Observer forum: Letters to editor

South End complaint:

Case of deja (no) vu

I had to laugh when I read “Some South End residents worry their rooms may soon lose the view” (July 11):

When South End was still only a concept, some true urban pioneers bought lofts in Factory South, which was completed in 1997. For lofts facing north, the undisturbed vista of Charlotte's skyline was a main selling point.

Fast forward a few years, and the same developer erects a “Hubba Bubba pink” skyscraper right at the portal of South End.

One guess whose views it blocked completely.

The moral of this Tale of the City: No one owns a view, no matter how persuasive a developer's pitch!

Ulrike K. Hood


First the bad news:

What some will see …

Residents of the new apartment building have their own cause for complaint: having to look at the Arlington.

Jeff A. Gregory


Now the good news:

… others won't see

Anything that blocks my view of the “Pepto-Bismol” building is a welcome addition to the Charlotte skyline.

Jim Belvin


In response to “You have to understand: Mary Easley is an artist” (July 9):

Washburn illuminates

mind of Mary Easley

Thank you, Mark Washburn, for your thoughtful and profound defense of Mary Easley! Now I understand that she took that trip to Europe for the benefit of all North Carolinians.

Maybe some day I'll have saved enough money to gas up the car and drive to Raleigh to see those wonderful works of art she worked so hard to bring to my unsophisticated mind.

Allison Muzevich


Is N.C. State salary

typical for colleges?

How many of our state-supported universities without law schools have employees with duties similar to Mrs. Easley's? What are their salaries – and political connections?

Robert A. Tomlinson


In response to “Sorry, jazz fans, change may have you singing blues” (July 1):

Unsophisticated Charlotte

is tough audience for jazz

Those of us who enjoy jazz may as well face it. NPR, National Prattle Radio, is much more suited for a city with as little substance and as little interest in the arts as Charlotte.

Until sports, mind-numbing chatter and oldies no longer dominate local stations, we will have to rely on satellite radio.

Jesse Rogers


Suffering is product

of human beings

In response to “Spending on pets keeps food from hungry people” (July 10 Forum):

“Do pet owners not know people are suffering, or do they just turn a cold shoulder to it?” Most human suffering and all other suffering is created by humans.

I've spent thousands of dollars on my pets' health, and every penny has been worth it!

Holly Mitton-Cowan


In response to “Wachovia names new CEO” (July 10):

Bob Steel is right choice

for Wachovia, city

We have seen Bob Steel lead at Goldman Sachs, at Duke and at the Treasury Department.

As much as I'll miss Ken Thompson, Steel will be great for Wachovia and – more important – great for Charlotte.

Russ Ferguson


Steel's record at Duke

raises big questions

As a Duke alum and a Wachovia alum, I hope Bob Steel can do a better job at the bank than he did in the lacrosse case.

Erskine Harkey


In response to “Helms often stood alone, but for what was right” (July 9 For the record):

Helms critic paid price

for standing for principle

Ed Feulner of the Heritage Foundation praises Jesse Helms for not being afraid “to stand alone for what he thought was right.” This is exactly what L.F. Eason III did (July 9, “Man retires rather than honor Helms”).

I take off my hat to Mr. Eason and urge North Carolina to reinstate him to his job for “standing alone,” a position for which Mr Helms was lauded. Mr. Eason's refusal was a rare profile in courage.

Bill Ames

Northampton, Mass.

Don't credit Monroe

with Madison's work

The writer teaches history at UNC Charlotte.

Ed Feulner incorrectly describes James Monroe as “primary author of the Constitution.” While Monroe opposed ratification of Constitution (because it didn't contain a bill of rights), James Madison is widely recognized as “Father of the Constitution.”

Placing Jesse Helms' name next to those of Adams, Jefferson and Monroe (or Madison) is hardly appropriate. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be to North Carolina's Nathaniel Macon, U.S. representative (1791-1815) and U.S. senator (1815-1828).

Shepherd “Shep” McKinley


In response to “Courage of convictions absent in today's leaders” (July 9 Forum):

It's not just good guys who

‘stand up for convictions'

John Steward praises Helms for having been “man enough to stand up for his convictions.” So did Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. We should praise them?

Marcia and Gene Wilson

Forest City

In response to “Did Helms want day all to himself?” (July 9 Forum):

I hope Helms saw light

toward end of life

No, Chuck Gardner, I'd hope old Jesse might have matured during his long career to the point of accepting people as people, not sorting them first by skin color.

Sherry Williams


Sen. McCarthy didn't

get such fond farewell

I was raised in a state that had a senator like Jesse Helms. Joe McCarthy was not glorified at his death.

Sara Forrest


Confederate flag fits

Helms' point of view

I am a native-born citizen of North Carolina whose needs and views were never represented by Jesse Helms. It would have been more appropriate to raise the Confederate flag over the state capitol to mark his passing, than to lower either the state or U.S. flag at any state office.

Deborah Jung


Columnists shoot, miss

in attacking Helms

Recalling the recent misguided columns by attack scribes Curtis, Betts and Tomlinson, I close my eyes and give thanks our state was blessed with such a public servant as Jesse Helms. If he could read said columns, I'm sure he would have a hearty laugh and quickly forget them.

During my lifetime Sen. Helms' influence and good work overshadows the Observer's.

Richard S. Greene

Boiling Springs

View from '72: Helms

wouldn't shake my hand

In 1972 I attended Boys' State on the campus of Wake Forest University. Jesse Helms was in his first campaign for U.S. senator. After addressing the delegates, Helms stood at the entrance to shake hands as everyone left. When my group – four African Americans – reached him, he refused to shake our hands.

For 30 years Helms played the race card. So did Lee Atwater, but at least Atwater asked for forgiveness before he passed.

Lem Patterson