Hillsborough Hypocrisy

This week in the News of Orange, columnist Paul Newton invents a new word to describe Hillsborough politics:

NIM-BY-cron-ism (N) (2004): partiality to cronies by elected officials esp. as evidenced through the rejection of development applications without regard to the general welfare and common good of the citizenry who elected them.

I'll admit, my casual following of the debate over siting a new alternative school in Hillsborough's historic district has made the detractors sound pretty bad and made the school into a political ping pong ball. You know that can't be good.

But I don't know much about what's behind this, and Paul's got his own (good) reasons to gripe. Anyone care to enlighten me/us further?

Issues: 

Total votes: 165

Comments

I still don't understand the "problem" with EITHER of these sites. Is OC so ready to throw away kids?

Melanie

Elizabeth,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on the subject. Just a few points of clarification:

- On the Cameron Street plans for the Alt School as originally proposed, the location of the trailers was at the rear of the property. No one has suggested putting them at the front of the property (not that they could ... there is no room).

- The OC Education Building and property simply borders the Historic District. It is not "carved" or surrounded by it.

pdn

So glad to have you here, Roland! There is already a discussion topic on this site about the MLK Boulevard proposal. I hope you will post your comments there: http://www.orangepolitics.org/archives/000125.html

I believe that part of the objection to the original site was not just where it was, it was the actual positioning of the trailer. The suggested location of the trailers was at the front of the property, instead of somewhere to the rear. While the school board location is not in the historic district, it is surrounded by it, and seems to be carved out of the district, making its impact to the surrounding historic properties still an issue. The second propsed location is in already existing trailers, making the further temporary incursion in to the district's impact lessened. I could use all of Paul Newton's original arguments for the old proposal to demonstrate why the Tryon St. location is fine for the new site. It also seems that if this is about the students, a location across the street from the library, gym, and field is a SUPERIOR location for students, compared to the original location. And I don't see why a town board member going door to door to discuss an issue is a bad thing. I thought local government was enhanced by the interaction of residents and constituents.

Well, we've got OUR ALternative School in Lincoln Center--just blocks from OUR historic district. What is GOING ON OVER THERE? Maybe we SHOULD merge the systems--just so those kids can have a program...

Y'all are proving the point for the pro-merger crowd.

I, by the way, am agnostic when it comes to merger.

melanie

--For an all-new Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

We have an historic Airport Road named for something unique to Chapel Hill since 1928. It’s named for an important facility and tradition here. The suggestion has lately been made to re-name it Martin Luther King Road just like a thousand other places around the country.

The martyred spiritual leader is indeed worthy of recognition.

My suggestion is that the major new north-south roadway to be built parallel to Airport Road through Carolina North memorialize Dr. King. It will be the major thoroughfare from Estes Drive all the way through Carolina North toward Interstate 40 Highway.

That boulevard would have more symbolic meaning. The University is to begin construction on its grand new campus when the Airport is closed at the end of this year. It would be fitting for an institution that preached tolerance and learning to give a special name to a leader who lived and died for those values. In doing that, the Airport Road, which has historic meaning for Chapel Hill, would retain that name.

I could not agree with Paul more.

It seems that an alternative school is needed to house the

students who have misbehaved in classroom settings. They have not harmed anyone other than themselves and distracted from the learning environment INSIDE the classroom. To help those students continue their education, and not be expelled to perhaps render themselves to trouble (without a formal structured setting) an alternative classroom was advised. (as is in other communities).

When it was suggested the classroom (trailer) be placed on ORANGE COUNTY property; it all of a sudden became a

TOWN board member concern! Due to the completeness of

Paul's article - I do not need to expound further.

I do not know if it has been pointed out that for years, parolees and highly dangerous criminals have been reporting to their parole

officers upon the streets of Hillsborough in the Historic District, walking down the street with the tourists, etc. No one ever

questioned the locale of that facility and probably did not see the signs that say Extensive Probation and Parole headquarters. Personally, I would be more frightened of a criminal who has served time, or on the brink of serving time, than a high school student who could not keep his mouth or fist shut.

To make these students look like hardened criminals who

would harm tourists on our streets is unfair to say the least.

This is my personal opinion, and having been a parent of two teenagers who went to Orange High School, during the early 90's, I perhaps cannot relate to the few misfits of the 2000's; however, I applaud the Orange County Schools for wanting them to continue their education so they will NOT turn into what some people have already made them to be within their minds.

 

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