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Re: Recording at home; Meals tax 

Dissing professionals

I was surprised and disappointed after reading "Record at home: The Rosebuds and Annuals make it work" (cover stories, by Grayson Currin and Matt Saldaña, Oct. 1). These articles give the erroneous impression that Annuals made a major portion of their upcoming major-label CD, Such Fun, at their home studio. This is simply not true.

As a co-owner of Osceola Studios, and a producer/ engineer, I found that the tone of the articles slights every audio professional by implying that results of this caliber were obtained at a home studio. For the record, the major portions of this project were recorded at two very professional recording facilities: Osceola Studios in Raleigh and Echo Mountain in Asheville. In addition, a significant outlay of financial support from the record label made it possible for this project to meet the label's requirements of quality. The project was intensely shepherded by experienced professionals at both studios, and the final product was mixed by Grammy-nominated engineer Ian Schreier.

Recording in home environments (some are better than others) do provide positive attributes to a project. There are some advantages to being off the clock. Creative pre-production is always an added value. But by propagating the notion that this level of audio togetherness is obtainable by purchasing the latest gear, the writers have done a disservice to the years of work that professionals have put into separating themselves from the home-recording enthusiast.

There is a reason why Canvasback (Sony BMG) invested the kind of money it did with these audio professionals and these recording studios.

Dick Hodgin

Food tax not fair

Regarding Vernal Coleman's article about Durham's proposed prepared food tax ("Food fight," Oct. 8), I'd like to add a few points. 

I would like to see us do the things that this tax would pay for, but if it fails, we'll need a plan B. Fortunately, plan B—a bond referendum like those that have won with 60 percent to 80 percent margins for the last dozen years—would be less onerous for struggling families with children.

A primary reason to care about tax fairness is that a family under financial stress is the likeliest incubator for a child who drops out, gets pregnant, becomes an addict or joins the criminal economy. Since only a third of Durham households have children, average household figures unintentionally make most homes with children almost invisible. The average working- or middle-class home has about two and half people, so a couple with three kids could be paying twice as much. At bottom, the tax is based on how many mouths you have to feed. Most families with children will pay more than in a comparable tax increase.

Additionally, no metaphor is perfect, but if the feds wanted to shift the tax burden from corporations and onto working parents coming here from Canada and Mexico, would you vote for it? The prepared food tax shifts the burden from subsidized corporations in Treyburn and RTP onto working parents from Wake and Orange.

Finally, the advocates' example is based on the strange idea that an average household earning $36,000 owns a $200,000 house. That's not realistic.

For more realistic numbers, plug your own income and house value into a formula in my online comments on the article. And get ready for plan B.

Frank Hyman

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