Vision for the future
Having just read the commentary by Bob Randall "Not ready for light rail," (CHN, Oct. 3, bit.ly/Pqkpfp
) I have several questions that are, I think, posed implicitly by his piece:
1) Is he opposed to the electoral process altogether, or just to elections that dont turn out as he would like?
2) Isnt government supposed to be about leadership? Its clear that in the long run many of our current practices are unsustainable. A few percentage points of growth per year is actually an exponential growth process. Try making a graph of exponential growth, and consider the associated use of energy and other natural resources only someone who doesnt think can think that this can go on forever!
3) If the buses arent being used to capacity, do we get rid of the buses? Is that real, forward-thinking leadership? Perhaps the dialogue should be about how we encourage a culture that values and uses public transport, and that recognizes that having roads full of SUVs may not be the answer our transportation problems.
4) Has Mr. Randall considered that perhaps the people on those not-very-full buses might be on them because its the only transportation option that they have? Where do they end up in his vision of the future?
I suspect that we can all agree that the present isnt everything wed like it to be. We need leadership with a vision for the future that moves us towards a sustainable economy, which among other things, will require us, all of us, to find a balance between exploiting our natural resources and preserving the environment for ourselves and for generations to come. Rory Conolly CarrboroKudos to the county
Roses to The Orange County commissioners and county transportation staff for their thorough look at our future public transportation needs.
Sometimes it may appear politicians act only when it serves them to get re-elected by passing resolutions with only short-term benefits. The upcoming transportation referendum on our ballots this fall once again demonstrates that our county commissioners have an eye on the future, the immediate and long-term future.
With this half-cent local sales tax (not on food, medicine, gas, housing or utilities) to be used for transportation only, heres what our fearless leaders have in store: In the near future our county will see increased bus service in town and in the rural areas of our county as well as an Amtrak train station in Hillsborough. In the longer term we will have a light rail system joined at the hip with Durham County which has already passed its tax referendum for light rail.
The Triangles population, of over 1.5 million people, is projected to grow rapidly to over 2.5 million by 2035. Highways cannot handle this. Development along planned transportation routes has proven to work around the country as the most cost-effective, environmentally sound and people-friendly solution to population growth. It encourages stable, small business development, while helping to maintain our rural nature and farmland. Our Orange County commissioners are to be commended for making sure we are not left behind by connecting our county to the future.Art Mines HillsboroughArea group ignored
It is to the credit of elected leaders, who do not have sufficient time to focus on details, when they delegate planning tasks to focus-area groups. But it is to their detriment if these elected leaders then discount and hack the delegated product like a bear clawing through a delicate, bee-assembled hive.
One example of this is when our Planning Board, on Oct. 2, took the name of our focus-area project, Central West, a name that took two hours for 30 people to reach hard-won near consensus on at their first meeting a month ago.
The planning board, just after the complaint of one person, who doesnt even live in our area, took only five minutes to change the name to one that the focus-area group had firmly rejected in the first 15 minutes of its deliberation. It takes only one, or two, with an over-reaching ego, to ruin the value added by everyone else.
What is the point of having a community-driven process, with meetings that were fairly announced to the public, if the delegating authority is going to mangle or ignore the product?
A rash action on the part of elected officials might be warranted if there was gross negligence in the delegated group, but in this case, 50 people who really care, residents and developers, came together at four publicly announced meetings, the last one attended by 45 very intelligent people, and lasting three hours, using super majority two-thirds voting decision-making. The Town Council had better treat this product with the respect it deserves.Sarah K. McIntee Chapel Hill Cream of the crop Raspberries are my favorite fruit, and I am always glad to get them. I hope Gerry Williams and Robert Dickson feel the same way. Both deserve many kudos including your generous words (CHN, Roses & Raspberries, Oct. 10). Perhaps the graphic raspberries you bestowed on them were intended to come with cream and were really a compliment. I hope so. Allen Spalt Carrboro Editors note: Youre right Allen, we got the graphics wrong. Roses, again, to Williams and Dickson, for their work on the Carrboro Music Festival and The Carrboro Citizen, respectively. Sad about Citizen
Thursday, October 4 was a sad day when the Carrboro Citizen newspaper died after five years of service to the community.
As an avid newspaper reader this means I have now lost another source of print news. Sound bites on television and "breaking news" headlines on the Internet do not give the public in-depth stories.
It was a valiant effort on the part of the publisher and Carrboros small-business revolving loan fund. And now several people have lost their jobs.
It also means that Carla Shuford will no longer be able to barter recycled copies of the newspaper for salmon bones for her cat, Zimba. Rita Berman Chapel Hill Church disapproves
Because of the number of letters published by the paper, it appears that only a few people are opposed to the Town of Carrboro allowing Johnnys located on Main Street to become a business selling alcohol for onsite consumption. This is a false impression, for a large number of residents near Johnnys appeared at two planning board meetings to express their strong opposition to this change because it will have a major, detrimental impact.
Johnnys has never had a legal right to sell alcohol for onsite consumption. Having onsite "tastings" was just another way to get around not having an onsite permit. Not only does our church (located right across from Johnnys) oppose this change because we are against the consumption of alcoholic beverages but also because we do not want the resulting trash that is dropped on our property, the use of our property as an outdoor bathroom, the uninvited use of our parking lot, or the frequent arrests for drunken driving that took place when Johnnys was illegally selling alcohol.
The nearby residents, the special-needs home next to Johnnys, and our church have all clearly voiced our disapproval. We are still hoping that the Carrboro Board of Aldermen will see that a bar does not belong in a residential community.Dr. Gary Webb Calvary Baptist Church
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