The Candidates Respond: Why Are People Poor?

We asked the nine candidates for Orange County Board of Commissioners to answer five questions, and all provided responses. On each the next five Mondays, we will post the responses to one question. We begin today with the first question: Why are people poor? What tools or programs is the county using and/or should the county use to address poverty?

Seven Apply for School Board Vacancy

Seven people applied for the vacancy on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education created when Michelle Brownstein resigned last month.

March 15th Vote Matters Locally

Casting a vote in North Carolina’s presidential primary that might actually make a difference this year is a good reason to get to the polls on March 15th, but you can’t just stop there.

Choosing party nominees for a number of statewide races to be decided in November is one thing, but for the Orange County Board of Commissioners races this year, the Democratic primary is the competitive election that matters, as no Republicans filed to run.

Estes Drive Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements

On Tuesday, February 9th, the Town of Chapel Hill will be seeking public input on some rather sizeable pedestrian and bicycle improvements on Estes drive. This half mile stretch runs from the light near Phillips Middle School, to MLK Blvd. and will cost nearly $2.6 million.

This stretch of road is a key East west connector for cars, and could also be the same for cyclists. The improvement would make it more practical for children to actually walk to school, it would also make cycling practical for trips that originated from the area near Whole Foods and Staples, as well as the various new projects sprouting up in the Ephesus-Fordham area.

The Wrong Post-Storm Priorities in Chapel Hill

Many thanks to the Chapel Hill News for reporting on the issue of street and sidewalk cleaning. It would have been nice if some of the people who were critical of the town's response to cleaning sidewalks can be interviewed, but I understand that time is short. One thing that I think everyone would agree on is that the folks in public works at the Town of Chapel Hill have been working (and are continuing to work) very hard on cleaning streets. So, thanks to them.

I find it unfortunate that the reflexive response to the call for better sidewalk maintenance is "who is going to pay for it." I'm not aware that anyone on twitter or elsewhere has been arguing that the town should be responsible for clearing all the sidewalks the way it (and the NC Department of Transportation) is responsible for clearing roads. The issue is that there's a large gap between what the town does now, which excacerbates the problems people have when they're trying to walk, and what the town could do without assuming responsibility for clearing all the sidewalks.

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