I'm shocked to see your cover of white boys playing banjos on your "Year in Music" issue [Dec. 12], omitting the largest-trending musical genre of our time.
For those of us in the know, electronic music's roots in the United States were primarily explored by African-Americans living in Chicago, Detroit and New York City. It spanned the backbone of disco, breakdance, hip-hop and industrial, spawning the genres of house, techno and electro. As it morphed in the U.K., both black and white artists pioneered hardcore, drum & bass and dubstep.
The Triangle, through the last 25 years, has had a thriving community of DJs and producers who never receive an ounce of ink in your publication. Trailblazing talent like Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Tiesto and Skrillex have all performed locally and rarely have been mentioned in your newspaper. Artists such as Porter Robinson and Owen Sands consistently chart highly on Beatport; if any of your "indie" bands did as well on iTunes, you'd be screaming from the rooftops about the "scene" having reached a new pinnacle. Moog Music, the premier synthesizer manufacturer, is even based in N.C.
For a publication that claims to be diverse, liberal and independent, your dismissal and intolerance of electronic music and DJs is conservatively backward in this 21st century.
Andrew Meadors, Chapel Hill
Group homes across the state were put on notice that funding shortfalls may cause their windows to be boarded up. Last week, we were again tragically reminded of the results of abandoning the mentally disturbed. Coincidentally, last week in Raleigh, a handful of civic-minded activists are celebrating the plundering of the Dix Hospital complex for a local park ["Dix is saved," Dec. 5].
These self-righteous few, long-supported by the INDY, pulled the property from greedy developers but are deaf to the injustice of their own deeds. The Dix property has a market value of about $870 million and an annual rental value of about $8 million. The gift to the Dix 306 coven calls for an annual rent of less than 1/16th of the market value. How many safe, clean, therapeutic group homes across North Carolina could be funded with that state asset? We had another tragic reminder last week of the failure to treat the disabled. Styx 306 is both a humanitarian outrage and a danger to society.
If a park for Raleigh is the alternative to treatment for the mentally handicapped, it should be decorated with two sculptures: one should be called SHAME; and the second called WARNING.
Don Ward, Raleigh
My name is Jhana Parikh, and I'm a junior at Enloe High School. Recently, the Wake County School Board announced that their fund balance was replenished faster than expected, leaving them with $32 million in unallocated funds. Many people have questioned what will happen to the extra money. My solution: a school-based health center (SBHC) for my fellow students and me.
A SBHC is a fully functioning health clinic on a school campus that serves the students and is staffed with nurses, doctors and even mental health professionals. These centers provide acute services, such as immunizations, sports physicals and counseling, and are available every day of the week. One would think that, as the capital county of North Carolina, we would have at least two or three SBHCs, but Wake County doesn't have any.
However, Wake County does have more than 25,000 uninsured students. These students often go to the emergency room when they need care, which can cost thousands in medical bills. SBHCs, while serving all students, primarily serve the uninsured, helping them stay out of the ER and in school. Please support the new school board chair, Keith Sutton, in using this money for an SBHC in Wake County.
Jhana Parikh, Cary
Now that the campaign season is over, we can finally get a break from all those awful ads. Most people know that those ads and the huge sums of money that paid for them were unleashed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision legalizing rule by big money.
Well did you know that the election brought us one quarter of the way to reversing that decision by amending the U.S. Constitution? The 11 states that have called for an amendment now include Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, Rhode Island, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Montana and Colorado. Nearly 80 percent of Americans, including 68 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats, want a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Let's add North Carolina to that list. Go to www.movetoamend.org and be part of the solution.
Mabel Crabtree, Hillsborough