April 2008

Stealing from the poor

I would like to give a big raspberry to the hooligans who stole the bicycle and cart used by two local volunteer food programs. Boo, hiss.

I didn't even know about these two efforts, so the silver lining is that we all get a good reminder that there are hungry people in our own community, and we can always be doing more to help.

The cart is silver-colored, made of aluminum and is about eight feet long. A person pulling one on a bicycle can haul about 300 pounds on it.


Two groups use the cart and bike in their work, Ryans said. One group called Comida no Migra, which means food not border patrol, uses them to distribute free food in the Abbey Court area, where many Hispanic people and day laborers live.

That group has been distributing food to that area for about two years.

The second group, which shares some members with Comida no Migra, is called the Northside Free Grocery Program, Ryans said. That program was started about five or six months ago, he explained.

Potential Jordan Lake intake for OWASA, Durham, & Chatham

OWASA, Durham, & Chatham County have agreed to jointly explore the possibility of installing a water intake on the west shore of Jordan Lake where OWASA owns property. Our local Orange County governments have some misgivings about the project and these were discussed at the Orange County Assembly of Governments meeting last night, which was also attended by Durham Mayor Bill Bell and Chatham County Commission Chair George Lucier. The following is a statement that I prepared for presentation at that meeting. (I actually ended up talking off the cuff to avoid repeating points that others had previously made.)

Importance of Farms in Orange County

The other night District 2 County Commissioner candidate Steve Yuhasz said something to me that I found so incredible that I determined to do a little bit of research on the subject. Steve maintained that in 2006 there were only 3 farms in all of Orange County that claimed more than $20,000 farm income. He said that farming for a living was no longer viable. The implication was that if farming was not economically significant, then the county might as well be subdivided into more neighborhoods and strip malls. Steve said he got that info from something circulated by the Economic Devolpment subcomittee. How scary.

My first thought was how in the world would anybody get such information? Individual and corporate tax returns are considered so private that when the various gov't agencies that report on income sectors make their reports, they go to some lengths to make sure that nothing that could identify a specific person or farm can be gleaned from even a very careful reading of their summaries.

13th Piedmont Farm Tour

Come on out and support local, sustainable agriculture. Meet local farmers. See where your food is grown. Sign up for Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), and just have fun.




throughout Orange and neighboring counties

Ellie Fest 2008

This is a novel way to campaign! ;-)

Ellie Fest 2008
is a celebration of State Senator Eleanor Kinnaird's contributions to the state of North Carolina and a rally for her re-election campaign. It will be held on Sunday, April 6 from 2-5 pm at the Carrboro Town Commons.

Performances including bluegrass and roots musician Tim Stambaugh, “kids music for grown-ups” from Jimmy Magoo, and the energetic Latin sounds of Saludos Compay.
Roving puppets from Paperhand Puppet Intervention.
Special guest speaker State Senator Janet Cowell.

Refreshments available from Open Eye Cafe.

What: Ellis Fest 2008
When: Sunday, April 6, 2-6 pm
Where: Carrboro Town Commons

Please forward to all who might be interested!

You can get a flyer at Ellie's web site: http://elliekinnaird.org/pdfs/elliefest.pdf


Sunday, April 6, 2008 - 10:00am to 2:00pm


Carrboro Town Commons

NOFFN- An Inspiring Experience

During ECHHS's spring break, I went to New Orleans to do relief work with a delegation from The Community Church of Chapel Hill (Unitarian Universalist). The trip was great, we have a blog posted if you are interested in reading about it (http://c3huu.wordpress.com/). I worked a bit in the Lower Ninth Ward where I helped to reconstruct an old gutted house. I also helped by gardening in one of the neighborhoods. The projects are being run by a group call New Orleans Food and Farm Network. Here is their site:


NOFFN is a prime example of grassroots networking. I was wondering if we have anything like it in Chapel Hill. If so, how can I get involved? If not, would it be possible to start something like it?


Save Glen Lennox

Glen Lennox

It seems that Grubb Properties wants to tear down Glen Lennox, a neighborhood of moderately-priced rentals, and rebuild more densely with a mix of uses including presumably higher-priced housing. The neighbors are applying for a Neighborhood Conservation District, which is, um, interesting. This isn't really what NCDs were designed to do - which is to protect the character and quality of neighborhoods as they change - but no-one seems to be using them for the intended purpose anyway. (Grumble.)

Public info meeting on lighting in downtown C.H.

Notice via the Downtown Partnership:

The Town of Chapel Hill will hold a public information meeting to discuss preliminary recommendations for emergency call boxes and pedestrian level street lighting in the downtown area of Chapel Hill.

Town staff will discuss and seek input from the public regarding preliminary recommendations for emergency call boxes and pedestrian level street lighting in the Northside neighborhood, Cameron-McCauley neighborhoods and Rosemary Street between Hillsborough and Boundary streets. For more information, contact Engineering Services Manager Kumar Neppalli at 969-5093 or e-mail publicaffairs@townofchapelhill.org.

Tuesday, April 8
7:00 pm
Chapel Hill Town Hall, 4
05 Martin Luther King Jr. BLVD


Tuesday, April 8, 2008 - 3:00pm


Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

WSM April Board Meeting

Notice via Facebook:

Election Task Force Report

Wednesday, April 16
All Owners are Invited...

All owners of the Co-op are invited to join the Board of Directors at a meeting with the Board's Elections Task Force on Wednesday, April 16 at 6:30pm in the conference room of the Community Realty building.

The Task Force, comprised of worker and consumer owners, was convened to study and report to the Board on two areas: a clear set of election rules and a strategy for increasing voter turnout. This Task Force will present its report to the Board during a pre-meeting session before the Board's regularly scheduled meeting later that evening.

For more information, contact Jacob Myers, Board chair and committee member, Board@weaverstreetmarket.coop

Sign up for Board e-newsletters here: http://www.weaverstreetmarket.coop/board/signupforboardenews.html


Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm


Community Realty Conference Room, 201 North Greensboro St, Carrboro

Public Demonstration of Voting Machines

OK, now this sounds like fun. Or at least quite interesting. Let's all go!

Press release from Orange County:

Contact: Tracy Reams, Director, Orange County Board of Elections, 245-2351

The public is invited to see a demonstration of the voting process and the procedures in place to ensure all ballots are counted accurately.

The Orange County Board of Elections wants to ensure that the voters of Orange County have complete confidence in the voting system. The Board of Elections will demonstrate the voting machines on Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. at the Orange Enterprise Building located at 500 Valley Forge Rd, Hillsborough, NC.

For additional information, please contact the Orange County Board of Elections (919) 245-2350.


Saturday, April 26, 2008 - 9:00am


Orange Enterprise Building located at 500 Valley Forge Rd, Hillsborough



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