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See for yourself
I am sadly disappointed in The Independent with regard to the reason given for not endorsing me in the Durham City Council, Ward 3 race. Assigning to me the statement that Durham's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance is legally unsustainable is patently irresponsible. There are two models for APF, "concurrency" and "surrogate for adequacy." I was clear that Durham had embarked on such an ordinance using the surrogate model. I addressed a common misconception about the type of ordinance that we are pursuing. Clear expectations are key to assessing the success of any endeavor. I was also clear that we have been told that we have many of the elements of an APF ordinance in place, with the major exception of a fully funded plan to address existing deficiencies.

I had expected better of The Independent. Anyone interested in how I actually answered the APF question is invited to read the full answer at

Do you get the Gist?
This letter has been written to support the re-election of Jacquie Gist to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen. I believe that she has done much to encourage the sense of community that makes living in Carrboro such a positive experience.

Carrboro Day grew out of work by Jacquie and former alderman Jay Bryan on they Community Building Committee and the Neighborhood Forum. They saw that the town's residents needed opportunities to enlarge their circle of acquaintances in Carrboro as well as to feel part of the entire community. This springtime event helps newcomers to Carrboro and lifetime residents recognize their common interests and to appreciate the value of the many different viewpoints that enrich our community.

Since 1995, I have worked with Jacquie and many other volunteers and town staff to plan and implement Carrboro Day. She has worked hard to make the event a success each year and to make it interesting for everyone who attends. She has said this about Carrboro Day: "The enthusiasm with which the community has embraced and taken part in the event has been wonderful, a great example of why the people of Carrboro are known for their love of their town. Not only is the day itself a community-building event but all of the work and care that go into making it happen builds community along the way."

Jacquie Gist is a strong believer in Carrboro and in the many good things that its people can do by working together. Carrboro Day is but one example of her accomplishments as alderman to improve the town's services to its residents and to build its sense of community. I will vote for her in the upcoming elections so that she can continue to be a valuable asset to the town.

I urge all residents of Carrboro to help re-elect Jacqueline Gist to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen on Nov. 6, 2001. Voting for Jacquie Gist is voting for smart growth in Carrboro. Smart growth will allow our town to maintain its unique character while continuing to provide its old and new citizens with the best services and amenities possible.

Several certain issues face Carrboro in the immediate future, including the disposition of the "Adams Tract" on Estes Drive Extension and the effect of the connector-road policy on our neighborhoods and parks.

Jacqueline Gist will address these matters with a well-rounded approach. She encourages public input, and will actually use that input to help shape Carrboro's future. Ms. Gist strives to apply town policy for the actual benefit of our residents and advocates a thoughtful approach to increasing our tax base without increasing our taxes. Jacquie Gist supports reasoned expansion that actually has a positive new effect on our town's revenues.

Please vote on Nov. 6, and please vote for Jacqueline Gist.

Whether you've lived in this area for two years or 20, it seems that everyone is struck by how Chapel Hill and Carrboro have changed. Adjusting to the new realities that growth has brought, and maintaining the special qualities of our local community as we plan for future growth, is the greatest challenge our leaders face.

As a member of the Board of Aldermen in Carrboro, Jacqueline Gist has attempted to strike a balance between Carrboro's history and future. She has listened to the concerns of both longtime residents and newcomers. She has supported government involvement in long-term planning for undeveloped land, open-space ordinances, and watershed protection. She has been a moving force behind celebrations like Carrboro Day and has sought to increase participation in town decisions through community-wide facilitated meetings. At the same time, she has expressed the views of many Carrboro residents--old and new alike--that the government must live within its means. She recognizes that if we attempt to build a utopian town without fiscal responsibility, we will leave behind many residents who have helped the town develop the diversity that makes it unique.

We hope that voters will allow Jacqueline Gist to continue the work she has done for Carrboro by supporting her re-election on Nov. 6.

Foy for slow growth
I have read with interest the letters supporting the two main Chapel Hill mayoral candidates, Kevin Foy and Lee Pavao.

Most of the writers supporting Mr. Pavao have emphasized his "maturity" and "experience" without mentioning his pro-development, anti-environment, anti-neighborhood record. In contrast, most of Mr. Foy's supporters have focused on his controlled-growth record, his votes and positions on development and other issues, and his specific vision for Chapel Hill's future.

It is no surprise that Mr. Pavao's supporters ignore his record. At almost every opportunity, Mr. Pavao has cast his vote in favor of more development, more asphalt, more traffic, more environmental impact, and a more Cary-like Chapel Hill. He has supported the four-laning of Weaver Dairy, a wider N.C. 54 in front of Meadowmont, and the vast development of Meadowmont itself. He has opposed the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (a pro-school measure), the strengthening of the town's noise ordinance, and public hearings on a building moratorium in downtown neighborhoods.

As a member of the Town Council, Mr. Foy has opposed Mr. Pavao on every issue listed. Mr. Foy fully understands that Chapel Hill will continue to grow, but that growth must occur in a controlled manner as part of a long-range plan that considers impact on neighborhoods, schools, other public facilities and the environment. In this way and many others, he stands head and shoulders above Mr. Pavao as a mayoral candidate, which is why I will vote for Mr. Foy on Nov. 6.

Kevin Foy is my choice for mayor because Kevin, not Lee Pavao, has been the champion for Chapel Hill neighborhoods over and over and over again. Let's look at just three cases:

Case 1: When the state wanted to widen Weaver Dairy Road to five Lanes, Lee Pavao said "Sure, OK with me." But not Kevin. Kevin stood with the neighborhoods in their fight to limit the widening of the road to what truly was necessary. Kevin is the champion of the Timberlyne, Cedar Hills, Silver Creek and Chandler's Green neighborhoods.

Case 2: When the university and others wanted to dramatically widen Columbia Street, which would have ruined the quiet, wooded atmosphere of the Purefoy and Westwood neighborhoods, Lee Pavao said he thought the town made a mistake by not agreeing to widen the road. Not Kevin. Kevin has vocally championed the cause of the neighborhoods, particularly the Mason Farm neighborhood, Kevin was right there on the side of the neighborhoods again. Kevin was Mason Farm's champion.

I know Kevin will continue to be an ardent, vocal champion for responsible growth while protecting the environment. This election does matter. In the last local election, only 16 percent of us voted. Every vote counts. Please vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6, and make it a vote for Kevin.

Rethinking write-ins
Why bother reading "Why Bother Voting?" [Independent Endorsements, Oct. 24] when y'all won't bother researching? In almost half of the races in my city (three of seven in Durham), you failed to suggest anyone for me to vote for. For the City Council Wards 2 and 3 seats, out of the thousands of people whom we are able to choose from, you considered only two per seat, then gave up. And out of the tens of thousands of people whom we are able to choose from for the three City Council at-large seats, you considered only six, then gave up after endorsing only two.

Your silence about the third at-large seat is especially perplexing, because one of the people we're able to vote for is Steven Matherly, whom you enthusiastically endorsed just one month ago. Suddenly you're ignoring him.

Remember, in municipal general elections, we can write in practically any fellow registered voter--even a primary loser--as long as he or she is 21 (and lives within the Ward if it's for a Ward seat). Thus, in the at-large race, we remain able to elect Steven Matherly. Do you really want me not to vote for him?

You opened with a lament about no-shows, but then you went and no-showed your own endorsement article. At the very least, just endorsing a write-in from your own staff could give you an interesting indication of the Indy's endorsement power.

Lefty hypocrisy
Where has the peace movement been? It seems that peace is a good thing only when Republicans are in the White House. Over the last eight years, the silence from the left on issues of war and peace has been deafening. While Bill Clinton bombed aspirin factories, killing innocent civilians and sent troops to Haiti, Bosnia and Somalia, the concerned students and faculty on our college campuses did nothing. Indeed, Clinton's interventionism had little if anything to do with the defense of this country and was primarily focused on influencing the internal affairs of other nations. This is real imperialism. Yet the left had no problem with it.

Now that a Republican is in office, all the gloves are off, in spite of the fact that Bush's war on the terrorists is as pure an act of self-defense as one could imagine. The current peace movement has no credibility. It has demonstrated through its lack of action during the Clinton years that it is not anti-war but simply anti-Republican.

Victim psychology
Mr. Levine's article on terrorism left out an important component of terror: the victims. Their individual psychological terror, the horror they experienced in the face of death, and the capacity for human evil that generated their mass slaughter were not mentioned. His article is not the first in which victims have been omitted.

I fear that, in our intellectual pursuit to be politically correct, we have done what most perpetrators hope for: overlook the victim. Philosophy, intellect, political gamesmanship all conspire to tempt us into what perpetrators need--that bystanders do nothing. Yes, we talk and talk and talk in ever more complex abstractions and catchy sound bites, but do nothing. This helps yet another goal of perpetrators: we forget. What was all that talk about anyway? Change the channel.

The victims of the attacks in New York and Washington call out, as victims do, for us to share their pain, to hear and tell their story. It is morally impossible to remain neutral. The victims' experience in these atrocities was not lukewarm. They call out for us to choose a side.

Taking a moral stand against the slaughter of 6,000 people involves a clear choice. Implying that their dying is somehow a judgment based on economic and political mistakes is a gross and cruel invalidation of the horror of their deaths and the continuing terror of those left alive who witnessed the unspeakable. Another goal of perpetrators is gained: that the victim be blamed. No one listens to the victim's story, and we hypnotize and distract ourselves with hopeless banter.

Such elegant and sophisticated rationalizations serve to help the cause of perpetrators and minimize the suffering of thousands of American victims--all our brothers and sisters.

True patriotism
The Oct. 17, 2001, issue of The Independent featuring the article, "Ten Things to Know About Terrorism," by Mark Levine, and "Collateral Damage," by David Potorti, was a much needed addition and correction to the greatly overwrought news coverage of most of the daily papers.

I was especially moved by David Potorti's thoughts on losing his brother on Sept. 11 and the references he made to the atmosphere in the United States during World War II, as I spent the first fourth of the war in high school and the remaining three years as a member of the U.S. Army Air Force in North Africa and Italy and remember well the genuine patriotism that existed.

After reading Mr. Potorti's letter, I was passing through a well-known department store in Chapel Hill and saw its new display of the American flag exploited in various ways, including tea glasses. The profiteering from the Sept. 11 tragedy has just begun.

Please continue to feature articles such as Mr. Levine's and Mr. Potorti's to help us to understand that true patriotism means sacrifice and devotion and not a frenzy of cheap displays.


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