August 2008

New principal hired at Carrboro High

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools just released a statement saying that the School Board selected a new principal for Carrboro High list night. Parents at the brand new school have been feeling shafted as their students have less advanced courses available, and their last principal was let go rather swiftly and unceremoniously. I wonder if people will be more satisfied after this new principal gets settled in.

Second Fridays Artwalk

From the web:

2nd. Friday Art Walk in Chapel Hill & Carrboro

2nd. Friday Art Walk
The next 2ndFriday Artwalk will be taking place in Carrboro and Chapel Hill on Friday evening, June 13th, from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Many of the galleries will have live music and other art related entertainment. Admission is free.

Nearly eighty 2ndFriday Artwalks have been held in the last six years with growing community involvement and national interest. This popular once-a-month event draws residents and visitors from all over the Triangle who enjoy the opportunity to see a large variety of artwork during a single evening while socializing with their fellow art lovers.

2ndFriday Artwalk brochures, maps and information are available at any participating art location.



Friday, August 15, 2008 - 2:00pm

Art for Safety's Sake

A friend who lives in St. Paul just sent me this link to a new project in their city. In order to calm traffic on residential streets (like mine), the city has employed bump outs, traffic circles and speed bumps. Now they're trying something new - Art Signs. The same size as traffic signs that say things like "Slow Children" (and wouldn't I like one of those on my street these days).

The object is to get drivers to slow down to look at the new unusual sign and then to subtly convey a message of traffic calming. The Teddy Bear is a pretty obvious choice as is the photo of children, but I personally like the lotus blossom with the labyrinth.


The two most dangerous animals in Orange County are Deer and Cyclists!

  We reduce Deer Populations during the hunting season but there seems no solution for the Cyclist….there’s no declared season on bike riders.....we’re lost!   Just yesterday, I watched 50-100 cyclist riding north on US 15-501.   I thought I had stumbled on Tour De Orange, but I couldn’t help but wonder about the riders lack of common sense.   Now,... I’m not trying to be mean, but when these riders dash onto the roads with no protection from passing vehicles other than a pretty little helmet they must have a death wish!   Driving from bright sunshine into shady areas of country roads you can’t see while your eyes adjust to the shade!   If a driver encounters a deer, cow, or cyclist in such a condition, we just might drive into a dreadful accident or frighten ourselves into a heart attack!

Are we un-friendly to business?

A few months ago, I recorded some commentaries for WCHL. Since they were based on comments I had previously written here, I didn't bother re-posting them. But the accusation that Chapel Hill's development review process is overly burdensome to businesses has come up again on the thread on creating green-collar jobs, and this is one of my biggest peeves in local politics. Here's what I said about it on the radio:

I often hear leaders of the Chamber of Commerce complain that Chapel Hill is too hostile to economic development. That we are putting too many restrictions on development, raising taxes too much, or just generally being anti-business. I beg to differ. 

Businesses are clamoring to get into our community, even in spite of these supposedly-onerous restrictions people like to complain about. Businesses are already very attracted to Chapel Hill because of there are so many potential customers here.  It's no accident that people with resources – people who have lots of options – choose to be in Orange County.  It's largely because of the Town governments' work to make sure that development is done in a way that serves the long-term interests of the community (and not just the short-term interests of businesses), that so many people want to live, work, study and therefore spend money here.

Matthew Lee's Cruiser Tuesday 3rd Birthday

Speaking of Cyclists...

Matthew Lee does it again, this time in celebration of the inaugural Carrboro/Chapel-Hill Cruiser ride three years ago.
While the ReCYCLEry does not host Cruiser Tuesdays, you will ind a lot of us participating! For more information, please
read the following:

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
What:     Cruiser Tuesday dress up and ride
Where:    Starting at the newest BUB Hub location,
          Johnny's Sporting Goods, 901 W. Main Street, Carrboro
When:     7:00pm gathering, 7:30pm ride
Theme:    Funky Formal -- semi-formal, fully funky!

It's a social cycling mobile dancing costume party. Usually there's a theme, and quite often a Pabst tasting or a final stop at the Resevoir. It's NOT a "critical mass" type ride; we obey all street lights and traffic rules and do not block motorists. All bikes and skill levels are welcome.

Matthew has a Cruiser Tuesday blog with photos and details:

Here's an article describing how Matthew Lee brought it to the Triangle:

RSVP at:



Tuesday, August 5, 2008 - 3:00pm


Starting at Johnny's Sporting Goods, 901 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC

Northside Neighborhood Night Out

From the paper:

This party honors Mary Norwood Jones, the neighborhood activist who died in February. She would regularly walk the streets picking up litter, and she organized neighborhood watch meetings in the Northside neighborhood. On Tuesday, neighbors will walk the streets celebrating cleaner streets and first-time homebuyers. Afterward, there's a moon bounce. The party will be at the Hargraves Community Center at 216 N. Roberson St. at 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008 - 2:30pm


Hargraves Center

Walking while black

This letter was written by a friend of mine. He posted it on our neighborhood message board yesterday. It is a sad commentary about the illusion of community present in one of Chapel Hill's older neighborhoods. Sad, sad indeed.

Check out Ruby on WCOM 103.5 LP FM's own Ruby Sinreich will be my guest today on WCOM's West End Report (6pm). Ruby and I will be discussing the talk of the town, primarily getting the audience updated on the Abbey Court situation.

Once again being inspired by Tom Arnel's Placeholder show's Guest DJ feature, I have also asked Ruby to bring along her favorite music to play.

If you are not in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area, you can listen online here

We welcome calls for questions for Ruby 919-929-9601

Thanks so much...

SUPPORT COMMUNITY MEDIA and GIVE THE FINGER TO CORPORATE RADIO. Listen to WCOM 103.5 LP FM Carrboro's All-Volunteer Community Radio station!

More cutbacks at the Herald

Fiona Morgan at the Indy has written a scathing analysis of the Durham Herald-Sun situation.  As they also publish the Chapel Hill Herald, her conclusions don't bode well for local media coverage in the future. It's also really sad to read that Ginny Hoyle will depart. Given the reported cutbacks at the N&O, it sure looks like this could be a great opportunity for the Daily Tar Heel to have an even more significant impact in this market.

The Herald-Sun's circulation has declined by 38 percent and its staff by more than half since the Paducah, Ky.-based Paxton Media Group bought the newspaper. Paxton, a private company, owns 32 newspapers, including seven in North Carolina, and one television station. But as chains go, it's a small-time operation. Most of its papers are in small Southeastern and Midwestern towns where there is no competing publication. The Herald-Sun continues to be its biggest newspaper.

But that paper is shrinking in every conceivable way.

- The Herald-Sun's nosedive, August 6, 2008



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