Your letters, Oct. 20

October 20, 2013 

  • Endorsements deadline

    Please send letters endorsing candidates in the municipal and school board races by Friday, Oct. 25, in order for us to publish them by Election Day.

Re-elect Barrett to school board

We are writing to support James Barrett for re-election to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board.

We have children in all levels of Chapel Hill schools and therefore are aware of the importance of having strong voices on the board. James has had a strong voice in his two years there filling out the term of a departing board member. Now he deserves a full four-year term.

As a child of the Chapel Hill schools, James wants to see each and every student get the strong education he received here, whether that student starts out ahead of grade level, on grade level, or behind. The board and superintendent have the right plans in place to do that, but James will keep a sharp focus on the implementation of those plans while also guiding the district through all the other issues it faces.

James has our vote!

Benjamin B. Brodey

Inger S. B. Brodey

Chapel Hill

Help understanding the Affordable Care Act

There is help for anyone who wants to learn more about the Affordable Care Act. A statewide speakers bureau created by the League of Women Voters will present factual information about the ACA to groups of all sorts – church groups, library staff, community organizations, and others. Our speakers are a source of unbiased and comprehensive information about how the ACA works and what it means to North Carolinians.

Our next presentation in the Triangle is on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Extraordinary Ventures, 200 S. Elliott Road in Chapel Hill. The meeting is free and open to the public, and we encourage everyone to attend, listen and ask questions.

Contact Janet Hoy, Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties, at janetahoy@gmail.com to schedule presentations.

Brenda Rogers

President

League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties

Hold drivers accountable

It is time for pedestrians and cyclists to rant about the unfair situations they are put in all over Chapel Hill.

I certainly hope there will be an emphasis on fining drivers $200-plus for going over the 35 mph speed limit. This speed limit is already too high for pedestrians and cyclists using the roads, and too often, drivers are going 40 or 45 mph. I have not seen much evidence of speed enforcement on the roads that I know best: East Franklin, Estes Drive and MLK.

It is very easy to catch pedestrians doing wrong – after all, they are going slowly and are easy targets. It is much harder to catch the faster cars doing wrong. I do not see much evidence of drivers and police fairly considering the overwhelming power difference between cars, cyclists and pedestrians. I realize that pedestrians do not always cross at the light, for example, but the crosswalks are about a mile apart!

I also realize that sometimes they are crossing against the light, but some intersections give you a minute to wait in intolerable, noisy, hot conditions, then give the pedestrian 30 seconds to cross four lanes! Sometimes when I am crossing, I have to jog to make the light. And where those nifty new crosswalks were put in, VERY FEW drivers stop for pedestrians, as the law specifies. I see cars crossing over crosswalks while pedestrians are in them all the time.

It is time to make those who have the most power over the situation do the right thing, for a change. We pedestrians and cyclists are already the ones getting killed doing an activity that, without the presence of cars, is perfectly safe. It’s the presence of cars that makes these activities dangerous. Cars have the power to be slower and drivers have the power to be more attentive. Do us a favor and start ticketing the speeders.

By the way, I sometimes wear ear plugs on a walk because because the speeding traffic, at about 80 dB, is too noisy. Some people use headphones for the same reason. If you want people to not use head sets, then turn down the volume on the cars please.

Sarah McIntee

Chapel Hill

Pretend Chapel Hill

When I moved to Chapel Hill, it was charming, quiet, bucolic, really nice. That was 25 years ago, and now it is an exact copy of the sprawling cosmopolitan networks of New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles.

There wasn’t much traffic in those old days. One could drive in relative calm. Now (and for those of you who have the guts or the intellect to face it) we in the Triangle live in a maelstrom, a veritable cosmopolitan area with a million cars, and half-million SUVs whose drivers jabber away on their cellphones while they crash into other SUVs in a network of over crowded parking lots. Sound familiar?

Yes, Chapel Hill is the place where you come to shop or drop. Big, fat, conglomerate malls have thrown dozens of nice shops and boutiques out of business, Chapel Hill is no longer a pretty place in which to live, and those of you who pretend that it is are in a deep state of delusion. Let’s build more malls; let’s drive more cars; let’s make our town look like Minneapolis/St. Paul. Or, perhaps bury yourself in your garden and pretend that the future is now and that Chapel Hill will forever be that lovely network of gardens, fake art galleries and really nice places to have a glass or three of beer during a football or basketball game.

Yes, let’s pretend!

Vincent Daddiego

Chapel Hill

Rooting for Ryan

It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse Amy Ryan for election to the Chapel Hill Town Council.

I have served with Amy on the Community Design Commission twice over many years. Amy has always done thorough preparation and given careful and thoughtful consideration to all presentations. She invariably has offered insights and adjustments that have encouraged a higher design standard. As a trained design professional she has brought that focus to bear in making projects better.

I think that the ability to understand that aesthetics are an integral component of built space and that visual impact influences success of any project is important. That includes economic success. Having a person who comes to the council understanding the development process and that good buildings make for a better community would be a major asset. This is especially true in light of how many major projects are currently in the pipeline.

Amy is also a strong proponent of citizen involvement. Amy has helped organize two citizen steering committees, Obey Creek and Central West. As a member of the Obey Creek committee I have found the development process more robust in involving citizens early. The fact that Amy had the foresight to understand this makes her an excellent Town Council choice for shaping a better Chapel Hill.

Polly van de Velde

The writer is a member of the Community Design Commission and Obey Creek Compass Committee.

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