Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

Poor kids are stuck in failing schools; vouchers would help

If a town had one gas station, one grocery store, or one department store, they could charge whatever they chose, and deliver whatever quality they chose – usually poor.

But when competition comes to town, the price comes down and the quality goes up. Universally true.

Why then should poor students be stuck in poor schools? But they are, yet vouchers could save them.

Patricia S. Broderick


In response to “Vouchers no different from welfare or food stamps” (Aug. 28 Forum):

N.C. taxes should pay for public schools, not vouchers

Taxpayer-funded vouchers violate the N.C. Constitution, which specifies that the power of taxation shall be exercised “for public purposes” only!

Public schools must provide a sound basic education in grades K-12. Private schools have no such duty.

Mala Reynolds


In response to Nicholas Kristof’s “Are we all just a bit racist?” (Aug. 29 Viewpoint):

Time for blacks to break free from Sharpton, Farrakhan

After several centuries of slavery, President Lincoln freed African American slaves, but without giving them any direction; sort of like a ship’s captain saving people from a sinking ship by placing them in a lifeboat without a compass, rudder or oars.

Like those in that lifeboat, blacks survived as best they could forming their own subculture and neighborhoods alien to most whites.

Thanks to men like Martin Luther King Jr., blacks have made significant strides in breaking the shackles of racism, but now is the time for them to break the constraints of agitators like the Rev. Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan.

Legislation is never going to cure all racism, but common sense, tolerance and civility will help.

Barry Marshall


In response to “Grants help Bechtler with trips” (Aug. 11):

Grants will bring Bechtler, community a brighter future

The great benefits from the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were recently recognized with two financial grants.

Money from the Women’s Impact Fund – $54,000 over two years – and the N.C. Arts Council – $9,000 – will be used by the Bechtler to maximize its enrichment programs.

If young people have not experienced the joy and necessity of the arts, how can we expect their financial support as adults?

Joyce F. Lange


I want less mudslinging, more substance from Sen. Hagan

Sen. Kay Hagan’s campaign for re-election typifies what is wrong in politics today.

Her ads have relentlessly decried the record of Thom Tillis in the N.C. House. At the same time, she has not spoken about her accomplishments as a senator, nor has she explained some of the controversial measures she voted for, such as Obamacare.

If Sen. Hagan wants our support, it is time to quit mudslinging and instead tell voters what she has done in the past and what she will do in the future in addressing America’s problems, such as the federal deficit and immigration reform.

John N. Mangieri


Hagan seeks solutions, is working to help veterans

After 2007, Americans thought we had made the necessary changes for 22 million veterans needing health care, education and job-training.

Sen. Kay Hagan is responsible for several innovative amendments to the Farm Bill to help our returning vets.

This bill, passed by Congress in June, provides a Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison Advocacy.

Kay Hagan is providing solutions.

Judy Amick

Indian Trail

Big waves on coast a sign of an environment in trouble

While I’m glad surfers enjoyed the unusually large waves that hit the California coast, we need to focus on the resulting destruction.

The destruction is only going to get worse because these waves are a side effect of global warming. We need to decrease our consumption of fossil fuels!

I urge you to support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, an historic first step in climate change policy. Sorry, surfers!

Maya Gold