Letters to the Editor

04/12 What You’re Saying: Thomas B. Grizzle, Chase Waldner, Shannon Fang, Kerry Mallison and Rick Tsao, and Bianca Olivares, Eliza Cornette Cook, and Harold Horne

Stanford is salt of the earth

I want to speak to you about the Clerk of Court race. My lifelong friend, James (Jamie) Stanford is running against Mark Kleinschmidt, former mayor of Chapel Hill. Jamie, besides being 60 (CHHS Class of ’76, same as me) and much more experienced than his challenger, is salt of the earth Orange County. The Clerk of Court serves the people directly and to be from, of and for the people is better than having a history of substantial support from out-of-state donors.

Jamie was initially raised on Stanford Road (out Highway 54 just past White Cross) where they had their family farm, a huge operation, typical for that time (1950s). His father unfortunately died when he was 12. His mother, Trish Stanford, was a highly regarded school teacher in Chapel Hill. She eventually remarried to a Hunt and got elected to the N.C. Legislature (as Trish Stanford Hunt) where she served a dozen years; later she became a judge (Patricia Stanford Love). Jamie and the rest of his family then lived in Chapel Hill proper, where he attended what was then called Culbreth Junior High School and Chapel Hill Senior High School. Eventually, they had to sell the family farm when the Cane Creek Reservoir cut the farm in half. My point is, he’s from a very good family and from his earliest years, knows and cares about both rural Orange County and Chapel Hill.

Jamie married his high school sweetheart, went to college, and then on to UNC law school. He passed the bar and practiced law in Chapel Hill for many years, handling more than one real estate closing for me. For the last 17 years he has served as Clerk of Court in Orange County and impressed those who interact with his office with the decency, committment and respect he shows all comers. He’s always had my vote, but in this election year, especially in the primary election, he needs it more than ever. Keep it local! James (Jamie) Stanford for Clerk of Court!

Thomas B. Grizzle

Chapel Hill

Saving women and children

The number of under-5-year-old deaths in 2015 was 5.9 million. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act can enable the U.S. government to lower the number of preventable maternal and child deaths to zero by 2035.

While there has been much progress in child and maternal health, this legislation provides a more specific, robust, and effective plan for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve health care in the countries that need it the most, particularly Southern Africa. The Reach Act does not push for more funding but for a redesign of USAID’s plan. The Act will improve health care by using accountability and evidence-based intervention to create a more strategic and efficient use of money. The Reach Act ensures every mother and child has the opportunity to live a full and healthy life.

We applaud Congressman David Price for recently holding a panel that discussed how global health work supports 26,000 jobs, creates $1.6 billion in wages, and contributes $3.7 billion to the economy in North Carolina. Duke’s Partners in Health Engage encourages Congressman Price to support the Reach Act and the right to child and maternal health for all.

Shannon Fang, Kerry Mallison and Rick Tsao


Tomatoes, Wendy’s and #metoo

If anyone has been in tune with mainstream media, then the trending hashtag #metoo is no stranger. The #metoo movement has taken the world by storm. It seems a ripple effect has been caused in which women are feeling empowered to open up about their experiences, but there are voices that are being left out of this narrative. In fact, they are being pushed out by the fast food restaurant, Wendy’s.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, based out of Immokalee, Florida, offers protection to the farmworker women that are sexually harassed on the fields with the Fair Food Program (FFP). The FFP not only protects women in the fields, but it defends the basic rights of farmworkers in general by ensuring workers receive water & shade breaks, restroom breaks, and so much more. Rights we take for granted. Florida tomatoes are covered under the FFP, but instead of protecting the rights of farmworkers, Wendy’s has outsourced to Mexico. This means there is no real way of knowing whether or not workers are being fairly treated or not. There is no third party to confirm like there is under the FFP. Mind you, other fast food chains such as McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, and even Wal-Mart have signed on.

So how does this tie into the #metoo movement, and what does this have to do with Durham? For starters, there are at least eight Wendy’s in Durham that as consumers, we can choose to boycott. We have the power to dictate if we want to contribute to the unfair treatment of farmworkers. In regards to the farmworker women, quite simply, farmworker women are the #metoomovement, but Wendy’s has said the following in response to a five day fast and march in attempts to get the corporation to sign the Fair Food Agreement:

Wendy’s: “There’s no new news here, aside from the CIW trying to exploit the positive momentum that has been generated by and for women in the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement to advance their interests.” (Wendy’s spokeswoman Heidi Schauer in The Huffington Post, 3/21/2018)

We can no longer let big corporations get away with abusing workers. Durham can take a stand and fight back against the sexual harassment of farmworker women and the mistreatment of workers. Durham has consumer power, and we must use it.

Bianca Olivares


Hairy situation

Do you like it when your pets are killed and eaten by coyotes? Most likely the answer is no.

For a couple decades now the coyote population all over North Carolina has been growing, and that’s because of the food and shelter availability in the state. While hunting and trapping the animals might seem like a quick way to cut down their ranks, it’s not as effective as one might think. A study shows that if you take out 60 percent of a coyote population it can recover in only a year.

This then begs the question, how do we solve this hairy situation? To prevent the unfortunate digestion of domesticated cats and dogs some easy and minor changes must be made. First, leave your unattended animals inside, as even a 200 pound dog won't scare a coyote. The main reason the coyotes are staying are because of the food availability, so reducing their access to food will make them want to move else wear. Also, be mindful of what trash and food scraps you leave outside. You may never know when a hungry coyote finds a feast of leftovers in your trash can and decides to return every night to eat.

Chase Waldner

Chapel Hill

Protect Jordan Llake

Be careful of your drinking water, Chatham County residents! The Haw River and Jordan Lake are more polluted than you might think.

The Jordan Lake laws are supposed to protect the area from toxic chemicals being allowed into Chatham’s waterways, however, enforcement of those laws has been postponed since their creation in 2006. As the Haw River and Jordan Lake become more and more polluted with GenX and Dioxane, the safety of those who rely on either source as a water supply is put in jeopardy. GenX is just one of the harmful carcinogens that is proven to cause tumors and reproductive issues, yet has been consistently found in the Haw River.

So, residents of Chatham County, listen to the Haw River Assembly, contact the Chatham County Board of Environmental Quality, and ask them to keep you healthy, your wildlife happy, and your water safe.

Eliza Cornette Cook

Chapel Hill

Blackwood for sheriff

Over the last four years with Charles Blackwood as sheriff, the Sheriff's Office has made tremendous strides in advancing training, replacing outdated equipment, and developing leaders for the office. Orange County’s former long-standing sheriff, Lindy Pendergrass, had the wisdom and foresight to prepare an individual to follow him upon his retirement. He promoted Sheriff Blackwood through the ranks and assigned him to lead every division of the department. He sent Charles to the best managerial schools available and prepared him to lead.

When you go to the ballot box on Tuesday, May 8, there is only one candidate with the leadership qualities and experience to lead the men and women of the Sheriff's Office, and that is Charles Blackwood. Please come out and vote to re-elect Charles Blackwood as Orange County Sheriff on May 8.

Harold Horne

Chapel Hill Police Department, retired

Speak up

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