The Triangle region needs a robust, regional mass transit system of expanded bus service and rail to help plan for growth, improve air quality and increase jobs. With strong leadership from Wake and Durham representatives, the N.C. House took a significant step in that direction by passing House Bill 148. The final vote was 75-40, not 70-45 as reported in "House approves half-cent sales tax for transit; Senate next" (by Bob Geary, April 29). The vote demonstrates overwhelming support for transit, including from a large number of Republicans.
We commend Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, for her tireless work leading this bill. Reps. Jennifer Weiss, D-Wake, and Paul Luebke, D-Durham, also should be recognized for their efforts, along with other lawmakers from the Triangle who supported the bill.
The transit bill now moves to the Senate, where there is bipartisan support from Triangle senators, notably, Sen. Richard Stevens, R-Wake, the bill's primary sponsor. Broad support for transit in the General Assembly is critical, but passing the bill is only one hurdle to improved public transportation—the next will be to pass voter referenda in all three Triangle counties approving the half-cent sales tax increase to launch the regional transit system.
Two alliances of local organizations, civic leaders and citizens—the Capital Area Friends of Transit and Durham-Orange Friends of Transit—have formed in support of regional transit. These coalitions are working to build public support and political will for a convenient, accessible and affordable transit system to meet the growing needs of our region. All citizens are invited to join these coalitions at www.capitalareafriendsoftransit.org and www.durhamorangefriendsoftransit.org.
Karen Rindge, WakeUp Wake County
From the Web:
Regarding "Economically speaking," by Lisa Bellamy, May 6: In our age of grandiose entitlement, greed, toxic consumerism and never-enoughness, your words came over me like a wave of sanity.
One the greatest casualties of our youth today is that they seem to literally have no realistic reference point of lack or serious struggle, the kind that would bring any human to their knees and provide an opportunity for a crisis of faith or the modern equivalent. Contentment seems to be the most underrated quality in our current culture. If we raise one another in a way where there is a constant state of need for more, then we all lose out in the most basic and simplest states of existing that we can experience. And contentment will always seem to be elusive to us if we never got a chance to experience survival with few or scant possessions. If we deny one another some sense of true struggle then we rob each other of that chance to feel peaceful and even happy with little or nothing materialistic to show.