First up, ROBIN KIRK argues for keeping Steve Unruhe on the Durham County Board of Education: “Steve has deep experience working to better our schools as a teacher and adviser (to the Riverside Pirates’ Hook, which my son wrote for). As an elected official, he and his fellow board members have made huge strides in improving our ever-changing schools for all children, including by promoting more cultural awareness and ESL support, better pay and teacher support, and changes in disciplinary policies to ensure more kids get help and stay in school. For me, Steve has the teaching experience and proven leadership ability to continue that vital work.”

In that race—we endorsed Alexandra Valladares—DONNA KING is upset that we didn’t mention Paula Januzzi-Godfrey, whom she describes as perhaps “the most qualified candidate ever to run for the Durham school board. Her platform is progressive and ambitious, and her professional history as a parent, teacher, instructional coach, mentor teacher, and in so many other roles across many schools and settings in Durham would make her a real voice for the people ‘on the ground’—especially in our most challenged schools.”

Several writers pushed back against our recommendation of Amy Fowler over Mark Marcoplos for Orange County commissioner. Among them, BARRY JACOBS: “You suggest someone ‘a little more skeptical’ than Marcoplos might have better served the county’s fiscal interests in working to advance light rail. Yet you have heartily endorsed without similar qualification both an incumbent Durham County commissioner and a mayor far more vociferous in supporting GoTriangle’s plans. You question the expenditure of a large chunk of county funds to address climate change and criticize the lack of a predetermined plan that accommodates public input. Then you turn around and praise a challenger for embracing collaborative decision-making. You also criticize the climate change expenditure in a county ‘already among the highest-taxed counties in the state.’ Yet you endorse a pair of challengers from a Board of Education that perpetually complains it is starved for funds and can’t tame its capital needs or close a huge, persistent achievement gap.”