Dan Coleman's blog

Connectivity and Community

The importance of streets to community was articulated by Ivan Illich in his essay Silence is a Commons. Here is the excerpt:

What a difference there was between the new and the old parts of Mexico City only 20 years ago. In the old parts of the city the streets were true commons. Some people sat on the road to sell vegetables and charcoal. Others put their chairs on the road to drink coffee or tequila. Others held their meetings on the road to decide on the new headman for the neighbourhood or to determine the price of a donkey. Others drove their donkeys through the crowd, walking next to the heavily loaded beast of burden; others sat in the saddle. Children played in the gutter, and still people walking could use the road to get from one place to another.

First Look at Chapel Hill Candidates

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday September 10, 2005

Last Thursday night, the Orange County Democratic Women sponsored the first forum for Chapel Hill Town Council candidates. Despite scant publicity other than to OCDW members, the meeting room at the Southern Human Services Building was pretty full and a sharp audience provided plenty of good questions. I moderated the discussion.

Here is my impression of how well the candidates succeeded in furthering their campaigns
that night.

The big winner has to be Bill Thorpe. Many Chapel Hillians are unfamiliar with Thorpe's previous two terms on the Council.

He spoke forcefully and eloquently, tying his experience from two decades ago to today's concerns. Particularly effective was the reminder of his vote against approving the Dean Dome out of concern for its impact on a neighborhood that today is not much more than a memory. He assured voters that he would always look out for their interests.

Forum Tonight for Council and School Board Candidates

The Orange County Democratic Women is hosting a forum from 7:30 to 9:30 tonight for candidates for Chapel Hill Mayor and Council and for Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board.

Location: Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill

7:30 Forum for Chapel Hill candidates
9:00 Forum for School Board Candidates

Moderator: Dan Coleman

Audience members will be invited to submit questions to the candidates.

OWASA considers bold initiative on water

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday September 03, 2005

Thursday night, the OWASA board of directors will consider a proposal to launch a campaign promoting OWASA water as an alternative to imported bottled water. As well as highlighting the value of low-cost, high-quality OWASA water, the project also could involve educating residents on the global problems of water privatization as well as the solid waste, transportation and other environmental costs stemming from the bottled water industry.

The upcoming discussion is in response to a petition from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Peace & Justice Committee of the Community Church.

According to WILPF, "Water is the earth's most precious resource. Access to safe and affordable water is a human right. Local, democratic control of water is essential for food security and peace. Everywhere accelerating privatization threatens public control over access to water while scarcity looms from overuse and pollution."

"Local Political Leaders Urge Public Protest Against Ruinous Bush Policies"

Jim Protzman writes:

There will be millions of people descending on DC on
September 24th to protest the war in Iraq . . . and I suspect the focus
will expand to all aspects of the miserable failure that is George Bush.

Will there be a companion event here in the southern part of heaven?
Will we take to the streets in outrage at the state of this country and
our failed national leadership? I'm ready to help make that happen.
Maybe OP could lead the charge.

It strikes me that the proper focus for such a protest would be
David Price's office off Weaver Dairy Road (or, perhaps his home [not
far, I believe, from Jim's] given the extent to which Katrina has hit
people in their homes). If we view Bush's immoral spending priorities
as the main focus then the Democrats' failure to fight against them
would be the indisputable runner-up.

Put simply: if Price is not leading us in our expression of outrage then he, along with Bush, should be the object thereof.



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