February 2009

Photos from Holden Thorp's visit to Maple View Dairy

[Chancellor & friends, photo by John Rees]Here are some photos I took on my visit today to Maple View Dairy in rural Orange County. They were hosting a celebration to thank UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp for halting the process for the airport. Mr. Thorp was there having an ice cream as well as many of the key parties that worked so hard to oppose the airport.

I was told later by someone that Chancellor Thorp is a regular visitor to Maple View already, but I did not know if that was shared in confidence so I will not divulge the source. :-)

Repeal the Anti-Lingering Ordinance

This is my first post on OP in a long, long time. But I'm fired up, friends. 

Tonight the Carrboro Board of Aldermen heard a report from the police chief that the anti-lingering ordinance in place since 2007 has been a success. No one has been arrested using the ordinance though many, apparently, have been threatened by the police and "educated."

There were five or six people in attendance in support of the ordinance and, unfortunately, I was the only member of the public there to speak against it. I called it a preemptive strike on civil liberties and below what Carrboro is all about.

And I mentioned that I know what it is like to be the victim of an assault and to live in a place where I had reason to be concerned for my safety when walking down my street.

I don't see the Carrboro I have long admired in this ordinance.

Journey of Reconciliation historic marker unveiling

Saturday, Feb 28:

February 28 Freedom Rider State Highway
Marker Programs And Unveiling Ceremony
Opening Program at Hargraves Recreation Center
NAACP President, Eugene Farrar—Welcome
1947 Freedom Rider, George Hauser—Welcome
Rev. Charles Jones Granddaughter, Karen Abbotts--Welcome
UNC-NOW—Performance Re-enactment of 1947 Freedom Ride in Chapel Hill
Freedom Riders Essay Contest Awards Presentation
March to Dedication Site at Rosemary and Columbia
Signs and Banners, Chants, Song, Photo Boards
Dedication and Unveiling Ceremony
NAACP President, Eugene Farrar—Dedication program
Fred Battle—Unveiling
Town Hall Reception and Program
Cj Suitt—Spoken Word
Tim Tyson—Background and Perspective on 1947 Journey of Reconciliation
Filmmakers Robin Washington and Julia Cheng—DVD, “You Don’t Have to Ride
Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP  
Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist

Partner Organizations
Town of Chapel Hill

Additional events on Thursday, Feb. 26:
5:30 at Sonja Hanes Stone Center.
7:00 at Horace Williams House, organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP.

More info and context on the week's events at http://www.orangepolitics.org/2009/02/chapel-hill-gets-a-historic-marker-for-the-first-freedom-ride


Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 7:00am to 11:00am


Hargraves Center & Chapel Hill Town Hall

Screening "You Don't Have to Ride Jim Crow" & discussion of local civil rights history

Co-organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, this event will feature one of the creators of the 1995 documentary "You Don't have to Ride Jim Crow," as well as discussion about historic civil rights activism in Chapel Hill. 

Reception at 7:00, film at 7:30.


Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 2:00pm


Horace Williams House, 610 E. Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill

University Hires Business Consulting Firm to Conduct Study

Here is the latest, Thorp's message dated February 12, 2009:  http://www.unc.edu/chan/chancellors/thorp_holden/090212-budget.php, and reproduced below. The study is to be conducted by "Bain & Company, a global business consulting firm" and "The UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation is funding the study, which is made possible through a restricted gift from a Carolina alumnus."

Some interesting research questions come up.  Can we know  how much this study is costing, who really funded it, and  its particulars (e.g. can we see a copy of the proposal the firm wrote to get this job, and the contract with them?  Is this all a matter of public record, and should people try to see it?  One can infer from use of the word "restricted" that we may never know who is behind it. Should we?

Democratic Party Precinct Meetings

* Note: Not all precinct meetings are this night.  See the calendar at http://orangedems.com/pdfs/2009PrecinctMtgs.pdf

Precinct organizations are the basic unit of the Democratic Party. Precincts initiate grassroots political action, undertake community organizing and community service, take positions on issues of public policy, and carry out Get Out the Vote activities at election time.

The 2009 annual precinct meeting is where the election cycle leading up to the important 2010 elections begins. The principal matters on the agenda are:

  • Elect new precinct officers
  • Elect delegates to County Convention - April 18, 2009
  • Pass public policy resolutions for consideration at the County Convention
  • Plan precinct activities for the coming year
  • All registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters are welcome to attend precinct meetings.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Usually at your polling place. See link in description

Mayor's Mental Health Task Force Listening Session

Listening Sessions Announcement

The Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force will hold two Public Listening Sessions on February 24th and 25th in the Chapel Hill Town Council Chambers. The purpose of these sessions is to enable Task Force members to hear from consumers of mental health services, those who are on the front lines in the mental health field, those who work in allied fields and community members at large.

The sessions are scheduled as follows:

§  Tuesday, February 24, 2009 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

§  Wednesday, February 25, 2009 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

These sessions seek to open a community dialogue on the pressing issue of the state of mental health services in the area. We invite all who are interested in presenting their views to the Task Force to:

§  Join us on February 24th or 25th to make a 3-minute statement (sign up that evening on a first-come, first-served basis;

§  Submit a written statement to the Task Force at a listening session or by email (mintern@townofchapelhill.org) or mail/delivery to Mayor’s Office, 405 Martin Luther King Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

§  Submit a post to the Task Force blog (see below);

Persons who are organizing a group presentation and wish to speak beyond the 3-minute limit are requested to make prior arrangements through the Mayor’s Office (968-2714).

Together the community and the Task Force can identify important issues related to mental health service delivery in our area and identify potential strategies for change or improvement. As part of our effort to create a community dialogue, we have also developed a blog at http://mentalhealthnc.wordpress.com/, where we invite all members of the community to offer feedback and comments.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - 1:00pm


Town Council Chambers 405 Martin Luther King Jr. BLVD

Because We're Still Here (and Moving)

Last night my wife and I attended a remarkable play about the history of Chapel Hill. The play is called, Because We’re Still Here (and Moving). It runs through February 17th at the Kenan Theatre, an extension of the Paul Green Theatre.

The play is a collection of stories about African Americans whose families have been a part of Chapel Hill for over 150 years. The play weaves together many fragments of oral history in a very moving and creative way. I learned a lot about the proud history of the black community in Chapel Hill that I had not heard before. I also heard appalling family stories about slavery and racism in Chapel Hill that are a sad part of our community’s shared history.

I was particularly interested in stories about Lincoln High School (now the Lincoln Center). I have lived here for many years but, I was unaware of the history of achievement and community pride that surrounded Lincoln High School. I hope many people will get a chance to see this excellent play.

Michael B. Owen

BREAKING: Central campus buildings evacuated due to bomb threat

I just heard this announced on WCHL. The Daily Tar Heel web site has the scoop, in spite of being turned out of their office in the Union:

9:45 p.m., SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15 -- The student union, Davis Library and the Undergraduate Library were evacuated Sunday night due to a bomb threat. The Daily Tar Heel office was also evacuated. According to witness reports, police are informing students to stay away from the Pit. Police came into Davis Library and told Lindy Beyer, assistant night supervisor, that there was a "credible threat." She announced over the intercom that library patrons should evacuate, but did not announce the bomb threat. Beyers said she can not be sure if the library is empty at this time. The police are currently sweeping the Pit with dogs. We will continue to update this story as we get new information.

- Daily Tar Heel: Union, Davis Library evacuated, 2/15/08

Tax Revolt?

Property Tax Revolt I ran across the yard sign pictured at left quite a few times as I was driving through central Orange County today, particularly plastered along the strip-mall section of Hillsborough along Churton St between the two interstates. Something tells me these folks aren't interested in "revolting" by lobbying their state representatives to allow us to utilize alternative revenue options. Does anyone have any insight about the story behind the signs? Is this a grassroots effort or is there an existing anti-tax group sponsoring this?



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