Rich deserves re-election
As a long-term resident of Chapel Hill, I’ve known Penny Rich for years, both as a civil servant and a neighbor, and I’m proud to have her serving the citizens of Orange County.
Penny has been instrumental in decisions that have been made to better our community. She deeply understands that vibrant, sustainable communities can only be made possible through smart growth and economic development, social justice, environmental protections, and a robust, accessible and inclusive education system.
Moreover, Penny approaches each issue with an open, curious mind and a genuine desire to understand both the facts and the emotions surrounding it before she develops her position.
As a lifelong cyclist and the president of a local nonprofit that leverages the benefits of cycling for youth development, one issue near and dear to my heart is cyclist safety. House Bill 232 has highlighted, unfortunately, the divide that exists between motorists and cyclists on this topic. Penny has made it a point to educate herself on what does and does not contribute to cycling safety. As a result, she’s put forth a solid and balanced set of recommendations: Mutual respect and understanding; education for both parties regarding current laws and best practices; a transparent and inclusive process for recommending any new legislation; and that any new legislation be logical, backed by solid evidence of its value to cycling safety, and not overly burdensome to administer.
Penny Rich has earned the opportunity to serve again as Orange County commissioner, and Orange County deserves a commissioner as qualified and passionate as Penny.
Rich has our backs
As I lifelong resident of Chapel Hill, I am proud to support Commissioner Penny Rich. She has proven herself to have the backs of the citizens of Orange County for nearly two decades of living here.
As commissioner since 2012, Penny has fought for Orange County’s economic development from Day One. Her first vote as commissioner was for the Morinaga candy factory. This single vote brought 90 new jobs to the county along with needed tax revenues.
She also strongly supported the Mebane GE plant expansion which now employs over 500 people and has become an international beacon for economic improvement. Penny Rich will continue this impressive history of advocacy for Orange County's fiscal health when reelected in November. Vote with me on March 15 for Penny Rich, county commissioner, District 1.
Come write with us
I’m writing to invite any adult in the Chapel Hill community grieving the loss of a loved one — your spouse who died last year, your grandfather 40 years ago, a beloved friend, a child — to a series of FREE writing workshops I’ll be offering this spring. You don’t need to consider yourself a writer to attend.
Join us for an opportunity to explore our deepest feelings in a safe environment. Through writing, we will gently reflect, remember and reconsider. We will honor our loved ones, reimagine our lives now, and discover inner resources we had no idea were within us. You will feel no pressure to share your writing but you can if you’d like.
The workshops will meet four Saturdays at the Carol Woods Retirement Community (in the Assembly Hall). Come to the first, the last, or all of them: March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
To register, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-906-3670.
I developed a writing program for a national hospice that I’ve taught all over the country. To find out more about me, visit my website: www.carolhenderson.
Thank you and perhaps we’ll meet.
An important race
The race for the Orange County Board of Commissioners extremely important. Our public schools are under siege from the state government, and we need strong supporters of public education in these roles now more than ever.
I would like to offer my endorsement for the two strongest candidates for Orange County commissioners in District 1 in next month’s Democratic primary: Jamezetta Bedford and Penny Rich.
Jamezetta Bedford served as a CHCCS board member for 12 years. During her tenure, she founded our district’s Special Needs Advisory Council and singlehandedly advocated for our special-needs students before such programs existed. I was fortunate enough to serve with Jamezetta during her final two years of service, during which time I experienced her educational philosophy and advocacy firsthand: She believes that when it comes to our children, “all means all” – meaning that every child in our district is entitled to a free and appropriate education. As a practicing certified public accountant, Jamezetta is extremely detail-oriented and fairness-minded. She has inspired me in my commitment to our district, and is one of the most loyal and tireless advocates for all of our children. I believe there is no greater supporter of public education.
Penny Rich has served as an elected official in our community since 2009, both as a member of the Chapel Hill Town Council and as a county commissioner. She is a person with a tremendous sensitivity to the members of our local community who are the least visible on the political stage; for example, during the most recent discussions on the bond hearing Penny was the leading advocate for combining a strong housing policy with strong support for our schools. She has proven to be an ardent supporter of our special district tax, which is what helps keep our schools strong by funding them to the maximum level—this is very important in light of our state’s lack of financial support for education.
I urge you to vote as I will on March 15 for Jamezetta Bedford and for Penny Rich.
Most importantly, I urge you to vote!
Board member, Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools
Elect a builder
I have come to a decision to support Mark Marcoplos as the at-large candidate for Orange County commissioner. I have appreciated the time he has volunteered to serve the community and the effect he has had as a community organizer.
As a builder, he has experience in the area of affordable housing and is one of the people of Orange County who has pushed to provide for the homeless. I believe his knowledge of home building can help to move projects forward in a way that can have a positive effect for the people of Orange County.
I believe he can see the whole picture, the cooperation and infrastructure it will take to create a plan that will produce true affordable housing for our service employees that work in our county and would benefit from living in our communities.
He is a candidate that will work with transparency and accountability for economic sustainability and ensuring that our community does not ignore the needs of the working people who contribute so much.
Mark Marcoplos will work to move us beyond NIMBY scenarios with our solid waste services. He will advocate for public transportation options for all communities, as he did in the Rogers Road community, to have access to ridership and walkability as a way to sustain our homes and communities with the ideal we are all connected.
Working together to help this county, we must be able to work with our neighbors and other governmental bodies to make this happen and because of Mark’s volunteer work, his governmental service, and the relationships he has built in the past, I support Mark Marcoplos.
Let your vote be the voice for change, see you at the polls.
The Rev. Robert Lee Campbell
‘First in Stupid’?
While visiting relatives in the Chapel Hill area, I read with amazement Patrick Gannon’s column (CHN, bit.ly/1RYPqpg) “Where are we going with teacher pay?”
North Carolina’s teachers’ pay ranks 47th in the nation? And there is controversy about whether to give teachers a raise?
Most astounding was the opinion proffered by Terry Stoops, of the “conservative” John Locke Foundation: “raises for everyone means schools are enticing ineffective teachers to stay in the profession, while the best teachers aren’t really rewarded.” I would say to Mr. Stoops that low pay is certainly not enticing the best teachers to stay in the profession. (The “conservative” John Locke Foundation is very correctly not labeled a “think tank.”)
Every conservative I have known believes in the “free market,” in which more money is the reward for skill, ingenuity, and hard work. Mr. Gannon’s piece states that “Millennials simply don’t want to become teachers.” Not surprising, considering the minimal value placed upon that profession in this nation.
I suggest that North Carolinians wake up to the realization that a) people like money and b) will go to jobs where they can make the most money. Another cherished free market principle is “competition.” If North Carolina wishes to “compete” with other states for teaching talent, I suggest that it should offer “competitive” compensation.
The Republican Party is referred to by some as the “party of stupid.” Who knows? With its lack of support for teachers, North Carolina’s license plates could soon boast “First in Stupid”
Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
We welcome letters of up to 300 words at email@example.com. The deadline for endorsements has passed.