Orange County and the "Secure Communities" Program

Hi OP. I'm a long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I attended the OC county commissioner's meeting last night and heard Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass defend the county's participation in the federal "secure communities" program, which provides access to the fingerprint databases of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the FBI. Here's what I took away from the meeting, along with info gleaned from local papers. (If I am mistaken, please jump in to clarify. This is not a subject about which I am particularly knowledgeable).

Downtown Carrboro Ped/Bike Connections

For years now I've used the informal trails linking my neighborhood around Lloyd Street/Broad Street near downtown Carrboro, Northside, Bolin Creek, and the rest of Carrboro to navigate as a pedestrian and a biker. Every time I cross the ditch on an old railroad tie and then straddle the railroad tracks to get to Harris Teeter or the Pleasant Street neighborhood, I marvel at the fact that the geographic center of Carrboro/Chapel Hill is still so isolated from the surrounding neighborhoods. At night as I see folks wandering through the informal dirt paths that connect Pleasant Street to Lloyd Street, I worry about the safety of the dark trail and wish that there was a way to put some resources into making these vital links for those of us who can't or choose not to drive much more user friendly and safe.

Where will you be?

I have been hearing about a lot of inauguration-related activities going on this weekend and through Tuesday. I'd rather not have them clog up the calendar, but I thought it would be helpful to list them all in one place. Here's what I know about so far, please post additional events and let us know how you're observing this landmark event.

Hillsborough Amtrak Depot locations

The town of Hillsborough presented seven potential sites for a new rail depot last night.

For more info, check Hillsborough's Development Activity page—they said they'd have info there by Friday January 16, 2009.  Meanwhile, I've put a map of the locations with some notes here.

Two of the sites (5-Hampton Pointe & 6-Collins Property) are on the current Triangle Transit route 420.  A quick and efficient connection to regional bus service is critical for many traveling to/from Chapel Hill.

High-speed Internet must be a part of Carrboro’s infrastructure

(An article I wrote for today's Carrboro Citizen.)

People who live, work and visit Carrboro love the free wireless Internet. But the Town of Carrboro’s wireless is a victim of its own success. I’ve heard from a lot of people who have problems with it and wish it worked in their homes. Fact is, the area the wireless signal covers is too small, the connection is unreliable and the bandwidth is too little. Now is the time for the Town of Carrboro to take the next step. I propose the town support the construction of fiber optic Internet connections to buildings within the downtown business district.



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