July 30, 2002
Carolina in the News
Continued Summer Reading Program Coverage
The Fox News Channel program "Hannity and Colmes" featured Michael Sells, author
of this year's summer reading program selection, "Approaching the Qur'an," and Joe
Glover, president of the Family Policy Network, on Friday, July 26. The focus of the
program was the recent lawsuit against UNC involving the summer reading program.
Edgy first college assignment: Study the Koran
The Christian Science Monitor
Brynn Hardman was all set to sit back and glide through some Danielle Steel on
Atlantic Beach this summer. Just graduated from high school in Raleigh, N.C., she
was looking forward to a bit of light fare before hitting the heavy tomes of freshman
year. Instead, the tanned teen is immersed in the curlicue phrasings of what would
have been her personal last choice for beachside reading: the Koran.
Required reading (Commentary)
The Christian Science Monitor
Not being able to make their own choices can be jarring for teens in the heady days
of summer before they start college. So it's not surprising that some freshmen headed
for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are griping about being required
to read a book on the Koran before they arrive.
UNC stands up for education (Editorial)
Wilmington Morning Star
UNC-Chapel Hill is being sued for allegedly trying to convert students to Islam.
Actually, itís trying to turn them into adults who might begin to understand the
complicated and dangerous world in which they will live.
Failed assignment (Editorial)
For such brilliant people, the folks at UNC-Chapel Hill are having a mighty hard
time getting that summer-reading assignment right. First, they announced that this
year's assignment...is to read a book that discusses, and quotes extensively, the
(Note: This editorial appeared in the News and Observer Sunday feature "Tar Heel
Editors Speak," reprinted from the Goldsboro News-Argus.)
Not indoctrination (Letter to the Editor)
As an entering freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill I would like to weigh in on the
controversy over the summer reading assignment for freshmen involving the Quran.
Regarding Dennis Rogers' July 24 column "Call us ignorant of Quran": Bravo! I
have long believed that ignorance is not bliss, but rather it is dangerous. It divides
us, allows us to harbor prejudicial stereotypes and prevents any truthful analysis of
the world around us.
Students can handle it (Letter to the Editor)
Thanks to columnist Dennis Rogers for finally hitting the nail on the ugly head of this
"Approaching the Qur'an" fiasco at UNC-Chapel Hill. Finally, someone is publicly
saying how offensive it is to incoming freshmen to assume that the first thing we're
going to do after reading this book is to see how we too can become Islamic
Faith's intolerance (Letter to the Editor)
Dennis Rogers has hit the nail on the head once again. Religious leaders should be
welcoming the chance for people to learn more about other religions and what it is
people believe in, so fellow Christians will have the knowledge and understanding
to declare why Christianity is the right choice
Only a partial picture (Letter to the Editor)
Dennis Rogers' assessment of UNC-Chapel Hill's freshmen Quran reading assignment
and the Family Policy Network legal response is like building half of a bridge, i.e.,
it's rendered faulty by half. Here's why.
What if required reading were about Christianity? (Letter to the Editor)
The Charlotte Observer
In response to "UNC and the Quran" (July 29 editorial). We all know that The
Observer would never try to sell the "intellectual voyage" of the UNC required reading,
"Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations," if it were entitled "An Introduction
Christianity's merit (Letter to the Editor)
Regarding Dennis Rogers' July 24 column in favor of requiring UNC-Chapel Hill
freshmen to read excerpts from the Quran, I wonder what his position, and what
the hue and cry would be, if the university required incoming students to read the
first five books of the New Testament?
Current National Coverage
Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina
people and programs cited recently in the national media:
Current International Coverage
The key to gracious living
The Economist (UK)
ABOUT ten years ago, the French found something they had a legitimate right to
feel smug about. To their astonishment, epidemiologists began to notice that French
people, who wash down meals laced with cream, cheese and animal fat with flagons
of wine, not only live longer, but also suffer less heart disease, than people from other
countries... Their subjects were participants in a long-term heart study of students
from the University of North Carolina who had entered that institution in the 1960s.
Current National Coverage
Regimens: When P.E. Class Includes Exercise
The New York Times
Changing physical education classes so that students spend more class time in
motion can yield measurable improvements in fitness, a new study reports... The
lead author, Dr. Robert G. McMurray of the University of North Carolina, and
his colleagues based their findings on an experiment conducted in four school systems
in the state.
(Note: The New York Times requires free registration to access articles.
This coverage resulted from a UNC news release
Other coverage includes The Washington Post
Times Announces Selection of Four Editors for Senior Posts
The New York Times
Appointments of four editors to senior positions were announced yesterday by The
New York Times... Jim Roberts, the deputy national editor, will become national
editor, overseeing The Times's 25-member reporting staff throughout the United
States outside of Washington... He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill
Army Grapples With Domestic Violence
A soldier's life is filled with challenges and difficulties, from basic training to the
battleground. But it's rare that those stresses have the deadly consequences that have
shaken the Army at Fort Bragg... Domestic violence usually occurs in the ranks of
younger soldiers who have young children and little money, said Dennis Orthner, a
professor at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill.
(Note: Other pick-up of this national Associated Press story featuring Orthner includes
The New York Times Online, St Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri), the Deseret News
(Utah), and the Bradenton Herald (Florida).)
Planning the Future of Plant Genomics
Plant genomics researchers stand at a crossroads. Behind them are the completed
genome sequences of rice1 and the model mustard plant Arabidopsis thaliana...
Although the research options are seemingly infinite, the funding is not. Despite funding
increases, the interagency NPGI budget pales in comparison to that of the NIH, a
fact not lost on the NRC workshop's chairman Jeff Dangl, a professor of biology at
the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who specializes in plant disease
resistance and cell death control.
(Note: The Scientist requires free registration to access articles.)
Congressmen-turned-lobbyists offer expertise, contacts
Star Tribune (Minnesota)
It's been more than a decade since Dennis McGrann worked for former Minnesota
Congressman Gerry Sikorski, but he's kept his Minnesota connections... "A lot of people
think it should be outlawed, but many political scientists have a more benign view," said
University of North Carolina political scientist Virginia Gray, a former University of
Minnesota professor and an expert on lobbying.
The nagging season
Sun News (South Carolina)
Alan Schilling admits he nags his parents for things he sees on television, in magazines
or in stores. The 13-year-old has a nagging style he says sometimes works - more often
on his mom, Susan, who proclaims: "I'm the pushover."... "Kids and their friends talk
about a whole lot of products," said Tom Bowers, associate dean of University of
North Carolina Chapel Hill's journalism school who teaches advertising.
Reviving an oyster ecosystem in N.C.
Nags Head Woods Preserve steward Aaron McCall anchored the small skiff in the
southeastern corner of the Pamlico Sound, dove in and disappeared under the water.
Seconds later, he surfaced with a large piece of marl... But after discovering that there
were no oysters there, conservation officials and scientists began looking for the reason
why. They called in Hal Summerson, a researcher with the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Sciences.
North Carolina News Notes
Doug Shackelford, Associate Dean in the Master of Accounting Program and
the Meade H. Willis Professor of Taxation in the Kenan-Flager School of Business
was interviewed on WUNC's "The State of Things." The program airs at noon and is
re-broadcasted at 8 p.m. To listen to the program via the Internet, go to
Springboard Enterprises, a national, not-for-profit venture, was featured on Local
TechWire.com, a subscription-based online service focusing on the business of technology.
Springboard Enterprises is a forum dedicated to increasing women's participation in the
equity capital markets as both entrepreneurs and investors. UNC's Kenan-Flagler
Business School's participation in the forum as the host partner was highlighted.
State and Local Coverage
UNC chemist wins award
Joseph DeSimone has many awards in his career as a UNC chemist, most of which
placed him in the impressive company of his contemporaries within the world of science.
Town to keep tabs on waste site
Town Council members say they want to be kept apprised of progress as UNC attempts
to clean up a chemical dump on the Horace Williams property.
Waste sites to be evaluated
Town officials plan to seek outside help to evaluate the potential hazards of an abandoned
landfill and onetime chemical waste dump on UNC-Chapel Hill's Horace Williams
property. The two sites have been the subject of scrutiny since Chancellor James Moeser
announced in April that he planned to close the Horace Williams Airport.
UNC building program not essential state spending (Letter to the Editor)
Since The Chapel Hill Herald took issue with my recent paper for the John Locke
Foundation advocating a moratorium on further higher ed bonds sales until the stateís
budget is not awash in red ink, I would like to respond.
Scientist's creation no small find
Otto Zhou and his colleague Jianping Lu were griping one day over lunch about their X-
ray machine in the lab of the physics department at UNC-Chapel Hill. The machine was
constantly breaking because of the high temperatures required to produce the X-ray --
more than 1,000 degrees Celsius. Wasn't there a better way?
(Note: This coverage was the result of News Services' pitching efforts. Zhou's research
was the subject of a recent UNC News Services release
Student activists hit the road to teach democracy
College activists also known as "Freedom Riders" helped push back the barriers of racism
and elitism that kept African-American voters from the polls... The 10 students -- some
from N.C. Central, N.C. State, Wake Forest University, Peace College and East Carolina
University -- included three from UNC-Chapel Hill: Brock Towler, Tre Jones and Nolan
Noted scholar of Islam leaving Shaw
Waist-high stacks of books and empty white Postal Service containers vie for space in
Professor Ihsan Bagby's office at Shaw University. In two weeks, the soft-spoken professor
of international studies will be gone -- part of a reconfiguration of the American academic
landscape... The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill just added a second
Islamicist to its department of religious studies. Edward Curtis will teach about Islam
among African-Americans... "Fifty years ago, the study of religion was Bible and theology,"
said Carl Ernst, a professor of religion who specializes in Islam at UNC-CH.
UNC Hospital Fuel Spill Contained
Workers have contained diesel fuel that was spilled during the night from a tank at UNC
Hospitals. Officials say none of the fuel threatened public safety or water supplies, and an
undetermined amount that entered a small stream. Officials expected to pump that fuel out
(Note: This recent spill was the subject of a UNC news release this morning
http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jul02/diesel073002.htm. Other coverage includes
WRAL-TV (CBS) http://www.wral.com/news/1583407/detail.html.)
Behind the Scenes: Customer service rep doesnít believe in regrets (Question and Answer)
Meet Summer Saadah, the Customer Service Representative at the IT Response Center
(help desk) on the UNC campus. Saadah has transformed multitasking into a fine art as she
handles multiple customer issues with expertise and a smile.
Towns mull options as drought toughens
A serious four-year drought threatening water supplies in some Gaston County towns is
prompting new calls for solutions to regional water-supply problems... "I looked at
Gaston County's water supply a few years ago, and I found it to be one of the most
disjointed systems in the state," said David Moreau, professor of water resources and
environmental services at UNC Chapel Hill.
Man held after threats to family
A man has been accused of shooting one of his sister's dogs and threatening to kill his
family. Michael Cary Alston, 27, of 61 Rufus C. Burnette Drive, was charged Thursday
evening with felony cruelty to animals, three counts of misdemeanor communicating threats
and three counts of misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun, Sheriff Ike Gray said. Alston,
who resigned Friday from his position as a laboratory animal technician at UNC-
Chapel Hill, is being held at the Chatham County Jail under $25,000 bail.
Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina
Chapel Hill OKs tax hike
With no idea how much money the town will get from the cash-strapped state this fiscal
year, the Town Council on Friday raised property taxes to pay for essential services.
Long live the mighty oak
After enduring violent hurricanes and persistent construction, the Southern Red Oak on
Copeland Farm recently faltered during one of the worst droughts in state history...
Historic trees in other Triangle cities and towns appear to be surviving without exemptions,
in many cases thanks to alternate water sources. At UNC-Chapel Hill, the poplar under
which William R. Davie supposedly sited the school in 1792 has benefited from abundant
Growing a village
The brick buildings around the town square in Meadowmont are still mostly empty,
waiting for residents and businesses to bring life to one of the Triangle's first villages built
from scratch... Small compared with many Triangle projects, Meadowmont nevertheless
generated fierce opposition in Chapel Hill, where residents resist threats to their small-
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