November 2008

County Comp Plan Thread debates Rural Airport, Kenan Stadium

Since May 2008 I count six posts relating to the County Comp Plan. The event calendar thread of Nov. 17 by far has generated the most comments -- 25 and counting. However, few of these comments actually debate the proposed comp plan -- which will guide growth and development in the county's planning jurisdiction for the next 20 years. Great interest is shown regarding the possible HW replacement airport being build in the county and in the funding of Kenan Stadium. The post from May 17 generated the most debate about the plan of any of the posts -- eight total.

 I'm concerned this "evidence" accurately portrays the degree of disinterest in how County government intends to "plan" for our future.

 the link below directs you to the Orange County Comprehensive Plan Coalition website


Test Your Awareness

At the risk of reviving the Great Bicycles-vs.-Cars Debate, I found this fascinating:

A Plan for a Plan

I went to the OCBoCC meeting on Monday about the transfer station. I came away more convinced than ever that locating a transfer station in a rural farming or residential area is a bad idea. I think a lot of good reasons for it being a bad idea were put forth, and as I took notes I realized that the OCBoCC all know most of these arguments and reasons not to do this, so rehashing it is not of any particular benefit. What I think has not been done yet is to put together an outline/timeline of an alternative that involves all of the potential players and describes the benefits with an end goal in mind.

So, rather than rehash, I thought I could take a stab at a plan for a plan. Obviously the outline below is a strawman (the 21st century equivalent of the back of a napkin) and needs refinement. A lot would need to happen and a lot could happen in parallel. I think you'll get the gist though.


Convince yourselves and the community at large.

WTE makes sense looking down the road five to seven years when tipping fees increase and as the county grows.

Capturing the New Spirit of the Campaign for Change in Orange County

Having been very active during the Primary and my wife very active during the General Election, we went to lots of victory parties!

The omnipresent question was "What now?"

I met Stan at such a party and, being of like mind and sense of making something happen, he and I decided to answer that question.  So, we met a couple of times and exchanged some email and phone calls and Stan wrote up a document explaining our ideas. 

Then we invited a group of people to my house to discuss the document.  This blog contains my thoughts from that meeting....

We had several of the "Crew Chiefs" from the Obama 'Campaign for Change' who were the folks that managed several precincts during the campaign.  We also had some folks who may not have had titles but worked their tails off most of the year toward the same goal.  (I don't want to post names here as I did not get permission for that). 

Ruby, from, was there as was the chair of the Democratic Party and a local elected official.

In all, ten people.

Banks and automakers and cities, oh my! Libraries and universities and airports, oh my!

Wonder if anyone who has had an opinion about the CH library expansion saw the Signe Wilkinson cartoon (from the Phila. Daily News) in today's (11/21) ink-and-paper N&O. [I can't provide a link because the N&O isn't allowed to reproduce it on their website and, apparently, the Phila. Daily News hasn't yet uploaded it.]  Here is link:

It shows buildings labeled "A.I.G." "Banks," "Car Companies," and "Cities" failing over like dominoes, and all about to pile up on a library - a dialogue balloon over it saying "Do you have a book about the impact of the economic crisis?"

Are phone books equivalent to garbage?

I was in my house a couple Saturdays ago and I heard something outside and I assumed it was the mailman putting mail in the box. Then a bit later I heard something again. Why would the mailman come twice? So I went out and looked and in addition to the mail in the mailbox there was a nearly 1,200 page phone book on my stoop.

And then again the other day I came home from work and there was another phone book on my stoop, this one over 1,200 pages.

How can it be legal for people to come to your house and put a big, heavy thing that you didn't ask for on your doorstep? Can I get rid of it by putting it on someone elses doorstep?

I can see getting one phonebook a year, although that probably wouldn't be necessary for many people if it all is online somewhere. But I've gotten four phonebooks in the last 15 months and most of them will go straight into the recycle pile. It seems like it would save everyone a lot of trouble if they wouldn't bring them in the first place.

Another 700 billion! ...?

The Obama team and Democrats are acknowledging that an economic stimulus plan equal to 4%-5% of US GDP is needed.  In other words 500-700 Billion dollars are needed for investing toward infrastructure as a means of creating jobs to stimulate the economy.

If there is anything of value that we may have learned from the previous local discourse on the global economic crises I would hope that it is: it is healthy to read between the lines of the national discourse mainstream setting media (i.e. NPR, The New York Times, CNN, and all mainstream corporate media to the right of these). 

Before taking another message and echoing and parroting again, lets take stock of where the financial bailout has put us.

Maps & notices of Chapel Hill development proposals now online

This notice just issued from the Chapel Hill Planning Department:

Information about major development applications and concept plan submittals is now available online at the Town of Chapel Hill website at

The Planning Department has posted informational notices for major development applications and concept plan submittals. The notices announce opportunities for public review and comment, and provide maps showing proposed development locations. A citizen petition recently requested an update on the status of this work. The information will be updated regularly. Development application forms and materials continue to be available online at this same location. Please contact the Planning Department if you have questions at 919-968-2728.

Drinking Liberally


Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - 2:00pm


The Station Bar, Carrboro

Chapel Hill/Carrboro Merger: Column in CHH

A guest column by Michelle Lewis was published in the Chapel hill Herald today promoting the merger of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, a position that I have advocated for many years.  But this column articulated that position particularly well. 

I am including a pointer to the column but one needs to be registered with the Herald Web Site to read it.  I have e-mailed Ms. Lewis to get her permission to post the full text in this entry.

In today's economic climate a merger makes more sense than ever.



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