Re: Google joins ALEC

I’m grateful to coffee shop Cocoa Cinnamon for banning Google Glass, as noted by Lisa Sorg (“A crack in Google glass,” Oct. 9). Maybe Google could be disinvited from Durham completely.

Google has just decided to join American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which promotes such legislation as the Stand Your Ground laws made notorious by the Trayvon Martin case. ALEC’s lawyers and lobbyists draft “model bills” to benefit the interests of banks and the multinational corporations. These templates are presented to legislators at distant meetings behind closed doors and introduced sometimes verbatim to Congress and state legislatures across the country.

While many corporations recently left ALEC out of embarrassment for being associated with an organization so directly contrary to social justice and so subversive of our democratic system of government, Google (and Facebook and Yelp) are joining.

In case you like the recent spate of Cro-Magnon laws out of Raleigh, ALEC is a major influence. You can thank ALEC and now Google. There was something cool and different about Google?

David Kirsh, Durham

Re: Women priests

I found your article in the INDY interesting (“The Holy See is blind,” Oct. 16) but not much of a reason to change a viewpoint. There are a multitude of churches that ordain women as priests and ministers, so it’s very simple to attend the services of one of those. I happen to be a Catholic and I’d like to see the priesthood continue to be all male. You indicate you have left the Catholic Church, so you are certainly happy with your decision and that’s what counts. If I’m not pleased with the rules of the Catholic Church, I can leave as well.

I have to laugh at the number of cases that come forward of people who seem to want to challenge the status of our way of life. A high school girl who plays soccer and wants to play on the boys’ team, even though there is a girls’ soccer team in the sameschool; a case of a boy who can’t decide if he’s a boy or a girl and wants to be able to use either bathroom in his school whenever he wants. It seems that many of the girls in the school were very unhappy with that procedure.

Life can be difficult, especially when people make it that way, themselves.

Dick Kozacko, Raleigh

Re: Hofmann Forest

The INDY continues to report only one side of the Hofmann Forest controversy (“Who is buying Hofmann Forest?” Oct. 9). The fact that a handful of people have sued means that neither N.C. State University nor the Natural Resources Foundation can comment publicly. True, we don’t know who the potential buyer is, but the reason the negotiations have taken so long is that the university would like to sell the forest but have it retain the Hofmann name, continue to provide access to students for field trips, continue any ongoing research projects and have a conservation easement in perpetuity to guarantee it remains a working forest.

Both the Marine Corps and a national land trust have been involved in the latter discussions. The idea that the sale would “prompt massive development on all land possible” [editor’s note: this quote is according to the coalition’s complaint] is absurd. The fact is that the forest is a pine plantation, not a natural forest with “an abundance of rare wildlife and plants,” and the plaintiff’s own records show that the forest has been used only marginally over the past 70 years for teaching or research.

Both university administrators and the Natural Resources Foundation Board (most of whom are N.C. State grads with forest industry positions)have met openly and in private with anyone wishing input on the forest sale. Thus the INDY article was both inaccurate and misleading. In controversial issues, the hearing of both sides is more appropriate.

Robert D. Brown, Cary

Re: Balanchine ballet

I read Lightsey Darst’s review of the Balanchine program that the Carolina Ballet performed to open its 16th season (“Polishing the jewels,” Oct. 16).
There are more than a few balletomanes who think it is time to stop fawning over Mr. Balanchine. Was Balanchine “incomparable” as the review stated? Is a leggy “go-for-broke” extension the mark of a great ballet or a great ballerina? The extensions of the great ballerina Margot Fonteyn were not high. Let’s pay homage to other 20th-century choreographic giants like Antony Tudor, Frederick Ashton and, yes, Jerome Robbins. Tudor stand out as someone whose marriage of movement, drama and emotion is still unmatched. If the Tudor Trust would agree, it would be nice to see the Carolina Ballet, a company that does story-dance so well, perform Pillar of Fire or another great Tudor work.

Beverly Wilson, Chapel Hill