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Letters to the Editor

Cary and Chatham
Thanks for this opportunity to address an error in "Paradise Tossed", an article in the January 7 edition of the Independent Weekly.

The article incorrectly asserts that Cary had a "proposal to annex across the county line" last summer. In fact, the effort that sparked the ire of some in Chatham County as referenced in the article was not an annexation attempt but, rather, long-range land use planning to ensure the protection of this region's water supply, Jordan Lake. That plan, known as the Southwest Area Plan, had been under joint development for more than a year by planning staffs from Cary and Chatham County. Annexation was never part of that process.

One final point: As noted on Chatham County's Web site, Cary is already one of the county's municipalities. Cary's Town limits were extended into Chatham County in April of 1995.
Jeff Ulma
Planning Director
Town of Cary

Watering hole?
As I was reading the Independent's coverage of growth in Chatham County "Paradise Tossed, Jan. 7), two things you reported on stood out and I felt I had to comment on them.

For some background, I own property which borders on the northern edge of what will be the Buck Mountain development. The property line follows the course of Dry Creek, which is a tributary of the Haw River. Because of this, I have a very good understanding of the land in the area.

You quote Mark McBee as saying, "If there's well and septic, they can come." That is of course correct, but for the area that Buck mountain will sit on, the number of houses that well and septic would support is much less than the 720 houses that were approved for the development. My land is in a small development of 100 acres called Timber Ridge; there are 10 lots, which vary in size from 3.5 acres to over 20 acres. Why the wide variance in size and small number of lots as compared to Buck Mountain? Because the land had only 10 approvable septic and well sites. Buck Mountain will be 720 houses on 792 acres ONLY because Pittsboro city water will be supplied to the development, and a community spray sewer system will be employed to remove the wastewater. That's what the golf course is for. So, no city water or golf course, no Buck Mountain.

The second thing that caught my attention was Fonville's silence on his long-term plans for the remaining 1,200 acres that will adjoin Buck Mountain. I would encourage you to go look at the plans that are on file with the county for Buck Mountain. As planned, the majority of the houses will be on the far northern border of the development, but the golf clubhouse and community center will be on the far southern border of the development. Why would you design this type of layout? Well of course because the clubhouse and community center is smack-dab in the center of the entire 2,000 acre lot. So it would make sense to put it there for the convenience of all those other houses which will be built in future developments.

Developers make money by building as many houses on as little land as possible, and once you get a foothold on an area, get city water supplied, set a precedent with spray wastewater disposal, a.k.a. Buck Mountain, then all future development is a done deal. All you need to do is the paperwork, and make sure you always have the Bunkey Morgans of the world on your Board of County Commissioners.
John Rice
Pittsboro

Trust us on this one
Glad to see your publication handling an important local subject in "Paradise Tossed" (Jan. 7). I hope Chatham County residents and commissioners can see that quality of life doesn't hinge on cash flow alone. However, I must say it's not easy to apply any credibility to your article since the pattern of most weekly Indy issues is continuous, less than truthful, Bush administration bashing, militant liberal socialist propaganda, and gay/lesbian lifestyle promotion. Why would we, the readers, assume you now speak truthfully?
Maurice Tyler
Siler City

Tongue lashing
I'm disappointed that an article directing attention to Tammy Faye's stance on gay marriage was allowed to run ("Tammy Faye Bites Her Tongue," Dec. 31). Before working for a newspaper, whenever I did read the newspaper one thing I always tried to consider is, "What good is this article doing the community? Does this good outweigh the integrity of the subject or subject matter?' I think those are important points to raise and remember as a reader where the editorial content is challenging or dramatic. I especially think those questions are a newspaper's responsibility to ask and consider.

What's the point of bringing attention to Tammy's stance on gay marriage or the gay community at large other than drawing negative attention to her and taking away the attention the AIDS community needs? Does Tammy Faye have to support gay marriage in order to be supportive enough to make an appearance at an important fund raiser for the AIDS community?

Tammy Faye Messner is a Christian, and so it seems like trickery to pick apart her ideology in order to make a point. Don't we know that most who belong to the fundamental Christian community have abandoned and turned a blind eye to the AIDS and gay communities? Is it not enough that she is using her name, popularity, and drama surrounding her life as a tool to help raise money for this incredibly important organization, the only one of its kind in the Triangle?

Couldn't the Independent Weekly have agreed to disagree and leave this particular topic alone, in order not to sacrifice the integrity of this event? I'm disappointed that twisting the knife and making a blemish in her armor seemed more important than leaving well enough alone. Aren't there bigger fish to fry?
Jenny Canipe
Durham

Messner was here to help
I am writing in response to the article "Tammy Faye Bites Her Tongue" (Dec. 31).

In writing his story, Byron Woods seems fixated on the fact that Tammy Faye Messner has publicly stated that she does not support gay marriages. In doing so, he implies that it is hypocritical of her to participate in an AIDS fundraiser. My response to that is: Since when is AIDS a purely gay issue?

Furthermore, Mr. Woods ends his article by asking: "... is Messner's reluctance to unambiguously state her beliefs concerning homosexuality and gay marriage a stance born out of ecumenicism--or merely a reluctance to offend the main demographic group that's given her career any buoyancy in recent years? Perhaps she'll clarify matters Friday night at the Durham Armory."

The fact that Mrs. Messner chose not to speak to reporters about gay marriage or any other gay issue is not hypocritical. Those issues had nothing to do with the Drag Bingo event. She was participating in an event to raise money for people who are sick, people who are dying, and people who need to be educated. Her opinion on any other matter, be it gay marriage, abortion, school prayer, or any other social issue, is irrelevant.

But for the record, Mrs. Messner did, by chance, "clarify matters" Friday night, when she stated, quite simply, "AIDS is everyone's problem ... not just the gay community's." No truer words were ever spoken. It is unfortunate that so many people still fail to realize this very simple fact. It is a disease that can infect anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Tammy Faye Messner has clearly stated that she and the gay community can "agree to disagree" on certain subjects. I don't see anything wrong with this. Isn't it all about tolerance anyway?

To quote the band Live, "this is not a black and white world ... we must all learn to appreciate the beauty of gray ..."
Sean Byrne
Durham

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