June 2007

OrangeChat video

It's been days since we criticized the local media, so let's make sure they know we're still paying attention. :-) The Chapel Hill News has added a weekly video clip to it's web site. The current show features Leah Friedman reading the paper's recent headlines and Meiling Arounnarath talking about the Carrboro mural with Jenny Chan.

I like how the video personalizes the reporters and some of the people in their stories. My only suggestion is to create a feed so that people can subscribe to video updates without visiting the site to see whether they've updated.

Rogers Road discussion

Sorry for not posting this sooner. The day job is kicking my tushy this week. The Historic Rogers Road Community Enhancement Plan Development and Monitoring Task Force (whew!) will be meeting tonight at 7:00 PM at the Homestead Community Center, 600 Homestead Road. This is the county's committee that I think is focused on how to remediate the current (and probably future) impacts of our landfill on the African-American neighborhood that has been denied relief for 30 years.

I was hoping to go, but I don't think I will be able to. I'd love if someone could go and report back!

Coleman files in Carrboro

Dan Coleman kicks off this fall's campaign with yesterday's announcement that he will run for the seat he was appointed to in 2005 2006. Dan highlighted his experience in local issues and said Carolina North would be a major focus for him in the next term.

Getting an early head start, Carrboro Alderman Dan Coleman announced Monday that he plans to run for election to retain his seat during November's election.

Although he has been an alderman for 18 months, Coleman was appointed to the seat by other members of the board to replace Mark Chilton, an alderman who won the mayoral race in 2005, thus leaving a vacancy on the board. Although Coleman is well known for his activities in local government and politics, this will be the first time he actually has run for an elected office.

Carrboro developments

When I retired from the Chapel Hill Planning Board, I said I would spend more time paying attention to Carrboro Politics. As promised, I am watching the Carrboro Board of Aldermen meeting (on TV). Tonight's agenda includes the changes at 300 East Main Street (redevelopment of the Arts Center/Cat's Cradle area).

Chapel Hill WiFi Pilot needs different Hotspots

Tomorrow night the Chapel Hill Town Council will hear a staff proposal for a WiFi pilot project. This project has been a long time coming. One of the first reasons it was proposed in 2005 was to increase equal access to the Internet for all citizens. Former Council Member Edith Wiggins made it clear that if WiFi were to be offered to any part of the community it should include Pine Knolls and Northside. Here is a video of all five locations that will be proposed. None of them are in Northside or Pine Knolls, none will be available indoors, and three of them are in parking lots.

Media Mention Scoreboard

I was thinking in Omaha over the weekend about the upcoming local elections and the media. It got me to wondering how often the various local elected officials appear in the newspaper, be it quotes in stories, op/eds they wrote, letters to the editor that mentioned them, etc.

So I decided to run a search to come up with those numbers for the Orange County Commissioners, Chapel Hill Town Council, and Carrboro Board of Aldermen. For the Orange County Commissioners the search ran from December 5th, 2006 when Mike Nelson took office through today. For the Chapel Hill Town Council it ran from December 5th, 2005 when Bill Thorpe and Laurin Easthom took office through today. For the Aldermen it ran from February 15th, 2006 (shortly after Dan Coleman was appointed) through today.

Here are the results:

Chapel Hill Herald/Durham Herald-Sun

Moses Carey 56
Barry Jacobs 31
Alice Gordon 25
Mike Nelson 24
Valerie Foushee 11

Chapel Hill still Chief-less

The Chapel Hill Town Council was planning to swear in a new Chief of Police at their meeting last night. Instead they got the news that Thomas McCarthy will be unable to serve.

(to Town Council at June 27 meeting)

June 27, 2007

It is with disappointment that I must convey to you information received this morning that Chief Tom McCarthy is unable to take the position of police chief in Chapel Hill due to health issues.

I will read an excerpt from a letter that Tom provided me:

"As you know, I have worked hard to keep myself in shape and be ready for this great opportunity. I am very disappointed that I was unable to meet the standard (of the physical exam required by North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards). However, I believe it is most important that I follow my doctor's advice and address my health issues of hypertension.

If I can ever be of assistance to you or the department, please let me know.

I wish you and the Town the very best."



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