July 2013

Northside Element

North Side School

  Yesterday I over heard an open conversation at Chapel Hill Inspection Department concerning Northside Element School. Three men were explaining to a Town employee why their company Bordeaux Construction should be allowed to circumvent town standard and requirements. The Town employee while quit pleasant was clear that was not to be the case. One of the three from Bordeaux Construction hinted to some use of power to force the Town staffer to renege.  These veiled threats did not the effect the staffers resolve that the project would need to meet the Town policies.

OP Candidate Coming Out Party

Join us for OrangePolitics' third annual Candidate Coming Out Party to meet your candidates on the final day of filing for municipal and school board races! 

These events have been very popular with current and hopeful elected officials, and this is a great way to find out who is running and ask them why. 

The official Facebook event to RSVP and share with friends is below.


Friday, July 19, 2013 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm


TRU DELI + WINE, 114 Henderson St., Chapel Hill,

Candidate Filing Starts Today

Board of Elections - Welcome!

Filing begins today at noon and closes in exactly two weeks. Races include Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of EducationMebane Mayor and City CouncilHillsborough Mayor and Town BoardCarrboro Mayor and Board of Alderpeople, and Chapel Hill Mayor and Town Council.

There has already been a lot of discussion about candidates, and I think this will be a particularly interesting year. We'll have an opportunity to meet many of the candidates in person at The OP Posse's third annual Candidate Coming Out Party.

Please use this open thread to post updates as you learn about new candidates. We'll be watching candidate filings here on the Orange County Board of Elections web page.

Advisory board restructuring input sessions provide a new way to have your voice heard

The Chapel Hill Town Council is moving forward with its advisory board restructuring process. As I described in an earlier post, the first stage of this process deals with creating a new advisory boards to oversee development review. Starting tomorrow (July 8) at 6:30PM, and continuing for the following five Mondays, there will be public input sessions at the Chapel Hill Public Library. The first session will describe what the input on this process will look like, and the next five meetings will focus on a specific board:

  • Transportation and Connectivity (July 15)

  • Community Design (July 22)

  • Environmental Stewardship (July 29)

  • Community Housing (August 5)

  • a restructured Planning Board (August 12)

bike survey

 I just completed the Chapel Hill Bike Survey. Here is the link.


Senate Bill 112 On House Floor for a vote at 11:00 AM PLEASE ACT QUICKLY!

All, I've left a mesage with Rep. Insko and with the League, please encourage folks you may know who are from conservative districts to call their representatives.
Senate Bill 112 On House Floor for a vote at 11:00 AM PLEASE ACT QUICKLY!

This bill includes language that would automatically pre-empt any local
environmental protections that are stronger than state or federal law!

Flash flood displaced person’s community Potluck fundraiser

An outdoors gathering  in our chill out garden space.

The coming Saturday Weavers Community Housing Association invites you to an informal chill out community POTLUCK fundraiser. In support of raising funds to support local communities affected by recent flash floods and displacement. Money will support financial assistance for local communities in achieving secured housing.  

Feel free to bring a dish, some drinks (alcohol & non alcohol welcome) recyclable cups or plates, snacks- games, fruit, poetry, musical instruments, games, hula hoops. Sit back and chill and meet fellow coopers, community members or join in some music, poetry, what ever you want to do. You do not necessary have to bring a dish for this, but certainly donations of money welcome either way, as we want to raise money here! Spicy vegan Daal will be available plus more. 

As we are limited to indoor space- We will gather outside (Weather permitting) At 6pm to whenever…

There will be a Butterfly donation box made by our very own Grannie for Justice.

Weather permitting—we may make a fire as it gets dark- or head to a local bar..

Cedar encourages visitors of any age, background, abilities, sexuality, or political affiliation, we only ask that you respect the grounds, do not carry weapons of mass or minor destruction and participate or listen in peaceful and respectful dialogue- and with respect for the environment, gardens,neighbors, animals, flowers and plants around us. Compost, recycle and gain karma points in your next life! And no drugs please.But we love  big cuddly hugs. 

Car spaces are limited, therefore we urge you to park elsewhere and walk, or cycle or hopscotch.. to our place. We are 5 minutes walk from Harris Teeter..car park. 

Peace & love  

Cedar Rock community and 

Weavers Community Housing Association 


Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 6:00pm


Cedar Rock Apartments- @-703-705 N Greensboro St. Carrboro

County names new CIO: what do you hope is on his todo list?

We've had several discussions lately about what some of us would like to see from county government in terms of communications and information technology. Perhaps the county naming a new Chief Information Officer will be an opportunity for a new focus in the county on open data, open standards, and information access. What do you think? The first item on my wishlist (half jokingly) would be to have him work with Public Affairs to find a better solution than using Microsoft Office to format emailed press releases. Why? Because Microsoft's use of proprietary stylesheets makes the formatting of documents break when text is copied into other programs, unless I go through and manually edit the code.

I know the folks in county government are hard working people with a lot on their plate, so I hope any suggestion is given (and received, too) as well-meaning constructive feedback. From an Orange County press release:

S 112 Devastates Local Env. Regs and Repeals Protest Petitions‏; NC Communities Loose More Power to Rich and Powerful


Below is a link to the legislation that just passed the House.   If the Senate concurs (it apparently passed a slightly different bill) it goes to the Governor who reportedly has been involved in the development of this bill and supports it.   


Environmental overrides are on pages 9-12 under CLARIFY LOCAL GOVERNMENT PREEMPTION
Protest petition repeal is on page 12 under PROTEST PETITION

 From an article by Katherine Watt in 2010 "Shift Power Back to Communities":

Section 8 Housing

Multiple strains on Section 8 housing are creating major worry for those who depend on affordable housing in Orange County. 

The recent floods are perhaps receiving the most news coverage.

However, General Service Corporation, which according to the Chapel Hill News, owns nine apartment complexes in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, recently announced that it will no longer accept rent vouchers. This means that as leases run out in the coming months, low income citizens will be thrown into housing crisis. With so little affordable housing available already, GSC's announcment means that the properties available to low-income renters will be even more sparse and hard to come by.

Additionally, a letter from Tara Fikes, Orange County Housing Director, that went out to HUD recipients this past week cited the federal sequestration as a strain on local budgets.  "Here in Orange County, this will mean a reduction of more than $250,000 in how much our Section 8 program will have available to pay in rental assistance," the letter stated.



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