Defending Anita Keith-Foust

Durham neighborhood may sell to Wal-Mart at Southpoint for $20.5M” (by Matt Saldaña, April 1) was a thinly veiled ad hominem attack against a longtime advocate of minority interests in Durham. Anita Keith-Foust was portrayed as a greedy real estate speculator trying to exploit a poor community. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The confusion of Keith-Foust’s efforts to protect her community’s interests with the strategies of real estate developers is a manipulation of the truth. Keith-Foust has for many years, and at her own expense, been a strong voice in the fight against large corporate interests, not only in her own neighborhood but throughout Durham.

Shame on the Independent for failing to live up to its name and remain truly independent of the real business interests at work in Kentington Heights and throughout our city. Those are the interests attempting to divide and conquer marginalized communities. Keith-Foust and others who stand up to corporate interests should be celebrated and supported by the Independent, not falsely disparaged and defamed.

Yousuf al-Bulushi and Mati Salgado

Indy should apologize

In response to the article “Durham neighborhood may sell to Wal-Mart at Southpoint for $20.5M,” we feel that the Independent should publish an apology to Anita Keith-Foust. This article atrociously misrepresented Keith-Foust, who has worked for decades to improve living conditions for working-class communities in Durham. Furthermore, the article does a great disservice to the many Durham residents who continue to depend on her tireless effort.

We have had the great honor to work with Keith-Foust in her committed endeavor to strengthen Durham communities, to provide underfunded neighborhoods with the resources they desperately need, and to maintain public access to Durham’s parks and public spaces.

Readers were led to believe that Keith-Foust has tried to evade property taxes. We are left wondering how this publication can refer to itself as “independent” when it has been all too eager to defame outspoken citizens like Keith-Foust in the interests of large real estate profiteers that have been pitting neighbors against neighbors through a divide and conquer strategy, and that care little about low-income communities of color.

The Independent risks losing a huge portion of its current readership; so many have benefited from the energy and generosity that Keith-Foust shares with us.

Elisabeth Bell, Vivian Wang and Katherine Goacher

Churches need limits

I have lived in Orange County for more than 30 years, and chose to move to the northern part of the county 20 years ago to enjoy the unspoiled countryside, the wildlife and the peaceful way of life (“Field of differing dreams,” by Matthew Moriarty, April 8). There are many churches in this part of the county, which adds to the sense of diversity and tolerance. It is very disturbing, therefore, that a church may build any type of recreational facility it chooses, without the requirement for public disclosure and discussion that other institutions and individuals must meet, simply because it is a churchand that our county officials support this exemption. The impact of light and noise pollution associated with facilities such as the ballfield erected by the Lattisville Grove Baptist Missionary church, apparently with no consultation with or consideration of the surrounding community, is a threat to our way of life and to the appeal of Orange County to potential residents who have a choice where to live.

Alice White
Cedar Grove

No bunny love

I was surprised and offended by Jessica Fuller’s arrogant and judgmental tone in her article “Bunny season” (Casual Observer, April 8). There is a complex and long-running debate about gender politics in pornography, but she makes essentially no acknowledgment of that, let alone the possibility that young women can have any rational motivesnot just financial, but also professional or personalin choosing to pose. The implication that they can’t think for themselves is facile and sexist, perhaps like Playboy itself.

Rosalie Genova

Critiquing the critic

I just finished Kate Dobbs Ariail’s review of Legally Blonde and (sigh) it appears we have one more critic who doesn’t seem to know what she’s talking about (“Legally Blonde The Musical is like the movie, only with bad songs and dancing, and no Reese Witherspoon,”, April 15).

Have we not learned that those who dwell in the classical voice arena are endless snobs? I’ll first address her disdain that there weren’t “sleek, long-legged chorus girls” offering “sleek, synchronized dance numbers.” As obvious as it seems to the rest of us, Legally Blonde is not The Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular or The Producers. The wonderfully talented girls in this show come in all shapes and sizes, an attempt to reflect the many female shapes and sizes found in sororities and, more importantly, in the audience.

And be careful of critiquing the mixing of a show that’s being mixed in a brand new house where many kinks arise that have nothing to do with the merit of the sound folks, and more to do with the space.

Kudos for recognizing Natalie Joy Johnson’s talents but, to quote from that same paragraph that this is “a story that is meant to convey the importance of serious work for an honest woman, and bring her respect whether she dresses in pink sparkles or navy pinstripes,” I find it quite ironic that our “critic” was so troubled by not having enough girls she deemed sleek and long-legged enough. But it seems that Ariail is in want of “sexy eye candy.” That’s fine. The young girls and women I saw singing along and applauding Elle’s journey got it. Perhaps they simplify it for Ariail.

Elizabeth Rivenbark
Chapel Hill