Because almost nothing is secret in the CHCCS system, various teachers and others have known for at least a year about the wishes of the board to transfer certain faculty members of Chapel Hill High School to other schools. For one reason and another, the list has shrunk to only two names, and now Bert Wartski and Anne Thompson are only people to remain as, evidently, examples to others of what can happen when one questions authority in the system.
Good educators encourage students to think for themselves; good educators know that from opposing viewpoints come compromise and progress. I say shame on the board and the superintendent for trying to create a Stepford environment at CHHS! No one will ever doubt where Bert and Anne stand on the issues. Is it arrogance that makes a group so sure of itself that it cannot tolerate questions or disagreement? Or is it fear of having its weaknesses exposed? Fear rather the group of teachers so afraid to voice an opinion that they “talk in the parking lot.” Fear rather the teachers who no longer care enough to have an opinion. Praise those like Bert and Anne who know the issues and with passion and conviction stand up for what they feel is right. Continue to give them the chance to teach the students who will be tomorrow’s leaders. I can only imagine the negative environment that will exist at CHHS if these two backbones of the faculty are involuntarily transferred to other schools.
I taught English at CHHS for 28 years, and, yes, I am very aware that had I not chosen to retire at the end of last year that my name, too, would be on the “hit list.” I urge the people of Chapel Hill who live in a town that values freedom of all kinds to protest the behavior of these elected officials and insist that Anne and Bert remain at the school to which they have given so many years of their lives.Susan Oliver DurhamBuild on 2020
The Town Council’s recent struggles in dealing with the Charterwood and the Park at Chapel Hill projects highlight once again our need for a carefully conceived, integrated master plan for our town. Such a plan would specify overall goals for Chapel Hill, address issues such as affordable housing for both owned and rental properties, and clearly specify what type of development, if any, is desired for all areas of our town through form and function based zoning.
While some small area plans exist, they lack the specificity and, from the town’s perspective, the commitment needed to provide clear direction to developers and a basis for decision-making by the town. Absent a clear master plan, developers have been doing the town’s planning for us. The Town Council, Planning Board and others have been forced into a largely reactive mode.
Chapel Hill 2020, to date, has provided a good start for developing such a plan, but it has a way to go. In its current incarnation it provides a reasonable articulation of the kind of town the residents want, but it has yet to tackle many of the difficult issues head on: do we want growth and, if so, how much and where; what should the various parts of Chapel Hill look like; do we want to promote the development of areas or neighborhoods for different types of activity – the arts, commerce, and the like (to its credit, 2020 does call out Rosemary Street as a locale for entrepreneurial activity), and what actions can the town take to make the Plan a reality.
It is to be hoped that the town staff and council, working with the community, will be able to continue build upon the work done so far and create the robust plan Chapel Hill so clearly needs, making haste slowly, while continuing to encourage the participation of the citizenry in this important work. We should all remember John Wooden’s words (sorry I can’t quote Dean Smith): people who fail to plan, plan to failMichael Parker Chapel HillWho he was was Andy
I first encountered Andy Griffith’s work long before I actually knew who he was. On a vacation visit in the early 1950s to see relatives in eastern North Carolina, I heard a schoolboy’s rendition of Griffith’s “What It Was Was Football” and experienced the uproar it caused in the family; most notably my father bent double laughing. The first record I ever owned was a 45 of “What It Was Was Football.”
Then came the amusing, often endearing and always memorable “The Andy Griffith Show,” which punctuated my early teens in the 1960s.
Later in journalism school, I was assigned to write a mock obituary about a living person. I chose Andy Griffith, and during research of his biographical information, I marveled at his accomplishments beginning at UNC. I read one obscure anecdote of Andy Griffith, the heavy sleeper. He lived in a dormitory along Franklin Street. When others went to breakfast in a downtown cafeteria on Franklin Street, Andy slept.
But by previous arrangement, a friend later en route to class would give a tug on a string dropped from an upstairs window. The string was attached to one of Griffith’s big toes. The tug would awaken him, telling him he had only a few minutes to get to class. There was no mention of the success of this plan or how many times they attempted it.
As we aged, the occasional rerun of “The Andy Griffith Show” would warm our hearts. One particular favorite, “Dogs, Dogs, Dogs,” featured a number of dogs who had befriended Opie, who took them to the courthouse. We watched the episode with a college-age niece, enjoying every minute. Trying to solve the problem of what to do with the dogs, Barney took them to a spacious field near town.
Later, in a poignant and amusing scene, Barney tried to convince Opie that the dogs would be OK, even with an ever-strengthening thunderstorm. “Dogs take care of their own,” Barney said. “They are not like giraffes; giraffes are selfish, always looking after number one.” Barney and Andy ultimately retrieved the dogs from the storm.
Months later in discussing a relationship spat, our niece blurted out, “Am I being a giraffe (selfish) about this?” Thanks to the episode of the Griffith Show, we immediately knew her meaning.
As with his show, Andy Samuel Griffith (his legal name) leaves us with so much, but, in a manner of speaking, he is the cousin or uncle who came to visit and stayed. Much to our delight.Dan Leigh The author is a former writer for the Chapel Hill News.Draining experience
Recently the sewage line on St. Thomas Drive in Colony Lake became stuffed up with sludge and had to be reamed out. The force of the reaming caused black sludge to come up through the drains in my eldest daughter’s house and exploded the garbage disposal. It was torn from its moorings and damaged the microwave.
The sludge invaded the kitchen and damaged the cupboards under the sink. It blackened the stovetop, the bathrooms and the floors. The house smelled of sewage. My daughter drove down from New Jersey and arrived here at one o’clock in the morning.
The Roto Rooter man came and said the line from the garden into the house was clear of roots. Although OWASA does not usually take responsibility for this kind of damage caused by unplugging a blocked pipe, an OWASA representative appeared to assess the damage. He inspected the damaged kitchen and bathrooms.
The Roto Rooter man repaired the kitchen and installed a new disposal. The insurance adjuster arrived promptly, and after seeing the damaged house and the blackened kitchen and bathrooms gave her a fair estimate as to cost of the repairs.
I telephoned our mayor, Mr. Kleinschdmit. He was very cordial and telephoned OWASA, which sent the man out to assess the damage.
Last evening I drove my car the three blocks to my daughter’s house. It looked cleaned up, and the table was set for us with china, a lace tablecloth and pretty glasses.
We enjoyed a peaceful dinner together. It was a potluck affair, as I supplied part of it and my daughter did the cooking.
She wants to express her appreciation to all of those people in Chapel Hill who helped her turn a nightmare into a happier experience. As we enjoyed our meal we both felt very grateful to those citizens of Chapel Hill who have helped her.Ariana Mangum Chapel Hill
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