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Letters to the Editor


UNC official: It's Moeser's job

Your Aug. 15 story "The sky's no limit for UNC's chancellor" is way off base.

Traveling to meet with donors who give millions to UNC to improve education for our students is what a chancellor is supposed to do. Supporting a team appearing in a national championship is what a chancellor is supposed to do. And representing Carolina at national higher education meetings is what the chancellor of the nation's first public university is supposed to do.

The demands of the chancellor's job require that every minute of every day of every week is maximized. Sometimes that means commercial air travel is the most efficient; other times, the university's planes or a state plane allow him to pack more into his schedule.

Your reporter also makes it sound as though the chancellor is purchasing new planes for himself. That's ridiculous. Our Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program is now operating with an aging fleet of Beechcraft Barons, some of which were built in the 1970s. Affiliated university foundations and the UNC Health Care System are working together to buy the two planes. The beneficiaries will be the patients served by the physicians delivering medical services in clinics across the state.

Matthew G. Kupec
Vice Chancellor for University Advancement

Spay/neuter is the solution

I've been an animal shelter volunteer for many years, and it breaks my heart that so many loving, healthy and adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in our state shelters and across the country for lack of homes ("No-kill shelters defend practices," by Lisa Sorg, Aug. 8). I've seen as much abuse and tragedy at the kill "shelters" as I have at some no-kill shelters, and I have witnessed some outstanding "kill" shelters that make all efforts of adopting their animals out. I also have witnessed some no-kill shelters that were true loving homes to the creatures they cared for. In my book, both types of shelters need to be regulated more. When humans don't set up their shelters well, manage them properly and set reasonable and achievable limits, it's always the animals who suffer.

Warehousing animals in cages for months or years—common practice at many "no-kill" shelters—isn't the solution to the companion animal overpopulation crisis. Neither is killing all unwanted animals. Spaying and neutering is the solution. Until North Carolina residents stop buying animals from pet stores and breeders and realize that spaying and neutering their animals is just as vital as giving them food and water, there will always be more animals than there are good homes, and euthanasia will remain a tragic necessity. Please help stop the killing by having your animals spayed or neutered.

Ileana Sisson
Saint James City, Fla.

Adoption policies too strict

Thank you for your recent issue with readers' fond stories of their relationships with pets of all kinds ("Dog days," cover story, Aug. 8). As an animal lover, it gives me great pleasure to read of others' heartwarming experiences.

My husband and I live on 20 acres in Orange County. We are fostering a bouncy, loving Rottweiler for N.C. Rottweiler Rescue, who was saved from a pit bull puppy mill in West Virginia. We are also fostering a colt for the N.C. Equine Rescue League.

But we can't adopt a kitten from the county shelter. Why not? Because our cats are indoor/outdoor cats who can choose to nap in the hayloft or on our couch. When I questioned one worker about euthanizing the 26 cats that were in the shelter, she replied, "Better they die humanely than from a rodent bite in your barn."

So we have two cats that we chose from ads in the paper, both spayed/neutered, wormed, vaccinated and flea- and tick-proofed. A third cat chose us last fall. He just showed up one day, and he now coexists happily with the rest of the menagerie.

Given the overwhelming number of homeless, abandoned or surrendered animals, it seems that more latitude could be applied when considering an adoption request.

To be sure, a rodent bite could occur in the barn. One could also occur in a house. Neither we nor our animals can be protected continuously, and such protection should not be so highly valued that death is preferable to a catnap in the grass.

C. Weaver

Employment center thrives

Just a quick clarification of Gerry Canavan's piece on the Golden Belt redevelopment project ("Edge city," Casa, July 25).

Contrary to his first sentence, the Golden Belt complex has not been totally boarded up and abandoned for a decade. I know, because I moved and operated the Center for Employment Training (CET) there in the $1 million renovated Building 5 back in 2000. I worked with the Durham Housing Authority, the architect, the Durham Chamber of Commerce and even the general contractor to help turn this former 13,000-square-foot shell of a structure into an educational facility rivaling the Blue Devil and American Tobacco projects.

Seven years later, this award-winning, nonprofit, accredited, post-secondary job skills training and placement program continues to operate in the 100-year-old two-story brick building. In its time at Golden Belt, CET has trained and placed into employment more than 600 Durham residents, most of whom were low-income but are now self-sufficient.

Now the exciting Scientific Properties is restoring the remaining complex for local artists, much in the way that CET has creatively and compassionately helped many disadvantaged citizens restore their lives. In fact, I think CET is worthy of its own story in your pages.

Tim Moore
Willow Spring

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