Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

In response to “Tolls in plan for 3 area roads” (Dec. 5):

I-77 widening can’t wait until 2024

It is unconscionable that the widening of I-77 south of Charlotte to the S.C. state line won’t even begin until 2024, which means the new lanes won’t open for at least 15 years. This is an unacceptable delay that should offend motorists, industry and our governor, who knows this corridor well.

It’s been over 20 years since I-77’s southern corridor was last widened to six lanes. Assuming the timeline holds for the next widening project, are we really going to accept a nearly 40-year gap in improving I-77 through the heart of our state’s largest city?

I’m a proponent of toll lanes, but if the governor’s approach to transportation planning and funding won’t offer relief before the 2030s, then I question whether the state’s approach is the correct one.

Tracy Hamm


In response to “NYPD officer cleared in man’s chokehold death (Dec. 4) and related articles:

Officers need better training, less military equipment

Eric Garner was killed by the NYPD. What part of “I can’t breathe” did they not understand?

I understand that policemen have a hard and sometimes dangerous job. So do loggers, miners, construction workers, firemen and for that matter convenience store clerks.

The militarization and training with an emphasis on “overwhelming force” is an overreaction and a deadly one.

Retraining with an emphasis on common sense and compassion as well as self-protection is long overdue!

Barry Duckworth

Sherrills Ford

Perhaps politicians, not police officers, need body cameras

Newsday columnist Lane Filler supports body cameras for law enforcement. He says maybe officers behave better, or maybe civilians behave better. Whichever, in Rialto, Calif., in the first 12 months of use, complaints against law enforcement officers dropped 88 percent, and use-of-force incidents decreased almost 60 percent.

I wonder if body cameras would have a similar effect on our politicians and other government employees. Would corruption decrease and legislative policy be enhanced?

Richard Ivey


Absence of fathers is black America’s real problem

In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers. Now it is about 33 percent and growing.

I think this is the greatest problem facing the black community and nobody talks about it. If we can change this, we will make real progress in improving the lives of children, reducing crime and improving society.

Ed Garland


In response to “How is it we’re such big losers?” (Dec. 7):

Sports teams aren’t what makes Charlotte great

According to Mark Washburn, “We Stink.” Apparently all Mr. Washburn has to go on to reach this conclusion is the performance of our professional sports teams and the fact that we’re America’s No. 2 financial hub.

Here in Charlotte, professional sports is just one aspect of a community’s sense of self worth, and for many of us, a minor one at that. Take a look at what’s happening in the cultural life of our community to get a true sense of civic pride and accomplishment!

H. Perry Mixter


In response to “GOP needs fire-in-the-belly candidate” (Dec. 5 Forum):

Vote for substance, not style, in picking next president

Jim Cherry and his ilk sometime mistake personality and rhetoric for substance.

The American people should elect a president who is experienced, knowledgeable, a decent individual with principles who is not so wrapped up in his own ideology that he cannot see the forest for the trees. A problem solver that gets things done.

My ticket would be Romney for President, Carson or Cruz for VP.

Elton Shoemaker