Guest Author's blog

Local alternatives series

Guest Post by Michal Osterweil

Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas are filled with organizations, groups and businesses that are experimenting with and practicing alternative ways of living on a daily basis. Whether as a collective bookstore, a cooperative living community, bio-fuel collectives, or experiments in public television, we are all working to make the world a better place, not only through protest and opposition, but through different ways of going about our daily lives and work. We are in effect enacting social, economic and ecological alternatives both within and against the current status quo.

Too often, however, we do so without recognizing how many others are out there doing similarly amazing things. We miss out on the potential learning and growth we could all gain from one another if we told our stories and thought together about the possibilities, problems and goals of our projects—both individually and collectively as part of a larger movement and community.

Need gas?

Guest Post by Terri Buckner

Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor. The country is Venezuela. The President is Hugo Chavez.

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. By buying your gasoline at Citgo, you are contributing to the billions of dollars that Venezuela's democratic government is using to provide health care, literacy and education, and subsidized food for the majority of Venezuelans. With a mass movement behind him, Chavez is confronting poverty in Venezuela. That's why large majorities have consistently backed him in democratic elections.

So get your gas at Citgo. And help fuel a democratic revolution in Venezuela.
(adapted from Common Dreams:

There are 10 Citgo gas stations in Orange County:


Community Meeting on UNC Master Plan

Guest Post by Linda Convissor

Friends and Neighbors,
A you know, we are in the midst of a major building program on campus. The campus master plan, which was completed in 2001, guides this campus development.

Midway through our historic building program, we recognize that it is a good time to evaluate and update the plan for main campus. The update process began with a number of initial planning workshops held this past winter to assess current conditions and identify the scope of the update. Issues of pedestrian connections, green space, transportation and parking are some of the issues being looked at.

Next week we will hold a meeting to solicit additional input from the community and invite you to attend. The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 19, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. in 116 Murphey Hall.

If you are unfamiliar with the 2001 master plan, it is posted at It is also available at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

Homelessness discussion on Saturday

Guest Post by Billie Guthrie

Below is some information about the upcoming Roundtable Discussion on Homelessness in Orange County.

A broad coalition of community groups and government officials will sponsor a second Roundtable Discussion on Homelessness on April 30th at New Hope Elementary School located at 1900 New Hope Church Road in Chapel Hill from 9am to 12pm. Registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 8:30am. All interested members of the community are invited to attend.

The goals of the event are:

1. To educate the community by dispelling myths and putting a face on the homeless,
2. To develop a long-term plan to end homelessness in Orange County
3. To encourage personal responsibility by inviting the community to address this issue individually.

Earth Action Fest this Sunday

Guest Post by Mary Rabinowitz

Here's an information-packed, Earth Day festivities announcement originating from Karen McCollough, parent at the Children's Cooperative Playschool. Thanks, Karen!

Everyone, check out the "Earth Action Fest" this Sunday in Chapel Hill:

Activities will include:

Tree planting
Arts and crafts
Coloring and jewelry-making for kids
Face painting
Bicycle safety inspections by REI
Caricatures by Richard Cloudt
Clown character, Mickey Le Pew, with his environmental magic program (and his family of stuffed skunks!)
And here are some other sites with kid-friendly Earth Day activity ideas -- I just did a quick web search:



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