I would like to praise the Raleigh Police Department, Field Operations Division, for its prompt and caring response to an incident on May 24. My laptop was stolen from my vehicle while visiting in Raleigh, and even though this was a minor event in the grand scheme of things, it was still a theft of personal property and important to me. Officers Niemann and Maucher were kind, caring and professional and treated this incident as important. I wish to thank both officers and all police personnel involved for helping to take the sting our of this event for me. I visit Raleigh often and feel comfortable having met some of your finest!
I recently went to McDonald’s and had a frappe of a different kind. I ordered a hot coffee. The attendant asked whether I would like to sample frappe coffee. I was sort of indecisive. A distinguished-looking man standing next to me said, “Try it, you will like it.” I said OK. Soon the attendant gave me a full glass serving with paid-up receipt. Apparently the gentleman had paid in advance and walked out. That was a delicious frappe filled to the brim with kindness of the stranger. Obviously he was a rich man, not in dollars and cents but in kindness.
There are all sorts of people in this world. Some, like Rep. Bob Etheridge, will scare the daylight out of you if you catch them at the wrong time. Others are like my coffee benefactor who are looking for an excuse to show their love. A little gratitude can go a long way in chipping off the walls of selfishness and loneliness surrounding us.
Our young sheepdog recently took off from the vet, ran across N.C. 54, down the ramp onto I-40, and up into the woods. Over the next two days many, many strangers went out of their way to help us get her back. They chased, called her name, notified us of sightings, put out food and water, informed their neighbors, and got out of their cars to try and lure her to them. In one case, a man named Kevin followed her onto I-40 where he quickly pulled over and got out of his truck to chase her.
Two days later, upon return from one of our own searches, I had a message waiting that she had run out in front of a car on 54, been hit and had died. We found her right where we had been calling for her. We were devastated, and are missing her dearly. But we were also inspired by the generosity and kindness of so many strangers. So to the many of you who went out of your way to help a dog and her family, I would like to express my deepest appreciation. Thank you so very much.
I am writing to endorse the Durham Human Relations Commission’s recommendation that Durham officially boycott the state of Arizona. To those who claim this is not a city matter, if we want to know the values of a household, a community, a nation, then look at the budget. Refusing to spend Durham’s tax dollars in Arizona is our opportunity to stand with our neighbor, whether long-time citizen or newly arrived immigrant.
I am the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants forced from their home by pogroms not seen as official city business then, and I am wary of the claim this is not city business now. The Arizona law has been introduced to our legislature, and we will be forced to deal with the frightening rhetoric toward immigrants and black and brown people that this law foments. We need to take a stand now, early in this horrible game, to declare that Durham does not agree with, condone or support this egregious law.
These are dangerous times. I have not seen such public hatefulness directed toward a community of people since I was a teenager. Our City Council needs to show true leadership by supporting the boycott of Arizona.
The word is out that Dorothea Dix Hospital is closing by June of 2011. There is no more money for the patients. We nurses on the Hill find it interesting that once the patients are evacuated from buildings, there seems no end to the resources the state finds to renovate those buildings long left in disrepair.
Where stairs were sagging, a new elevator can be installed. Where lights were never replaced at building entrances, new fixtures are ablaze. Where floors were crumbling, hardwood and carpeting can be installed. New ramps are built to access the disabled. New furniture replaces the leftover broken down chairs and desks. Now there is money for fancier, more comfortable decor.
Even with all the neglect, Dix provided good care and prevailed, a testament to those who truly care. Dix is in the center of our state, in one of the largest counties with the greatest number of patients in need. Yet it is the sacrificial lamb. The reform has never been for the consideration of our patients. Without proper preparation and planning, they will be further neglected.
Dogs will continue to suffer, thanks to the NRA, Farm Bureau, N.C. Pork Council, hunting and sporting dog groups, and the American Kennel Club. The puppy mill bill, which did not make it to the House Finance Committee due to the blocking efforts of these organizations, is dead for this session. Animal advocates reached out to these groups and made several concessions to ensure that hunting and sporting dog owners and legitimate breeders would not be impacted by the bill. The NRA, Farm Bureau and Pork Council? Why do these people even care about this issue? I have never seen a dog that oinks. All they wanted to accomplish was to collapse the bill and call it a success to their membership. And who suffers – the animals who endure these inhumane conditions in the heat and cold, having litter after litter of puppies to sell in unscrupulous pet stores. And end up crowding our animal shelters and costing taxpayers. Our legislators up for re-election had better think twice. Those of us who care about the welfare of our companion animals are getting organized.