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Columnist's view is narrow
I find the comments made by David Auerbach in "Earth Fare challenging Whole Foods" (Sept. 28) regarding the Whole Foods Market in Durham extremely distasteful and quite offensive. I have been a Durham resident and a patron of this market for over a decade, including today where I was enjoying lunch ... until I began reading Mr. Auerbach's article.

Durham is a town striving to overcome an image of being the second-rate city of choice in the Triangle. I chose to move here permanently after finishing Duke because I felt Durham was changing. Today I learned that there is still a reporter with a narrow enough view of our city to use the term "ghetto" when referring to my neighborhood. Perhaps the vegetable Mr. Auerbach should be examining is located between his ears.

I am glad that companies such as Whole Foods are brave enough and willing to invest in a stressed city infrastructure and give downtown residents and students an option beyond the traditional corner store. Certainly the area is old and the facility limited in means, but I am drawn by the wonderful people who consistently provide exceptional service. There is a culture of acceptance at Whole Foods market that exudes enthusiasm amongst its staff, and this bleeds into its customer base. Spend a Saturday at Whole Foods and you will hear live music, enjoy beer and wine tastings, receive a massage and see community volunteers in action. What is the true difference between Whole Foods and the competition? The people!
Alexandra Marin
Durham

Whole Foods responds
Last Wednesday's review of Whole Foods Market and other area grocers ("Earth Fare challenging Whole Foods," Sept. 28) got my attention. Our Durham Whole Foods Market team members and I talk to our shoppers every day, and we always appreciate their positive comments as well as their ideas on where we have room to do better. Both help us improve our store and our offerings and continue to please our shoppers.

I appreciate that David Auerbach, the article's author, shops at Whole Foods Market. So I invite him to visit me at the store to share some of his ideas and suggestions. One of our core values is to offer the highest quality natural and organic products that are available--another is to satisfy and delight our shoppers. This is truly important to us.

I do want to clarify one important issue: Whole Foods Market's support of local growers. All Whole Foods Market stores in the Triangle work very hard to bring in and feature fruits and vegetables, flowers and herbs, honey, eggs, fish and seafood and grocery products from North Carolina and our neighboring Southern states as well. Not only does this reduce fuel consumption, transportation costs and pollution, it connects us with the natural world and its growing seasons and protects the heritage of our land. Whole Foods Market provides our shoppers with choices by carrying apple varieties that may come from California or New Zealand, but we never do it at the expense of carrying the local varieties when they're in season. We are deeply committed to supporting North Carolina agriculture, especially organic agriculture, and work closely with Eastern Carolina Organics and family farms in other parts of the state to increase acreage under organic cultivation in North Carolina.
Chris Parrott
Store Team Leader
Durham Whole Foods Market

How many Cary candidates?
It is very confusing to some of us in District C when we read mailings from the two candidates, incumbent Jack Smith and first-time opponent John Harvilla. Conversations some of us have had with the candidates are confusing us, too.

Jack Smith's message and goals are consistent regardless of where you live in District C. However, we think John Harvilla may have a twin or triplet sibling running with him. The messages from Harvilla's mailings are noticeably different and appear to be tailored to different constituencies in District C. In conversations with District C constituents, Mr. Harvilla reveals the same inconsistencies.

My neighbors and I have had many discussions within Hillsdale Forest, plus we have had discussions with others in District C neighborhoods. We find it difficult to evaluate just what "the John Harvillas" will bring to the Cary Town Council on our behalf. Our major concern is which John Harvilla would we be electing?

We know if we cast our vote for Jack Smith on Oct. 11, we will get one Jack Smith who we know has served District C and the Town of Cary in a most exemplary manner for many years. This is not saying that we have always agreed with each and every vote he has cast in the past. However, we have been in agreement with the majority of his decisions, and in the future we will continue to trust his professionalism and integrity as our council representative. This is why we want to keep Jack Smith on the Cary Town Council for District C. We are also proud to have him and his family as neighbors in District C.

We truly urge the residents of District C to vote for the one Jack Smith and not be tricked by the two or three Harvilla candidates!
Martha Dickerson
Barbara Moyer
Lena Simpson

Cary

Correction
Those who would like to offer condolences to the family of longtime Chapel Hill activist and community leader Joe Straley should send them to jwstraley@earthlink.net. A memorial service is scheduled Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Community Church in Chapel Hill. The family has asked that those who wish to speak at the service bring a written copy of their remarks to leave with the family.

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