July 2008

Who's Going to Ann Arbor?

The calendar is counting down the days remaining to register to attend the Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference, at least in terms of being able to get the cheapest tickets and to be eligible for scholarship funds. Ann Arbor was chosen as this year's destination because of its perceived similarities to Chapel Hill, in both the populace and the problems they face. Are any OP'ers planning on attending this year? For those of you who went to Madison two years ago, do you feel like any real progress is made on these trips, or would community leaders be better off with a staycation?

What would happen if people were held accountable for their actions?

What would happen if people were held accountable for their actions? If the laws were written such that the person was responsible for their actions regardless of whether they were drunk or did not know that the gun was loaded. In turn there would be no lower age limit to drive, drugs (including over the counter, prescription, alcohol, and illegal) would not be regulated, guns would not require registration, and so on. But if someone died as a result YOU would be held accountable, not the gun or drug, you would be charged with murder, not manslaughter or accidental motor vehicle homicide, but MURDER, and you would receive a life punishment such as life in prison? Do you think that murder rates would drop?

Is Chapel Hill/Carrboro Still Safe?

I have noticed this year seems like there is an increased in violence in the area. The University is constantly reporting theft with the most recent being an armed robbery this past weekend. I was definitely shocked and not prepared for the fact the Eve Carson was kidnapped from her home. I was talking to a friend of mine who owns a local business in Carrboro. We joked about the area being an "Utopia" or Carrtopia, if you will. However, it seems like this illusion may be shattering. I know Carrboro's crime has increased, as well. Thoughts?

Public forum on Chapel Hill Transit's D & CL routes

Do you ride the D or CL bus? Let Chapel Hill Transit know what you think. 

Chapel Hill Transit will hold a public forum Thursday, July 17, to discuss suggested improvements to the D route and CL routes in the U.S. 15-501 area.

The forum will be held Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Bible Church, 260 Erwin Road.

Chapel Hill Transit seeks input on ideas to improve service on the two routes as a result of the BCX bus route being discontinued on Aug. 15.

The public is invited to also share thoughts via e-mail to blitchfield@townofchapelhill.org, by calling 969-4900 or by mail to: Brian Litchfield, Chapel Hill Transit, 6900 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.

- chapelhillnews.com: Forum scheduled on bus service, 7/13/08






Thursday, July 17, 2008 - 2:00pm


Chapel Hill Bible Church, 260 Erwin Road, Chapel Hill

WSM Board meeting

Via e-mail:

Wednesday, July 16
starting at 6:15
Board meetings are held at Community Realty
on the corner of Weaver Street and Greensboro Street

You can find links to the minutes of our last meeting here.

As an owner of Weaver Street Market you are always welcome to attend meetings of the Board, and you are also welcome to make your thoughts known on these and other issues in the open session at the beginning of the meeting.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 2:15pm


Community Realty, corner of Weaver & Greensboro Streets, Carrboro

Glen Lennox developer to Town: "just kidding!"

I still can't decide which of Clay Grubb's statements is more ridiculous: the description of Glen Lennox as "in decline" (how does he think it got that way?) or last month's admission that his proposal to redevelop the property was "done hastily" and wasn't really a very good idea. A month ago, I was open to the idea of at least some changes in Glen Lennox, but at this point I kinda want to put a moratorium on development until we can convince the guy to just sell the whole thing.

The president of Grubb Properties said Wednesday night that his company's initial plans to redevelop the Glen Lennox neighborhood and shopping center failed to respect the community's character.

"I do not think the plan was sensitive to the history of Glen Lennox. I apologize," Clay Grubb told the Chapel Hill Town Council. "That was a plan that was done hastily."

More racist attacks on Chapel Hill employee

I really can't understand the Town's seemingly mild response to racist graffiti discovered at the Town Operations Center.  Given that there have been no consequences for the previous incident, it's not surprising that the hateful vandal struck again last week.

Chapel Hill Police are investigating the first incident and have not charged anyone. Town Manager Roger Stancil has said the culprit could be fired.

- newsobserver.com:  Racist graffiti found in Chapel Hill offices, 7/10/08

How the hell does this happen? And what does the manager mean "the culprit could" be fired? Under what circumstances would you not fire an employee who publicly directs hate speech at another employee?

Orange County Democratic Women meeting

Via the News of Orange:

Thursday, July 24. The Orange County Democratic Women will meet at 7:30 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Museum, 523 E. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill. The monthly meeting will focus on taxes and comparing the priorities of national political parties. The guest speaker will be Meg Gray Weihe, policy analyst with the N.C. Justice Center’s Budget & Tax Center, who will speak on “Why Tax Fairness Matters.” For more information, call Anne Thomas at 929-0547.


Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 3:30pm


Chapel Hill Museum, 523 E. Franklin St.

The problem with downtown

I just drove through Eastgate, and and wow that place is really coming together. It looks quite nice and there are lots of appealing businesses there. However, almost none of them are locally owned. WomanCraft seems to be the only local business there now. I would so much prefer to spend my money at a business that supports the local economy and supports our downtown. I started to think about why our downtown is starting to struggle after so many years of vitality.

No, it's not the panhandlers, lack of parking, or drunk students. I think It's the landlords. Or at least some landlords, most notably Spencer Young who is actively driving tenants away from The Courtyard while piling on loans that he apparently can't pay, and Joe Riddle who is responsible for at least two empty store fronts and a vacant lot on Franklin Street. Riddle is a developer who lives in Fayetteville. He was arrested on felony drug charges in 2005, and he currently owns several properties in Northside and downtown Chapel Hill worth a total tax value of $1,795,460 (according to Orange County GIS).

"A Class Divided"

The public is invited to a community viewing and discussion of "A Class Divided" to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Council Chamber of Chapel Hill Town Hall. Refreshments will be provided.

Organized by the Town of Chapel Hill's Justice in Action Committee, the event is the first in a series of outreach events designed to engage the community in frank conversations about race relations in Chapel Hill.

Mayor Kevin Foy and Justice in Action Committee Chair André Wesson will make welcoming remarks. Dr. Jan Boxill, director of the UNC Parr Center for Ethics, will help facilitate the discussion following the viewing of the documentary film.

"Class Divided" is an encore presentation of the classic documentary on third-grade teacher Jane Elliott's "blue eyes-brown eyes" exercise, originally conducted in the days following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. The film is designed to help engage people in reflection and dialogue about the historical role of racism in the United States, as well as the role of prejudice and stereotyping.


Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 3:00pm



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