April 2007

"After the Peak" showing April 5

I actually think often of what our lives will be like after the assumption of plentiful and cheap petroleum is gone. For example in Chapel Hill, homes in walking distance of the campus will be even more valuable than they are now. How about homes near Carolina North? If we have managed to get some transit infrastructure into place, that will also drive the value of locations if the only appealing way to get to RTP is by transit. Or will RTP go away, a relic of the dinosaur age of cars? Will we see 10-story buildings in downtown Carrboro?

Anyway, like I said, I think about this, so I am very intrigued abut this film that is "a provocative look at the world of oil scarcity set in Orange County in the near future."

CARRBORO -- A group of concerned citizens, sponsored by local organizations, will hold a public meeting on April 5 at 7 p.m. at the Century Center to address our energy future with a focus on local solutions to global problems.

Downtown through the crystal ball

Today the Orange Chat blog published some thoughts about the "Lot 5" downtown redevelopment effort from a reporter's conversation with Chapel Hill Town Council Member Mark Kleinschmidt. In a perfect example of the utility of blogs for having unmediated communication with the public, Kleinschmidt responded by adding and clarifying his thoughts on his own blog.

Chilly Friday open thread

I'm still out of town all day, so here's a new thread and random topics to keep things moving.

Trader Joe's coming to Chapel Hill. (My opinion: Whole Foods may need to worry about losing a lot of customers, but not Weaver Street Market).

UNC buys historic district property for $2.6 million but claims to have no specific plans for it.

UNC's on-campus bowling alley is closing. No more students will get the opportunity (that I had) to learn the finer points of picking up a spare for P.E. credit.

Or choose your own adventure...

New-and-improved Carr Mill signs

Cross posted from Light In Water.

New signs are up on the Weaver Street Lawn. (Read the back story.)

Health as a human right

Guest Post by Sarah Chasnovitz

I am a student at UNC School of Law participating in the Human Rights Policy Clinic. Along with my classmates and our faculty advisor, Deborah Weissman, I am working with the National Health Law Project on a project promoting health as a human right.

Although Orange County is a vocal supporter of human rights and has a history of supporting resolutions reminding our leaders of our obligations under the Geneva Convention and the Convention Against Torture, we have not been as vocal about social and economic rights, particularly here at home. There is a national movement of policymakers, activists, and civic leaders promoting the idea that we need to bring human rights home to our communities. One area in which Orange County can take the lead is by affirming its commitment to the internationally recognized right to health.

This lesson brought to you by Meadowmont

I am on the mailing lists for most of the local governments, and most of the info I get from them is dull press releases, public notices etc. I perked up when I saw this subject from the city schools "Press Release--Planner to visit class" but was even more surprised to see the following content:

Local developer to visit class

Local developer Roger Perry will speak to fifth grade students at Frank Porter Graham about residential planning on Wednesday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The students have recently completed a unit on using Global Positioning Systems to study and create maps. The equipment was provided through a Student Enrichment Grant awarded to teacher Kristen Bedell by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation. The equipment used by the students in this unit is the same used by professional planners and developers to view plots and design projects.

An alternative to Apple Chill?

As printed in the Chapel Hill Herald on Saturday, April 7th:

We're coming up on the first anniversary of last year's Apple Chill debacle and rightful cancellation, and it seems to be on people's minds. Last week the Town Council approved a plan for a new summer concert series and craft festival conceived at least in part to substitute for the absence of the old event. I think the plans they passed sound nice and will be good for the community. But I still think the lack of a townwide celebration in the spring that brings folks in from around the region before the students go home will leave a void.

I believe there's a solution to that problem, though -- a solution that would bring people together, be unlikely to create the sort of crime problems associated with Apple Chill, and provide a wonderful model of town/gown relations.

Nothing brings the disparate elements of the Chapel Hill community together more than UNC basketball.

Likewise, nothing brings more folks from around the state into our community and spending money than UNC basketball.

Literary Hillsborough

Congratulations to Hillsborough on naming its first Poet Laureate, and to He's Not Here owner Mike Troy for serving in that post.

I Wish
By Mike Troy

There is a place where poets walk

And talk the talk that poets talk.

It isn't far or hard to find --

It lives in every heart and mind.

It's near a little hardware store

That always has an open door;

And from the door it's just one hop

To a magic coffee shop.

And while we're wishing, let's just say,

Next door we'll have a French cafe.

Out back, a bookshop on an alley

Completes our local Place Pigalle.

At sidewalk tables, people natter

Of anything that doesn't matter

In a dusky limelit time

Where dogs don't bark and poems rhyme.

Feel the pleasing rhyme and rhythm

Of human living that's filled with them.

Through all seasons, in all weather,

Living is what we do together.

So grab a table, take a cup,

Pull up a chair and fill a dish;

Great Investigative Piece in the Indy

The Indy has a great investigative story this week about how a member of Orange County's committee studying whether the county should limit the practice of tethering dogs on chains or ropes has extensive ties to the dog fighting industry.

An excerpt from reporter Ashley Roberts' story:

When Alane Koki applied to become a member of an Orange County citizens' committee studying whether the county should limit the practice of tethering dogs on chains or ropes, she submitted a 13-page résumé citing numerous accomplishments as a scientist and medical researcher: a doctorate in zoology, a dozen patents, and publication in more than 50 journals.

What Koki didn't list in her application, however, was her long history of breeding pit bulls in other states and her association with local kennel owner Tom Garner, a nationally known breeder of pit bulls and a convicted dog fighter whom commissioners declined to appoint to the committee the same night they approved Koki.

Redistricting vote tonight

For someone without kids in the school system (although I hope to someday), I try to follow local school issues. But there's just so much detail! I understand that there are four proposals for elementary redistricting accompanying the opening of elementary school #10 in the CH-C system, and that the superintendent has endorsed one.

In making the decisions, the board's agenda calls for members to consider contiguity, travel and stability, among other criteria.

In Pedersen's selected proposal, elementary school enrollment across the district would range from 406 to 596. Elementary school No. 10 would enroll 481 students.

[School board member Jean] Hamilton acknowledged that the redistricting will not come without negative effects.

"Many students will have to change schools," she said. "Not some - many."
- Board to decide redistricting - Daily Tar Heel, 4/12/07



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