Don't forget to pack your laptop - Madison 2006 open thread

I have received no reply to my private and public offers to help set-up a blog or other tools to help the participants document the Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference which starts tonight in Madison, Wisconsin. But I still believe that if this trip is informative to the diverse and illustrious group of community leaders who are attending, then learning about their experiences and insights will also be helpful for anyone else in the community.

So please consider this post an open thread to discuss the trip - especially if you are on it. It should be easy if you bring a laptop, the hotel where you are staying provides complimentary high-speed wireless Internet. And if you forgot to pack your laptop - don't worry. I will personally reimburse any cost associated with getting online for any Madison participants who post here on this page during the 2-day trip (or posts pictures of the trip on This offer stands for reporters as well.

If you are going on the trip, please share this offer with other participants, I don't know any other way to reach everyone. And if you're not going but you know any of these people, please invite them to visit this page and share their impressions. Thanks!


1. Steve Allred, Executive Associate Provost, UNC Chapel Hill
2. Mary Beck, Senior Vice President, Planning, UNC Hospitals
3. Neil Caudle, Associate Vice Chancellor, Research, UNC Chapel Hill
4. Linda Convissor, Director of Local Relations, UNC Chapel Hill
5. Pat Crawford, University Counsel, UNC Chapel Hill
6. Mark Crowell, Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Development
7. Carolyn Elfland, Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services, UNC Chapel Hill
8. Mary Felgenhaur, Planner, UNC Chapel Hill
9. Garland Hershey, Professor of Orthodontics and Former Vice Chancellor, UNC Chapel Hill
10. Jonathan Howes, Special Assistant to the Chancellor, UNC Chapel Hill
11. Chad Lefteris, Administrator, UNC Hospitals
12. Elmira Mangum, Associate Provost, UNC Chapel Hill
13. Crystal Miller, Director of Communications, NC Children's Hospital
14. Chancellor James Moeser, UNC Chapel Hill
15. Bruce Runberg, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities and Construction, UNC Chapel Hill
16. Tony Waldrop, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, UNC Chapel Hill
17. Judith Wegner, Professor of Law and Former Chair of the UNC Faculty Council
18. Anna Wu, Director of Planning, UNC Chapel Hill


19. Susan Anderson, Board Chair, Interfaith Council for Social Services
20. Delores Bailey, Executive Director, EmPOWERment, Inc.
21. Ben Balderas, Executive Director, El Centro Latino
22. Fred Black, Principal, FHB Consulting
23. Mary Bushnell, Volunteer Coordinator, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
24. Mike Collins, Co-Chair, Neighborhoods for Responsible Growth
25. Robert Dowling, Executive Director, Orange Community Housing and Land Trust
26. Pat Evans, Board Chair, Friends of Downtown
27. Frances Henderson, Executive Director, Dispute Settlement Center
28. Barbara Jessie-Black, Executive Director, PTA Thrift Shop
29. Janet Kagan, Chair of the Percent for Art Program, Chapel Hill Public Arts
30. Winkie LaForce, Executive Director, Leadership Triangle/El Centro Latino
31. Susan Levy, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity
32. Jonathan Mills, Chair, Chapel Hill Children's Museum
33. Chris Moran, Executive Director, Inter-Faith Council
34. Hugh Morrison, Counselor, SCORE
35. Laurie Paolicelli, Director, Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau
36. Bernadette Pelissier, Chair, Orange/Chatham Sierra Club
37. Andrea Rohrbacher, Chair, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
38. Sandy Turbeville, Consultant
39. Jon Wilner, Executive Director, The ArtsCenter


40. Anita Badrock, Vice President, Smither and Associates
41. Bruce Ballentine, Principal, Ballentine Associates
42. Bill Bunch, Principal, William H. Bunch CPA Firm
43. Greg Connor, Principal, The Connor Law Firm
44. Kimberley Dawson, President Elect, Chapel Hill Board of Realtors
45. Mariana Fiorentino, President, Terra Nova Global Properties
46. John Florian, Vice President, Ram Development
47. Scott Gardner, Economic Development, Duke Energy
48. Mairead Garvey, Officer, Chapel Hill Board of Realtors
49. Tracy Hager, Director of Membership, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
50. Jim Heavner, President, VilCom, Inc.
51. Jean Holcomb, President, Viking Travel
52. Scott Maitland, Proprietor, Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery
53. Kendra Maultsby Mudd, Director of Government Affairs, Chamber of Commerce
54. John McKinney, Area Director, BellSouth
55. Henry McKoy, President, TCON, Inc.
56. Davis Montgomery, Community Relations Manager, Duke Energy
57. Aaron Nelson, Executive Director, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
58. Pat Oglesby, Attorney
59. Liz Parham, Executive Director, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
60. Gene Pease, CEO, Capital Analytics, Inc.
61. Roger Perry, President, East West Partners
62. Thanh Pham, Viking Travel
63. Scott Radway, Principal, Radway and Weaver
64. Mike Roach, Vice President, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
65. Mark Sherburne, General Manager, East West Partners
66. Diana Steele, Owner, Willow Hill Preschool
67. Nick Tennyson, Executive Officer, HBA of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties
68. Rosemary Waldorf, Bryan Properties
69. Zach Ward, Executive Producer/Founder, DSI Comedy Theater
70. Mark Zimmerman, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Winning Edge
71. Chamber Staff Member to Be Named Later


72. Craig Benedict, Planning Director, Orange County
73. David Bonk, Transportation Planner, Town of Chapel Hill
74. Commissioner Moses Carey, Orange County Board of County Commissioners
75. Mayor Mark Chilton, Town of Carrboro
76. Alderman Dan Coleman, Town of Carrboro
77. JB Culpepper, Director of Planning, Town of Chapel Hill
78. Monica Evans, Assistant to the Clerk, Orange County Board of Commissioners
79. Mayor Kevin Foy, Town of Chapel Hill
80. Commissioner Eric Hallman, Town of Hillsborough
81. James Harris, Director of Economic and Community Development, Town of Carrboro
82. Councilman Ed Harrison, Town of Chapel Hill
83. Alderman Randee Haven-O'Donnell, Town of Carrboro
84. Chairman Barry Jacobs, Orange County Board of County Commissioners
85. Bill Letteri, Public Works Director, Town of Chapel Hill
86. Dianne Reid, Economic Development Director, Orange County
87. Steve Spade, Transportation Director, Town of Chapel Hill
88. Roger Stancil, Town Manager, Town of Chapel Hill
89. Mayor Tom Stevens, Town of Hillsborough
90. Steve Stewart, Town Manager, Town of Carrboro
91. Councilman Bill Strom, Town of Chapel Hill
92. Chairman Lisa Stuckey, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
93. Councilman Bill Thorpe, Town of Chapel Hill
94. Alderman Alex Zaffron, Town of Carrboro


95. Lisa Hoppenjans, Reporter, News and Observer/Chapel Hill News
96. Rob Shapard, Reporter, Chapel Hill Herald
97. Dan Siler, Reporter, 1360AM WCHL



I have been happy to see the several articles in the press about the trip since we returned. I can honestly say that its refreshing to feel that those who have written about it and commented on it were all on the same trip! The trip has also been a topic of conversation in various places. In two meetings that I was in just this week, some of us who were on the trip were asked to talk about it and answer some questions. This is great, as there is interest in what we saw and heard.

So in answer to Ruby's (tongue in cheek?)question, "Did they learn anything new about research campuses, public transit, municipal wifi, greenways, or near-campus neighborhoods? And if so, will they tell us?", maybe we might get to the point were people are sick of reading and hearing about it. I hope not!

I'm not sure why I logged on to tonight, but for some reason I did. It was interesting to read everyone's comments and questions about the trip to Madison. I thought the trip was terrific, and felt fortunate to be a part of that effort to learn about another community and to build relationships among people in our own community. These were the two purposes of the trip and I thought they were achieved, by the time I got home Tuesday night, but after reading people's reports on this website, I see that other folks think these goals were achieved, too. Collaboration is an excellent goal. It's a term that embraces differences of opinion and a shared desire to reach good solutions.

I came off the Madison trip with a renewed interest in doing something for our downtown. As it turns out, today Jan Bolick and I planted a downtown planter, and we've agreed to take care of it. In the parlance of Friends of Downtown, we've adopted the planter, but of course we need the town or someone to water it. Our current resource is the staff at Spanky's, and we are grateful.

The planter is just a symbol...although I will say that the ones that are "completely empty" and "completely dead" do not inspire. In addition, the pandhandling conversation is important, the possiblity of serving our homeless but still hopeful residents is important, the discussion about residential housing in and around downtown is important (Ithink we need it, I think this is the best possible thing to happen in our downtown and just hope there's really a market for it). There is a lot of work to be done.

Liz Parham and her Downtown Partnership board are making a strong effort to make our downtown even better, and the council has approved funds for a downtown police team. Many thanks to the town council. This is extremely important for safety and the feeling of safety. Seems like things are moving in a good direction and I hope we can all find ways to support our downtown.

Rosemary Waldorf

I went with Chris Moran on the Reach Out tour and spoke with Hope, a caseworker who's position is funded through Lutheran Family Services, she focuses on homeless women. The major point that is different from our area is the location of a YWCA downtown, a SRO facility which has about 80 rooms, 10 rooms are for use of homeless on a nightly basis. Hope said the facility does not rent to students, there is no limit to the length of stay for the 70 rooms for which rent is paid.

I was impressed with the collaboration and communication of the case workers we met, despite bering funded through several different sources.

Ellen asked about anything unique for people with disabilities. At the workforce housing session one of the agencies mentioned having community gardens for people who live in a situation where a garden is not possible. A portion of these gardens are ADA accessable. I do not know how easy it is to get there via public transportation.

Thanks to everyone who posted about their experience, I hope our community benefits from many of the things we learned and saw, whether positive and innovative or a path we would not want to follow.

Councilman Bill Strom has an excellent recap of the town-gown discussions in Madison in today's CHN. Well worth the read and very much in keeping with the commitment to share what we learned.

Seems the Madison experience is still generating discussion:

CHAPEL HILL -- Has "panhandling" become a catchall complaint for something else?

Did panhandling complaints lead the Town Council to the wrong decision in approving a $75 million condominium project downtown?

The Community Leadership Council got into a lively discussion last week after Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy said he wanted to put panhandling on the agenda for a future meeting.

"I want people to vent," Foy said in an interview afterward.

"I hear this all the time: 'Rudy Giuliani cleaned up New York. Why can't you clean up Chapel Hill?'" he said.

Community activist Fred Black jumped on the mayor's invitation. He said many people who complain about panhandlers really are talking about something else: "being different in Chapel Hill."

"We have a perception issue," Black said. "We're talking about the perception of threats in downtown Chapel Hill. ... People use the verb panhandle as a convenient label for what they don't look like. "

Others around the table got Black's point -- that some white people are afraid of some black people -- even if he didn't spell it out.

The leadership group recently traveled to Madison, Wis., where they marveled at how a downtown with tall buildings still gave off a small-town vibe.

"People who came back from Madison claimed they didn't see any panhandlers," Foy said. "But they [the panhandlers] were white."

So here's my vent---For $7.5 million the town is spending to build a parking lot, we could build one heck of a social support system dedicated to ending the conditions that CAUSE panhandling.



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