Letters to the Editor: State Records Center, Art Pope, Chatham Park, Obamacare, N.C. State, Tony Tata, Moore Square

01/15/2014 12:52 PM

01/15/2014 12:53 PM

These letters were not published in the print edition but deserve a look.


I have seen much discussion recently (including from Gov. Pat McCrory) regarding the ugly appearance of the State Records Center (“McCrory rips capital eyesores,” Dec. 29 column by Rob Christensen).

However, I have seen no mention regarding the original purpose of the building’s facade. The building was designed and constructed during the turbulent era of the Vietnam War to make it inaccessible after a number of government buildings across the United States had been broken into with the intention of destroying official records (particularly draft records). That is the real reason the State Records Center looks like a mausoleum. The building was designed as a windowless box to prevent unauthorized access. In addition, the absence of windows was also intended to prevent the entry of sunlight, which is a great detriment to paper records.

Tom Belton



Your Dec. 3 article “Locals listen as Rev. Barber takes Pope critique to stores” made it that much easier to imagine Art Pope laughing maniacally as one hand tallies the money streaming in while the other manipulates the legislation of yet another oppressive ALEC boilerplate, aimed to perpetuate the depressed economic conditions that keep his hapless victims locked in the cross-hairs of his ideology. But is it his ultra-conservatism that drives him? Or is it just plain greed?

In an area with a median household income of $40,000 or less and with a minimum 25 percent African-American population living within five miles, there will likely be a Roses or Maxway store nearby. Offered low-quality, low-overhead merchandise at prices some residents still can barely afford, their community fits the demographic targeted by Pope’s business model. This is fact. And it is proudly highlighted on the Variety Wholesalers very own website: vwstores.com/real-estate.

Steven Levitt



The Nov. 25 meeting was a victory for democratic input and a loss for common sense and mutual trust between Chatham Park and the Town of Pittsboro (“Pittsboro takes a timeout,” Nov. 27 news article).

Mayor Randy Voller and Commissioner Michael Fiocco made the point that rezoning was only the first step of a long, safeguarded process and that the multiple revisions to the master plan reflected the public input and concerns from the previous five months, but a majority of those present were in no mood to hear the status report and the reasons for moving forward. This unfortunate train wreck was based on fear and misinformation as opposed to the better angels among us. A portion of our community needs to reconcile its impulse to protect land it does not own with the reality that a landowner owns property wanting to develop it in partnership with Pittsboro and the region.

Some of the community are against Chatham Park in all forms, others need more information to support or oppose it, while many stakeholders support the plan the town negotiated. Our community must become acquainted with the master plan revisions and ideas that were mentioned by Voller, Fiocco and others before we lose the opportunity to shape Chatham Park. Our future depends on openmindedness.

Virginia Penley

Chapel Hill


It would appear that Renee Ellmers is very confused about The Affordable Care Act, or maybe she’s been attending those much-talked-about classes held by the GOP on “How to smear Obamacare.” Below is a list of the preventative care available for women, thanks to the ACA . It would seem that Ellmers is the one making war on women. Her fight against these should enrage every woman in our state. Just a few of the ACA benefits for women:

• Well women visits
• Anemia screening
• Breast Cancer Genetic Test Counseling (BRCA) for women at higher risk for breast cancer
• Breast cancer mammography screenings every 1 to 2 years for women over 40
• Breast cancer chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk
• Breastfeeding comprehensive support and counseling
• Cervical cancer screening
• Sexually transmitted infections: testing and counseling
• Contraception
• Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling for all women
• Folic acid and gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women
• Hepatitis B screening
• HIV screening and counseling
• Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA Test
• Osteoporosis screening
• Tobacco use screening and interventions for all women, and expanded counseling for pregnant tobacco users

Becky Perfect



Call me old-fashioned, but how can a university possessing the stature of NCSU claim it seeks excellence when a sincere letter to its administration is not afforded the common courtesy of a reply? As a recent retiree with 37 years of service at NCSU, I submitted a letter stating my observations regarding some personnel policies and reorganizational processes negatively affecting the manner in which some NCSU employees were being removed from their positions. An educational institution evolves by periodically bringing in new leadership and organization, but the manner in which such changes are effected should be thoughtful and transparent.

A one-sentence reply– “I received your letter of concern” – would have been appropriate; instead, there was silence. Ironically, NCSU conducts “exit interviews” during which it states it is soliciting information that might be helpful in bringing about positive change. Having participated in such a process, I can only conclude that this practice is merely an exercise.

Perhaps NCSU should take to heart concerns expressed by retired employees, as they can be more open in bringing to light issues that active employees might be reluctant to communicate. I am concerned about the future of the university under the direction of some of its current leadership.

Dr. Marianne Turnbull

Former director of Health Promotion, Student Health Services, N.C. State University



It is now a matter of record. If the former superintendent of the Wake County Public School System wants to argue his position on a matter involving complex legal, historic, political and environmental factors, he will do so by invoking the most powerful pejoratives he can muster against those who disagree with his stance. “Ivory tower elitists.” “Latte sippers.” And inhabitants of “air conditioned offices.”

And the zinger? They are located in, are we sitting down? Chapel Hill! You can’t make this stuff up!

Mike Webb

Wake Forest


John Drescher’s Dec. 7 column “A case for biscuits to the poor” gives credit to a true humanitarian, Marc Segre, and Love Wins Ministry for feeding the poor in Moore Square. Raleigh’s city council thinks it knows better. It is going to spend $100,000 to move the poor to a city-owned building.

Wouldn’t it be wiser for the city council to support this man by using that money to buy 100,000 biscuits? Oh, make that 9,195 biscuits. I forgot about the sales tax.

Tom Winston


About Greg Cote

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