Rickie White's blog

The Adams Tract

For those of you who haven't heard the news, the Adams Tract near downtown Carrboro is being bought by the town. Thanks to the hard work of a LOT of people, it sounds like this 27 acre natural area will continue to be fully accessible to residents of town. In addition, the ecological integrity of the site will (hopefully) be preserved at the same time.

Kudos to Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Orange County for working together to protect this important site near the center of town!

Any ideas about the next big site that needs protection? Should it also be along Bolin Creek or should we focus our efforts in other parts of town?


And the magic number is... 420

At the Carrboro board meeting tonight, there was a presentation and public comment period concerning the new "Carrboro Senior High School". One of the striking things about the initial plan is that, despite adhering to environmentally sound building design principles, the overall layout of the school still encourages the same kind of sprawl as usual. There was a disconnect between the idea of "green building" and "sustainable" development practices. For instance, the school will be extremely energy efficient and will even catch rainwater to flush toilets, but there will be 420 parking spaces and the current layout of the road system puts the nearest bus stop to the school much further away than most of the parking spaces. In a world where many of our life lessons are learned in high school, it seems like the school board would be interested in designing a school that encouraged students to use public transit or bike to school and that left a small footprint on the landscape.

Stifling the Creative Class

I know, I know. Richard Florida's work on the so-called "creative class" has been one of the most over-used studies of the year. But he does have some good points. And one of the facts he most likes to put out there is that diverse regions with tolerant attitudes towards minorities. Our area became that much more appealing to gays last year when it became harder for the state to enforce laws that restricted what citizens could do in the privacy of our homes (Lawrence v. Texas). However, that could all change when/if the state legislature and voters pass a bill to further encode the discrimination by the state of gay people? That might just happen. There are 67 co-sponsors on a proposed amendment in the house that would not only ban gay marriage, but might also restrict the rights of municipalities and even private companies from offering benefits to unmarried partners. I wonder what the economic impact of such a move would have on some of our major cities?

Wireless Carrboro

Terri brought up the question of what is currently happening with the town of Carrboro's wireless initiative. At this point, town hall and Weaver Street are the only wired areas. Of course, Nextel's experiment on regionwide broadband wireless access may make all of this moot. But anyone have thoughts on Carrboro's program and what the next steps are/should be?

The West Bank Connection

Most folks in this area are pretty informed about Middle East issues. Although it's a global issue, the Palestinian crisis affects our community because of our strong academic, friendship, and sometimes cultural global ties in this college town. Well, now's your chance to listen to and talk to people who have lived in the West Bank and have some insight on the crisis. Just FYI, this presentation is geared towards the Christian faith community. However, I've heard Marthame and Elizabeth speak and have really gained some new insights into Palestinian human rights issues through their work.

Here's the announcement:



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