Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Jackie Dove-Miller, Scotty Washington, Carol Reuss, Bonnie Hauser, Sydney Melet, Rene’ de la Varre and Marlon Torres

Eye-opening column

I just read Carol Phillips’ column, “You Don’t Look Disabled“ and wanted to say what an eye-opener it was.

We tend to expect anyone on “Disability” to have some physical ailment that sets them apart. Her column makes us shift our thinking and reconsider how we think about and judge those people with disability placcards dangling from their mirrors who walk away from their cars seeming to be perfectly healthy. Thank you for this disability-awareness series.

Jackie Dove-Miller

Youngsville, N.C.

Buried in the bill

There’s one aspect of House Bill 2 that no one has addressed yet. It’s found in the section about public bathrooms and deals with exceptions to the new law.

Buried in this Trojan horse of a bill is an obscure provision that prohibits any child age 7 years or older from using a public bathroom that doesn’t correspond with his or her biological sex. That means state police can arrest little Tommy, age 7, for going into the women’s room with his mom. His mom wouldn’t be breaking the law. Her 7-year-old son would be.

But not to worry, the new law has an equally insane solution. Although little Tommy isn’t allowed to go into the women’s bathroom with his mom, his mom is allowed to go into the men’s bathroom to assist little Tommy. That goes for dads with daughters age 7 years and older, too.

In one of the greatest ironies of all, House Bill 2 forces more men to go into women’s bathrooms and more women to go into men’s bathrooms than ever before in the history of the world.

“North Carolina: The Bathroom Joke State”

I can’t wait for the license plates.

Scotty Washington


Suspicious timing

Hmmm, not many years ago Gov. McCrory forced teachers out of North Carolina. Now, in an election year, he is promoting raises for teachers. The concept is worthy, but the timing is suspicious.

How can we encourage him to look at retirees, who have to live on pensions based on very low earnings of years ago? Remember, Gov. Pat, we retirees vote too.

Carol Reuss

Chapel Hill

The donations debacle

Regarding Mark Zimmerman’s column “Developing a better attitude in Chapel Hill”:

Developers deserve to be part of the community assuming they participate openly in planning for future growth and character. They should be able to proudly and generously support political candidates.

The debacle with the donations to Mr Kleinschmidt and Ms Bell was in their failure to disclose substantial donations from developers until long after the election was over. These actions violated the spirt of transparency in voter owned elections and contributes to the perception that some developers and their political allies will go to any lengths to get their way.

It’s encouraging to see the new council employ transparency in new projects such as Legion Road and the Franklin Street projects.

Bonnie Hauser


An Israel supporter

Regarding Miriam Thompson’s column, “Chapel Hill must honor its human rights tradition”:

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the U.N. Human Rights Council, the sources for Ms. Thompson’s group, have been exposed as biased, politicized, and thoroughly unreliable.

First, they report one-sided accounts, “eyewitnesses” who can’t be named, and witnesses who just happen to be wounded Hamas soldiers. HRW has used “researchers” like Sarah Whitson, who traveled to Saudi Arabia seeking donations, in her quest to battle the “pro-Israel UN.”

Take a look at the Gaza conflict. For eight years, Israeli citizens endured endless shelling by Hamas Katyusha rockets, which were aimed at schools and other civilian facilities. Amnesty and Human Rights condemned Israel for retaliating with air strikes, without ever mentioning Hamas. Fact is, they had built no less than 25 tunnels into Israel. One of them happened to exit by a kindergarten, with 50 kids in a residential neighborhood. That was ignored by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

As well, over in Beirut, Hezbollah headquarters is located under a civilian building, surrounded by Lebanese families. I have seen it! By the way, that is a war crime, as are using human shields, and hiding weapons in hospitals, all of which have been confirmed.

Whether reporting from Judea/Samaria, or Gaza, Amnesty International never mentions a single Jewish terror victim. Meanwhile, Israel does take every measure imaginable to avoid senseless death, and when forced to build “the fence,” terrorist incidents dropped by 90 percent.

With regard to aid, the U.S.-Israel partnerships have produced breakthroughs in technology and in biomedical, environmental and agricultural research, saving the U.S. substantial funds in research and development. Our aid is a worthy investment.

For the above reasons, Ms. Thompson and her allies are terrified of public challenges from Israel supporters like me, who have the unbiased facts to challenge their rhetoric.

Rene’ de la Varre


Help Project HomeStart

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 8. If you go online today at, your Mother’s Day card will be filled out and mailed today or tomorrow.

You will be acknowledging your mother and 100 percent of the proceeds from the card donations will benefit HomeStart, the Chapel Hill’s women and children’s shelter. You can also go to one of 17 retailers to purchase the Mother’s Day card. The cards are a minimum donation of $10.

You can also purchase a Mother’s Day card at: Balloons & Tunes, Chapel Hill Tire (Carrboro location), Clifton & Mauney Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, Fleet Feet, Grimball Jewelers, JewelRecycle, Moshi Moshi, Orange Theory, Ride Cycle Studio, Studio East 54 Pilates & Core Fitness, The Children’s Store, Townsend Bertram & Company, Triangle Orthopaedic Associates, University Florist, Vacuum Cleaner Hospital, Weaver Street Market (3 locations) and Wentworth & Sloan.

Thank you to the community for supporting HomeStart and this Mother’s Day card program.

Sydney Melet

The writer is a junior at Chapel Hill High School and started the “Mother’s Day for HomeStart” program

Keep on dancing

Congratulations to Rashkis Elementary School and its fourth grade students and team for their magnificent performances in “The Pursuit of Happiness: Dancing the American Dream.”

The April 20 dancing showcase marked the 11th year of the program at Rashkis Elementary School. The program was written by Alton Tisino, adapted and directed by Andrew Lamar with live music provided by Julie Bradley, Doug Largent, Zsolt David, and Jay Wright. Vocalists included Ms. Bernarsconi, Ms. Evans, Ms. Harris, and NC AIA supporter Diana Mead. Yolanda Rabun shone as the narrator.

During the 16-week session, students were introduced to the characteristics of dance, the importance of focus, of supporting each other, and the use of choreography to create dances that communicate ideas, feelings and images.

Fourth grade students danced their way from The Big Apple to the Big Easy, stopping in the Midwest Farmland, the gold fields of California, and sang a salute to our President as they took a musical tour of America. We are delighted to continue being a part of the Rashkis Elementary Family for the past 11 years.

On behalf of the children we serve, thank you to parents and our guests for attending both performances. Thanks also to our wonderful supporters for making this program possible.

Marlon Torres

Executive director

North Carolina Arts in Action

Letters policy

Please send up to 300 words to All submissions and online comments may be edited for space and clarity. Thank you.