The biggest loser
All is calm out at Panera Bread. Two young men sit chatting near the public parking lot. Panera’s lot is nearly empty this evening, but there are no spaces across the street at Chipotle.
Then somebody drives by, sees the empty lot and takes the bait, parking at the Panera’s, and running across the street to Chipotle. One of the young men flips open a cell phone and dials. I run in to Chipotle to warn the hapless driver. Too late. Less than 90 seconds later, George’s Towing has moved in for the kill, and he won’t let go of this fish without 100 dollars in cash.
Nobody likes being towed, and it does seems sketchy: the demand for cash, a trip out to some distant dirt parking lot many miles away on Greensboro Road. George’s Towing is not popular, but the financial incentive is clear enough. I hope the town can manage the tow companies better.
Unfortunately the biggest loss is to the downtown business community overall. That 100 dollars cash comes right out of their gross sales. How does that hapless driver feel? Angry, upset, victimized, and not about to spend money downtown again soon.
Let’s be clear: the businesses that have hired the aggressive towers are poisoning the financial waters for everybody. Storefronts sit empty, while more potential customers are scared away.
Something can be done. Stop charging for public parking after 6 p.m. and all day on Sunday. Create a web page to help direct people to safe parking areas. Put up more signs. Most importantly, demand that the businesses put a leash on the predatory towers. Treat your potential customers with respect. But is the business community too dysfunctional or unaware to demand a change?Charlie Hileman CarrboroPrime Time Players
The Prime Time Players of the Seymour Center is a 55-plus Chapel Hill based theater group. We invite anyone interested to our first meeting of the fall at 3 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Seymour Center. We generally rehearse during the daytime.
We are planning two shows this fall. In October we will have three short straight plays. In December we will put on “Richard Rodgers: Hart and Hammerstein.” If you like to sing, dance, act, make costumes, design scenery or work on a production in any capacity, please leave your name at the front desk of the Center or call Mary Ann Freedman 919-967-5883.
If you’re available on a weekly basis, The Village Revue sings at assisted living and senior centers. Rehearsals are held at the Seymour Center on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m.. To join, just stop by any Tuesday afternoon or ask at the front desk.Mary Ann Freedman Director, Prime Time PlayersA few basic things
I would like to remind Mr. Hardin of a few basic things for any democracy, of course, if it really is democracy, not socialism.
Mr. Hardin’s anger at why people do not protest the criticism of the present president’s policies is based on a wrong approach.
First, any president is not the same as the presidency. If someone does not like a president’s policy, it does not immediately mean the country’s important institution itself is being attacked.
Second, it is healthy in any society to have an opposition – otherwise the society turns into Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia.
Third, it is damaging for Americans to have a father-like government permanently providing them with “goodies,” and for them to be demanding everyday support like chicks in the nest with wide-open mouths waiting for parents to bring them something, and the more the better.
Fourth, people’s “own self-interest” can be a very convenient tool for any populist in politics because this idea can be interpreted in a rather wide range: from Roman “Bread and Circuses” to “Eat the Rich.” The latter is obviously rather popular in the Chapel Hill area nowadays. Take, for example, the compassionate reaction of most of its population to the Occupy something-which-does-not-belong-to-you-and-what-you-did-not-earn movement.
That is why I think it is quite superficial and irresponsible to oppose reasonable, healthy criticism of today’s politics, because one can easily find many examples from history demonstrating what a disaster the desire to please the so-called “simple, unsophisticated, people” can easily lead to.
And, by the way, what would be the most loyal way to express the admiration of the man Mr. Hardin’s article defends so passionately – maybe, to erect a new monument to his hero side by side to “Silent Sam” – as a politically correct balance?Yelena Francis Chapel Hill Editor’s note:
Readers also responded to former UNC Chancellor Paul Hardin’s guest column, in which he decried racism in presidential politics, (“Where is the outrage?” CHN, Aug. 8) on editor Mark Schultz’s Facebook page: on.fb.me/Tgr3Tr
. Terri Buckner:
“So proud that this man was the chancellor of my university. How many members of Congress personally accumulate tax-advantaged fortunes while their disappearing middle class constituents struggle to make do with two wage earners – or one – or none? Really! How many? The people need to know!” Chris Weaver:
“Obama is a novice. He came to office with NO resume, and all this old chancellor has is the race card because people do not want a novice to have another four years? Has Hardin paid attention to the money/homes/jobs/pride lost?” Erica Eisdorfer:
“Former UNC chancellor says what needs to be said.” Dan Leonard:
“Amen! Very well put.” Will Wilson:
“Excellent editorial.”A disservice
In June, the state legislature approved a bill legalizing the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which is a controversial method of using high pressure jets of water and chemicals to break open shale where natural gas resides. The bill requires the formation of an oversight board, which includes a “conservationist” seat. To my mind, a conservationist is someone who has expertise in environmental science and focuses on the health of the environment.
However, the person House Speaker Tom Tillis has appointed to this seat, Ray Covington, is a landowner and businessman who stands to gain financially from fracking on his and other properties. Some of the most prominent words on Mr. Covington’s company website, NC Oil and Gas, are “We want this land drilled.”
This appointment is a disservice to all North Carolinians as it does not fulfill the spirit of the law, which is to appoint someone whose priority is protecting the environment. Speaker Tillis should honor the spirit of the law by appointing a true conservationist to the board.Laura Wenzel Chapel HillHorrible for humans
There are so many ways to create energy for use as electricity and heat. Fracking is one of the least desirable with horrible outcomes for humans. The robbing of billions of gallons of water from drinking sources, which is then poisoned and pumped deeply into the earth takes this water out of the cycle of use for humans for a very long time if not forever. This is just unacceptable.
We could sell water to our neighbors in the Midwest who are in sever drought for more money than we can make from the gas produced by fracking. When will the insanity stop? Let’s get in alignment with our Mother Earth rather than put so much wasted energy into destroying her and ourselves along with it.
The latest political appointment to the fracking board of Ray Covington is obviously against the people of North Carolina’s interest since his company will benefit from fracking royalties. And why did Speaker Tillis promise to run the House with honor and fairness when he has no interest in doing so which is made obvious by this appointment? What a big disappointment he is.
Is money worth selling your soul and the trust of the people you are supposed to be taking care of? Perhaps some of these politicians have no soul. Their descendants will suffer for generations on their behalf unless they get right with life and stop the madness and abuse of our home planet.Carol Stanton Chapel Hill
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