In an article in The Daily Tar Heel last week, N.C. Pride spokesman Keith Hayes said, “Now the (N.C. Gay Pride) parade is really about celebrating what we have accomplished for gay civil rights — free from fear.” But even with gay marriage legal in four states and Gay-Straight Alliances at hundreds of schools, many people still adopt the quasi-tolerant stance of NIMBY: Not in My Backyard.But what about on your TV?
Surf over to NewKenan.com, the site detailing the planned renovation to Kenan Stadium that’s estimated to cost more than $70 million.There are fancy videos about “premium suites” and information about luxury boxes with flat-screen TVs and wet bars. Talk about cognitive dissonance. Every day I read articles about how we’re in the Great Recession — the worst economic downturn in 70 years. (Maybe the cost of renovation is supposed to be a nod to the time that has elapsed since the Great Depression — at a million dollars a year).
Since 1795, students of the University of North Carolina have aggressively used First Amendment rights and frequently petitioned our school for redress of grievances. And our unique public university perspective on state action and prior restraint has often encouraged debate on what exactly qualifies as the abridgement of speech on our campus.The ongoing Youth for Western Civilization debacle has shed more light on the subject. We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly as this issue has run its course.
Recent criticisms of the University’s use of coal and activists’ calls for faster action to end its use are unreasonable.The Climate Action Plan has already put long-term goals in place to reduce dependency on coal and convert the Cameron Avenue plant to use alternative fuel. Protesters feel that the University could be doing more and doing it faster. But the plan sets far more realistic and attainable goals and leaves the door open for longer-term innovation.
TO THE EDITOR:One of our votes in the school board election will proudly go to our friend and former neighbor Greg McElveen. As one currently serving on the board, he has demonstrated the qualities required to make our great district even better. His active involvement in the Parent Teacher Student Association Board and the District Strategic Planning Committee are just a few of his efforts. Greg is committed to bringing about excellence for all students. We encourage voters to go to his Web site, www.mcelveenforschoolboard.org, and learn more about Greg.
TO THE EDITOR:I was wondering if the following could be asked of those running for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools school board?Currently, there is a lot of focus on helping struggling students to close the achievement gap, especially African-American, Latino and low-income students. What experience or ideas do the candidates have with the issues surrounding this group of students, and how do you plan to help the district close the achievement gap and help all students be successful?Julie Davis Chapel Hill
TO THE EDITOR:I am writing to encourage Chapel Hill voters to elect Gene Pease to the Town Council. His knowledge of the town’s budgeting process combined with his experience as a successful business CEO will provide a valuable new perspective on the council. In addition, I believe his proposals on a sustainable tax base and responsible government, strengthening our commercial tax base, establishing a budget and finance committee, and limiting benefits for council and staff members will assist in controlling wasteful spending and lowering tax bills.Joe Patterson
TO THE EDITOR:I encourage all readers to vote for Gene Pease for Chapel Hill Town Council. As a former Town Council member, I have observed that Gene has precisely the qualities necessary to work with other council members to assure the right fiscal balance as the town continues to mature. Taxes are on folks’ minds, and Gene’s experience several years ago as head of the Citizen’s Budget Advisory Committee appointed by the council demonstrated Gene’s understanding of budgetary matters based on his experience as the CEO of his company.
TO THE EDITOR:For more than 20 years I was privileged to own and operate Swensen’s Ice Cream Shop in University Square on West Franklin Street. During that time, I watched our town grow and change. Chapel Hill is still growing and changing and needs strong leadership to make sure we successfully continue positively in these very demanding times.
TO THE EDITOR:The article dealing with the new tuition charge for the Governor’s School summer program (“Governor’s School fee deters few,” Oct. 6) raised a lot of issues for me. As a Governor’s School alumna, I believe in the power of Governor’s School to transform lives. I also think this article focused on a narrow population that would not be affected by the tuition — students from the relatively wealthy area that feeds into East Chapel Hill High.
The search for a new provost is well under way. In choosing a replacement for Bernadette Gray-Little, the University needs to select a candidate with extensive administrative experience who at the same time is in touch with the classroom. The provost is the second-highest ranking position on campus — below only the chancellor. The provost is also the chief academic officer of the University and has oversight responsibilities for budget and planning.
TO THE EDITOR:In 2008, UNC was one of the most politically active college campuses in the country as students turned out to vote in state and national elections. This year, we have local elections, including the election of Chapel Hill’s next mayor, and these elections are no less important.Local elections are the ones that decide how Franklin Street is developed, how bus service works, where landfills are placed and even how our Halloween celebrations are handled. These are issues that impact our daily lives as students at UNC and residents of Chapel Hill.
Greenbridge has thrown our environmentally minded town into an existential crisis.For many, the 10-story monolith jutting out of the Chapel Hill skyline promises a death sentence to the historically black neighborhood in its shadow, Northside, and the black-owned businesses that have thrived there for generations.It is part of the inevitable tide of progress for some — and the green-washed froth of gentrification for others. We hear a lot about that dreaded “g” word, but not a lot about how it works.
TO THE EDITOR:I support Councilman Matt Czajkowski for mayor. I admire his lone stand against lifetime health insurance benefits for Town Council members — a majority of one. He is the son of immigrants. He served his country for four years in the U.S. Navy. He went on to graduate from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. A former investment banker, Matt has an understanding of money and finance which is sorely needed on any town board. Matt is the sensible choice. I urge you to vote for Matt Czajkowski for mayor of Chapel Hill.
TO THE EDITOR:We’ve been residents of Carrboro for 22 years and have known Sharon Cook and her family since they moved here 12 years ago.Cook has worn many hats and has always been extremely active in our neighborhood and in a wide range of local civic organizations and groups.As a parent she has been a dedicated volunteer within the Chapel Hill school system, Orange County Girl Scouts and Orange County Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.