October 2006

The Other Stuff on the Ballot 2006 Edition

Let's take a look at the non-partisan elections on the ballot this November.

Local Judicial Races

There are plenty of judicial races, but there's only one local competition: The much discussed Superior Court race in which we get to pick two from a list of four. The candidates are The Hon. Carl Fox (former DA), The Hon. Allen Baddour, Attorney Adam Stein and The Hon. Chuck Anderson (currently a District Court Judge). Plenty has been said about this race already on another thread so I will leave it at that.

District Court Judge Joe Buckner is running for re-election, but is unopposed on the ballot. He certainly deserves and will get another term.

The state-wide judicial races are also non-partisan, although, as it happens, all of the races have one Democrat and one Republican running. There will be no indication on the ballot as to which party the judicial candidates belong to.

North Carolina Supreme Court

Phonebank volunteers needed

Phonebank to turn out voters with Democracy North Carolina:

In 2004, dozens of volunteer citizens engaged in hours of phonebanking in the 2 week period prior to the election. In a collaboration with other non-profit organizations, over 20,000 voters across North Carolina were called in this non-partisan Get-Out-The-Vote effort.

A similar event is being planned for 2006 beginning Monday, October 23. Our offices are located at 105 W. Main Street, Carrboro NC 27510. Our hours are:

Monday- Thursday, 6PM- 9 PM (excluding October 31, Halloween)
Saturday, 12 PM- 3 PM

If interested in signing up or you have questions, please call 967-9942 or 1-888-OUR- VOTE. You can also email info@democracy-nc.org

"Authentic Food" at WSM

Weaver Street Market has taken an important step forward in the movement toward realizing a more sustainable food system. Calling the new development “authentic food”, the market is looking beyond the organic pedigree of a food product to incorporate additional elements such as the production environment, working conditions, and transportation.

WSM's initiative is in response to the entry of the likes of Wal-Mart into the organic food market, which “mean we risk losing important values traditionally associated with organic farming, such as improving the environment, keeping family farmers in business, and treating farm workers fairly. We also risk losing a labeling distinction that has helped us make meaningful choices on your behalf.”

Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore's Dilemma” and who recently visited the area puts it like this:

UNC's perimeter plans

As a part of their application for a third modification to their Development Plan, UNC is holding a meeting to focus on "perimeter transition areas" (areas where campus development has a greater impact on neighbors). The meeting is today at 5:30 at the UNC Law School, room #5046.

We were shown a flyer for this meeting at the last Chapel Hill Planning Board meeting, but I can't find any information online about it. You don't have to be a UNC neighbor to attend.

Click the map below for a big version.

This graphic is from http://www.unc.edu/community/concept_plan.html

Alternatives to Estes

After the recent bunch of articles (Herald, N & O) about how crappy Estes Drive Extension is and how unlikely it is to get better any time soon, I'd like to make a modest proposal.

There are two other possible ways to get from the railroad crossing on Estes to downtown Carrboro. Both alternatives offer a way for cyclists, pedestrians, and wheelchairs to avoid the Straits of Estes. Right now these routes are informal, only used by those of us willing to cross other people's property and bring a flashlight at night.

Democrats: Don't get lazy

Howdy, all. I have posted fairly rarely, but it's now two weeks before Election Day, and I'd like to bring up a couple of things I think us liberal folks need to be aware of:

First, the state Republican Party is stressing, above all else, the Republican candidates in the theoretically non-partisan elections for the State Supreme Court and its feeder body, the State Court of Appeals. If you look at http://ncgop.org, you'll find the big rotating splash of candidates, and a link to a palm card (with blank spaces where the attribution goes) for Republicans to use to gin up the vote. Statewide elections for "secondary" offices in North Carolina tend to be knife-edge affairs when turnout is high, and the right wing can, and would love to, sweep the courts when the turnout is low.

Kudos to the Indy

The Indy's election endorsements issue came out today. They prefer cumulative voting, but without that option on the ballot encourage a yes vote on the referendum. They also re-endorse the three Democratic Commissioner candidates, Carl Fox and Adam Stein for Superior Court, Ellie Kinnaird, Joe Hackney, and others you might expect.

In the past some people have complained here and elsewhere that the Indy does its readers a disservice by not making the voluminous surveys candidates fill out for it available to the general public. Voters who want to make up their own mind could find this to be a more substantive source of candidate information than anything else out there right now.

Editor Richard Hart notes this week that they're listening and that the surveys will go online later today at http://www.indyweek.com when the paper does. I look forward to looking at them, and hope others will too.

This must have been a great deal of work so hats off to Richard, Jennifer Strom, Denise Prickett, and the other folks at the Indy who made this possible.

Hood an expert on Edwards?

Wednesday's Daily Tar Heel has a front page story about John Edwards called "Edwards on the Road.” It has a big map of the USA plotting Edward's public travel schedule. The story comes to the conclusion that he is campaigning for President in 2008. Shocked? Not I.

Is John Hood an expert on John Edwards? I wondered this because the story quotes him about the nature of Edward's activities. Hood is President of the John Locke Foundation, a well known conservative think tank here in North Carolina - hardly an unbiased expert on the subject of liberal politicians.

Vote, baby, vote

I slaved over a hot laptop for a few hours so we could (finally) bring you the updated Orange Politics 2006 Voter Guide. It's mostly links to the candidates and to other websites that did the heavy lifting of assessing and evaluating candidates.

It will continue to grow until the election, so please suggest other links and resources to be added. Maybe next year we can do this on a wiki...

I don't want to sit on Santa's lap

Is it just me or does the Downtown Partnership's* "Festival of Lights" sound like the mall-i-fication of downtown?



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