Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Dan Levine, Margot Carmichael Lester, Robert Campbell, Will Toor, Carol Reuss and Dave Thompson

Vote yes on housing bond

As an Orange County native, I’m concerned by the lack of socioeconomic diversity and affordable housing options in our community. I’m writing to urge residents to vote YES on the housing bond referendum.

The education bond has received a lot of attention – rightly so – but I hope that voters will also recognize the critical need for funding to create and preserve affordable housing in our community.

When my child was in first grade, she asked me why her teachers “all live in Durham.” I hope I can give her a better answer in the future. Five million dollars is not sufficient – by contrast, the city of Asheville is voting on a $25 million housing bond this fall – but it’s a critical step forward. Let’s make Orange County a welcoming community, including for our wonderful teachers and school staff.

Dan Levine

Chapel Hill

Why we went to Boulder

Nancy Oates’ conspiracy-theory column in the Sunday paper was misleading and manipulative (CHN, Oct. 9, I was on the committee selecting cities for the Chamber’s visit. There was no discussion of going to Boulder to “scare travelers ... into thinking that height restrictions and no-build buffers would make real estate prices skyrocket.”

We recognized that Boulder has many things in common with our community, some existing (like the rural buffer, location in a large metro area, and declining housing affordability) and some still to be realized (like bus rapid transit, light rail, and height restrictions). The visit provided an opportunity to look objectively at the impacts of these factors on the local community. Which is exactly what we did.

For council member Oates to cast aspersions on a committee of her constituents and community members shows how quick she is to assume the worst in people, and to plant seeds of doubt and distrust that divide our community. Her behavior is disappointing and undignified, and her tactics make Chapel Hill less than the “livable town” she and other CHALT-supported candidates campaigned to preserve.

Margot Carmichael Lester


Housing in Boulder

Regarding “Lessons from Boulder” (CHN, Oct. 9,

As a former mayor of Boulder, who did speak to the Chapel Hill delegation, this column really misrepresents the situation in Boulder. While Boulder does have a strong inclusionary zoning ordinance, by far the biggest problem we face as a community is a lack of housing that is affordable to both lower-income and middle-class folks. While we have done a good job at creating an urban growth boundary with publicly owned open spaces, we have not done a good job with housing in town. We have tight zoning restrictions that make it impossible to add housing in meaningful quantities. Check out for lots more information on housing in Boulder.

Will Toor


No place for violence

Friends of justice, we must stand together when these acts of violence take place in our county. If I may speak for the people in this community we strongly condemns this attack. Violence has no place in our political system. We hope the perpetrators of this attack are brought to swift justice, and we are thankful that no one was hurt.

Our deepest sympathies are with everyone at the Orange County Republican Party Headquarter. Let’s not look the other way. Let us not give fear the unconscious permission to do violence against our democracy. Not One Step back.

We invite everyone to come and stand with the community during an inter-faith devotion event at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 and Dec. 16 at the Rogers Road Community Center. Come pray, sing and enjoy fellowship for justice.

The Rev. Robert Campbell

Chapel Hill

For a grocery store?

I have long supported bribes, er, incentives because that is how the game is played.

A lack of incentives and for many years, an unwillingness to even consider them has meant no automobile plant and no aircraft plant while places like Other Carolina and Alabama plucked corporate gems like BMW, Airbus, Mercedes-Benz, Boeing and others.

Those things generate permanent economic multipliers far in excess of the original spending.

But $4 million? Or any amount of money. To lure a Wegmans? A grocery store?

No, seriously?

Dave Thompson


Bicyclists brush-off

Area cyclists voiced concerns about the future growth of RDU Airport a week or so ago and got a brush-off from the RDU Board of Directors.

That rather quick vote leads me to think more broadly about the plans for the airport. What about such important issues as air and noise pollution and the possible, God forbid, crash of a plane entering or leaving RDU? Hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake, and so are thousands of workplaces and homes. So please, no McCroryesque quick votes on the future of RDU Airport expansion.

Carol Reuss

Chapel Hill

Letters deadline

Letters about the Nov. 18 elections and local bond referendums my reach bus by Friday. Oct. 28, for the best chance of printed printed. Thank you.