Not affordable for all
As an employed, middle-class, longtime citizen of Chapel Hill, I wanted to express my concerns about the upcoming implementation of the Affordable Care Act beginning in 2014. I am happy that some of my friends and neighbors who may not have in the past had access will now be able to purchase health insurance coverage. I support making coverage affordable for everyone.
I have had affordable insurance that I have purchased from Blue Cross and Blue Shield for years. Effective Jan. 1, Blue Cross will not renew my current policy. The lowest cost ACA compliant policy offered me will be almost 250 percent more in cost. It will offer a higher deductible, and a very restricted provider network. Since I earn slightly above the subsidy cut-off, I will receive no help to pay the new outrageously high premiums. My only options are to accept this massive increase (which I cannot afford), or risk going uninsured at age 53, and paying the penalty. In Orange County, Blue Cross is the only ACA compliant provider to choose from.
I am sure there are others who are being affected as I am, though we are in the minority. I don’t have a political motivation. I just want my neighbors to know that the ACA’s effect on some of us is devastating. I would think that a solution could have been found to provide for those in need, but not make insurance unaffordable for those of us who were trying to be responsible and provide health insurance for ourselves already.
Come hear poetry
I would like to invite everyone to come celebrate poetry at the West End Poetry Festival on from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Flyleaf Books and from noon to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Carrboro Century Center. This event features an impressive lineup of diverse poets who write in a many different styles. Even if you think poetry is not for you, come in a sample a few poems. You are very likely to be very pleasantly surprised.
The festival begins Friday night at Flyleaf and features poet local favorites Alan Shapiro and Michael Chitwood, among others.
Saturday’s event also features many well-known poets. Gabrielle Calvocoressi will be leading a poetry workshop and will be our featured poet on Saturday evening. Calvocoressi’s most recent book, “Apocalyptic Swing,” was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. She’s a talented poet and essayist who just this fall joined UNC’s creative writing faculty as the Walker Percy Fellow in Poetry. Also, reading Saturday night is Celisa Steele, Carrboro’s new poet laureate. Celisa has already won many poetry awards.
This event is free to the public. The Carrboro Music Festival is history and the film festival is not until November. October is the month for poetry. We are very excited about the festival and look forward to seeing you there! For more information, go to westendpoetryfestival.com/.
Carrboro Poets Council
Cianciolo is fair
It is with great pleasure that I write in support of the candidacy of George Cianciolo for Town Council.
I became acquainted with George when he was leading the Chapel Hill 2020 effort. I was immediately impressed with his obvious fairness, his ability to keep the process moving forward through difficult times, and his overall leadership skills. As I came to know George better I realized that we shared many views and values: support for intelligent development that will strengthen our tax base, a commitment to affordable housing, a desire to make our town government more efficient, and a willingness to move toward effective solutions.
I will be voting for George in the upcoming election. I hope that you will be too.
Michael G. Parker
Cianciolo has open mind
Before we became co-chairs of the Chapel Hill 2020 planning process, I had never worked with George Cianciolo. Quickly I realized why he became chair of every local board he has served on – Planning Board, Public Library Foundation, Transportation Board, Design Commission, and more.
With his open mind, dedication to service, intelligence and warmth, people quickly realize that he is capable and trustworthy. I particularly like his practical streak and his willingness to make decisions in a timely manner. In fact, I drove George to Hillsborough to make sure he filed for this election!
Please join me in voting for George Cianciolo for Chapel Hill Town Council.
Become a tutor
Perhaps you’ve seen them, the signs around town that are a meaningless hodgepodge of letters, and wondered what is that gobbledygook? They are a clever representation of what the members of our community who cannot read confront daily.
The numbers are staggering – in Orange County, about 20,000 children and adults are illiterate. The path to literacy is a long one, and studies have shown that one of the most important aspects of ensuring that our students gain those all-important skills of reading and writing is to be sure their parents are literate.
Yet in Orange County about 14 percent of adults are functionally illiterate. On an airplane we’re told to put on our own oxygen mask first before helping our children with theirs. Same with literacy: adult literacy is crucial. It means that parents can communicate with teachers and the school system, can read the labels on prescription bottles, can help their youngsters with homework, and can even qualify for a better job.
Those intriguing signs are the work of Bootstraps PAC ( bootstrapspac.org). Let’s applaud their effort to represent how bewildering it is not to be able to read. Let’s also acknowledge the terrific work of the Orange County Literacy Council. For 30 years, OCLC has been providing free tutoring for native-born and newcomer adults in our community who want to gain or improve literacy skills, pass their citizenship tests, or get their GED. OCLC needs you! Be a tutor, donor, supporter, and cheerleader: orangeliteracy.org.
Kate Douglas Torrey
The writer is the president of the board of directors of the Orange County Literacy Council.
Barrett is positive
I have known James Barrett for nearly 10 years. Our friendship was born out of youth baseball as our children have played together for many years in recreational leagues. I coached his son and observed him coaching others.
I was able to observe very closely the parenting style of James Barrett. He is supportive, instructional, communicates very well and most importantly, always 100 percent positive. He is fair and impartial. He consistently demonstrated a high level of character and sportsmanship in some very competitive situations. Everything he said or did was for the positive benefit of his and other folks’ children. This is why I am certain he has done a great job on the school board and why I know he will continue to do so in the future.
I have two children in the public school system and I sleep well at night knowing that James Barrett will keep the high standards of the school system while keeping the well being of the children at the forefront of every decision he makes.
I 100 percent endorse James Barrett for school board!
James Franklin White