Observer Forum: Letters to editor

In response to “Two visions of new uptown icon seen, but realization is a long way off” (Aug. 15):

View from Atlanta: Don't let

cap become homeless haven

When I was an inspector for the Fulton County Health Department in the early 1960s, my district included Underground Atlanta. Although it has since been renovated into a glitzy tourist mecca, at that time the area – created when downtown streets were elevated to eliminate rail crossings – was home to hundreds of homeless people, as well as huge rats and pigeons, whose droppings the homeless used as fuel for warmth in winter.

If the decision is made to cap I-285 in our beautiful downtown, I hope sufficient provision is made to maintain the capped area both above and below ground level.

Russ Rogers


If only CATS had acted

to build pedestrian bridge

The proposed cap park is just another reminder of how CATS set back connectivity and walkability 10 years by failing to build a pedestrian bridge across I-277 with federally matched funding for the Lynx blue line. This decision reinforced the moat design this community has been struggling with for so long.

Terry Lansdell


In response to “A day to leave the car parked” (Aug. 14):

Long-term clean air fix:

Tighter exhaust controls

Not driving your car to work Wednesday was a good start, but a single day won't give us clean air over the long term. For that we need stronger, more efficient pollution controls on all cars and trucks on N.C. roads.

Carol Schmidt


View from behind cyclist:

Go green – find bike path!

Once again this morning I was caught behind a line of slow-moving cars along a rural stretch of road with a 45 mph limit. As I went around a curve I saw the impediment: a cyclist.

Because automobile engines work most efficiently at a constant speed between 45 and 55 mph, impediments to that performance level increase emissions and gas consumption. Cyclists along our too few, narrow, overloaded roads are adding to global warming and our international trade imbalance. Please, carry your bicycle on the back of your car until you reach a bike path.

Carolyn Lawson


Local theater feels chill from

Observer's cold shoulder

The writer is managing director, Epic Arts Repertory Theatre.

It saddens me to see the Observer all but abandon local theater. Giving Lawrence Toppman double duty [movies and theater] and calling on freelance reviewers is clearly not enough to fill the void left by Julie York Coppens.

Two productions by well-established independent Charlotte theater companies, “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Educating Rita,” already have gone unreviewed.

As artists rally behind Charlotte-grown arts in the wake of the tumultuous past few years, we must also work to counter the perception, now perpetuated by the Observer, that local theater is unimportant.

Stan Peal


In response to “Confederate memorials, big oil and politicians” (Aug. 15 Blogwatch):

Confederate memorials: Erasing

history? Better bring big eraser

I'd like to call to Mary Newsom's attention another politically incorrect memorial: the county office building at 700 E. Stonewall St. known as Robert L. “Bob” Walton Plaza.

My point: If we're searching for reasons to erase history, the list would be endless.

John Blakely


In response to “America's energy confusion” (Aug. 13):

Lip service won't save us

from global warming

Columns such as like Robert Samuelson's leave me terribly depressed.

All this fuss about oil drilling and renewable energy shows clearly that no one – not Democrats, not Republicans, not our elected leaders, not our business community – really sees global warming as a problem.

Lip service is paid, but our resolve fades away when we're faced with the changes required. Can we not comprehend that the risks of climate change are so severe, even life-threatening, that the costs to avoid it almost don't matter?

I'm afraid we are all toast.

Bill Thomas

Cedar Mountain

In response to “Why food, lipstick but not cigarettes?” (Aug. 14 editorial):

FDA debate highlights lack

of smoke-free mandate in N.C.

The debate on giving the FDA authority over tobacco serves as a reminder: There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Science has shown that neither non-smoking sections nor air-cleaning technologies can eliminate such exposure.

While many states require that restaurants and work sites be smoke-free, North Carolina leaves that decision to owners and employers.

It's time for all of us to go smoke-free.

Lovemore S. Masakadza


In response to “Is nation mature enough to drop Victorian morality?” (Aug. 13 Forum):

Families hurt by failure

to follow moral course

It might be educational for all to interview John Edwards' 26-year-old daughter to see if she or her young siblings could take such a dispassionate view – not to mention Elizabeth Edwards herself. They'll be picking up pieces for a long time.

If Bill Barnes prefers politicians with in-your-face, unconventional sexual behavior, he can always move to France. It's an Olympic sport there.

Avis O. Gachet


What's Victorian to him

is honorable to me

Attitudes such as Bill Barnes' contribute to other countries seeing the U.S. as lacking a moral foundation – are they right?

In any event, I've been faithful to my partner for 30 years. Mr. Barnes may think this makes me Victorian. I think it makes me a man with honor.

Michael Kyzer


In response to “Why Edwards was singled out: He made easy target” (Aug. 13 Forum):

Edwards' hypocrisy is what

made him ‘easy target'

Malarkey. Edwards wasn't singled out because of his being white, Democratic or from the South. It was because he deceived the people with his preaching and pretending to be someone he wasn't. Ultimately the press got wind of the story and as always beat it to death.

Naomi Matthews

Sherrills Ford

GOP held to higher standard

of behavior than Democrats

Sen. Ted Stevens gets in trouble and speculation says it will hurt Republicans. John Edwards and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick get in trouble and… no such comment.

I guess people expect poor behavior from Democrats.

Steve Lira


Enough about Edwards –

N.C. faces real issues

It's time to give up the Edwards affair stories. He has done nothing worse than probably 50 percent of Observer readers have done, both male and female.

Let's concentrate on the ineffectiveness of our senators and other N.C. politicians on issues that actually affect us.

Lee T. Stevens


Turning now to local scandals:

What happened to black book?

Why has the public been given intimate details of the Spitzer and Edwards episodes but not the HushHush prostitution case?

John J. Michalski