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Letters to the Editor: Animal cruelty, voting rights and road widening

Letters to the Editor: Animal cruelty, voting rights and road widening
August 11
05:45 2016

N.C. DOT urges public to attend meeting on proposed widening

To the Editor:

The N.C. Department of Transportation needs to hear from you (the public)!

Officials will hold an open house public meeting for the proposed widening of Big Mill Farm Road from I-40 Business to West Mountain Street in Kernersville.

The purpose of this project is to improve connectivity and capacity in this area.

The open house public meeting will be held Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the East Forsyth Middle School cafeteria, at 810 Bagley Drive, Kernersville, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Interested citizens are encouraged to attend at any time during those hours. Please note, there will not be a formal presentation.

N.C. DOT and consultant staff will be available to provide information on the project, answer questions and receive comments.

The public can view maps displaying the location and design of the project as they become available online at http://ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeet-ings/default.html.

Anyone desiring additional information may contact Wilson Stroud, Project Development Engineer, at 919-707-6045 or via email at wstroud@nullncdot.gov. Comments may be submitted until Aug. 30.

N.C. DOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this workshop. Anyone requiring special services should contact Diane Wilson, Senior Public Involvement Officer, at 919-707-6073 or email: pdwilson1@nullncdot.gov as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.

Miracle King

Communications Officer

Divisions 7 & 9

NCDOT Public Affairs Greensboro

State should take action against people responsible for cruelty to animals on farms

To the Editor:

Anti-whistleblower laws (commonly called “ag-gag” laws) effectively block anyone from exposing cruelty to animals, food safety issues, poor working conditions, and more.

In January this year, North Carolina’s own ag-gag law, HB 405, went into effect. This law gives employers the right to sue those who document and expose welfare issues on their property without permission, thereby threatening crucial eyewitness investigations, such as PETA’s recent exposé of a Sanderson Farms hatchery that documented dying and dead chicks and chicks ground up while still alive.

Earlier this year, PETA and a coalition of groups filed a federal lawsuit challenging HB 405, which is now pending in federal court.

Despite the Constitution’s long-time recognition of the right to challenge laws that chill First Amendment activities without first having to violate the law, North Carolina is arguing that PETA or any other group that seeks to challenge the unconstitutional law must first risk millions of dollars in potential liability by violating it and being sued.

Instead of violating the First Amendment rights of those who expose cruelty, North Carolina should take action against those who are responsible for such cruelty on factory farms.

Jared Goodman

Director of Animal Law 

PETA Foundation Los Angeles, California

State Democrats join others to challenge 2016 plan that changes congressional districts

To the Editor:

Polls show that Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike believe that gerrymandered electoral districts are bad for our state and nation.

Today [Aug. 5] the North Carolina Democratic Party is joining with Common Cause and concerned voters from across the state to challenge the validity of the gerrymandered congressional plan enacted by the General Assembly in 2016.

In a state in which 50 percent of the voters cast their ballots for Democratic candidates and only 30 percent of registered voters identify themselves as Republicans, the Republican-dominated legislature has enacted a plan designed to award 10 of our 13 seats in Congress to Republican candidates. That is wrong by any measure. We are asking the courts to strike down the 2016 plan and lay out the limitations our Constitution imposes on partisan greed.

North Carolina Democratic Party 

Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds

Raleigh

We must fully restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act

To the Editor:

As we commemorate the 51st anniversary of the Voting Rights Act [on Aug. 5], members of the Congressional Black Caucus call upon our House Republican colleagues to support bipartisan legislation to fully restore the protections of the VRA.

The VRA is the most successful piece of civil rights legislation in our country’s history.  Yet, in the more than three years since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, we have witnessed a series of coordinated attacks on voting rights in states across the country.

On this 51st anniversary, let’s recommit to our work to restore the VRA and pass legislation that will expand access to the ballot box for millions of Americans.  It is up to each of us, as members of Congress, to ensure the path to participate in our country’s democratic process remains clear and unfettered for all individuals once and for all.

U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) 

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman

Washington, D.C.

Note: Three years ago, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court invalidated a key component of the VRA that prevented discrimination before it occurred.  Since then, new restrictions have been put in place in 22 states – 18 of them Republican led – since 2010, making it harder for millions of Americans to exercise their right to vote.

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