Sorry for the short notice, but I don't want to postpone again. It's going to be way too hot to be outside, so my original plan to go to WSM or OSCSC are out of the question. How about F*use or Skylight Exchange (no booze)?
I thought about hosting at it my house so you can all try to get here from Carrboro with that big, ugly fence in the way, but I thought better of it...
Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - 1:30pm
I just learned that there was a rally this morning at Carrboro Town Hall where residents of Abbey Court called for the town to do more to protect them from the increasingly-discriminatory policies of their collective landlord. In short: the owners have begun towing residents' cars if they don't meet a certain aesthetic standard. It really is that ridiculous. And probably quite racist, in my opinion.
Thanks to the Town of Carrboro's new Official Correspondence archive (kudos for openness!) I can offer some background about the situation.
From: Carolyn A. Hutchison [Carrboro Police Chief]
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 3:50 PM
To: Steven Stewart [Carrboro Town Manager]
Subject: FW: Towing today
Management at Abbey Court apartments is actively towing vehicles from
their lots today. We do not have any authority on their property;
however, we are dealing with this situation to the extent that we are
able. Officers are concerned that Management is towing vehicles that
belong to their own residents. Many of the residents are trying to make
ends meet and need the vehicles to get to and from work, etc.
Apparently, Management is towing cars that do not "look good." In other
words, if your vehicle has dents, needs paint, or has a cracked
windshield, Management will not issue a permit to park and Management
will tow the vehicle. As you might imagine, Abbey Court residents may
not have the means to drive a pristine vehicle, but many are paying
their rent, and now are unable to get a permit to park in their own home
parking lot. Then, their vehicles are towed from the lot; they're
responsible for the towing fees; and they have no car to get to work,
I imagine many OP readers have heard about area residents who are concerned about the new fence blocking access between Estes Park Apartments in Carrboro and Village West Townhouses in Chapel Hill. The management of Estes Park erected a fence and gate which is padlocked. The fence is 8' tall with three strands of barbed wire at the top. It blocks a traditional connection between the two neighborhoods and by extension connections from each neighborhood to downtown Carrboro and Chapel Hill.
The new board of the Orange County Schools was recently sworn into office. At their very first meeting, the three new board members joined with one of the standing members to vote out the old board chair and vice-chair. They were replaced by two newly-elected members, but the new chairs are far from new to Orange County Schools.
The new board chair is Steve Halkiotis, a former county commissioner and someone who spent his entire professional career in the Orange County Schools, working his way up from teacher to assistant superintendent. The new vice-chair is Tony McKnight, himself also a former OCS teacher.
These changes come less than a year after Pat Rhodes became the district’s superintendent, and like Halkiotis and McKnight he also has previous experience in Orange County.
So we have plenty of new leadership, but I’m wondering if they’ll take our district in any new directions. Can three leaders so tied to the district’s past bring innovative solutions to our contemporary challenges?
Here's some good news: the library is reinstating their original hours. They cut them a few weeks ago, with the reductions at the Carrboro branch (a.k.a. McDougle School) being especially drastic. Here's the County's press release:
Hours of operation for all Orange County Public Libraries will be reinstated beginning July 28, 2008. County and Library management have re-visited the departmental budget and identified certain purchases to be delayed until next fiscal year and a reduction in monies budgeted for inventory replacement. These adjustments will generate funds sufficient to cover the temporary personnel costs for hours of operation at the Main Library and its branches. Please note these changes.
For additional information visit the Orange County Library website http://www.co.orange.nc.us/library/orange/ or call (919) 245-2525.
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