Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers comment on light rail, Oliver-Bruno’s deportation

This crossing at Blackwell, Corcoran and Pettigrew streets could be closed if a GoTriangle plan proposed in October for the Durham-Orange light-rail line goes through. Local stakeholders are concerned the closing will be a bad move for downtown’s vibrancy.
This crossing at Blackwell, Corcoran and Pettigrew streets could be closed if a GoTriangle plan proposed in October for the Durham-Orange light-rail line goes through. Local stakeholders are concerned the closing will be a bad move for downtown’s vibrancy. Contributed

Raise tracks for rail

Regarding the news story, “Capitol Broadcasting exec quits light-rail fundraising board over downtown Durham concern” (Nov. 28)

I 100 percent support Mr. Goodmon and the other individual who have resigned because of their opposition to the proposal to close several streets leading to DPAC, the Durham Bulls baseball park and the American Tobacco Campus. I don’t understand why GoTriangle would propose such a thing.

The closing of Blackwell, Corcoran and Pettigrew streets would certainly have a terrible effect on DPAC, the ballpark and the American Tobacco Campus to name a few. It seems the perfect solution is to construct an elevated section over that area which would leave automobile and pedestrian traffic intact. There is at least one other area where an elevated section of the rail line is proposed. I strongly urge GoTriangle to reconsider this ill-fated decision.

Jerry Clem


Transportation alone won’t help

Regarding the guest column by Anthony Scott and John Tallmadge “Light rail integral to Durham’s affordable-housing plans” (Nov. 30):

A commitment to enhancing opportunities for existing low-income families requires more than light-rail integration into affordable-housing plans.

We need a strategic plan with intentionality and specificity that defines how we will prepare and equip our low-income families with education and training for the jobs of the future that will allow greater incoming earning potential.

Our community expends millions of dollars on social services yet lacks comprehensive data that measures outcomes on the number of people actually served and how those services have improved quality of life. Meetings, discussions and plans without measurable outcomes and accountability will not create equitable opportunity for all of Durham’s residents.

Access to transportation alone will not resolve the challenges impeding low-income families economic climb.

DeWarren K. Langley


Coming off the rails

On behalf of the citizens and taxpayers of Orange County I urge GoTriangle and the local government agencies to cease wasting time and money on the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project.

After millions of dollars planning a critically flawed program, the plan is literally coming off the rails. Splitting downtown Durham up is the final nail in the coffin of this program. The hubris of continuing to assume that any federal funding is going to happen for this project is appalling.

With the limited commercial tax base in Orange County property taxes will end up going through the roof to support the inevitable cost overruns and wildly optimistic planning for what is a vanity project to primarily benefit UNC Hospitals and Duke Medicine along with the property speculators along the DOLRT path. If the rail does not go to the airport it is not a viable option.

End the dream to save us from a nightmare down the road. Duke has already spoken volumes in reference to the lack of foresight on this project. It is time for everyone to come together to say, no more wasted time or effort on this doomed project.

Matthew Clements

Orange County

‘Unjust and cruel policies’

U.S. Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Congressman David Price (D-N.C.) issued the following statement Friday in response to the deportation of Samuel Oliver-Bruno:

It is a sad day for Samuel Oliver-Bruno’s family and our community. So many, including local advocates, neighbors, friends, and people of faith all worked tirelessly on Samuel’s behalf to seek his release.

As Durham’s representatives in Congress, we personally and persistently advocated for Samuel’s release at the highest levels of government. In particular, we insisted that top officials in the Trump Administration personally address statements from Mrs. Oliver-Bruno’s medical providers regarding her health condition. Those requests were ignored.

All of us are extremely disappointed in the Department of Homeland Security’s refusal to use its discretionary authority to do what was right, just, and moral.

We believe the actions taken by ICE and USCIS in Mr. Oliver-Bruno’s apprehension are extremely concerning and deserving of scrutiny. We will continue to seek a full investigation into the actions of both agencies leading up to Mr. Oliver-Bruno’s arrest on Nov. 23. These actions will undoubtedly have a chilling effect, further driving people into the shadows of our society.

We will continue to speak out and fight against the unjust and cruel immigration policies of the Trump administration that are unnecessarily tearing families apart.

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