History & diversity

I am writing in response to your recent article about the possible demolition of two historic houses in Morehead Hill (“These homes are history,” Dec. 2). I have lived in Durham for 25 years. From the beginning, one of the things I liked best about the city is the many distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm. I live in Morehead Hill, a historic district known for its wealth of early 20th-century vernacular architecture in all shapes and sizes, from the grandeur of Stagg House to the modest appeal of the Jackson Street bungalows. But even more impressive is the diversity of the residents. People of many races and incomes, backgrounds and lifestyles choose to call this inner-city neighborhood home.

The controversy over the fate of the old houses is unfortunate, but it is hoped that the parties involved can reach a compromise, for the sake of the school and the community where it is located and of which it is a part.

Lynn Kohn

Phantom impresses

Adam Sobsey’s comparison of Phantom to Batman was clever and interesting (“Holy chandeliers, Phantom!” Dec. 2), and I appreciate his questioning the value of the show beyond its proliferation and longevity. However, one would think that Sobsey might have speculated about why the show has endured for so long. Why not at least a nod to the mind-boggling staging and glorious costumes? That’s the show I went to see, and it did not disappoint.

Sally M. Walker
Chapel Hill

O.C. waste transfer site

I’m writing to express my dismay that Orange County is considering putting the future county waste transfer site (WTS) on land designated to be a soccer park, in the rural buffer, and close to several schools (the so-called Paydarfar site).

I know that the county’s several-year search process for the WTS has been frustrating for all involved; the Highway 54 site is also flawed. But the Paydarfar site clearly violates several of the original criteria that the county set forth in searching for a site. And the site wasn’t even introduced into the search process until the virtual last minute, late this past summeran implicit admission by the county that its search process has been a failure.

One of the options the County Commissioners are considering is to temporarily contract with Durham to use its WTS. Let’s do that, and send the search process for a permanent Orange County WTS back to the drawing board. Ironically, we now know that this can be done quickly, since the county unwittingly has shown us that a site that had previously never been on anyone’s radar screen could quickly be brought to final consideration within just a few short weeks.

Mark Hulbert

Cook re: farm code

Public discourse should be based upon complete and accurate facts. Curiously missing from Dan Coleman’s diatribe published in this newspaper just prior to last month’s elections (Back Talk, Oct. 28) is any reference to when and where I allegedly advocated for a “farm code” for properties within Carrboro’s planning jurisdiction. Instead, Mr. Coleman references what someone else said that I said. An accurate reference to my statements regarding a text amendment can be found at http://is.gd/5f1st.

The term “farm code” has been loosely used in ongoing town discussions. For the record, on the few occasions when I have used it as part of a general discussion, I am referring to the town placing no greater restrictions on farms, as legally defined by the state, than those restrictions and controls imposed by county and state regulations. This principle, of course, includes water supply protection regulations on farm properties in the Cane Creek watershed.

Independent-minded readers can discover for themselves what farmers want by looking at the summary of the board’s June 16, 2009, meeting at http://is.gd/5f1uA and by listening to the farmers’ full comments at http://is.gd/5f1vu. These remarks do not support Mr. Coleman’s commentary.

Mr. Coleman notes that it’s the county’s job to handle waste facilities. Much of that waste is produced by Carrboro residents, and we have a responsibility for where our trash goes when it leaves our town borders. For far too long the Board of Aldermen remained curiously silent for a supposedly progressive government. It is good to see that at their Dec. 1, 2009, meeting the board finally followed the lead of the NAACP, Justice United and hundreds of community citizens in opposing placing a new waste facility in the Rogers-Eubanks-Millhouse community.

Sharon Cook
Chapel Hill

Editor’s Note: The writer was a 2009 candidate for the Carrboro Board of Aldermen.