Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Church of Reconciliation, Edith Garwood, Alexis Rudolph, Mary Jane Young, Jennifer Tigre, Hla Win Tway, Kaw Khu and Alejandra D. Benavides

Lindsay Nottingham works in the new pollinator garden at East Chapel Hill High School.
Lindsay Nottingham works in the new pollinator garden at East Chapel Hill High School. RYAN PECAUT

HB2 contrary to love, justice

The Church of Reconciliation has long stood for the equality of all God’s children and for equal protection under the law.

The church began in 1967 as an intentional community of racial reconciliation in order to address the deep wounds of racism in our society and in our lives. In 1993, the Church of Reconciliation publicly declared itself a More Light congregation, affirming the welcome and full inclusion of LBGTQ persons in the life and ministry of our congregation.

We believe HB2 is contrary to the love and justice of the Christian gospel. It fails to understand and respect transgender persons and singles them out for discrimination. In addition to sexual stigmatization, HB2 undercuts crucial constitutional protections against racial and economic discrimination by prohibiting vulnerable individuals from bringing remedial litigation in state court. Moreover, HB2 prevents local municipalities from exercising their democratic rights on a wide range of issues, such as living wage and environmental regulations.

Our devotion to the spiritual and moral principles of our Christian faith and our dedication to the common good cause us to add our voices to the growing call from North Carolina’s religious communities for the immediate repeal of HB2.

submitted by J. Mark Davidson, Pastor, on behalf of the Session of the Church of Reconciliation

HB2 protects me

I am not afraid of transgender persons as a group. I am afraid of a disturbed heterosexual male who dons a wig and a dress in order to gain access to a ladies rest room.

When I’m in a public restroom alone I’m nervous enough. This law, HB2, protects me to some extent.

Mary Jane Young

Chapel Hill

Solid compromise

I am glad to see a solid compromise. This paved multi-use path will give more people access to this land, and an automobile-free alternative way to school. The cross country path is still intact, usable and a natural beauty.

Good job, Carrboro! Including differently abled, children, bikers, birders, the elderly, etc is a beautiful thing.

Alexis Rudolph

via chapelhillnews.com

Amnesty’s research respected

René de la Varre shared incorrect information concerning Amnesty International (AI) when responding to concerns about Israeli Knesset members who were guests of the Chapel Hill Town Council.

AI takes no side on any conflict, but advocates for human rights to be respected by all parties. AI’s research is widely respected, and the organization won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1975 for its work against torture. And clearly on both side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict criticize one another.

It is also incorrect that sources are hidden or that AI reports only on one side of the conflict. For example, during the summer of 2014 conflict, AI issued four major reports, two concerning violations by Israeli forces and two on Hamas violations.

It is true that there has been a disproportionate number of reports of Israeli human rights violations by AI and other human rights organizations but this is because there has been a manifestly disproportionate number of human rights violations committed by the Israeli military against the Palestinians. For example during the 2014 incursion of Israel into Gaza called Operation Protective Edge, the U.N. reports that there were 1,483 Palestinian civilians killed and five Israeli civilians.

Claims by Israel that Palestinians used human shields during Operation Protective have not been substantiated.

It does neither party any good when misinformation is spread. I encourage your readers to use credible sources to look into the situation for themselves and then decide for themselves.

Edith Garwood

Israel/OPT/Palestine country specialist

Amnesty International USA

Help us go solar

Solar energy is better than fossil fuels because fossil fuels cause climate change.

We are teens who live in the Rogers Road community, and we are working to get solar in our lives. We are raising money to educate the community about solar with summer camp activities and with a solar project that will allow us to use solar-generated electricity when our power goes out.

We want to thank Calavera Empanada and Tequila, Mama Dips Kitchen, Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, Weaver Street Market and our parents for their help with our recent food fundraiser. We have also have started a Generosity.com account for receiving online donations. We hope you will visit our Facebook page, Rogers Road Community Solar, and join our campaign!

Jennifer Tigre, Hla Win Tway, Kaw Khu and Alejandra D. Benavides

Rogers Road community

Living laboratory

East Chapel Hill High School students have always benefited from the beautiful landscape on the school campus. Now, they will be able to learn from it too because of a new pollinator garden built with community support.

Students and teachers have designed and are now building a landscape using native plants to increase the ecological function of the campus, support experiential learning, and provide high-quality habitat for imperiled pollinators like the honey bee and Monarch butterfly.

The project which was started by East Chapel Hill environmental science teacher, Edward Kabay, has received immense community support with more than 230 volunteer hours committed by ECHHS students as well as local community members.

The process started by clearing land beside the football field, an ideal location for plant growth and educational accessibility. Volunteers are working to install over 400 plants representing 35 species throughout the landscape organized by themes that include a wetland, a meadow, and an area dedicated to different species of milkweed, the host plant for the monarch butterfly.

Danielle Losos started the Eastainability club at ECHHS in support of the project and has been “thoroughly amazed at how the community has rallied behind the pollinator garden thus far.”

She adds that she thinks the “garden will provide students and passersby alike with both a natural education and a beautiful aesthetic.”

The garden is made possible by over $8,000 raised through grant proposals funded by the Public Schools Foundation’s Strowd Roses Grant Program and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation as well as a private donation from Water and Land Solutions, Inc. The project is also registered with the National Environmental Education Foundation’s Greening STEM Initiative. In addition to financial resources the project is supported by the CHCCS district office of sustainability and local environmental experts at the N.C. Botanical Garden.

The landscape will serve as a living laboratory for environmental education at ECHHS by providing an area where students can engage through experiential learning. The plants are young now, but the learning has already begun and the garden will serve as a resource for the entire community for many years.

Submitted by Ryan Pecaut on behalf of the Eastainability club and others

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