New blood needed
Recent scenes in Chapel Hill....
1. Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. Drove downtown to buy a video game for my son. Red “Full” signs at all parking lots. Circled block thee times (I really tried!). Drove to Durham and spent $65 at a Durham merchant (and gave Durham city the sales tax).
2. Another day. Had an errand to attend to. Found a parking spot after just two attempts! During my two-block walk, I was asked for money FIVE times, twice somewhat aggressively.
3. Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Driving clients through the picture perfect UNC campus. Waiting for stoplight at Columbia and Franklin. We look over to see someone zip down their pants and urinate in public on the church steps. He zipped up, waved at another person loitering on the street and wandered off. My clients asked me to show them some homes in Durham.
When I moved to Chapel Hill 14 years ago The GAP and Sephora had stores on Franklin Street, parking was easier and I felt comfortable walking around with my two young sons at night to grab some ice cream.
With all the above in mind, the fact that Mayor Kleinschmidt appointed former council woman Sally Green, out of 11 very qualified candidates, to the vacant council seat was beyond disappointing. The council’s policies over the last decade towards parking, economic development and panhandling are huge contributing factors to the decline over the past 14 years. We need courage and leadership on the council to bring in new blood and develop forward thinking policies, not a sixth-grade student council picking their “favorites.”
Operating out of fear and failed policies of the past is not the path for the future of our great town. We need to see change in Chapel Hill and not in the form of panhandlers aggressively asking for “change”" on Franklin Street. Michele K. Burris Chapel Hill More bike lanes
I ride my bike to school at Phillips Middle School. I started riding to school when I was in fourth grade. I really love biking to school because I feel energized and independent.
A lot of my friends live close to the school but do not bike because they live on busy roads with no sidewalks. I know that if their parents would let them they would bike to school, but their parents don’t like all the cars.
I think that we should try to get more bike lanes on roads or sidewalks in Chapel Hill for kids to bike on. Being a sixth grader, I know that kids want to bike to their friend’s house, to the store or just go bike but can’t because of the busy roads. If we got those sidewalks installed, I think it would also motivate people to bike or walk places instead of driving. All the bikes and people out and about would make cars more cautious and cut down on Chapel Hill’s carbon footprint. I strongly think this idea would make Chapel Hill a better place.Jack Felgenhauer Chapel Hill Hearing Iyad’s story
Last night (Jan. 29) Chapel Hill had the opportunity to meet and listen to Iyad Burnat, a Palestinian man who was born in the town of Bil’in and who came to Chapel Hill to share his story of being imprisoned by the Israeli military at the age of 17, and subsequently arrested and imprisoned several more times. He is the brother of Emad Burnat, who’s documentary “5 Broken Cameras” has been nominated for Best Documentary.
Iyad spoke at the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist which is walking distance from the UNC campus. It was open to the public, and it was free. As such, I expected a standing room only situation. Sadly, there were fewer than 100 people who showed up to hear Iyad’s story and see the videos of the confrontations the people of Bil’in have with the Israel soldiers. What a missed opportunity if you weren’t there.
Iyad is traveling through the U.S. If you were one of those who missed his talk last night, I can recommend a youtube video of him in Seattle last week.Randi Johansen CaryAppalling oversight
As always I read with salivating excitement Mr. Greg Cox’s list of the great restaurants of the Triangle. I have not a bone to pick, as he has guided us to great food and new delights over the years. BUT I was shocked – perhaps appalled – that he wrote that with the closing of Magnolia Grill the only other James Beard honored restaurant in the Triangle is the delightful Lantern on West Franklin St.
Note here the N&O’s own publication of May 8, 2011:
By Andrea Weigl – Staff Writer
“Monday night at New York’s Lincoln Center, amid the red carpet glitz and the celebrity chef sightings at one of the nation’s premier culinary events, Gene Hamer, the owner of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, will be called to the stage and honored for running an iconic American restaurant with timeless appeal.
“Hamer, 60, has been the steward of this Chapel Hill institution through two eras of chefs: the late Bill Neal, who is often credited with elevating humble Southern food to a cuisine; and Bill Smith, who has helped protect Neal’s legacy but also forged his own.
“The James Beard Foundation hands out five America’s Classics awards each year. Crook’s Corner is one of five honorees, along with a 140-year-old Milwaukee tea shop and a family-owned French bistro in midtown Manhattan. The foundation was started in honor of James Beard, perhaps the original foodie, a cookbook author and champion of American regional cuisine.”
As an owner of Whitehall Antiques, another “Franklin Street Institution” I can tell you that we literally have hundreds of clients annually tell us they come to Chapel Hill to shop for antiques and eat at Crook’s Corner and Lantern (the latter a more recent phenomenon, but Crook’s a favorite forever it seems).
I cannot fathom this seemingly deliberate oversight. Whatever the reason, a deep apology is owed to the legions of fans of Crook’s Corner – and its owner, its chef, and the memory of Bill Neal.David Lindquist Chapel HillA fair tax plan
When Gov. McCrory says he wants to revamp the tax code in North Carolina, cautious folk will check their wallet. Especially when it involves eliminating income tax and relying on sales tax, you know that the tax liability will be shifted even more heavily to those of us who can least afford to pay. Everyday people, elders, single moms will be subsidizing fat cats. If you bother to read the report to the legislature by the Tax Foundation, you will be even further alarmed. They outline four options:
• 6 percent Income Tax, 3.5 percent sales tax expanded to services, no business-to business sales tax, no business income tax
• 5 percent Income, 5 percent expanded sales, no business-to business sales tax, 5 percent business income
• 8.75 percent expanded sales tax, no income tax, no business income tax
• no sales tax, 10 percent income tax, no business income tax
We don’t really care very much about the business income tax, which generates a mere 2 percent of revenue for the state’s $51.45 billion budget. In the national election just past we were reminded daily that corporations are people, but I guess that doesn’t extend to an obligation to pay any taxes. Very special people indeed.
And watch that word “expanded.” It means you will pay sales tax to your landscaper, cleaner, barber, handyman, doctor, lawyer, and veterinarian. When the toilet backs up, the plumber will cost $60/hr plus 8.75 percent or $65.25. Your day care provider will become a part-time tax collector.
But wait! Option 4 seems fair, uncomplicated, attractive to business, understandable, neutral and stable. Can this be true? This is the kind of tax citizens will feel privileged to pay. No frills, those who earn more dollars pay more dollars, least hard on those needing a break. Write your representative today, say you want North Carolina to have the best and most understandable tax system in the nation. Remind them that corporations are people. Call their bluff.Gus Reed Pittsboro
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.