Your letters, Oct. 9

October 8, 2013 

Jake Riggs, 26, plays upright bass with the Bucking Mules during the Carrboro Music Festival on Sept. 29.

MARK SCHULTZ — mschultz@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

An absolutely glorious day

The 16th annual Carrboro Music Festival took place Sunday, Sept. 29. I’d like to send out my personal thanks to all who contributed to Carrboro’s always special day – especially the weather gods who provided us with an absolutely glorious day.

Thank you to the Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department with very special thanks to Recreation Supervisor Rah Trost, who helped coordinate the event while juggling a couple of other upcoming town events. Thanks to Recreation Administrator Dennis Joines for the running the website. I’d also like to thank the Public Works Department and Streets Superintendent Chad Dusenberry, the Police Department and Chief Walter Horton and the Fire Department under Fire Chief Travis Crabtree. Without the town commitment, the event would not exist.

Many thanks to the 2013 volunteer committee members: Charlie Berry, Catherine DeVine, Tony Galiani, Michael Gowan, Jackie Helvey, Meg McGurk and Janet Place. Special gratitude expressed to Meg for her invaluable volunteer coordination and to Janet for her fantastic graphic design work. Thank you to all the generous sponsors (including The Chapel Hill News and their wonderful insert), the venues and all the fantastic musicians who donated their time and abilities.

Gerry Williams

Festival Coordinator

Curious and concerned

Re: Central West Focus Area Community Session

With many other curious and concerned people, I attended the session to try to understand what is being proposed for the property at the northwest corner of Estes Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. And I came away appalled at what is proposed and promoted.

Reading to understand, I know that Chapel Hill is always looking for new monies and that the more real estate crowded into the space available, the more taxes. However, the cost of managing such a large property and population will elevate costs to the town government and may end up costing every taxpayer more, not less. It has been so for me as a property owner in Chapel Hill for 54 years.

I have lived in Chapel Hill since August of 1958. Estes Elementary School was begun that year, while Estes Drive itself was still in the state of being paved and prepared for traffic. Looking at the area objectively, it seems the idea of widening Estes Drive is out of the question. What happens when you get to the densely-populated development at and near Phillips Middle School and Estes Elementary, and the established neighborhoods between them and Franklin Street? Are established communities to be destroyed, the schools uprooted and moved, requiring more tax dollars than the new area will ever generate, just to accommodate this new Central West development?

Estes Drive is an inadequate artery even now. It seemed inadequate to me when I first saw it in 1958 and the years have further convinced me. I have to use it almost daily to reach the places I need to go.

Even the alternate plan supported by concerned citizens will put great stress on the area.

Sybil Austin Skakle

Chapel Hill

Sensible gun limits

Perry Collette argues that there is “No gun-free utopia” (CHN, Sept. 25). The gist of his argument is that creating gun-free spaces makes it safe for gun-toting criminals to carry out their robberies, murders, etc. There is a logic to this argument, but the logic is short-sighted and, in the long run can only serve to foster the unrelenting gun violence with which our country now lives.

Sure, if someone who is a criminal, or criminally insane, pulls a gun in a school, or a mall, then having others there with guns might limit what are too often horrible consequences. But let’s examine the world that Mr. Collette advocates: Lots of people with concealed weapons free to enter whatever public place they choose. Sounds to me a lot like the Wild West depicted in the TV shows I watched as a kid. Didn’t we move away from that way of life 100 years ago?

Would having teachers in schools carry guns make our children safer, or waiters in restaurants, or the guy sitting next to you in a movie theater? Would any of this make us safer?

The available data show clearly that the level of gun ownership in this country does not make us safer. Countries like England and Canada where private gun ownership is strictly limited have much lower rates of death from guns. Having a gun in your house is associated with a greater chance of dying by gunfire. The fact that there are instances of an armed homeowner stopping an armed intruder does not change the bigger picture – the data are irrefutable: widespread gun ownership, and the associated gun culture, results in more, not fewer, deaths by gunfire.

If Mr. Collette really wants to protect innocents from the criminal use of guns, he needs to identify actionable steps that begin to move our society away from its gun culture. I doubt very much that the Founding Fathers, when they wrote the Second Amendment, anticipated 21st century weaponry readily available to the general population (They had muskets in those days. An expert musketeer could get off at most four or five shots in a minute. Would an insane musketeer in a movie theater be able to kill nearly as many as an insane young man wielding a semiautomatic AK‑47 knockoff and maybe also a Glock with a 15-round magazine in his pocket?)

Marathons are run one step at a time, and protecting all of us from gun violence will be like running a marathon. Don’t expect that the first steps will get us to the finish line. So don’t fall for the specious argument that a step in the right direction, say rigorous, across-the board background checks, isn’t worth taking because it won’t, by itself, end gun violence.

Rory Conolly

Carrboro

Carrboro PD goes pink in October

Consistent with our department’s commitment to maintaining a proactive partnership with the community and protecting life, this October the Carrboro Police Department will be supporting the 28th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month in various ways.

The patrol and K-9 divisions will wear pink ribbons on their uniforms. Administrators and investigators will wear pink shirts, ribbons and pink awareness bracelets. Pink ribbon magnets will also be seen on patrol vehicles thanks to an anonymous donation to the Department.

Several members of the department have been touched by this disease and have actively taken a role in the ongoing fight against breast cancer through previous events such as the annual Komen NC Triangle Affiliate Race for the Cure and Fight for 1-in-9 5K events.

Capt. Chris Atack

Carrboro Police Department

All invited to University Day

On behalf of the University’s Board of Trustees, I invite community members to join Carolina students, faculty, staff and alumni in showing our support for Chancellor Carol Folt on University Day, Saturday, Oct. 12.

University Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate Carolina’s rich history and look to the future. This year the day will be even more exciting for Carolina with Chancellor Folt’s installation. We’ll hear her speak about the University’s future as we celebrate 220 years of public higher education in America.

The festivities begin at 1:30 p.m. in Polk Place, on the steps of South Building, and a reception will follow outside Wilson Library. (In case of rain, the ceremony will be held in the Smith Center.) The day’s events include presenting five outstanding Carolina alumni with Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards and honoring one of our top faculty members for service to the state, the nation and the University. For more details, please visit installation.unc.edu. I hope you can join us.

Lowry Caudill

Chair

Board of Trustees

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