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Letters to the Editor

12/01 Letters: Durham shooting deaths further evidence of need for gun reform

Gun violence

On Nov. 23 one person was killed in a shooting at McDougald Terrace in Durham. On Nov. 24 one person was shot and killed sitting in their car near University Drive in Durham. The next day two people were killed at a UNC family medical center in Durham.

People were killed, people were injured, and lives will never be the same. It is past time that our politicians take action on gun violence and work to keep everyone in this country safe.

Thea Barrett

March For Our Lives, Durham-Chapel Hill

School vouchers

Wayne Country Day School is a private school that receives taxpayer funds through the NC Opportunity Scholarship Program, a school voucher program. The school made headlines Nov. 21 due to the abrupt resignation of the headmaster following allegations of making “sexual advances” toward students, an inappropriate sexual relationship with a faculty member, financial impropriety, and providing alcohol to students under age 21 in his home.

While these are only allegations, it begs the question — what oversight is in place for N.C. private schools receiving taxpayer dollars? The answer in North Carolina is none.

Our legislators, who claim to be good stewards of our taxpayer dollars, send money to private schools without any way of knowing if it is money well spent. So, why are we sending our public tax dollars to private schools in the first place?

Amy Lee, Raleigh

NC Dreamers

As a board member of New American Economy, a bipartisan group fighting to help grow our economy and create jobs, I’m concerned about the impact that an upcoming Supreme Court decision on DACA will have on North Carolina’s economy.

DACA recipients pay nearly $9 billion in state and federal taxes, and could add nearly $1 trillion to the national GDP over the next decade.

Roughly 8 percent of DACA recipients over age 25 have started their own business, a rate that outpaces U.S. citizens. Dreamers in North Carolina produce $479.4 million in total income annually and contribute more than $64.1 million in total taxes annually.

I hope the U.S. Supreme Court will side with Dreamers and uphold the DACA program, which is not only lawful and constitutional, but greatly benefits the N.C. economy, boosting tax revenue, GDP, and creating jobs.

Steve Rao, Morrisville

HIV in the South

Regarding “Depression and anxiety rates ‘alarmingly high’ among LGBTQ Southerners, survey says,” (Nov. 19):

Thank you for highlighting the health disparities LGBTQ Southerners face. As a physician who treats people with HIV I see the results of these disparities on a daily basis.

In 2017, 52 percent of new HIV diagnoses in the United States. were in the South. What’s more, Southerners with HIV are more likely to die from advanced HIV than those in other parts of the United States.

LGBTQ people, people of color, and youth are at disproportionate risk of HIV and death from HIV.

In 2019, HIV is preventable and treatable with access to testing, prevention, and early treatment. Too often in North Carolina, LGBTQ people experience barriers to receiving these services. We have rapid tests for HIV, we have PrEP, and we have antiretroviral medication so that people with HIV can live long, healthy lives.

But stigma, poverty, fear and injustice make these things inaccessible to those who need them most.

We can change this story and should all commit to being part of the solution.

Dr. Claire Farel

Medical director, UNC Infectious Diseases Clinic

My ‘deep state’

After watching the impeachment proceedings, I have never been prouder to be a retired federal employee (32 years civilian, two years military).

I have confirmed to my satisfaction that I understand what the “deep state” is.

It is the deep bench of committed civil service and military persons who make up the bulk of our federal government. Every day they go to work to defend and protect the Constitution and serve the American people, from the U.S. Foreign Service and military to the workers who send out the Social Security checks each month.

They do their job without regard to which party is in control of our Congress or the presidency.

That is how it should be!

John W. Allis, Raleigh,

Past president, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

Trump’s record

People have written the Forum recently praising how President Trump has kept his promises. Really?

Let’s see. 1. Failed to make Mexico pay for wall. 2. Failed to reform health care. 3. Failed to reduce drug prices. 4. Failed to reform immigration laws. 5. Failed to reduce the VA waiting list for sick veterans. 6. Failed to help coal miners. 7. Failed in Middle East peace process. 8. Failed to improve infrastructure. 9. Failed to really help farmers.

But yes, he has drained the swamp and instead created a cesspool of corruption, lawlessness and nepotism.

Gustavo Fernandez, Raleigh


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