April 2007

Prove to us you care about equality and act

The Daily Tar Heel reports that Town of Chapel Hill staff recommended to council that it "take no action on two immigration-related petitions presented to the council in February."

The State Supreme Court has ruled that public expenditures must benefit the public, not particular persons, Town Attorney Ralph Karpinos advised the council in a memo.

Karpinos also wrote that Fallahi still is able to file a claim of alleged wrongful action, which the town's insurance program would handle.

Providing "expenditures" to Sima Fallahi WILL benefit the public. The main benefit to us all is to provide meaning to words. I want to continue to believe that our Mayor and Council will do more than speak about the importance of equality in our community. They need to direct their staff not only speak of equality but to act upon it. If the police don't remember their charge Mayor and Council must repair their mistakes. Not behind the scenes. Right up front in full view.

NAACP's Youth Council proposal is a good thing

As printed in the Chapel Hill Herald on Saturday, April 14th:

My very first column last spring dealt with my concern about the lack of young black leadership in our community.

I'm still concerned but the good news is that help is on the way. Local NAACP leader Jesse Gibson has brought forward a great plan for a Youth Council that will help to engage teenagers of all races in serving their community. He and the rest of the organization's leadership have successfully seen the creation of such an organization through Chapel Hill's lengthy approval process, and it's now official.

Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP President Fred Battle, who has been a fierce advocate for young people as a long time activist and former school board member, says that frequently the reason they are reluctant to get involved in the community is that they don't feel adequate to the task. He sees a primary function of the Youth Council as helping these folks to build leadership and become confident in their abilities to help guide the community.

Turn on the lights

The power is out in various places around town. So far I've heard Morgan Creek and Village West are dark, and police are conducting traffic at the intersections of MLK and Umstead/Hillsborough, and at Franklin and Estes.

Other reports?

Here's a dynamically updated map. The latest is also available at http://www.duke-energy.com/outages/map/triangle.htm

Public Meeting on Carrboro's Northern Study Area

What will northern Carrboro look like in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?

Carrboro has launched a review and update of the small area plan for northern Carrboro. Two public meetings are planned so that the town can get input from you and your neighbors on how you would like to see our town grow in the years ahead.

Registration for the event on Saturday morning, April 21, begins at 7:45 while the program itself starts at 8:30 and ends at noon. It will take place in the McDougle School cafeteria.

After a presentation on the current plan (PDF) by staff, there will be facilitated small group discussions of issues of concern to attendees. Subsequently a committee will work on the outcomes of this meeting to prepare presentations for discussion at a public meeting on Saturday, June 16.

Potentially to be addressed are a range of land-use, environmental, and economic development issues.

Carrboro Mayor's Carbon Challenge

For my New Year's Resolution for 2007, I decided to take tangible steps to reduce my carbon footprint. I was already doing something by riding my bicycle more and driving less, but I wanted to go a step further. But, I didn't want to spend a lot of money doing it.

First I audited my family's energy purchases. We were buying gasoline, electricity, and natural gas. I determined that we were directly generating 81 pounds of CO2 a day! That's far below the national average in the United States, but it is still a big number.

Next, I looked at the cost of strategies for reducing my carbon footprint. Sadly, some strategies were quite expensive, but other strategies were very cost-effective. I was ready to have my New Year's resolution cost me at least a little money, but I wasn't ready for the realization that my resolution might cost less!

Lights and action plans

The Town of Chapel Hill has seen and suffered through numerous disasters in the past 10 years. Starting after Hurricane Fran, preparedness plans were set up and a command center was designated and staffed and given a dedicated generator. Meals were brought in for the crews working to clear storm damage from the 2000 snow (22 inches of snow in 24 hours), the ice storms of 2001 and 2002, back-to-back hurricanes in September 2003, and many others, most of which passed below the public's radar, such as the flooding at Camelot Apartments around the same time as the flooding at Eastgate shopping center.

Yesterday, 16 April, the plans did not materialize. Crews were sent out at 7 am to do their normal routine, despite weather predictions of very high winds and heavy rains. Within an hour and a half, phones were ringing off the hook at the Public Works with reports of trees and power lines down. Still, a plan failed to materialize until after 1 pm.

Cindy Sheehan in town on Saturday

Info via Facebook (go figure):

Rally with Cindy Sheehan & Sami Rasouli

Saturday, April 21, 2007
7:00pm - 9:00pm
McCorkle Place (North Quad) The Pit on Campus

Eyewitnesses to the occupation and peacemaking efforts in both Iraq and the USA to speak on campus on Saturday, April 21st.

Sami Rasouli sold his restaurant in Minneapolis in 2004 to return to Iraq to help rebuild his native country. As a Shia, Mr. Rasouli helped with the rebuilding of Sunni Fallujah after US occupation forces leveled much of the city. It was there that Mr. Rasouli founded the Muslim Peacemakers Teams, building bridges across sectarian lines toward a more hopeful future.

WCHL's 2007 Forum

News Talk 1360 WCHL presents its 2007 Chapel Hill-Carrboro-Orange County Forum, Wednesday, April 18th, from 8 am til 6pm.

It's 10 hours we set aside for community discussion on important issues. In past years, we've tackled 10 topics during the day, with an hour devoted to each, but this year, there are 5 topics of discussion, with 2 hours each. Our topics are Town-Gown Relations, the Price of an Unsustainable Economy, Crime and Safety, Education, and the Arts.

Meekest media in the state?

They've done it again. See this OP post from 2004 for the entire story of how WUNC refused to read an underwriting message because it contained the controversial term "reproductive rights." Now they have changed the word "rally" to "event" to appease the scary FCC bogey man that lurks in their closet.

Carrboro Environmental Advisory Board

The Carrboro Environmental Advisory Board is looking for applications for Carrboro residents interested in serving the town. A link to apply is here http://www.ci.carrboro.nc.us/AdvBoards/advbrdapp.htm. Generally, the Environmental Advisory Board will:



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