Chapel Hill: Opinion

Roses and raspberries, March 5

Raspberries to the future tenants of the old Dickinson’s garden supply store and nursery on East Franklin Street for leaving an eyesore on Chapel Hill’s main drag for months.

Pep Boys, the new aut-parts business eventually moving in, began clearing the site before getting appropriate permits, resulting in an immediate total work stoppage, according to town spokeswoman Catherne Lazorko.

“We are working with the developer to get things looking better at the site while they complete the development review process,” Lazorko said in a Jan. 8 email. “Suffice to say, we are working with the developer to ensure that they obtain necessary approvals prior to re-development activities in the future.”

Suffice it to say, it’s two months later. Let’s see the Pep Boys put some pep into it.

Roses to Sharon Halperin, Peter Stein, and Renee Fink of the Chapel Hill-Durham Holocaust Speakers Bureau (HSB) who were recently interviewed on WUNC’s “The State of Things,” hosted by Frank Stasio.(

On the air, Stein and Fink bravely shared their stories of growing up in Nazi-dominated Europe. These painful experiences are wounds, reopened each time they speak to students and community organizations.

Halperin and other HSB volunteers coordinate the visits of local survivors and liberators as well as offer classroom materials and other resources to teachers interested in teaching the lessons of the Holocaust. The complicated subjects of genocide, racism, anti-Semitism, and social justice are woven into the talks given by survivors. Emphasis is placed on each person’s responsibility to stand up and make a difference in today’s world, as well as implications for the future.

The Holocaust Speakers Bureau has launched a film project which includes the personal testimonies of our local survivors and liberators. The words of these heroic individuals, now challenged by age and illness, will be available on the HSB website, accompanied by lesson plans and classroom activities

To read more about the bureau, to volunteer and to donate to this important film project, visit and

Roses to the Governors Club Speakers Resource as it passes the 14,000 milestone – the combined total audience reached in its 378 presentations to area service clubs and community organizations.

The program, now eight years in existence, is a public service of the Governors Club community. More than 25 of the community’s residents have offered their time, their acquired life knowledge and their passion free of charge on topics from “Asian Textiles” to “My Life with the N.Y. Yankees.”

Among Chapel Hill-Carrboro organizations who have received GovClub Speakers programs are the Robert and Pearl Seymour Center, East Chapel Hill Rotary, Chapel Hill Carrboro Kiwanis, Golden K (Kiwanis), Peer Learning (meeting at Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church), Board of REALTORS (Lunch & Learn sessions), Carol Woods, Newcomers, Carrboro Sunrise Rotary Club, DAR, Colonial Dames of XVII Century, Hadassah, Ethical Humanists of the Triangle, Briar Chapel, University Methodist Church, Chapel of the Cross, Carolina Club, Carolina Friends of the Foreign Service, Carolina Meadows (multiple groups), and UNC-related groups including the Ronald McDonald House (Board), UNC Medical Foundation, Children's Hospital Board of Visitors, Kenan-Flagler, UNC Dental, Fed Ex Global - Asia Center and the Phillips Ambassadors.

For information on available speakers for your organization call Lowell Hoffman at 919-933-7633 or email