November 2011

Election Day Open Thread

Election Day 2011 is here! Polls will be open today from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm, and unofficial results will be available soon after from the Board of Elections.

What's going on out there? How are you feeling? And what are you doing today?

Candidates by mail

In the past we have looked at candidate yard signs on OP, I thought it might interesting to do the same with mailings so I did some hasty scanning this week. Since I live in Chapel Hill, they are only for Town Council candidates, and it's entirely possible there were other mailings that were not sent to me. But this is what we got at my house...

What the pundits think

Here are the rough results of our Pundit of the Year contest. Please take them with a MASSIVE grain of salt.

Congratulations and Thanks

Congratulations to Michelle, Dan and Lydia!  I would like to thank all of those who supported me during my campaign and I do plan on staying involved in the Carrboro community.    

Durham's big margin for transit -- Orange to vote in 2012?

Durham's  60% to 40% margin for the 1/2 percent transit sales tax eclipsed Mecklenburg's 58-42 margin on its initial vote on the same issue in 1998. In 2012, the two allowed dates for a similar referendum are the primary (currently scheduled for May) and the November general election. Putting the issue on the ballot will involve approval by the Orange County Commissioners, the Durham-Chapel Hill Carrboro MPO, the Burlington-Alamance MPO, and the Triangle Transit Board.

Light rail, redux

Back in June, you may recall that I wrote a blog post (and a commentary on WCHL) about that month's planned decision by Chapel Hill Town Council on the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for Triangle Transit's proposed light-rail line connecting Durham and Chapel Hill. To recap briefly, the two choices are (a) running the light-rail line through a transit corridor reserved when Town Council approved Meadowmont in 1995, with a station right in front of the Harris Teeter on Meadowmont Lane; or (b) running the light rail line down the south side of NC-54 with a stop in the proposed Hillmont development (formerly known as Woodmont) just east of Barbee Chapel. For various reasons, the decision was delayed, but it's coming up again.

Mitch Silver speaks about our changing demographics and urban planning

Via e-mail from Chapel Hill 2020 co-chair Rosemary Waldorf:

Recently I heard a presentation by Mitch Silver, Raleigh's planning director and current president of the American Planning Association, on what the new census tells us about our changing demographics and how these changes might influence (in a rational, forward looking way) urban planning. It was an extremely dynamic, thought provoking presentation, and highly relevant to the many issues we are dealing with as part of Chapel Hill 2020. We are thrilled to report that Mitch has agreed to come to Chapel Hill and give this presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers. With Q&A, the event will last 60-90 minutes, depending on how many Qs.

Please put this on your calendars. I promise you, it will be very engaging. And Mitch has agreed to do an analysis of Chapel Hill, using latest census info. Staff is working on plans to both advertise and tape the event. Below is Mitch's description of the lecture and his bio.

Rosemary Waldorf

Title of Lecture: What you need to know about the Demographic in the 21st Century 

The demographics trends will have significant implications on how communities across the country plan for the future. This lecture will discuss the demographic trends and emerging issues and how to have a community conversation about what to do now and how to plan for the future.  


Mitchell Silver is president of the American Planning Association (APA). As APA president, he leading the effort to revive planning to be one of the most relevant professions in the 21st Century. Mr. Silver is also the Chief Planning & Economic Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, North Carolina. Mr. Silver is an award-winning planner with over 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He is nationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. Mr. Silver is a contributing editor and author of ICMA's "Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice," which was released in February 2009.

Known by his colleagues as a creative thinker, problem-solver and visionary leader, Mitchell has been at the center of many cutting edge trends, innovative solutions and visionary plans.  As planning director in Raleigh, he is led the comprehensive plan update process to create a vibrant 21st century city with a modern transit system, great streets, great places and great neighborhoods. He is now overseeing a rewrite of the City's Development Code.  



Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm


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



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