Chapel Hill: Opinion

The Conversation: Jody Cowan, Linda Carol Davis, Pat Evans, Desiree Goldman, James Neville,

Losing a generation

Regarding “Film spotlights prescription drug abuse, deaths,” (CHN, nando.com/v8)

This is a wonderful thing to be doing! I wish our state would have a film for everyone to watch! Overdose deaths have become an epidemic. The FB group I’m in is addict moms. Almost every day someone has lost a loved one. We all need to be more aware of this. Something has to be done. We’re losing a whole generation!

Jody Cowan

chapelhillnews.com

The Landlord’s Game

The game “Monopoly” may be the single most destructive thing Americans have ever added to our culture. Why? Because every child who plays the game learns that to win, one acquires three properties and puts up a hotel. When they grow up they have that model in their minds. This seems to be the thinking of the developers of the 1609 E. Franklin St. proposed site, Coldwell Banker HPW Commercial, based in Raleigh (CHN, nando.com/v2). In this case it’s only two properties and a hotel. They have in their minds, perhaps, Boardwalk?

Ironically, the creator of the game was Elizabeth Magie, who devised it along with friends to teach about the evils of monopolies. She called it: The Landlord’s Game and patented it. It caught on and began being played privately as individuals created their own boards on oil cloths. Slowly the individuals began to distort the original premise into a pro-monopoly game. In keeping with the distortion Charles Darrow took a revised version whole cloth and reaped the royalties of the game that went (when Parker Brothers bought and boxed it) as we say today, “viral.”

How sad that Americans didn’t grow up learning of the evils of greed rather than the thrill of putting up hotels. I myself only won at the game once and that was at the cost of foreclosing on my grandmother. I found out I disliked winning as much as I’d always hated losing. I’ve not played since.

It’s time for a new American game. I suggest: ‘Anti-monopoly’ (which actually also existed for a time before Parker Brothers had it stopped. “Sane Development” would also be good in which one could win by developing sustainable, community friendly sites. How about it?

Karyn Traut

Chapel Hill

Terri on target

Terri Buckner’s Jan. 18 column was right on target (CHN, http://nando.com/v9). Our Town Council and staff suddenly seem enamored of a bizarre form of “new urbanism” that results in, for example, seven-story buildings that are completely out of proportion to surrounding neighborhoods and whose economic rationale (other than the developer’s profits) is highly questionable.

Chapel Hill’s attractiveness as a place to live has always rested on its traditional neighborhoods, quiet, leafy places that are inviting to families. Why is the council now ignoring the interests of traditional neighborhoods and giving free rein to developer’s mega-projects? Clearly our town needs to be open to development that is truly beneficial to the whole community. However, there must be balance that preserves the best of the old while welcoming the new.

Rudy Juliano

Chapel Hill

‘He truly cared’

Regarding Chapel Hill clothier Milton Julian dies at 96 (CHN, nando.com/uq )

“My being a man of color didn’t matter to him. He hired me and gave me confidence, and when I saw him about town, it was meaningful conversation. He truly cared. He made me feel a part of his family.”

James Neville

via chapelhillnews.com

Growth and taxes

Regarding CHALT targets local leaders, town changes (CHN, nando.com/v2)

I am not a member of the “same group,” but I do like what CHALT (Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town) is saying.

There is no evidence that new developments will keep our property taxes from going up. In fact, there is much evidence that our taxes will continue to go up and the quality of our life here in our beloved community will go down.

I pay property taxes and I would like sidewalks in my neighborhood, but it seems that is not possible, and yet it is possible for the taxpayers to fund roads for a developer? The town is not protecting older neighborhoods but making way for new ones? What is really going on here? Who is really running our town? I think we all should be asking that question.

Linda Carol Davis

via chapelhillnews.com

More scare tactics

Regarding CHALT targets local leaders, town changes (CHN, nando.com/v2)

New name but same group of people who have opposed most developments in town. The same people who used scare tactics saying Estes Drive would be seven lanes. I guess they are fine with higher and higher property taxes

Desiree Goldman

via chapelhillnews.com

Celebrate with Friends

Come celebrate the Carolina Brewery’s 20th anniversary at the January gathering of the Friends of Downtown! Guest speaker Robert Poitras will present “20 Years of Doing Business in Downtown Chapel Hill.”

We will learn all about his lessons learned since founding the brewery and the vision he has for the future of business on West Franklin Street. He will also lead a lively Q&A session after his presentation, which you will not want to miss.

The gathering will take place Thursday at The Carolina Brewery on West Franklin Street, next to the DSI Comedy Theater. Conversation and a very special breakfast and beverage buffet begin at 9:30, with an update on what’s happening downtown and our speaker starting promptly at 10 a.m.

For those attending the Chamber of Commerce annual meeting at 11:30, Robert will conclude his presentation and Q&A by 11 a.m. There may be an incentive to stay for lunch at the Carolina Brewery, if you're available.

Meetings are free and open to the public, with parking available in the town lot across the street from the brewery and behind the Courtyard.

Pat Evans

Chair

Friends of Downtown

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