Welcome to OrangePolitics.org!

Hello and welcome to this brand-new effort to help local residents get more informed and engaged in the civic life of southern Orange County. In addition to regular postings by local activists on a variety of issues, listed below are some other resources we might offer at this site. Please add your own comments and let us know what you think, make suggestions, etc.

  • weekly or monthly polls on local issues
  • listing of local elected officials (possibly with profiles or short bios)
  • listserv to announce major updates and events
  • calendar of local events (eg: forums)
  • host monthly meet-ups


Wow, I've got a lot of stuff to fix around here...

the "monkey media" link offered under "local media" on this website, offers practically nothing relevant to orange county politics.

looking through the wealth of material posted on that site during the entire 2003 calendar year, only the following things addressed the politics of orange county/chapel hill/carrboro:

** on 10/8/03, orange county is described as "once-taxophobic" -- (lest you think that john ryan is actually remembered, the reference here is to an "orange county" in california)

** in april 2003, mark dorosin's appearance on comedy central is noted

** in february 2003, chapel hill and carrboro are praised for passing anti-war resolutions

monkey media does have a lot of good stuff of national and international import. but if you want to link to someone's personal blog here, surely there are blogs out there with local content, no?

Todd, if you really want people to see your site, why don't you include the address ( http://hippyhillnews.com ) and take credit for it?

i did not have any specfic sites in mind when i asked for blogs with local content

todd morman frustrates me with his lack of attention to local politics (given his track record)

todd melet can basically go to hell

Well OK. My bad.

But anyway, the reason I have that link here is because: (1) it's informative and Todd Morman often covers regional issues that affect us such as what our legislators are up to, how the media is behaving, etc.; and (2) I felt like it.

One topic I'd like to see added to the mix here is one that focuses on ongoing retrospection. We all seem so caught up in the day-to-day that it's hard to step back sometimes and evaluate the consequences of past decisions.

Three issues I worked hard on ten years ago come to mind. Meadowmont, Lowes and the Chapel Hill Skate Park. All were extremely controversial at the time. What do we think of those projects now?

Are there other decisions we should critique with the benefit of hindsight?

For example, what of the town's failure ten years ago to approve a world-class sculpture decrying the tragedies of gun violence? Did we miss an opportunity to take a stand for public art and public issues ? How can we learn from the past?

Roll-out garbage? Widening 86? Take your pick. All of these were wildly controversial when they were first taken up.

Hi Jim.

Like having the Lowes.

Don't skateboard much.

I like the mix of businesses at Meadowmont. One concern is the elementary school (Rashkis). The placement of this school wreaked havoc on the most recent redistricting process. It also does not appear that Rashkis will ever draw heavily from the neighborhood (as Scroggs draws from Southern Village).

Like you said, I recall that Meadowmont itself was controversial at the time. Were any questions raised about the school site at that time?

Hey stranger.

Good to see you dancing on the head of this pin with the rest of us. Welcome!

The Meadowmont school siting was wildly controversial -- as you can imagine -- and I'm guessing the jury will be out for years to come on the wisdom of that decision. But it was not the main source of concern. The real opposition came from the Nimby Oaks who worried that their golf course might get surrounded by trailer trash.

The other big controversy was density. There was a GIANT push to cut back on the number of people living and working in Meadowmont. My fear is that it was scaled back so much that it

won't achieve the critical mass necessary to become the kind of self-contained community some of us had hoped for.


Helpful vocabulary for orangepolitics.org

Pavaocate - to spew venomous fantasies on the radio. "I heard an opinion piece on WCHL about candidates signs that made no sense." "Oh, that was by Lee; he always Pavaocates there."

Protztology - the study of causes and effects and uncanny ability to get them completely wrong. "My Protztologist says I need to spend more on my campaign to get more votes." or "Meadowmont is slow in growing. I blame NIMBYism." "Sure sounds like Protztology to me."

Damionize - to fill a discussion on orangepolitics.org with witless rants.

Danner - what rises when you become angry with anonymous posters on orangepolitics.org "That post by CH Lover really got my Danner up."

Gronberg - one who hangs on to an issue long after its dead. "My dog is dragging around that stinky three day old squirel. He's a regular Gronberg."

E-p-u-nity - the ability to hold on too long. see Gronberg

Egany - a confused state resultuing from reading an opinion column with frivilous but slightly cute writing. "That column in the Herald had no point; it was pure Egany to read it."

Gregoration - writen with admiration for Swiftian satire albeit quite briefly and shallowly. "Did you read that piece on candidates' movie choices? It was a real piece of Gregoration."

'Tis a pleasure indeed to be Swiftly and shallowly immortalized in Gregorian rant!


Few things are more critical to the success of democracy than the integrity of elected officials. Sadly, every day in Washington brings unprecendented new abuses of public trust. We may not be able to do much about things at the national level -- but we can speak and act when faced with the same situation here in our own community.

More than a decade ago, a Chapel Hill council member was found to have not paid taxes as required by law. This person was a dedicated public servant who did many great things for our community. But perhaps the most important thing he did was resign gracefully from office -- generously putting the well-being of the community ahead of his own agenda.

We now have a similar situation in which councilmember-elect Hill has failed to meet his legal obligations as a citizen. Though Mr Hill's judgment has already been tested (in the UNC house swap) -- this new revelation also raises questions about his ability to understand and follow the law, as well as his integrity.

For those of you who know Mr. Hill -- whether you agree with him on issues or not -- I hope you will encourage him not to take office this coming Monday. I fear that if he does, the ensuing recall process will further divide our community -- and at great cost. Chapel Hill faces many exciting and challenging opportunities. We do not need the distraction of a contentious recall election.

Thank you for your consideration.

Jim Protzman


Well, yeeehawwww. If you can't get your own self elected unless there's room on the Council for a 5th place finisher, then go get someone un-elected. Sounds like a party! I'll bring the Boone's Farm. Have fun, Protz, you old dog. I reckon you're a bone-a-fide genius if you can make folks think that, if you're holding the shotgun to the guy's head and it goes off, it's the guy's fault. You're sly, man.

He made me do it! He made me do it! I didn wanna, but I didn't have no choice.

Jim, your post has nothing to do with this website (the topic of this thread). Please keep your posts on topic or send suggestions for new topics through the "contact us" link. Also in the future, PLEASE just post a *link* to such lengthy material rather than pasting and posting it here. Thanks.

Ruby, thanks for the tip on getting a new content thread started, and sorry about the lengthy excerpt from the Town Charter. If you can go ahead and strip out that text -- and move the message to another thread -- I'd appreciate it.

And to whomever Hmmmm is . . . sounds like you've had enough Boone's Farm already. But just in case you stumble into a rare moment of lucidity, do you really favor having an elected official who consistently fail to obey the law? Whether they do so because of compulsively bad judgment, ignorance, or willful deceit matters not to me. The 'Impeach Bush' bumpersticker on my truck isn't there because I went looking for a reason to disapprove of the man. It's there because W has given me a few good reasons to judge him unfit for office. So has Hill.

Jim, I don't think this merits it's own thread, there are already a couple about Cam so let's take it there:



Back in October, I decided to take leave of my senses and join the fray here at Orange Politics. After a year of unrewarding dialogue on national sites, I was optimistic that engagement at a local level would be more satisfying.

A week after I signed on, Chapel Hill's bad-boy council member stirred up the news, embarrassing himself and our town in the process. Throughout the discussion of Cam Hill's many missteps, I was surprised to find hardly an eyebrow raised among the OP glitterati, though I was willing to chalk that up to the predictable "we-can-do-no-wrong" attitude of local Greens.

I discovered a few weeks after the election, however, that Hill is an OP designated writer, and suddenly everything happening here made sense. Following that minor epiphany, I opted out of OP, with the intention of checking back after the new year to see how things had evolved. Here is my brief report.

1. The frequent presence of anonymous postings is, in my view, a fatal flaw. Though occasionally amusing, they seem generally destructive and rarely serve to further meaningful discussion. They are by far the major source of personal attack.

2. The description of OP as "hip and hardly balanced" seems on the mark. It also is a formula for insular thinking and in-breeding. A blog owner certainly has the right to choose her apologists, but the steady stream of reactionary ranting hardly seems conducive to critical thinking or productive dialogue. Perhaps that is the intention.

Last fall, I wrote to Steve Ford (editorial page editor at the N&O) on several occasions, encouraging him to be a more forceful advocate for progressive thought. My requests had no effect and I eventually cancelled my subscription. A few weeks later, I had the same conversation with Ted Vaden. The Chapel Hill News is no longer delivered to my driveway. (I don't read the Herald because of its abominable visual design.)

I mention those other media simply to observe that OP is in good company as far as I'm concerned. Have fun. I'll check in again next year.


I totally agree with the comment on anonymous posting.


For what it's worth I agree with y'all about anonymous posting, but there's little we can do about it right now.

Gosh Jim, you're a hard man to please. I recall you being unhappy with the Independent at some point also.

Sorry you could not hang out more "on the head of this pin" as you described it.

Let me know when you find a suitable forum.

It's true. OP is less controlled than a by invitation only political salon at one's home. No telling who might show here or who they might say they are here. But that's a charm for some. Not knowing, is it that threatening?

Thin skin does not a good politician make.

WHAT is an "OP Designated writer?" Do I count? Enquiring minds!



tells who the 'writers' are. basically, a 'writer' or 'author' of a blog is someone who can create an article or thread. the rest of us are posting comments in response to articles.

That article says that Cam Hill lives on Cameron Avenue, and is running for council.

This is the sort of thing that Designated Writers (DW) are supposed to prevent. Sometimes you just have to take away the keyboards.


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