April 2009

Let's Rename This Town

I have been thinking more and more lately about how inappropriate the name 'Carrboro' is for a town that is so focused on alternatives to the single occupant motor vehicle.  I mean, I realize the town is named after Julian Shakespeare Carr, rather than the ubiquitous vehicle of the 20th century, but still . . . having our town's name begin with that object that we are working so hard against just makes no sense to me.

Also, it is important to remember who old Jule Carr was.  Mr. Carr was an officer in the Confederate Army, and later he was a captain of industry.  He owned many, many businesses including several mills in Durham.  And for most of his life he lived in Durham.  He even called his mill in our downtown "Durham Hosiery Mills."  In fact, we might just note that although he was a supporter of UNC, Jule Carr was also closely related to the Duke family.  In sum, Mr. Carr was not actually all that much of a Carrboro kind of guy.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools: Smarter, Not Harder

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education meets tonight at 5:30 (closed session at the Chapel Hill Town Hall) to discuss, among other things, areas for budget reduction.

Though I dislike making judgements on topics with which I'm not familiar, I must admit that my first glance through the list of reductions leaves me with mixed feelings.  I believe them off-base with certain items, such as reductions in professional development, curriculum development stipends, and new-teacher signing bonuses. (see PDF below-pages 5 and 8)  However, I believe them on-target in other reduction avenues, including looking at the K12 Insight online surveys and reducing the Superintendent's meeting refreshments.

Climate Change Action: From Joke to Symbol to Reality


It is nice to be in a town that has a mayor who is willing to speak to the zeitgeist.  Feeling it also, a couple of months ago I created these designs ...

The last one has been printed on t-shirts if anyone is interested in partaking in some t-shirt activism ... now to show your support for our mayor's courage.

Changing our town's name by October 24 could turn an April Fools joke into a symbolic gesture to be heard throughout the world in a time when action on climate change is dangerously overdue.  Can the joke go to symbol  and then to action? 

On being a library in hard times

Worry about the effect of the economic downturn coupled with changes in information technology is generating a lot of consterned discussion among those concerned with the history and future of libraries. Worries start with concern about reducing public access to books and book culture, as well as to the eroding relationship of public and research libraries to the educational system.

But libraries - the municipal buildings themselves and the staff therein - also see challenging changes in their community functions when times get hard.

Congrats to Ruby and Brian

OK. We need to get a thread going to congratulate Ruby on a job well done.

Congratulations All Around!

How 'bout those Heels!  They brought home the national championship and there seems to be a lot of pride all over in their success.  We should be fired up over their success, as there aren't a lot of things making people happy these days.

We should also congratulate our town leaders and employees for all of their planning and hard work to ensure that there was a safe environment for all of the celebrations, and all of their hard work to quickly clean up the town.  From news reports, there were only a couple of arrests and a few injuries (can someone explain the "thrill" of jumping over a fire?). Sounds to me that a good plan was well executed and a lot of restraint was exercised by our local sworn officers and those who came to support them.

We need you to help improve the DTH

UPDATE: Join the Community Feedback Board on Facebook. 

Hello again, OrangePolitics!

If you've been around OP for awhile, you probably know me. I'm a long-time reader/occaisional poster. Now I've been chosen to be the next editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. We need you to help the DTH improve.

One of my main goals next year is to make the DTH the resource that you, the residents of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County, want and need. With the pullbacks at other local media outlets, I want to help fill the gap by becoming the most thorough, expansive, relevant and accessible news source in the region. I want the DTH to provide more perspective on the issues and thoroughly understand the historical context and significance of events.

NC PLENTY a currency that is trust-able ...

A few months ago I blogged on orangepolitics about the economic meltdown being fertile ground for re-invoking a revamped local exchange system. Today I came across this recent PLENTY article.

Though I am all  for the resurgence of the PLENTY and am thankful to the efforts that have been made to re-invigorate it (as a lot more people should know about it and should be using it!), these latest efforts should be respectful of the work that others have already made in its original creation, dissemination and community participation (not denying that the PLENTY project, until recently, has been neglected). 

Two extremes:

1) A few years ago I remember responding to an NCPLENTY organizational meeting public announcement advertised in the Independent, I went and it had been canceled/postponed? ... no one was there. 

Coffee with the Mayor/Franklin Street Walk and Talk

Cool, but couldn't this have been hosted by a locally-owned business?

Monday, April 13, 2009
Carlo Robustelli : Mayoral Aide
Mayors Office : Town of Chapel Hill
405 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-5705
Phone: (919) 968-2714
Fax: (919) 969-2063 

Mayor Kevin Foy will participate in the first "Coffee with the Mayor," a special outreach initiative to residents at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 15, hosted by Starbucks in downtown Chapel Hill.  Residents who are interested in discussing alternative transportation in Chapel Hill and the Triangle region are encouraged to attend.

Mayor Foy will share his perspective and hear citizen input on alternative transportation and how it fits in with a vision for the future of Chapel Hill and the region.  The Mayor encourages everyone to join him in using alternative transportation on April 15as a great way to kick off the regional Smart Commute Challenge occurring April 15to May 30.  Mayor Foy is scheduled to arrive on Franklin Street riding Chapel Hill Transit's G Bus at 9:20 a.m. 

Starting at 10:30 a.m., residents are invited to join the Mayor for an informal "Walk and Talk" tour down Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill.  The Mayor will discuss future areas of interest, new economic developments, historical areas of interest, and his vision for downtown.  Residents will have an opportunity to ask the mayor questions in an informal setting while sharing their perspectives of downtown and the larger community.
"Coffee with the Mayor" will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Starbucks, 103 E. Franklin St.  The Franklin Street "Walk and Talk" tour begins at 10:30 a.m. in front of Starbucks, 103 E. Franklin St.

All residents are invited to participate!

For more information about the Smart Commute Challenge please go to:  http://www.smartcommutechallenge.org/.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - 5:30am


Starbucks, 103 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Carolina North: Don’t Get Stuck in Traffic

Thoughtful transportation planning is critical to the success of the proposed Carolina North campus. Traffic impacts resulting from Carolina North will be felt most immediately by the surrounding neighborhoods in northern Chapel Hill, but will ultimately affect all citizens in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and portions of Orange  County.

Neighborhoods for Responsible Growth (NRG) will sponsor a public meeting “Carolina North: Don’t Get Stuck in Traffic” on Sunday, May 3 from 4-6 pm at the Homestead Community Center (600 Homestead Road). The event will focus exclusively on traffic and transportation issues for Carolina North and will allow time for you to put forward your ideas. Town Council Members and University officials plan to attend and participate in this forum as well.

The Chapel Hill Town Council will likely sign off on the final Development Agreement for Carolina North at the end of June. Time is very short for us to react to the traffic challenges presented by this historic development.

We hope that you or someone from your household can attend this important meeting. Public participation will play an important part in this meeting and in the solution!

Contact Julie McClintock at mcclintock.julie@mindspring.com for additional information about this meeting.


Sunday, May 3, 2009 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm


Homestead Community Center, 600 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill



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