Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Aqueil Ahmad, Manzoor Cheema, Vicki Boyer, Mary Sonis, Sarah K. McIntee, A. Yvonne Mendenhall and Pam Oxendine

World-class schools

The League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham counties has grave concerns about the impact that current legislation and policies are having on the ability of schools to educate all students to world-class standards. The decrease in state money allotted per pupil and the negative effects of current legislation are putting our students at a disadvantage that will impact them well into the future.

The league convened a forum that included the Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Chatham, Durham and Orange county school systems. Several recommendations emerged:

▪ Attain levels of educator pay and establish professional working conditions that make our region and state nationally competitive. Teacher and staff turnover is costly and loss of trusted teachers negatively impacts students.

▪ Increase state funding for instructional resources and support for access to the infrastructure needed to maximize the power of technology. District budgets are suffering, negatively impacting the ability of schools to utilize technology-enhanced learning.

▪ Increase funding to schools and to agencies that provide counseling and health services to all students, allowing them to optimize their learning.

▪ Eliminate A-to-F grading of schools and, using the input from educators, create and implement meaningful accountability systems. The LWVODC believes that all schools should have the flexibility to meet the needs of their community, while being accountable to learning goals.

We urge the public to advocate for these positions, which will counteract the negative effects of current legislation. The time to act to support our schools and our children is now! In this election year, it is important to check the candidates’ record on these issues. And vote! (See the League’s complete position statement at www.LWVODC.org.)

Pam Oxendine

President

LWVODC

So long, serenity

I have read with dismay the prospects for commercial/residential development of the Lloyd Farm property in Carrboro.

My family and I moved to North Carolina some three decades ago from the urban and congested Chicago area and have lived since then in the pristine rural Orange County. We have enjoyed the serenity and relative quiet of this area. Regretfully, that atmosphere is rapidly disappearing in the name of development.

First to disappear was the quaint beauty of downtown Chapel Hill, replaced by high-rise buildings with suffocating closeness to Franklin Street. Now the same fate is being proposed for Carrboro to further promote commercialism as blatant examples of private and public greed by way of corporate profit and increasing county and city tax base.

I urge our aldermen to consider if we really need another supermarket when there are already two within a radius of two miles; if we really need more housing when such are being built all around us on what used to be pristine rural fields and farms; and all this at the cost of increasing traffic congestion and air pollution?

Of course the owners of Lloyd Farm have the right to sell their property, which they no longer want to or can maintain. The city and county together may consider buying their property and developing it into a theme park and recreation area with a large swimming pool, bicycle rides, a playground, etc. with a minimum entry fee. This development could easily be paid for by a bond issue. This too would undoubtedly increase a bit of traffic in the area but certainly next to nothing to what a new commercial district would do. Orange County could learn a bit from sustainable development of the Nutters’ Maple View Farm area and store on Dairyland Road.

Aqueil Ahmad

Hillsborough

An appropriate project

The Lloyd Farm project is expected to bring in $600,000 in new tax revenue to the town of Carrboro. That’s every year.

Maybe we could pay our town employees a bit more; they deserve a raise. Someday, the town will need some new equipment, like maybe a fire engine. These tax dollars can be used to create parks or even build the library some people claim we need.

This project is appropriate for a growing community. Its existence will create a need for bus lines to be added. Its location will allow some who currently have to drive into town for supplies to stop on the edge of town for that purpose, thus lessening traffic in downtown Carrboro and lowering auto emissions.

If you want to keep it as a farm, take up a collection and buy the land yourself.

Vicki Boyer

via Facebook

A terrible waste

The proposed development of the Lloyd Farm property is a terrible waste. I sometimes wonder why we have zoning at all. Because if a developer doesn’t like the zoning, the Board of Aldermen simply changes it to suit the developer’s needs.

Also, why do we need a large grocery store in that location when there’s already a large grocery directly across the street?

The Carrboro residents who live near this proposed monstrosity are vehemently opposed. Wetlands will be destroyed. Farmland and green space will be gone. This is progress?

Mary Parker Sonis

via Facebook

Saving the planet

Saving the planet means making it more possible to not have to drive somewhere.

At the moment, the only real potential for getting low carbon transportation is by way of high-density development on bus routes, where the demand becomes sufficient to support an upgrade to an all electric transportation system in town. We need to shift to a pedestrian transportation scale, and we need to discourage sprawl, the motor vehicle transportation scale.

Redeveloping Carrboro Plaza, with higher density, would be a better plan, but the developing interests may not own that property. Carrboro Plaza is built in the older, more wasteful style, with lots of pavement and wide roof, with very little permeable ground. If it was redeveloped in the new way, it would mean taller buildings and some kind of parking structure with a permeable skirt.

Sarah K. McIntee

via Facebook

Thank you, Sally!

Since January, I have been collecting articles relating to “aging in place” written by Sally Keeney for the CHN Real Estate section. Once again, I want to thank Sally for my stack of varied and informative articles!

These diverse articles not only offer local real estate information but raise awareness of often-changing housing needs as we age in our communities. By far most people will age in community receiving care from family, friends and professional service providers. That aging, housing, and care giving journey will be made smoother with information and planning. Thank you for the information, Sally!

A. Yvonne Mendenhall

Orange County Project EngAGE

‘No-Fly, No Buy’ discriminates

An op-ed in The N&O on June 24 highlighted House Democrats’ campaign against gun-control. There is popular support for measures to end the gun violence epidemic in the country. However, this bill, HR 1076, is expected to do little to actually curb gun violence. Instead, it promotes civil rights abuses. This bill, titled “no fly, no buy,” calls for a ban on weapon sales to people on the so-called No Fly List. This watchlist was developed after 9/11 and disproportionately targets Muslims.

In reality, most gun-related violence is not carried out by people on government watchlists. The practice of adding and maintaining people on government watchlists is riddled with civil rights and human rights abuses, as argued by civil rights organizations and U.S. courts. Civil rights heroes like Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was on a government watchlist, and Rep. John Lewis was reportedly on the No Fly List. We should not legitimize such an ambiguous, arbitrary and abusive system, through gun-control legislation.

Reducing gun violence, ending racism and inequality, women’s empowerment, defending immigrant rights, advancing LGBTQ justice and all progressive changes require building broad-based movements. We cannot advance on one front while harming communities on another front.

Manzoor Cheema

Raleigh

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