Your letters, Feb. 9

February 7, 2014 

A reflector shorn off by snow plows sits in the gutter along Weaver Dairy Road in northern Chapel Hill.

COURTESY OF PHIL WESTMORELAND

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Unwarranted speculation

PACE Academy focuses on students’ academic growth, emotional development, and professional readiness. The athletic talent of some of our students is undeniable. Whether the student is a Special Olympics champion or is a nationally ranked basketball player, PACE is proud of their accomplishments outside of school.

With that said, PACE Academy has no relationship or sponsorship with Bull City Prep. The elite caliber athletes do not participate in PACE Academy athletics; they participate on the Bull City Prep and other AAU teams, outside of school, in order to enhance their athletic skill development and maintain a rigorous schedule against comparable athletes. Their families have enrolled them at PACE Academy because they know they will receive the same academic instruction and opportunities for growth that is afforded to every other student at PACE. The students who are players for Bull City Prep are able to focus on academic development at PACE Academy because no one is pressuring them about sports; according to the players, this is markedly different than their experience in other schools / districts across North Carolina.

As a result of the media's unwarranted speculation, PACE received an inquiry from the Office of Charter Schools. In PACE’s response, sent Jan. 31, 2014, to Office of Charter Schools Director Medley, we reiterated that PACE Academy: 1) Has no involvement, relationship, financial arrangement, or sponsorship with BCP; 2) does not recruit any athletes to attend PACE; 3) follows the same enrollment procedures as with any other student; 4) does not feed or house any players; 5) does not participate in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

Next time, we suggest the Chapel Hill News showcase the academic growth, emotional development, and professional readiness of PACE students; perhaps Mr. Alexander should visit our campus before writing another article.

Rhonda Franklin

Principal

Jane Miller

Assistant principal

PACE Academy

Design flaw

Weaver Dairy Road in Chapel Hill has just finished a three-year reconstruction, so on a walk along it last Saturday, we were startled at all the plastic reflectors along the curb.

Then it hit us: These are the new lane-marker reflectors, ripped off the road by plowing after that week's snow!

Flawed design? Wasted money and effort, for sure ...

Phil Westmoreland

Chapel Hill

Welcome Womancraft

WomanCraft is an all-local, self-sustaining co-op of over 70 artists and artisans, founded over three decades ago. We are totally run by our volunteer artisans.

On June 29, 2013, we were destroyed by the flood in Chapel Hill. We reopened after a month-long clean-up and recovery. In December 2013, our lease was not renewed, and we were forced to leave our location in Chapel Hill. Once again our volunteer members packed up everything and moved to a new location in the 300 E ast Main complex in Carrboro. Our co-op members create fine handcrafted jewelry, pottery, art, fiber arts, clothing, art glass, basketry, and more.

Please join us on Monday, Feb. 10, 6-8 p.m. to celebrate our opening in the new location. We will have refreshments, free Chapel Hill toffee, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. We will also participate in the Second Friday ArtWalk with the fitting theme “Love is Local” on Friday Feb. 14, 6-9 p.m. Refreshments and wine will be served, and it is a wonderful opportunity to choose a Valentine gift that supports the local arts community. There is free parking behind the building.

Brenda Baldwin Scott

Womancraft

Applause for actress

Three cheers for actress Scarlett Johansson as spokesperson for the new Israeli company, Soda Stream. She has not succumbed to left-wing, anti-Semitism towards Israel.

Soda Stream is now the latest target in the divestiture and sanction movement, yet Soda Stream employs thousands of “West Bank” Arabs, at the same wages as Jews, including free food and transportation! Without these jobs, these people would be out of work and living in the street.

Cowardly, misdirected organizations like American Studies Association, (which include students and professors of our universities) as well as Oxfam call for divest and sanction toward Israel for their treatment of Arabs. They conveniently overlook Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Syria who suppress women’s rights, gay rights, and human rights in general.

John Kerry warned that Israel was facing a growing campaign of delegitimization which would likely worsen if peace talks with the Palestinians collapsed. Kerry and Obama think that Israel will divide Jerusalem for the sake of a peace treaty? Jerusalem will never be divided. Meanwhile, we supporters of Israel hold strong against the self appointed moralist, anti-Semitic artists like Elvis Costello, Roger Waters, Emma Thompson, Stevie Wonder, and Annie Lennox. Scarlett Johansson stayed off the pc bandwagon, and I applaud her.

Rene’ Paul de la Varre

Chapel Hill

No help for autistic son

When I moved back to small town North Carolina 14 years ago, everybody said. “I’ll bet you’re glad to be out of the big city.” If anybody asked that question today it would be “NO, NO, NO.”

In the last year my autistic son has gone through some major health challenges. When I called to have him tranported to the ER for pain, police and fire rescue came along with EMS and roughed him up. He was in his bed, and as I was coaxing him up, the fire-rescue personnel yelled at him. They’ve done it before, and again he bit down on the closest thing to him, my arm.

That gave them the excuse to jerk him up, handcuff him, and throw him face down on the floor. In the process, his chin was cut and scraped, and his arms and legs were bruised. He was in four point restraints, when he got to the hospital, and they wouldn’t remove them because he was yelling to be let out. This went on for some time, and a psychiatric PA decided he needed to go to Central Regional. I objected and opted for release to home. He received no diagnostics to locate the source of pain.

If my son were not autistic in small town North Carolina, he would have had several MRIs by now, but here they claim an MRI can’t be done safely on an autistic. Of course, once out of the ER, I contacted the local police and fire chiefs. I wanted to know who the men were and why they had done this to my son. The fire chief denies his man was here. The police chief wanted to have a meeting. I walked out on the meeting because the town officials would not tell me who the men involved were.

I spoke with two attorneys. They initially said they would take the case for a portion of the award. Then they began asking me for thousands of dollars to proceed. I met with the town, and an insurance claim was submitted. Some time later, I received a letter from the insurer that the claim was denied, because it was not excessive force.

And this is just one reason I am not glad to be out of the big cities I’ve lived in – bad schools, poor health care, few people who will do their jobs so that you can do yours, the list goes on and on.

Gayle Adcock

Carrboro

McCrory’s priorities

A letter writer in last Sunday’s Chapel Hill News thinks that Gov. McCrory needs to rethink his priorities (CHN, Feb. 2, http://bit.ly/1lz6EdL). I think he has them exactly right. He is doing exactly what the voters who elected him sent him to do. We were fed up with the corrupt tax and spend liberals who ran this state for the past 100 years.

With respect to gay marriage that is a matter which should be left up to the voters in each state. You can always find a judge to agree with your point of view and one person’s opinion (the judge) should not be forced on the entire population of the state. And so far, the people of North Carolina do not want gay marriage. With respect to voter ID, 20 or 30 states already have voter ID. I view it that anyone opposed to voter ID is in favor of voter fraud.

With respect to Obamacare anything which can be done to stop this trainwreck can and should be done. It was enacted based on a lie with not one Republican vote. It is destroying our health-care system, costing a fortune and helping very few people while it harms very many. On Medicaid the writer has the typical liberal attitude that federal money is free money. It is not. It is our tax dollars and they are more often than not, wasted.

Suggesting that our current leaders are not leading with foresight and justice is plain wrong. It may not be to the writers liking, but they are doing just fine by me.

Vincent M. DiSandro Sr.

Hillsborough

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