Mark Chilton's blog

Domestic Violence

For the eighth time this decade a man has shot a woman or child in a domestic dispute in Orange County. Hopefully the victim, the girlfriend of Mark Wade Gentry (nephew of the man convicted in three other domestic violence murders), will survive. (She is in critical condition at UNC.) The previous seven died. It seems pointless to wax on about this subject on a forum like I say that because I assume that the gentle readers of this site are not the sort of people who do this. Indeed any sort of public outcry seems unlikely to reach that kind of scoundrel.

Still, here's hoping that it does some kind of good somehow. Domestic violence is not some kind of theoretical issue. It is something that is killing real people in our community.

Tragically, domestic violence is something that runs in families. Children grow up in abusive households and begin to think that Daddy hitting Mommy is somehow normal. And these same people think that it is okay when they are adults as well.

Payday Lending in Carrboro

Many readers of may be aware of the major state and national movements afoot to reign in the activities of predatory lenders – lending institutions that specialize in products for low-income people and that charge exorbitant interest rates. While a battle rages between the cutting edge laws that have been adopted in NC and the federal government’s efforts to prevent state regulation, the cruel reality of payday lending goes on right here in Carrboro.

The Caucuses Ain't Just a Region in Asia

So, because of the endless appeals of North Carolina legislative districts, North Carolina's primary elections for 2004 have been delayed until July at least. In order for North Carolina to be represented at the Democratic National Convention, delegates will have to be selected before that time. In order to avoid the expense of conducting a statewide presidential preference primary all by itself, Democrats will have a statewide caucus for the first time in more than 25 years.

I have been wondering how this is going to work for those of us who vote in Orange County. According to the state Democratic Party website, we will be conducting the caucus on Saturday April 17, 2004 between 8 AM and 12 Noon. As near as I can tell, this will be very much like a primary election except that:

What's at Stake in the School Board Race?

Can somebody break down the school board race for us? I know this: Incumbents Gloria Faley, Ed Sechrest and Elizabeth Carter are running. Challengers Jamezetta Bedford, Mike Kelley and George Griffin are also running. There are four seats total to be filled.

Personally I have known Gloria Faley and Elizabeth Carter for a long time and I plan to vote for them, but I am having a hard time picking my other candidates. I like Ed Sechrest and I think I will vote for him, but how do I choose from among Bedford, Kelley and Griffin.

All the newspaper articles make these candidates sound very similar. About the most substantive thing I can find is that Griffin and Kelley are critical of a Board decision to eliminate "a self-contained classroom" for "gifted" students in middle schools. Is that a suburban middle-class issue that betrays something about who Griffin and Kelley are? Or is it just plain old vote grabbing? Or is there a real, live issue there (but one which I don't entirely understand)?



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