OP editor away from her desk

Your humble editor (that's me) is spending time with her family for a week and will not be here to babysit the site regularly until next Wednesday.  This means that anonymous comments will not be approved promptly (if at all) but also that if you write a nice blog entry you have a good chance of it being promoted to the front page.

As we used to say, please play nice.  ;-)

If Durham Can Do It - Why Not Orange?

A short story posted today on WRAL.com describes how Durham has entered into an agreement to install internal combustion engines and generators at their landfill. Duke Energy will subsequently buy the power generated which is estimated to be sufficient to serve 1600 homes.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that a deal with Methane Power Inc. will allow Charlotte-based Duke Energy to begin buying up to two megawatts of power generated by the landfill beginning next year.

WRAL.com: Duke to turn Durham landfill gas into electricity, 8/7/08

Wouldn't it be nice if Orange County did something similar (which a number of OP posters have been advocating for over the last several years) and then specifically directed the funds generated by the sale of those rights to improvements to the Rogers Road community? It would at least be a start to repaying those folks for the sacrifices they have borne.

More cutbacks at the Herald

Fiona Morgan at the Indy has written a scathing analysis of the Durham Herald-Sun situation.  As they also publish the Chapel Hill Herald, her conclusions don't bode well for local media coverage in the future. It's also really sad to read that Ginny Hoyle will depart. Given the reported cutbacks at the N&O, it sure looks like this could be a great opportunity for the Daily Tar Heel to have an even more significant impact in this market.

The Herald-Sun's circulation has declined by 38 percent and its staff by more than half since the Paducah, Ky.-based Paxton Media Group bought the newspaper. Paxton, a private company, owns 32 newspapers, including seven in North Carolina, and one television station. But as chains go, it's a small-time operation. Most of its papers are in small Southeastern and Midwestern towns where there is no competing publication. The Herald-Sun continues to be its biggest newspaper.

But that paper is shrinking in every conceivable way.

- Indyweek.com: The Herald-Sun's nosedive, August 6, 2008

Are we un-friendly to business?

A few months ago, I recorded some commentaries for WCHL. Since they were based on comments I had previously written here, I didn't bother re-posting them. But the accusation that Chapel Hill's development review process is overly burdensome to businesses has come up again on the thread on creating green-collar jobs, and this is one of my biggest peeves in local politics. Here's what I said about it on the radio:

I often hear leaders of the Chamber of Commerce complain that Chapel Hill is too hostile to economic development. That we are putting too many restrictions on development, raising taxes too much, or just generally being anti-business. I beg to differ. 

Businesses are clamoring to get into our community, even in spite of these supposedly-onerous restrictions people like to complain about. Businesses are already very attracted to Chapel Hill because of there are so many potential customers here.  It's no accident that people with resources – people who have lots of options – choose to be in Orange County.  It's largely because of the Town governments' work to make sure that development is done in a way that serves the long-term interests of the community (and not just the short-term interests of businesses), that so many people want to live, work, study and therefore spend money here.

New principal hired at Carrboro High

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools just released a statement saying that the School Board selected a new principal for Carrboro High list night. Parents at the brand new school have been feeling shafted as their students have less advanced courses available, and their last principal was let go rather swiftly and unceremoniously. I wonder if people will be more satisfied after this new principal gets settled in.

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