Letters to the Editor

04/19 What You’re Saying: Katherine Cheek, and Kaaren Johanson

Vote for Sheriff Blackwood

I noticed in Orange County Sheriff Blackwood’s comments about the past four years of successes in the department he never said “I.” It was always “we.”

This tells me a lot about his character and ability to work with others, as he acknowledges dedicated and loyal co-workers and their input in all successes. I also see that Sheriff Blackwood was recently appointed to the Governor’s Crime Commission. His 38 years in law enforcement and his recent four years as sheriff certainly qualify him for this very important job and to continue his job as sheriff in Orange County.

His experience gives him the ability to set budgets, hire and train personnel, know the strengths and weaknesses in the department. His work with the school systems and the residents of Orange County are so valuable for providing safety in our schools. Has he made some decisions that people outside who do not have all the facts, might question? Probably! Has he always made the right decisions? I doubt it. NOT ALWAYS. Neither will the next elected sheriff.

Charles Blackwood is qualified and has proved his allegiance to the residents of Orange County.

Help him to continue to do more to improve life here.

Early vote starts April 19 and election day is May 8. Be sure and vote.

Katherine Cheek

Hurdle Mills

Hunger fighters

As an 18-year member of the Durham CROP Hunger Walk coordinating team, I am continually amazed at the overwhelming support of the Durham Community. A small, but dedicated group of 25 volunteers spends a year planning the walk, but it is the overwhelming number of community members that have made it a success year after year.

Despite snow on the morning of the event, more than a thousand stalwart hunger fighters showed up at the starting line and were rewarded with a sunny, 53 degree, lovely spring afternoon. In addition to the 100-plus teams of walkers representing Durham places of worship, schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations, civic organizations and Greek alumnae chapters, there are more than 35 business sponsors of the walk, whose generous donations make it possible for every penny raised by the walkers to go directly to hunger-fighting projects here in Durham and around the world.

One special part of the walk is the “Global Village” activity at the start, in which volunteer groups and recipient agencies give their time and energy to educate and entertain the walkers. Participatory educational displays about Church World Service programs and the local agencies we support remind everyone of the difference their walking makes. The Durham Community Concert Band, who have been part of the event for more than 25 years kept things lively, many of the walkers took time to pack more than 500 hygiene kits that will be distributed by Church World Service for disaster relief, and nonperishable food was collected for distribution to the Durham Public Schools Food Pantries.

This year’s walk was dedicated to the memory of Baba Chuck Davis, whose dance and drum ensemble (the African American Dance Ensemble) led participants each year in warm up stretches before step-off. Because of his passion for the cause, any international funds raised this year, above the total raised last year, will go to the “Safe School Zone s Project” in Kenya.

The walk is on target to top the $153,000 we raised last year, and we welcome additional donations at: http://crophungerwalk.org/durhamnc/safeschools.

Thank you for stepping up again to support the second largest CROP Hunger Walk in the country. Job well done, Durham.

Kaaren Johanson

Coordinator, Durham CROP Hunger Walk

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