On Feb. 26, the CHN ran a letter from long-time CHCCS guidance counselor Mary Gratch (http://bit.ly/yw7KJw
) regarding Project Ubuntu (CHN, Feb. 8, http://bit.ly/wd2kKa
). This is a campaign in which I will travel to every state in the U.S. in support of citizen service. The name comes from an African proverb meaning "My humanity is tied to yours."
Mary herself is at the core of the project as a living embodiment of ubuntu. She has always recognized that making a difference isn't just about fiscal or social policy; it's about giving one's time and energy to help others. Without the love and support of counselors like Mary, Chapel Hill's bright young leaders would struggle to find their place amidst the competitive excitement of our schools.
The goal of Project Ubuntu is to re-affirm to people like Mary that her efforts are vital, and to inspire others to do their part. As Americans we need to continue to cultivate a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit in young people, but we also need to challenge ourselves to expand our notion of community. Like Dr. Martin Luther King, we must "dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity."
Mary's children, CHHS alumni Ellen and Michael, carry her legacy by dedicating their talents to service, and Ellen is currently working in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. We plan to link her into Project Ubuntu via Skype.
In North Carolina this December, Project Ubuntu will support Durham-based music service initiative KidZNotes. I want to encourage you to check our website (http://www.projectubuntu.info/
) and upcoming CHN editions for updates on how you can get involved and help us pursue this dream for our nation.Daniel Becton Project UbuntuFlat-out un-American
Eileen Yuengling of Durham (CHN, March 7, http://bit.ly/z0b5hd
) gives her church's rationale for denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. To which I say, fine, then don't perform those weddings in your church.
But it is a great leap from there to the notion that North Carolina ought to constitutionally outlaw same-sex marriages and even domestic partnerships, a leap that lands her quite far from the historic values of American society. Not only does the U.S. Constitution forbid governmental establishment of religion but our Declaration of Independence asserts that we are all created equal, endowed with the same natural rights.
Our constitution protects Ms. Yuengling's right to practice her religion according to its creed. It also protects the rest of us from religious-based intolerance.
Yeungling's letter clarifies why it is so important to oppose Amendment One. It reveals that the forces behind the amendment seek to impose their religious values on the rest of us. That is flat out un-American and should be rejected by all who value our historic traditions of equality and of an expanding understanding of civil rights and liberties.Dan Coleman CarrboroCole Park concern
The businesses that will be most hurt by this new Walmart (CHN, March 4, http://bit.ly/xkGWaA) are those in Cole Park Plaza: Lowe's grocery store, the Dollar Store, the auto parts store, and the CVS. Pope's hardware has already decided to close down, but I imagine the True Value hardware on Lystra Church Road will also be negatively impacted.
The Walmart will offer new products, such as clothing, toys, and kitchen and bath goods, so why will most people not use them for everything? If I owned one of the stores at Cole Park Plaza, I would be hopping mad with Chatham County. I'm hoping the Cole Park Plaza owners will deny this new shopping area access to their water and sewer connections.Terri Buckner Via the OrangeChat blogA vital resource
Public transportation in America is a vital resource, and is the key to a strong economy and a clean environment. It creates a link between the communities of Orange County, providing residents with affordable access to the places they live, work, learn, and play. The proposed light rail in our region of North Carolina will not only provide Orange County residents with public transportation, it will also reduce our dependence on foreign oil, mitigate traffic congestion, and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
Light rail and bus rapid transit will not only move bodies, it will also boost our local economy and create jobs. Studies by the American Public Transportation Association show that public transit benefits all citizens, even those who never board a bus or train, with $4 in economic activity generated for every $1 invested in public transportation. The county will benefit from increased access to local businesses and the attendant local tax revenue. Light rail is a vital part of moving our community into the 21st century of transportation and economic growth.
In November 2011, I attended the League of Municipal Cities Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.. One conference segment took place on the Metro Light Rail from Phoenix to Tempe, home of Arizona State University. Phoenix has one of our nation’s newest rails, with operations starting in December 2008. In March 2010 ridership far exceeded the first year projections and by 2011 daily ridership had exploded. The Phoenix metro system was created through a regional transportation plan that involved a half percent sales tax, approved by voters in 2000. There are currently 28 stations, with an ongoing planning effort for six extensions that will expand the 28-mile system to 57 miles by 2031.
We should not delay our vote to support the light rail and bus rapid transit system. If we are serious about moving economic development forward in Orange County, we must have a 21st century transit system in place. As an Orange County commissioner, I will make transit a priority.Penny Rich Chapel HillA new Leaf
It has come to my attention that electric cars are becoming popular due to cheaper costs and a stronger focus on the environment. The local towns around me have very few charging stations for electric cars.
My family recently purchased a Nissan Leaf. More charging stations should be added to Chapel Hill’s commercial district to relieve car owners fears of running out of battery charge. As electric cars become common, these stations will allow visitors from a larger area to come to our fine town.
More citizens would stay in town longer while their vehicle charged, potentially boosting revenues for local businesses. If the stations were installed, Chapel Hill would be seen as both welcoming to all types of shoppers and a place that cares about the environment.Julie Watterson
PittsboroWhere’s the respect?
I'm working on my Eagle Scout rank and I need to email the local paper and express my opinion about a subject of my choice. I am a junior at Chapel Hill High School also play football and lacrosse.
This year the CHHS football team finished 10-2 in the regular season and made it to the second round of the state playoffs, although we were picked to finish fourth in the conference and received little respect from in our area. The Chapel Hill News didn't give the CHHS football team the respect they deserved. The primary articles were about East Chapel Hill High and how their offence was so high powered and how their quarterback was great, even thought they lost almost all of their games and missed the playoffs yet another year. The CH news rarely picked my team to win (as we were picked to finish almost last in the conference). The way the Chapel Hill news described our victories was a "winning ugly", a description that seems to take away from the fact that we were winning.
I have been meaning to send this email for some time and it will seem out of place, being that football season is long over, but I want to remind the NandO that Chapel Hill deserves respect. This past season proves that, and hopefully this upcoming football season the CH news will give a fair report of the sports situation around the town regardless of who is affiliated to that team.Matthew Christy Troop 39
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