April 16
00:00 2015
(Above: Ken Spaulding)

Where is leadership from Roy Cooper?

To the Editor:

Where was the chief law enforcement officer of this state, Attorney General Roy Cooper, before the North Charleston [S.C.] shooting? Where was Roy Cooper on body cameras during the Ferguson and Eric Garner tragedies?

In December 2014, when it was not popular to call for police video body cameras, I sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory calling upon him to join me in seeking legislative support for requiring local law enforcement officers to wear body cameras as they carry out their official duties. This occurred at a tenuous time when demonstrations and emotions were very heated and high.

Attorney General Roy Cooper remained politically timid, shy and silent. As usual, he offered no leadership or constructive solutions to address a major problem for so many minorities and citizens in North Carolina and across this country.

Now after an obvious video showing in North Charleston, Roy Cooper wants to finally show up and support the use of body cameras in North Carolina. He has been a day late and a dollar short for so long when it comes to the need for courageous leadership.

If Roy Cooper is proving he cannot lead as Attorney General, then how can we trust his leadership as Governor?

Ken Spaulding, Durham, N.C.

Democrat, North Carolina , gubernatorial candidate


PETA and possums

To the Editor:

House Bill 574 — which would decriminalize cruelty to opossums and nullify every other law relating to opossums in North Carolina between Dec. 29 and Jan. 2 each year — makes a mockery of the legal system and puts animals in danger.

This bill caters to the interests of one man — the organizer of Clay County’s New Year’s Eve “Opossum Drop.” It would allow him to continue terrorizing opossums by capturing them, confining them in a tiny box, dangling them above a rowdy crowd, and bombarding them with loud music and fireworks. Wildlife experts warn that the stress of such abuse can be fatal to these shy animals.

If passed, this bill would also grant anyone in North Carolina carte blanche to torture, dismember or otherwise abuse and kill opossums during that time period.

A similar law was passed last year, but PETA’s legal challenge ensured that no live opossum was tormented at last year’s Opossum Drop, and it is expected that the law will be permanently struck down by the court. But now, the sponsors of HB 574 are trying to replace one unconstitutional law with another.

I urge readers to ask their state representatives to oppose this shameful bill today. Visit to learn more.

Amy Elizabeth, Writer

The PETA Foundation, Black Mountain, N.C., branch

EDITOR’S NOTE:  On the website of the organizer of Clay County’s New Year’s Eve “Opossum Drop,” it states: “We just want to let you know that we do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to harm the ‘possum. We celebrate in honor of this marsupial!”


A personal plea for action

To the Editor:

My name is Charles R. Peet. I reside in Troutman, N.C. and I am a career Army veteran who filed a claim for PTSD in the year 1990. This claim has been active since that time. Eventually I sought legal counsel with the case and after several attempts, my claim was awarded. This took a long time in which my lawyer had to take the case to a Supreme Court Judge in Washington, D.C.

My dilemma is that I’ve never been compensated for this case. I have made numerous trips to the Veteran’s Administration inquiring about the matter. I have been given the run-around every time. Several employees at the VA in Winston-Salem told me that African-Americans have a hard time getting compensated, whereas whites don’t seem to have as much trouble.

I even went as far as to write to Senator Kay Hagan and Congressman Stanley Purple about this matter. They also were given little help. They were told that my paperwork was on the desk at the Finance Department. This led me to believe that my case was in the process of being settled … to date nothing has happened.

On my visit to the VA in Winston-Salem, the man that was helping me said that I was paid retroactive payments for my four dependents. The amount that he showed me were $280 and $800. I disputed the $800 payment. I was told by the Salisbury, N.C. Veteran’s Administration prosthetics department that the $800 payment was my yearly clothing allowance.

The information that he gave to me was from an employee. I have made several attempts to speak with her to no avail. How can $280 be retroactive pay to four dependent children with a claim that has been running since 1990?

Charles R. Peet, Army Retired

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