February 2008

Municipal geography

[I stand corrected! See comments. The border shown is the pre-1967 line. Edits below. -RS]

Thanks to the Chapel Hill News for publishing the Hidden Voices walking tour of downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro. In today's paper there was also a map, which they seem to have wisely chosen not to publish online, that showed the points of interest on the tour. It also showed a completely made up historic border between Chapel Hill and Carrboro, as if someone just took a ruler and made a nice straight line from North Greensboro & Pleasant to Cameron & Roberson!

Someone needs to let them know that all of Broad Street is in Carrboro, while all of Graham Street and the entire Pine Knolls neighborhood are in Chapel Hill. This is especially relevant in a discussion of the history of the area.

Filing starts today!

Keep your eyes on the Board of Elections website starting at noon today. Since there are a number of candidates that have already declared to the media, I expect them to come out strong and try to scare off potential competitors quickly. It will be interesting to see in which districts some of them choose to run, especially incumbent Valerie Foushee.

I am going to be very busy with work (again, ug) so please post any new additions to that page in the comments here. Links to candidate websites are especially appreciated. :-)

State of the Town Address (Hillsborough)

From Hillsborough press release:

Date: Feb. 11, 2008

Contact: Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens, 732-2104 Ext. 233 or tom.stevens@hillsboroughnc.org

Hillsborough Mayor to Give State of the Town Address

HILLSBOROUGH — Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens will give a state of the town address at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 in the Battle Courtroom of the Orange County Courthouse.

“We want to celebrate the remarkable year that just passed and to highlight the exciting things we can expect in the coming year,” Stevens said. “The event will be a great place to get the overview of what’s happening in ‘Happening Hillsborough’.”

Last year, Stevens discussed the town’s vision. This year, he will discuss the innovative ways the town is managing resources to align with that vision.

Poet Laureate Mike Troy will lead the address with a reading of a poem. Other Town Board members also will be present and will speak briefly.

The courtroom will open at 6:30 p.m. to allow the community to talk with Town Board members.



Monday, February 18, 2008 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm


Battle Courtroom, Orange County Courthouse

Do Student Body Elections Matter?

Students are voting today in this year's student body elections. You can't walk through the main part of campus without being assailed by a horde of shouting, sign-bearing, leaflet-handing campaign workers. But, if you don't spend time on campus or read the DTH, you probably had no idea. While some local elected officials have certainly benefitted from their experience with student government (I'm looking to you, Mark Kleinschmidt), one might wonder just how much influence the student body president and congress has on the larger issues affecting the town and university.  I worked my butt off for Tom Jensen's unsuccessful 2005 student body president campaign, which was the first and only time I recall sitting council members weighing in (Tom was endorsed by Bill Strom and Sally Greene).  Other than that, do town folk care?

Below are excerpts from each Student Body President candidate's town relations platform...

J.J. Raynor:

OPTV: Let's talk about comments

Hey it's my first new video in over a month! In this "episode" I talk about the new system and policies for commenting on OrangePolitics. I'd love to hear your feedback.

Road to Iron Mountain: The railroad comes to Chapel Hill

Yesterday, I was going some historical research on the Chapel Hill Iron Mountain Railroad, the original name of the rail line that ran from the Carolina campus through what is now Carrboro on to University Station between Hillsborough and Durham.

I found the original 1873 Charter, and wonderful narrative on the coming of the railroad in Kemp Plummer Battle's 1912 tome the History of the University of North Carolina. The initial 1873 attempt failed, and the 1879 legislative session rechartered the railroad with the new name "State University Railroad", in place of the earlier name "Chapel Hill Iron Mountain Railroad".

Annual Democratic Precint Meetings

Up to date times and locations can be found at: http://orangedems.com/precinctmeetings.shtml
Annual Precinct Meetings

Annual precinct meetings will be held on March 11 this year, typically but not always at the precinct polling place. At this year’s meetings, precincts will fill any missing positions in the precinct leadership, elect delegates to the County Convention, and get organized for the upcoming elections.

Precincts are the foundation of the Democratic Party in Orange County, the grassroots party organizations. Precincts register voters, make the person-to-person contacts that are most effective in getting voters to the polls, and man the polling places on Election Day.

We have exciting and important races at all levels – local, state, and national. In addition to full support for our local candidates, Orange County Democrats must provide a big turnout for the state and national elections, where the Democratic plurality in Orange County can make the difference in the statewide races. A victory in November starts with strong precinct organizations now. So attend your precinct meeting!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 3:00pm

Early Voting Begins for Primary Election


Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 5:00am

Orange County Democratic Party Convention

Socializing and politicking starts at 11:00 am.  The Barbecue lunch ($10.00 donation) will be served at 11:30.  A vegetarian alternative will be available.

The convention proper starts at 1:00 pm.  Judge James A. Wynn of the North Carolina Court of Appeals will deliver the Keynote Address.


Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 7:00am


Mt. Zion AME Church, 5124 Hwy 86 N

Student Government Carolina North Forum

Carolina North Forum: The Town Relations Committee will be hosting a Carolina North Forum on Monday, February, 18th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Student Union 3209. Jack Evans, the developer of Carolina North will be there as well as other community leaders, he will give an overview of Carolina North and will then answer questions. Students are encouraged to attend this event as well as bring pertinent questions dealing with greenspace, economic development, infrastructure challenges, and environmental sustainability. There will be free food at this event and all are welcome to attend.


Monday, February 18, 2008 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Student Union 3209, UNC Campus



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