The recent commentary by Kristen Smith was deeply offensive to this longtime neighborhood advocate and also quite silly.  Fixated on the Olympics, she seemed oblivious to their central purpose: competition.  When she exhorted us to work together as a “team,” one can only wonder about the team’s opponent.   Homeowners should band together with “commercial property owners, renters, students, business owners…” in short, everyone, to compete against…what? 

The many competing interests within Chapel Hill preclude a single team. This is still a democracy, and we still have the right to look out for our particular interests. As someone who has lived in the Coker Hills neighborhood since 1978, I have worked to defeat interests that would compromise its beauty, peace and tranquility and lessen its value.
 My interests are not those of out-of-town investors and developers intent on making Chapel Hill look as much like Manhattan as possible, with increasing success in downtown Chapel Hill. Ms. Smith’s promotion of groupthink sounds like something out of Orwell’s Animal Farm.
And what’s with the gratuitous swipe against old folks?  She referred to “pretty unsportsmanlike conduct by locals who are at least four times as old as gold medallist Gabby Douglas.”  I am not the only elderly “local,” who tries to protect neighborhood values.  In fact, Chapel Hill is full of such retirees.  Ms. Smith owes us a full description of the so-called unsportmanslike conduct by elderly locals.