December 2008

Rep. Price on Automobile Industry Bailout

This week after a lot of theatre by Democrats in Congress appearing to be tough on the big three, the automotive industry is likely to be bailed out.  Congress rejected the initial proposal by the automakers and asked them to come back with a better proposal and not in Leer jets.  They came back with their new proposals by car. 

CHPL ver. 4.0

I think we are in about the 4th iteration of the Chapel Hill Public Library debate, but whatever the number, it's an important debate about an important issue.  Four things stick out to me:

First, the Town Council has delayed moving forward with the addition.  As much as I want to see it built, the current economic situation being what it is gave them little choice. When the situation is more favorable I'm sure that they will move forward.

2009 Estimated Property Valuations

Estimated Orange County property valuations for 2009 have now been published and may be accessed here:

My estimated valuation increased by about 33% over my current valuation and by about 62% over the 2004 valuation, yet it still remains slightly less than what I actually paid for my house three years ago.

Update: The county suggests using for faster GIS searching.

Nightlight Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair

Via e-mail from Downtown Partnership:

Artists of all mediums are encouraged to share their creative expression and art for all to see! It's recommended that most arts and crafts be priced below $100 to make it accessible for folks to purchase. Some accepted submissions range from baked goods, collages, stuffed animals, pottery, screen printed posters and more!

There is a small fee for $35 per table which will help support future events at the Nightlight! Please submit a brief description of your work, any photos and/or links to your website by December 7th. Please direct all submissions/ questions to Alexis at or 919.923.7910.


Sunday, December 21, 2008 - 9:00am to 1:00pm


Nightlight, 405 1/2 West Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill

Live tweeting waste transfer hearing at the Commish

Among other things on the County Commissioners agenda tonight the siting of the proposed waste transfer station. John Rees, an avid cyclist who lives in Dogwood Acres, is there and posting updates via Twitter. Here are his updated posts in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest):

Another pedestrian fatality

Police statement published today by the Carrboro Citizen:

On Thursday, December 11th, the Chapel Hill Police responded to a traffic crash on N.C. 54 west of the South Columbia Street Bridge. Seven pedestrians were reportedly crossing the roadway at approximately 10:30 PM. Four of the pedestrians had made it to the median and three were struck by an eastbound vehicle. One person, a female, was pronounced dead at the scene and two others were transported to UNC Hospital for treatment of their non-life threatening injuries.


Highlighting yet again the need to make our town more walkable.  

A Sad Day For Orange County

Thursday, December 11, marks a dark moment in Orange County’s history. At the County Commissioners’ meeting that night, all the attending Commissioners, except one, voted to pursue the placement of a Waste Transfer Station in the heart of Orange County’s farming district and alongside the Cane Creek Reservoir.   

Techies Take Note

The future of our cell phones and other technology. Interesting stuff.

New Year's Eve Benefit for IFC

Via e-mail:

An Evening of Jazz to Benefit the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service
New Year's Eve 2008
United Church of Chapel Hill
 1321 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514

United Church of Chapel Hill will host an evening of jazz beginning at 7 pm on New Year's Eve as a benefit concert for the Inter-Faith Council.  The Bradshaw Quartet will play and Christen Campbell will sing. A free-will offering will be taken.  Last year's concert raised more than $3,000 for the Inter-Faith Council and great fun was had by all.  It is early on New Year's Eve so people can start the evening at a benefit concert which concludes before 9 pm.

The Bradshaw Quartet began in 2003 as the rhythm section for the United Voices of Praise Gospel Choir.  Charles Bradshaw (Keyboards), Matthew Busch (tenor and soprano saxophone), Brad Kintner (upright and fretless bass), and Odessa Shaw (drums) each bring more than 20 years of musical experience and training from a broad range of musical styles. The Quartet brings this diverse knowledge, from swing dance to R+B top 40, from classical to punk to gospel, to form a jazz ensemble capable of  looking beyond the standards for inspiration. The quartet will be showcasing selected jazz standards, new interpretations of R+B and pop classics, and original compositions.

Christen Campbell comes to North Carolina by way of Boston, Massachusetts.  Before her career as wife and mother, Christen traveled the world as a jazz singer.  She has performed in dozens of major cities including New York, Rome, Athens, Tokyo and Cairo. Christen has performed with musical legends like Dave McKenna, The San Francisco Swing Experience and Marcus Miller.  Clive Davis of the New York Daily Post said: "She is a jazz singer with a sense of humor and a good sense of the stage…an unbeatable combination."

From its beginning of seven women from area congregations responding to need in our community, the Inter-Faith Council has been responding to human needs for forty-five years.  The number of households served by the Food Pantry continues to grow at an alarming rate.  Last month 98 new households became members due to loss of income or rising expenses in their households.  IFC volunteers now give monthly grocery allotments to a total of 1,697 families.  As we go through this holiday season and enter a new year, you are invited to do so in the company of those who enjoy good jazz and in solidarity with those in need.

An Evening of Jazz, a benefit concert for the Inter-Faith Council, will be on New Year's Eve beginning at 7 pm at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC.  For more information, or call 919-942-3540.

Richard Edens
United Church of Chapel Hill
1321 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
919-942-3540     Voice Mail Box # 60


Wednesday, December 31, 2008 - 2:00pm


United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 MLK Blvd, Chapel Hill

If a Diagonal Crossing is installed, but not visible?

As noted on the Endangered Pedestrians thread, Chapel Hill is testing an "exclusive pedestrian" traffic signal phase at the Columbia (NC 86) & Cameron intersection, a configuration of traffic signals and pedestrian "walk" displays that will allow those on foot to cross in all directions at once, including diagonally across the street.  This video (also below) demonstrates such a crossing in Los Angeles.



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