Got a garden?
After a most successful Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour in April, plans are already under way for the next tour, scheduled for April 2014. The search is on for gardens and we need your help.
Do you or your Chapel Hill neighbor have a beautiful garden? If so, the tour Steering Committee will be accepting nominations now through mid-to-late June. Please visit our website chapelhillgardenclub.net
for application details and eligible ZIP codes. Tour proceeds benefit the N.C. Botanical Garden and the educational/community service projects of the Chapel Hill Garden Club.
We invite you to be a part of this Chapel Hill tradition! Stepheny Houghtlin President Chapel Hill Garden ClubOther options
Imagine the following scenario: Your department at work is told that you need to increase productivity. You all work very hard and end up increasing productivity by 28 percent. Expecting praise, you are instead greeted with the news that your department is being dismantled. Does this make any sense?
This is essentially what the district is proposing to do to Frank Porter Graham (FPG) elementary school. Despite a 28 percent improvement in closing the achievement gap, the current proposal suggests dismantling the school in favor of a dual language magnet school. While many of us support expanding dual language access, we do not support doing so at the expense of a thriving neighborhood school.
Also, it’s clear that Chairwoman Mia Burroughs is presenting a false choice to the school board: either vote to pass this plan or “do nothing.” Indeed, as was evident during the school board discussions, there are many other options available to increase access, including expanding the programs at their current locations; creating a district-wide lottery program; and/or establishing a magnet at one of the new elementary schools.
As the district itself has admitted, the process it employed was wrought with problems and has led to a divisive atmosphere on this issue. The school board should heal these wounds by siding with the people that this decision affects most – the communities at FPG and other neighborhood schools who have voiced their fundamental disagreement with the notion of dismantling any thriving neighborhood school in favor of something purported to be better.Seth Noar Chapel Hill Marriage mystery
Regardless of what some may think, marriage equality in the United States is going to happen; the majority of Americans of nearly every demographic support it, even in North Carolina, and that majority is growing. What a shame that another useless stumbling block has been thrown in the way of progress. Why anyone would be terrified of basic civil liberties of any kind is a mystery to me.
On May 9, I managed to catch the tail end of a post-election rally at UNC, and was fortunate to hear Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt’s words of solidarity and engagement, and it was heartening to see that positive attitude re-affirmed by his statements in the May 23 CHN (bit.ly/KLEkC1
Also, I want to take a moment and express my appreciation for the folks who still display their anti-Amendment One signs. Riding around town on the bus as much as I do, it is comforting to see these public commitments to an unmaking of the discrimination that so many mis-informed voters put into law. Thank you all.Rob Hamilton Chapel HillOur common past
First, congratulations to My View columnist Catherine Wright on having a daughter concerned about nature and willing to do something to mitigate our worst impacts on our environment (CHN May 27, bit.ly/JCtFcD
). Then, I’d like to make a case for being very discriminating in what her daughter and her friends remove from Cates Creek.
Like many of our local creeks, Cates Creek is historically a commercial waterway. There are, for example, three dams and a mill site, and a wonderfully preserved cobbled road and ford on the creek, between Interstate 85 and Highway 86. The brick she takes to be “construction waste” may be just that but it also may be oversized, 18th century brick made of local clay, indicating the presence of a long abandoned structure site nearby; without the brick in its place sleuthing the past loses one clue. (Sometimes, too, you will find thumb and finger prints in those old, locally made bricks).
It is a tragic and very unfortunate fact that schools of the environment seldom, if ever, teach their students that the environment is a human context. The marks humans leave on the land tell wonderful and informative stories and, more importantly, they tell us something about who we are (because, to a large degree we are who we were). The more we know about our place, the richer it becomes in our mind and our eyes. This sort of enriched familiarity naturally grows our appreciation for our place; to know it a bit better is to love it a bit more. Every increase in awareness produces an increase in our identification with our place and increases the likelihood that we will take better care of it. That is why we should preserve remnants of our common past whenever possible.
As I’m reasonably certain she will never hear these thoughts from a naturalist, I urge you to share them with your daughter. Humans are, in fact, natural, and their marks on the land are a natural result of use and reuse of the land.
Thank you, Cathjerine, for sharing your daughter’s project.Tom Magnuson HillsboroughTransit disconnect
We appreciate CHN’s enthusiasm for transit except, contrary to your May 23 editorial, the plan doesn’t connect the Triangle. Currently, TTA’s transit plan calls for a single light rail line that connects Duke Medical Center to UNC Hospital.
Thousands of hours of bus service, and an Amtrak station in Hillsborough were thrown in at the last minute to appease the many voters who will never board the $1.3 billion light rail line. The pieces are not integrated and good alternatives, such as Bus Rapid Transit, are being overlooked.
Wake County has not approved the plan, and appears poised to not move forward with a transit tax on this year’s ballot. If they did, and if it included light rail, it would not connect to the Orange-Durham light rail segment. Commuters can expect transfers (and delays) from commuter rail or bus to get to the light rail line - assuming its headed their way.
We support mass transit but are disappointed in the current plan. There’s too much emphasis on a single rail line, and not enough attention placed on convenient and accessible transportation along major corridors and to major destinations throughout the county. Seamless, countywide service is possible – but the current plan doesn’t provide it
All signs suggest that the tax is coming – despite the limitations of the plan. We hope the commissioners find a way to fix the plan before they seek a tax to fund it.Bonnie Hauser Orange County VoiceExactly right
Steven Salmony gets it exactly right in his May 30, 2012 CHN letter. If “the meat of Chapel Hill 2020 is, of course, growth,” then we have wasted our time working on Chapel Hill 2020 during the past months. Chapel Hill 2020 must not go forward on this premise without including the necessary restraints that a long-term plan must have. Nancy Elkins Chapel Hill
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