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The Readers' Forum: Thursday letters

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Quiet and thoughtful

Dan Besse is the candidate that Winston-Salem must elect to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. In a political season filled with vitriol and falsehood, Dan is the quiet, thoughtful professional who brings sanity and common sense to the board.

As an educator, I am personally aware of his support for public education. He supports all law enforcement agencies, a public safety perspective our community needs. Dan’s commitment is supported by two decades of service on our City Council, a proven record of accomplishment. For me, the icing on the cake is Dan’s willingness to work across the aisle. A vote for Dan is a vote for honesty and integrity for all of Forsyth County.

Marshall Marvelli


‘Nasty time’

It is again “nasty time” in our country. It used to be called election time, but that is no longer appropriate.

The tone and the name-calling in the letters in The Readers’ Forum is out of control and getting worse.

A small number, 5-10% of our citizens, are far-left and an equal number are far-right. The other 80-90% of us are somewhere in between.

Every Democrat is not a communist or socialist and every Republican is not a fascist. If you are only going to vote party lines, please at least look at the platforms of the other candidates, you might be surprised how much in common you have with a candidate from another party.

The important thing is to vote and I hope we will see larger turnouts than we usually see.

Tom Jones


Zero experience

The Oct. 18 letter “A hard worker” is a political endorsement for a Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board candidate who does not have “prior political or administrative school experience” — as though running for (and potentially being elected to) a public office for which someone has zero experience is a good thing. The writer goes on to call this candidate a “true outsider.”

Let’s say you are choosing a brain surgeon and read something like this: “Jane Doe has never been to medical school or practiced medicine, but she has had a brain since birth. She has been around people with brains all her life. She even owns an anatomy book (from high school), so she has seen pictures of brains, as well. Your brain is in good hands with Jane Doe.”

Or let’s pretend your kitchen sink is hopelessly clogged. Are you going to call your neighbor, John Doe, who has three sinks in his house and at least two bathtubs? After all, he can turn on a tap with the best of them.

Or are you going to call an actual plumber, someone on the “inside” who will be able to fix the problem?

It is mind-boggling to me that so many people seem to believe that “outsiders” who know nothing about the position for which they are running are the best candidates for public office. As for me, whether it is brain surgery, plumbing or serving on the school board, I prefer someone with experience.

Terri Kirby Erickson


Creating a legacy

Many of the recent mass shootings were done by teenagers. These horrible acts lead to many questions: What sparks random killing as a solution to problems? Is it an act of desperation from not being heard or properly cared for? Is it out of control social media and multimedia?

If young folks are confused or scared about the world, they look toward adults for the answers. They study the adults to see the handling of situations and relationships.

As a youngster, I was awestruck by how adults could navigate through daily life. But as an adult, I look at some of my fellow adults and am deeply concerned.

Are we creating a world for coming generations to feel happy, productive and positive? Are we creating a legacy through actions, laws and morals as building blocks for young generations? Are truth and commonsense principles the cornerstone of our efforts? I don’t think so.

The youth of today see groups of adults behaving as spoiled, self-centered, angry brats. They witness an overwhelming barrage of horrible behavior with fighting between different sides and a countless list of artificial divisions. Both sides’ goal is to win, retain power and everything else be damned.

The constant negativity has brought the nation down to a bleak and dark outlook for the future. I see it. The young people see it. All the negativity is fuel for whatever destructive fire it ignites — mass shooting, etc. Let’s all work on being better adults. It’s a start.

Nicholas Bragg Jr.


At their word

News media have reported very recently about Republican legislators’ plans to reduce Social Security and Medicare benefits if they regain the leadership in the U.S. Congress. Reputable outlets report that U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Rep. Buddy Carter (Georgia) and Rep. Steve Scalise (Louisiana) have confirmed this information.

While initially there will be no outright “cuts,” they have in mind delaying the age requirement to receive these benefits and undertaking an income analysis that will leave some of us with no benefits — despite having paid into these mandated funds for all of our working lives.

I take these Republicans at their word. They have demonstrated a total lack of fairness to ordinary citizens and an arbitrary allegiance to whomever pays the most into their reelection campaigns.

Please vote for Democratic candidates for the U.S. House and for candidate Cheri Beasley for the Senate. Your financial security may depend on it!

Mary Carmel Kaczmarek


Know local candidates

This year, many voters are focused on national campaigns. Rightly so. However, we often show up to vote, then realize we don’t recognize local candidates on the ballot.

It is critical that we know local candidates this year. We have some candidates for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board who are simply not qualified. Several are affiliated with extremist groups outside North Carolina that want to control the curricula and ban books — all under the guise of protecting parental rights.

But not all parents agree. There are books some would ban that other parents want available. There are curricula choices they condemn that others consider critical to a citizen’s education.

Qualified candidates should understand the school board’s powers. The local board cannot change curricula. That power lies with the state Board of Education. Any candidates who claim they will change curricula are either under-informed or willfully manipulating voters for their out-of-state cronies.

Prepare ahead by printing your precinct’s sample ballot at, then review your candidates’ websites.

To residents of School Board District 2, Republican or Democrat, this is not the year to vote along party lines. Vote only for the best candidates.

All voters may vote for at-large candidates. Based on my research, I am voting for Sabrina Coone-Godfrey, Deanna Kaplan and Richard Watts. Coone-Godfrey and Kaplan have extensive experience as parents in our local school system. Watts has been an award-winning principal with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. They know the schools and they understand the job. That’s what we need.

Lisa Sykes


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