June 2006

Carrboro Book Fair this Saturday

Readers, writers and lovers of the written word, please join us at the 2nd Annual Carrboro Book Fair! Participating organizations include AK Press, Mineshaft Magazine, Parcell Press, Garrett County Press, Feral House, Daniel 13, Carolina Wren Press, John F. Blair, Crimethinc, SURGE, The People's Channel and others.

Readers will include:

11 AM: Bill Powers, author of the new novel "Love Is Strong As Death" and father of William Powers, below.

12 PM: Hannah Gill, author of "Going to Carolina del Norte: Narrating Mexican Migrant Experiences"

1 PM: Kim Arrington, founder of Greased Scalp Press and author of "The Lapis Dwellers"

2 PM: William Powers, author of the new book "Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization." Long the obscure “Tibet of South America,” Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers lived there as an aid

3 PM: Ebony Golden, of Betty's Daughter Literary Press

4 PM David Carr

Storytelling sessions and child care for young ones from 11am to 2pm.

Chapel Hill's next manager will be a white male

My, that seemed fast! And then there were three:

Three Finalists Announced for Town Manager

6/02/2006 - Today, the Chapel Hill Town Council announced its three finalists for the position of Town Manager. The three are Frank Ragan, Deputy City Manager of Community Services in Aurora, Colo.; Roger Lane Stancil, former City Manager in Fayetteville, N.C.; and Sean R. Stegall, Assistant City Manager in Elgin, Ill.

"We are very fortunate to have such qualified candidates," Mayor Kevin C. Foy said Friday. "Each of these people would do an excellent job in Chapel Hill, and I think the Council faces a tough choice."

The finalist candidates will be in Chapel Hill June 20-21 for interviews with the Town Council and Town Staff. The Council will hold a Public Forum at 7 p.m. June 21 in the Council Chamber of Town Hall. Candidates will make short presentations and take questions from the public and the Council. The Council will also receive feedback from the public about the finalists. The forum will be cablecast live on Government Cable 18.

WCOM Flea Market Flap

Yesterday the Herald reported on WCOM's complaint that the Town of Carrboro was bogging them down by suggesting a public hearing on the proposal to run a flea market in their parking lot.

All WCOM station manager Chris Frank wanted to do was raise a little money for the community radio station.

But he says he dreams of a small community flea market are being derailed by a well-meaning -- but overly complicated -- town bureaucracy...

"It looks like the concerned staff wants to have a public hearing on our 'minor modification,' " Frank wrote in an e-mail Friday. "We can probably say 'so long' to a flea market this season. Heaven help the developer with a substantial project."
- heraldsun.com: Radio station's flea market faces snag, 6/5/06

Open mind, open thread

We haven't had an open thread in a while. What's on your mind?

You might as well move back to Cary

More threats of bix box development looming on our borders:

When M. Travis Blake first pitched the idea of Williams Corners -- a 500,000-square-foot, mixed-use development off U.S. 15-501 and Lystra Road -- residents in adjoining neighborhoods helped him persuade the Chatham County Commissioners to give their approval.

Now Blake is saying a Target or a Kohl's might be among the tenants when the development opens in late 2007. In an e-mail sent this week to residents of Wilders Ridge, an adjacent subdivision, Blake described changes that could be submitted soon for county approval...

Jamie Nunnelly, who received the e-mail, said Thursday she thinks Blake might have engaged in a bait-and-switch maneuver to gain local support.

"One of the things he said to us was, 'Would you rather work with me or would you like to see a big box development?' " Nunnelly said. "He said that to us more than once."
- heraldsun.com: Chatham big box store plan surfaces, 6/9/06

Sounds like a threat as well - as a false choice - to me. The article continues:

Thank you, Mr. Moeser

People keep e-mailing me about it, so I might as well blog it: on Friday the Chancellor of UNC wrote a letter to local elected officials pledging to not pursue the 17,000 parking spaces that were previously proposed for Carolina North, and to cooperate with the regional transit study in which UNC was already supposed to be a partner.

Coverage from WCHL (with audio clips, cool!), Chapel Hill Herald, and a mention in the News & Observer (scroll down).

I appreciate the Chancellor's affirmation that the community has some part to play in making Carolina North successful.

Lifestyles of the rich and famous

Just kidding! Thanks to Lance at BlueNC for posting a link to the "County Salaries in North Carolina 2006" report.

Sifting through it for Orange County information, I find:

Est. Pop'n 2005
Approx Valuation 2004-05 (millions)
Chair of Board of Commissioners
County Commissioner
County Manager

$15,407 + $3,300 travel
$111,807* + $2,700 travel

* That BOC salary has to be a typo!

Board of elections Chair
Board of elections Member
Elections Director
Elections Specialist

$50 per meeting
$40 per meeting


County Clerk
Planning Director
IT Director
Social Services Director


Rainy day notes

WCHL reports that education blogger David Warlick is conducting a "three-day workshop for teachers in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System." This sounds like a much better reaction than some communities which have responded to the prospect of teenagers blogging with terror and tried in vain to stop it. David is a real blogger and hopefully will be able to impart some blog culture as well as technical training. I look forward to seeing some great new blogs blossom from this effort.

The N & O reports that recently-annexed Carrboro residents have a little more time to respond to the town's survey requesting input on collective priorities.

And also this has me skeptical:

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau will hold a public forum Thursday to discuss travel and tourism in Orange County and its towns and communities.

Immigration Backlash in Chatham

The News and Observer reports that the United Way of Chatham County has abruptly cut their funding to El Vinculo Hispano (The Hispanic Liaison). The United Way says that their move is because the organization has an overly high percentage of their budget dedicated to administrative costs. However, there seems to be ample evidence that the move is also motivated by a backlash to EVH's successful organization of immigrants rights rallies and advocacy in Siler City and Chatham County.

Bad district plan is also illegal

This seems like a good opportunity for the Commissioners to toss out the current plans which seem to be designed to to widen the north-south divide without increasing the amount of democratic representation for diverse ideas from across the county.

State law says no more than half of a board of commissioners can be elected at-large. But in a proposal the current board of commissioners endorsed in April, Chapel Hill Township would nominate two members; the rest of the county, in its district, would nominate one member; and four other commissioners would be elected at-large.
- heraldsun.com: Commission district plan violates N.C. law, 6/14/06

I must admit I'm confused since the current board is elected 100% at-large. Doesn't that violate the law they are citing?



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