Advocate turns opponent
I am writing to offer my voice in opposition to the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit (DOLRT) plan.
My wife and I have lived in the Orange County portion of Chapel Hill for 14 years. As advocates for public transportation, including light rail, we voted for the incremental sales tax to support DOLRT. During the last three years I have moved from advocate to skeptic and now to opponent due to:
▪ A series of significant cost increases: now a staggering $3.3 billion with more quite possible
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▪ A rail route that ill serves Orange County, neglects vast portions of Orange County and fails to address the U.S.15-501 growth corridor while only serving UNC and UNC Hospitals,
▪ Sacrifice of the ability of Orange County to meet future needs, concentrating limited funding and severely limiting flexibility,
▪ Serious financial risk that Orange County may slip into negative cash balance: Davenport report projects four stagnant decades of near zero balance,
▪ Demonstrated inadequate management by GoTriangle, as well as inadequate, incorrect and obfuscated information,
▪ It does not achieve the original stated purposes upon which citizens based their votes.
I urge you and your colleagues to exercise very skeptical scrutiny of DOLRT and aggressively publicize your conclusions.
Smith served his community, church
On April 8 there was a funeral service conducted for the Rev. Dr. Malbert Smith Jr. at Grey Stone church where he pastored for 43 years. Several hundred people gathered to pay their respects to a man who not only served as their pastor but served this community as well.
The service lasted nearly two hours as we listened to stories of how Malbert Smith had touched so many lives in different ways. A former pastor, a son, the current pastor, the music minister and former senior adult minister all spoke on Malbert Smith’s life of love and service. The time seemed to pass so fast as those in attendance grasped every complimentary word about the man they so much love and respected. Though we all grieve the loss, the service was uplifting with the lessons that Malbert Smith taught with his life -- love God and serve others.
One could only hope that they could impact people and have a fraction of the love and respect that Malbert Smith amassed during his nearly 93-year life. He will surely be missed, however, as he so often reminded us “the best is yet to come”
Rest in peace my friend. You were loved by so many, much more than you could ever know.
HB2 repeal sign of progress
Kudos to Gov. Roy Cooper for negotiating a successful compromise to end House Bill 2. Like all compromises, it is less than perfect, but we should never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Progress occurs in increments. I trust Cooper to continue the work for full equality for all North Carolinians.
The writer is the former chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill.
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