September 2006

Come learn about The Peoples Channel!

Hey all,

I know many of you have seen me posting on here regarding State and Federal telecom politics..yuck.....well, I'm not going to do that tonight. I just wanted to extend an invitation to you all to come on down to The People's Channel and really see what we're all about. We all use OP to raise our voices and discuss issues, and that's exactly what we do at TPC as well! We teach people how to communicate using media, and let them air programs on our community TV cool huh? This event is also a formal opportunity for other independent media makers to share their work (let me know if you want a table) and network with others who are creating local independent community media.

Franklin, meet Franklin

Speaking of business managers that don't understand the culture from which they profit (or hope to profit)...

A reader points us to an article in today's N & O in which the manager of the not-yet-open Franklin Hotel wants Festifall moved off Franklin Street because it might endanger his building. This guy can't have been in Chapel Hill long as the only street fair he's ever experienced here was last year's Apple Chill, which itself was fine, but ended very very badly.

Although the Franklin will not have any guests during the street fair, [hotel manager Michael] Donaldson said Thursday that fire crews might have trouble responding to the hotel should a problem arise that day.

Keep dancing - Wednesdays on Weaver Street

Guest post by Michal OsterweilWe're still here... and we still want to dance!For more of that community magic and power...Same time, same place, same dance... let Carr Mill know that we still care about this issue and we are not going to just get bored and go away. Lets make this one even bigger.Bring your friends, musical instruments... and your dancing shoes!WSM lawn, Wednesday, September 6, 5:30 PM, the Carrboro community dances back!Please forward widely.

Carrboro launches online "Action Line"

Carrboro has launched a new online system to help residents interact with town government. The Carrboro Action Line is oriented toward facilitating communication with town staff on a wide range of informational and action items.

There is an article on the project in today's Herald.

We discussed improving the friendliness of the town web site at the board retreat last February. This strikes me as a big step forward, entirely from staff initiative and at a fairly low cost.

I'll be interested to learn of the experience of users of the system (as, I'm sure, will town staff who just rolled out the program). In particularly, you web savvy folks who've been riding Chapel Hill's case on technology, let us know what you think of this step for Carrboro.

Missing Madison

In July, I wondered what people were thinking about the Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference to be held in Madison, WI by the local "Community Leadership Council" on September 24-26. I considered participating in it, and in fact my husband and I both applied for scholarships to attend.

However, in addition to the fact that we did not receive the amount of scholarship requested ($1,300 for two of us, for a conference costing $2,190), the timing of the trip is singularly bad for us, and we simply cannot attend without throwing our lives into disarray. But! Just because the bloggers aren't going is no reason to for all of us who are staying home to miss out on what I'm sure will be interesting experiences for the folks in Madison.

I have suggested to the director of the Chamber of Commerce that they either set-up their own blog for the travellers or use OrangePolitics to help document the trip as it happens. The offer still stands...

What is Public Space?

Here is one definition:
"A public space or a public place is a place where anyone has a right to come without being excluded because of economic or social conditions." [Wikipedia]

That last part is important, "without being excluded because of economic or social conditions". The economic part means that a public place ideally should not charge anything, money or services, in return for the use of the space. No entrance fees, no minimum purchase, no reservation fee, etc. The social conditions part encompasses a lot. Mainly it stipulates that no one can be barred from entering or using a public space because of their race, appearance, movements, gender, political affiliation, loudness, hair color, clothing choices, etc.

Welcome back, Councilmembers

The Chapel Hill Town Council will have a packed agenda on Monday at their first post-summer meeting. After today you can see the agenda online. Here's a run-down from the Town's e-mail update list:

- Castalia at Meadowmont
The Council will consider a special use permit application that proposes to construct a building with office space and dwelling units on a 4.2-acre site that is located in the Meadowmont development, at the intersection of West Barbee Chapel Road and NC Highway 54, across from the Hilltop Condominiums.

- Changeable or Moveable Signs Outside of the Town Center Zoning District
In response to a petition from business owners, the Council will review options regarding changeable/moveable signage outside the Town Center, including whether to expand sandwich board use to other commercial areas; to expand sandwich board use to commercial areas with sidewalks on both sides of a road and speed limits no greater than 25 miles per hour; or to make no changes to the existing sign regulations.

WSM owners, unite

Year after year it seems that the member/owners of Weaver Street Market wonder if our co-operative grocery store is doing the right thing. Are we getting enough dividends? Are the prices fair? Do we really need to open new branches and additional businesses? And more recently... How can WSM justify telling us and our friends whether and how to dance while we are being law-abiding consumers of their goods and services?

Homeland Insecurity

Announcement from Peggy Misch

Ira Chernus
University of Colorado

Homeland Insecurity:
From Terror and Fantasy to Hope and Reality

Wednesday, September 13, 7:30 PM
Chapel Hill Town Hall Council Chambers
405 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

The Bush administration's War on Terror has undermined our civil liberties at home and created more enemies abroad, especially in the Middle East.

Commemorate September 11 and Constitution Day, September 17. Reconsider the War on Terror, its consequences, and some alternatives.

Presented by the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense and the Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Cosponsored by Charles M. Jones Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill UU, Coalition for Peace with Justice, Committee to End the Cycle of Violence, Elders for Peace, Jews for a Just Peace-NC, Peace 1st, Students United for a Responsible Global Environment, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom-Triangle Branch

For more information: 942-2535

UNC changing campus development plan

The following is an announcement I got this weekend from Linda Convissor in UNC's Local Relations department. The Development Plan was a 300+ page document outlining the next 10 years of development on campus. Under the terms of the OI-4 zone created in 2001 for UNC, the University submits these plans to the town in return for the removal of a cap that had limited them to 14 million square feet on development on the main campus.

Under the terms of OI-4, the Town will have 4 months to review and approve the plan modifications, which range into hundreds of pages, plus maps, and the inevitable corrections and clarifications.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

On Wednesday, September 13, 2006, the Town of Chapel Hill will hold a public information meeting on the University's application to amend its campus Development Plan. The meeting will be at 5 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Town Hall. The Town has mailed notice to property owners within 1,000 feet of campus.



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