Letters to the Editor

Durham-Orange Light Rail will drain money from better transit options

An old, outdated plan

Messrs. Tennyson and Gulley’s column, “Why we need to build the Durham-Orange light-rail” Sept 9, was a great example of the flaccid logic used by proponents of this program.

They argue that infrastructure investments in Research Triangle Park many years ago worked at least in part because I-40 was built and, therefore, future infrastructure projects will have similar effects. In fact, the success of Research Triangle Park predated completion of I-40 through it by years, if not decades.

Today the I-40 corridor linking Orange, Durham and Wake counties to RTP and RDU is bursting at the seams. Instead of focusing on this problem and encouraging an urgently needed tri-county solution, the authors latch their wagons to a 21-year-old, outdated plan that links UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill to Durham.

The current $3.3 billion plan falls woefully short and for decades will suck up all resources from any rail or a bus rapid transit network that could actually serve growth and density in the Triangle, especially in Orange County. We need courageous leaders willing to face reality, stop the boondoggle that’s being imposed on misled taxpayers, and start addressing our real needs, not just those of local developers.

Charles Humble

Chapel Hill

The light-rail what if

What happens if the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project doesn’t get its expected 50 percent share from the Federal government?

Answer: Local government will have to bridge the gap, and taxes will have to be raised and other services will have to be cut.

Will DOLRT actually reduce traffic?

Answer: No, because unless your starting point and your destination are each within a quarter mile of a station, you’ll take your car. Also, all the at-grade crossings will obstruct car traffic.

Why isn’t the general public aware of the negatives abut DOLRT and clamoring that DOLRT be stopped?

Answer: They’ve been duped by propaganda from GoTriangle.

When will the public finally wake up and realize what a mistake DOLRT is?

Answer: 2029 when DOLRT is turned on. By that time, all the culprits will have moved on.

Ken Larsen

via www.heraldsun.com

Allende’s message

As we commemorate and grieve the loss of 3,000 innocent souls with the fall of the Towers in New York, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 1971, many of us also solemnly remember the blood-stained hands of our U.S. administration in aiding and abetting the murder and overthrow of the democratically elected government of Chile and its towering leader and president, Salvadore Allende, two years to the day on Sept. 11, 1973. The U.S. then helped install a ruthless military dictator who proceeded to murder tens of thousands of his countrymen.

It would be well to examine the U.S. government role in overturning other democratically elected governments as we bemoan intrusions into our electoral process. You can go to Portside.org to read Allende’s impassioned message to his people as he faced death, by calling upon his countrymen to pursue justice for all. Compared that to the man and his henchmen who occupy our White House.

Miriam Thompson

Chapel Hill

Time for adult dialogue

A minor miracle occurred in Durham at DPAC Monday night. Jordan Peterson actually spoke, and the building did not collapse and no neo-Nazis showed up. In fact, blessedly, neither did the local version of the antifa social justice warriors.

Over the years the terms racist and Nazi have been used so often incorrectly that they have become so watered down to be almost meaningless. Having grown up in the ‘60s I saw real racism in the South and a more insidious version in the North. Being the son of a WWII veteran and having many relatives in that war, I was exposed to the true meaning of Nazism including one who liberated a death camp.

I sometimes think when I hear the younger generation use these terms freely to describe those who disagree with their self righteousness because the education system has failed to teach them the horror associated with these terms. Very sad, yet troubling, and many refuse to accept an opportunity for an adult dialogue. It is almost as if they have been brainwashed to a point of no return

Fenton McGonnell


Don’t blame the police

Everyone wants to know who issued the “Stand Down” order and why the police just stood by as Silent Sam hit the ground after being pulled down by a band of law-breaking thugs, some of whom had bandanas concealing their faces and identities.

Don’t blame the police. No officer who had watched coverage of the Confederate statue being destroyed in Durham and witnessed the judges not punishing the perpetrators could be blamed for being reticent to act. Even more of a reason is the history of good police work being brushed aside for leniency on the part of the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

Nowadays law enforcement officers are rarely seen in Orange County courts to testify like they were when Carl Fox was the district attorney. UNC Chancellor Folt’s response was too weak to merit discussion. Those with bandanas concealing their identities are no better than the historic klansmen carrying crosses hiding in white sheets. They are similar in their cowardice. If they disagree with something your family puts on a loved one’s grave marker, they will just as soon destroy it like they did the statues. Vietnam statues may be next.

Those responsible for destroying public property without legal petition should be prosecuted and in addition be made, not only to restore the damaged statue, but to also pay to erect a noteworthy Union Soldier’s statue right beside of the Confederate marker to historically account for all of the blood that was shed for freedom. Don’t blame the police. We don’t stop hate by being hateful.

Harvey Wensel

Orange County

Textbook savings

I read with interest the opinion of Don Weimer on Sept. 7 “Colleges must make textbooks more affordable.” At Bennett College in Greensboro where I work, we, too, have started to address this concern.

One option that Mr. Weimer did not mention has been explored at Bennett: Open Educational Resources (OER). These FREE educational materials can make a big difference when used to replace expensive texts. For example, this semester I have selected a free textbook online for my American Judicial Process class and saved my students from having to purchase my previously selected text which costs $100!

Gwenn Bookman, J.D.


Climate conversion

I don’t think we should give Thom Tillis any kudos for finally admitting that climate change is a real threat and that man can do something to stop or even reverse it. He’s the typical hypocrite who will put party and personal ambition before people. He’s a Trump acolyte and no doubt his sudden conversion won’t translate into any meaningful action. Words are cheap.

Lynda Creutzburg

Wake Forest

SNAP decision

The U.S. Census Bureau just released new data showing that 1 in 8 Americans live in poverty. These numbers should shock all of us, especially since just a few months ago the House of Representatives took a vote that would make it harder for more than a million low-income families to put food on the table.

They proposed draconian new requirements for SNAP (what we used to call “food stamps”) in their version of the farm bill, even though the new census data shows that SNAP helped 3.4 million people move above the poverty line in 2017.

Fortunately, the Senate seems to understand what’s at stake and passed a bipartisan farm bill that protects SNAP. Now, though, both chambers are negotiating a final version of the legislation. I hope I can count on them to do the right thing and stand up for a program that helps over 40 million people put food on the table.

Making cuts or changes to SNAP won’t help anyone find work or move out of poverty — it will just make people hungry.

Sara Loeppert