November 2007

More election stuff

A few things I want to note but don't have time to write a full blog post about...

Blogger Xan Gregg created some interesting charts showing the results in Chapel Hill.

Chuck Morton wrote a really thoughtful essay on his web site about his experience running for mayor of Carrboro. Not only do I hope he stays involved with Carrboro politics, I hope he starts a blog so we can continue to enjoy his thoughts and opinions.

I noticed that the returns came in incredibly quickly from the Board of Elections on Tuesday night. While there were some glitches with machines over-counting, they were are all resolved quite easily. The Carrboro Commons (student publication) has this story about the technology and people behind the election returns.

OPTV Election Week 2007

The last video went over well, so here's another. I recapped what went on on the site this week, and managed to keep it under 14 minutes...

Sorry for the errors and weird editing. The fan noise is actually my laptop (which is recording the video) so I can't turn it off. I'd like to get it shorter, but that would actually take me longer! Your feedback is welcome. I'm learning...

And FYI, OPTV is archived here.

Northern area hearing

Tonight the Chapel Hill Town Council will have a public hearing on how to manage growth in the sprawling northern part of town. The Manager is recommending changes to the comprehensive plan that will effectively adopt the report of the Northern Area Task Force and focus transit-oriented development in certain areas. Learn all about it on the Council's agenda.

Local activists Neighborhoods for Responsible Growth (NRG) held a meeting about this last week and will also be presenting their opinions at the hearing.

I will be watching this meeting tonight and plan to report here as it goes along.

Update: Much more complete information is available at the Town of Chapel Hill web site.

Carrboro Film Festival scoots into town

I just wanted to let you all know that November 18th is the big day for this year's Carrboro Film Festival. Like last year, it will be held in the Century Center, 2-7pm. Only 5 bucks and kids ten and under are free. Come out to see 27 locally made wonderful short films. New this year, more awards, 12 Kay Kyser awards will be given at the conclusion of the festival.

If you would like to get a little sneak, go to and watch the trailer for the fest. Featuring "Scooter Man" Mike Harris and sculptor Mike Roig. Roig also makes the awards for the fest, BTW.

Hope to see you all at the fest!

Nic Beery, Festival Chair

Fun tonight

Tonight there are two meetings of interest to you social activists. At 6 pm, UNC will hold a forum on the chancellor selection process, and at 7 7:30 pm the County Commissioners will meet at the Southern Human Services Center to discuss the new search for a place to put a future waste transfer station.

I will add more information when I am back at my computer.


The Chancellor's Search Forum will be from 6 pm to 8 pm in Gerrard Hall on campus (between the Campus Y and Memorial Hall). More information and video of previous forums is available at:

The Board of Orange County Commissioners meeting starts at 7:30 at the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road. The waste transfer station is item 7b (PDF) on the agenda:


Short videos by Ruby Sinreich (and maybe others someday) about recent happenings on OrangePolitics and around the county.

The most recent videos are automatically displayed in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest). To see more, check out the OPTV archive.

Browse the archive at

Brad Miller comes to Carrboro

My husband Brian Russell and I are hosting an informal reception for Congressman Brad Miller to meet local bloggers and talk politics. Although he doesn't represent our congressional district, I feel like Brad often represents us in spirit by supporting many of the causes near and dear to Orange County's heart.

I think he's a very smart guy, and the fact that he wants to do an event like this speaks volumes about his values. You don't have to be a blogger and you don't have to give a contribution to come. Hope to see some of you there.

Please Join Congressman Brad Miller for a discussion hosted by Ruby Sinreich of and Brian Russell of about the impact of blogging on today's political environment.

When: Thursday, November 29, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Where: Mill Town Restaurant, 307 E Main St, Carrboro

Suggested Donation: $10
Cash Bar

A foot in the door to Carolina North

Given that UNC is proposing to build the Innovation Center on MLK Boulevard as the gateway to Carolina North without having submitted their plans for the entire campus, we should all be watching this development closely.

I only live a mile away from where this will be built, but unfortunately I can't go to this "community meeting" next week (I have a date with a Congressman that night). Hopefully some of you will go and report back on what they're up to.

The University and Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. are planning the Carolina Innovation Center on the Carolina North property at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and the former Municipal Drive. The Innovation Center will provide an environment where innovation-based companies affiliated with the University can turn laboratory concepts into viable businesses.

Buy Nothing Day & Lisa Garmon dedication

On Friday, 23 Nov 2007, Internationalist Books & Community Center will host Buy Nothing Day. Popular media call the Friday after Thanksgiving "Black Friday" because retail sales are huge. In response, many community centers have offered a Buy Nothing Day alternative. Instead of hoping to find happiness in materialism, they hope to remind people that some amazing things can be free (or shared, or passed on): skills, knowledges, friendship, conversation, food, etc.

Internationalist Books will sell nothing on Friday, but we will be open for open workshops and skillshares, 11am-4pm. On the front patio, we will have a table of nicely used clothes for trade/giveaway/additional donations. From 12noon-5pm, we will host a potluck. Please stop by the store and bring used clothing, food, family, friends, and yourself.

At 4pm, we will officially dedicate our Lending Library to long-time activist and supporter Lisa Garmon. We share wonderful memories of her, and she indelibly changed the lives of many in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and UNC. Please join us for our dedication to her life, her work, and her honor.

Thinking ahead

There's been some justified hand-wringing lately how hard it is to get to our public library. As Chapel Hill Town Council Member Mark Kleinschmidt noted, the library's location and site plan are "really very car-centric." I get a little snitty when I hear this kind of observation. Of course he's right. But why wasn't it so obvious to the Town before we sited and built the library? After all, it's not like no-one pointed this out at the time.

Granted, none of the current members were on the Council when the Library was built over 15 years ago, but there was a different group of 9 "environmentalists" sitting at the same table and this is what their advisory boards told them:



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