Letters to the Editor

03/01- What you’re saying: Barry Jacobs, Pat Carstensen and Beth Bruch and 17 others

Listening to my guts

I’ve been an Orange County commissioner for the past 20 years, doing my best to serve the residents of our community, human and otherwise. I had every intention of standing for reelection, as I said in a recent letter to the editor.

Upon further reflection, however, I recalled the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching, in which Lao Tsu counsels, “He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”

After 31 years of public service on the board of commissioners plus the county planning board and OWASA, my gut tells me I’ve had enough. We have a strong group of incumbent commissioners and a superior managerial staff, so I know we’ll remain in good hands after my departure.

What’s more, I’m proud to endorse Sally Greene as a candidate to fill my at-large seat. She has served as an elected official so she’s familiar with government budgeting and with balancing competing needs, and has a record of commitment in key areas from affordable housing to environmental protection. She’s also a strong supporter of inclusive public education.

I’ve truly enjoyed serving as a commissioner representing the entire county.

Thank you for the honor.

Barry Jacobs


Angela Davis inspires

We are Jews in the local community in support of the Feb. 27 lecture by Angela Davis at Duke, which was condemned by Peter Reitzes in a Sunday guest column.

We reject Reitzes’s insinuation that Dr. Davis is anti-Semitic, and find it strange that he offers a critique of what he imagines her speech will contain.

Not only is Angela Davis not anti-Semitic, but criticism of Israel’s policies do not make her (or anyone else) anti-Israel, just as it is not anti-American to criticize our government’s policies.

We are inspired by Dr. Davis’ advocacy and scholarship, and commend Duke for inviting her.

This letter was signed by Beth Bruch, Genna Cohen, Nancy Kalow Dektar, Stephanie Gans, Harlan Gradin, Lara Haft, Danya Holtzman, Sandra Korn, Tema Okun, Suzi Pietroluongo, Millie Rosen, Deborah Rosenstein, Noah Byck Mlyn, Elizabeth Stern, Tom Stern, Miriam Thompson, Kenda Watkins and Davia Young.

Raising my blood pressure

I was wondering why my blood pressure was up, and then I remembered that Duke Energy wants to raise my bill by 21.06 percent.

My increase is higher than most because they are continuing to shift costs onto residential customers and to increase what you pay no matter how much or little you use, and my household is parsimonious in the power we use.

Why do they “need” more money? To clean up coal ash, to cover the cost of planning a nuclear plant they decided they didn’t need, and to raise their guaranteed return of investments from 10.2 percent to 10.75 percent (lots of luck getting even a fifth of that on your investments).

Pat Carstensen


Save anti-poverty programs

I see that President Trump’s new budget is a retread of bad ideas and misguided priorities that most of America strongly opposes. As predicted, his budget would finance his massive tax cut on the backs of ordinary American families who just want to make ends meet each month.

Last year we saw repeated attempts to gut essential programs like Medicaid and SNAP (formerly Food Stamps). And now after giving away $1.5 trillion in tax breaks to millionaires, President Trump and some leaders in Congress want to put these critical basic assistance programs back on the chopping block with cuts, time limits, and restructuring. With 40 million Americans living below the poverty line, this is both bad public policy and just plain wrong.

I urge our members of Congress to make it clear to the President and congressional leadership that they won’t stand for any attempt to unravel anti-poverty programs.

Youmna Elkamhawy


Speak up

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