Chapel Hill: Opinion

The Conversation, Nov. 23: Gerald Ramoin, Tomas Baer, Sally S.K. McIntee, Terri Buckner, Lawrence Trachtman and Margaret Jackson

Time to move on

I know the hot topic around UNC is the education and athletic department happenings. It certainly is not acceptable to have anything become more important than the education of UNC student athletes. Education is the reason and purpose of this great institution, and it does a great job – yet like us, it is not perfect.

That said, I also realize NCAA athletics have a very valuable place in creating revenue that supports some great student athletes being able to compete in a sport they love. Many continue to give and help in the community or assist in education fundraising. I am not just talking football or basketball athletes. I am talking about those in many other NCAA sports that UNC fields – 28 of them I think it is. Total fiscal year revenue for sports at UNC was $58 million. Did you know the UNC trademark revenue goes to the university, not the athletic department (and was not included in the $58 million). Also not included in that number is community revenue from lodging, and the social impact on the town from sporting events.

My point is people are going to be people, and it’s no different than an employee with a good company doing something wrong – it doesn’t make a good company suddenly a bad company. We are all human. In the grand scheme of things only a small number of people cheated, and 99 percent or more were receiving a great education, and doing things right. Let’s get off the school, athletic department and university leadership’s back, and support this great institution in our community. Sure, we can’t accept this “no class issue.” But now that it is being addressed, let’s get behind the athletic department and the school and quit hurling bombs at a great public institution, and one of America’s still best universities.

It’s time to move on, and allow the great changes to have their impact. Let’s cheer for some great athletic teams at UNC, and be grateful for all the good these great student athletes do, and support the great leadership at UNC. Let’s get our heads up !

Gerald Ramoin

Chapel Hill

Missed opportunities

I agree 100 percent with Adam Searing’s comments (CHN, concerning the lack of bike paths in Chapel Hill, as well as the dangers of the ones we have, which often terminate at dangerous intersections.

We seemed to have missed many opportunities over the years to build bike paths or bike lanes. For instance, some time ago Cleland Road (which goes by the Rainbow Soccer fields) was under construction and widening for over a year. It would have been so easy to add bike lanes and/or sidewalks there, which could have connected to the short (but very handy) bike path along 15-501 thereby connecting a whole neighborhood to the University Mall.

More recently, Barbee Chapel Hill Road was under construction and widening because of housing developments. Again, no thought was apparently given to a bike path that could have connected with the bike path along Raleigh Road by the Friday Center and the Meadowmont complex.

Just as bad is the situation on Mason Farm Road along the golf course and the Ronald McDonald and SECU houses. This is a favorite jogging and biking road that was upgraded and widened a few years ago, but with no thought about bike or jogging lanes. The improvements have led to more cars and now even bus traffic, all of which make biking on this lovely road more hazardous than before.

The town requires developers to construct sidewalks. Why can’t there be a rule that every street improvement project in Chapel Hill must include sidewalks or bike lanes?

Tomas Baer

Chapel Hill

Bike at your own risk

People need to realize that, when you consider the relatively small population that choose to walk or bicycle to get around (as we are too spread out on the landscape), the level of injury and death is unacceptably at epidemic proportions.

It should not be that almost every single cyclist I know has had, at least, one accident involving a car. Three of the four members of my immediate family have been hit by cars while riding their bicycles. Which other activities, that we do daily, exhibit that level of risk?

Cycling, or walking, are normally benign, safe activities, but in the presence of car. Instead, it has become very risky to do either. Had we been fighting an exotic disease, these events would have been top stories in the news, and drivers violating the safe access rights of cyclists and pedestrians should be prosecuted for endangering the vulnerable.

People should be more upset than they are. I have been quite upset, for about 36 years now.

Sally S.K. McIntee

via editor Mark Schultz’s Facebook page

Thank, you, Ed

Thanks to Ed Harrison for standing up and voting for the integrity of public process. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I felt very betrayed by the Town Council when they decided to proceed with negotiations on Obey Creek outside of the previously defined process.

While I understand, to some extent, the rationale for going to negotiations earlier, I feel they should have advertised that decision and voted at the next meeting, giving the public an opportunity to weigh in. I appreciate Ed’s commitment to the process the council and staff had publicly adopted.

Terri Buckner

Chapel Hill

Towing complaint

I was the unfortunate victim of predatory towing on Franklin Street on Oct. 6. The restaurant, as do other downtown businesses, has an arrangement with a towing company to use video surveillance to tow your car as soon as you leave the parking lot, whether you eat there or not. They cleverly hide the only warning sign behind a tree.

Retrieving my car cost $340. I had to get my car out in the country after dark, was threatened by the owner, and felt for my safety. My daughter, a UNC student, who was with me was in tears. In addition, my bumper was damaged for another cost of $820 to repair. I acknowledge the parking; however, the towing company and restaurant refuse to accept any responsibility for damaging my car.

Predatory towing in Chapel Hill has been well documented in the news media and the courts the past several years. The town of Chapel Hill lost its case in the state Supreme Court against predatory towing, and this practice continues on Franklin Street. Consumers at least should be aware, and at best select more customer friendly establishments to do business.

Lawrence Trachtman

Chapel Hill

Support Clean Power

Today, like most other days, I was on my way to the bus stop when I began pondering the issue of climate.

As a college student in North Carolina I know first-hand how spontaneous the weather in North Carolina can be. College students nationwide can participate in supporting global warming solutions through plans such as the EPA’s Clean Power Plan which creates programs to eliminate carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

I urge all interested individuals to keep pushing climate change by promoting the EPAs proposed Clean Power Plan.

Margaret Jackson