The butterfly in Linda Mace's absolutely superb photo in the Chapel Hill News published on Feb. 19 is called the Question Mark.
The reason is that there is a small silvery line on the underside of the hind wing that resembles a question mark.
A closely related species is called the Eastern Comma as it has a silvery line on the underside of the hind wing that resembles that element of punctuation.Nicholas GillhamChapel Hill Traffic signal needed
When Smith Level Road is reconstructed, every car in southern Carrboro will be shunted through just one intersection: the intersection at Smith Level and BPW Club Road. Every time a resident of southern Carrboro starts up the car to drive into the town center, or to Chapel Hill, Durham, RTP, Raleigh, or Greensboro, he or she will have to travel through the intersection at Smith Level and BPW Club Road. That intersection will be much more congested than it is now, because 100-plus cars in the Berryhill neighborhood will no longer be allowed to turn left on Smith Level Road, but will be expected to make a U-turn through the Smith Level-BPW Road intersection. I have not heard any discussion of how this will prolong wait times at the intersection to let all the U-turning cars through, or whether the line of cars making U-turns will obstruct traffic in other lanes (like they do now at the intersection of Highway 54 and I-40).
DOT staff recently promised the Carrboro Board of Aldermen that they would study traffic patterns in southern Carrboro that will be altered by the Smith Level Road project. I hope they will see the need for installing a new traffic signal at Smith Level Road and Willow Oak Lane, which would allow 100-plus cars from Berryhill to turn left on to Smith Level Road without having to make a U-turn through the Smith Level-BPW Club Road intersection. A new traffic signal at this location would benefit every resident in southern Carrboro. It would also protect the elementary school zone at the bottom of the hill from speeding traffic.
So far, DOT staff have been extremely reluctant to consider a new traffic signal at this location. I hope the Carrboro Board of Aldermen will support the residents of southern Carrboro by pressuring DOT to install a traffic signal at Smith Level Road and Willow Oak Lane for the benefit of our community. To the Board of Aldermen: if you don't think this is important, please look closely at a map of our town, or better yet, spend half an hour driving through southern Carrboro so you can understand what is coming.Thomas B. ColeCarrboroStronger gun laws
In response to Tim Galliher's letter "Gun Control Naïve" (CHN, Feb 15) he is right, there is no country that has "eliminated" homicides. However, many have tremendously reduced homicides with stronger gun laws. We may never be entirely free from the threat of gun violence, but we could reduce that threat with common-sense laws, if only the NRA would stop putting gun manufacturers' profits ahead of American families and lives.Mr. Galliher's statement, "energy and concern should be redirected to the numerous deaths on our highways because automobile fatalities far exceeds those due to firearms" is akin to saying, don't waste your time trying to cure cancer when heart disease is the leading cause of death.
And although "both cars and guns have the potential to serve a real need in our world," cars are made to transport people and goods from place to place. Guns are made to kill. Guns too often live up to their potential. We deserve the right to be safe and free from gun violence, but guns are now everywhere and threaten that freedom.Gail NeelyAssistant directorNorth Carolinians Against Gun Violence Education FundValentine serenade
I would personally like to offer my own ROSES to A Helping Hand. For the last 11 years, A Helping Hand, expertly led by director Cathy Ahrendsen and her staff, have been the driving force behind their annual Valentine Delivery and Serenade which is a community-wide event that results in delivering more than 3,000 hand-crafted valentines to older adults.
The 2012 event kicked off at Carol Woods Retirement Community in Chapel Hill Saturday, Feb. 11, with a capella performances by the UNC Achordants, the UNC Loreleis, and the Duke Rhythm and Blue, who shared love songs with residents of Carol Woods Retirement Community. Mayor Pro Tem Ed Harrison presented special valentine cards to couples who had been married more than 50 years, or were more than 100 years old.
After performing in the Carol Woods assembly hall, the three groups split and each visited the various assisted living buildings and health care center floors accompanied by A Helping Hand staff and board members who were delivering hand-crafted valentine cards and long-stemmed red roses as the groups sang love song after love song.
Following the events at Carol Woods, more than 150 volunteers made deliveries of valentines and roses to seniors in the community which includes older adults in local hospitals, assisted living, and retirement communities.
Longtime Valentine Delivery and Serenade participant Congressman David Price made special presentations at Alta Walk and The Seasons at Southpoint that afternoon. According to Congressman Price, the annual Valentine Delivery and Serenade "represents our community and this country at its best."
As a board member I was so touched and proud to be a part of this heart-warming event. I especially enjoyed the final performance of the UNC Achordants in the Carol Woods Building 5 dining room as several of the men circulated the room, going down on one knee to take the hands of a few of the women in the room. To see the girlish blush of pleasure on the women's faces at being sung to and being the center of attention was almost more than I can describe.Deborah Wagoner MillerBoard memberA Helping HandOur bitter fruit
The rising rate of teen/pre-teen alcoholism is the latest confirmation of the bitter fruit produced by adult complacency about underage drinking.
Alcohol is an addictive drug, regardless of age. But for still-developing teen bodies, there is no safe usage. This is particularly true since most drinking teens consume excessively. Ninety percent of alcohol they consume occurs while binge drinking.
Though excessive alcohol use is the third-leading preventable cause of general population death, it's the leading cause of teen death, killing more teens than all other drugs combined. Collegiate alcohol-related deaths and poisonings are at record levels.
Without highlighting the many bad behaviors long associated with alcohol use, rapidly developing medical findings regarding alcohol's serious health harms make it the "tobacco product" of the 21st century.
A cause of more than 60 diseases or health conditions, its use is associated with more than 200 others. Linked to various forms of cancer, its use is also associated with damage to the heart, liver, lungs, pancreas, circulatory system, genetic makeup and others.
With many young lives compromised by alcohol before their life journey truly begins, adults must be more responsible about preventing teen drinking.
A complicated problem not likely to be solved by children, adults must stop enabling or ignoring teen drinking. Adult complacency serves only alcohol industry interests at the expense of teen health and welfare.
Specifically targeting teens, the industry knows the danger. It's up to us to do something about it.Ronald E. BogleChapel Hill
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