December 2006

Free Plan B

Guest Post by Jennifer Ferris

This Wednesday, Dec. 6, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina is participating in a national historic effort to prevent unintended pregnancy.

Every visitor to Planned Parenthood's Chapel Hill or Durham clinics will be offered a free pack of Plan B, the emergency contraceptive recently approved by the FDA to be sold without a prescription.

While the significance of this promotion is probably clear to almost any man or woman of childbearing age who has ever relied on a forgettable method of birth control (condoms, the pill, a diaphragm, etc.) to prevent pregnancy, I understand some of you reading might need a little more convincing.

Emergency Contraception (EC) is essential: It prevents pregnancy when used up to five days after unprotected sex. It is currently in use in many emergency rooms and urgent care clinics to help rape victims avoid carrying their predators' children.

Town Council to decide on Lot 5 and UNC campus growth

A few interesting items are on the Chapel Hill Town Council's agenda tonight:

Three public hearings, the Downtown Development Initiative (aka redevelopment of Lot 5), safety improvements (presumably for pedestrians) on the by-pass, UNC's massive third development plan modification, establishing a small area plan for the neighborhood next to the county landfill, and a few other fun things.

I'm not sure if I can make it there in person, but I'll try to tune in while the meeting is in progress.

By the way has anyone visited TownOfChapelHill-dot-com lately? It appears to be owned by a squatter trying to game search engines with a bunch of commercial links. Didn't the town used to own the dot-com domain? How did this happen?

Free Sima

I was outraged when I learned about the detention of an Iranian woman who has been peacefully living in Carrboro for several years.

Sima Fallahi, 48, was detained last week after living in the United States for two decades. Her 104 Shelton St. duplex is a few blocks from Carrboro Elementary School, where she served in the Parent Teacher Association, and Weaver Street Market, the local natural foods hangout. Her paintings have hung in Town Hall.

Now Fallahi sits in a Mecklenburg County federal prison.

Her Western ideals, out-of-wedlock daughter and Unitarian beliefs would cause her to be "persecuted, tortured and/or killed" if deported, Fallahi wrote in a 1998 application for political asylum.

Mayor Mark Chilton and state Sen. Ellie Kinnaird urged Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat, to intervene.
- | Fate of mom, girl worries Carrboro

Carrboro family loses son in Iraq

Last night on the national NPR show All Things Considered Jessica Jones of WUNC reported,

A North Carolina family is having a difficult holiday season as it mourns Army Staff Sgt. Misael Martinez, who died in Iraq during his third tour of duty. A bomb exploded near the 24-year-old's vehicle in Ramadi. Martinez joined the military after finishing high school, hoping to attend college later. But even as the family grieves, it is preparing for another son to leave for Iraq on his first tour of duty in January.
- Having Lost a Son, Family Sees Another Go to Iraq

It's especially notable how honorably these sons of immigrant parents are serving the nation, even while the nation does a great disservice to the millions like them who have come here to help build the country.

Edwards campaign in Southern Village?

It was tucked deep in an Under the Dome item about Edwards hiring former Michigan Congressman David Bonior to be the manager of his Presidential campaign, but apparently it will be run out of Southern Village.

Chapel Hill's really hitting the political big time I guess! And Edwards' presence is already bringing celebrities to town, as Hardball will be hosted live from Memorial Hall next Tuesday.

Setting up shop in Chapel Hill and realizing the importance of hiring political help from Michigan in the same day make Edwards look pretty smart to me anyway :)

Peoples Channel Potluck this Saturday

My name is Shannon O'Neill and I'm the new outreach director at The Peoples Channel. I just wanted to let you know that we are having a potluck this Saturday from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM. There will also be a soapbox opportunity, so that members of the community can comment on the service that The Peoples Channel provides. This will help us to learn more about the needs and wants of our community. Please spread the word, as we want as many community members here as possible. If you want more information, please e-mail Chad Johnston at We hope to see you and all your friends there!

My police chief

Chapel Hill's police chief recently announced that he's retiring after working for the CHPD for over three decades. Chief Jarvies has constantly impressed me with his intelligence and sensitivity, which are not things you expect in a cop.

"I think we've done a great job in bringing in folks that understand how to work with the community," Jarvies said. "It takes a lot of effort to keep them here and keep them motivated."
- Jarvies to retire after seven years

I first met him when I was living next door to a very sensitive man that called the police whenever more than 5 people congregated on my porch. He was always very understanding and did his best to try to make everyone happy (although that was noever going to be possible.) In recent years, I have harangued him constantly about the lack of officers on foot patrol in Northside, and he has always listened and done his best to respond to my concerns.

Carolina North Community Meetings Wednesday

Via UNC Director of Local Relations Linda Convissor-

This Wednesday, December 13th, there will be two public sessions for review of the draft ecological assessment recently completed as part of the discovery phase of our planning process for Carolina North.

Chancellor Moeser has said that Carolina North will be a model of sustainability. As one of the first steps to that goal, Biohabitats, Inc. has produced an ecological assessment to inform our planning. Your input can help us shape effective plans for sustainable development at Carolina North.

To accommodate different schedules, we will hold two sessions. The information reviewed at both will be the same so attend whichever is most convenient for you. Both sessions will be on Wednesday, December 13th in room 2603 of the School of Government:

3:00 – 5:00 PM. Parking available in either the Hwy 54 Visitor Lot or in the Rams Head deck.

6:00 – 8:00 PM. Parking available in the School of Government parking deck.

Donald Duck for Soil and Water?

I've been very impressed with the work done by the Orange County Board of Elections since its new director, Barry Garner, took over.

While I was managing Adam's campaign, they were always extremely fast in responding to information requests. Now they've taken what I believe to be the unprecedented step of tabulating and posting the write in totals for the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor race, the full list of which you can see here.

Since no one really knows what the supervisors do and the races are nonpartisan, there are a lot of write in votes.

Some of the highlights:

Daffy Duck got a vote, but was far outpassed by Donald Duck who received four.

Jerry Garcia may have died over ten years ago, but at least a couple Deadheads think he would do a good job stewarding our natural resources.

Protest the recruiting station today

Guest post by Tamara Tal

Exactly one month ago, a new Army recruiting station opened its doors. Today, the Town of Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce will officially 'welcome' this station into our community.

What motivations should the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce have in celebrating the arrival of this institution into our community?

In addition to the nearly 3000 young Americans who have lost their lives, a recent study based upon household surveys reports that 600,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed thus far during this most recent Gulf War (Burnham G. et al. Lancet. 2006 Oct 21; 368 (9545):1421-8). A sustained flow of youth from communities like ours is necessary to continue occupying Iraq, resulting in the continued loss of both American and Iraqi lives, as well as the near complete destruction of Iraq's infrastructure.



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