Early fall open thread

Unfortunately, I missed both the Bolin Creek Festival and FestiFall this weekend as I am out of town visiting the Texan branch of my family. How were they?

I've been wondering how the drought and subsequent soggy summer will affect the leaves changing this year. Any theories?

What else is on your minds?

Wasting economic development

I have to say that besides Eubanks Road, Hillsborough (or of any of our municipalities) is about the worst place I can imagine putting our future waste transfer station. Apparently the two sites being looked at there are in an economic development zone. Unless they are planning for it to heavy industrial development, it doesn't seem like a good fit. (The DTH has a small graphic of the top 10 sites and Hillsborough's response to the two sites on their doorstep.)

These suggestions are so off the wall that I am wondering if they're preparing us for something really awful. I am ready for the Commissioners to get rid of the siting consultants and step up to take some responsibility for our county's garbage for a change.

Sorry this post is so short - I am running our the door to travel to a family gathering. Will be out of town until Tuesday night, but I will still be checking on y'all so behave! ;-)

Who's buying the airport?

Yesterday the Chapel Hill News reported without questioning a study* saying that the economic benefit of a new airport in Orange County could be four times the impact of the current Horace Williams Airport. Would a new airport be four times as big and have four times the traffic? Who would want that? And for that matter, who the hell would use it?

I understand the benefit of the current airport to the University, the hospital, and the state. But I just don't see how having an alternative to Raleigh-Durham benefits the average Orange County resident. Most of us don't have private planes, and when we need to fly, we use the commercial airport. The tax benefit to local government is negligible compared to other possible uses of the land.

I'm just not buying this.

* This figure ($53,000,000) was based on a consultant's study. But they don't say whose consultant.  UNC? Orange County?  I have been disappointed to see that County staffers have been speaking out in support of a new airport. I doubt they are on the same page as the County Commissioners.

RIP Council Member Bill Thorpe

Bill Thorpe cared about Chapel Hill enough to serve again on the Council. His point of view and good humor will be missed.

Town Council Process for Development of Carolina North

On Thursday evening September 25th, at 7 PM, the Chapel Hill Town Council held a special meeting at the Friday Center.  In addition to all of the Council members (except Councilman Bill Thorpe who is absent due to medical issues) the Council Members were joined by UNC representatives Roger Perry (Chair, Board of Trustees), Bob Winston (trustee, Chair of the Building Committee) and Jack Evans, who is is chair of the Carolina North project for the University.

One of the important points that was made early by Roger Perry was that he and Bob Winston speak for the trustees and he gave assurances that anything that they agreed to in principle would be supported by the Trustees.  Another important issue was that of timing.  Roger pointed out that in July there will be 6 new trustees (out of 13) and that these new trustees would come in with little or no background.  Thus he urged the Council to consider a timetable that would complete by the Council's summer recess the necessary steps (e.g., rezoning, development agreement?) to allow Carolina North to go forward.

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