On Thursday, we broke the news that Hillsborough’s Mystery Brewing Company—and its popular brewpub—would close, with the brewery having too much debt to make ends meet following a string of bad luck. Jonathan Bonchak writes in response: “The story of N.C. craft beer does not exist were it not for Erik Lars Myers and the Mystery team. Thank you for all you’ve done—not just for the beer industry, but for the whole region, in terms of appreciation of craft beverage, food, and the local/independent business community.”
D Ryan Anderson adds: “You can tell how much work, thought, and love they put into this project. It’s true that small business requires a nimble entrepreneur. Sometimes even that is not enough. I hope the recovery from this stumble is quick and leads to someplace even better.”
We also reported last week on Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest’s weird pro-voter-ID video, in which he gives tips on how to commit voter fraud. Brian Castle comments: “There’s only one reason that white guys in power rail about voter ID. It’s to specifically disenfranchise those for whom getting an ID is hard (poor people/people of color), and they always follow up these types of laws with actions to make getting those IDs even harder, like closing DMV offices in areas where those folks live. What an asshole this guy is.”
Matthew Brown responds to our reporting on the Raleigh City Council’s slow-walking and possible rejection of wayfinding kiosks downtown, which were favored by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, but which council member Kay Crowder thought would make downtown look like Las Vegas: “Why do we need ‘wayfinding kiosks’?” Brown asks. “This is 2018! We have smartphones! These are nothing but big tacky plastic advertisements. Thank you, city council, for keeping this ugly commercial clutter out of our downtown!”
A few weeks ago, we released an investigation into what happened at the Montessori School of Raleigh, where a longtime teacher was charged with sexually abusing two students, and the head of school was charged with aiding and abetting his abuse. Elizabeth M. Johnson writes: “I read the ‘Molester in the Classroom’ article with alarm but also recognition. For some of us reading (including myself as a trauma educator who has worked with sexual abuse survivors for almost fifteen years), it’s clear there were many red flags that weren’t recognized or responded to. But perhaps others of us might have done as Nancy Errichetti did: offer some warnings, create a ‘behavioral plan,’ and hope things got better.
“Therein lies the problem: Very few professionals (even those doing direct work with children like teachers and school administrators) receive any training in how to identify the signs of sexual abuse and respond accordingly. This is a huge gap that must be addressed. School educators and staff should receive annual training and education around sexual abuse. The long-term health implications of childhood trauma like sexual abuse are significant. Our future literally depends on the health and wellness of our children. Let’s do better.”
Janice A. Farringer adds: “Good reporting. I hope the felony charge makes other school administrators report and fire faster.”
Finally, Erica Hellerstein wrote in early October about a Durham woman who is seeking asylum under a domestic-violence claim, which the Trump administration no longer recognizes.
David Vascones responds: “Thanks be to God for the brilliant reporting by Ms. Hellerstein on the story of Isabel’s family and her journey to seek asylum in the United States from Honduras. At this moment in history, when the most vulnerable brothers and sisters in our human family are having door after door slammed in their faces by unjust policies, irresponsible government officials, and cultural forces around the world that shut down the voices of women crying out for help, this article is a clarion call for justice. May it move us all to greater compassion, solidarity, and action.”
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