Remembering Ristin

Thank you, Darren Stanhouse, for your lovely tribute to Ristin Cooks (“A shovelful of Chatham County,” Front Porch, May 27). I had the pleasure of meeting Ristin through the literary venue I hosted monthly at The Cave in Chapel Hill during the early 2000s. She attended often and shared her intriguing work with our fellow writers. Two particularly fine pieces she read, from a collection she was compiling, concerned the life cycle of a rare species of arachnid and one about the profound loneliness of the mythical creature Sasquatch.

Ristin possessed a fierce intellect, an enigmatic grace, an indomitable spirit and a deep love and understanding of the natural world. She had the world-weary wisdom of a sage juxtaposed with a deliciously childlike sense of wonder. Her absence in our community is a great tragedy. I trust that Ristin’s stories will be safely guarded and ultimately shared with those who admired her and with those folks who would benefit from reading and knowing about her. I hope that the Independent Weekly will look into publishing some of her writings, with her family’s permission, of course. Regardless, her legacy lives on.

Nancy Alexander Day

Missing Univapts already

I first contacted Lisa Sorg on my lunch break at work to tell her of the plight of University Apartments in Durham (“True grit,” June 3). I was as concerned about the unique and wonderful community living here as the history of the buildings and their place in the neighborhood. I never thought it would get this much attention.

I have a couple items of note. Capstone Development, in its testaments to the Independent, seemed to give the impression that the improvements to our (not their) community would be much beloved by all. Two days ago, everyone living here was notified that no residents of Univapts would have their leases renewed. Who is going to love the improvements, then? While in the office with Josie [Young, a Capstone interim property manager] the other day, inquiring about the status of our leases, she told us all that lease agreements would be taken on a case-by-case basis. Not so: not the former promise, not the latter. Capstone has not had their own story straight. Is this the kind of company anyone really wants to rent from? I guess I have to start missing Univapts now, now that I know I won’t be given the option of missing it later.

Thanks, Indy, for getting the story out there. I’m sad to think Univapts will never be the same. We are all pretty sure it will be all students in a not-too-distant future. A new “class” will be moving in alright: upper-middle and upper- only. Middle- and lower-income need not apply.

Noah Goyette

Digital solutions

David Fellerath was way off in his analysis of what’s ailing the independent movie theater business (“The moviegoer’s lament,” June 3). It is not because of a lack of new movies.

Perhaps there are less movies shot on film, but there are thousands of fine digitally shot movies made every year.

The solution is to equip theaters with high-definition digital projectors. Not only does this remove the $200 shipping cost mentioned in the article, it also removes the need for a skilled projectionist.

If you think film looks better than digitalunless you have a fetish for flicker and scratch marks, the fact is the digital image is inherently better.

Jon Fabris

The writer is producer of Zombie Cheerleading Camp.


Operation Rescue on the ropes

Like the writer, I too confronted the vicious force of Operation Rescue 20 years ago (“Operation Rescue left me bloody,” June 3). In 1989, I was writing the “Voice for Choice” letters for Planned Parenthood in California and doing clinic defense. My experience was very much like to the one described in this missive.

If you want to understand the psychology of the vicious leadership of organizations like Op-Rescue, study the psychology of rapists. When is a rapist most dangerous to the victim? When a rapist confronts his victim with impotent rage, than she is in the greatest danger of being brutally beaten or killed. That is why clinic violence went up in the Clinton years, down in the era of Bush, when these creeps had a friend in the White House; and now, despite President Obama’s best efforts at conciliation and finding common cause to minimize abortions, up again since he was elected. That is both the statistical fact and the psychological profile of these anti-choice thugs. Now that these bullies have lost in court and now that we have an attorney general who will enforce the laws to protect clinics, it is reasonable to predict that their terrorist violence will escalate.

I also want to make clear that after doing clinic defense for many years, I have met some decent people who are willing to debate their point without abusing the women who come into clinic. In my experience, none of the decent people in the anti-choice movement work with Operation Rescue or any of its toxic offshoots.

I am also prepared to predict that this time their terrorist tactics won’t work. Americans have had it with being threatened by thugs. There will be a legal price to pay for illegal aggression. Randall Terry has no civilized allies. His strongest opposition could, in fact, come from within the pro-life movement whose honest efforts are often discredited by his criminal enterprise.

Joey Tranchina