‘Better angels’ and bigots
Regarding the news story “Teen who needs heart makes special request” (CHN, http://bit.ly/1Prri8v)
Last week, the Chapel Hill News and N&O published a marvelous article describing a young woman who is waiting for a heart transplant and was visited by a group of people who learned of her plight and came to cheer her up. To be clear, these were strangers who were moved by the suffering of another and came, some from great distance, to try to alleviate it in some way. These are truly our “better angels,” to borrow from Lincoln.
In the same week we are forced to contrast such open-hearted generosity with the actions of a mean-spirited, poisonous legislature, enabled by a pusillanimous governor, which passed a bill so beyond the pale of decency and common sense as to be laughable if it were not so tragically offensive. It took the predecessors of these bigots and hypocrites 84 years to repeal forced-sterilization and eugenics laws. Let us hope the repugnant HB2 will vanish more quickly.
RDB Jaquiss M.D.
Professor of Surgery and Pediatric
Duke University School of Medicine
Regarding the news story “Hillsborough votes 3-2 to approve 1,000+ new homes” (CHN, http://bit.ly/1pEROqh)
It is so ironic that the suppressing development attitude is what is creating these monsters outside of town. The presence of jobs is what creates the demand for housing. This demand for housing, as new infrastructure, is what builds these developments.
Not renewing existing infrastructure, not suitably concentrating development by building taller buildings, is what leads to sprawling massive developments outside of existing towns on new land.
Meanwhile, as new infrastructure is built elsewhere, existing towns, like Chapel Hill, become brown-fields of run-down housing and obsolete transportation. It has taken 30 years of complaining to get a sidewalk on Estes Drive, now that my kids don’t need it any more. There won't be other sidewalks built unless there is the development engine to make it happen.
If you wish to protect rural land from monster developments like Collins Ridge, then make cities out of our existing towns. Concentrate development inside town. Make Chapel Hill a home for more people. It is time for Chapel Hill to become a city. Save the land for farms by creating more places to live inside town.
The Orange County Third Sector Alliance wishes to voice its strong opposition to North Carolina’s HB2. This new law allows discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and other categories. In addition, the law limits the ability of local governments to set a minimum wage for private employers. This unnecessary and poorly-conceived legislation goes against our values, which include providing welcoming and nondiscriminatory environments for non-profit staff and clients, and encouraging a living wage for all.
The Third Sector Alliance is a membership group of nonprofits serving Orange County and providing a collective voice for the nonprofit sector. We invite the community to join us in creating an equitable and sustainable quality of life in Orange County.
Third Sector Alliance
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