Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

In response to “City looking into billboard company’s removal of trees” (Dec. 23):

We all lose when lobbyists trump arborists

I think that I shall never see, a billboard as lovely as a tree.

Ah, thanks to our N.C. General Assembly, the venal trumps the vernal, contributions from the billboard lobbyists overpower the aesthetics of the arborists.

Has cutting down 4,700 trees since the General Assembly expanded the latitude given to billboard company requests added to Charlotte’s beauty or detracted from it?

Take a drive on Josh Birmingham Parkway and decide for yourself.

Gil Coon


Observer crossed a line linking Cheney with Cannon, Assad

Your “naughty” list on the Christmas Day Opinion page consisted of Patrick Cannon (ex-mayor and convicted felon), Bashar al Assad (dictator and murderer), and Dick Cheney (former vice president with a long record of public service).

I understand you don’t agree with Mr. Cheney’s politics, but including him with Cannon and Assad goes beyond your normal partisanship into the realm of extremely disappointing bad taste.

Steven P. Nesbit


In response to Our View “Workers need more than holiday cheer” (Dec. 26 Editorial):

Here’s a better plan: Tie wage increases to inflation rate

In contrast to your view and according to many economic studies, raising the federal minimum wage lifts perhaps thousands and not millions of people out of poverty; hardly affects and not slows the income gap; and marginally but not significantly helps boost the economy.

Rather than double the wage to $14.50 or higher and risk jobs of low-skilled workers, government decision-makers should de-emphasize fairness and simply index wage increases to the national inflation rate.

Frank Jozsa

Tega Cay, S.C.

Simple solution: Pick up recycling bins every week

Regarding the recent dialogue about increasing garbage fees, I propose picking up the recycle bin every week and garbage every other week. Problem solved.

Clint Harris


In response to “CMS proposal could rethink homework” (Dec. 19) and subsequent Forum letters:

Homework should challenge intellect; ditch the worksheets

This article states the problem that is becoming more and more apparent in schools.

I see no point in giving students busywork; it is simply nonsensical.

Instead, teachers might consider giving students homework that focuses on complex and intellectual ideas, rather than mere worksheets.

If the homework policy can broaden the minds of students, the new policy is a welcome change.

Nikhita Nanduri


In response to “Bruton Smith loses legal battle vs. Cabarrus” (Dec. 25):

I’m glad to see Cabarrus prevail against Bruton Smith

More often than not big entities like Charlotte Motor Speedway bully local governments and get away with it.

Kudos to the leaders in Concord who stood up to the empty threats to move the Speedway and put a realistic package together that required both parties to have skin in the game.

The speedway is a valuable asset here, but expectations of support have to be tempered by financial reality and transparency.

Dennis J. O’Connor


Wishes I hope will bring us

a more giving, tolerant 2015

As a new year approaches and we leave 2014, a year of racial unrest and fanatical threats to the very foundation of civilized society, I am making a heartfelt wish from two unlikely sources:

First, Democratic President John Kennedy who said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.”

Second, from Rodney King, who was beaten mercilessly by Los Angeles police in 1991 for resisting arrest: “Why can’t we all just get along?”

Weird wishes in these weird times.

Barry Marshall