September 2009

POTUS speaks to CH/C school children

From Saturday's Herald-Sun/CHH:  "President Obama's plan to give a televised speech to the nation's students Tuesday might be causing a ruckus in some locales....
But Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Superintendent Neil Pedersen has sent a note encouraging principals and teachers to make Obama's speech available to students Tuesday at noon if schedules permit.
Obama plans to urge students to work hard, set goals and to take responsibility for their educations. President George H.W. Bush gave a similar back-to-school address in 1991 and so did President Ronald Reagan before him.

No single episode has spotlighted the crazed, anti-Obama monomania of Republicans as well as this one.  There's such a stunning lack of acknowledgment of their own inconsistency that we could stand in awe if it weren't part of a larger, yet more irrational and predatory mindset. 

Carolina North - Where we are now

[The following was sent out by e-mail to NRG supporters. Julie McClintock agreed to let us publish it as a post on OP as well.]

Hello Neighbors,

We all saw the headlines earlier this summer announcing approval of the Agreement for a new 250 acre UNC campus in Chapel Hill.

The new campus, Carolina North, will house classroom, research, mixed use development and business incubator space. Because of its size (3 million square feet over 20 years), and central location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard at the current site of the Horace Williams Airport, this project will have far-reaching impacts on the community. 

Neighbors for Responsible Growth (NRG) worked with the citizens of Chapel Hill and Carrboro throughout the planning process to highlight your concerns and ideas about Carolina North. Attached is a brief report titled “Report to Residents: Key Points in the Carolina North Development Agreement” that summarizes how issues important to our community are addressed.  

We advocated with Town and the University to see these key issues and guiding principles incorporated into the Agreement as a result of your input:

Rep. David Price to Speak on Health Insurance Reform at the Fearrington Barn

The Fearrington Democratic Club
Is pleased to invite residents of Fearrington Village, Chatham and
Orange Counties to hear
US Rep. David Price
Speak on the
Reform of the US Health Insurance System
Sunday, September 27th at 2:00 PM
The Barn
In Fearrington Village
Rep. Price with be happy to all questions from the audience.
In addition the meeting time is set to avoid conflict with the
Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur.
Rep. Price received his undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and went on to Yale University to earn a Bachelor of Divinity and Ph.D. in Political Science. Before he began serving in Congress in 1987, Price was a professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University. He is the author of four books on Congress and the American political system.
Price currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Appropriations subcommittees for Interior and Environment and for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. He is a recognized leader in foreign policy, heading the House Democracy Assistance Commission, which he initiated to help strengthen parliaments in emerging democracies. He has played a leading role in holding the Administration accountable for conduct of the Iraq War and in the effort to negotiate a just peace in the Middle East. In North Carolina, David's constituents know him as a strong supporter of education, accessible health care, affordable housing, clean air and water, and improved transportation alternatives.


Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 10:00am


The Barn at Fearrington Village

Labor Day is Over!

So now what can we expect these 38 days until early voting begins and the 57 days until Election Day? There will be the assortment of candidate forums, media stories, letters of support from the faithful, a plethora of campaign events and fund raisers, and probably very little to inspire a significant number of us to bother to vote in these important decision opportunities.

Undocumented Immigrants in America: Access to Higher Education

Taken directly from the Parr Center for Ethics website:

Undocumented Immigrants in America:
Access to Higher Education

Public Discussion

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

In light of the legal battles over immigration policy reform, a panel of experts explores the ethical dimensions of the debate and aim to reframe the discussion by highlighting the range of viewpoints on immigration reform, specifically targeting state policy on access to higher education and the DREAM Act, as a springboard into a discussion that identifies the range of factors that must be considered when formulating a position on this issue.

The resulting dialogue will promote a deeper understanding of the ethical issues surrounding immigration and the question of human rights, and encourage rigorous discussion for future personal and public policy decisions.

This event is coordinated in conjunction with UNC’s first year student summer reading book selection,"A Home on the Field," by Paul Cuadros, Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For a  further listing of related events  across campus this year, please visit:

Sponsored by the Parr Center for Ethics and the Center for Global Initiatives.

Location: FedEx Global Education Center, Nelson Mandela Auditorium
(Room 1015), 6:30pm
. This event is free and open to the public.

Parking: Free parking is available in the deck underneath the FedEx Global Education Center building. Access to the deck is off of McCauley St.

Opening Presentation:

A summary on current and past immigration legislation, by Irene Godinez, Advocacy Director of El Pueblo Inc.


Ron Bilbao, undergraduate student, founder of the Coalition for College Access

Paul Cuadros, Assistant Professor, UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication; author of A Home on the Field, the 2009 UNC Summer Reading Selection

Hannah Gill, Assistant Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-Chapel Hill

Robert Luebke, Senior Policy Analyst, John W. Pope Civitas Institute

Noah Pickus, Director, Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University

Niklaus Steiner, Director of the Center for Global Initiatives at UNC-Chapel Hill

Ron Woodard, Director of NC Listen


Deborah Weissman, Professor and Director of Clinical Programs, UNC School of Law


Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 2:30pm to 4:30pm


FedEx Global Education Center, Nelson Mandela Auditorium (Room 1015)

PAGE forum for CHCCS school board candidates


Contact: Emily Martine, Chair, PAGE-CHCCS,

PAGE to Host Candidates Forum
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro chapter of Partners for the Advancement of Gifted Education (PAGE) will sponsor a forum for candidates for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education. The public is invited to the forum, which will be 7:00-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 29 at the Chapel Hill Public Library.Emily Martine, chair of the local PAGE chapter, noted that the school board will be under pressure to ensure appropriate education and growth for all students with a reduced budget.“Our school system has identified 31% of its students as academically gifted,” she said. “For our community, our state, and our county to be competitive and innovative in the global marketplace, we must provide curricula that challenge all of our students, including the academically gifted.  We must also make sure that gifted education does not become an automatic area for cuts whenever the budget is tight.” PAGE has been supportive of the school system’s approach of aiding differentiation by clustering AG students, assigning gifted education specialists to each school to collaborate with teachers, and encouraging flexible ability grouping within and across classrooms.“Given the more limited resources we are facing now, we will need more creative options that will challenge gifted students to work hard and develop good work habits,” Martine said. “We look forward to hearing our school board candidates’ ideas, and to making them aware of parents’ concerns.All six candidates for the school board have been invited to the forum and five out of six have confirmed their attendance. They will respond to questions prepared in advance by PAGE members and other audience members.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm


Chapel Hill Public Library

Sierra Club Candidate Forum - Hillsborough


Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 3:00pm


Old Courthouse, 100 E. King St., Hillsborough

Orange County Environmental Summit

Found on Sierra Club website, but not a Sierra Club event.

Orange County Environmental Summit

Saturday, September 12, 10 a.m-12 p.m.

North Carolina Botanical Garden's Education Center, Chapel Hill (Old Mason Farm Rd.)

This event is not sponsored by the Sierra Club. The following paragraph was adapted from a portion of a press release by the Orange County Environment and Resource Conservation Department.

Keynote speaker Dr. Larry Band will discuss storm water sustainability in Orange County watersheds. Dr. Band is the Director of the UNC Institute for the Environment and a Voit Gilmore Distinguished Professor in the Geography Department. There will also be a panel of experts who will discuss issues pertaining to the quality and quantity of water resources in the county followed by questions from the audience. Following the summit there will be an optional tour of the Botanical Garden’s brand new Education Center. This will be the first public event held at the Center, which was built using a variety of “green building” technologies intended to achieve LEED-Platinum certification.


Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 6:00am


North Carolina Botanical Garden's Education Center, Chapel Hill

Book Discussion: The Forever War

Join us for a discussion of The Forever War by Pulitzer Prize winning author Dexter Filkins. This book won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and Time magazine. Copies of the book are available at the Cybrary for borrowing.

Book Description:
From the front lines of the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, a searing, unforgettable book that captures the human essence of the greatest conflict of our time. Through the eyes of Dexter Filkins, the prizewinning New York Times correspondent whose work was hailed by David Halberstam as “reporting of the highest quality imaginable,” we witness the remarkable chain of events that began with the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, continued with the attacks of 9/11, and moved on to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Filkins’s narrative moves across a vast and various landscape of amazing characters and astonishing scenes: deserts, mountains, and streets of carnage; a public amputation performed by Taliban; children frolicking in minefields; skies streaked white by the contrails of B-52s; a night’s sleep in the rubble of Ground Zero. We embark on a foot patrol through the shadowy streets of Ramadi, venture into a torture chamber run by Saddam Hussein. We go into the homes of suicide bombers and into street-to-street fighting with a battalion of marines. We meet Iraqi insurgents, an American captain who loses a quarter of his men in eight days, and a young soldier from Georgia on a rooftop at midnight reminiscing about his girlfriend back home. A car bomb explodes, bullets fly, and a mother cradles her blinded son.

Like no other book, The Forever War allows us a visceral understanding of today’s battlefields and of the experiences of the people on the ground, warriors and innocents alike. It is a brilliant, fearless work, not just about America’s wars after 9/11, but ultimately about the nature of war itself.

Starred Review from Publisher's Weekly:
Filkins, a New York Times prize–winning reporter, is widely regarded as among the finest war correspondents of this generation. His richly textured book is based on his work in Afghanistan and Iraq since 1998. It begins with a Taliban-staged execution in Kabul. It ends with Filkins musing on the names in a WWI British cemetery in Baghdad. In between, the work is a vivid kaleidoscope of vignettes. Individually, the strength of each story is its immediacy; together they portray a theater of the absurd, in which Filkins, an extraordinarily brave man, moves as both participant and observer. Filkins does not editorialize—a welcome change from the punditry that shapes most writing from these war zones. This book also differs essentially from traditional war correspondence because of its universal empathy, feelings enhanced by Filkins's spare prose. Saudi women in Kabul airport, clad in burqas and stylish shoes, bemoan their husbands' devotion to jihad. An Iraqi casually says to his friend, Let's go kill some Americans. A marine is shot dead escorting Filkins on a photo opportunity. Iraqi soldiers are disconcerted when he appears in running shorts (They looked at [my legs] in horror, as if I were naked). Carl von Clausewitz said war is a chameleon. In vividly illustrating the varied ways people in Afghanistan and Iraq have been affected by ongoing war, Filkins demonstrates that truth in prose.

"Already a classic–it has the timeless feel of all great war literature. Dexter Filkins’s combination of courage and sensitivity is so rare that books like his come along only once every major war. This one is ours." ~ George Packer, author of The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq

“Filkins confronts the absurdity of war head-on. . . . This is a page-turner, and one of the most astounding books yet written about the war in Iraq.” ~ Time

“The best war reportage you are apt to read in a lifetime.”
~ The Washington Times


Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - 2:00pm


Carrboro Cybrary, 100 N. Greensboro St.

NRG Candidate Forum

Via e-mail:

Neighbors for Responsible Growth (NRG) will hold a candidate forum for the
eight Council candidates on Wednesday, September 23 at Town Hall from 7 - 9
pm.  The event will be televised on the local channel and moderated by
former Mayor Jonathan Howes.  All are invited.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 3:00pm


Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd



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