Authors welcome, not shunned at The Regulator

A correction is needed for your misleading headline, “In Noir at the Bar, indie crime writers shunned by bookstores go straight to the readers.” Like most independent bookstores, The Regulator does not shun any writer based on who has published their book. We have always been glad to carry any book by a local writer, including those who have published their book through Amazon’s self-publishing division.

Ironically, it is Amazon who is actually shunning books at the momentthose published by Hachette, (aka Little Brown) because Hachette won’t knuckle under to Amazon’s financial demands. Authors from Stephen Colbert to Sherman Alexie have spoken out about this, but many other authors are “terrified” to speak out against Amazon, according to writer Douglas Preston.

When writerswho should be the standard bearers of freedom of expression in this countryare afraid to speak their minds, it is a good indication that Amazon’s 50 percent share of the book market is already too big. We will continue to carry Amazon’s self-published books, but we feel it would be healthier for the future of free expression if authors published their books elsewhere.

Tom Campbell, Durham

The writer is co-owner of The Regulator Bookshop.

Hold Duke responsible for coal ash clean up

Since the recent coal ash spill in February, several deficiencies in coal ash pipes have been found, potentially devastating our waterways. Having grown up in North Carolina, a state so rich in natural resources, it is frustrating to see our lakes and rivers being threatened by polluters like Duke Energy. What’s even more frustrating is watching our elected officials fail to effectively stand up for us and clean water laws. As a young person inheriting this issue, I’m concerned for the future of NC water and energy.

Last Wednesday, the N.C. Senate passed a bill outlining deadlines for the clean up of several coal ash ponds by 2029. While this is a necessary step forward, the language of the bill still neglects the interests of North Carolinians, allowing Duke Energy to pass on the total cost of the clean up, about $10 billion, to their customers. Estimates show this could add up to $20 per month to Duke Energy customers’ bills.

It is time for the men and women we put in Raleigh to do their jobs, hold Duke Energy responsible for its mess, and pass fair coal ash reform for the betterment of our state. Our water sources, from the Dan River to Jordan and Falls Lakes, need protection, but it is the polluters who need to pay for it not us.

C. Tyler Sharp, Chapel Hill