Town takes sides
Wednesday evening, the Town Council met to hear the public speak about whether to let Trinitas Corp. build a 600-bed student dormitory on MLK Jr. Boulevard (CHN, March 3, bit.ly/ZDlrW5
). The council voted to allow the necessary rezoning.
To the council, I say
Shame on you for your behavior regarding the rezoning and Trinitas. And I do NOT mean that you voted wrong; I will take it for granted that at least most of you voted the way you really felt.
Shame on you, however, for appearing to fail to consider what many opponents said.
Shame on you, for example, for not even discussing the issue of whether a residence hall may, by regulation, even be allowed to be zoned RSSC.
Shame on you, for example, for not even discussing Hodding Carters eloquent comments about the effects of putting 600 students in a single building and about the near impossibility of their having a significant effect on the downtown economy.
Shame on you, for example, for appearing to have decided ahead of time that you would side with the developers and against the community.
And shame on you for making me realize that the conservatives in Raleigh have nothing on you, for making me feel that my personal efforts on the part of the town over the years have been largely wasted, and for making me feel that Chapel Hill is no longer the progressive community I had learned to love.Arthur L. Finn Professor Emeritus of Medicine and PhysiologyLibrary choices
Martha Diefendorf, the chair of the Chapel Hill Public Library Board of Trustees (CHN, Feb. 24, bit.ly/13CtcRe
), urged us to contact Town Council members in order to request increased library funding so that the library would be able to avoid staying open 14 fewer hours per week.
In the same letter, she noted new services: a digital media lab, a mobile computer lab, new books, audiobooks, music, and movies, a tutoring service, furniture, and a mural.
May I suggest that (a) some of these new services be avoided in order to provide funding to stay open more hours per week, and (b) she request volunteers from the community to staff the library to help keep it open more hours.Robert M. Hamer Chapel HillUnwise funding cut
The United Way of the Greater Triangle supports a plethora of worthwhile organizations. But its decision to pull the rug out from funding of the Seymour Senior Center wellness program was both unwise and misguided.
The decision comes as a shock to the many senior citizens who have relied upon free access to the use the fitness facility. In addition, the machines used by seniors to monitor their blood pressure also may be eliminated.
For more than a decade, the United Way has seen fit to fund the vital Chapel Hill Senior Center wellness program. In its letter of rejection, the United Way suggested the Seymour Center should focus more on other services to help seniors live independently, rather than fitness alone. Perhaps theres something missing here in their understanding of programs at the center.
What better way to help seniors live more independently than to keep them physically fit?
To mention just a few of our activities, the Seymour Center provides classes on mobility, balance and falls prevention , diabetes management, hearing screenings, aerobics, resistance exercises, personal trainer sessions, strength training, tai chi, nutrition, physical function screening , and more much more. The Friends of the Robert and Pearl Seymour Center is grateful for the United Ways support over more than a decade, but we feel they have let down the older adults of our community in 2013.Walter Mack President Friends of the Robert & Pearl Seymour CenterY does disservice
Regarding opinion piece YMCA must put greatest need first by YMCA Board Chair Dabney Grinnan (CHN Feb. 17, bit.ly/Y98OPC
The YMCA should not remove the racquetball courts to place more treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes for the alleged purpose of wellness. The YMCA should encourage the type of wellness gained from playing racquetball with your friends, which is superior to using a treadmill while watching a television.
Treadmills, especially, are expensive, break down, consume electricity, and are superfluous to real walking or running. Folks can walk or run on the track above the basketball courts, on the basketballs courts, or outside.
The racquetball courts are already used for programming besides racquetball, as are the underutilized basketball courts. If the space is underutilized, the courts could be scheduled for additional programming.
However, if additional fitness equipment is absolutely necessary, rather than subtracting racquetball space the YMCA should add floor space above the existing fitness floor or above the basketball courts.
The Y is mediocre at a lot of things, and that is what makes it good. Turning it into a wellness center like every other gym at the expense of its uniqueness is a disservice to all members.Wayne Pein Chapel HillWorth the money?
When you send in your property tax payment to a Charlotte PO, as all property owners are required to do, you actually are sending it to BB&T, which may come as a surprise to some readers.
In return the bank opens and processes the mail, receiving $33,000 last year from Orange County, said T.Dwane Brinson, director of the county tax office. The tax office receives a daily batch file from BB&T that shows the bills to be paid.
And thats all they do?
At a time when the county is considering tax increases to cover budget shortfalls, it may well want to consider whether this service is really worth it. County employees might be able to do this work, at less cost and greater benefit to the county. And a more important point is that some of this taxpayer money may be going to pay the outsized pay for the CEO of BB&T, one Kelly King, who received $7.5 million in compensation in 2011, the latest figure available on Google.
Its one thing for that handsome sum to represent private business dealings, quite another when taxpayer money is involved. My tax money may come to only a fraction of a penny of his compensation but thats still far too much. Patty Barker Chapel HillDont kill foxes
I hope it surprises you that Orange (and Chatham) county promote the family-friendly sport of killing foxes.
Since were currently in the killing season, consider taking your son out this weekend and teaching him the unique pleasure of removing one of these creatures from the wild.
Really? Lets please stop this. Killing and eating deer to reduce the overpopulation is one thing, killing the rare wild turkey is horrible and killing quail is unconscionable (when did you last hear the whip-o-will cry), but as much as I hate that, at least the creature provides food. But even this lame reason doesnt exist for killing the glorious, wonderful and beautiful grey and red fox. This killing has no justification whatsoever except for pure joy of killing or the laziest of lazy who cant build a chicken coop. Wake up our supposed guardians let the commissioners hear your outrage with an email: co.orange.nc.us/contact.asp#bocc
. Lewis Stanford Chapel Hill Lost the center
Our legislators have failed. Playing Chicken with our economy is irresponsible, and they all should be fired. Without regulation, we get robber barons and economic brutality. Without taxes and a social safety net, we revert to a form of economic imperialism that spawns internal disorder and global conflict.
We used to value consensus and compromise and consider it part of our national identity that we had room for extremists and moderates. Both types made important contributions to keeping us centered. That was part of the utopian objective of our founders, when Gov. Morris wrote In order to form a more perfect union... Now the minority feels we need an ideological enema. I am offended by the notion that it is acceptable to use the force of law to impose one point of view at the expense of the well-being of the citizens and the economy.
It was irrational zealotry that brought the current wave of terrorism to our shores. After 9/11, we pulled together, united against a common external threat. Since then, unanimity has degenerated to the most deeply divided and polarized conditions we have seen since the 1850s. The terrorists have already succeeded at ruining air travel. Lets not donate our federal constitutional republic to that list.Chuck Henage Chapel Hill
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.