of them and their work has important repercussions for their families. Whom we hire as faculty, staff, and contractors and how we treat them reflects the district’s culture. We can’t have inequities in some areas and pretend they don’t impact equity everywhere.

James Williams: That is why we are revisiting the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike, and Dr. King’s “All Labor Has Dignity speech in Memphis on March 18 1968 in support of the striking workers . We will hear from workers, and labor activists and others on challenges like adequate pay and safety issues workers still confront today. Join us at 3pm on March 18 at United Church of Chapel Hill.

If not now, when?

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Pulse, Las Vegas, and now Parkland.

Now is the time to talk about gun control.

Nobody wants to steal your rifles. Hunt away, if that’s your sport.

We don’t want your protection pistols. Secure your house, if it helps you sleep at night.

But, we do want mental health checks. We want laws that keep track of guns that have been lost and stolen. We want those on terrorist watch lists to be turned away when purchasing weapons. And we want AR-15s, bump stocks and other weapons of mass destruction to be taken off of American streets.

Now is the time to talk about gun control.

After all, if not now, then when?

Kathy Repass


Speak up

Please send up to 300 words to letters@heraldsun.com. All submissions, online comments and Facebok posts may be edited for space and clarity. Thank you.