Letters to the editor – Sunday – 4-24-16

Published 12:02 am Sunday, April 24, 2016

Change bathrooms instead of laws

I would like to suggest that it might be more helpful to focus in a different direction concerning the bathroom portion of HB2.

Years ago we addressed the problem of handicapped access by, among other things, making physical changes such as the addition of ramps, handicapped parking, larger bathroom stalls, etc. Rather than fighting about the transgender issue, the thing to do might be to turn our attention to bathroom design so as to increase privacy for everyone.

As others have noted, many bathrooms in Europe are unisex with a common area for hand washing and bathroom stalls with floor to ceiling walls and doors. Some of the common areas are fairly open with a separate door leading to the bathroom stall area. A similar approach might be a start to address public and school bathroom concerns.

Many businesses, such as gas stations, usually have bathrooms that only accommodate one person at a time. Some have only a single bathroom for both sexes. Many businesses also have family bathrooms. Such facilities should be of little concern.

Locker rooms could be designed with some private dressing areas for those who need or want it. This should be fairly easy with new construction. It may be a challenge with existing construction, but the experience with handicapped access should indicate that with some redesign it could be accomplished with existing construction. There may have to be some changes in building codes and laws as there were when addressing handicapped access.

I would like to suggest that this would be a better way to attack the problem rather than introducing religion, fear and fighting over the issue. Certainly architects and designers should be able to help address this problem.

— Roger Hull

China Grove

Mosquito haven?

There is a swamp on Jake Alexander Boulevard. We read and hear about dangerous viruses like Zika, West Nile and LaCross Encephalitis that are carried by mosquitoes. Many of these viruses are currently in the U.S., specifically in the Southeast.

These viruses cause serious health problems, and yet, we have a mosquito breeding ground on a major thoroughfare, and no one seems to care.

Why hasn’t the owner of the swamp property in the 1200 block of Jake Alexander Boulevard across from Harrison Road been required to clean up the property? Water run-off ponds that can be mosquito controlled are seen on business property around town. Why hasn’t something been done about the property on Jake?

Not only does wet property like this breed mosquitoes, it attracts vermin and snakes. The home owners within a square mile of this location are being affected. The standing water is always present. This is not just overflow from Grants Creek.

If this property was vacant land with overgrown weeds, the city would demand that it be mowed and maintained.

It is time for action by the city, and it is time for the city to explain why they have not addressed this serious health concern.

— Larry Bowyer