October 2007

Election season open thread

Yard signs are popping up, there are forums every week, elected officials are suddenly acting a lot nicer to us... what else is new y'all?

Election business

Voter registration for this fall's municipal and school board elections closes a week from tomorrow, so get thee to a voter registration form (PDF)!

I'd like to take a look at candidate money in 2007, but I haven't had time to read the reports yet. Can you help?

We should certainly give the Orange County Board of Elections some kudos, along with the County web staff, for some great improvements to the content available on their web site. Right now they have campaign finance reports from 6 of the 8 candidates who plan to spend over $3,000. Those who plan to spend less do not have to file detailed reports.

Local Dems support Rogers Road neighbors

Jack Sanders, Chairman of the OCDP gave the following speech to the Chapel Hill Town Council on Monday 9/24: Please note that I have permission from Jack to post the full text.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor and Council members.

I am Jack Sanders, Chair of the Orange County Democratic Party, and I rise to speak for the Democratic Party in support of the Rogers Road Community. We have asked the Board of County Commissioners to reconsider its decision to site the Waste Transfer Station in the vicinity of the Rogers Road Community and to conduct a thorough public search for an alternative site. I am here before you because Chapel Hill too has a role to play.

Chapel Hill is a progressive community, one that takes its principles seriously, chief among them the principle of social justice. Equally important is the notion of the integrity of government, the notion that our governments will treat all communities fairly, and that promises made will be kept.

A Chapel Hillian to challenge Dole?

I know I'm late to the party on this one (sometimes I actually have to work instead of reading blogs all day) but how about this report in the Carrboro Citizen that Jim Neal of Chapel Hill is going to run against Elizabeth Dole next year? I've only heard a few other names tossed around, such as state legislators Grier Martin (D.G.'s son) and Kay Hagan, but I think Dole's a sitting duck.

I've never heard of him before, but Kirk says Neal is "a key Democratic Party fundraiser," so does that mean he's for real? Discuss.

Update: On another thread David Beck posted a link to an N & O story that tells us Neal is 50 and an investment banker.

Sierra Club endorsements

This weekend the Orange/Chatham Group of the NC Sierra Club released their endorsements for Orange County's municipal races. The results are not surprising (nor disagreeable) at least to me.

Tom Stevens for Mayor
Eric Hallman for Commissioner
Evelyn Lloyd for Commissioner
Bryant Warren Jr. for Commissioner

Mark Chilton for Mayor
Joal Broun for Alderman
Dan Coleman for Alderman
Lydia Lavelle for Alderman

Chapel Hill:
Kevin Foy for Mayor
Sally Greene for Town Council
Cam Hill for Town Council
Bill Strom for Town Council
Jim Ward for Town Council

Will Chapel Hill/Carrboro Ever Be Bike-Friendly?

I very nearly bit the dust this morning on Dairyland, about 1/2 mile west of Old 86.

While on my morning bicycle ride, minding my own business along the road's virtually nonexistent shoulder, a driver whipping past me clipped my left hip and the edge of my left handlebar. Miraculously, I was not injured physically, although I am pretty shaken up. Two more inches and I wouldn't be here to type this right now.

I mention this out of a growing frustration with the gaping disparity between the image that this area has of itself (as a place that facilitates active, healthy lifestyles and encourages alternative transportation methods) and the reality of our local roads, which are for the most part very unfriendly to bikes and pedestrians.

I think of the often-expressed desire to limit parking spaces at Carolina North in order to encourage other modes of transport, and then I think of my experience this morning, and I ruefully laugh. The truth is that we do not have the road infrastructure to support anything other than cars and buses on our roads, and, so far as I know, no comprehensive plan to change that.

Did you Meet me on Franklin Street?

I pretty much lived in the shops, offices, bars, and nooks and crannies of Franklin Street when I was a kid in the 70's. The Inimate Bookshop (RIP) even had a corner in the children's section named after me. I can't wait to see this exhibit at the Chapel Hill Museum.

Remember the Flower Ladies? Manner-correcting Otelia Conner and her umbrella thwacks? The Intimate book store and Danziger's sweet shop?

Unless you're a longtime resident, you may not. But that's OK -- a new permanent exhibit at the Chapel Hill Museum will detail those and more of the characters and places that make Franklin Street, well, Franklin Street.
- chapelhillnews.com | Memory lane on display, 10/10/07

Here's the 411: http://www.downtownchapelhill.com/newsreader.php?id=52

Early voting info


ORANGE COUNTY One-stop voting for Nov. 6 general election:

Orange County Public Library Conference Room
300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough
Thursday, Oct. 18 to Friday, Oct. 19 - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 22 to Friday, Oct. 26 - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27 - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 29 to Friday, Nov. 2 - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 3 - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Carrboro Town Hall
301 W. Main St, Carrboro
Monday, Oct. 22 to Friday, Oct. 26 - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 29 to Friday, Nov. 2 - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 3 - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m

Chapel Hill Post Office
179 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Monday, Oct. 22 to Friday, Oct. 26 - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 29 to Friday, Nov. 2 - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 3 - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


PTA Forum tonight

I'll be checking this out tonight in my on-going attempt to better understand school board issues. You can submit questions for the forum online. I think my question would be: can you please explain all these programs and proposals in plain English instead of acronyms and code words? Oh and: are you willing to sacrifice a little of your own family's privilege to create more opportunities for less advantaged children?

CHCCS Board of Education Candidate Forum
Hosted by the PTA Council and League of Women Voters

Monday October 15th
Chapel Hill Town Council Chambers, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Live on Time Warner Cablevision Channel 18

Moderated by Vicki Boyer, League of Women Voters
- PTA Council - Home

The PTA also promised to post the results of it's municipal questionnaire on it's web site today, but I don't see it there yet. Will keep checking.

Stage Two Coming Up?

I just drove across University Lake at Jones Ferry Road. I reckon we have all noticed the grass growing on the bare bottom of the Northe nd of the reservoir, but it looked jsut now like the grass was starting to turn brown . . . Anyway, so the OWASA Board of Directors will be meeting this Thursday at 7:30 PM to consider whether to declare a Stage Two water shortage.

Here's hoping OWASA will proceed to stage two. It looks like we have about 5 and a half months of water left if we keep consuming the way we have been.

Stage Two (2) Water Shortage

. . . Upon OWASA's declaration of a Stage Two Water Shortage, the following actions shall be taken with the goal of reducing overall water demand by fifteen (15) percent:

Water use by individually metered residential customer accounts and by individually metered single-family residential irrigation-only accounts shall be limited to no more than an average of 800 gallons per day during any monthly billing cycle beginning after the declaration of a Water Supply Shortage or Water Supply Emergency and ending while such restrictions are still in effect.



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