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Uncivil wars
On Saturday, Jan. 4, I had the honor and privilege of attending the press conference Lenore Yarger held in Chapel Hill as she prepared to travel to Iraq in an effort to put a humanitarian face on the people of that country.

The press conference and prayer service that followed were powerful and moving, a true message of peace. It inspired in me a hope that maybe we can work together and prevent an invasion of Iraq.

On my way home, I stopped in at the N.C. State Fairgrounds to take in the antiques show. I was still wearing my "Peace is Patriotic" T-shirt and a "No War with Iraq" sticker. One of the vendors thanked me for my obvious commitment to the anti-war effort.

Another vendor, however, approached me saying we should go to war with Iraq. When I asked why he felt that way, we looked at me with steely eyes and replied, "Everyone who wears a towel on their heads needs to be annihilated." I was shocked. I asked him if he was a Christian, and he replied that he was "loosely affiliated" with Christianity, an understatement to be sure. I told him I would pray to God for mercy on his soul.

I am not afraid of Saddam Hussein or the Iraqi people. I am afraid of people like the bigoted, hateful, small-minded vendor. I am terrified of Mr. Bush and his plans to engage this country in multiple-front wars--holy wars that feed racism, hate and terrorism.
–Heather Griswold, Apex

Another voice
This veteran arts commentator has learned never to question a critic's right to state his (or her) opinions, so I won't dispute Byron Woods' views in "2002: A Year in the Narrows" [Jan. 1], but your readers should know that there is at least one source of comprehensive theater coverage not mentioned therein--Classical Voice of North Carolina, (CVNC) a 501c3 organization, online at www.cvnc.org.

Since Sept. 25, CVNC has included a theater column in its classical music Web site covering Central North Carolina and beyond. The site continues to provide extensive coverage of classical music--one of the "live arts" Woods addresses--and offers the most comprehensive concert calendars available anywhere in our state and, from time to time, reviews of dance programs, too.

CVNC has run over 500 reviews, news items and features since Independence Day, 2001. We invite Independent readers who may be seeking serious coverage of classical music and opera and dance--and theater, too--to visit our site and to support the efforts of our 16 experienced critics who are striving to make a difference in our community. Our latest monthly stats (c.5,800 visits/c.71,800 hits) demonstrate appreciation for our nonprofit approach to providing reviews and calendar services to audiences hungry for information and analysis about the arts which they already love or are just discovering.
–John Lambert, Contributing Writer, CVNC, Raleigh

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