Ruby Sinreich's blog
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Wed, 11/27/2013 - 10:27am.
As you hopefully know, Orange County is in the process of looking for a new Manager to lead the county government. Last week OP editor Molly De Marco attended the first session along with CHCCSS School Board Member James Barrett and probable County Commissioner candidate Mark Marcoplos. And that's it. No-one else attended the meeting. The second meeting was held last night in Hillsborough, but I was not able to make it (as I had hoped to do) and I doubt many other did in that miserable weather!
Personally, I think the most important trait in a government leader is a dedication to democracy and open government. There are many more priorities, but if a good leader listens to the people of the county then those things will follow.
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Sun, 11/03/2013 - 10:01pm.
I've had to remove several comments on the endorsements thread as they were not in fact endorsements. But I'm certainly interested in what y'all have to say, even the snarky stuff.
The Chapel Hill Town Council race is an interesting contest this year with two incumbents and four strong challengers running for only four seats. In the past we had a "Pundit of the Year" contest to see who could best predict the results. We'll be a little less formal this year and just throw our educated guesses out there.
For example, I think Sally Greene will come in strong and that Ed Harrison will continue to hold on to his Council seat. I think George Cianciolo will have broad support, and I see a tight race between Maria Palmer and Amy Ryan for the last spot. I'm not sure which one of those will win, it may depend on who campaigns harder, and I don't have a sense of which that would be.
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Mon, 10/28/2013 - 7:38pm.
It's that time of year again. Early voting is already underway, and those of us who pay literally any attention to local politics are frequently asked by the rest of the world for whom they should vote.
Please share with us you're voting for and why. You may also list the people you would vote for if you lived in their districts. Do not refer in any way to to any candidates you are not supporting. You're free to critique the candidates through comments on other posts or by posting your own blog entry. In fact, you're strongly encouraged to do so!
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Mon, 10/21/2013 - 3:04pm.
This reads like a compromise solution if I ever saw one. In the pick-4 Chapel Hill Town Council race, the Sierra Club endorsed 5 candidates! Here's their press release:
CHAPEL HILL - The North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club proudly announces its endorsements for the 2013 municipal races in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Pittsboro. The NC Sierra Club supports candidates with demonstrated knowledge of local environmental issues who will provide strong leadership on matters including growth, transportation, and conservation.
For mayor of Pittsboro, the Sierra Club endorses Bill Terry.
For mayor of Hillsborough, the Sierra Club endorses Tom Stevens.
For mayor of Carrboro, the Sierra Club endorses Lydia Lavelle, who is running unopposed.
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Sat, 10/19/2013 - 4:14pm.
In this ten-minute rant, Chapel Hill Town Council Member Matt Czajkowski first lectures the entire room (which includes affordable housing experts and experienced elected officials) about basic economics, goes on to blame the town for home prices rising, and then just straight out yells at everyone for several minutes. Beware, this content is anxiety-triggering for me, possibly for others too.
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Wed, 10/16/2013 - 12:56pm.
And I can't say I disagree with them much. (But I do have some quibbles. More about that when we post our annual Endorsements Thread soon.) Here's an overview of their picks (which you already know if you follow us on Twitter):
- Chapel Hill Town Council: Sally Greene, Ed Harrison, Maria Palmer, George Cianciolo
- CHCCS School Board: James Barett, Michelle Brownstein, Andrew Davidson
- Carrboro Board of Alderpeople: Randee Haven-O'Donnell, Jacquie Gist, Sammy Slade
- Hillsborough Town Board: Kathleen Ferguson, Jennifer Weaver
To learn more about all these folks see our spreadsheet of candidates at orangepolitics.org/elections-2013/candidates
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Fri, 09/27/2013 - 2:18pm.
Last year we asked readers to donate to help up upgrade the site from an ancient Drupal 5 installation to the more-current Drupal 6. Last fall and spring, you donated $800 to this cause. It took longer to get started than we had hoped, but our own Jason Baker has been working hard on the upgrade since this summer.
Tonight at OP's 10th birthday party you can see the fruits of our labor as Jason will be demonstrating a beta version of the new site, which is actually on Drupal 7! (I know this means very little to most of you, but it's really excellent news for those of us who administer the site.) We are planning to launch the new site shortly after the election.
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Fri, 09/13/2013 - 8:07pm.
Yesterday I attended an informational meeting about the proposed Tanyard Branch greenway and bridge that the Town of Chapel Hill is planning to build from the end of McMasters Street (near Northside Elementary) to the other side of Bolin Creek, ending at Jay Street, which is a dirt road that connects to Village Drive. (Tanyard Branch is the name of the stream that comes in from Carrboro and feeds into Bolin Creek at Umstead Park.)
This is a project that I personally stand to benefit from greatly. My comment from a year ago on being districted in the Northside Elementary walkzone explains that this will change our daily walk to school from 1.2 miles up a steep hill to .5 miles through the woods. This small greenway will also eventually connect to Phase III of Chapel Hill Bolin Creek Greenway, which will bring the path from MLK to Umstead Park. UNC is also creating a "Campus-to-Campus Connector" from Carolina North which will run paralell to the railroad tracks and just feet from Village Drive. This Tanyard Branch connection will someday make it much easier for people to get to central Chapel Hill from downtown, which is great.
Submitted by Ruby Sinreich on Fri, 08/30/2013 - 1:57pm.
Come back with me to the summer of 2009. Filing just ended for the Chapel Hill Town Council and Mayoral races when powerhouse Council Member Bill Strom suddenly announced he was resigning and moving to New York. Strom was called "Machiavellian" and much worse.
First it was just the typical Strom haters that accused him of attempting to manipulate the process by waiting until just after the filing period, so that his replacement could be chosen by his friends on the Town Council. Strom himself claimed the timing was purely accidental. However, in the following weeks information trickled out showing that Strom’s actions were every bit as intentional as they looked to the skeptics.