Editor: I am reading a prize-winning history by Philip Dray, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: A History of Lynching of Black America (2002).  A Pulitzer-prize finalist, I don’t recommend the book to either the weak-of-heart or the weak-of-stomach. Mr. Dray does not attempt a complete account of all lynchings in the United States, and North Carolina and New Bern, are, fortunately,  not mentioned often, but when they are, at least in three incidents, mistakes of either omission or commission are made.  New Bern is mentioned as follows: In 1919 a lynching occurred of a man accused of murdering someone at the Roper Lumber Company,Read More →

Editor: A sign above the drive-thru payment window of the New Bern Utilities Building states “Thank you for your business.” While I paid my bill I was touched by the appreciation the city has for resident business but wonder why it’s necessary.  The city has a monopoly on the selling of electricity to New Bernians unless residents happen to be serviced by Duke Energy.   The alternative to doing “business” with the city is to do without — or put up some form of alternative energy source, not a likely alternative for most residents. Maybe the sign should read “Thank for not doing without — but itRead More →

Regarding the banner Sun-Journal headline (Feb. 4)- “Commissioner Changes Parties”, Craven County Commissioner Jason Jones said his change in party was prompted by recent legislation in New York to “allow abortion until birth.” That’s not exactly what happened.  As changes pertain to late-term abortion and, according to the Albany Times Herald Union, the New York legislature legalized abortion after 24 weeks in cases where it would protect a woman’s health or where a fetus is not viable.  State law previously only allowed abortion after 24 weeks if the woman’s life was in jeopardy. The legislature also stripped illegal abortions from the state’s criminal code and placed it withinRead More →

Contrary to FNN (Fake News Network), God had nothing to do with the recent rescue of the three-year-old boy in the wilds of Craven County.  This comes as a disappointment to those giving Him or Her false credit. At the time God was in Florida hustling a deal with our President Donald Trump. Mr Trump is interested in developing the After Life and wanted some assurance that a truly worthy place awaits him.   God played a round of golf, shot in the 70s, and listened while Mr. Trump rattled on about Heavenly Trump Mansions in the sky- all while the boy remained lost. In all humility, ifRead More →

Editor: In a recent on-line message the Sun Journal published some criticism of the celebrity Nicholas Sparks (“Per our story about Nicholas Sparks, etc.”). I don’t think it’s news to anyone that success is a hard thing to deal with. Andy Griffith, for instance, when in retirement and living in Manteo was notoriously rude to people  who had the misfortune to recognize him in a local store. I’ve never met one, but  professional athletes as a group are, I’m told by people who have, a bit proud of themselves — to the point of being “rude and hellish” (to paraphrase the remarks made online about Sparks). Speaking of athletes,Read More →

Editor: Inspired by the limerick “Sally” in the film series “The Crown” — with apologies to the Brits. John Phaup, New Bern Behold our Lord Donald the Rex Who believes only what he can text Tho plenty of navel to gaze (And much to our on-line dismays) He keeps his head up his glorious Apps.Read More →

Editor: I read a letter regarding New Bern’s utility department (Sun-Journal, June 15) with keen interest. The letter reminded  me of those written by Billy Smith a few years ago.  Smith, an avid preservationist and lover of New Bern, felt the city’s  alder men and women’s ability to do anything right ranked below John Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs committee.  May I offer a response to the points raised in the recent letter.   The reward the city provides utility users who pay on time is negative — that is the shiny truck does NOT show up to shut off your meter — as it does for non-payment.   But the ideaRead More →