Your letters, May 21

May 20, 2014 

Keep Roses at mall

As the Washington Post announced the Pulitzer Prize focusing on ordinary folks doing extraordinary things in their towns, I couldn't help wonder what Chapel Hill is doing to preserve or renew a lease on one of the last remaining Roses stores in North Carolina at University Mall.

A neighboring store, Southern Seasons has made outlet/branches in other cities their priority. Perhaps helping a nearby neighbor in University Mall renew its lease for their many customers with remarkable loyalty would be a more enduring legacy for University Mall.

I have talked to clerks there from Kenya, as well as other newly arrived ones from other nations. It gives a rather standard stocked store a more exotic atmosphere while providing them an income and the customers a real value for their dollar in merchandise that provides most customers with good shopping experience.

Ruth Hill

Chapel Hill

Ride for disabled

In June, I will be joining 100 other Pi Kappa Phi’s from universities across the country and embarking on a 64-day “Journey of Hope.” The Journey of Hope is a 4,000 mile cross-country cycling trek that raises funds and awareness on behalf of people with disabilities.

The team members are all members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and are joining forces to pave the road for a better understanding of people with disabilities. From the West Coast to Washington, D.C., the Journey of Hope team will be cycling from city to city, bringing the message of Push America in a unique and inspiring way.

We will be making dozens of presentations in communities across the nation, helping others to understand the abilities of those with disabilities. After cycling an average of 75 miles each day, the team will take part in many special events with those for whom they’re riding. The team will also be presenting grants to many of these organizations with which we will be visiting across the country.

The Journey of Hope is an event hosted by Push America, which was founded by Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity in 1977 with the mission to build leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today. Its members have raised more than $15 million for Push America since its establishment.

In addition to raising awareness, the Journey of Hope will raise more than $500,000 in support of people with disabilities. I am committed to raising a minimum of $5,500 on behalf of Push America and people with disabilities.

Anyone interested in “Going the Extra Mile” by making a tax-deductible donation to Push America on behalf of Shad Albarazanji should contact me at 919-619-8446 or

Shad Albarazanji


What if everyone biked?

The Chapel Hill News published a great report “What if everyone ran,” (CHN, It concluded: “Some results could be potentially significant: e.g., $48 billion in health-care savings annually and a $25 billion increase in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. (Because everyone would be healthier and have fewer sick days.) The bottom line would be that the world would be a better place. People would be healthier, happier.”

Since May is Bike Month, ( it raises the question, “What if everyone biked?” Besides similar results, biking can save time instead of take time on short rush-hour commutes. Not everyone can bike (if they could it would save tens of thousands of lives, 4.2 billion hours annually in U.S. traffic jams, reduce pollution and eliminate foreign oil needs.) But consider the report that half of all trips are less than 4 miles, there's seldom a need to haul an extra 3,000 pounds for a car.

And biking's safe, Failure Analysis Associates reports a fatality rate of 0.26 per million hours, over 10,000 years at one hour a day. That’s half the rate for driving, and a lot of safe biking.

Patrick Mortell

Chapel Hill

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