Footloose Bruce petition & screening

1. There will be a discussion of the dancing ban and a screening of the movie Footloose on Sunday at 7 pm at 116 Old Pittsboro Rd in Carrboro. (Thanks, Michal.)

2. Please sign the petition below to support free expression on the lawn of Carr Mill Mall.

This is a special-rules OP post. For discussion, please join us at . Any non-petition-signing comments will be removed. E-mail validation is still required. Commenting below will indicate agreement with the following statement:

We, the undersigned, petition Weaver Street Market, as an important and vital tenant of Carr Mill Mall, to reconsider the position that it and Carr Mill Mall has taken regarding public expression on its lawn. This position, enumerated in their press release (released Tuesday, August 22, 2006) calls for scheduled “Live on the Lawn” performances rather than the right of patrons and Carrboro residents to continually use the space in respectful, appropriate ways. As consumers and consumer-owners of Weaver Street Market, we reserve the right to request Weaver Street Market to advocate for Bruce Thomas, and for all others who engage our community with dance, words, motion, music and song.

PLEASE INCLUDE: Name - Consumer-Owner Number, if applicable - Comments, optional



Ruby Sinreich
member #2128 (over 10 years of ownership)
Very disppointed in my co-op.

Jan Hutton, Member #2873, 10 years of membership.
I'm saddened by the lack of transparency in WSM's decision-making.

I will be boycotting Weaver Street until this matter is fixed. It seems to me that some people have just lost their minds.

I will never walk across that lawn again, I will only DANCE.

Owner number 3267 Please reconsider this policy - music and dancing is fun for all. I am surprised that WSM made a decision to ban Bruce Thomas's freedom of expression.

#4444 Disappointed, but not surprised... this whole thing is asanine and the people who are offended by dancing ought to stay home to drink thier drugs (coffee, tea, wine),instead of dancers staying home as some have suggested. Currently shopping elsewhere and moving with complete freedom.

Owner # 2880 - While I appreciate the difficult position that Ruffin Slater & WSM is in and believe that their efforts are sincere, this is a big issue (and a great opportunity to improve the whole issue of public space) that would be well-served by a more deliberative approach that would include involving the WSM membership (and others in the community) in a broad process to find a solution that ensures full-time opportunities for public expression and fun and place controls on those who would use their power to diminish public expression and fun.

Michael Spencer
owner number 11266

the Rowans, ages 37,37 and 5.

Hoping our daughter will enjoy the same freedoms we've enjoyed.

Owners #5721. Elinoff Family. Fans of Bruce and Freedom.

3-year frequet shopper who lives right around the corner--I pay full price. WSM management should seriously reconsider bowing to this sort of pressure, allowing Carr Mill management to consider their future, or imminent lack thereof, without WSM as a tennant.

Owner #11217
I am frustrated by the situation and disappointed in WSM's position, especially since I still do not understand the complaints that precipitated the ban in the first place.

Member# 10848
I hope this petition will help Weaver Street and Carr Mill Mall understand how much local people care about preserving what is best about Carrboro.


Owner Number 4446, Elizabeth Waugh-Stewart and Joy Stewart (and soon baby Stella Rose Waugh-Stewart, due any day now). I have really been looking forward to bringing my daughter to WSM and the lawn--as a place where she can learn about community, diversity, fun, and free expression. WSM's recent position on the "dancing ban" has been very disappointing. I appreciate that the WSM management is in a tough spot, but as a co-op owner I would really like to see more spine from my company's leadership.

Member for years and years (member # 695)
I appreciate Mr. Slater's comments in op-ed section of the Sunday Chapel Hill paper. What a tough spot. However, it seems as if WSM is not honoring its own values by acquiescing to Nathan Milion's very anti-community position. Just because ownership of Carr Mill has been unsympathetic in the past doesn't guarantee that they will be in future, especially given the strength of community feeling about this issue. I encourage WSM to include co-op members in seeking solutions that preserve this precious treasure, even if it means considering moving out of Carr Mill. Stella Waugh

Member # 3122, signing only to support WSM and Ruffin's clearly stated objectives. Please no more talk about moving the market to some other common ground. There isn't any.

Bill Rehm

Bruce dancing on that lawn is one of the main reasons that I decided to move to Carrboro and join WSM.

I'm hopeful that WSM decides to use it's leverage with Carr Mill management (as an anchor tenant) to push for the right outcome here.

What kind of place is Carrboro turning into if a man can't dance in peace?

WSM Member # 5804

I ask that we try not to lose sight of our immediate and primary goal, which is to restore Bruce's dancing rights. I am not at all dismissing people's concerns about the bigger issues here.

We have a direct statement from Ruffin that WSM supports Bruce but has already had many frustrating and discouraging negotiations with Carr Mill Mall concerning the lawn, and are still in a very precarious spot. We cannot hold WSM accountable for banning Bruce, and I do not believe that we should withdraw our business from them. It should be apparent that WSM cannot tell CMM what to do. Yes, they can threaten to move the coop elsewhere, but I'm sure there are PLENTY of businesses that would pay more than WSM to have that space. And we should bear this in mind.


as I mentioned in the other thread, I'm sympathetic with WSM's position -- they have no real leverage over CMM, anchor tenant or no. WSM is much more valuable to Carrboro as a whole, in that particular space, than it is to CMM. Imagine a Starbucks or mini-Wal-Mart or something there instead ... If WSM places itself in an antagonistic position with its landlord, I don't think anyone is going to benefit. I suggest that this petition should instead be directed to CMM and its owners.

"perfect poise on the beat is what gives good dancing its sense of ease, of timelessness, of the eternal." anne morrow lindberg

bruce's dancing poise brings grace and beauty to our community.

I mourn our loss of freedom to dance on the WSM lawn without first signing up as a "performer."

coop number 3644 laura

coop number 4396

I agree with the Chapel Hill Newspaper editorial that developing actual public space needs to be considered. This would not have to be a replacement, nor a new location, for WSM and the lawn. Just another common area, at least as a back-up.

Ruffin's guest editorial in the Chapel Hill Newspaper was really excellent. His thinking as expressed in that editorial leads to the possibility that continuing use of the lawn will be a direct function of his involvement. In other words, if Ruffin were not there, it might be another ball of wax. This is another reason for the need to consider developing alternative, public, gathering places, which would augment the community in and of themselves, rather than be alternatives to WSM or a new place for it, but which could also serve as a back-up "commons."

I live in Barcelona....and heard of all this through my brother Sammy...we've been thinking about moving someplace...maybe back to the States but when I hear this kind of stuff I'm reminded of reasons I left the country to begin with. Freedom.

Jason Baker, #10985

It's disappointing to see this happen just as I move into Northside and am happily positioned between two of the places I spend the most time (campus and WSM). The line which Carr Mill wants to draw has already veered too far away from the reaches of reason. Am I about to be escorted off the premises if I click my heels to music playing outside on the intercom?

Del, David, and Josh Snow #3505
This isn't about WSM but about an oasis. I hope CMM mgmt takes a deep breath and reconsiders.

Member # 358 My beef isn't with Ruffin -- I think he did his job as it needed to be done in the short run. It was not for Ruffin to risk all without our involvement. Now it is time for the membership to do its job. We need to build a collective consensus about how to re-establish fearfree lawn life.
Ellie Kinnaird told me the ownership name and address is available. I'd like to have it since I want them to know how much my family spends at businesses on their property and how unhappy we are with their management contract. Toting up the value of WSM member Carr Mill patronage may be one way to get management and its attitude off the lawn --which we make valuable.

Boycott WSM?!?! Y'all are kidding right? Ruffin and company are in a hard place and I know that they are doing everything they can to resolve this in a respectful and productive manner. The fact that Carr Mill's management is mindbendingly unaware of the local culture is no reason to punish WSM. If anything Ruffin and the folks at Weaver Street need our support.

Like many of you I was drawn to this area by the freedom and openness of the culture. The lawn in particular, with it's always colorful cast of characters, was such a great counterpoint to the sterile homogeneity of DC where I had lived for nearly 10 years. Bruce's dancing, the musicians playing, the hoopers hooping...they're all good. So is the WSM culture that drew them in.

I'm a Coop member and have no intention of doing anything to harm it. Focus on the problem and don't diffuse your energy by taking out your allies.

Bill O'Luanaigh


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