Letters, Feb 2: Can’t stop the box, and more

February 4, 2014 

  • Letters policy

    Send letters of up to 300 words and guest columns of up to 600 words to editor@newsobserver.com. All submissions may be edited for space and clarity.

Can’t stop the box

Re Form-based code could simplify Chapel Hill planning process, (CHN, Jan. 21, bit.ly/1c1W4WI)

I would point out that every time I go to a big box store I am driving past a previous commenter’s neighborhood on U.S. 15-501 to get to that awful complex of stores in Durham just over I-40.

If there were a big box store closer to where I live in Chapel Hill, i.e in this area, I would drive fewer miles, not more. Therefore there could actually be less traffic overall in Chapel Hill with this proposed Ephesus-Fordham redevelopment zone. And since I would be spending my retail dollars in Chapel Hill instead of Durham, the commenter’s property taxes might come down a bit, or at least stop rising as much.

I wish we could stop growth in traffic by preventing development locally. Unfortunately, we live in a fast-growing and largely car-dependent metropolitan region and so major corridors like 15-501 will see more traffic almost no matter what we do.

Louis Merlin

The writer is a doctoral students at UNC.

Where’s the outrage?

Drinking water in North Carolina is in trouble. After a chemical spill from a coal power plant in West Virginia left over 300,000 people without water, I must say that I’m surprised by the lack of outrage towards this situation. Can you imagine not being able to drink from or wash your hands with the water from your tap? Although the spill in West Virginia wasn’t fracking waste, it is a very scary, and very real example of what could happen if we allow fracking in Chatham, Moore and Lee counties.

In his recent address, Gov. McCrory indicated that one of his main goals for 2014 would be “energy exploration”, which includes seismic testing and natural gas drilling. Don’t be fooled by those who say that fracking can be done safely, because it can’t. Time and time again, across the U.S., we’ve seen fracking devastate communities, pollute groundwater, and make people very, very sick.

I urge my fellow North Carolinians to make their voices heard by calling or sending letters to the governor to tell him that you oppose fracking. With enough public support, we can protect our waters from pollution and keep our state frack free.

Michelle Graziosi

Chapel Hill

Mentally offensive

The issue of race has long plagued Duke University’s history, and having a dormitory named after white supremacist Charles Aycock is doing nothing to rectify the tender situation regarding Duke’s less than desirable history with racism.

Though Aycock championed education and defended child-labor laws, the fact that white supremacy was such a large part of his agenda as a politician cannot be ignored. While it does seem appropriate to maintain the title Aycock on the dormitory because of Aycock’s commitment to education for all, the larger issue must not be ignored. As an institute of higher education, the administration and higher powers of Duke University must recognize the shadow that is cast by maintaining the name ‘Aycock’ on Aycock Residence Hall onto Duke’s otherwise beautiful campus.

Though the dorm itself is not aesthetically displeasing, it is still a mentally offensive to think that the university I call home could possibly champion a political agenda such as that of Charles Aycock. Following from this, I argue that Duke University change the name of Aycock dorm in order to continue the process of rectifying previous racial issues and avoid future conflict about their stance on issues of race. I also believe that this is an opportunity that must not be missed by the university to modernize our campus, and that the dorm should be renamed for a more recent political or cultural figure that has only positively influenced our community.

Katelyn McCracken

The writer is a student at Duke University

A lot of shoeboxes

I’m writing to thank Triangle area residents for their generosity in helping thousands of suffering children worldwide this Christmas. Through their efforts, we were able to collect more than 73,900 shoeboxes – filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items – for Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. These simple gift-filled shoeboxes communicate to needy children that they are loved and not forgotten.

Although drop-off locations in the Triangle area are closed until November 2014, shoebox gifts can be packed any time. Gifts are received year-round at Samaritan’s Purse (801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607) or using the project’s online tool, where donors can virtually build a box. To get involved, visit samaritanspurse.org or call 704-583-1463.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in this project. A simple gift, packed with love, can communicate hope and transform the lives of children worldwide.

Chris Ramsey

The writer is the Carolina Region director for Operation Christmas Child.

Chapel Hill News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service