Letters to the Editor

06/07 What You’re Saying: Frances Dowell, Tony Nicholson, Hazel Ryon, Cullen McKenney, Heather Rodrigues, and Ellie Kinnaird

Build housing on DPD site

Over the last decade we at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church have watched Durham grow in front of our eyes. From our steps we’ve seen the construction of a new bus depot and a shining block of high rises, and we’ve watched a neighborhood of old mill houses evolve into Durham’s latest showcase community.

While we celebrate the revitalization of our city, we’re concerned for those that have been pushed aside because of the surge of property values that has driven up housing costs. Families that lived in Durham for generations have been forced out of neighborhoods they helped build. Young people, the lifeblood of any community, can’t afford a 1,200-square foot house within several miles of downtown. Rents (and evictions) are increasing for many long-time residents.

Four years ago, the Durham City Council adopted the policy goal of making at least 15 percent of all housing near transit stations affordable. One of the only ways they can reach that goal is to build affordable housing on 4.4 acres of city property across from Duke Memorial on West Main Street: at the soon-to-be relocated Police Headquarters.

We encourage the City Council to include as much affordable housing as possible in this mixed-use development – in essence, to be a good neighbor. During this time of tremendous and exciting growth, let us remember who Jesus named as the neighbor in the Parable of the Good Samaritan: the man who showed a stranger kindness and found him a place to lay his head.

Frances Dowell, Tony Nicholson, Hazel Ryon, Duke Memorial Core Team

Cullen McKenney, Minister of Discipleship

Heather Rodrigues, Senior Pastor

Military mindset outdated

Regarding “Triangle a contender for Army command center” (May 25): I question the plans for increased Army weaponry in light of today’s modern warfare. While the Army plans for “the development of new cannons, missiles, combat vehicles and other hardware ... leaders think they will need to maintain and advantage over countries such as China and Russia,” 21st-century warfare is increasingly cyber warfare, and even economic war.

The chances for a boots-on-the-ground war with China and Russia are remote and will divert precious taxpayer money for more useless weaponry that will just rust away – or worse yet, be sold as surplus to some country that should be spending funds on schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

Today’s ground wars are largely small-scale guerilla wars supplemented with air power. The cold war mindset of ever-increasing military spending has long been out of balance with the needs of our people.

Somehow, the perceived sanctity in our Constitution of “Defence” justifies Congress to spend like a drunken sailor on the military, but ignores the co-equal status in the Constitution of “the general Welfare,” which Republicans in Congress are always poised to cut. It’s time to put sanity back in our military spending.

Ellie Kinnaird

Chapel Hill

The writer is a former mayor of Carrboro state senator.

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