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Letters to the Editor

Firing shortsighted
I thank the Independent and Fiona Morgan for your article about the massacre at the Herald-Sun ("Black Monday at The Herald-Sun," Jan. 5). As its reader, I was not informed. Please keep us up to date!

I was dismayed when I learned that the ownership of the Herald-Sun had left the city. However, I was somewhat relieved that a small chain of local newspapers was the purchaser.

How wrong I was! Meeting employees arriving at work and summarily marching them out the door is the crassest of behavior even by large corporations. It is ugly no matter who does it!

It was also short-sighted. Any job, including manual labor, benefits from experience over time, the best of which is enriched by talent, zeal, education, continual learning and honesty--something the business and institutional world seems to be forgetting. The new management of the Herald-Sun has thrown it out wholesale along with a lot of goodwill. We might as well go back to the News & Observer. I especially miss Robert Wilson and Jim Wise whom I know slightly, but these comments are for all those so roughly mistreated. I had a story to suggest to Mr. Wise.

Why are so many managers so narrow-minded? Is it a lack of a liberal arts education, ethics, humanity? What?
William R. Erwin, Jr.
Durham

Durhamites deserved better
The manner in which loyal employees were ripped from their desks and forcibly escorted out of the Herald-Sun building last week is one more indicator of the increasing meanspiritedness enveloping both business and government. I hope we residents of Durham and surrounding areas will have the civic pride and self-dignity to cancel all our subscriptions to the Herald-Sun paper and urge all our friends to do the same. Please don't just allow a corporation to treat our fellow Durhamites this way and yet continue to count on our support! How about everyone who reads this doing the same thing I'm doing--write letters to the editors of other local publications and make sure we don't just look the other way at this vicious behavior. Wouldn't it be a wonderful lesson for Paxton Media Group LLC to go broke here in Durham because the citizens will not tolerate such corporate practices?
Bo Lozoff
Human Kindness Foundation
Durham

Think ahead
Thank you for your profile on Rev. Buchanan and his admirable work at Stop Hunger Now ("Compassion on the cheap," Jan. 5). But while our government's record on humanitarian aid is appalling, the U.S. public's response to tsunami victims in South Asia has been tremendous, so much so that Doctors Without Borders, one of the world's most reputable and ethical aid organizations, has reported that it has received sufficient funds for their current emergency response in South Asia.

A surprising statement given how much devastation the tsunami left in its wake, yet it makes sense when one considers the fact that aid organizations are gearing up for the long haul. They aren't lacking in funds right now, when every newspaper's front pages are covered in disturbing large-scale photos of mothers gripping dead children, bodies burning in pyres and mangled corpses rotting on the streets. It's too hard to ignore South Asia.

But think ahead one year--when aid organizations are just beginning the exhaustive and expensive process of rebuilding infrastructures and attempting to redevelop destroyed villages sustainably--and donations from the regular folks have all but dropped off.

Instead of rushing to your checkbook now, when it's practically socially unacceptable not to give to relief efforts in South Asia, consider holding off for a year. And you can still pat yourself on the back for "lending a helping hand," but just have some patience.
Louisa Warren
Raleigh

talk back.
Got something to say about an Independent article? Send no more than 300 words to backtalk@indyweek.com; to P.O. Box 2690, Durham 27715; or fax 286-4274. Include your name, phone number and mailing address for verification; we cannot publish a letter without confirmation from the writer. We reserve the right to edit letters for length, style and clarity.

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