Chapel Hill: Opinion

July 11, 2014

More of your letters, July 13

A classic example of “the most inept way to manage a crisis,” Kenan Flagler Business School should seize this moment to illustrate UNC’s egregious mismanagement of its long-festering athletics scandal.

Crisis mismanagement

A classic example of “the most inept way to manage a crisis,” Kenan Flagler Business School should seize this moment to illustrate UNC’s egregious mismanagement of its long-festering athletics scandal. A better name for their bungling strategy might be, “How to seize an already terrible situation and repeatedly make it worse!”

Rather than fix the problem, UNC has embraced the “circle the wagons” mentality; attempted to publicly disgrace, discredit or fire UNC accusers; while maintaining a steady stance of blissful ignorance of wrongdoing.

How has their strategy worked so far? Well, they’re in the third iteration of a thorough investigation intended to “get to the bottom” of their problem. Roy Williams, entourage in tow, goes on national radio to discredit a former athlete. UNC fires the whistle blower, and, not surprisingly, has now been sued for it. An NCAA investigation, closed two years ago, has again been re-opened for alleged academic improprieties. For such supposedly brainy people, their results speak for themselves.

No, the problem is not the athletes. The problem is those adults responsible for them: administrators, professors, athletic directors, coaches, and others. Collaboratively they have turned this university into the fodder of late-nite comedy routines.

Before they can do more damage to the academic and sports reputation of the university (and taxpayers wallet), keep the athletes, but consider getting rid of those responsible for the mess they created.

Thomas Offutt

Chapel Hill

Caldwell has wisdom

I am proud and grateful to be able to cast my vote for David Caldwell in the runoff election for sheriff of Orange County. I met Mr. Caldwell in 2007 and have had the privilege of working with him on volunteer projects serving the community. His combination of experience, knowledge, wisdom, and integrity will serve us well. His record of service, including eight years in the U.S. Army, and more than 22 years in local law enforcement prepare him to serve us. Vote for David Caldwell!

Nancie McDermott

Chapel Hill

Blackwood well-grounded

“I’m a tool in the box, not the king.” That kind of sums up Charles Blackwood to me. Humble, well-grounded, open. That was his response to a WCHL forum question about working with others – the community and local, state, and federal agencies.

I like that attitude. He’ll inspire people within the sheriff’s office, community and beyond to be involved – things will happen.

Thirty-two years of experience at the Sheriff’s Office. Started in patrol in 1980, rose through the ranks to lieutenant; promoted to captain of services in 2003 directly supervising the courts, the civil process division, and the crisis unit; retired in 2012 as major of operations having supervised all divisions and reporting directly to Sheriff Pendergrass.

I like that experience. That kind of knowledge and hands-on training is invaluable in decision making and necessary in maintaining credibility.

I’ve known Charles for more than 35 years. He is honest and trustworthy. He’s a lifelong citizen of Orange County, forever a civil servant. I’ve heard him speak of being sheriff for more than a decade. I’ve never doubted that when the time was right, that’s where he’d be because that’s where he belongs. And Orange County, that’s where you need him.

Sheriff Pendergrass thinks so too. So does Larry Faucette (retired captain) who ran in the May primary, all of the endorsers and supporters on, and the 4,788 voters who filled in the space beside Charles Blackwood on the May 6 ballot.

I like that confidence. The confidence of so many.

I’ve heard some talk about this election being history-making, and it is. Sheriff Pendergrass will be completing the last in a run of eight exemplary terms – those shoes can’t be filled, by anybody. The absolute best the citizens of Orange County can do is vote the right person into the job. If you are committed to doing that then there is no other choice – vote Blackwood for Sheriff.

Daphne Owings

Orange County

Support Our Children’s Place

While enjoying lunch with my colleagues, your newspaper article “Speaking Up For Children of Incarcerated Parents” (CHN, July 6, was mentioned. Even though the women present were veteran teachers, the statistic that over 24,000 children have a parent in the N.C. prison system was new information. The number was much higher than they imagined.

Because children have an unfathomable void in their lives due to having a parent in prison, they need a support system that can carry them through those trying years. That places a huge responsibility on the churches, schools, after-school programs and individuals like you and me.

Our Children’s Place continues to be a significant voice for advocating for the children across North carolina. What was not mentioned in the article is that Our Children’s Place, like many nonprofit organizations serving children, is in dire need of funding to keep its mission aloft. I encourage you to financially support Our Children’s Place. It serves us all to serve the children when they need us the most.

Mary Andrews

Chapel Hill

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