Letters to the Editor

05/26 What You’re Saying: Tyrone T. Irby, and Robert Gutman

Rewarding Squat Challenge

The results are in for the 2018 Bull City Squat Challenge. In its third year, the event raised $4,100 for three charities: Durham’s Book Harvest, Merrick Moore Elementary School, and the National Parks Foundation.This was our best event in the three years as we had double the participation of squatters along with great sponsor support from Raleigh’s Savory Spice Shop and Durham’s Barley Labs. It was fun, exhausting and very rewarding.

Each of the nine participants (six women and three men) had three minutes to achieve maximum reps of barbell squats (men 135 lb and women 95 lbs.) A new contest was the Relative Squat Challenge where participants would barbell squat the equivalent of their body weight for maximum reps within three minutes.

This year’s event featured a 12-time Ironman (Dan Lehman) and several marathoners (David McLaughlin and Paola Gehrig) with an age range of 26 (Duke grad student Kirsten Overdahl) to 61 (UNC employee Kathy Wood). Each participant trained at The Choice Performance Center for three months in preparation for the event.

This year’s event supported the Ernestine M. Dixon Memorial Scholarship Fund at Merrick Moore Elementary School, one of 26 Title 1 schools in Durham County. The scholarship fund, named in honor of the late mother of Crystal Irby, will support Merrick Moore students educationally. The event raised $2,500 to launch the scholarship fund.

When we opened The Choice Performance Center in December 2015, our priority was to become an integral part of our community. Our signature fundraiser is the Bull City Squat Challenge which helps us promote a healthy lifestyle while also promoting healthy competition.

Plans for the 2019 event are already set for Saturday May 18, 2019. For more information, visit strongerandfasterdurham.com

Tyrone T. Irby


A deliberate attack

The discriminating attack on local supporters of Israel continues unabated.

In his May 18 letter, Mr. Mortimer, perhaps emboldened by the city government’s gratuitously adorning a simple statement about policing with a statement singling out Israel for special adverse treatment, has shown again how anti-Semitic rhetoric and culture can influence the gathering of information. If only the city had left foreign policy to those governments with the authority and time to dig for more information, this newspaper would not be full of material related to our attempt to combat the discrimination that city statement has engendered.

Hamas itself has confirmed that 80 percent of those killed in their violent riots were members of a terrorist group, not innocent civilians. Several more of the fatalities were claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On May 13, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, said in an interview with Al Jazeera: “When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.” You can trust Hamas only when they admit to their lies. Senior Hamas leader Salah Bardawil said in a May 16 interview with a Palestinian TV station: “In the last round of confrontations, if 62 people were martyred, 50 of them were Hamas.” The death of the innocent civilians is highly regrettable and there are many causes.

In short, the defense argument has real meaning. This was a deliberate and orchestrated attack. Hamas provided free transportation from throughout the Gaza Strip to the border for innocent civilians, including women and children. Hamas hired them as extras, paying $14 a person or $100 a family for attendance – and $500 if they managed to get injured. Hamas forced all of their commanders and operatives to go to the border dressed as civilians, each serving as a director of an area – as if to direct their own stage of the operation.

The audience for the propaganda from the recognized terroristic Hamas was the international media and the local Israel haters.

Robert Gutman


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