I would like to commend Pam Dickens on an extremely well-written column (“Should I ask?” CHN, May 25). Her points are very helpful to those of us who have felt awkward when encountering someone in a wheelchair. She is to be admired for her positive attitude.
I met Pam at the Women’s Center (now called Compass Center) in Chapel Hill a few years ago. I was, and still am , impressed by her independence and drive and enthusiasm for life.
I hope Pam is enjoying her work, and I hope her garden is in full bloom!
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Retaining high tech
For many years the finances of the town of Chapel Hill have been overly reliant on residential property taxes, resulting in high tax rates and inadequate town resources. Possible approaches to alleviating this situation include development of high-density, high-priced apartments/condos, or opening the town to big-box retailers. However, many Chapel Hill residents oppose these approaches.
There is another alternative that has been little explored, namely the recruitment and retention of high-technology businesses. Biotechnology and information technology businesses provide excellent job opportunities and generally contribute far more in tax revenues than they use in services. Thus Chapel Hill would likely benefit from the presence of more high-tech companies. Over the last couple of decades scientists at UNC have founded dozens of high technology companies, many of them quite successful, however, few of those companies remain in Chapel Hill.
There is a very characteristic path for the development of new technologies. Basic research in university laboratories reaches a certain point where it may have commercial potential. At this point a small company is started that is usually housed in “incubator” space on campus. If the fledgling company is successful it will leave the incubator and lease commercial laboratory or office space. It is at this stage that most start-ups leave Chapel Hill and migrate to Durham or Wake counties.
The reasons for this are complex, but it is important to note that other university towns have done far better than Chapel Hill in retaining high-tech businesses. It seems essential to address this issue and see whether our town can be more successful in nurturing technology-based businesses. To that end there will be a public forum on this topic on June 7. For more information see: http://ourtownchapelhill.org/events/
830 pints in one day
I am proud to be a part of the 28th annual Carolina Blood Drive hosted by the American Red Cross in partnership with UNC. Every day, people in our community need blood. Hospitals and patients count on blood donors to make sure lifesaving blood is available. We invite the community to join us and help reach our goal of 830 pints collected at the blood drive 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, at the Dean E. Smith Center on the UNC campus.
All presenting donors will receive a free special edition T-shirt as well as great refreshments provided by area businesses. Free parking will be available at the Smith Center and door prizes will be offered throughout the day.
This year, the Red Cross is offering donors a new way to save time giving blood with RapidPass. Donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. After they complete the RapidPass online, donors can either print the pass or send it to their smartphone to bring to the blood drive. We encourage donors to try RapidPass to save up to 15 minutes off your donation time. To learn more or to complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass.
You can also make a blood drive appointment today at Redcrossblood.org, 1-800-RED-CROSS or use the Red Cross Blood Donor app and enter sponsor code UNC. Appointments are strongly encouraged, however walk-ins will be accepted the day of the drive.
The summer months are typically a time of great need for blood donations, so please join me in helping the American Red Cross and UNC make its goal of 830 pints collected in one day. Your donations can help UNC top 25,000 pints collected since 1988. Because each pint can help save up to three lives, the impact of UNC’s efforts is even greater.
With your help, we can surpass this goal. I hope to see you at the blood drive.
2016 Carolina Blood Drive committee chair
UNC Employee Forum
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