January 2008

Fein and Tomasky debate impeachment @ Carrboro Century Center

Coalition for the Constitution will host a Debate on Impeachment between Republican Bruce Fein (pro-impeachment) and Democrat Michael Tomasky (anti-impeachment) 7pm T 15 Jan 08 at the Carrboro Century Center. "Admission is free and all citizens are encouraged to attend." The debate will be moderated by UNC Professor of Leadership and Public Policy W. Hodding Carter III and hosted by Orange County Commissioner Moses Carey. For "general and sponsor information," contact John Heuer, 919-933-6589, 919-444-3823, jheuer@coalitionfortheconstitution.com


Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 2:00pm

So about that new site

I actually thought we were on track to launch it today, but our technical folks have a couple of more issues to clear up. Hopefully everything will come together by this weekend. You can learn more about the new site here: http://orangepolitics.org/news/so-whats-the-big-deal

And now back to your regularly-scheduled programming...

OPTV: New web site

In the latest OPTV, I discuss the new platform for OrangePolitics. Please check it out.
Click To Play play_blip_movie_582800();

2008: the year of Carolina North?

The concept plan for UNC's Innovation Center, a.k.a. Carolina North Stage One, will be presented to the Chapel Hill Town Council in a few weeks. I still think they're jumping the gun by planning this without the big picture vision in place.

On Jan. 13 -- the day after the town concludes its annual planning retreat -- town and university leaders will meet to share information on Carolina North. Evans said it will be the first time some members of the Town Council hear ideas about the development directly from the university.

So far, no part of the approximately 250 acres on the Horace Williams Tract that university officials have tentatively outlined for development has come to the Chapel Hill Town Council for review. That will change on Jan. 23 when the council is scheduled to receive a concept plan for the Innovation Center, a business incubator touted as the first building on the new campus.

"I don't know whether it sets a tone or not," said Chapel Hill Town Councilman Jim Ward. "But 2008 in my mind is going to be the year I'm anticipating some piece or some form of Carolina North will become more real than it is today."


Anyone want to remind me what the process was in approving the new configuration at the Fordham/Omni/Erwin Road intersection? Did the Town have anything to say about it or was it entirely NC DOT?


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

The most recent videos are shown in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest). To see related blog entries, check out the OPTV archive.

Elections 2008

The 2008 primary election was held on Tuesday, May 6th, the primary run-off for County Commissioner from District 2 was on June 25th, and the general election on Tuesday, November 4th. See related blog posts and events at http://orangepolitics.org/issues/elections/2008. See early voting locations and hours at: http://www.orangepolitics.org/2008/10/its-on.

Hillsborough hopes for trains

Apparently some Hillsborough residents are working to restore train service to their town. It sounds encouraging, although I'm confused that they didn't mention TTA or plans for regional rail connections.

The potential of commuter rail service returning to Hillsborough is part of a study being conducted by engineering firm HNTB, which was presented last week to town officials and residents.

Jim Kessler, an HNTB representative, explained the scope of the study that explores the possibility of passenger trains stopping through Hillsborough. The study, which began in October and will conclude in June 2008, will explore how well-suited the current rail system is to passenger service, Kessler said. It is not, he added, a feasibility study that would lead directly into restoring those services.


The Future of Education

I found this amazing video called Did you know?. It started as a powerpoint presentation given in a High School faculty meeting in 2006. Since then its estimated that its been seen by over 5 million online viewers. You can learn more about it at the Shift Happens wiki. This video is extremely powerful and speaks well to the challenges of education, work, and information in the 21st century.

So much so I felt my elected officials must see it. So I emailed it to the Chapel Hill Town Coucil, Mayor, and Manager and asked for their feedback. I really want to know what they think about this. I also want to know what you think. To get this conversation going and our minds moving I ask that you watch this video. (Its about 9 minutes) When you're done please leave your comments bellow. Here are a few questions that i'd like to read your answers to.

  • What are your initial reactions to what you saw in the presentation?
  • What kind of training will we need to move forward?
  • What do we think it means to prepare students for the 21st century? What skills do students need to survive and thrive in this new era?

Chapel Hill gets new Business Management Director

I just found out via the Chapel hill eNews that we have a new business management director. His name is Ken Pennoyer and was previously the finance director for the City of Durham. Welcome to Chapel Hill Ken! (See full press release bellow)

My personal concern upon reading this was about his position as manager over the Town of Chapel Hill Information Technology Department. I see the connection with IT and the budget. But what is Mr. Pennoyer's experience with Technology and communications? I bet y'all have other concerns. What do you think the priorities for our new business management director should be?



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