Letters to the Editor

4/16 Letters: Let’s take a moment to thank Durham’s firefighters.

Blast marks scar a brick wall as emergency workers and investigators work the scene Thursday, April 11, 2019, near Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham where a gas explosion killed a man and injured 17 people Wednesday.
Blast marks scar a brick wall as emergency workers and investigators work the scene Thursday, April 11, 2019, near Brightleaf Square in downtown Durham where a gas explosion killed a man and injured 17 people Wednesday. tlong@newsobserver.com

What taxes provide

I think we can all agree that the Durham Fire Department did a stellar job in their response to the devastating gas leak explosion. The city fire crews receive many calls for help and must make split second decisions about how to best handle the situation. It’s a hard job. Would that more of us could agree that taxation is not a bad word or a bad thing. Last Monday morning we saw an excellent example what government and our tax dollars can do for us. It’s OK to grumble some about April 15, but remember and don’t overly complain.

Deborah Gary Brogden


Don’t represent me

I protest the upcoming teacher strike. I currently teach in Johnston County because I hope to make a difference in each student’s life. Teachers would not be teaching if it was true “teaching and learning conditions in NC were unacceptable.” What are we teaching our students? To walk out if they don’t like the new math curriculum? Or are we teaching them how to deal with adversity through discourse and research. I believe the teachers strike is a travesty and the school systems making it a teacher workday just days before final exams complicit. If you don’t want to teach, please go into another profession. Become a politician! But let us teachers who are dedicated to doing what is best for our students alone. You do not represent me.

Angela Norris


Not socialism

State Senate leader Phil Berger characterizes the upcoming Day of Action by the NCAE and their supporters as socialism. I think he must have forgotten some of the basic tenets of democracy, including the right of association, the right to petition the government, the right of free speech and the right of assembly.

I believe there will be several teachers available on May 1 who could help educate him on their day off.

Peter van Dorsten


Electrical vehicles

I am an electrical engineer who has been driving an electric vehicle for 19 years. Because I do not pay the NC sales tax on gasoline which is used to fund road maintenance, the state charges me an annual $130 fee to register my vehicle.

SB 446 proposes to more than double this fee.

I agree that all drivers should pay a fair share for road maintenance. However, SB446 addresses only one-half of the story. I buy the fuel for my EV from Duke Energy and pay a 7% sales tax on that fuel. Perhaps road maintenance should be funded proportionally from the electricity tax.

Electric Vehicles have many personal, statewide, and environmental advantages over those powered by gasoline and diesel fuels and as a consequence are replacing older technology. I believe that the legislature should encourage EV use, not double-tax EV owners with both a higher EV fee and an electricity sales tax.

Joe Capowski

Chapel Hill

Family separation

The likelihood that the executive branch is once again going to implement a robust family separation policy is unacceptable. The only way to deter the inhumane way asylum seekers and economic migrants are being treated is to fix our immigration system and fund the immigration court system. We need a larger and easier way for American companies to hire foreign laborers. DACA recipients need to be able to gain citizenship. Private detention centers and their outrageous expenses must be abolished. Please do the right thing and begin this process, even if there are those who don’t support it. It is the right thing to do. Your ancestors were most likely economic immigrants. What makes them, or you or I, more deserving than the people seeking opportunity in this great land now?

Lyric Kinard


Not backing Trump

In response to the letter “Why I Back Trump,” April 10: Giving Trump a free pass on his indiscretions will not stand up to scrutiny! Trump is the antithesis of Christ, and a bully! Trump has demeaned women, called both Republicans and Democrats derogatory names, committed adultery and probably committed crimes to become President.

Building a wall for the entire 2,000 miles of our border with Mexico is ludicrous. Spending billions of dollars on a wall will do little to stem the tide of illegal drugs or solve our immigration problems.

Follow the US Constitution? Trump has probably never even read it. He has bullied Cabinet leaders to do his bidding and violate the constitution.

We must all become as well informed as possible about what is really happening in our country. Making poor decisions while disregarding factual evidence will only produce poor results. Trump’s Presidency will forever be known as a Kakistocracy (a system of government that is run by the least suitable or competent citizens of a state.)

Claude Brasseale

Wake Forest