NAACP Forum Recap

Last Thursday's NAACP Candidates Forum was well-organized and well-attended (except for sparse media presence), including about 10 high school students who asked tough questions of the School Board candidates. Listening to nine Town Council candidates all answer the same question got pretty monotonous – especially since only about half of them generally have anything substantial to say. (I have to thank Rudy Juliano, Mike McSwain, and the ever-absent Woodrow Barfield for not coming, and thereby making the forum about 36 minutes shorter.)

Remember the Chiller Plant...

Today's Chapel Hill Herald has an article about the impact of UNC development on the Town Council race. It's great to see the neighborhoods banding together - again - to protect themselves from UNC (over)growth. But it's disappointing to see that those activists still seem to see themselves as struggling in a vacuum. Many others have been working for years to try to make UNC a better corporate citizen of our town and would welcome collaboration with the growing number of neighbors who feel threatened by UNC.

This new group, "the Coalition of Neighbors near Campus," endorsed Sally Greene, Cam Hill, and Bill Strom for Chapel Hill Town Council. And I sure can't argue with that.

(I'm out of town so I won't be posting much this week. I'm still writing up my review of the NAACP candidates forum last Thursday.)

Talking in Signs

It's that time of year, and the "vote for me" signs are sprouting like weeds. (Very much like, and in close proximity to, the weeds that have taken over the flowerbeds on the bypass, those desperate looking things planted a few years ago for the Special Olympics and abandoned since. Ah, when we were pretty.)Our own batty uncle Lee Pavão recently got on WCHL to propose a conspiracy theory involving the strategic placement of certain people's signs next to one another and how this plot reveals the stink of brimstone in the dark heart of certain local politicians and on and on etc etc. I'll let Pavão search out the political meaning revealed in the proximity of inanimate bodies in space. I'm more interested in the vocabulary of our local signage.You can't begin to get into the question, at least not these days, without acknowledging that Council Member Jim Ward is the undisputed and reigning champion in the battle of the election signs.

Town Council: "No" to the PATRIOT Act and to Sprinklers in Hell

Although I was at the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting in person tonight to present the Horace Williams Commitee's report, I dashed home to watch the exciting conclusion from the comfort of my sofa rather than wait it out in the Council Chamber which was filling up with hard-drinkin' lovers of civil liberties. And a TV camera! Did anyone see channel 17?

I think at least a dozen local residents spoke to the Council against this proposal to require expensive sprinkler systems in just three bars in town... which are not coincidentally in the same building downtown on East Rosemary Street. This proposal was made in the name of safety after the tragic fire at a club in Rhode Island. What the requirements fail to do is protect us from pyrotechnics and blocked fire exits, which were two of the main causes of the fatal fire.

Local Sierra Club Picks its Slate

(From a Sierra Club statement.)

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