Not much to learn from Charlottesville
John Anderson’s (CHN, bit.ly/1yIgb5e) adoration of the strip-mall, big-box, traffic-congested, energy-consumptive development of Charlottesville, Va., is only something a developer could love.
In fact, I encourage our City Council to visit Charlottesville to see first hand how poor management of “growth” can remold a university town into just another just-like-everywhere, sprawl-city surrounding a charming friendly “Historic District.”
In my view, Charlottesville has a lot to learn from Chapel Hill about maintaining a larger living community. We do need more infrastructure development for shopping and food closer to the downtown and inside the city generally – and we do need a downtown gathering place as Charlottesville has created. But, why have just one “charming’ area as Mr. Anderson describes downtown Charlottesville? The model Charlottesville has taken has been to preserve only a part of the community for healthy pedestrian living and has sacrificed the rest to one strip mall after another along the U.S. 29 and US 250 corridors, with all the attendant traffic congestion.
No thank you!
If you want to see a bigot
Wanda Hunter’s commentary (CHN, bit.ly/1Dx9zr8) about the persistence of racism in Chapel Hill and the approach of the Chapel Hill Police Department to combat it reminds me of one of the best pieces of advice I ever received.
In the 1960s in New Haven, I attended a speech given by a member of the Black Panther Party, a group which was persecuted regularly (and sometimes prosecuted) by various governmental organizations. The speaker said to a large and racially-mixed audience: “if you want to see a bigot, look into the mirror.”
I urge everyone to do that and think about it.
Arthur L. Finn
Kudos for column
Thank you, Wanda Hunter, for such an informative piece and for letting us all know that our communities are not immune from the effects of implicit bias, but also pointing out that there's hope for improvement.
Lives in the balance
Thank you, Wanda Hunter. Far too many folk want to gloss over the unfair treatment of the minorities among us, but you’ve spent time energy and effort analyzing that issue.
You are correct. Lives are being ruined. And just like the “School to Prison Pipeline” that minority students experience, the percentage of failure of these kids and their families is catastrophic! Please expand your research.
The recent article (CHN, bit.ly/1v6P9Rh) regarding Ellie Kinnaird's lobbying our Board of Aldermen to change the address and ZIP code of for those living in the northern part of our town so that it says Carrboro, not Chapel Hill, actually said as much about Ms. Kinnaird as it did about the postal situation.
The article interestingly pointed out that Ms. Kinnaird has chosen to live in Chapel Hill, not in Carrboro. However, let’s set aside the issue of someone advocating for, or passing laws, that affect the populace but from which they them selves are exempt.
The more troublesome issue raised by this article is the phenomenon that appears to afflict may in elected office. They forget that they are there to represent their constituents. They often display an attitude that seems to say, I know what's best for you and you don’t.
In this case, Ms. Kinnaird, who did many positive things as a mayor and state legislator, displays a contempt for the views of her former constituents. "When I was the mayor we asked the post office to change our ZIP and address...” “Instead, they did a survey of postal customers, asking if they wanted to change their address from Chapel Hill to Carrboro. Of course, they didn’t.”
It’s almost as if she is angry they didn’t listen to her, and dared to solicit the opinions of those who would be affected and whom she was supposed to represent.
Ms. Kinnaird’s hubris would find a kindred spirit in Minister Dormandy in the movie “Pirate Radio” who said: “You see, that’s the whole point of being the government. If you don't like something you simply make up a new law that makes it illegal.”