A real priority
I couldn’t agree more with Dick Ford’s guest column Sunday (DN, June 10, bit.ly/OuI9KU
We have to make literacy a real priority, and I believe that the Triangle and Durham are particularly well poised to tackle illiteracy locally and nationally, if we can garner the will.Melinda Thompson Member of Bull City Forward Hill Center parentDeer are dangerous
I read with interest Carol Henderson’s amazingly gracious piece about deer (DN, June 5, http://bit.ly/L3v2Rg). While reserving judgment about deer, despite four bouts with Lyme’s disease, she concludes that the best fortification against the disease is to have a ready supply of antibiotics provided by an aware doctor.
While I appreciate her increasing awareness about the disease, I wonder if this is like using a tin can to empty water out of a sinking ship. I see far bigger implications of a burgeoning, unchecked by predators deer population.
In the previous year I have had a doe with triplets inhabit my backyard, and this year has brought a doe with twins. I have found 14 deer in my front yard at a time, and I live in a densely populated neighborhood. The deer population is exploding. I recently talked to an animal control agent, who said that 6 deer per square mile is the norm, while in Carrboro we have 26 deer per square mile. I see that number increasing exponentially at a surprising pace just in my own back yard.
I have some questions which I hope will be addressed by community leaders. How aware are the leaders of a serious presence of Lyme disease, which if unchecked, can destroy lives through disability? (I know of several incidences of this locally.) How aware are leaders of the growing incidence of car accidents involving deer, which also can jeopardize health of those involved? (I have friends whose whole family had to go into physical therapy as a consequence of their car hitting a deer.) There are grave public health issues involving deer.
There is also the economic and aesthetic impact of deer destroying foliage and flowers. Will this affect the real estate market, as neighborhoods become less attractive and less inviting? Plus consider the increased cost of neighbors building 8 foot fences and using electric fences to fortify their yards against deer.
Will a swelling deer population attract more predators in our neighborhoods? The animal control agent I talked to said that there is an increasing coyote population, who like to prey on fawns He also said that red wolves from the east, who prey on deer, are moving towards our area at the rate of 5 miles per year. There are bears in Greensboro---will those eventually migrate and be attracted to our deer population?
I feel these and other questions should be studied by stewards of our community. We have a great university with a top Public Health Program. Can a collaboration be effected with community leaders?
The deer population will only increase without natural predators. Something needs to be done to protect our community.Nancy Kramer CarrboroAnother cause
Bulls-eye rash may have another cause
Regarding the “My View” column about Lyme Disease (DN, June 5, http://bit.ly/L3v2Rg) please note that “The Rash” in a bull’s eye pattern is also associated with STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness), which is much less serious and much more common in our area. See a doctor in any case.Sarah Williams Chapel HillDamage control
As UNC system president and chairwoman of the UNC Board of Governors, Tom Ross and Hannah Gage are responsible for representing the 17 campuses of the entire UNC system. I was dismayed to read their divisive comments in your article (N&O, June 3, bit.ly/MqpK1H
In defense of their apparent inaction in the ongoing UNC scandal, they suggested that irregularities revealed in the N.C. State basketball program in the 1980s were more pervasive and serious than current problems at UNC. Ross said that "this is a much more confined circumstance than I understand was the case previously at State." Words were attributed to Gage that unlike at UNC, at N.C. State there was a sense that the trouble could be traced to the top administrative ranks.
I would remind Ross and Gage that no N.C. State employees or coaches were named or found culpable of rules violations, academic fraud or criminal conduct. At UNC, a coach and tutor have already been implicated. A former department chair and administrator are under extreme suspicion.
I would advise leadership that making spurious comparisons is unconvincing. Furthermore, their comments lend the appearance that they are more interested in damage control than in a truthful and open assessment of abuses.Jim Capel DurhamPassing the baton
The referendum on not allowing gay marriage passed with one culture’s belief being codified into our state constitution. The amendment passed with strong support from older North Carolinians. The older generation is experienced, they are knowledgeable, but they are the representatives of the era that we are trying to move past. In this instance, they have strong but outdated opinions.
As a parent, I ask my children now: Do not let me stand in the way of what you want this world to be. Tell me what you want, children, because without your influence I’m going to try to make your world into my world, and that’s not right. Let me help you make the world into your world. After all, there is nothing more a parent should want than to see children create their own world.Kai Monast DurhamA bogus bill
Recently, the North Carolina Senate’s Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee approved a version of a bill that regulates the way that agencies are allowed to predict sea-level rise as they plan for the future.
The science and math requirements in the “NC Sea-Level Bill” are basically a bunch of gobbledygook. As a result, the bill does exactly what it is trying to avoid: it requires that the State not follow “generally accepted scientific and statistical techniques”.
The statements that only “statistically significant” data or calculated rates may be used are bogus. It is not possible for data to be statistically significant. Data can be tested, and the results of statistical tests may be deemed to be significant, but that depends on the significance level that was chosen for the test. It is hard to even know what exactly the bill is trying to do, because the words in it don’t make any sense.
The bill says that future projections of sea level may include a condition of “accelerated rates of sea-level rise”, but that the rate must be “consistent with historic trends”. This is nonsense. By definition, an accelerated-rate scenario is not consistent with a historic trend. That’s the point!
As a result of all of this, the bill does exactly what it is trying to avoid. The bill requires that both data and results are hand-picked, an act that goes against “generally accepted scientific and statistical techniques”. The State is telling citizens, the free market, scientists, engineers, and corporations how to carry out science, and they are getting it dead wrong.Todd A. LaMaskin Wilmington
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