Letters to the Editor

09/17 – PTA Thrift Shop, Eugene Farrar, Janet Weinberg, and Peter Reitzes

A misunderstanding

To strengthen our relationship with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools PTA Council, our local schools, and our generous community, we are sharing information to clear up a prevalent misunderstanding.

There is a common belief that the PTA Thrift Shop is no longer giving money to the PTAs.

This is not true. Although limited, our historical, unrestricted contributions to the local PTAS since 2010 have been close to $600,000. Additionally, we created a project specific grant program in 2015 for schools to request grants for projects that would otherwise go unfunded and to give each school the opportunity to increase funds for its students. To date this grant program, Project Impact, has funded eight projects ($22,838) and will fund an additional five this year. In addition to the two monetary funding streams, we also have been privileged to partner with the school district’s social workers/family specialists to provide in-kind donations (10 percent of our monthly revenue) to families with specific needs.

As an organization with a 66-year history of supporting children and families, our leadership planned this short-term sacrifice to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the PTA Thrift Shop. The strategic decision to create a diversified earned income strategy by redeveloping our Carrboro property ensures that we can continue providing financial, programmatic, and in-kind support to our PTAs, and the children and families they serve.

Our goal continues to not only be the restoration of our unrestricted funds, but to provide more funding to the schools in the future. We appreciate all of the community support our organization has received over the past 66 years and look forward to our continuing partnership with our community.

Dawn Edgerton, chair, PTA Thrift Shop Board

Helen Antipov, vice chair

Wilhelmina “Wil” A. Steen, treasurer

Crystal Fisher, Executive Committee member

Collis Arrick, Executive Committee member

Anything but Silent

I was born and raised in Chapel Hill, and, as an African-American, I can give witness that Silent Sam is anything but silent. His call to serve the cause of Confederacy was a call to oppress my brothers and sisters of color that I heard loud and clear as a student at Northside Elementary and Lincoln High School. He said things would never change for me. He said don’t even try to change things.

Over 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King first taught us to reject messages of hate in favor of ones of hope and reconciliation, Silent Sam still sends out his message that things will never change for the better. But instead of doing what is right and taking him down, the university hides behind lawyers and legal advice. Instead of being a leader on this issue, the current mayor remained silent herself until after the hate and violence in Charlottesville and after I informed her that I was running a write-in campaign for mayor because of her lack of leadership on social justice issues.

It is time for effective, experienced leadership to step forward and make sure that the next generation of young people of color do not experience what I experienced and to make sure that all children, no matter what their color or gender, learn to live in peace and harmony with each other. To do so, everyone needs to feel safe and protected by a well-trained, well-staffed police department. Downtown businesses need to be better integrated into the community by celebrating all of our heritages.

The doors of Town Hall need to be thrown open so that voices of all ages and colors are heard and respected. Decisions need to stop being made in back rooms and made in the open for all to see. They need to be made by consensus and not by the town manager and the town attorney. They need to reflect not the minimum of what the law requires but the maximum of our dreams about what this community can and should be.

Then the town of Chapel Hill will truly be a town of champions both on and off the court, and that is why I am asking for you to write in my name on Nov. 7, for mayor of Chapel Hill.

Eugene Farrar

Chapel Hill

Leave their smoking alone

Regarding the guest column, “1 in 7 Americans smoke – where you’ll find them” (The Herald-Sun, Sept. 9)

I must take issue with another overeducated, oversophisticated, overaffluent citizen demeaning the rest of us. We are called undereducated, less-sophisticated, deplorable and now poor without insurance to fund our medical attention because of smoking.

Wrong. The poor work for poor wages for the overeducated, cleaning their houses, keeping their yards, serving them in their expensive restaurants and hotels. Because they are working, they have insurance. It’s the welfare citizens and illegal immigrants that don’t have insurance because they get all their needs paid, in part, by the poor taxes. I had one yard fella sit down with my husband for a sandwich and he said he had never even been in a house before. I’ve been to many dinner parties in Chapel Hill and have never seen a black person, (probably never again.) and they talk about what is good for the less educated, less sophisticated, and will force their ideas on them whenever they can.

And it’s interesting, the only ones that talk about their background are the ones from an affluent background. Isn’t that putting on airs? Are they ashamed? I heard one lady say it was good for the citizens of Pittsboro when the Chapel Hill affluent turned it into an art center. Dah. No, they needed the grocery stores, little hardware stores, little cafes. Now they are taking over Hillsborough and closing the businesses the locals used. And, they are building nice homes in the country but you never see one of them in a local church, post office, or café. They don’t know their neighbors. Isn’t that discrimination? Yet they feel they can dictate their lifestyle?

Leave their smoking alone. You aren’t bothered with it and it is none of your business. I fear the next step they’ll use is to force their rules upon the lives of the less affluent is to raise the cost. That will only make them poorer and they can feel smug they’re able force their will on another they never associate with. Shame on them. The basis of anyone’s humanity is respecting our fellowman regardless of their station in life. (and for the over educated affluent, man and woman) Deplorables know and live by that.

And finally, as a smoker, I have met many secret smokers sneaking outside a dinner party their dinner mates didn’t know about.

Janet Weinberg


Defending Israel

I applaud Josh Ravitch, Michael Ross and Amy Rosenthal for highlighting Israel’s impressive human rights record while easily refuting the deeply troubling, biased aspects of the recent op-ed by the Revs. J. Mark Davidson and Ron Shive. Not only are Davidson and Shive virulently anti-Israel, but they asked nothing of the Palestinian leadership which may be racist in its infantilizing of the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority pays more than $300 million every year in stipends to terrorists and their families. The Palestinians spend many millions more on terror tunnels and rockets. Israel, with large international support, has repeatedly offered the Palestinian leadership viable and dignified statehood. These offers have been repeatedly rejected. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, resides in the West Bank and has not even visited Gaza in more than 10 years, because of his legitimate fear of being killed by Hamas. Davidson and Shive should take a break from demonizing Israel and Jews and encourage the Palestinian leadership to stop funding terrorism, to accept peace and statehood and to spend their money on homes, schools, health care and other services that benefit the Palestinian people.

Since 2001, more than 15,000 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel. In 2014 Davidson referred to Palestinian rockets as “largely harmless” and wrote, “to be candid, the rockets are, in fact, little more than a nuisance to Israel.” Davidson’s crass indifference to human life, to Jewish life, is gross. I am sure Davidson would find it much more than a “nuisance” if 15,000 rockets rained down on Chapel Hill.

As Davidson and Shive continue to attack the only majority Jewish state on the planet, one has to wonder if their goals are altruistically minded or subconsciously anti-Semitic.

Peter Reitzes

Chapel Hill

What you’re saying

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