Letters to the Editor

03/20 What you’re saying: Charles L. Recktenwald, Jean Ricca, and Joan F. Walsh

Mission accomplished

Since assuming the responsibilities as chief of the Redwood Volunteer Fire Department, Randy Clements has been on a mission to raise the standards for station operation in order to improve training and services that would lead to a safer community in which to live. During 2013, he began organizing and coordinating a lengthy process that has resulted in the Office of The State Fire Marshall granting a higher rating to the fire district.

During November, 2017, Chief Clements received notice from the state insurance commissioner that the district’s rating had improved from a 5/9 split to a straight 4/9E, with 1 being the highest rating. The commissioner noted that most rural departments fall into the 9s category.

In addition to praising the efforts of the firefighters of the Redwood Fire Department in achieving the higher rating, Chief Clements also gave credit to the firefighters of the Bahama, Lebanon, Durham County, North Wake, Durham Highway, Creedmoor and the City of Durham fire departments for their contributions to the process.

In his memo, the state fire marshal mentioned that a higher rating may also significantly lower homeowners and businessowners’ insurance rates in the Redwood district, depending on their location. The rating change took place on March 1, 2018.

I am a homeowner who will not see a reduction in my insurance rate; but nevertheless, I want to thank all parties involved for their dedication to duty and for making our community safer.

Charles L. Recktenwald


What would the FF think?

The Second Amendment refers to a “well-regulated militia.” Gun owners in America today are far from well-regulated.

I doubt our Founding Fathers meant for folks with hot heads to endanger the public by walking around armed all the time. They assumed we would have common sense and would enforce sensible restrictions on gun ownership and use. They’d be surprised to see us shooting each other up like we do. They would also be surprised to see so many of us worshipping the NRA.

The NRA doesn’t care about the Second Amendment or about American citizens. That’s just a hook so they can get you riled up and distracted while they get filthy rich and powerful. Let’s all wise up.

Jean Ricca


The new campaign

In 1968, civil rights leaders initiated a Poor People’s campaign. Now, 50 years later, a second, similar campaign is being launched. The first focused on racism, poverty, and the war economy. The current one will focus on the same three enemies of justice and societal well-being, and also on ecological destruction, which nearly always disproportionately affects minorities and those who are poor.

According to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies, these problems have worsened over the intervening five decades. Economic inequality has become far more pronounced. Voter suppression laws have emerged in many states. Mass incarceration has ballooned, primarily oppressing people of color and thereby increasing systemic racism. There has been a growing imbalance in federal discretionary spending on the military relative to social programs, and racial and income disparities in access to clean air and water have become newsworthy and obvious.

The imbalance in federal discretionary spending increased mightily in the current budget. Wasn’t Trump in favor of rebuilding the country’s infrastructure? What happened to that? Our roads and bridges can crumble, all those jobs can be forfeited – to say nothing of education and health care – while the majority of our tax money goes for more military waste and more warmongering. We need a change of priorities if our country is to survive, never mind “lead.”

Joan F. Walsh