Your letters, June 9

June 8, 2013 

Keep lot two-way

Do not make the upper parking lot at the Chapel Hill Public Library one way.

If there is an empty space at the bottom of the left row, why would you want to force a driver to go all the way around the lot to park in it? That would be a waste of energy.

The lot was designed to accommodate traffic both directions, and for pedestrians to use the sidewalks provided. Both drivers and pedestrians have to be cautious and considerate when accessing the library.

Ed Tostanoski

Chapel Hill

More math needed

Having spent a large part of my career trying to recruit enough programmers, engineers and scientists, I read Bill Sieredzki’s letter to the editor regarding Common Core advanced math limitations with great interest (“Check your student’s math path,” CHN, May 22, bit.ly/14W8s4y).

Instead of limiting the number of willing students who want to take advanced math in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, we should encourage as many as we can. Surely a kid in the 94th or 84th or even 74th percentile given the area’s prestigious students, teachers and schools can succeed.

Max Lloyd

Chapel Hill

Former CEO, ViASIC

Library realities

I supported the bond referendum for the library expansion a number of years back. I understand that the current expansion included meeting and training rooms in addition to gneral library uses.

Library staffing should mirror library operations as they change with time. The need for brick and mortar is most likely leveling off due to electronics and automation. Perhaps then library staffing should level off in lieu of electronics and automation.

Also, the need for two check-out locations seems highly questionable given the size of the building and people traffic volume. The Saturday that I was at the library, the lower level was devoid of customers and the staff person was sitting reading a book. A good use of library materials, but not so for the personnel.

I like the library and use it, but we need to be realistic from an operating cost perspective as it is 2013.

Neal Bench

Chapel Hill

Restore library hours

I am glad that the Town Council is willing to reconsider the Chapel Hill Public Library’s budget for this year. More than 2,100 citizens have now voiced their opposition to the proposed library cuts, which have reduced hours by 20 percent – eliminating 14 hours per week and more than half of Saturday hours.

These voices – including students and former mayors – recognize the value the library represents. Our library is a community gathering place and information resource that meets the needs of all ages and abilities, families, working folks, job-seekers, businesses, and the economically disadvantaged – for an investment of just 3 percent of our town budget.

Chapel Hill residents reward this investment with the highest per capita circulation of any North Carolina public library. And, since CHPL’s reopening, circulation has increased by 30 percent. By safeguarding library hours and services, the town capitalizes on its investment too.

As one student remarked at the Town Council meeting, limiting access to the library’s services is as good as removing them altogether.

I hope that the Town Council will approve a budget that fully restores staff and hours to our high-demand, highly valued library.

Karen Curtin

Orange County

Gering steps down

I have decided not to seek re-election for another term to the Hillsborough Town Board of Commissioners. I am honored and privileged to have served three terms, but 12 years is a long time. The town is in good shape, and I believe change is healthy – both for me and for the town.

Since I first ran in 2001, my main goals have been to stabilize our finances, modernize our infrastructure, improve our quality of life, and maintain our small-town character. I am pleased with what we have accomplished in the past 12 years. I am especially proud of my role in the Waterstone development, the future train-station land purchase and planning, the wayfinding signs, the progress we’ve made on Riverwalk, the courthouse clock restoration, and tourism programs for Hillsborough and Orange County.

Though I took a personal interest in these projects, none of them would have been possible without the teamwork and dedication of the other Town Board members and of our great town staff.

I will miss working with this team, but I know we are headed in the right direction. I am confident Hillsborough has a bright future.

Mike Gering

Hillsborough

Nothing trivial about it

I am a rising senior at UNC and am writing about an upsetting situation that occurred at Trivia Night May 29 at a popular Franklin Street bar. I was in attendance with a few of my friends and was having a good time until the emcees revealed what they considered to be the “best” and “most creative” team names.

To my astonishment, the judges announced that the top team name was: “My Extra Chromosome Gets Me Down.”

This so-called pun is not an indirect, but a direct insult at those with Down syndrome. It associates those with Down syndrome with inferiority and negative characteristics. In other words, it perpetuates negative stereotypes about people with disabilities, further preventing the creation of an inclusive society.

That members of the Chapel Hill community would come up with such a name absolutely shocked and disgusted me. However, what surprised me even more was the fact that the bar staff commended this derogatory team name with a reward. After the announcement was made, a majority of those in attendance began to laugh. I was speechless. My blood began to boil and shortly thereafter, I decided to leave.

Now, the situation would have been handled completely differently had the team name included a racial slur or marginalized those of a certain sexual orientation. I know for certain the staff would not have tolerated those team names. However, when the team name maliciously poked fun at individuals with disabilities, there was applause. There seems to be quite the double standard here, reflecting the ignorance that prevents our society from recognizing those with disabilities as deserving the same level of respect as everyone else.

Anna Ollinger

Chapel Hill

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