Your letters, May 11

May 20, 2014 

Mother’s gratitude

In the best of all worlds, I would never have met you. Or if I did, it would have been at the occasional birthday party or play date or school activity and my polite nod would have acknowledge you as the mother of my daughter’s classmate.

In the best of all worlds, I would have a job that would end early in the afternoon to allow me to meet my daughter at her bus stop, take her to gymnastics, or Girl Scouts, or ballet or any after-school activity that would brighten her day and make her a well-rounded child.

In the best of all worlds, I would make decisions based on the quality of life, not finances, and my daughter would have a younger brother or sister or two and experience the laughter of whispers late into the night and the tears that come with sharing parents.

But, I don’t live in the best of all worlds, forced to make compromises about how I lead my life. Compromises that have me rushing home from work so that my child remembers what I look like. Compromises that limit the size of my family by the size of my paycheck. Compromises that find me so tired at the end of the day I fall asleep in my daughter’s bed while she reads her library book to me.

In my world, you care for my daughter before and after school. And she’s learned that she can love two mothers without hesitation. She’s learned from other children you watch about the ups and downs of having a sister and younger brother. She learned to trust that someone waits at the end of her day, when she comes off that bus, with smiles and laughter and she knows she can count on you. And as I read again the words I’ve just written, I wonder if perhaps I do live in the best of all worlds because of your part in it.

Thank you for being a mother to my daughter.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Anne Anthony

Carrboro

Protecting privacy

Will all of those professors who praised Gene Nichol for labeling Gov. McCrory a racist, segregationist in his newspaper column rush to the defense of Donald Sterling? Would they not agree that comments allegedly made by Sterling during a private telephone conversation with his girlfriend are protected free speech?

Our constitutional right to freedom of speech has been threatened by the progressive movement by way of boycotts, protests and attacks by the media. They have rewritten the statement attributed to Voltaire to state “I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it – so long as it does not involve anti-gay marriages, anti-abortion, what I deem to be racist remarks or statements which I might in the future deem to be politically incorrect".

Larry Cobb

Chapel Hill

Proud Cedars residents

Forty-five years ago my husband Arthur and I came to Chapel Hill. We were fortunate to have enjoyed and celebrated 39 years together here – the last ones in The Cedars of Chapel Hill.

Being a part of the Chapel Hill community and later The Cedars community with friendships in both, has been invaluable over the years. What has come as a surprise in recent years are the vitality of this retirement community, the initiative of residents, and the skills of staff in organizing programs for all facets of well-being: physical, social, and mental.

“Arts in April” was a recent event staged by our community. There were lectures about the arts, a visit to the Ackland Art Museum’s latest two exhibits, and an Open Art Studio Reception in the home of one of our resident artists. “Arts in April” concluded with a “Member Art Exhibition.” Thirty-eight artists from The Cedars contributed over 100 works of art across all media and were available to speak about what some modestly called “hobbies.”

Coming together for this event and sharing excitement and pleasures at seeing beautiful creations by our neighbors also attested to pride in our community, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in October.

Kani Hurow

Chapel Hill

Israeli hypocrisy

On April 3, under the aegis of Jews for a Just Peace North Carolina, 18 Jews, Muslims and Christians handed out leaflets to concert-goers on their way to Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill to hear a concert by the Israel Philharmonic.

Their leaflet pointed out that while the Israeli government sends “cultural emissaries” like the orchestra to demonstrate the country’s vibrant culture, the occupation of the West Bank makes cultural life more difficult for Palestinians. For instance, last July, some of the members of the Ramallah Orchestra, mostly in their teens and 20s, were denied permits to enter East Jerusalem to play a concert of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony. Although Ramallah is just six miles from Jerusalem, not only military bureaucracy, but also the Separation Wall and a checkpoint with multiple barriers come between them.

In Chapel Hill, the leafleters carried signs that said, “Without Justice, there’s no harmony.” The leaflet asked patrons to tell Carolina Performing Arts not to book Israeli cultural emissaries while Palestinians cannot perform freely.

Judith Ferster

Chapel Hill

Drainage problems

Re Linda Haac’s commentary “What exactly is the town selling?” (CHN, bit.ly/1ujxKYa)

I have been looking to move to Chapel Hill for a year (moving momentarily!). Early in my house search, the word drainage was delicately mentioned. I did some research and was appalled at the flooding that is allowed to continue.

Louisville here has similar terrain and similar issues, but has found solutions in many places. I suspect there are a number of reasons Chapel Hill government is reluctant to apply them. 1. They are expensive, disruptive, and time consuming. It has taken several years for a few mile stretch of drains near me now to be completed. 2. They aren’t terribly esthetic. Delightful, babbling [heavy sarcasm] Beargrass Creek is now a deep, concrete lined channel. 3. I'm sure there is considerable impact to the environment, although the worst of that was done when this area was developed.

On the plus, side, business and homes remain dry, improving property values and, oh yes, quality of life. Plants and wildlife are coming back in in undeveloped portions of the path. Taxpayers aren't footing yet another huge bill for flood relief.

I look forward to meeting you at some of the town meetings on the topic, Linda!

Inge Formenti

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