Mary Rabinowitz's blog

Smith Level Roundabout

The Carrboro Transportation Board has recommended a roundabout at the Carrboro High School entrance at Smith Level and Rock Haven roads. My guess is that public resistance to this roundabout may be strong. (Read the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Status Report, Vol. 36, No. 7). I further doubt NCDOT and the school system will push it. My guess is that without serious community education about the difference between a modern day roundabout and a Boston rotary this proposal will go over like a lead brick.

“Left of Center, Right at Home”

Fun, fun! The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership is searching for a marketing slogan to attract business to Franklin Street. According to the N&O today businessman Lex Alexander likes “Left of Center, Right at Home”. Other members aren't so sure about this slogan. They want Alexander to go back to his Durham marketing firm and try again.

I think the Partnership needs some local input. Surely, we can help them out. Any suggestions for a catchy slogan?

Businessman Lex Alexander introduced the motto to fellow board members Wednesday after a recent brainstorming session with a Durham marketing firm.

They stared at him, wide-eyed and silent. Developer Tom Tucker managed a short "Uh... ." Other board members laughed nervously.

Alexander said the slogan meets at least one of the board's goals: It gets attention. "To me it says that we're eccentric, but it's a friendly place," he said.

School of Hard Knocks

I'm a little stunned. I knew that the University was working on designing and opening a model school for 3 and 4 year olds. What I didn't know is that city schools officials and UNC have proposed a plan to remove pre-K through second grades from Seawell Elementary School and site Seawell's youngest students at “First School”--- a model FPG Child Development Institute program designed to “assure a successful school entry experience for all children.” The pressure is on to review and accept this surprising proposal quickly and to turn Seawell Elementary School into a grades 3-5 school.

And today's appointees are: Alito and…

Who will the Carrboro Board of Aldermen appoint to the vacated alderman seat tonight? Will it be a good day for ‘conservatives'? Or will Alito have to share his big moment with Dan or James or Catherine or Lydia or... ?

There's been precious little speculation on OP about who we can expect to be appointed. Frankly, I'm stumped. What's the best thinking out there? What voting process do people want the BoA to use tonight?

"We're Not in Love with the Technology"

We all knew it was coming, In today's News and Observer, Progress Energy confirms plans to build 2 more nuclear reactors at Shearon Harris with a target completion date possibly 10 years from now.

McGehee, Charman and CEO of Progress Energy, says he "doesn't expect major opposition to the Shearon Harris plan, especially after the company lays out its arguments that nuclear power is safe, clean and reliable."


According to the N&O, "The final decision whether to build a nuclear reactor won't be made for about two years. However, Progress Energy plans to begin holding town hall meetings within several weeks to start making its case to the public for the need for more nuclear power." Progress Energy will also need to convince the N.C. Utilities Commission that the plant is necessary.

Progress Energy invites you to email your thoughts

Good coverage of the story at



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