Last open thread of 2004

Is anyone left here? I sort of like the ghost town that Chapel Hill becomes at the holidays (and summer, wonderful summer...)

Anyone want to share best-of-2004 stories? Keep it local and keep it positive, I'm going to be strict on this like the endorsement threads.




Believe it or not, the top local story of 2004, to me, was the remodeling of the homeless shelter. It forced the community as a whole to confront homelessness.

Several of my friends are now voluntering at the kitchen & donating warm jackets.

Also, Mark Chilton and others intervened on behalf of many of the poor latino families that were about to be evicted.

We need fresh ideas to end homelessness & addictions.

The NA & AA programs used in Durham at 412 Liberty Street can be a model.

Merry Christmas!

Some positive things about 2004:

1. The Carrboro Wi-fi project and the cybrary. Bringing public space into the 21st century.

2. The really really free market in Carrboro. Will return soon!

3. The revitalized Orange County Democratic Party. A Democratic party that actually has organized grass roots, and wants to have dialogue about what direction to go in--what a concept.

4. Our involved citizens who have produced events like the town meeting on election fraud and Ray McGovern.

5. The opening of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. I haven't had a chance to be there yet, but it looks like a great addition to our community.

6. The end of the Bell award.

7. Martin Luther King Blvd. Maybe these cultural breakthroughs presage a new era in which the African American community gets its due in this town (we can dream).

8. The movement against the Pope money at UNC.

9. The first full year of

Instead of looking backwards, here's my wish list for 2005:

1. Instead of continuing on with public hearings, like those helf for merger, annexation, and renaming of Airport Rd, I hope for some mechanism that promotes two-way dialogue as the foundation for political discourse. We occasionally get public officials here who explain their positions, but seldom have I observed those officials participating in the type of give and take discussions that help further understanding of the complexities involved with governance.

2. Public officials work with the media to educate the public about critical decisions such as changing development patterns, racial relations, etc. I'm not talking about editorials here. My desire is for indepth investigation and explanation of why, theory, consequences, etc.

3. I'd like to see town web developers and newspapers make better use of hypertext so that such indepth investigations (#2 above), background research, and ongoing developments of thought are available to citizens who don't engage in the issue from the very beginning. Hypertext is a valuable tool that is grossly underutilized.

4. The public becomes more activist in educating themselves on the full scope of controversial and/or sensitive issues, such as merger and racial relations, rather than simply taking a personal position and sticking to it.

5. My final wish is for the political discourse, especially on this forum, to become more courteous and tolerant as well as more probing.

In looking back over this list, I see that it is somewhat redundant. Basically, I want better political communications for 2005.


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