Your letters: July 21

July 22, 2013 

Don’t delay cleanup

Stormwater is the old “new” climate-change-like controversy: the science is clear and compelling, the cause is our six-fold population increase in the last four generations, and the solutions to longtime needs (energy and development) require new approaches (low-impact development and renewable sources).

The good news for stormwater is that everything we need to do can be done within our watersheds. The bad news is that our new legislature and governor owe their positions to the old way of doing things.

It is simply another set of bad ideas coming from Raleigh to delay the Jordan Lake rules, take money away from the Clean Water Management Trust for well-understood and effective watershed-scale efforts that improve water quality, throw that money at approaches designed for North Dakota, and create a new city on the edge of an already impaired drinking water reservoir.

Something has to change.

Will Wilson

Durham

Immensely dedicated

I am writing in response to your article on the charge of misdemeanor cruelty to animals against Deb Cunningham in the death of the service dog Worthy (CHN, bit.ly/18ZePcn). I am concerned that the article failed to report on Deb’s long, positive history as a dog trainer in raising the question of whether Worthy’s death was an act of intentional cruelty.

I have volunteered with Deb’s service dog organization, Eyes Ears Nose and Paws, for over three years and have never seen or heard of Deb behaving in an intentionally cruel or dangerous way toward an animal. To the contrary, Deb uses a positive reinforcement, reward-based approach to training dogs to support people with disabilities.

Deb has also taught dog training classes at local animal welfare organizations and volunteered with local search and rescue teams, handling rescue dogs on search calls. At no time before has she ever been accused of any cruel or dangerous behavior toward animals. Deb is immensely dedicated to serving the greater good through her ability to connect with dogs. EENP is a small organization and Deb cares for each dog as an individual. She is heartbroken over the death of Worthy, and I believe she is being unfairly condemned before ever going to trial.

What led Deb to leave Worthy in a car? I do not know, but all my experience with her leads me to believe it was not an intentional act of cruelty, but a terrible error in judgment. I suspect we can all recall a moment where because of a momentary lapse – becoming distracted while driving, failing to notice a toddler climbing the stairs, rushing through a public space and nearly knocking someone over – we could have been responsible for a horrible event. Deb and Worthy were not so fortunate.

It is a hard truth that good people do make bad decisions, and sometimes those decisions have tragic consequences.

Katie West Greenwood

Chapel Hill

The word is out

No doubt our Republican friends in the legislature wear the recent New York Times editorial takedown of their actions as a badge of honor. Regrettably for all North Carolinians, it is more of a scarlet letter.

Regardless of your political leanings, be aware that every potential employer, vacationer, transplant and entrepreneur will now think twice about coming to our state and will take their jobs, dollars and innovation to a more progressive and welcoming state.

The so-called Republican “mandate” was for jobs and sensible spending cuts. Instead we are witnessing a cowardly retreat and gross dereliction from their sworn duty. There has been no mention of jobs and an unprecedented scorched earth policy against all that is good and progressive in our state and an all-out war on women, the poor and the middle class. Their arrogance, ignorance and transparent greed and self-interest will destroy our economy and quality of life and set North Carolina back decades.

Frank Konhaus

Durham

Sharia confusion

I’m confused.

Since much of Sharia is a restatement of the Book of Leviticus, if we ban Sharia are we also banning parts of the Old Testament as well?

Fred Gerkens

Chapel Hill

Outraged and heartbroken

We are outraged and heartbroken over the verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman.

We stand with Trayvon’s family as they continue to grieve, and we are called to act.

We call immediately for a Department of Justice investigation into the civil rights violations against Trayvon Martin.

We will continue to fight for the removal of Stand Your Ground laws in every state.

We will continue to the fight outlaw racial profiling, whether it comes at the hands of law enforcement professionals or armed citizens.

This case has re-energized the movement to end racial profiling in the United States.

The Rev. William J. Barber

President

NC NAACP

Proud of our pits

It’s that time of year again – time for cook outs, outdoor fun and celebrating America. Here at the Animal Protection Society of Durham we’re celebrating by highlighting our All-American Dogs: pit bulls!

In decades past, America has had a love affair with pit bulls. Petey, the dog on the “Little Rascals” was a pit bull; the most decorated war dog in history, Sgt. Stubby, was a pit bull; and they even appeared on the cover of Life magazine three times.

The pit bulls here at the APS are very proud of their history, and we’re proud of our pits. We invite you to come down to APS at 2117 E. Club Blvd., and adopt one of our All-American Dogs!

During the month of July, we are offering a special adoption fee of $50 for these patriotic pooches. Your new dog will come home with a medical exam, spay/neuter, vaccines, a microchip and lots of love. We’ll help you learn about any dog you may be interested in adopting and will provide care, love and support throughout your entire adoption process.

Stephanie Kirby

Volunteer coordinator

Animal Protection Society of Durham

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