Your letters, July 24

July 23, 2013 

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    Send letters of up to 300 words and guest columns of up to 600 words to editor@newsobserver.com. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

Keep the lights off

I applaud the hard work of all those who worked to improve the library to an above-excellent standard, as most things are here in Chapel Hill. The amount of natural light truly makes it another “green” building – and literally green, as beautiful trees can be viewed while leisurely flipping through any type of publication.

I am saddened, however, that this natural light is not taken full advantage of. For all the times I have visited the library, there are always many other lights on when one could see perfectly well without them.

Natural light is much less harsh on the eyes, and having additional lights on is simply a waste. I challenge the library to live up to the sustainable standard of Chapel Hill and only use indoor lighting during imperative times like nighttime and in the winter. This will possibly inspire other developers to use some architectural features of this solar-lit library to create natural light in their respective projects; it will also show everyone that we practice what we preach when it comes to sustainability and saving energy.

Roisin Bermingham

Chapel Hill

Student has integrity

I was a bit surprised by correspondent Tom Hartwell’s characterization of Chapel Hill High student Frances Reuland in his article “Students cheat on new exam” (CHN, July 17).

Having worked with Frances closely last year as her journalism teacher, I have a hard time imagining that she would be unfamiliar with the definition of “rhetorical,” or that she would “stumble” over the word in context “several times.” In fact, Frances’ talents as a journalist, her work ethic, and her integrity led me to appoint her co-editor-in-chief of the student newspaper next year.

I certainly hope your readers don’t form the wrong impression of Frances based upon the article. If she told a friend “to know what ‘rhetorical’ meant,” her advice was nothing that teachers in the English department haven’t stressed repeatedly to students in the weeks leading up to the MSL – “rhetorical” was in fact one of the few terms we teachers were informed might be on the state’s assessment.

In short, Frances hardly strikes me as the type of student who would act any way other than ethically in her approach to her education. Thank you, however, for bringing to light some of the difficulties students, teachers and administrators faced in the trial run of the new MSL tests last school year.

Stephen Head

English Department

Chapel Hill High School

We want your vote

Dear women: We want your vote; therefore, we are doing our best to restrict your constitutional right to a safe and accessible abortion.

Dear immigrants: We want your vote, but we don’t want your relatives to come here and, in fact, we don’t much like you being here.

Dear working-class folks: We want your vote, but we are taking away your unemployment payments and restricting your ability to get on Medicare.

Dear black people: We want your vote, but we are afraid you’ll vote for the other guy, so we are doing our best to make it harder for you to exercise your right to vote.

Dear retired people: We want your vote, but we are trying to make you pay taxes on Social Security and prescriptions.

So, what do you think – can we count on your vote?

Signed, the Republicans.

Peter Aitken

Chapel Hill

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