Your letters, May 28

May 27, 2014 

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    Please send letters of up to 300 words and guest columns of up 600 words to editor@newsobserver.com. You can also send letters to The Chapel Hill News, 505 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516 and comment on our online stories using a Facebook account.

Equality will win

Re “Lawsuit challenges state’s gay marriage ban on faith,” (DN, May 25)

It’s amazing that those who seek to deny equality (the central tenet upon which this country is based) also would seek to deny religious freedom against beliefs with which they don’t agree.

It's not surprising, however.

In the end equality will win.

Bob Donahue

via Facebook

Unjust laws should be overturned

So let's say that in 2016 there’s an amendment on the ballot to overturn Amendment One and allow marriage equality. It passes (doesn’t matter by how much, just a majority). Will Tami Fitzgerald and her coalition drop it? Will they say the people have spoken? Nah, I don’t think so. They will be all over it, taking it to court, to be overturned.

Sometimes the people do things that are deemed unconstitutional. When they do, those laws should be overturned. The majority doesn’t have the right to override the Constitution and trample on the rights of the minority. That's why we have the judicial branch of our government to interpret laws on their constitutionality.

Kelly Weed

via Facebook

Town ignores flooding reality

On May 12, the Chapel Hill Town Council voted 8 to 1 to embrace its first-ever project under form-based code (FBC), and by 6 to 3 opened the door to development of several large projects in the flood-prone Ephesus-Fordham (E-F) neighborhood, and most surprisingly, without knowing the base flow in Booker Creek, nor even how much surcharge it can handle without damaging taxed property in a 25-year storm.

I find it quite interesting that if council members were polled, likely 100 percent would tell you that Global Climate Change is a reality, though the strong passage of the FBC projects without strong stormwater management guidelines first suggests that the politics of “synthetic” issues, like say, the synthetic TIF (Tax Increment Financing) trump the real, pragmatic concerns for physical well-being throughout our urbanized community.

Last summer, Chapel Hill experienced what has been characterized by some as a 25-year storm. Then May 15, not even one year later, Bolin and Booker creeks flooded again. Numerous properties were damaged and police and emergency crew presence was required to ensure safety of residents. Property values were compromised, and real taxpayer dollars spent.

Just as the eight optimistic council members, you are kidding yourself to believe the historic 25-year storm – the same one that substantial UNC and Chapel Hill developments will be conceived and built upon in future years – remains a sufficient margin of safety.

Whether some of us want to embrace the term “Urbanization” or not, Chapel Hill has been doing just that for century(s) now, starting at UNC, and gradually spreading through the town itself. But thoughtful urbanization requires foresight and the commitment of proper, adequate measures to ensure the qualities that humans want; including natural functional settings such as parks and the coexistent management of stormwater.

We can do both at the same time by focusing attention on areas contiguous with Booker Creek both within E-F as well as up and downstream. Will the private developer(s) of E-F now do this when all the town engineering staff can ask of them is proof that the developer of each individual property have ensured post-development 25-year runoff does not exceed the pre-development value on their property alone, as determined by a professional engineer of their individual choosing, and based upon outdated statistics?

During the 19th century, when New Yorkers came to realize that the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 had not taken into consideration exponential population growth, influential persons began advocating for the creation of a preserved, naturally landscaped area, which eventually came to be known as Central Park. Had such persons not made their voices heard, the idea of Central Park might have given way to private development.

On Wednesday evening, May 28, a public hearing will be held on the Town of Chapel Hill’s Stormwater Management Master Plan, and I want to weep.

Dale Coker

Chapel Hill

Not everyone upscale

If University Mall replaces Roses store with another of its upscale shops, where are people of modest means going to shop for clothing and household items for themselves and their families? Do the mall’s owners not care about these families? Is profit their only interest? If they persist in this trend, they may very well end up with empty shops in the University Mall!

Violet Simon

Chapel Hill

Mall making mistake

My name is Callie. I think University Mall is making a big mistake closing Roses. Because if you were a walker that would be the store that you go to! And if University Mall can take it away then where are all the walkers going to go?

People also go to Roses to buy school supplies and other important things.

Callie Allred, age 8

Chapel Hill

Help send vets back to Normandy

The first week of June will be the 70th and final official D-Day remembrance ceremony in Normandy, France. We are a group of students from East and Chapel Hill High Schools who have made it our goal to raise money for two veterans and their family member from our area so they will be able to attend this important event.

Neither of the veterans we are trying to fund has been able to go back to the places he fought, and for Ed Chappell (a D-Day veteran) it will be, as he has told us, a “dream come true” to visit and attend ceremonies at the beaches that he helped liberate 70 years ago. We are seeking to raise money for flights and lodging for a week for Chappell, who was on the first wave at D-Day, and Mark Sumner, who fought bravely in the Battle of the Bulge and across Europe. The prices for flights will only rise as time passes, so we are in desperate need of some help to make dreams come true.

You can donate through the Public School Foundation publicschoolfoundation.org/ and designate the funds : NC to Normandy or contact our teacher leader directly: Robin McMahon at rrmcmahon@chccs.k12.nc.us or 919 918-2145 ext. 21425.

We deeply appreciate any contribution.

Tyler Roush

Graham Austin

Sarah McMahon

Melissa Turner

East and Chapel Hill High schools

Help fight blindness

Mark your calendar! VisionWalk 2014 is coming up June 7.

VisionWalk raises money to fight blindness. In particular, VisionWalk is currently funding clinical trials for treatments that may cure my own eye disease, Stargardt's Disease, one of the retinal degenerative disorders that the Foundation Fighting Blindness is working to cure! This is why I am asking for you to support me and my VisionWalk team this year.

Team Soles4Sight has already raised over $2,000, but we would like to raise a lot more to help end blindness.

With both stem cell and gene therapy clinical trials going on right now, I can see a cure for my own vision loss coming, not just in my lifetime, but in the next few years. All this progress has me so excited to be able to do so many things, particularly driving! But I can't figure out what kind of car should I get! Please hlpe me figure out what sort of car fits me best.

While you brainstorming up idea's for my first car, take a minute and sign up for the team at fightblindness.org/goto/Soles4Sight2014. If you can't be there in person, please join us in spirit (and wallet too)!!

Thank you so much for all the generous support you show me each year!!! VisionWalk is on June 7. Be there!

Timothy O’Brien

Team Soles4Sight

Cancer Survivors Day

I invite the community to attend a National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration hosted by Cornucopia Cancer Support Center on Saturday, May 31, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at our Durham location. This free, family-friendly event includes music, food, entertainment, crafts and a parking lot sale. And, attendees are invited to bring a photo of themselves or a survivor they care about to add to our Warrior Wall.

The National Cancer Institute defines survivors as anyone living with a history of cancer, and Cornucopia supports everyone affected by cancer, whether in treatment, post-treatment, into survivorship, as well as their family and friends. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate life. For additional details, visit cancersupport4u.org.

Lois A. Boynton

Chair, Board of Directors

Cornucopia Cancer Support Center

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