January 2009

Going digital, Time-Warner, and who owns the airwaves

Forewarned that setting up my two non-cabled analog televisions to receive digital signals will be "fiddly" and probably doomed, I've now got the converter instructions spread out in my kitchen, only to learn they presume that I either have a large outdoor antenna or cable service to the room.

If I had cable service to the room, I wouldn't need a converter, would I?  (It also says that trying to sync the remote with the TV should be abandoned "after 150 trials" - must have been written by someone with hugely more patience than I have).

All this brings me back to two abiding irritants: the national FCC giveaway to the big media companies and our local thralldom to Time-Warner.

The FCC giveaway probably doesn't qualify as a local issue for OP purposes, although the general loss of media local-ness is pertinent and - to put it mildly - regrettable. Our relation to Time-Warner is definitely local, since - at least in theory - the contract with them was locally considered, approved, and re-approved (?). 

Where will you be?

I have been hearing about a lot of inauguration-related activities going on this weekend and through Tuesday. I'd rather not have them clog up the calendar, but I thought it would be helpful to list them all in one place. Here's what I know about so far, please post additional events and let us know how you're observing this landmark event.

Downtown Carrboro Ped/Bike Connections

For years now I've used the informal trails linking my neighborhood around Lloyd Street/Broad Street near downtown Carrboro, Northside, Bolin Creek, and the rest of Carrboro to navigate as a pedestrian and a biker. Every time I cross the ditch on an old railroad tie and then straddle the railroad tracks to get to Harris Teeter or the Pleasant Street neighborhood, I marvel at the fact that the geographic center of Carrboro/Chapel Hill is still so isolated from the surrounding neighborhoods. At night as I see folks wandering through the informal dirt paths that connect Pleasant Street to Lloyd Street, I worry about the safety of the dark trail and wish that there was a way to put some resources into making these vital links for those of us who can't or choose not to drive much more user friendly and safe.

MLK Day March & Rally

Sorry for the late notice, I just found this information that the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP will be having their annual rally before the MLK service at First Baptist Church. (For the record, I have been looking for info about whether there would be a march. I wish there had been more publicity!)

The rally will start at 9 a.m. at the Franklin Street Post Office. 

That will be followed with a march down Franklin Street at 10:15 a.m.

The march will end at the First Baptist Church on North Roberson Street at 10:30 a.m. where a worship service will be held.

The theme of the rally is environmental racism.

The group is calling for liberation of the Rogers Road community where the county’s landfill has been housed for more than thirty years. 

1360 WCHL: Local MLK Day Events Planned Monday



Monday, January 19, 2009 - 4:00am


Franklin Street Post Office, Chapel Hill

Wedding Reception Location Ideas?

So I figure discussion of my wedding plans have already been public here.  Between interning for a campaign for an openly gay chapel hill businessman who ran for senate, between my commentaries on wchl, and my discussions of local protests & vigils around the triangle area in response to prop 8.  Anyways, I was wondering if anyone knew of a decent, and relatively inexpensive, place for a wedding reception.  While I am getting married in Boston (instead of the orignal location San Franiscio where I had originally planned because I have some family out there), I am going to have a wedding reception back at home in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area so all my family and friends that can't afford to fly up to Boston can still take some part.


Talk Radio Take on Obama

Listening to conservative talk radio is painful. The right wing radio hosts should be required to read Surgeon General warning labels because their programs are hazardous to our mental health.

The radio hosts on these programs don't just express their ignorance. They celebrate it.

Unfortunately for me, I am too curious. I often wonder about how they will creatively distort reality to match their audience expectations. This week I listened to Rush Limbaugh and his clone-in-the-Triangle, Bill Lemay of WPTF radio. I can listen for only a few minutes at a time (see Surgeon General warning). Therefore, the following is just a sampling of comments about Obama and his inauguration from the right wing radio perspective:

- True conservatives should hope that Obama fails.
- Obama's goal is to implement a "socialist agenda."

Is UNC's coal power plant contributing to global warming?

Over on the Carrboro bike/ped thread I inadvertently hijacked it by bringing up a topic that was loosely related. (Sorry Rickie!) So lets move it over here.

To prevent global disaster we need to look in own our backyards for change. One good way to do this is by examining how we use and generate electricity. Should the University of North Carolina continue to generate electricity by burning coal? Is a "cleaner" solution to electricity generation doing enough? Can we really have a Al Gore hater running a power plant in Chapel Hill? (That last one was a joke folks. Ok I thought it was funny. Sheesh.)

Sadly global climate change is no joke.

Orange County and the "Secure Communities" Program

Hi OP. I'm a long-time lurker, first-time poster.

I attended the OC county commissioner's meeting last night and heard Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass defend the county's participation in the federal "secure communities" program, which provides access to the fingerprint databases of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the FBI. Here's what I took away from the meeting, along with info gleaned from local papers. (If I am mistaken, please jump in to clarify. This is not a subject about which I am particularly knowledgeable).

Human Relations Month Kick-off Event

According to WCHL:

Orange County is preparing to kick off Human Relations Month.

James Spivey, a civil rights specialist for the office of Human Relations in Orange County, said the theme this year will be “Power to the People: Race and the Environment in Orange County.”

Human Relations Month promotes strong community ties. The kickoff celebration will include a performance by the East Baile Latino Group.

The keynote speaker will be Mr. Omega R. Wilson, president of the West End Revitalization Association.

The kickoff is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Carrboro Century Center, located at 100 North Greensboro St. Everyone is welcomed to attend the event at no charge.


Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 10:00am to 12:00pm


Century Hall, Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St.

Homestead Aquatic Center Opening

From Chapel Hill eNews:

The public is invited to a big splash from 11 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 13, when the Homestead Aquatic Center will be dedicated and formerly opened to the community. The grand opening celebration will feature an official dedication ceremony, complete with a ribbon cutting, a dedication plaque and a grand cake. The Town of Chapel Hill's Parks and Recreation Department is coordinating the activities.

The $6.5 million state-of-the-art facility funded jointly by Chapel Hill and Orange County will enhance the community's quality of life for years to come, and everyone is encouraged to share in the celebration. Dedication ceremonies commence at 11 a.m. with a ribbon cutting and unveiling of the dedication plaque. The celebration will be attended by Mayor Kevin Foy and members of the Chapel Hill Town Council, Orange County Board Commissioner Barry Jacobs and other members of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, Town Manager Roger L. Stancil, County Manager Laura Blackmon, and others. Free swim passes to the new Aquatic Center will be offered. The event will be held rain or shine.

The center is situated in the northwest corner of the 40-acre Homestead Park at 300 Northern Park Drive off Homestead Drive in Chapel Hill. There are two pools, a larger "lap pool" for swimming team practices and lap swimmers, and a warm-water teaching "recreation pool" for families and non-competitive swimmers. The larger pool measures 25 yards by 25 meters with a depth ranging from 4 to 9 feet. The smaller pool has a zero-depth entry ramp and measures 25 yards by 10 yards with a depth of up to 6 feet.


Friday, February 13, 2009 - 6:00am to 7:00am


300 Northern Park Drive, Chapel Hill



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