We get far, far more letters than we could possibly print. Here's a batch of more than 20 that just got overrun by other issues before we could get them into the paper.
Former editorial page editor Steve Ford, who retired from The N&O in December, has started a gig keeping an eye on the General Assembly goings-on for the NC Council of Churches, sending the news through a biblical and moral filter.
His latest blog post is on the N.C. Senate's removal of funding for N.C. Prisoner Legal Services, which attorney Bradley Bannon wrote about in a Sunday Point of View.
Here's an excerpt from Ford's post:
A constant temptation is to let convicted criminals basically stew in their own juices, as if to treat prison inmates decently and fairly – inmates who have forfeited their freedom, after all — were to coddle instead of punish. That seems to be the mindset behind a shortsighted move in the state Senate to zero out funding for the agency that helps prisoners pursue appeals of convictions and claims of abuse.
The Senate’s proposed state budget would scrap the arrangement whereby attorneys with nonprofit N.C. Prisoner Legal Services help inmates with their cases, under a contract costing the state $2.89 million a year.
Read the rest here.
On Saturday, Jan. 12, we printed this letter from Bernie Wolf of Youngsville:
Recently I found myself driving next to a woman using two hands to apply face powder - resting the powder container on the steering wheel while using the brush with her other hand, heading south on U.S. 401 at I-540. She even managed to change lanes at the same time.
No big thing - we all see inattentive driving frequently. But this stood out because the woman was wearing the uniform of the Wake County Sheriff's Department and was a sergeant with three stripes.
I hope someone tells her that setting an example like that is not a very good reflection on her or the department. When you choose to wear a badge and uniform, you subject yourself to higher standards.
Well, apparently somebody told her. We got this follow-up submission from Mr. Wolf:
Unfortunately it's human nature to be quick to complain but slow to compliment, if at all. Last week I observed an off-duty Wake County Sheriff's Department detention officer driving while distracted. The next day Sheriff Donnie Harrison personally called me to discuss the situation. The sheriff called me again a day later to tell me that the officer had been identified and was embarrassed and that it would not happen again. He also thanked me for taking the time to let the department know about this.
I live a half-mile outside of Wake County but obviously drive and spend a lot of time there and hope the community realizes how much the sheriff cares about the professionalism of his people, no matter what their job is. For him to take the time to speak to me personally, twice, reflects that he not only is a true professional but a public servant everyone in the area can be extremely proud to have leading this fine organization.
I hope he continues to serve all of us in this outstanding "hands on" manner that is unusual for elected officials. We need folks like that in state and national politics - maybe more would get done!