Your letters, Oct. 27

October 25, 2013 

Ryan gets rural

I don’t vote in Chapel Hill – but the election outcomes will impact me and the rest of us who live in Orange County. I hope Chapel Hill voters elect Amy Ryan to their town council.

Many issues impact the towns and county, especially as we work to recover from the recent financial crisis and actions of the legislature. Cooperation will be essential as our local governments and UNC sort through options to deliver high-quality services in a fiscally sustainable way. Amy is a thoughtful and engaging partner who’s at ease with complex challenges.

I was tickled pink when Amy invested an afternoon – during a busy campaign season – to learn about rural Orange County. I already knew that vision, context and cooperation were the foundation of her platform. The rolling hills and century farms were a perfect reminder of why these factors are so important. After all, we were enjoying the success of the rural buffer – a land-use strategy developed jointly by the town and county over 20 years ago in order to protect the beautiful countryside from sprawl.

Amy thoroughly enjoyed meeting those who serve the rural community every day. No potential voters – just everyday people who exemplify the spirit of public service that Amy is committed to support.

Bonnie Hauser

Orange County

Ryan’s experience

Chapel Hill faces planning decisions that will shape (and potentially reshape) its future forever.

How can we build a tax base that provides the revenues to support the services and amenities we want and expect in Chapel Hill, without either overburdening residential taxpayers or overwhelming the beauty and livability of the town with traffic congestion?

How do we create a thriving, entrepreneurial economy that is also integral to the spirit and history of this distinctive university community?

Amy Ryan is one of the most thoughtful and constructive members of the Chapel Hill Planning Board, and would be an outstanding addition to Town Council.

Amy has been actively involved in the discussions about the major development projects now being considered around Chapel Hill – the Chapel Hill 2020 process, Ephesus-Fordham Boulevard, Central West, Obey Creek, and others – and helped organize the broad-based public steering committees to guide two of them.

In all these discussions, I have seen Amy provide a calm, consistent and constructive voice for strategic planning, for decisions based on information rather than preconceptions, and for listening to the voices of all.

Amy has 10 years of experience on town planning and development boards, and a professional education in planning and design as well. Her website provides additional details ( She deserves the votes of all Chapel Hillians for election to Town Council.

Pete Andrews

Chapel Hill

Insurance savings

As a local Realtor, I (and most of my colleagues) must provide for my own health care.

I was fortunate enough a few years back to locate a wonderful insurance agent who helped me enroll in a “business of one” business plan. I have been so grateful to have excellent coverage at “reasonable” rates after having gotten quotes from the major companies in the $2,000 (and up) range per month. But the premiums for this coverage began to creep up and has now become basically unaffordable.

Enter the Affordable Care Act! I learned last week from my agent that I will be able to purchase the same or better coverage (without any consideration of subsidies) for about $400 less per month. I will be able to keep all my doctors, my wide network, same deductibles and co-pays. Wow, what good news for me and many self-employed folks.

I know there are others who have not had the same experience. I think for some people who had lower premiums already, they may find they are better off staying with what they have. In fact that is one of the great things about the ACA. If you are happy with the coverage you have, you can simply keep it.

Regardless of the slow start for the logistics of the ACA, this is the real deal for so many people, and I urge everyone who needs coverage or more affordable coverage to find out what it may do for you.

Kathy Underhill

Chapel Hill

Palmer exemplary

There are many people on planet Earth who do not have the privilege of expressing their will through the vote, or, even when able, to have their vote counted. We, in this exemplary democratic country are fortunate that voting is considered a citizen’s right and our voice can be heard.

I became a citizen on May 25, 2012, at the age of 81, because I believe we must not waste this opportunity. But we also need to know the people we are electing, and know that they will defend our rights on the Town Council, so we can live in Chapel Hill and enjoy the best services: education, free public transportation, trash pickup, protection that allows us to have peace of mind, and taxes that are congruent with our income and are invested wisely to improve the quality of life.

For all these reasons, I call on the citizens of Chapel Hill – those born here and those who because of our life journeys have come to live here – to vote for Maria Palmer, an exemplary citizen, with experience in public service and proven honesty, for Town Council.

Let’s take advantage of early voting and not leave for the last minute our democratic right and responsibility. God bless our nation.

Moisés Weisleder

Chapel Hill

Greene gets housing

Chapel Hill has one of the most admired local affordable housing initiatives in the U.S. A lot of credit goes to Councilwoman Sally Greene for her dedication to win community and council support for these initiatives. Sally was elected to the Town Council in 2003 and 2007. In 2011, Sally decided not to run for a third term.

After her departure, it was very evident to affordable housing advocates that no then-elected council member had the depth of understanding of affordable housing initiatives that Sally displayed. Luckily, Sally was re-appointed to Town Council in early 2013 on a 7 to 1 vote by other council members.

This year Sally Greene has decided to run for a third term.

If you are a town-taxpaying-resident looking for a council person who will truly represent the need for new affordable housing initiatives and help oversee issues related to Chapel Hill’s existing stock of affordable housing options, no one candidate can better represent your interests in this area than Sally Greene.

Richard Leber

Chapel Hill

Aloft alternative

Halloween on Franklin Street is a tradition that locals, students and visitors enjoy and cherish. However, if you are looking to avoid the crowds and commotion, the Aloft Chapel Hill’s WXYZ lounge provides a safe and relaxing atmosphere.

Visit us to mingle and dance from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 31. Dress in your most frightful and festive costume for a chance to win one of several prizes. Entertainment will feature top 40, house and International music provided by DJ Eddie Bannout from Blissful Entertainment. Harmonious lighting will be provided by Kevin Esprella from No Regret Productions.

Aloft Chapel Hill is a trendy place to play pool, hang out and meet your peers. So, if you are searching for the perfect place to spend an unforgettable Halloween night, please support Halloween at Aloft Chapel Hill and join us for drinks in the WXYZ lounge.

Eddie Bannout

Aloft Chapel Hill

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