Welcome to OrangePolitics, the online home for progressive perspectives on Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and the rest of beautiful Orange County. In addition to the posts you see here on the front page, check out all the latest content and the calendar of events.
Teacher contracts, traffic and and affordable housing can all be found on the agendas of Orange County’s elected bodies this week. The Carrboro Board of Alderperson will get an update on downtown traffic and discuss how to incentivize environmentally friendly developments, while an affordable housing strategy will be before the Chapel Hill Town Council. In Hillsborough, the Town Board will consider approving several new developments,
CARRBORO BOARD OF ALDERPERSONS
Regular Meeting: Tuesday, March 11, 7:30 pm, Town Hall Board Room
OrangePolitics was never just me, even though some people like to see it that way. When I started this site over 10 years ago I had help setting up the software, and many friends posted entries regularly including local activists, newspaper columnists, and elected officials. There were always a few people I could count on to write some great blog posts, or help monitor the site for spam. After years of sporadic support from a rotating cast of bloggers, Damon Seils encouraged me to formally create a proper editorial board for OrangePolitics in 2011.
We recruited stellar activists like Molly De Marco, Jason Baker, and Erin Crouse to join Damon and me in becoming The OP Posse. We recruited Jeff Miles while still a UNC student, lost Erin and Jason to grad school, and then were very fortunate to be joined by Travis Crayton.
Despite a condensed schedule due to today’s weather, it will be a busy week in Orange County. Rogers Road will be the agenda for both the Carrboro Board of Alderpersons and the County Commission. While the Orange School Board Hillsborough Commissioners take a break, the Chapel Hill Town Council will focus on Ephesus-Fordham and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board considers its budget and the designation of over- and under-crowded schools.
CARRBORO BOARD OF ALDERPERSONS
Regular Meeting: Tuesday, March 4, 7:30 pm, Town Hall Board Room
The news much awaited by transit supporters in Orange and Durham Counties finally came yesterday when the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) announced approval of Triangle Transit's request to enter Project Dvelopment phase on the 17-mile Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project. More details can be found in this press release:
DURHAM-ORANGE LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT PROJECTGETS FEDERAL GO AHEAD FOR PROJECT DEVELOPMENTResearch Triangle Park, NC (2-25-14) – The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced today that Triangle Transit’s request to enter Project Development on the 17-mile Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project has been approved.“We are pleased with FTA’s decision,” said Fred Day IV, Chair of the Triangle Transit Board of Trustees. “This represents an important milestone in the course of this project.”Triangle Transit General Manager David King said, “We can now proceed to complete the environmental process, advance our engineering and make final alignment decisions. We will also use this time to strengthen our financial plan and work with our municipal and university partners on land use and housing issues around stations. We appreciate FTA’s vote of confidence in our work on this project.”Triangle Transit asked the FTA for entry into the New Starts program in December 2013. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 will be completed by January 2016.The light rail line would run from Chapel Hill to East Durham with proposed stops as UNC Hospitals and UNC, Mason Farm Road, Friday Center, Hillmont, Leigh Village, Patterson Place, South Square, Duke University, Duke University Medical Center, the VA Medical Center, downtown Durham and Alston Avenue/NC Central University.The Project Development phase is scheduled to take two years. Project Development is followed by a three year phase called engineering. Construction would follow the engineering phase and would likely take four to five years before light rail service could begin. More information is available at ourtransitfuture.com.The project cost is estimated at $1.34 billion dollars (in 2012 dollars). Voters in Durham and Orange counties have approved a one-half cent sales tax to fund the local share of the rail project along with new and expanded bus service.
Long before European settlers came here, Native Americans lived in the area that is now Orange County. Native Americans created a prominent village on the banks of the Eno River—centuries before the place came to be called Hillsborough. Through the village of the Occaneechis ran a well-established path—a path which the Europeans called the Indian Trading Path, the Catawba Path, the Old Trading Path, or the Western Trading Road. In its full extent, the Trading Path ran from the vicinity of Petersburg, VA, to Mobile, AL.
More locally, the Trading Path had a well defined route from the Eno River to the Haw River. West from the Eno River, it more or less followed the current route of Old NC 10, Bowden Road, and Old Hillsborough Road to the present site of the Hawfields Presbyterian Church on NC Hwy 119.
Candidate filing closes this Friday, so don’t forget to join us Friday night at Steel String Brewing in Carrboro to meet candidates in this year's elections at our Candidate Coming Out Party.
In terms of the county’s public bodies, the national issues of Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act will come before the Chapel Hill Town Council and Orange County School Board, while Carrboro and the County Commissioners will both hold hearings on their respective land use ordinances.
CARRBORO BOARD OF ALDERPERSONS
Regular Meeting: Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 7:30pm, Town Hall Board Room
On Monday, 2/24, the Chapel Hill Town Council will debate on passing a resolution calling upon the State Legislature and the Governor to expand Medicaid. This is an opportunity, under the Affordable Care Act, to enroll up to 500,000 uninsured adults in our state whose income is below 138% of the Federal Poverty Line. Similar resolutions have been past by the Durham City Council and the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
The Resolution points out that our NC State Legislature can at any time accept available federal money to expand Medicaid to our poorest NC citizens. This would provide about 30,000 medical jobs in our state and insure that NC tax dollars stay in NC to serve our citizens and our state economy.
Member of Healthcare for all NC