July 2010

Article in last Sunday N&O on business in Orange County

 There was an interesting article on Orange County and the business atmosphere that I thought someone would have posted on or commented on by now.  


Learn About Durham Tech’s New Sustainable Technology Program at OC Campus Event

Durham Technical Community College’s Orange County Campus is highlighting its new Sustainable Technology program on Saturday, July 10 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Area residents will have the opportunity to learn more about this new program. They can also view solar technology demonstrations and displays and talk to solar technology professionals.

Some highlights include:

  • Seeing mobile solar technology displays provided by Solar Tech South, Nature’s Energy Solutions, and Southern Energy Management;
  • Learning about the proposed solar technology lab and monitoring equipment;
  • Hearing music from a solar-powered amplifier;
  • Enjoying fresh sun tea and locally grown food.
Durham Tech President Bill Ingram, Orange County Commissioner Chair Valerie Foushee, and representatives from Duke Energy will address the gathering at 11 a.m. Officials from the Orange County Economic Development office, the Orange County Board of Commissioners, the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, and other agencies will be on hand during the event.  

The new Sustainable Technology program is designed to train workers in the installation, repair, and upgrade of sustainable technology systems. These systems are used by government municipalities, corporations, small businesses, and homeowners. The Sustainable Technology program, which will include an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, prepares students for employment in environmental, construction, alternative energy, manufacturing, or other industries which emphasize energy production and waste reduction, along with sustainable technologies.

Beginning this fall, the program will offer the Alternate Energy certificate. This certificate is designed for licensed electricians, those pursuing an electrical degree, and those who are working in facilities services under the supervision of an electrician. The certificate instruction includes both energy audits and solar photovoltaic system installation. 


This new program will position Durham Tech’s Orange County Campus and Orange County as a leader and model in the state for developing innovative and practical green training programs and initiatives. 

For more information, contact Carlo Robustelli at 919-536-7200, ext. 4202, or cell 919 -943-2443, or robustec@durhamtech.edu.

Also, check out the Orange County Campus blog so you can keep up-to-date on the latest news about Durham Tech in Orange County!  http://occnews.wordpress.com   


Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 6:00am to 10:00am


Orange County Campus at Durham Tech 525 College Park Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278

Compact, Connected, Anchored and Green

Draft Downtown Development Framework and Action Plan A few weeks ago I attended a meeting to hear the presentation of a group of consultants that have been working for the Town of Chapel Hill and the Downtown Partnership to create a "Downtown Development Framework and Action Plan." I didn't know much about this plan before showing up at the meeting, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it includes some pretty radical ideas for downtown Chapel Hill and they do not include trying to emulate Southpoint Mall!

The draft plan can be downloaded as a PDF from the town web site.  Here's my brief analysis...

parking lot landscaping

Is there a difference in the landscaping of parking lots regulations between Chapel Hill and Carrboro? I noticed the new lot by the Open Eye Cafe doesn't have any space for trees and the old farmers market (now private carr mill employee parking) only has only one tree handing on. Of course the trees provide pleasant shade in the summer and most people with a car want to park it in the shade. I see some new bus shelters have been built. Is there any plan to plant trees near them?


A Taming of the Shrew

Act one act now children's theater ; $5 admission (My son and other friends are perfoming in it.) Great chance to hang out at southern village enjoying your food from weaver street and others. And no there probably will not be a discussion afterwords on the meaning of the play.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - 3:01pm to Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 3:00pm


Southern Village, Village green


The Southeast High-Speed Rail (SEHSR) project seeks to build a 110mph Acela-like passenger train system connecting DC to Charlotte (and beyond), via Richmond, Wake Forest, Raleigh, Durham and Hillsborough, using a straightened version of the current Amtrak route.  The environmental impact studies currently being developed for the Petersburg VA - Raleigh section includes a bike-ped inter-urban greenway.  Charlotte is independently working with consultants to develop a bike-ped urban corridor parallel to their portion of this rail line.  Carrboro's very successful Libba Cotton greenway closely parallels an active freight line that runs north through town past WSM and Horace Williams to join the current Amtrak (future SEHSR) line just southeast of Hillsborough.

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Wake County schools - today's rally

I know the purpose of this site is Orange County politics, but I want to know if others are bothered by the situation in Wake County schools. I went to the rally today and heard Rev. Barber and the other speakers make their case against the new direction of the Wake schools ("neighborhood schools" or resegregation depending on your point of view). It was a well organized and fairly well attended (~ 1000 people) event. We left before things got REALLY exciting and Rev. Barber and others were arrested at the Wake County school board meeting a few hours later, presumably for trespassing since they had been barred from attending.

Get ready for 140 West

[DEDI]Yes, it's yet another urban development with no name! (Or more accurately: that steals it's name from it's location. See: East 54, The Franklin, McCorkle Place, etc.) It's hardly the most important thing about this development, but it still bugs me to no end. Doesn't anyone else think that we are losing character when we fail to properly NAME our places?

Anyway, I'm glad to see this is finally getting underway.  After years and years of participating in planning meetings that led to the creation and eventual approval of this plan, I will NOT be stopping by this information session tomorrow. And neither will the dozens of Chapel Hillians who will proceed to complain loudly about the project as soon as the first shovel hits the dirt. Sigh.

Here's WCHL's story today for more background: 

 Public Information Officer Catherine Lazorko says the Town of Chapel Hill has organized a public information meeting about the 140 West Franklin development.

 Representatives from the town and the developers will be on hand to answer questions about the project, including an overview of the construction, a timeline, information about good construction practices, and the various phases of the project and the logistics involved.

Construction is slated to begin in August and last about two years.

140 West Franklin is a mixed use development to be built on the town-owned Parking Lot 5 near Franklin, Church and Rosemary streets. The building will stand eight stories tall at its highest point. 

 The preliminary construction proposals called for the closure of one lane of Franklin Street and the complete closure of Church Street, which connects Franklin to Rosemary. Lazorko says this should not concern residents.

The meeting will take place Thursday at University Presbyterian Church from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

- http://www.wchl1360.com/details.html?id=15296 


Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 12:30pm


University Presbyterian Church

Hillsborough Town Board hearing on rail station plan

WHAT: Public Hearing on Proposed Rail Station Plan

WHEN: 7 p.m. July 26

WHERE: Town Barn, 101 E. Orange St. Access parking from East Corbin Street.


Monday, July 26, 2010 - 3:00pm


Town Barn, 101 E. Orange St., Hillsborough



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