Economy & Downtown

Chapel Hill's downtown has long benefited from its proximity to a captive audience of University students without cars. While downtowns around the country have been failing, ours has survived fairly well. However, we have seen an increase in the number of chain stores locating downtown, and instability in the Downtown Economic Development Corporation. In the near future, we will see new Town-directed development on two major parking lots have a big impact.
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Carrboro's downtown has also done better than many towns of comparable size, thanks largely to the presence of Weaver Street Market and progressive shoppers from the rest of the county. The Board of Aldermen has been addressing the evolution of the downtown, and have established a number of community resources in the downtown area including free wireless Internet access, and a low-power radio station.

No Fair?

I have not followed the discussions surrounding the proposed Orange County Fair very closely and hope that  the OP community can help me to understand why the County Commission was not in favor of it.  Especially since 3 of the "no" votes came form commissioners I am accustomed to agreeing with.

What Is A Liberal Republican

The Orange County Republican Party defines it self as its 2 favorite presidents are Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. At a recent party meeting this issue came up, and I said openly to this group my favorite Republican Presidents were Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt. There  response was  it makes sense a Republican from Chapel Hill would think that.  I said my third favorite was President Eisenhower. Gary   Kahn

'Luxury' Changes Coming to University Mall

It was just announced this morning that big changes are coming to the University Mall (no more Dillards sadly - where will I buy my ladies underpinnings...) and a 13-screen, $16/movie ticket high-end movie theater instead. More details are here. So, what do you think? Do we need another movie theater when we already have 4 first-run movie theaters within a 15-minute drive? How about a high-end one with dining featuring a $9.75 mini-cheeseburger?

Paid or Free Parking? Which one?

It's the age old debate. At least around these parts. Which Town parking policy is the best idea? Paid parking in Chapel Hill or free parking in Carrboro? Which policy is working better?

On Panzanella Closing and The Responsibility of Community-Owned Businesses

Panzanella RestaurantLate this afternoon, via social media linked to a News and Observer article, came the gut punch news that beloved local restaurant Panzanella is closing.  On a personal level, this is just very, very sad.  Since my wife and I got married over a decade ago, we have celebrated all sorts of major life events, and perhaps most of them– graduations, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, rare visits from cherished friends, you name it – at Panzanella.  With such good food, valuable relationships with local farmers, brewers, and other food producers, not to mention what has always been consistently a warm and friendly staff– this is a big surprise that nobody saw coming.

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