Tax, an investment
The transit tax is a long-term investment in the future of Orange County and our region.
There is no denying the growth around us. We cannot put our heads in the sand and pretend things will be OK. We must take action on our transit needs now. That is why I am supporting the Transit Tax on the ballot this Tuesday.
In my nine years as Hillsborough’s representative on the regional transportation planning group (Metropolitan Planning Organization) I have not seen an issue more important. Yes it seems like tomorrow’s problem but we have to start today. And there are near term benefits – support for a train station in Hillsborough, expanded bus service to the rest of Orange County, and express buses to Durham and Duke Hospital.
Please make a commitment to our future and vote yes for the Transit Tax.L. Eric Hallman Town CommissionerNot appropriate
The Jewish Federation of Durham/Chapel Hill has been following the controversy in Chapel Hill regarding the placement of advertisements on town buses that call for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.
The Federation believes that these advertisements advocate a cause of action that will not lead to peace, endangers peaceful citizens, and threatens the security of Israel, a valuable democratic ally of the United States.
The Federation also believes that these advertisements, which have been acknowledged to have been accepted in error, are not appropriate for placement on public transportation in the Town of Chapel Hill.Jeff Koweek President Steven Schauder Executive directorI am not fooled
Discrimination, in its most insidious form, is artfully practiced, hidden from view by seemingly noble objectives.
Ads on buses in Chapel Hill demand an end to military aid – not to Egypt to whom we give $1.5 billion each year, a country that burns our flag and shouts “death to America”; not to the Palestinians to whom we give $600 million in aid and since 2001 fired 12,000 rockets and mortars into Israel; not to Pakistan to whom we gave over $11 billion in aid, a nuclear power who in the peculiar nuances of international relations are more adversary than friend.
No, these ads do not express objection to such aid at all. They object solely to aid to Israel, our only friend and ally in the region, the only democracy and the most diverse culture in the Middle East. The ads picture hands coming together in friendship. But it is Israel that is singled out, the clear implication that if we just withheld such aid from Israel, Kumbaya would break out in the region. This laughable absurdity ignores history, overlooks the culpability any other nation may have, ignores the landmark peace agreement proposed by Israel in 2000, but rejected by the Palestinians who offered not a single proposal of their own.
What is eminently clear is the discriminatory nature of these ads, something this church somehow believes it can hide from. I am not fooled. Many others are not either. We have seen this before throughout history, our own and in Europe. Do not be fooled. Ken Weiss Chapel Hill Now a target
On Oct. 27-28, the Church of Reconciliation was vandalized. Swastikas and the word "Nazis" were spray-painted on a building clearly marked as the place where we conduct our ministries with children and youth. Last Sunday morning, when the children and young people of our congregation entered their spiritual home where they learn sacred things, they were greeted with swastikas.
This is also the building that hosted for many years the Thursday Hebrew School of Judea Reform Synagogue in Durham, and hosted also a fledgling Muslim community who gathered there for prayer and fellowship on Saturdays. Volunteers quickly removed the ugly symbols. There was no permanent damage to the building. The damage to young minds and spirits? Not so easily wiped off.
We are well aware that Jewish synagogues, community centers, and cemeteries have been defaced by swastikas. The Jewish cemetery in my own hometown in Texas was defaced with swastikas 20 years ago, and I can still remember the fear in the eyes of our Jewish friends who asked, "If they will do this to the dead, what will they do to the living?" And as we've seen, hate groups and deranged individuals have also targeted African-American churches, Muslim mosques, and Sikh houses of worship for everything from spray-and-run vandalism to cross burnings to armed assaults. When these symbols of hatred and bigotry were painted on our church, all this struck close to home. Are those who exercise their conscience in matters of peace, as we have, now a target for hate groups, too?
We are deeply grateful for the many gestures of support and solidarity we have received from members of our community who have pledged to stand with us against hatred and bigotry. For our part, we consider it a privilege to stand with our Jewish, African-American, Muslim, and Sikh brothers and sisters in denouncing violence of all types against people of faith, praying for the perpetrators' change of heart, and working toward the kind of community where difference is celebrated not feared, and, in the words of the prophet Micah, "they shall sit every one under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid."
The Rev. J. Mark Davidson Church of ReconciliationVoting for Romney
The thing which scares me the most about President Obama is Obamacare.
Obamacare, all 2,700 pages of it, was written behind closed doors with no input from the Republicans. It was “deemed to have passed” in the middle of the night with zero Republican votes. No one read it, but as Nancy Pelosi famously said “Just pass the bill and then we will find out what is in it”
The scariest thing though is the power the act gives to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Kathleen Sebelius has already abused this power by dictating (in contravention of the First Amendment) that religious institutions must provide and pay for health insurance that provides for abortion, sterilization and contraception even if it goes against their moral principles.
The unelected Independent Payment Advisory Board can and will make decisions about patient care without regard to what your doctor decides is best for you; and their decisions require a super majority in Congress to be overturned.
There are many other problems with Obamacare: $716 billion is being taken out of Medicare to fund Obamacare. We are told the cuts are only to providers but 15 to 30 percent of hospitals and doctors will go out of business because of funding cuts. Businesses will be incentivized to dump their employees onto taxpayer funded exchanges. Contrary to what the President promised, people will not be able to keep the insurance that they have if does not meet government approval.
Gov. Romney is a good man. A self-made successful businessman who knows how to create jobs and work across the aisle with Democrats. He will repeal Obamacare and replace it with something that works for all of us.Vincent M.DiSandro Sr Hillsborough
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