Rickie White's blog

The Real Liberal Media

I've always been perplexed that people think of the media as liberal, especially after the coverage of the war, local gay civil rights issues, and free trade have all been decidedly right of center over the past few years. That's why it's refreshing to hear that there is a new unabashedly progressive voice on the radio: Air America. This radio community includes shows with Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, two faves among progressives. It will debut at noon today, so be sure to log on and be one of the first to hear.

The question is, when will we get this programming on local stations? WCHL apparently thought about including these shows, but then bailed. Who will step up to the plate to make sure that we have progressive voices in with the mix of right wing and centrist voices on our airwaves locally?

Are we really still part of the Triangle?

So let's make some assumptions up front for this discussion. Let's assume that the TTA builds according to plans it's rail system (big assumption at this point due to the Bush administration's witholding of dollars). And let's assume this area continues to grow and becomes what we many folks really want it to be - a drawing point for the creative class and a great place to continue living. Well, while folks in Durham and Raleigh and even, gasp, Cary will be taking advantage of the rail line and touting themselves as a pseudo-urban mecca, we'll be over here with our wonderful but less than glamorous bus system trying to compete. So far, south Orange has the best planned development and the best public transit, but what happens when that isn't true anymore? Do all the cool single artists and video clerks move to Durham? Doesn't this put us at a competitive disadvantage in terms of attracting some of the people that add color and diversity to our towns?

The Eno River Association in transition

Much of the most exciting grassroots environmental work in Orange County over the past few decades has been done by the Eno River Association. Although many Chapel Hill/Carrboro folk identify the organization with Durham, this amazing and very effective group has helped protect thousands of acres of land in Orange County just this year. And they couldn't have done it without a capable executive director, Lori Olson. Unfortunately, Lori is leaving for Athens and there is currently a search process for the new leader of the organization. In the meantime, three cheers for Lori and her successes.

And thank goodness we have the Eno River Association.

Anyone have any stories they want to share about the ERA and how it has affected the local environmental scene?

Next steps for gay civil rights in North Carolina

So now that Councilman Kleinschmidt has managed to one-up the edgier, more liberal West End of Chapel Hill (otherwise known as Carrboro) on his resolutions to make Chapel Hill a more accepting place for gay folk, what's next? For the past 10 years of my existence around here, I've noticed Carrboro has generally taken the lead as the trailblazer. I think the Burma resolution was first passed in Carrboro and I KNOW the "eat France first" resolution was first in Carrboro. So what do we think Carrboro can do to forward the gay marriage debate and continue in its prominent role as liberal bastion of the South?

The pot calling the kettle black

On Monday night, the Chapel Hill Town Council discussed the idea of beginning to place conservation easements on some town owned property to prevent that property from being developed in the future. Sally Greene pointed out that she felt the council should consider this since the council has been advocating for the university to do the same thing with much of their land along Bolin Creek. If the town council can't consider conservation easements on their own land, how can they expect the university to do the same thing?

Of course, on the more practical side of things, maybe each tract should be examined for its relative ecological/recreation work before placing restrictions on future development. And just because we want a conservation easement on the land doesn't mean we can find anyone willing to carry the responsibility of holding that easement for us.



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