Rickie White's blog

What's up with Abbey Court?

For those of you old-timers, maybe this should be entitled "What's up with Old Well". Many of us remember that apartment complex as the cheapest option for student housing when we attended UNC. The apartment complex has shifted to being condos and has experienced a demographic shift so that most of the residents are Spanish-speaking immigrants trying to make ends meet on a less than desirable income.

Downtown study input

The Herald Sun reports today that the Town Council will officially hear from it's downtown consultant tonight on their downtown market study. It's not surprising that the consultant advocates a further reliance on retail of home furnishings, movie theaters, etc. But it's disappointing to hear that they feel there is no need for new owner-occupied units downtown and no grocery store.

Unfortunately, despite it's progressive reputation, Chapel Hill is still not the walkable community that Carrboro and even parts of Durham are, partially due to the lack of diverse housing options downtown and the lack of a small grocery within the downtown. I'd be interested in hearing more about why the downtown market study did not feel that condos and a market were feasible, especially considering the successful trend towards this in other towns and cities throughout the country. Meeting = Monday (tonight) at 7pm at the town hall.

Our role in the "global economy"

I was inspired to start a thread about economic issues by the Carrboro Board of Aldermen's meeting last night. Dr. James Johnson gave a presentation looking at what a "sustainable community" is and how that factors into and helps create a sustainable economy in a given city. Chapel Hill and Carrboro have many of the qualities of a sustainable community: respect for diversity (ok, that can be argued, but let's not focus on that), good schools, high quality of life. And yet, outside of the university, most folks commute to RTP and Durham and Raleigh for work. As an environmentalist who is concenred with sprawl and pollution, this concerns me.

Is there a chance our future holds more jobs locally? What are Chapel Hill and Carrboro doing right to create more opportunities for citizens to work in town? What are they doing wrong? Is there a focus on a particular type of business that the towns are trying to attract?

Props to Chatham Residents

The Chatham County political scene's decay means more than most of us want to admit. We've depended upon that large forested county to stay large, unpopulated, and forested so that we can uphold our own quality of life in southern Orange County. Part of the allure of living in the western edge of the Triangle here is that we can go north, south, or west and hit farmland and rivers and general pastoral ambiance and breathe. That's all about to change in a big way now that the Chatham board of commissioners is firmly under the control of uber-pro-development forces. The county is poised to add a LOT of people over the next 10 years, further clogging all the southern routes into and out of Chapel Hill and creating larger car and water pollution problems for the area in general. And next year's election in Chatham will only decide two seats, both of the seats currently held by those perceived to be least pro-development. It don't look good.

Vote Locally, Think Globally

With the state redistricting in limbo, the NC Dem Party has posted a contingency plan just in case the primaries can't be held on time www.ncdp.org. Everyone needs to check out this plan and comment before the public review process is over. If the primaries don't happen (likely at this point) then caucuses would be held by county. Since the caucuses are county caucuses and the final delegate selection is by senate district (I think), then Orange and Durham votes will be added to create a grand total for the 4th district. This makes it important that Dems (registered independents won't be able to vote) show up for the caucuses if they are held. Whichever candidate -Dean- turns out the people -Dean- will win the nomi-Dean-nation.

Any thoughts on the contingency plan and its effects on our local input into the process?



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