Carolina North - The First Phase Soon To Begin

Soon we'll be entering a new phase of what some might call the never-ending saga of Carolina North. The last I had heard the University will be presenting its concept plan for the Innovation Center, the first building proposed to be built on Carolina North, at the September 19th meeting of the town of Chapel Hill's Community Design Commission (CDC).

In accordance with the Special Use Permit (SUP) process, under which the University has filed an application for building the Innovation Center, this will be followed by a Concept Plan Review by the Town Council as well. After the Concept Plan Reviews the University can choose to modify its plans for the Innovation Center to address any concerns raised by these reviews or it can move forward with its SUP application in its original form. Under the SUP application process the plans will be reviewed by Town Staff and specific stipulations proposed. The plans will also be reviewed by various Town Advisory Boards which will forward their recommendations to the Town Council. The Town Council will eventually hold several public hearings before they make their decision to approve or reject the SUP application.

There will be many opportunities for the public to see and hear the University's plans for the Innovation Center and to make their thoughts and concerns known, starting with the CDC meeting on the 19th of September. But the earlier in the process that the University hears those concerns the greater the likelihood that they can or will change their plans to try to accommodate those concerns. I strongly suggest that anyone interested in participating in this process do so in the near future rather than waiting for the last public hearing to try to change the course of events.


Couldn't that mean that these individuals are using the same web service? I'm a little out-of-date on how web servers work but I thought that webs services used dynamic addressing, meaning that a new IP address is assigned for each session.

Sorry for asking a painfully elementary question, but how is the area currently zoned and what would be the proposed change?

UNC hand delivered a request for an expedited SUP covering the Innovation Center to Council this evening.

Lots of righteous indignation and "surprise" from some Council members (I understand the surprise from Mark, etc. who didn't attend the CN rollout meetings). Sally, Bill and Cam all attended the last meeting and it was pretty clear that UNC was putting the Innovation Center on the fast-track.

Bruce Runberg referenced an Oct. LAC meeting where he said UNC had made it clear the Innovation Center was a priority but, as Mark noted, that proposal sited the Center South of Estes (in the "triangle" made from Airport Dr./Estes/Elkins Hills). The video of that exchange is here.

Tonight's Council exchange should be online tomorrow.

In the end, the irony was fairly incredible as UNC was criticized for feeling some pressure to hold on to their private developer who might flee while, of course, Sally, Cam and Bill overlooked the greatest of warts on Lot #5 to keep RAM Development in play....


The current zoning is OI-2. I haven't seen the application but I don't believe the University is asking for any rezoning. I believe they wish to proceed with the Innovation Center under OI-2. Some of the restrictions under OI-2 are: a maximum building height of 34 feet (primary) and 60 feet (secondary). Others are: maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 0.264, minimum street setback of 22 feet, minimum interior setback of 8 feet and minimum solar setback of 9 feet.

However, as Will pointed out, the Council is not happy with the University proceeding with the Innovation Center ON THIS SITE prior to the development of a master plan for CN. Until a couple of months ago the University had shown the Innovation Center on a site south of Estes Drive Ext.

We've all known the Innovation Center was coming and the location move was announced a couple of months ago. If this wasn't election season, I suspect the Council's response might have been a bit less surprised.

My concern with this project is not with the incomplete master plan but with the not-yet-delivered fiscal equity plan. As a public-private partnership, this center should be subject to county and local taxes. Will those taxes be based on the building only or also on the market value of the land it sits on?

I am not running for reelection this cycle, and I'm not happy with what happened last night. The council's unhappiness has nothing to do with the election season.

Additionally about the zoning: I believe that OI-2 requires a Special User Permit (SUP) for all development, which gives the Council at least a little bargaining power.

I am even more shocked to hear about the Innovation Center application being submitted because I volunteered to be on a neighborhood committee to work with the University to give feedback on the concept before the application phase. The Council reluctantly agreed to have Town representatives participate on these committees back in March (see Carrboro Citizen article). I heard the other committee (about the Law School expansion) had been meeting, but as far I know the Innovation Center committee has never met!

Members of Council, whether or not running this fall, have reason to be concerned about the significance of beginning building in CN while the airport is still operating. If new construction begins on the site, "special use" concessions can easily become precedent, regardless of protestations to the contrary -- and that's an issue that goes well beyond the question of HWA.

As I understand things, there are a number of regulations, guidelines, etc. that should apply to building near a working airport, which HWA still is for the indeterminate future.

There are height restrictions under FAA regs, but they usually would apply narrowly to a small "cone" at either end of the runway and not Municipal Dr., although it would be insane to put a high rise there (also, some planes may be coming or going at an angle to the east-west orientation of the runway).

There are also noise issues, which are more or less up to the Town; and since there have been facilities on Municipal Dr. for a while, they may not be immediately pertinent -- although visitors to the Innovation Center might not agree.

But there also exist density guidelines that arise from historical accident statistics in an array of zones around a working runway, keyed to the length of the runway. The threshhold is 4000 ft. -- if the runway is shorter, the zones are smaller, if it's longer, they're larger; HWA's runway is officially 4005'. A rough guess is that if the Washington State DOT's schematic diagram of those zones were superimposed on the current site, Municipal Dr. would fall either in a zone recommending a density of less than 25 people per acre or else less than 100 people per acre, but in either case, in an area recommending against any "special function use" such as "schools, churches, daycare, etc." I won't speculate whether the Innovation Center would constitute "special function use."

Again, the facts that facilities have already occupied the Municipal Dr. site and that the Innovation Center would be slightly further from the runway than existing buildings may be relevant to discussions (although -- again -- the fact that nothing has happened in the past doesn't guarantee it couldn't ever). I do suspect that if nothing had ever been built there before, there might be some eyebrows raised on the part of current users of the airport.

The Council definitely has reason to be unhappy about the way the Innovation Center is being slipped onto HWA sans a master plan. They showed their displeasure last night (look at the video for details).

My point is that it shouldn't of been a "surprise" for those elected folks following the process.

As far as electioneering, after many years of being involved in the debate, being up and personal now in three municipal elections, well, I believe I've come to understand the Town-n-Gown theater of the absurd.

It's like a three act play which resets after Act Two - and just about as entertaining.

As TerriB pointed out - my thoughts on the evolving situation are fairly well-documented online.

I've given UNC credit for trying to engage the community in a different way. I've pointed out the dangers inherent in the engagement but suggested that we try to take the best of what evolves and build on it.

And I've been critical of UNC's back-sliding to their "old-style" (though it seems an attribute of the Moeser led administration) of managing development.

Last night, UNC did themselves no favor by pushing for an expedited review of a project they surely had to know - irrespective of their earlier statements - was expected to be part of a cohesive plan.

But, just as Sally, Cam and Bill goofed in their one-sided negotiations with RAM, UNC seems to be falling prey to the "it's a deal too good to pass up" syndrome.

Under pressure to secure their developer, Alexandria, it appears they're willing to risk reseting the whole HWA theatrical production to Act One. And looming over all of this is the arbitrary BOT time line which just encourages missteps.

As a voter and candidate, I'll be looking for the candidates to get beyond the normal election year Town-n-Gown theater and suggest how we can move forward.

"...I'll be looking for the candidates to get beyond the normal election year Town-n-Gown theater and suggest how we can move forward."


I don't think the Council members have an obligation to tell ANY developer, including the University, how to best move their projects forward. But I think you and anyone else who saw and heard last night's Council meeting heard Council members express their deep disappointment in how the Innovation Center project is being brought forward by the University as well as how they would like and were expecting this project to be brought forward. As a member of the LAC I can verify Cam and Bill's accurate recollections that the Innovation Center was never presented to be located on CN proper and was then being shown to be located on the tract on the south side of Estes Dr. Ext. Although Jack Evans did show, in the last several CN concept reviews that the University presented, the Innovation Center being located on Municipal Drive (one meeting had it on the south side of Municipal Drive; the most recent on the north side) that information was being presented as part of a draft concept plan for all of CN - a concept plan which hasn't, as yet, even been approved by the BOT.

Even though Jack did mention at the last concept plan review by the University that they intended to move forward with the Innovation Center as a SUP application, and that they intended to present a concept plan to the CDC in September, I don't recall that he ever mentioned the timing of the SUP (you can present a concept plan to the CDC without having submitted a SUP application - it's called a courtesy review). In fact, I believe that the fact that Bruce Runberg was asking the Council, on behalf of the University, for an expedited review of the SUP reinforces my memory of the University's presentations because any mention of a plan for accelerated review would be hard to forget. It was never, to my recollection, mentioned that the SUP application would precede either (1) the completion of the Transit Master Plan being jointly developed by the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the University; or (2) the completion of the Fiscal Equity Agreement between the various municipalities and the University; or (3) the final draft of a Master Plan for CN.

Don't mistake my concerns for opposition: I am a big fan of the Innovation Center. I believe it is a facility that is needed by both the University and the region and it will bring value to our community. But my ultimate support for the Innovation Center will depend on factors such as where it is sited and its impact on the neighboring community and the Town as a whole. I believe that those same concerns were raised by the Council members last evening and raising those concerns has nothing to do with it being an election year, it's just common sense and good governance.

Thanks George. I was at the LAC meetings where the South of Estes proposal was floated (something that tweaked my attention as it was sited right by where I used to live).

I agree that the CN location is something new and, you'll probably recall, I asked Evans straight out if "not one brick" was to be laid until the master plan was presented. You'll also probably recall how he wouldn't commit to that. I also asked Evans how many incremental building projects UNC thought they could build before committing to a master plan - 2, 4, 8 ? - but got the same "we don't know".

I have a video of the last CN meeting that I haven't had time to put up on the 'net. I'll try to expedite that so we can all see what Jack said (and also what our Council members who attended).

As to "Council members have an obligation to tell ANY developer, including the University, how to best move their projects forward", well, maybe not obligation but how about responsibility (as in "reliability or dependability,having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action")?

The Council's responsibility to inform ANY developer, including UNC, on how to conduct their developmental business - for the better or not - well, that is where we disagree. UNC is not just ANY developer and this continued theme of studied indifference by several Council members is not very productive.

Working in good faith, as we're supposed to be doing with UNC, means trying to engage pro-actively and honestly in the process. "Waiting until I see the concept plan" - a fairly common plaint we've both heard some of our Council members make - is part of the old two-step that leads us round-and-round.

Finally, UNC definitely stumbled here in managing the run-up to the BOT presentation. Trying to stick to their timetable and proposing incremental buildouts feeds into the fears of our community. There's a real sense that the Innovation Center is the camel's nose - that's why I keep asking Evans for clarification.

I would hope that UNC, no matter how special the suitor, is willing to delay the Innovation Center request until all the major components - fiscal equity, transit, environment, master plan, development process (zoning/dev. agreement) - is worked out but if UNC wants to continue ala last night I would also hope our elected folks try to deal flexibly with the situation before them.


My point is that the Council doesn't need to tell the University HOW to develop a project (I'm not talking about specifics, I'm talking about process). The University has been through the process often enough that it should be rote. This is certainly a case where prior phone calls or face-to-face meetings between University officials and Council members might have ironed out some or even all the wrinkles before an application was submitted - in effect, a "courtesy review".

I can't believe Mr. Strom, Mr. Hill and Ms. Greene expressed indignation and surprise when presented with the SUP. Even I, a lowly commoner, have known for some time that UNC planned to move the Innovation Center site and press forward quickly with its development. As a matter of fact, if memory serves, all three of the council members above were at the July progress meeting when Mr. Evans laid out UNC's newest intentions.

In my opinion, the members' pretending to be blindsided is a melodramatic ploy, yet another example of grandstanding in order to try and get votes.

Enough of these hypocrites. We need people on the council who can work with the University in a collaborative way -- even when the University doesn't appear to be doing the same. The best leaders act like responsible and objective adults, not children who keep whining when someone on the playground doesn't always play their way. I say - enough.

It's time to wring out the old and bring in the new. I eagerly await hearing from the new candidates - and finding out which them is wise enough to lead my community in a way I'll be proud of, instead of ashamed of.

Will, how much of the contents of your posts come from "Citizen Will" and how many from "Candidate Will?"

My question to Will was phrased "snarkier" than I meant it, although my point remains and it is this: when one has been involved to the extant Will has been in working on these issues and dealing with incumbents who he is now opposing for re-election, how much of his (or anyone else so situated) position is based on a continuation of his/her work as a citizen and how much on the desire to be elected to office?

Paul, that's a fair question (snark is OK).

CitizenWill and CandidateWill is the same guy.

I'm running on the exact same issues, priorities and policies that I've been speaking out on for years. As TerriB pointed out, what I've said, the evolution of my thoughts on various local issues, are pretty well-documented on the 'net.

I haven't always written the clearest of prose or argued my case as well as I should but it's out there to see (and, as you know, I'm always ready to refine and restate my case not just to integrate elements of other folks thoughts but to reconvince myself that I'm arguing a good course of action).

Unlike some of the other candidates, I'm not running to position myself to be Commissioner, Mayor, House Representative or Senator.

My ambition is modest - to have a position that will help solve some of the problems our citizens have brought before Council yet remain undone. I'm in this to bring reasonable fiscal policy and public accountability back into our governance process. I'm in this because our diverse community is vanishing.

Some of what you hear, as far as specifics, might be new but the basic themes were there from the start - including if you want to do good, you have to have money in the bank.

I've spent about 6 years drilling down to the details, working on a broad range of issues. I was in my 30's when I started, I'm nearly 46 now. I'll be 50 at the end of my first (and probably last) term on Council.

I'm solely concerned with helping our community through what I and others expect to be some of the most tumultuous years it has ever seen. I'm prepared. I'm able. And I'm willing.

To sum up, if you invite CitizenWill or CandidateWill to an event you're only going to meet me - Will.

To J. Nichols, do remember that over the years, a number of the CN surprises have been "popped" over the summer, when the town is -- individually and collectively -- on break. Even if all the Council members have individually been quite aware of the new plans for the Innovation Center for a few weeks, there is a matter of the "official" presentation of the plan to Council, followed by the Council's "official," on-the-record response to it. It's one thing if a Council member lets a journalist know that he/she has a particular response to a University action; it's another to have the Council respond as a body in a public forum. I agree that grandstanding for the sake of high-profile, broad-stroke posturing against CN might be election-oriented and not particularly helpful if there's no real issue; but many people do think there's an issue here.

Ms. Murphy: Please don't misunderstand me, I agree there's a real issue here, and a very important one. All the more reason for our council members to conduct themselves in a civil, and civilized, manner -- without the artificial blustering and posturing (especially the way Mr. Hill has been spouting off lately about developing Mason Farm, etc.).

As I said above, I'm eager to hear from the new candidates. Hopefully, I'll get to select some people who can lead CH in a way I can be proud of instead of ashamed of.

"Tim Mullin,"

You said:

"As I said above, I'm eager to hear from the new candidates. Hopefully, I'll get to select some people who can lead CH in a way I can be proud of instead of ashamed of."

Yet you didn't post anywhere else on this thread. In fact it was J. Nicholls who said above:

"I eagerly await hearing from the new candidates - and finding out which them is wise enough to lead my community in a way I'll be proud of, instead of ashamed of."

This would seem to confirm my suspicious that you and J. Nicholls are the same person. Your posts have sounded awfully similar.

Not only is there no Tim Mullin in Orange County, there isn't one in North Carolina.

Add that to both yours and 'J. Nicholls' unusual level of enmity towards certain elected officials, I think it's safe to say that you are some Chapel Hill political figure with an axe to grind hiding beyond not just one fake name, but two fake names!

Tom: Did you go to detective school or something? I'm flattered you've been trying to dig up info on me and my wife, Jane. Makes us feel kinda special. No axe to grind though, just points to pound home.

Why aren't you or your 'wife Jane' registered to vote in Orange County? Why did you say you posted above if it was she who posted above?

Sorry, I'm not buying it. I'm pretty sure you're Len Rancourt over on the Orange Chat blog too, whoever you are. 'He' has an axe to grind against the same set of politicians and doesn't exist as a voter in North Carolina.

I think you're getting a little carried away here, Tom, giving me a little more credit than I deserve. But I'll take it anyway. Yes, Len is our lovely daughter.

What a family! Well, whoever you are, at least the OP community will know that you are hiding under three pseudonyms and can take your posts with a grain of salt.

A grain of salt -- and more than a pinch of pepper, we hope.

But who is Gregor Samsa?

Tom -- which campaigns are you involved with through time or money this year?


As I think I have posted five or six times over the course of the year when asked I am helping out Bill Strom, Sally Greene, and Cam Hill. I support Jim Ward too.

I have no problem listening to criticism of them on OP from people who post under their real names, but I don't give much credit to the same anonymous person blasting them under multiple fake names. Although I do enjoy that individual's sense of humor.

Nice detective work Tom. T

Tim Mullin, other than your general distain for the CH Council members, do you have any other axes you're grinding? And have you or your family members ever voted in Orange County? If not, may I ask why? You certainly are under no obligation to answer but I'm curious as to whether you've just moved here or simply don't believe in the electoral process we seem to have adopted here in CH and Orange County.

I appreciate your detective work, Tom. There are definitely some people here who are not what they seem. Unfortunately I don't have the time or technical capacity to root them out, so we should all keep this in mind whenever reading comments from people we don't know or trust.

George C: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist party. And btw, does it make a difference where I'm from if I want to share an opinion? You're beginning to sound like your buddy, Dan Coleman.

Tom--does this mean that you are not working on any Carrboro campaigns?

(disclaimer: I am a volunteer for Sharon Cook)

Tim Mullin,

I'm not accusing you of being a communist - I just wanted to know whether you just like to criticize or whether you actually use your ballot to try to effect change.


I couldn't figure out how you got from my question about whether you were new to the area, etc. to "You're beginning to sound like your buddy, Dan Coleman."

So I was wondering, are you really a Tim or are you a female graduate student in psychology at UNC who happens to be a member of the Carolina Godiva Track Club, who has run last year's road race in Carrboro, and who shares the same last name as your "daughter" as used on postings on Orange Chat?

I came from the CN meeting on August 29th pretty certain that UNC was going to proceed with the first building and it would be prior to the master plan's submission. I think Will's tape should show Jack Evans making a comment that caused me to draw that conclusion. I also seem to remember that by that point, Bill Stom, Sally Greene and Cam Hill had all left the meeting.

Upon further research prompted by Tom's comments, I have found that Tim Mullin, J. Nicholls, and the mysterious Steve S. all share the same IP address. These addresses will now be blocked from commenting as per site guidelines:

"If you use a fake e-mail address or attempt to impersonate anyone (real or imaginary) your comments will not be displayed."

I apologize for the confusion and for my inability to root out impostors without blocking valid commenters. We will keep working to improve this.

Sounds like a real-time operation.

This isn't the ideal place to do it, but I want to let readers know that a commenter posing as a David Freedman from PIttsboro has the same IP address as John Kramer ("jmk") and therefore both identities will also now be prevented from commenting.

I believe that most ISPs give each home a temporary IP address as there are also networks within the home that use that address. My volunteer technical expert has backed up this conclusion and is doing additional research some of our commenters' IP addresses.

I have nothing to hide here, but this process feels akin to the FBI looking through personal library records. Are we better off by tracking down and banning scammers or protecting privacy?

Depends Terri. I have Bellsouth DSL which does lease new IPs to my machine every so often. Because of the way they do it I usually get one of four. If you have their Ultra service you also have the option of getting a static address.

Roadrunner seems to be much the same. As far as other type networks, like the Town's new Wifi, the range is broader.

IP blocking is easily subverted by using proxy services. Ruby might need to use a Wordpress plugin that blocks well known proxy services though that also means she might be blocking folks that are trying to obscure their 'net usage for valid reasons.

Terri, I am sure that you remember the bad-old-days on OP, when anonymous comments were freely allowed. Some very rude and nearly libelous statements were posted from time to time under false names, and the situation got way out of hand around election time. We did away with anonymous commenting because of those problems.

There is essentially never any valid reason to hide your identity when making comments on OP. And I think we should all take responsibility for the comments that we make.

There have been users in the past who showed that they only wanted to come here for trolling. And after some warning, they were banned. Some of them came back under fake user id's and they were eventually exposed and ejected again. I can think of at least two examples of that from a couple of years ago.

There is an intermediate step in which someone can be put in "automatic moderation" so that their comments only appear after they have been approved by an editor on this website. This occassionally happens to users whose comments are sometimes constructive and other times trolling.

So that OP users know, are there any users who are in automatic moderation right now, Ruby?

Oh good. That wasn't just me being paranoid that there was trolling.

Terri, all these websites are used by local newspapers to get a sense of what is going on in the world of public opinion. If I'm posting constantly under my name and no one else is agreeing with me or posting on a similiar topic, then it's obvious it's just me. The newspapers also know who the usual suspects are.
If I create 5 new names and identities, I'm giving a false impression that there are 5 people - perhaps who have never posted or been concerned before - who are really concerned about (fill in blank) - perhaps creating news where there wasn't news before.

Besides it's just dishonest.

(For the record - I'll be having signs for Mark Chilton and Dan Coleman in my yard - if they'll let me. I'm undecided about the rest right now.)

Insisting that people be responsible for the comments they make is part of what keeps this forum functioning as well as it does. It is meant (I believe--Ruby can correct me if I 'm wrong) to be a quasi-public forum, much like gatheirng people in a room to talk. If you wouuldn't say it in the room, then this forum is not the right place to post it either.

Ruby owns the site, so Ruby is the decider. You see, I respect private property rights, both in cyberspace and in Carrboro :}.

On the other hand Maria, if anyone who disagrees with the majority is scrutinized to find out if they are who they say they are, their privacy has been invaded. To me, this is the same principal as checking someone's immigration status when stopped for a speeding ticket or applying for a permit to sell artwork.

This is Ruby's site, and she has set the rules which I try to abide by. I also appreciate all the time and effort she has put into making this space possible for me to use.

However, OP has become a public center, much like Weaver Street lawn. Brian Russell, Will Raymond and myself have all fought for e-democracy and public wifi to ensure that more people have a voice in local affairs. If people don't feel safe posting here, on STP, OrangeChat, or any other digital commons under their own names, we should at least ask why before assuming they have evil intents and banning them from future participation. It would never have occurred to me that J Nicholls was a pseudonym, much like Mark Twain was a pseudonym for Samuel Clements. And if Mr Nicholls, or whatever his real name is, had not made a snarky comment about the candidates Tom Jensen is supporting, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Terri, I guess the real question is: Are there any alternatives?

I think that allowing anonymous comments is unacceptable and so is allowing bogus user id's. There is no staff to check on the validity of every user id, so we are left with the piecemeal enforcement of the policy.

Or do you have any practical suggestions?

Mark, there should be a place for anonymity. As far as OP. if it is to retain its value the rules need to be loose.

As far as ownership, Ruby might pay the bills (with occasional donations) and keep the shebang going. so yeah, she "owns" the site but we all had a hand in building this place.


I don't like the anonymous comments either, and think Ruby was smart to require a valid email address. If the new rule is that full names must be used, then at the very least it should be spelled out as part of the note explaining the email requirement and then further explained in the guidelines.

But telling someone they must use their full name and actually investigating someone's IP address are different issues to me. Does the town verify that everyone who comes to speak before the board has provided their real home address? Does a newspaper verify names and addresses of letters to the editor? Checking someone's IP address, simply because they are using a pseudonym, is the equivalent of physically verifying their home address. The rules of democracy and privacy as well as common trust shouldn't change simply because the venue is digital rather than physical.

The people currently under investigation have not been rude or disruptive. They haven't been vulgar or abusive. So why are they being denied access to what has become a public space? Isn't this the same principle you pursued in your negotiations with Carr Mill owners over with the dancing man situation?

My preference for dealing with situations where someone is vulgar or abusive (with those conditions spelled out clearly in the guidelines) would be community reprimands. We should all take responsibility for keeping our space open and safe (although I know some of us can go over the top on this).

A second level for those hard nuts might be disemvowelling autodisemvoweller. A little humor never hurt anyone.

Or maybe you and the other authors should play a more active role in moderating so that everyone will feel safe exposing their true identity. I wouldn't say this if Ruby was alone in managing this site. The work would be overwhelming for one individual. But it seems like there are several people who have semi-ownership so the burden could be shared.

For me, its been helpful to have a certain degree of anonymity on this site although I'll occasionally throw my full name (George Cianciolo) into a post or another poster might identify me in some way (certainly, quite acceptable to me). As with most scientists I know, the easiest way to track down someone's research now is to simply google their name. It's a lot easier when that search doesn't come back with an inordinate number of hits to go through (since often you have to open the URL to see if it's really what you were looking for), so I prefer to try to limit what might come up in a google search to my professional endeavors or my public service on advisory boards, etc..

Certainly if a poster ever asked me for my full name in response to a posting I'd be more than happy to give it. And if the OP editors decide they want full names I'll probably resort to using my middle (James) and last name which isn't totally off the wall since my family and some of my neighbors already call me Jim. And a few Council members kiddingly refer to me as Jim/George or George/Jim. So whatever format the editors decide to use I'll be happy to live with .

I do think, though, regarding what prompted this discussion, that there really is no justification for someone posting under 2-3 pseudonyms, particularly on one thread.

Terri wrote: "So why are they being denied access to what has become a public space?"

Because the rule at the bottom right is: "If you use a fake e-mail address or attempt to impersonate anyone (real or imaginary) your comments will not be displayed."

Terri wrote: "Isn't this the same principle you pursued in your negotiations with Carr Mill owners over with the dancing man situation?"

No. Carr Mill Mall can pretty well do as they please with their lawn. I only ever asked them to consider what their own enlightened self-interest is.

At first, I was hesitant to give my full name, in part because of some of the unpleasant flak lobbed my way (publicly and privately) once I "went on the record" in local papers on the issue of HWA. Eventually someone here challenged me to give my full name, saying -- as some here have -- that they wouldn't take me seriously if I weren't willing to identify myself.
I spent quite a bit of time thinking about that.
It reminded me in particular of an incident when I and some others were effectively left "holding the bag" by someone who'd been ardent about having a group of us write and sign a letter for publication (down to close editing for us) and then refuse to put his/her own name on it.
In the end I decided that I should indeed be willing to stand by whatever I write here, just as I would in print media.
Those who hesitate to use their correct names may have both 'good' and 'bad' reasons for doing so -- protecting privacy, fear of retalliation, or shielding ulterior motives from public scrutiny. Using more than one pseudonym is, however, clearly an abuse. However, the question about that -- as with the issue of shared IP addresses -- is whether there are perhaps 2 or more family members using the same computer. Should one be penalized for something the other does?
Finally, it may be a matter of how OP sees itself. Some blogs are intended to be informal gathering places for people to share views freely -- "in disguise" or not, as they wish. Others are almost institutional in nature --as public forums of record. Certainly, the prospect of being quoted in a local newspaper pushes a blog more toward the second situation.



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