Guest Author's blog

Correcting the Record on the IFC Good Neighbor Plan

An e-mail from Eleanor Howe to the Chapel Hill Town Council:

Dear Mayor Kleinschmidt and members of the Town Council,

I am a member of the committee working to create a Good Neighbor Plan (GNP) for the IFC’s new Community House at 1515 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. As such, I’m writing in response to a “guest column” in today’s Chapel Hill News by Mark Peters, and because a status report on the committee’s work to date is on the Council agenda for Sept. 26.

I take great exception to Mr. Peters’ characteristics of the GNP committee as a “biased committee that lacks transparency.”

Unleashing a workable future

Guest post by Barbara Janeway on the results of the Transition Carrboro Chapel Hill brainstorming May 15 at Century Center:

Want our community to be safe and resilient through the coming effects of unstable economy, climate change, and the end of cheap oil? A great start was made on this issue at The Great Unleashing, held May 15 at Carrboro's Century Center, sponsored by Transition Carrboro Chapel Hill.

Over 150 people attended and created the agenda for the day themselves, identifying issues to work with. From these, 28 discussion groups met throughout the day, and brainstormed! By day's end, a powerful 'unleashing' of ideas had occurred, and 21 Action Groups were formed. Many positive visions of our future were communicated!

These Action Groups have begun to meet regularly. And those who join will begin the work of transition in our region, to a more stable local economy with more vibrant local resources. Anyone is welcome to join an action group. The groups will do work on issues such as: more affordable housing, communal gardening, energy independence, children's sustainable education, skill-sharing, health, and many more.

Join the CHPD for community conversations

by Chris Blue, Assistant Chief of Police

Starting this weekend, the Chapel Hill Police Department plans to undertake a unique approach to hear about our community's expectations of us.  Beginning on February 6th, we will hold a series of community conversations to hear how we are doing as an organization.  Each session will last no more than two hours and will be managed by an outside facilitator.  The input will be used to develop a strategic plan aimed at improving the community-oriented policing program in Chapel Hill.

We're hoping that residents, merchants, students, and other community stakeholders will attend one of the sessions to help us think about the following questions:

Future of the Town Council Without Broad Representation

By Michelle Cotton Laws, President of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP
(Also submitted to Mayor Kevin Foy.)

On behalf of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, I am writing to express our concerns over what appears to be some post-election jockeying about who the Council should appoint to the vacant seat left by Bill Strom. Buttressing our concerns is the outcome of the recent elections which have resulted in what will be a racially homogeneous Council that does not reflect the broader Chapel Hill community. While some Council members (and their constituents) may feel comfortable with this outcome and argue that “the people” spoke through the casting of their votes, there are others—including the NAACP—who believe that the results of the election have left us in a similar place where the “Founding” American colonists were when they protested against the British Crown through the historical Boston Tea party -- “taxation without representation” for many Chapel Hill residents in particularly a relatively large and deeply rooted African American community.

Peace and protest, justice and injustice: marking Chapel Hill's sacred space

[I read this entry by Chapel Hill Town Council Member Sally Greene on her blog and asked for permissionto cross-post it here. She graciously agreed. Tomorrow the Town will unveil the stone marker at Peace and Justice Plaza. =Ruby]

A little-known fact: grass used to grow around the flag pole in front of the old post office on Franklin Street. That's why those red brick pavers are there--as filler. It was only in latter times, probably since 1979 when the town purchased the property from the federal government, that the space was paved over.

Luckily for these four young men, it was grass during Holy Week in 1964 when they decided to fasten themselves to this place 24 hours a day, fasting in protest of the Town of Chapel Hill's refusal to pass a public accommodations ordinance.

Pat Cusick, LaVert Taylor, John Dunne, James Foushee (in the photo) and countless other activists will be remembered this Sunday at 3 p.m. as we unveil and formally dedicate the Peace and Justice tribute marker at the site we've named Peace and Justice Plaza.



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