July 2012

New Partnerships for Downtown Chapel Hill: An Interview With Meg McGurk

[Meg's Twitter picture]Meg McGurk has taken the helm of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership after five years as its assistant director. I have worked with Meg for four years in the planning of Project Connect, an annual event where persons at risk for homelessness and those experiencing homelessness can receive services.

Carrboro Lacking Simple Sign of Common Ceremonial Respect

Recently, members of the North Carolina Air National Guard left their homes in the Charlotte area to serve the people of South Dakota in reaction to the out-of-control forest fires.  Two days ago, when a C-130 cargo plane was carrying fire retardant to the fires, the plane crashed.  Four members lost their lives and two were injured.  While the names of the injured have yet to be announced, the four who lost their lives in service to others were: Lt. Col. Paul K. Mikeal (pronounced like "Michael"), 42, of Mooresville, N.C.; Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, 36, of Belmont, N.C.; Maj.

Pricing out Food Trucks is Protectionism

I support environmental protection and the mitigation of global climate change. I do not believe that every business should be allowed to do what they what. But there are times when government is in the wrong and shouldn’t kowtow to existing businesses and their supporting organizations at the cost of new business. So to kick this post off I’m going to reclaim a bit of conservative rhetoric. Because it applies in this situation.

It should not be the job of the Town of Chapel Hill to pick which business succeeds and which fails. But this is what they are doing by aggressively regulating food trucks away from the streets of Chapel Hill. It’s called protectionism. The result of the Town of Chapel Hill food truck ordinance is protecting existing brick and motar businesses from competition with food trucks. This is accomplished by charging a fee that is unaffordable to food trucks. The fact that almost no food truck owners will pay the Town fee to provide services in our Town is evidence of that.

Cianciolo, Dehart to apply for Penny Rich vacancy

Chapel Hill Magazine's The Weekly had a nice scoop this afternoon. "The WEEKLY has learned that George Cianciolo will make himself a candidate to fill 's council seat after she moves to BOCC."They also noted that Jon Dehart will seek the appointment as well.  Should be interseting to see their article next week, particularly if they have other names of folks planning to run.

Council should appoint a woman to fill open seat

Unsurprisingly, names have started to surface as possible applicants for Penny Rich's open Town Council seat once she leaves her post to join the County Commission in January. Today I heard via Twitter that George Gianciolo and Jon DeHart likely plan to apply for the position.

While I'm sure either of these men would provide a thoughtful voice for Council, the unpleasant reality is that if either were appointed, the gender breakdown of CHTC would be just two women and seven men (including Mayor Kleinschmidt). Council would be comprised of just 22% women, exactly the same representation as the NC legislature.

It's embarrassing that a municipal government we proudly consider to be a model for progressivism in our state could possibly have the same gender breakdown as our backward-thinking General Assembly.

Another Perspective on Colony Apartments

The Town Council's initial reaction to the proposed redevelopment of Colony Apartments (see "Council balks" in the CH News, 7/3/12) is classic Chapel Hill: act high-minded when, in fact, our head is buried deep in the sand. I am an affordable housing advocate and a Chapel Hill resident, but I take a different view of this development proposal.

Planning Models and the Future Townscape - Chapel Hill Special Topics presentation


Chapel Hill Special Topics: "Planning Models and the Future Townscape"
Posted Date: 7/10/2012

The Town of Chapel Hill Special Topics sessions return to the community with "Planning Models and the Future Townscape" to be presented at noon Wednesday, July 18, in the Council Chamber of Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Special Topics series began during the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive planning process as a way to share information with interested residents who want to know more about issues, trends and studies that affect the future. For past topics, see http://bit.ly/zi4gLo.

Garrett Davis, a long range planner for the Town of Chapel Hill, will provide an overview of the various types of planning models the Town uses to analyze and understand data related to future population and employment growth and related transportation and land use impacts. Models help planners gather and analyze information and predict possible future outcomes, based on a set of assumptions. The presentation, which will provide an overview of the current use of planning modes in the Triangle region and focus on the use of CommunityViz, an interactive software platform that integrates land use mapping and statistical analysis used by the Town during the development of the 2020 Comprehensive Plan. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Garrett develops analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS), and graphic design projects to aid the Town's planning initiatives. He also provides professional support to other Town departments and partner agencies.

The public event will be aired live on Chapel Hill Government TV-18 and streamed on the Town of Chapel Hill website at www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?page=1850. For more information, contact gdavis2@townofchapelhill.org or 919-969-5061.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm


Chapel Hill Town Hall Council Chambers (405 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.)

The blurry line between blogging and journalism

I used to think that getting paid is what differentiated The Media from blogs, but I'm increasingly not so sure about this. For example, WCHL uses a large number of unpaid interns as news reporters, and now they want some lucky "winner" to provide voice talent to promote their new FM signal

If you think YOU have the perfect voice for radio, then this is the contest for you!



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This Week in Orange Politics

It'll be a busy week across Orange County this week. The Carrboro Alderfolks will discuss bicycle-friendliness and the Lloyd Farm propery mediation process, while the Chapel Hill Town Council will get an update on UNC-related development. Both school boards will review the student performance data recently released by the state, while the Hillsborough Town Board will get an update on the Colonial Inn. The county commmissioners will meet with the Mebane City Council on public transportation and the Buckhorn EDD, and will get an update on Southern Branch Library in a serperate meeting.

CHALT and the Sierra Club/Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce/WCHL will hold candidate forums for Chapel Hill candidates.

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