Ruby Sinreich's blog

Finally, an opportunity to give money to County Government!

Orange County's new Community Giving Fund isn't what it sounds like. You might think a "community giving fund" would give to the community. Which would make sense. Instead people are supposed to donate toward the same County government to which we already pay property, sales, vehicle taxes as well as other fees.  Do other governmental bodies solicit donations in this way? What if donors' priorities don't match those of the commissioners or the staff?

Can I donate to support the recycling program that Manager Clifton is trying to cancel, or toward a walkable library in Carrboro? Or perhaps we could take up a collection to hire some qualified planning staff for the County.

Election Day, no really

If you live in Carrboro, you will be selecting your newest member of the Board of Aldermen today. Now, it's true you only have one option, but it's a really good one!

For the rest of us, there's not much to do but speculate about the turnout and celebrate Damon's victory. How many voters do you think will cast ballots today?

New, big CHPL almost ready

The library will be closing today to move back into their building which has been renovated and greatly expanded. Are you excited?

Chapel Hill Public LIbrary Expansion Project from Town of Chapel Hill, NC on Vimeo.

Thank you for epic community service, Chad Johnston

Chad Johnston is the director of Chapel Hill's grassroots public access station The People's Channel. Not many people truly know the scope of the contributions he has made toward democratizing media both in Orange County and in Orange County. Sadly he's leaving us to run a station in a bigger community.

School redistricting wrap-up

school reassignment mapLast month the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board decided on the new school districts that will go into effect as we open our eleventh elementary school this fall. I was always aware that these school reassignment discussions were contentious, but now that my son will be starting kindergarten in 2014, I'm trying to learn a lot more about how our coveted educational sausage is made. Since my neighborhood was assigned to the walk zone of the brand-new Northside Elementary, I was able to wade deeper into the mucky reassignment debate without having much personal investment in the outcome.

I think the board did the right thing in choosing the plan that did the best job of distributing racial and economic diversity. But the process is inherently impossible. There is simply no way to put everyone in the school they want without inconveniencing someone else. In this post I attempt to briefly summarize how the whole 2012-2013 redistricting went down.

An experiment with SeeClickFix

I've noticed that Raleigh and other nearby municipalities are using tools like SeeClickFix.com to help residents connect and use local government. Durham's even using it's own website called http://www.liveworkplaydurham.com/ where folks can post their ideas for improving the community.

As an experiment I threw together this SeeClickFix widget.

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This Week in Orange Politics

Chapel Hill is getting a new weekly newspaper. Dan Shannon, the publisher of Chapel Hill Magazine will debut Chapel Hill Magazine’s The Weekly in February 2012. The paper will start with a six-month beta period, during which 2,000 randomly selected Chapel Hill households will receive it for free. Those who do not receive a copy will be able to purchase one at newsstands.
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