Guest Author's blog

Poetry in Carrboro

Guest Post by Susan Brown

Bring your lunch to the Carrboro Century Center this Thursday, April 13th, at 12:00 noon and hear award-winning poet Jaki Shelton Green read, enjoy coffee from the Open Eye Cafe, and celebrate National Poetry Month!

In 2003, Jaki Shelton Green received the North Carolina Award for Literature. Her poetry has appeared in publications such as The African-American Review, Ms. and Essence. She has performed her poetry and taught workshops in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Brazil. Green also teaches creative writing to marginalized populations of our society such as the homeless, the newly literate, and the incarcerated. She collaborates with human service agencies and non-profit organizations whose focus is using writing as a tool of recovery and change. Her newest collection, Breath of the Song, Selected and New Poems, was released in August 2005.

LWV candidate forum

Guest Post by Cynthia Wertz

Orange County residents are invited to attend and participate in the Orange County Board of Commissioners Candidates Forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties and Democracy North Carolina. The Forum will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, at the Gordon Battle Courtroom in Hillsborough, N.C. from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

The forum will provide an opportunity for citizens to learn about the positions of each candidate as well as to ask questions of the candidates. Molly Beacham, a League member and Director of Development, Democracy North Carolina, will moderate the forum. The candidates for the Orange County Board of Commissioners race are Fred Battle - D, Robin Cutson - D, Jamie Daniel - R, Betty Tom Phelps Davidson - D, Artie L. Franklin - D, Alice Gordon - D, Barry Jacobs - D, Mike Nelson - D.

This forum is one in a series of spring candidate forums sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham, and Chatham Counties.

Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping

Guest post by Steve Sherman

This week UNC and Internationalist Books play host to Bill Talen and Savitri Durkee, better known as Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. Bill and Savitri hail from NYC, where their pentacostal anti-capitalism started with preaching against sweatshops in the Times Square Disney Store.

Since then, the Reverend has performed enough Starbucks exorcisms to get himself permanently banned, held services inside Wal-marts, and spread the gospel of community, justice and anti-capitalism through revivals across the country. He's been profiled in the New York Times Magazine (and the London Observer Magazine) and has a book, "What Should I Do if Reverend Billy Is in My Store?" just released by the New Press.

The Reverend will be giving talks about his work Tuesday at Ibooks and Wednesday on campus, and will lead a revival service Thursday night. For more information, visit

Small schools

Guest Post by James Protzman

In 1930, the US had 262,000 public schools for 28 million students. Guess what those numbers were 72 years later?

In 2002, the US had 91,000 schools for 54 million students. That's a drop of 170,000 schools while the student population nearly doubled. The average public school has gone from serving 100 students at a time to almost 600 students. This doesn't seem like a positive trend to me.

Here in the southern part of heaven, this trend is evidenced by our chronic difficulties in siting schools and in the growing popularity of both charter and private schools. For example, the Emerson Waldorf High School in Chapel Hill will graduate its first senior class this year. The Carolina Friends School has a growing waiting list in all grades as well. Both offer small school environments – but at a hefty price. Long gone are the days when Chapel Hill High School and Lincoln High School were both in the downtown area and young people were part of daily life in our communities. Maybe we should add “public school” to list of important assets when we think about planning the future of downtown.

A GRIM Report

Guest Post by Alan McSurely

Since the press reported the massive unconstitutional domestic spying program of President Bush and Vice President Cheney 2 months ago, a spontaneous grass roots impeachment movement has taken off. One poll showed over 53% of the American people favored an impeachment investigation, over 90% of African Americans were for such an investigation, and over 24% Republicans. This belief that our two leaders have committed crimes is well grounded. The men lied to Congress to give them authority to invade a sovereign nation. Their intentional lies, mixed with their massive ignorance of the Iraqi nation and stumblebum incompetence in handling basic governmental functions has led to the murderous mayhem in Iraq that has destroyed the Nation's leaders, its culture, and tens of thousands of its children. This is a high crime.



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