More Media Fun

This week, the Chapel Hill News tried to draw some distinctions between Town Council candidates. It got some stuff right, but what a lot of B.S.! And there's at least one inaccuracy in there. I'll buy a beer for the first person to spot it and post here.

The Chapel Hill Herald's coverage of their own candidate forum was interesting, especially since they raised the issue of conflict of interest for UNC employees. They also wisely didn't ask every question of every candidate. Unfortunately these two good factors appear to have conspired to let Diane Bachman off the hook on this crucial question.

Frustrating Forum II

As I search the vast horizon of the print and web media for some small shred of evidence of the existence of a Town Council race, a realization dawns......If anyone is going to write anything about this race, it will have to be me.

Ruby is doing us a great service with this site and her postings have been good but she needs help. The way I see it: The Chapel Hill News has not been interested. Tomorrow's edition may signal the beginning of their coverage with a piece summarizing the candidates. The Chapel Hill Herald has had Rob Shapard covering the race. Too often his coverage of the forums has been a list of the candidates present with an answer to one or two questions. The Herald's Dan Coleman has done an excellent job but he is a weekly columnist. The Tar Heel has had several pieces covering the race; they were the first to discuss the campaign finance issues. Well, election day is three weeks from today and what is a voter to do?

NAACP Forum Recap

Last Thursday's NAACP Candidates Forum was well-organized and well-attended (except for sparse media presence), including about 10 high school students who asked tough questions of the School Board candidates. Listening to nine Town Council candidates all answer the same question got pretty monotonous – especially since only about half of them generally have anything substantial to say. (I have to thank Rudy Juliano, Mike McSwain, and the ever-absent Woodrow Barfield for not coming, and thereby making the forum about 36 minutes shorter.)

Remember the Chiller Plant...

Today's Chapel Hill Herald has an article about the impact of UNC development on the Town Council race. It's great to see the neighborhoods banding together - again - to protect themselves from UNC (over)growth. But it's disappointing to see that those activists still seem to see themselves as struggling in a vacuum. Many others have been working for years to try to make UNC a better corporate citizen of our town and would welcome collaboration with the growing number of neighbors who feel threatened by UNC.

This new group, "the Coalition of Neighbors near Campus," endorsed Sally Greene, Cam Hill, and Bill Strom for Chapel Hill Town Council. And I sure can't argue with that.

(I'm out of town so I won't be posting much this week. I'm still writing up my review of the NAACP candidates forum last Thursday.)

Talking in Signs

It's that time of year, and the "vote for me" signs are sprouting like weeds. (Very much like, and in close proximity to, the weeds that have taken over the flowerbeds on the bypass, those desperate looking things planted a few years ago for the Special Olympics and abandoned since. Ah, when we were pretty.)Our own batty uncle Lee Pavão recently got on WCHL to propose a conspiracy theory involving the strategic placement of certain people's signs next to one another and how this plot reveals the stink of brimstone in the dark heart of certain local politicians and on and on etc etc. I'll let Pavão search out the political meaning revealed in the proximity of inanimate bodies in space. I'm more interested in the vocabulary of our local signage.You can't begin to get into the question, at least not these days, without acknowledging that Council Member Jim Ward is the undisputed and reigning champion in the battle of the election signs.

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