A 6-year-old’s commute
Will there be no end to the depredations on the lives of ordinary North Carolinians by the state legislature?
Apparently, cuts in state funding to school buses have recently led to cuts in public school busing service in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools system.
My daughter, a brand-new first-grader, is getting to feel the brunt. Her commute to her school, three miles from our house, is an hour each way. That’s a two-hour daily commute for a 6-year-old! There are fewer buses, fewer bus drivers, and the routes are getting longer and longer. And the kids suffer.
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The current legislature has shown time and time again that the concerns of ordinary North Carolinians – school children, college students, women, African Americans, LGBTQ people, workers, poor people, elderly citizens, and the list goes on and on –- are no concern of theirs, and we should let them know the consequence of their indifference at the ballot box in November.
Now that Alexan apartments on Elliott Road will soon be open for business, it’s instructive to look back to an email that developer Lee Perry wrote to the Chapel Hill Town Council on Oct. 30, 2014 (http://bit.ly/2bISFz9). Mr Perry stated that Village Plaza Apartments, as Alexan was then known, was “priced to serve the workforce population.” He further stated “we currently project that rents on one bedroom apartments will begin around $1,150/month.”
Fast-forward two years and we find that the Alexan is marketing their units to graduate students and that one-bedroom units are being offered for $1,500. Is this, in fact, a “significant contribution to workforce housing,” as Mr. Perry claimed the Alexan would be?
The primary goal of the Chapel Hill 2020 Comprehensive Plan was to spur new commercial and retail development in the major focus areas, not to build massive amounts of upscale student housing.
What can the Town Council do to change this trend?
Editor’s note: The writer is a former member of the Chapel Hill Town Council.
Speed limit too low
Last Wednesday, I came through a police speed trap on MLK north of Homestead Road.
I happened to know beforehand about this speed trap because, curiously, the Chapel Hill eLetter announced this initiative, along with a few other dates and times that speed traps would be setup. But this was no ordinary speed trap, I counted 10 police vehicles on the scene!
I don’t have a problem with speed enforcement, but on this particular section of road it is notoriously difficult to maintain the speed limit, which I think is too low. The exact section they speed trap can safely be driven at 45 mph, not the posted 35 mph.
I also strongly suspect that the Police Department likes this state of things, because anytime they need some funds they can race out and set up in this area. This time they gave us warning, but often they don’t as I frequently see an unmarked car sitting at the pullout by Homestead park. If the department had any sense of optics, they would stop speed trapping that area.
UNC embarrassed again
The appointment of Tim Beckman as a volunteer assistant to the UNC football staff was another instance of Carolina’s inability to exercise sound judgment when it comes to intercollegiate athletics.
Not only was coach Larry Fedora out of touch with reality, athletic director Bubba Cunningham and Chancellor Carol Folt appeared to have not recognized the inappropriateness of this appointment.
How long will loyal Carolina alumni have to endure the disappointment and public ridicule about athletic mismanagement and the failure to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is not?
Job-killing trade deals
Having read Thomas Grennes’ well-written Point of View “Too tough on trade” (N&O, Aug. 12) in defense of the 1 percent, I find myself unconvinced.
Our trade plans have thrown millions of American workers under the bus, and it doesn’t seem that any new jobs did unemployed manufacturing workers any good.
With the middle class now seeing its jobs exported (many asked to train those putting them out of work), sand has been thrown in the previously smooth sailing of trade deals approved by a bought government.
Workers adapt, Grennes said. To the worker it means a lost home, desperate family and spent savings on the way probably to a job that pays a fraction of what was previously earned.
Automation is a smokescreen for the movement of jobs to foreign countries where workers toil for pennies a day. It’s that low pay that puts the spice of profit in the pockets of our 1 percent, few of whom invest in those who worked in their now-closed factories, and give us the income disparity that’s going to end our democracy.
Create job training assistance and a real safety net first, and then come back to talk of trade deals. Sell that to our N.C. GOP.
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