Letters to the Editor

Observer Forum: Letters to the editor 04.21.15

John Ketchum
John Ketchum

In response to “New tensions emerge in billboard war” (April 17):

What’s most important, legislators?

North Carolina has long been known for its natural, scenic beauty, and that is a primary motivator attracting visitors to our state.

It is inconceivable that a few industry lobbyists can dramatically affect one of our state’s most important assets. I hope that our legislators have the business acumen, as well as personal pride for their home state, to protect this asset and vote against House Bill 304.

There’s a simple question they should publicly answer: Do I want to protect the natural beauty of my home state, or is the outdoor advertising industry’s funding for my next campaign more important?

John Ketchum


Industry should pay a fee to profit off of our highways

Legislators pushing a bill to increasingly feather the nest of billboard interests fail to recognize one important point: The value of a billboard exists because of taxpayers’ investment in the highway. Without the highway the billboard is worthless.

Instead of giving them more benefit at taxpayers’ expense, we should make them pay a significant highway use tax or license fee for the use of our highways as an advertising medium. How about a state fee equal to 25 percent of the sign’s revenues, plus an annual license fee? The funds could be used to help fill a huge gap in our highway maintenance needs and some could be set aside for highway beautification. That would only be fair.

J.L. Kiser


Our charitable donations are now sucked up by the state

An open letter to funds relating to hunger, cancer, heart disease, child abuse, Indian relief and other worthwhile organizations:

We had nearly $1000 set aside for contributions to you but almost all of that disappeared into the N.C. income “tax cut.” Since we are in our mid-80s and on fixed retirement funding, you will now need to look elsewhere for contributions.


John Whitfield


In response to “Don’t further politicize judiciary” (April 19 Viewpoint):

Party labels do matter, even for N.C. appellate judges

In today’s politically polarized society, it is of prime importance to me as a voter to know the political affiliation of anyone running for public office, including judges. In the general election last fall, with no published political labels for reference, I researched every judge running for local and state office. It was not easy.

John Wester states that political party has nothing to do with the qualifications or decisions of a judge. I would suggest he review carefully the U.S. Supreme Court and its recent decisions, especially the votes of the individual justices.

Bonner Mills

Mount Holly

Instead of a D or R, how about a C, P or M by judges’ names?

Everybody agrees voters need to know more about judicial candidates, but assigning them a Republican or Democrat label suggests a partisanship inconsistent with impartial administration of the law. Even though there is no “Republican or Democrat side” in most legal cases, voters need an expedient way to tell if a candidate’s interpretation of the law is more likely to lean conservative or progressive. Perhaps judicial candidates could just elect to have a “C,” “P,” or “M” next to their names for Conservative, Progressive, or Moderate. This would suggest their philosophical temperament without a political taint.

Phil Clutts


In response to “Schaffer walks point on conservative social issues” (April 20):

No, Rep. Schaffer, my marriage is no threat to you and yours

My upcoming marriage to MaryAnn Mueller, my partner of 25 years, will be a celebration of our love and commitment to each other. It will not be, as Jacqueline Schaffer alleges, a trojan horse that releases tiny hatchets to chip away at her religious freedoms, straight people’s marriages, or the proper ways to raise children. Our family and friends will be there because they love and respect us.

Diana Travis