September 2008

Pet Food Drive

We're hosting a pet food dirve at Carrboro Plaza Vet this month to donate to local shelters.  Animals don't have a voice and so we as community must be that voice that makes their needs heard.  And hunger is a most basic need.  To be honest this is the first time I've ever heard of a pet food drive, but hopefully it wont be the last.  If things go well I am going to try to make this into an annual event.  You can check out the website for details:

Community meeting on proposed OWASA conservation rules

Via e-mail:

Orange Water and Sewer Authority

NEWS RELEASE     September 11, 2008

OWASA invites comments on proposed changes to water conservation requirements

on Wednesday, September 24th at 7 PM
Based on customers’ feedback and experience in the drought of 2007-08, OWASA has drafted and will seek public comments on potential changes to its water conservation requirements.

OWASA staff will host a community meeting on Wednesday, September 24th at 7:00 PM to receive comments and questions from OWASA customers and other interested stakeholders. The meeting will be in the Community Room on the lower floor of the OWASA Administration Building, 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro (near the intersection of Barnes Street and Jones Ferry Road).

“The proposed changes are intended to give customers more flexibility and to put greater reliance on our water rates to encourage conservation,” said Ed Holland, OWASA’s Planning Director.

“One of the frequent comments we received during the drought and various stages of water use restrictions was ‘Don’t tell us how to use OWASA water. Just tell us how much it’s going to cost, and let us decide how to use it,’” Holland said.

Key proposals:

Some of the key changes under consideration are:

ü  Greater flexibility for irrigation of “Public Purpose Athletic and Recreational Fields” and “Public Purpose Botanical Sites” for which OWASA approves a watering plan. Public facilities are now subject to the same irrigation restrictions as private properties.

ü  Spray irrigation restrictions would be relaxed for non-turf vegetation such as trees, shrubs and gardens, which are now subject to limits on days of week, hours, etc.  The current spray irrigation limit of 1 inch per week would continue to apply to grass (turf).


ü  Drip irrigation, underground hose emitters, soaker hose, hand watering, and other non-spray irrigation would be allowed at any time, duration, and frequency except during a Water Supply Emergency, when all irrigation would be prohibited.  Greater flexibility is proposed because it is impractical to know when non-spray irrigation meets or exceeds the current limit of 1 inch per week (1/2 inch per week under certain shortage conditions).


ü  Spray irrigation of turf would be allowed during normal water supply conditions before 10:00 AM and after 6:00 PM three days per week (depending on odd or even address). Spray irrigation is now permitted before 9:00 AM and after 8:00 PM three days a week under normal conditions.


ü  Swimming pools could be filled, refilled, or topped off at any time except during a Water Supply Emergency regardless of whether the pool is public or private. OWASA has determined that swimming pools account for a small fraction of outdoor water use. Under current standards, restrictions for pools begin in a Stage 2 water shortage.


For more detailed information, including the specific wording of proposed changes, please visit on the OWASA website to read a report to the OWASA Board of Directors on August 28th, or contact OWASA at 968-4421 or


Citizens who wish to receive electronic updates on the consideration of changes to the conservation standards and related items are invited to send a short note to to be added to OWASA’s electronic news list.


Process for consideration and action on OWASA’s water conservation standards


Sometime after the Sept. 24th community meeting (date still to be determined), the OWASA Board of Directors will make decisions on changes to the utility’s conservation standards and will make recommendations to the Towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County for changes in their water conservation ordinances.


OWASA will publicize the dates of future OWASA Board meetings when the proposed changes in conservation standards will be scheduled for discussion.


For more Information:


Ed Holland, AICP, Planning Director, 537-4215; e-mail:


Patrick Davis, Utility Manager Generalist, 537-4210; e-mail:


Greg Feller, Public Affairs, 537-4267; e-mail:
OWASA is the community-owned, non-profit public water and sewer agency serving the Carrboro-Chapel Hill community.



PHONE: (919) 968-4421; FAX: (919) 968-4464




Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 3:00pm


Community Room, OWASA Administration Building, 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro

Support Rogers Road at BOCC Waste Transfer Station Meeting

Orange County Community Organizations Join Forces to Oppose Waste Transfer Station

The Orange County Organizing Committee (OCOC) has come forward to support the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA) and the Coalition to End Environmental Racism (CEER) in their on-going efforts to oppose the building of the proposed Orange County Solid Waste Transfer Station at the present site of the Orange County Landfill.

The Eubanks Road landfill site is immediately adjacent to the historic Rogers Road neighborhood, home to a vibrant African American community for more than 150 years. The Rogers Road community has borne the burdens of living with Orange County's garbage for 36 years, and now the Eubanks Road landfill site is near the top of the list of proposed sites for the Waste Transfer Station.

Supporters of this community-wide effort to block the siting of a Waste Transfer Station on Eubanks Road are encouraged to join the large community turnout on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 5:30 p.m. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners Waste Transfer Station work-session will be held at the Southern Human Services Center, at 2501 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill.


The Orange County Organizing Committee is a broad-based, non-partisan organization of dues-paying member congregations, associations, neighborhoods and non-profits committed to building power for sustainable social and economic change. OCOC is affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest and largest national organizing and leadership development network in the United States.

The Coalition to End Environmental Racism (CEER) and the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association (RENA) consist of residents of the Rogers Road community along with residents of Orange County and members of UNC. They have been working on the Waste Transfer Station relocation issue since April 2007.

For more information contact:

RENA/CEER: Minister Robert Campbell, 933-6210
RENA/CEER: Neloa Jones, 360-1364 
OCOC: Tish Galu, 225-2986
Background information at:


Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 1:30pm


Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill

Michelle Obama Fundraiser in Durham

Meet Michelle Obama at a private fundraising event in Durham.

$1000 per person. $10,000 for a Host reception and photo.

Contact me for more information. graigmeyer(at) 


Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Obama Comedy Fundraiser: Convincing Friends, Family, and other Crazy People to Vote Barack!

Convincing Friends, Family, and other Crazy People to Vote Barack!
A Barack Obama Comedy Fundraiser

Feeling anxious about the election? Let some comedy help you relax, and learn a little something along the way.

Sunday, September 21
2:00-4:00 PM

Two 30-minute sets of comedy
-Stand up
-True stories from the local campaign

Two 15-minute lessons on how to convince people to vote for Barack
-Guidelines for framing and messaging
-Presentations from local campaign staff and DNC delegates
-Real ideas that you can really use

Suggested Donation:
Estimate the difference between Barack Obama's IQ and George Bush's.  Pay a dollar per IQ point.
$15 suggested minimum
$30 conservative estimate
$60 close to accurate

Seating is limited. Reserve tickets online here: 

Co-Sponsored by Graig Meyer and DSI Comedy Theater
For more information, contact Graig Meyer at graigmeyer(at)

This event is open to the public. Please forward widely.


Sunday, September 21, 2008 - 10:00am to 12:00pm


DSI Comedy Theater

Inter-city prep

Last week I was at Mayor Chilton's office in Carrboro talking about how to make the most of the Inter-City Visit to Ann Arbor (which my fingers keep misspelling "Ann Arrboro"). He suggested checking out some local blogs and we started Googling away. I only found one (Arbor Update) that seemed like OP, but there are definitely some interesting sites, although several haven't been updated since this summer.

Ann Arbor is not Chapel Hill (duh)

I took some photos today but they are truly horrible. Wlil post later. Some of my biggest impressions so far:

  1. The empty Pfizer campus, and the Chamber director talking about nearby businesses that are about to go under from losing the business from 2,000 employees & 1,000 contractors that used to work there. Are you listening Carolina North folks?
  2. There are lots of tall buildings (5 - 10 - 15 feet stories) and most of them look really nice and seem to work well. Some of them don't though. I talked with some folks tonight about how Chapel Hill lacks the regulatory tools to analyze tall buildings. How do we know how tall is "too tall", what are factors that make it work or make it fail? One local suggested that I meet a woman from their downtown commission, but I'm really more interested in the perspective of a City Council or Planning Board type.

New Horace Williams Airport: A Third Way

[Long-time lurker, first time poster]

Two paths diverged in the woods and I took the third.

It occurrs to me that there might be another way to meet (or even exceed) AHEC's needs while also preserving land and avoiding a protracted debate and a souring of town-gown relations.

So far the paths being argued are:  1) Build a new airport in the county or 2) Base all operations from RDU.  I believe there is a third path that hasn't been considered.

In short, build a heliport.  Let that sink in for a minute and then read on for more...

We all know helicopters don't need much space to operate, so this is an easy one.  In fact, it could even be sited on the existing Horace Williams airport while still allowing for plenty of space for the new campus.

Drastic reduction in trip time for AHEC physicians.  Not only could AHEC potentially keep helicopter or tilt-rotor aircraft at UNC Hospitals, but it could deliver passengers directly to many of the hospitals they service throughout North Carolina instead of landing at their regional or local airports and then driving to their ultimate destination.

Watch & Share of Debate Broadcasting LIVE Friday Sept 26. at The Peoples Channel

The Peoples Channel, Chapel Hill & Orange County's Community Media Center & Public Access TV Station, is opening the airwaves to members of the community to come in the studio to watch the Presidential debates. We will be going LIVE Friday Sept. 26th at 8:30pm with the first debate between Sen. John McCain & Sen. Barack Obama on the big screen. The community is welcome to come in to share their thoughts before, during, & after the debates. Live coverage will go on until 11pm with rebroadcasts the following day. Don’t let the corporate pundits have the last word, come in & tell the community what you think while you watch.


What: TPC Watch & Share of the Presidential/Vice Presidential Debates LIVE

When: Friday Sept 26th. Doors open at 8pm, we will broadcast LIVE at 8:30 until 11pm.

Where: TPC Studios 300AC S Elliott Rd Chapel Hill


Please call 919.960.0088 or email if you have any questions.


Friday, September 26, 2008 - 4:30pm to 7:00pm


300-AC South Elliott Road Chapel Hill NC 27514

Ann Arbor: Missed Connections

During our tours and discussion of Ann Arbor, which were expertly organized by the staff of our Chamber of Commerce, I kept feeling like I wanted to get another two or three sides to the story.  We heard from some business, nonprofit, and government leaders - ones that were recommended to us by the Ann Arbor Chamber. All of the panelists were knowledgeable and informative.

But missing were voices of residents, students and faculty, community advocates, downtown boosters, bloggers and that much-vaunted "creative class."  Interestingly, I returned home to get several messages by e-mail and twitter from some of the very folks who felt left out of our visit! The Ann Arbor Chronicle, a new local news website not unlike the Carrboro Citizen, wrote about our visit. And Ann Arbor consultant Bill Tozier tweeted about it and shared some local frustrations on his blog:



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