Your letters, Oct. 6

October 4, 2013 

Lyme disease definitely here

Tammy Grubb’s excellent article on Lyme disease (CHN, Sept. 29, is very important.

As a transplant to Orange County from the suburbs of New York City, I’ve been amazed to discover Lyme patients here – one a retired UNC professor – who could not get diagnosed or treated locally. I also question the CDC omission of Orange County from endemic Lyme; if a story in the News of Orange a couple of years ago about a teenager afflicted with Lyme and this current story are accurate, that’s two cases from Hillsborough alone, enough to put the county on the list.

We need to wake up to the deadly consequences of tick-borne diseases, all of them, and a good first step would be to reinstate the state commission scrapped in 2011that was tracking these diseases. We need tick clinics in schools, so kids can both protect themselves and teach their parents.

I disagree that Lyme is “easily treated” further north, as a recent article in The New Yorker documented. Mine was easily treated, but I have friends who weren’t so lucky. We have a long way to go. But at least Lyme IS treated and acknowledged there. What a cruel fate, to have a devastating disease your state and your medical team insist it does not exist.

Fran McCullough


Not their money

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen is once again showing blatant disregard for taxpayer money.

Appropriating funds toward a send-off gala for Mayor Chilton (CHN, Sept. 29, despite his repeated requests not to, shows a complete lack of respect for both him and all taxpayers.

The board lacks the basic understanding that taxpayer funds are not theirs to play with.

If you are so adamant about having a going-away party, fund it yourself, do not take my money and do it. Tax dollars are not donations, they are forcibly taken from the public by threat of incarceration. To act as though these assets are your own private party fund is despicable. Our local politicians are no better than the spendthrifts in Washington.

Zach Arble


Nonsense signs

I was glad to see the article about illiteracy (CHN, Oct. 2,; this is a complex and widespread problem.

I wish, however, that Bootstraps would take down their signs. There are enough distractions for drivers already; we don’t need nonsense cluttering things worse!

Dana Mochel


Great schools, but ...

Did you know that 51.1 percent of economically disadvantaged third-grade kids in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system failed the reading test? Probably not. Most people don’t.

Recently, I became involved with a Political Action Committee (PAC) called Bootstraps, whose mission is to educate members of our community that an alarming number of children in our school district are not learning to read proficiently. We have great schools and I feel very fortunate to live in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district. The teachers and administrators are amazing and dedicated to their jobs. However, a large number of the economically disadvantaged kids in our district are not learning to read at grade level. This is a problem that our entire community needs to be aware of and take action to change.

I believe our school board and our teachers are working hard to close the achievement gap that exists in our schools, but they need the support of the community to make this a priority. Bootstraps’ volunteers recently placed over 100 signs in Chapel Hill and Carrboro to bring attention to this important issue as elections for town leaders and school board members approach. I was perplexed and disheartened to learn that nearly all of these signs were removed. A volunteer reported seeing a man in a white van with a ladder on top removing the signs along Franklin Street. I just can’t understand it!

Bootstraps volunteers will be placing new signs in the community soon. Please help us ensure that every sign stays up so that these kids are represented.

Madeline Blobe


Coaches, be warned

My son played for both David Miller and Randy Trumbower. I was a player parent when David Miller was railroaded. I was never asked my opinion of David and neither was my son.

I have been following the controversy over Randy. Again, I see the pattern that a few parents are able to influence the removal of a good coach. Again, no one has contacted me or my son for our opinions and experiences. I am not surprised: the truth is not important to Chapel Hill High School’s administration.

David and Randy never treated my son with disrespect. They made decisions on his playing time that I, as a father, wasn’t happy with, but were good for the team and good for my son’s growth: they treated him like a man, not a child.

In David’s case, the reason for his removal was muddied and never made clear. It looks the same way with Randy. This is not just cowardice, but injustice.

I would like to amplify Bryan Raitano’s warning to the CHHS community (CHN, Oct. 2, Good luck, anyone who takes the baseball job will milk it and be gone to their next job before a few unhappy parents with overprotected children are able to force their firing. CHHS will have the reputation it deserves for some time to come. Other sports coaches are forewarned.

Gordon Cook


Hintz gets transit

Now that Loren Hintz has retired from teaching science at Chapel Hill High School, we have the opportunity to elect him to our Town Council, where he will be able to devote full time to the issues he has pursued for many years.

Even before retiring, Loren somehow managed to find time to serve on our neighborhood association, where he was elected president. His family often walks or bikes through our neighborhood and along Morgan Creek so I know he’s serious about improving access for pedestrians and bicyclists, and he understands our town’s need for public transportation.

The skills and patience that Loren developed in the Peace Corps and as a high school teacher will prove invaluable when dealing with the many people seeking to influence the way our town will develop in the future.

You might not be able to tell in written documents or candidate forums, but Loren has the infectious curiosity of a scientist, the joy of someone who knows how to find value in everyone he meets and the skills, passion and humor needed to contribute to our wonderful community.

George Entenman

Chapel Hill

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