WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2008
A DIFFERENT ANCLE
Nathan Nyanjom is a senior biology
major from Columbia, Md.
I'll never forget the time when
my friend and I set up a lem
Back when Power Rangers
ruled the world and girls still had
cooties, wc spent an entire week of
the summer making signs for the
event, busing cans of concentrate
and repeatedly shaking hands to
reassure ourselves that we would
split all profits evenly.
We were sure there'd be profits.
Sure enough, the arrival and
closing of the fateful Saturday saw
our 2+-hour business only get two
customers my mom and my
friend’s —but we went to sleep
that night with grins on our faces,
dreaming of how we would each
spend our dollar.
My friend and
I only wanted
cess for a day. For small businesses
across America, however, steady
financial profit is a necessity for
their continued existence.
As more and more Americans
continue to buy their things from
commercial giants. Mom and Pop
stores everywhere continue to
close their doors for good.
It’s on us to make sure that the
little guys stick around, which
means not only buying from
neighborhood stores but abstain
ing from commercial alternatives.
I know the arguments for
choosing to shop at the Wal-Marts
and Dick’s Sporting Goods of our
country are legitimate the prod
ucts are cheaper. The quality is the
same, and everyone else is doing it
While these points are valid,
we must abstain from heeding
ML' 1 iammer's advice as the com
mercial alternatives are not legit
enough to quit supporting our
As the buying consumer, we
dictate prices. It’s our fault that
Schoolkids Records had to sell
CDs at higher prices than Best
Buy. Because the latter can sell a
$lO CD to thousands, small record
shops have to try and contend by
completing their fewer transac
tions at higher prices.
Small grocers take heavier tolls
on our wallets because for every
one of our better-eating selves,
dozens opt for the always-open
Mecca that is Harris Teeter.
My friends and I call it “the
If everyone shopped at the small
hometown alternative, would com
mercial Goliaths still boast the
same products at cheaper prices?
The extra money you pay at
your small town Mom and Pop
store goes not only to the Battle
Against Chain-Store Fund but tips
for a true human experience.
The owner of my hometown
Create-a-Hobby made a point to
ask how school was going every
time I went in to buy a model
train, and when my family went to
El Azteca each Thursday night, our
orders were automatically started
as we walked into the door.
While we can buy cheaper prod
ucts from commercial alternatives,
chances are we have to buy them
from oilv-faced, easily distracted
high-schoolers, and while we can
learn their names from reading
their name tags, they will never
leant our names or know the
answers to our questions.
Customer service, indeed.
While a world in which families
turn to commercial companies
for getting their lawn mowed and
babies watched is unthinkable, the
threat of a totally commercial one
is becoming more and more real.
We root for the Davidsons of
the world when we don’t have to
pay for it and lament the closures
of small businesses only after they
have passed on to Mom and Pop
In order to ensure that our chil
dren can have the same small store
memories that we do —of friendly
local restaurants and awe-inspir
ing hobby stores we have to be
willing to put our wallets where
our mouths are and say no to the
Well make the world a better,
more diverse place and ensure that
any future lemonade entrepre
neurs don’t have to buy their goods
from Store USA.
EDITORIAL CARTOON By Nate Beeler, The Washington Examiner
Connect the dots
Chapel Hill-Pittsboro bus line worth the costs
A fixed bus route running
between Pittsboro and
Chapel Hill might be put
into motion after a recent online
petition received wide support.
Although the idea of public
transit between Pittsboro and
Chapel Hill has been talked
about for years, it has never
been acted on because of the
large costs associated with cre
ating anew bus line.
However, the benefits of a
Pittsboro-Chapel Hill connec
tion would outweigh the costs.
Because of Chapel Hill’s sky
high living costs, many UNC
employees and workers in
other parts of the town com
mute from nearby Pittsboro.
The proposed bus line, which
would run along U.S. 15-501,
would give these commuters a
Ethanol isn’t a permanent fix to energy problems
William Lawson isn’t
crazy about ethanol,
and neither are we.
Lawson, a Republican
candidate in our own 4th
Congressional District, is blam
ing America’s ethanol policies for
contributing to the rise in food
costs, a concern he has made a
key part of his campaign.
There is a lot of truth to his
The federal government has
enacted subsidies to encourage
ethanol production and put
tariffs in place to protect farm
ers from imported ethanol.
Asa result, many farmers
are switching their crops over
to com, which has likely helped
contribute to a 25 percent rise
in the world price of wheat. It
also might have contributed
to a 50 percent decline in the
production of hops in America,
leading to a shortage of beer.
Not only does ethanol con
tribute to higher food prices,
but it also has damaging envi
Ethanol isn’t as energy- effi
cient as alternative energy
sources. A car that runs on EBS,
The pink slip
Firing radio host is OK; full investigation is overboard
A s Don Imus showed us,
it’s important for shock
JL Xjjocks to be held account
able for the things they say.
The N.C. Commission of
Indian Affairs wants the hosts
and producer of the radio show
“Bob and the Showgram" fired
and called for an investigation
into station owner Clear Channel
Communications’ history of rab
The racially charged com
ments of host Bob Dumas were
tactless and inappropriate,
and while it would certainly
be acceptable for the station
to fire him, an investigation by’
the Federal Communications
Commission into the station's
owner is a bit much.
During the April 1 morning
show, Dumas and co-host Mike
Morse made some off-color
jokes about an intern’s marriage
to a Lumbee Indian.
Dumas described American
Indians as “lazy” while Morse
cheaper, more efficient ride to
work every day. The bus route
would also be of aid to gradu
ate students on a tight budget
and could bring in revenue
from people who decide to visit
Chapel Hill via bus.
True, overhead costs would
be high, and the route would
call for cooperation among
Chatham County, Chapel
Hill and the Triangle Transit
Authority, whose buses would
run the route.
But between skyrocketing
gas prices and increasingly
difficult parking situations in
Chapel Hill, we think that a
public transit line would be
heavily used and would soon
become well worth it.
In addition, it's possible that
Pittsboro could receive some
a mixture of 85 percent ethanol
and 15 percent petroleum, gets
about 25 to 30 percent fewer
miles per gallon than a car that
runs on straight gasoline.
That means that although one
gallon of ethanol bums cleaner
than one gallon of gas. signifi
cantly more ethanol needs to be
burned to get the same energy .
This is especially problem
atic considering that the pro
cess used to create ethanol is
extremely inefficient compared
to the production processes
of other energy sources, with
some analyses estimating that
it uses almost as much energy
as it produces.
Plus, ethanol is more likely
to become contaminated with
water and impurities, so it
must be sent out from the plant
via ground transportation as
opposed to pipelines, which
produces extra pollution.
Also, a recent study found that
the ripple effects of ethanol pro
duction on the global agriculture
market are such that one gallon
of biofuel produces twice the
carbon dioxide as one gallon of
gasoline over a 30-vear period.
asked, “After you guy’s get mar
ried, are you going to have a
tepee warming party?”
Dumas followed up with the
million-dollar question, whether
the groom’s grandfather would
stand on the side of the road with
a “single tear’ an allusion to a
1970s public service announce
ment against littering.
This is not the first time
Dumas has angered a par
ticular group and faced public
In 2003 he was called out for
urging motorists to bully bicy
clists on the road, and in 2004
he was again under fire for using
the terms “ghetto” and “low
class" to describe American Idol
winner Fantasia Barrino.
We understand that radio
hosts of such programs are sup
posed to be entertaining and
quirky and as such toe the line
of acceptable behavior, but it’s a
fine line between quirkiness and
federal funding for the bus line.
The Department of Homeland
Security gives grants to state and
local government for measures
taken to increase the security of a
community. With Pittsboro only
miles from the Shearon Harris
Nuclear Power Plant, a bus line
could qualify- for this funding as
a means for evacuation.
Even if the Pittsboro-Chapel
Hill bus line never materializes,
Pittsboro commuters should
consider alternative ways of get
ting to work, such as carpool
ing with coworkers or riding a
bicycle part of the way.
With the environmental con
ditions we see today, anything to
keep extra vehicles off the high
ways and prevent individuals
from having to fill up their cars
is a beneficial investment.
Additionally, the process used
to create ethanol is extremely
water-intensive, with the aver
age ethanol plant requiring 500
gallons of water per minute.
Many plants near corn-growing
areas are draining w-ater from
already depleted aquifers.
Not all of ethanol’s effects
are negative, however. The
production of ethanol can help
spur economic development,
especially in corn-producing
regions that might be lagging
behind the rest of the country
Also, ethanol does help
reduce our dependency on oil
imports at a time of increasing
tension between the U.S. and
major oil-exporting nations.
It also is being used in much
of the nation's fuel supply
already as a replacement for a
toxic additive to gasoline that
helps to oxy-genate the fuel.
Still, these small advantag
es don’t change the fact that
ethanol is highly unsustain
able and inefficient. There is
indeed a growing energy prob
lem in America, but ethanol is
not the solution.
If anybody above Dumas
should be taking blame, it’s
the station management for
keeping him around given his
past slip-ups. Obviously past
punishments didn’t teach him
to think before he spoke.
However, it is a little bit of a
stretch to go so far as to link the
comments to the company that
owns the radio station. After all,
it is the producers and directors
who decide %vho goes on the air
and who goes off.
We’re not condemning the
Commission of Indian Affairs
for taking action, but it’s taking
the measures to extreme propor
tions. If a local news anchor says
something offensive, nobody
attacks the entire NBC corpora
tion; he would be fired from the
local affiliate channel.
Dumas deserves whatever
punishment the station gives
him, and the station should be
held accountable. But the buck
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“We always have the assumption
that they re going into the draft
until they say otherwise
JONATHAN GIVONY, PRESIDENT OF DRAFTEXPRESS.COM
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Feel strongly about something that has been printed? Post your own
response to a letter, editorial or stoiy online.
Vice president should be
elected, not appointed
TO THE EDITOR:
I read in The Daily Tar Heel
that Student Body President J.J.
Raynor opposed a bill in Student
Congress that would put the stu
dent body vice president on the
same ticket to be elected with
the SBP (“Congress pulls elec
tion bill," April 8). Currently the
vice president is appointed by
the president after a closed-door
selection committee process.
Raynor's reasoning was that
she thought the current selection
process is “strong" but changing
it would cause political bargain
ing behind the scenes.
Speaking as a student govern
ment veteran. I know that the cur
rent selection process is undemo
cratic, secretive and susceptible to
the sort of politicking she worries
the new bill would create.
Most of the people on the
selection committee are appoint
ed officials. These meetings are
closed door and very secretive.
Technically the SBP isn't allowed
to know- who applies, except for
the committee’s nominees.
I also know- that political bar
gaining and smoke-filled back
room deals among rivals, friends
and campaign workers does go
on. I’ve seen and heard it with
my own eyes and ears.
But if the vice president was
elected on the ticket with the SBP,
students would get to vote and
know about the back-room deals
before they cast their votes.
We don’t need a year-long study
to know the selection process is
clearly flawed. 1 urge Raynor to
rethink her position and work
with Congress to give the students
a greater voice and bring a little
sunshine to an area of student
government that really needs it
89th Student Congress
Closing of bus route is a
bad choice and too abrupt
TO THE EDITOR:
(UNC) leases parking spots for
the Bible Church off U.S. 15-501.
This is the only park and ride lot
servicing U.S. 15-501 between
Durham and Chapel Hill.
There are many students and
employees who depend on this
bus route for dependable trans
portation to the University. We
were just given notice on April
4 that the route and parking lot
will be closed effective May 9.
This does not give folks adequate
time to find alternative parking
and will result in more cars driv
ing further in search of parking.
route was never prop
erly advertised to begin with, so
many folks who would benefit
from the service are not aware
that it exists as an alternative.
On Monday I met a lady from
Durham who had just signed up
for the lot because she had not
known about it previously. Why
would public safety continue to
issue parking decals for a lot they
are abandoning? This makes
no sense, especially since the
University invested a good deal
of money installing an emergen
cy phone system in the area.
We are encouraged to reduce
our carbon footprint by using pub
lic transportation, and then deci
sions like this are made that are
inconsistent with that message.
UNC Research Specialist
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HMTOrs NOTE: Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the opinions of
The Daily Tar Heel or its staff Editorials are the opinions solely of The Daily Tar Heel edito
rial board The board consists of nine board members, the associate opinion editor, the
opinion editor and the editor The 2007-08 editor decided not to vote on the board
dhr Oailii ear Hrrl
Coach was insensitive just
two days after UNC loss
TO THE EDITOR:
Despite the fact that many of
my classmates decided not to
watch the NCAA Championship
game last night, 1 chose to tune
in. At the half, Greg Gumbel
informed me that there would
be a clip of TVler (Hansbrough)
accepting his Naismith Player of
the Year Award, followed by a live
interview with Roy Williams.
Roy’s interview really upset
me. Roy came on TV wearing
a dark blazer, with a Kansas
Jayhawk pin peaking out from
under the lapel.
Instead of spending the time to
talk about our team and our great
season, he talked about Kansas.
And how much he loved Kansas.
I don’t know if Roy remembers
the Final Four game on Saturday
night, but Kansas killed us. We
were not playing in the champi
onship game that night because
I get that Roy gave 15 years to
that school and has fond memo
ries. But I do not get him going
on TV two days after a devastat
ing loss and talking about how
much he loves Kansas and how
great they are.
They don't have to like you Roy.
You left. It Ls understandable: they
loved you like we love you, and
now you are somewhere else. Now
you are at Carolina. Carolina is
your home. We love you. We want
you here. You are OUR coach.
I still love Roy. I am intensely
proud of the season our team
had. 1 just hope that Roy and the
whole country can put behind
them the fact that he left Kansas
for UNC. And 1 hope that Roy
can finally fully embrace that he
is a Tar Heel, guilt-free.
School of Law
Bus route needs better
permit policy and publicity
TO THE EDITOR.
I am writing to voice my strong
disapproval for the cancellation of
the BCX bus route. From its cre
ation, I have always felt the BCX
route was doomed due to its unre
alistic permit restrictions and brief
operating time. I am sad to hear
that poor planning coupled with a
failure of adaptation has ultimate
ly led to the proposed cancellation
of the BCX bus route.
I am sure you have received
a lot of complaints about inef
fective advertising of the BCX
route, which arc also well war
ranted. Please do not take away
a brilliant bus route because of
poor advertising and unneces
sary- permit restrictions.
Instead, change the permit
policy, increase awareness of the
route, and I guarantee that the
BCX bus w ould be full of happy
Durham residents every day.
Canceling this route will only
further increase the overcrowd
ed problems in all other CAP lots
and continue to force many UNC
employees and students to drive
great distances out of their way
just to find parking in order to
come to this wonderful campus.
UNC Study Abroad
(Ihr Hatty (Tor Hrrl
MON . WED.. FRI. 1-2 P.M
OPINION EDITOR. 962-0750
ASSOCIATE OPINION EDITOR, 962-0750
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS