Keep funding intact

EDITOR: Did you know Althea Gibson, the late tennis star, lived here for a while? Local physician Hubert Eaton brought her to Wilmington to live in his home while she went to high school and honed the skills that later brought her dozens of major championships. But before she shattered the color barrier in international tennis, Gibson had the attributes of an at-risk youth in need of intervention.

Did you also know that sort of intervention is still going on here? The Lenny Simpson Tennis and Education Fund, a local nonprofit group, offers year-round tennis instruction and academic support to children who may lack the advantages of a stable, prosperous home.

The Simpson Fund is one of nine local nonprofits whose funding is to be slashed in the New Hanover County Commission’s 2017-18 budget. The conservative majority on the commission isn’t saying the nonprofit expenditures can’t be afforded; the cuts totaling $135,000 are a tiny fraction of the budget. The cuts are apparently being made on the grounds that these programs aren’t what we pay taxes for.

That’s not budgeting; it’s posturing. It’s sending a signal to a child teetering between hope and despair that his community does not care. I’m asking the commission to reconsider that message.

James Cummings, Wilmington

STRs hurt home values

EDITOR: Residential zoning exists to protect property owners in neighborhoods from commercial uses of adjacent property. Short-term rentals (STRs) are commercial uses.

STRs lower the value of adjacent properties. That’s why the NC Real Estate Commission has concluded that nearby STRs must be disclosed by a seller or agent as a negative fact to prospective buyers. It’s also why residential developments downtown have covenants that prohibit STRs, even though they are in the Central Business District where commercial uses are allowed.

City Council needs to do what cities from Miami to New York to Santa Barbara have been doing and prohibit STRs from residential districts to protect the property rights of their citizens – the neighbors that live in Wilmington's neighborhoods.

Joe Pawlik, Wilmington

Our health is at stake

EDITOR: While everyone was watching Comey as a first step toward unwinding President Trump's mess, the GOP House gutted the Dodd-Frank laws. Hold on to your money!

Now the Senate is trying to do the same thing with their horrible health care bill. No hearings are scheduled, not even for their colleagues. Never mind any public input.

I know people tend to dismiss me as an over-opinionated liberal, but it's time to put politics and labeling aside. Everyone, except the wealthiest 1 percent, will be negatively affected by that law. And it could be put to a vote without even most Senators having seen it. Not even their staffs will have read it.

Conservatives, is this the kind of government you want? I sincerely hope not.

Kathy Anderson, Wilmington

Doesn’t trust media

EDITOR: A significant number of liberal newspaper editors and television news producers have been flagrantly guilty of creating news out of whole cloth. They do this with nothing to support their proclamations of impending damning testimony coming out of various hearings and investigations.

They are asking people to trust them to be the guardians of the public interest, when they have demonstrated that they are rabid apostles of left wing liberalism.

It’s sadly amusing to watch Democratic senators make a laughingstock of themselves asking questions and refusing to accept the answers or drowning out the response when they don’t match the liberal agenda they pursue. In reality, they insult their readers/viewer’s intelligence.

Bob Quinn, Southport

Are there tapes?

EDITOR: Under oath, former Attorney General James Comey stated what President Trump said to him in several private meetings. President Trump, through his lawyer, has denied he said what Comey attributed to him. Will the president under oath deny what Comey said? Are there tapes of these meetings, as Trump at one time suggested, and will the White House release these tapes if they exist?

Larry Kessler, Leland