Rickie White's blog

Both parties agree... North Carolina is a battleground state

The Republicans and the Democrats now agree that NC is an important battleground state because the race for president and state offices is so close. The Republicans just agreed to target our state with additional money from the RNC.

Since Orange County is so heavily Democratic, many folks might be wondering how they can get involved to make sure that Kerry/Edwards and Bowles get elected despite the influx of national Republican money. One great start is to attend a precinct party or to host a precinct party on September 9.

The Orange County Dems are shooting to have at least 30 precinct parties where folks can gather, eat, vent about the state of the nation, and plan next steps for getting out the vote in their neighborhoods and beyond. Already they have 9 parties. Just go to http://www.ocdppartypeople.com for more info or to sign up to volunteer.

Go Carrboro: larger scale developments on the horizon

It does look like the efforts of the economic development folks at town hall coupled with development pressure are having an effect on Carrboro's downtown. For better or worse, there is a long list of proposals for development that are going to hit the town over the next few years.

Some of the ones I know about include a 100+ unit complex adjacent to the concrete plant and bike trail, a 5 story condo complex behind Cat's Cradle, some sort of mixed use multi-floor thingie where the current Carrboro arts center parking lot is, a remodeling/addition to the "Trading Post", the Weaver Street market sponsored redo of the Norina on Weaver Street and N. Greensboro, some kind of redevelopment of the Andrew-Riggsbee building, and a 2 story mixed use building on Weaver Street that might house a barbeque restaurant. All of these are simply in planning/talking stages and haven't been approved.

The Growth Boundary Dilemma

An earlier line of discussion on the "New Jackson Hole" post made it clear we needed a new thread for discussion of the urban growth boundary (or whatever terminology you want to use).

In my limited understanding of the issue, the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill have attempted to limit growth by creating a line in the sand and refusing to extend city services, including water and sewer, past that line. Since much of the land north of town doesn't perk and since much of the land west of Carrboro is in the University Lake watershed, this means that only lots larger than 5 acres can easily get through the process for development.

Carrboro: The New Jackson Hole, WY

According to the N & O, the future vice president of the U.S. might have his home away from Washington in... drum roll please... Carrboro.

"The candidate and his wife Elizabeth Edwards bought 102 acres of land four miles west of Chapel Hill on Old Greensboro Road June 24 for $1,316,500."

Lots of questions arise here. I mean, are we going to start seeing Secret Service agents infiltrating Weaver Street Market's Thursday night music night just before the Edward's family arrives for their tempeh burgers? And are the Edwards children going to be hula-hooping on the lawn?

And the big question.... can they really shut down Horace Williams airport if the vice president needs it to commute to DC?


The Obscure Offices

I think most folks have made up their minds about the Orange County board race, but what about the "obscure" statewide offices that even heavily involved folks don't know much about? Well, most of us default to the Indy endorsements, which just came out. But sometimes I get a little nervous when so many people rely on one source for such opinions. Did they get it right this year? For instance, I've heard great things about both Tom Gilmore and Britt Cobb for commissioner of agriculture. I've got some major liberals pulling me to vote for Gilmore on one side and some other liberal friends asking me to vote for Cobb on the other. But the Indy paints a pretty clear picture that Gilmore is by far the best. Is that fair?

And what about the Court of Appeals Judge? Is Marvin Schiller really the best candidate? I haven't seen much to be able to make up my mind. The Indy states that Schiller "appears to be a far stronger candidate on paper". That kind of scares me. Does anyone have any first hand knowledge of this guy?



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