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Letters to the Editor


Timing is key
I protest your publication, without permission, of selected portions of a letter written to faculty colleagues. It is unethical to quote without any attempt to ask permission of the author, and the insult is compounded by not interviewing me and asking for any explanation of my request that North Carolina State University cancel a program about Jerusalem scheduled for Rosh Hashanah. Your portrayal of the event, in the article titled, "Poor Timing for Peace" [Oct. 10] assumed that my position was based on fear and that was not the case.

I most definitely did protest the scheduling of an educational event about peace in Jerusalem when a large majority of persons--Jews--who represent one position would necessarily be excluded; Rosh Hashanah is one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar and any practicing Jew spends the day in the synagogue. As an educator, I know that good teaching does not happen by providing lopsided discussions. As a Jewish feminist, I was hurt and surprised that my own Women & Gender Studies colleagues would schedule events that necessarily excluded not only my own but most other Jews' participation.

Would anyone, particularly political progressives, schedule a discussion about peace in Jerusalem on a day that every Muslim of faith was unavailable? Of course not. No reasonable educational event about peace in Jerusalem could exist without a Muslim presence. And if such an event were scheduled, I certainly hope that Arab-Americans would go to the leadership of whatever institution was excluding them and make sure the event did not happen. We must talk more about peace, but we must do so together, not creating events which exclude some of us from the conversation.

Remaining a nation
While I understand the desire of anti-war activists to prevent military action, I ask how many more acts like the destruction of the World Trade Center and Pentagon it will take for them to change their minds?

Osama bin Laden has been at war with America since 1993. In 1993, a bomb was set off at the World Trade Center. Our response was arresting the people immediately responsible. In 1996, The Khobar Towers, a housing facility for U.S. soldiers, was bombed. No response. In 1998, two U.S. Embassies were blown up. Our response was to shoot a few tomahawks at incorrect targets. In 2000, the USS Cole was bombed. We had no response. And in 2001, four planes were hijacked and three were flown into buildings.

The anti-war activists would again have us try the same ineffectual strategies we've tried before. Continuing to not go directly to the source and take out this madman where he is--what will he do next? We already have 6,000 reasons to remove this blight. How many thousands more dead Americans do they need? Would it take the destruction of, say, Washington D.C. by a suitcase nuke? Because something like that would be the only way to top what happened on Sept 11. And if even that wouldn't move them, then I must ask if anything would.

If nothing would move them from their insistence that the United States not defend itself, then well, I admire their pacifism. But realize that nations cannot abrogate their ability to defend themselves if they wish to remain nations.

Critical choices
In the Nov. 6th election here in Carrboro, we will need to make important choices about our Board of Aldermen. Two incumbents, Jacquelyn Gist and Diana McDuffee, are thankfully running again and I want to urge everyone to give them your support.

Both Jacquie and Diana have years of public service (including countless hours of late meetings), a demonstrated commitment to the town, and an accessibility and work ethic that has benefited Carrboro tremendously. Most recently, when visionary long-term planning was called for to guarantee a critical new water reservoir for Carrboro's next generation, Jacquie and Diana both saw the importance of clean water and were able to help lead the town to successfully approve the new water plan. Closer to home, both Aldermen have actively participated, led, and encouraged as we continue to improve our downtown and set out our vision for the next decade of Main Street economic development and community improvement. Jacquie also is looking to protect and improve the greenway and surrounding area that borders lovely Bolin Creek, a potential central park for Carrboro. Likewise, Diana has a special commitment to parks, especially improving opportunities for soccer, and a strong interest in improving public transit.

Over the years of my life in Carrboro, especially through my work on the town's Planning Board, I have come to know both of these candidates and I am convinced we are lucky to have their dedication and expertise. Carrboro has always been important to me, and both Diana and Jacquie are important to Carrboro. Let's keep them in office on Nov. 6th.

Jacquelyn Gist has invested her time, her energy, her skills, and her talent in the Carrboro community. Jacquelyn has been a resident of Carrboro for over 25 years. For the past 12 years, she has shown her investment in Carrboro through her diligent work as an Alderman.

Carrboro is growing and will continue to grow. The question is not whether new people and new businesses will become a part of the Carrboro community but rather whether the Carrboro community will be sustained through growth and development. Jacquelyn has invested her time and energy into establishing and maintaining the community. She co-founded Carrboro Day, providing an opportunity for folks to identify themselves as a part of the ongoing life of the community. Jacquelyn has helped to promote and to institutionalize Carrboro's use of the facilitation/conflict resolution model, thus promoting harmony and listening to one another within the diverse community we call Carrboro. She has demonstrated her willingness to assimilate others' visions of Carrboro into her own.

As a small business owner, I applaud Jacquelyn's concern for the individuals and small businesses that are a part of the Carrboro community. Jacquelyn is not willing to leave behind the people and businesses that have provided a foundation for the growth and development we now enjoy. She has encouraged small businesses to be a part of Carrboro through funds to pay for classes to help individuals learn needed skills and have the opportunity to participate in a revolving loan fund.

Carrboro needs Aldermen that have invested and will continue to invest in the people, the businesses, and the community of Carrboro. Through the years, Jacquelyn has dedicated her time to listening to folks share their concerns, she has listened to the wisdom of her fellow Carrboro residents, and she has demonstrated her investment through thoughtful action.

Jacquelyn Gist has invested in Carrboro, and I encourage everyone to invest in her re-election.

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