The Observer Forum

In response to “On Monday, a passing of the torch” (Sept. 14 Viewpoint):

Williams used editorship

to lecture conservatives

Ed Williams could never see past his belief that conservative viewpoints are not only simplistic and uninformed but unenlightened as well. He never missed an opportunity to use the bully pulpit of the editorial page to tell us we were wrong and “Here's why.”

Buzz Scheuhing


‘Politically unaffiliated'

new editor? Not likely

Thanks, Ed, for your fairness and integrity over the years.

And congratulations, Taylor Batten. But given your pedigree – education at Duke and Harvard, professional employment with the AP, the New York Times and the Boston Globe – are we really to believe you're “politically unaffiliated”? Duh!

J. B. Hall


‘Below average' comment

reflects news media elitism

I hate to rain on Ed Williams' retirement party, but I found his farewell column insulting to your “average” reader.

Mr. Williams unabashedly recalls the “invaluable” advice given his friend Reese Cleghorn, “a Georgia native with degrees from Emory and Columbia University” who once worked for the Atlanta Journal: “You're writing for the average Georgian, and the average Georgian is below average.”

Remarkably, Mr. Williams admits, “That editor was right.” If there's a better example of why the public views the mainstream news media as elitist, I haven't seen it.

John Larrabee


Williams' commentary

was gift to community

This city and region have been long enriched by the always clear, thoughtful, wise, caring, honest, fair and constructive commentary and opinions of Ed Williams.

His remarkable journalism has been a gift to the well being of the community.

A. Ward McKeithen

Peter C. Buck

Everett J. Bowman


Batten wastes no time

in spreading liberalism

I have subscribed to the Observer since 1947. Over the past 30 years I've watched with dismay the transformation of a respected newspaper into a bastion of left-wing activism and ideology.

Sadly, on Taylor Batten's first day on the job the publication of “Resist apathy, ignorance about racism” (Sept. 15 Viewpoint) seems to have removed any doubt about the direction he has charted for the editorial pages!

Bunn T. Phillips Jr.


In response to “Furniture executive wants to fight prejudice by sharing stories about growing up gay” (Sept. 16):

‘Growing up gay' collection

offers hope for understanding

Kudos to Mitchell Gold for his bravery and compassion.

Teens in general face so many hurdles, and this book may help gay teens get the understanding they so desperately need. God bless a man with such character and caring.

Nancy Jean Campbell


In response to “Labor law fails to help workers” (Sept. 14):

Advocating for workers isn't

duty of Labor Department

I represent employers in REDA cases.

The N.C. Labor Department is an investigative agency, not an advocate of workers (or employers).

Perhaps the reason few REDA charges are substantiated is that most charge-filers experienced adverse employment actions for legitimate reasons, rather than out of employer retaliation

Although few charges result in reinstatement, many charging parties receive other relief, such as back pay.

Most important, any charging party not satisfied with the outcome of a Labor Department investigation has the statutory right to a second bite at the apple, through a private lawsuit.

Philip M. Van Hoy


Employees, MDs misuse

system – investigate THEM

How about investigating employees and doctors who take advantage of workers' compensation? I'm sure they outnumber employers who do so.

Much fraud is committed by employees who prefer to stay home and collect the monthly or settlement check rather than go in to work.

Joe Cartafalsa


Labor Dept. ensures business

for workers' comp lawyers

Now I understand why I see so many ads on TV for workers' comp lawyers. The N.C. Labor Department is no help to working people.

Joe Turner


In response to “McCain, not Obama, reaching for federal dollars” (Sept. 18 Forum):

Obama reversed course

when money poured in

In 2007 Obama pledged to accept the matching funds, but changed his mind because of the success of his fund-raising.

Since the system was begun in 1976 in reaction to Watergate, he is the first presidential candidate to reject public funds for the general election.

Joe Baucom


Are we seeing case study

in offshore drilling benefits?

Those politicians promoting offshore drilling as a reliable source of affordable energy – do they mean like that $5-a-gallon gas from the Gulf of Mexico?

Stephen J. Dohl