Former Orange County School Board Member Dennis Whitling is now on probation and owes $106,138.24 in penalties after being convicted of embezzling funds from a former employer. His jail sentence was suspended but he'll also have to do at least 100 hours of community service.
As many of you know, I have had harsh words for the inter-city visits organized by the Community Leadership Council (an arm of the Chamber of Commerce). I still believe what I said on July 11th:
I'd be willing to go under certain
circumstances, but I would not pay my own money for a junket that
promotes someone else's agenda. (Plus I couldn't afford it, even I
wanted to pay.) If I did go, it would mostly be as a blogger so that I
could get better informed and tell others what actually goes on, what
is learned, etc.
It seems like one of the main benefits of these
trips is better relations between the participants, who are already the
connected power brokers in town from the university, government,
business, and nonprofit worlds. They could certainly save money and
include more people by having a conference or retreat here in NC and
bringing in experts from other places.
Every year the Town of Chapel Hill gears up for the enormous crowds that come to Franklin Street on Halloween, whether we want them to or not. I've been participating in this ritual on and off since I was an undergrad at UNC (in other words, a long time) and I think it has value for the community. While some individuals will always take it too far, most people are engaging in a healthy type of creative expression that is rare for adults.
I think the Town has done a good job of prohibiting alcohol and trying to control traffic. I also applaud the police department for understanding that this is event is a force of nature that can be controlled (somewhat) but not stopped. I'd like to suggest that we charge admission to the area. I think this would help keep the worst elements out of the mix and help pay for the enormous cost of hosting a Halloween party for revellers from across central North Carolina.
This Monday the County Commissioners are holding what may be the
final Public Hearing on the proposed Comprehensive Plan Update.
The hearing begins at 7:30 pm and will be held in the downstairs
courtroom at the County Courthouse in Hillsborough. At their regular
meeting on October 7, the Commissioners are expected to vote whether or
not to adopt the Plan.
Submitting written comments in advance of the August 25 Public Hearing and/or presenting your comments on the 25th might be your final chance to provide input on this important subject.
encourage OP readers to review at least the first two chapters (links
below) of the proposed Comprehensive Plan and judge for yourself if the
chapters clearly articulate how sustainability can be achieved in
Orange County over the next twenty years.
The first chapter states that “we need to act in a manner that will achieve a quality of life that is sustainable into the future”. In the second chapter
one reads that “growth and development within the county should occur
in a pattern, location, and density that is sustainable over the
long-term”. Since this Plan is intended to be in force until 2030 it’s
critical that it provides ample guidance on how “sustainability” and
“sustainable growth and development” can be achieved.
section entitled “Toward a Sustainable Future”, the first chapter lists
many “key ideas … that relate directly to the goal of achieving a
sustainable future.” Ideas are presented for all seven of the Plan’s
elements: Economic Development, Housing, Land Use, Natural &
Cultural Systems, Services & Facilities, Parks & Recreation,
and Transportation. As noted in the section’s conclusion, “these
initiatives reinforce each other. Taken together, “they form a platform
of sustainable practices upon which current and future generations of
Orange County residents can build productive lives.”
chapter presents eight planning principles endorsed by the County
Commissioners in 2004. As an affordable housing advocate, I am bothered
that none of the principles directly concerns “social equity”, which is
typically one of the three fundamental dimensions of sustainability
(the other two being environmental protection and economic vitality).
The second principle concerns sustainable growth and development.
Principles One and Seven address public- and private-sector economic
issues, respectively. The remaining five principles concern
preservation and conservation.
Do these chapters clearly articulate how sustainability can be achieved? I
encourage you to make your comments known to the County Commissioners
as soon as possible because County staff is recommending that the
Public Hearing be closed after Monday’s night meeting and the matter
immediately be referred to the Planning Board (in order for their
recommendations to be ready for the Commissioners’ anticipated October
7 vote). Written comments can be emailed to the County’s Comprehensive
Planning supervisor at CompPlanUpdate@co.orange.nc.us. For more information consider reviewing the August 25 Public Hearing Agenda, as well as the Agenda Item Abstracts for both the May 19 and August 25
Public Hearings. (warning: abstracts are large .pdf files). The
abstracts are particularly useful because they contain all the written
comments presented by members of the public going back to January 2008.
For the truly ambitious reader, links to all nine chapters of the
Comprehensive Plan can be found by clicking here.
Monday, August 25, 2008 - 3:30pm
Battle Courtroom, Orange County Courthouse
Just got the following announcement from the Town of Chapel Hill:
The Town of Chapel Hill is installing a pilot sharrow project today (Tuesday, Aug. 19) through the week on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from Estes Drive to North Street.
The sharrow, or shared-use pavement markings, is an experimental road treatment being evaluated as an accommodation for bicyclists under certain roadway conditions. A sharrow is a road marking to identify the shared use of a travel lane by bicyclists and passing motorists, indicating the legal and appropriate bicyclist line of travel; it cues motorists to pass bicyclists with sufficient clearance.
Didn't find the Town's press release very explanatory, so I looked it up and found the photo above.
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