Guest Author's blog

Bad News

Guest post by John Allore

Some recent local news items have got me chewing bile.

The Chapel Hill News, never afraid to address the tough issues (who can forget the three year saga of what is to become of the Orange County Animal Protection Society), has hit us again with another barn-burner:


The first annual Rock Paper Scissors Tournament took place over the weekend at the Cave in Chapel Hill. In case you missed the excitment, the News has devoted 31 paragraphs and front page status to the inaugural event.


On Monday evening two women were the victims of sexual assaults at two Carrboro apartment complexes. In both incidents men broke into the victims homes. In one of the assaults, the victim was molested at knife point; in the other, the woman - who struggled - was tied up and raped. Currently both suspects (or one?) are at-large.

Unfinished Business

Guest post by Will Raymond

Here's a last bit of business from the 2003 Council campaign.

A little background. Before attending Daily Tarheel forum, I went to the Board of Elections to check out all the candidates' campaign reports. I was looking for one thing, but was completely surprised to find another.

The surprise? The pattern of contributions to Candidate Bachman was unlike any other of the candidates. She was receiving most of her money via large contributions from a few in the development community. This was unlike her fellow candidates whose contributions varied across the spectrum and came from a broad range of residents.

Based on this anomalous pattern, I decided to ask Candidate Bachman two questions at that night's forum.

One, given that she was seeking to correct an image problem - that she was unduly influenced by outside interests � how could taking 60% of her funds from this group of contributors possibly help her rework that image? Two, was this very unusual pattern of contributions continuing?

She ducked the first question. On the second question, she told me I could wait until January to take a look.

Is Chapel Hill About to Fracture?

Guest post by Nick Eberlein

Once the brouhaha over November's council race and the implications it would have for the town - and more pointedly, for town-UNC relations - died down weeks afterward, we have seen very little in the press about what we may expect in the coming months, years, etc. between the two parties. But when I was made aware of Bob Burtman's fresh column in this week's Indy, it seems that a whole new round of mud-slinging, compromising, controversy, stonewalling, or stalemate could easily begin very soon.

The article, I think anyway, does a good job of weaving a synthesis between the successful advocacy candidates, the gearing up of Carolina North negotiations, the matching of university powerbrokers with elected officials to shoot the bull over common issues, and the ensuing lobbying petition that has resulted. What makes this article interesting is it sourced entirely with anonymous quotes (e.g., "a council member," "a student enrolled in Jonathan Howes' class") and makes some pretty damning allegations.

Carrboro Campaign Trail

Alright, let's talk about Carrboro! This was written by a Carrboro resident who would like to remain anonymous:

The campaign trail has been fairly quiet in Carrboro, but much could be at stake for the Paris of the Piedmont. Four candidates are running for three seats: Incumbents Joal Hall Broun and Alex Zaffron will meet challengers Mark Chilton and Steve Rose in this election. First let’s run through the Alderman candidates:

Joal Hall Broun, the Board’s only African-American member, has been an Alderman for four years. She’s an attorney and mother of two. Chapel Hill observers will recall the unusual spelling of Joal’s last name; her father-in-law is former Chapel Hill Mayor Ken Broun. Joal’s vote against the Pacifica Development at the end of Hanna Street is no doubt going over well with folks in that area of Town. The Sierra Club snubbed Joal in its endorsements, which helps neither her campaign for Alderman, nor the Club’s lily-white reputation. It seems unlikely that this will affect her chances much, however.

What Movies Tell Us

The following was written as a series of comments by an anonymous reader of this site. It was based on a survey of the candidates in Wednesday's News & Observer. It is being republished in one post with the author's permission.

What movies tell us:

Terri Tyson lists her hobby as "watching classical film videos" but then her favorite film (the serious acid test of local politics) is "Saturday Night Fever." Besides explaining her hair style, what can this mean?

The Scientologist-starring flick (rated R for strong language, sexuality/nudity and some drug content) is described as "a hopelessly naive film that appears to have no discernible sense of irony." Need I say more.

What movies tell us. Part 2.

Jim Ward goes international with his choice of "Monsoon Wedding" as his favorite flick. Shot in only 30 days in India and in three languages, everyone agrees that this film is something special.



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