Your letters, Nov. 17

November 15, 2013 

“It was just the craziest thing when I met him,” Kayley Thorpe says of her assistance dog, Mack. “I didn't know about the waiting lists. I didn’t know how fortunate I was.”

MARK SCHULTZ — mschultz@newsobserver.com

Closing EENP would hurt clients

I am the client with Tourette’s syndrome with a dog named Mack in Wednesday’s commentary by the Eyes Ears Nose & Paws board (CHN, Nov. 13, bit.ly/17qAUfk).

Mack is my everything. He holds me up when I am about to fall, stops my attacks, opens doors, retrieves things I’ve dropped, helps pull my wheelchair when I need it. He makes my independence possible.

Yet, he’s also an indescribably wonderful friend: he makes me laugh, and comforts me when I’ve had a bad day. Every day with him is a miracle for both of us. One that would not have been possible without everyone at EENP, most of all Deb Cunningham.

I understand that in the wake of Worthy’s death, things have changed, and people question things. I was shocked and devastated by the news of it. Everyone in and around the organization was reeling. Shock, grief, anger. I’ve seen an awful lot of these things in people’s reactions, but most unfortunately, anger. I understand, when something senseless happens, it is the most basic impulse to assign blame. Yes, mistakes were made. No one is denying that.

But why on earth, so much anger? It is disturbing to me how so many people seem to be clamoring for the closure of this wonderful organization. They have always been, and always will be, about the clients: people like me whom they help.

No one asked me to write this. But I am. I want to say that the anger is ill-assigned, and that if this organization is forced to close, it will leave a gaping hole in the community. And the people who will be hurt, the people who feel the ultimate consequences, had nothing to do with the untimely death of Worthy.

The people who will suffer most from this will be the people who need the service dogs this organization provides. People who want to know independence and a chance at a more normal life.

Worthy was a golden retriever, one of the most sweet and forgiving creatures on the planet. Might his memory be better served not by anger and destructive blame, but by forgiveness and attempts at moving forward to something better?

Kayley Thorpe

via Facebook

Editor’s note: The length limit on letter was waived to allow a more full response to the Nov. 13 commentary.

School concerns

I have two sons in the Mandarin Dual Language program at Glenwood Elementary School. I just read about the board meeting on redistricting plans (CHN, Nov. 10, bit.ly/17jgav0). As a parent, I want to share my concerns.

1. This moving plan was equally astonishing to the parents from the Mandarin DL program. At the Oct. 30 School Improvement Team meeting, we were told that overcrowding will be solved by redistricting a few neighborhoods of Glenwood Elementary. However, the Nov. 4 board report described the completely opposite approaches (to move us out).

2. This moving plan is equally disrespectful to the families from the Mandarin DL program. There is nothing more important than giving kids a stable and happy environment to study. If we have to face redistricting every year (last year my neighborhood got redistricted from Seawell to Northside), how can that become true?

As a parent with two kids in the Mandarin DL program. I share the same concerns as the parents with kids in Carrboro Elementary School. I hope the program can stay at Glenwood, so that my kids don’t need to adapt to another new school in two consecutive years.

Wendy Pan

Chapel Hill

Poor planning

The overcrowding of Glenwood is due to poor planning by the school district.

They knew exactly how many kids would be coming with the expansion of the dual language program and did nothing/too little about it as a part of the Northside redistricting. The dual language growth at Glenwood was no surprise to them ... they approved it.

We know families who were told they could not stay at Rashkis this year and had to move to Glenwood due to redistricting. Now, the district is trying to find ways to get students back to Rashkis. The article should have focused on the terrible process used for redistricting and the failure of the school district to make forward-looking decisions regarding changes ... and not pin the problems on the dual language program.

The people and process for forecasting enrollment should be the focus of a future article. If forecasting were done this poorly in the private sector, people would be fired for it or there would be an investment in a new process to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

For the reporter to miss this real driver of the story is disappointing.

Dan Copeland

Chapel Hill

Nominate a business

The Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce is currently accepting nominations for its business awards.

Each year, the Chamber recognizes the Business of the Year, Businessperson of the Year and gives the Helping Hand Award.

In 2013, the Business of the Year was the Hillsborough Barbecue Company, Business Person of the Year was Jason Richmond of Protected PC, and the Helping Hand Award went to the Formal Wear Outlet.

Nominations are due by Dec. 6. A form is available at the chamber at 1000 Corporate Drive, Suite 301 and at hillsboroughchamber.com.

Margaret Wood Cannell

Executive director

Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce

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