Bad apples

I thought Apple Chill and the motorcycle festival and the associated traffic management was handled very well today.

Unfortunately, a few idiots have chosen mess it up for the rest of us. "Two people have been taken to UNC Hospitals Sunday night after four shots were fired on Franklin Street." - News

UPDATE: "Forty-five minutes after the initial shooting Jarvies said police received another report of gunshots fired several blocks east of 110 W. Franklin Street. In a third incident, a gun was brandished, but no shots were fired." - N&O: Three people shot in Chapel Hill


230 Police didn't deter the violence and now there are neither arrests nor suspects...

The thrill of Apple Chill shouldn't come from ducking bullets.

Last year, I suggested we rethink our festivals in light of their costs and diminishing local participation. Last night, as the sirens continued through the evening, I decided to throw in with the West End Group.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I suspect that the instigators were not Chapel Hillians. But short of putting up security checkpoints and making people pass through metal detectors there probably isn't much more we can do to stop these kinds of incidents. If the 235 police officers aren't enough to deter these jerks from carrying handguns I can't imagine what will. Given the opposition by the West End merchants prior to yesterday, and combined with Chief Jarvies concerns, I would imagine that the TC will be forced to take a hard look at whether the benefits of keeping Apple Chill continue to outweigh the potential risks.

Fine, so it was a few idiots. But those few idiots cost me peace of mind yesterday, praying that my child would stay safe at Apple Chill with his friends, and they cost taxpayers a bundle for very little benefit. This doesn't need just a little tweaking; it's too far out of control for that. It's time for the Town Council to show some leadership and put an end to Apple Chill and its bloody aftermath.

I like Apple Chill, but I didn't bother to attend yesterday. My kids don't want to go. The event doesn't feel safe to them, and it's no fun for me discounting their feelings the entire time I'm there. I hate making this a race issue; it's a safety issue.

Any town event needs to be a net benefit to the the town citizens. I'm not talking purely about economics---I am talking in the broader sense of building a sense of community, allowing people to gather together, exposing us to cultural and artistic things, and having fun. It appears that Apple Chill may have reach that critical pendulum swing where it's a net negative to the community.

On a side note, just the traffic issues alone are enough to require a review of this town event. it took my son almost three hours to get home from a church youth group meeting. It ended at 7 pm on Gimghoul, he tried to take Hillsborough Road down to MLK to get to Weaver Dairy. I shudder to think about an ambulance trying to get to UNC Hospitals in that mess. I've driven around on Halloween and at UNC celebrations--yes even recently---and I don't recall the traffic flow being that compromised, and those events have a lot more people at them than this one. I wonder what happened?

We went to Apple Chill yesterday and had a good time. I really hate that such a great event can be ruined by a few bad apples.

To the best of my recollection, all of this violence happens during "after Chill" and not during the main event. The shooting last night is reported to have occurred at 8:45pm, almost 3 hours after the end.

Is there any way to clear folks out faster after the event? Or perhaps shorten the event or have it earlier? Or change the event to draw a more local crowd?

I left my soon-to-be-new home at @8:45 lst night and thought i'd turn on the police scanner to see how things were going. As soon as i turned it on, i heard there were 2 people with gunshot wounds in front of Caribou Coffee and TJ' to the head, the other to the back, both conscious, alert and breathing...a few minutes later, the police said they had no suspect...then my scanner batteries ran out...

I drove up 54, turned right on Country Club, saw traffic ahead, so i turned onto Boundary and headed towards Franklin the light, i saw traffic at a standstill, cars headed towards downtown, people hanging out of sunroofs, and this line of cars lasted all the way to Deming Drive...

Once home i put new batteries in the scanner and heard something about another shooting but no victim...this was soon followed up by police saying, "officer at one shooting to officer at the other shooting..."

Earlier in the afternoon, i enjoyed walking amidst the activity and discovered a couple of new artisans whose goods i found both attractive and affordable. I even purchased something from a woman who only does shows and does not have a website. I had met her during Festifall.

Let's hope that these artisans will come to Festifall since the Town Council will have no choice but to end Apple Chill as it will be impossible to separate it from After Chill.

The nonlocal crowd doesn't bother me and we should welcome them. Perhaps we need a different venue for the event. If we spread the event all over town we could diffuse some of the After Chill... and my children wouldn't notice the heavy police presence and worry about lurking danger.

Hi Mary,

My thinking with a more local crowd is that the event might be a more managable size. Where else in town would you spread it? And how would we manage traffic? I don't know if smaller children would have the stamina to cover venues with significantly greater distance between them.

last night on rosemary st. my friend was robbed at gun point.
two young african american males casually walked up to her as she sat on a brick ledge talking on her cell phone. one of the men stuck a 9mm to her thigh, the other man asked her what was in the bag...grabbed it...took her cell phone in mid conversation...and casually walked away into a dark neighbor hood.

the police were called. they came...made a report. we joked with one of the officers about how great APPLE CHILL is...the officer said something to the effect of "it seems that more people need to die before we can shut this thing down for good...we've been trying to shut it down for good"

later in the night, as five gun shots rang out, my friend began to call her credit card companies and cancel everything....

I wonder, speaking only for myself, if killing Chill will also kill After Chill. I think of the various unofficial and official motorcycle weekends around the country most famously the two at Myrtle Beach and nearby Atlantic Beach. Both of which became official having started unofficially and both of which were extremely difficult to control without coordination between the bikers and the towns.

BTW We had a great time at the official Apple Chill.

I lived in Myrtle Beach for a year and bike week was the week everyone local went on vacation. I hope Chapel Hill will nip bike week in the bud. What about having Apple Chill at the community park with no on-site parking. Everyone parks at the mall or at the off-campus lots and takes the bus? We went yesterday after church and everyone had a blast, but that is mostly because it was early and empty. Even before we had kids Apple Chill was a little overwhelming.

Maybe it could be held on Sunday from 11-5 with no music? Just art and artery-clogging food?

Without looking at the history, what is the purpose NOW of Apple Chill?

Maybe Chapel Hill could come up with a slogan for Apple Chill that would fix these problems.

Two years ago at Apple Chill, I was grabbed inappropriately by several men who then disappeared into the crowd. Last year, I managed to avoid Apple Chill. This year I (accidentally) agreed to meet some friends at a restaurant on Franklin St. Although it took me 25 minutes to eventually find parking, I went up and decided to give AppleChill a chance. There was really nobody in the restaurant we went to, a few nice bands, some nice jewelry places that were a bit overpriced for a street festival (so we didn't really buy anything), the clown from the Durham Bulls games doing balloon animals, and barely street-legal cars with black tint and hydraulics bouncing down the street. But it wasn't worth what came next.

At 5:00 on my way to the library to write a paper, I saw young (under 18) women sitting on top of a white Escalade driven by their female friends. They were encouraged to pull down their tube tops and display their breasts by men (mid to late twenties) with a video camera. Other men were using phones or video cameras to zoom in on various body parts of female passers-by. There were families walking around (this was on Raleigh Rd.), and the responding officer said that exposure of the breasts was legal.

I went in to the library to write my paper, but second-guessed my decision around 7:30 and decided to leave before it got too bad outside. I got to my car at 7:45 and by 8:55 I wasn't home to my apt. on MLK yet. (I could've gotten to my parents home in Fayetteville faster than that.) I was in traffic a block away from the shooting. On my way, I was repeatedly asked vulgarly if I would like to sleep with various drivers or their passengers. When I didn't respond, I was repeatedly called a cracker, pretentious white b*, racist etc. by different people. When one car wanted to get through (apparently through my car) they said "Move, Cracker!" People were stopping their cars to get out and talk to girls, I saw literally a hundred people riding on top of cars or hanging out of windows, gang colors (mainly Crips, and a few neutrals/drug dealers) and people smoking various products while waiting in traffic. I saw only three or four police officers the entire time. I don't scare easily and will walk just about anywhere in CH at night, but I felt *scared*, even in my car.

It's not a few bad apples. A few bad apples = a few drunk people getting sick on Halloween, and at least those are mostly CH kids. This was chaos and one of my worst experiences in Chapel Hill.

Yesterday there were 460 members of an online student group called "CHILL WITH APPLE CHILL", dedicated to disliking Apple Chill. Today there are 507 members, and an online petition has 134 signatures already.

I know folk like to kid about "Chapel Hill values" but, at its genesis, Apple Chill and Festifall were events that embodied some decent community values: community outreach by various groups, local music, local arts, local crafts and a gathering of both local and regional folk during two of the most beautiful times of year for Chapel Hill.

We're now off that track. The warning signs have been there for awhile: fulltime coordinator required, dominated by non-local artisans, escalating costs ($100-150K), requirement for greater police/fire/paramedic presence, diminishing kids activities (free or otherwise) etc.

Not to mention $5 lemonade.

Here is my suggested at experiment. Starting at 6 pm on the evening of Apple Chill, have the Mayor and Town Council members walk from the corner of Franklin and Henderson down Franklin Street through the West End to the Carrboro line at Al's Garage. Then have them walk back to the intersection of Franklin and Columbia up to Town Hall where their cars will be parked. That should take until about 7 pm. Then have them attempt to drive home from Town Hall.

I would curious to see how much support Apple Chill gets from the Town Council after that.

$5 lemonade is enough to close it down.

It seems to me that this is turning into a one-day Spring Break a la Daytona Beach (which I also happened to live near for awhile) or Myrtle Beach. Whatever the original intent, it seems to be gone.

I think a festival along Bolin Creek Trail could be cool, if you could find a way to transport all the stuff out there.

Chris, community support for Apple Chill and Festifall is hard to measure.

During the election I spoke to a number of folk about cancelling the events and more than a few disagreed (it was about as popular as my call for delaying the Homestead aquatics center until we could afford it).

Two funny things about the folks that wanted to keep the events: one, they understood and were concerned about the escalating costs; two, in general, it seems they hadn't attended either event in several years.

My conclusion? The costs were hard to evaluate in the abstract and the "good feelings" were a reflection of the festivals as they were, not as they have become.

The cruising aspect of After Chill is a microcosm of what was once Freaknik in Atlanta, which I endured for several years. The behavior that Ginny described is exactly the same.

After much public outcry, the city of Atlanta imposed time-restricted No Cruising Zones in the areas flooded by cars during Freaknik. It worked...the locale was changed because the participants were not free to do what most of them came to do - cruise and pick up members of the opposite sex.

Congregating was also a problem last night...i must have seen 15 cars parked at the Exxon by Glen Lennox, people roaming around. I also heard on the scanner at one point before the shootings that tension was growing in a crowd in the McDonald's parking lot downtown and that the officers should begin dispersing it.

I really like Chris Chapman's suggestion.

My wife has been going to Apple Chill since she was a kid. She went with my daughter yesterday and said the thing caused her so much anxiety it should be stopped (guys flashing their guns underneath t-shirts).

Kill the Beast!

If six or more shots were fired in a crowd of that size, I shudder to think how many other Apple Chill / After Chill revelers had guns on board. Probably quite a few.

I spent most of yesterday on my deck reading a novel and listening to motorcycles racing up North Greensboro Street toward Chapel Hill. Oh lord, I thought. Here we go again.

Carrboro police and fire spent all of last week gearing up for a state of high alert. In fact they staged the fire trucks at various places for quick response.

Bottom line: Apple Chill / After Chill is dangerous and burdensome. Cal Horton went before the CH Town Council and said so. This is his swan song.

Just end it already. It's outlived it's usefulness and I'm not even sure the artisans actually sell much (or ever have). It's an excuse for a lot of out of towners to come up and down Franklin Street and a certain number of them are willing to cause trouble. It's too bad there is this racial dynamic but the fact is that it's just a matter of time til someone gets killed at a street festival. Chapel Hill has made a good faith effort to address concerns, but it hasn't stopped the violence. Ending it is beyond debate at this point, in my view. If I were a Chapel Hill taxpayer I'd demand its end just on the amount of resources required to police the thing, which still wasnt enough to stop the shootings.

There is a news report just up saying that Kevin Foy favors closing down Apple Chill-a very hard call to make but I would be happy to see it happen. Apple Chill is just not what it was meant to be any more..sad..
This reminds me of a hard very decison Carrboro had make in the early 90's.We had always had fireworks as part of our July Fourth but when it began to draw over 10,000 people into the small area around town hall-many of them not from Carrboro or CH -fights broke out and it became difficult to keep people from getting too close to the fireworks so we had to stop having our display and join forces with Chapel Hill and UNC.It was really a hard call because the fireworks had always been a part of our celebration and people really enjoyed not having to drive or leave town but we had to for public saftey reasons.

We used to go to Apple Chill every year...we haven't been for three years. I asked The Boy if he was going yesterday--he said "No WAY." His buddy said--"Mrs. See, Apple Chill is gonna end today with someone getting shot or knifed." He was right!

Sad, really.

I don't think there is any way to hold AC OR Festifall and not end up with the "after party." It's time to end them. Maybe the cruisers will head over to Cary's street festival?

Interesetingly--I still felt safe on Franklin at Halloween--and so did my kid. He says the key to Halloween is to leave by midnight--"All the crazy stuff happens after 12."


MArk Marcopolis, your suggestion made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

I think AC has reached critical mass, and I won't be going back, but I wonder what the 'artists' themselves would say about the evolution of this.

Pretty soon, hopefully, Hog Days will meet the same fate: people discussing its demise.

"Chapel Hill values" seems to signify just another race issue.

Mayor Foy Supports Ending Apple Chill

This is unfortunate on many levels, but when you deploy 230 officers because last year someone DREW a gun without further incident, and this year, with the extra security, shots were fired and people were wounded-- I don't see how the Town Council has an alternative other than shutdown.

I would like to note that it's not the biker clubs themselves that are the problem. Every biker I saw was following the laws and acting appropriately; bikers actually have a decent reputation for safety, trying to combat stereotypes and helping out the communities that sponsor them.

The problem is that Apple Chill gives all the cruisers (in cars) the opportunity to congregate around a specific date.

"Chapel Hill values" have nothing to do with race.

unofficially, Apple Chill is finished.

The sense I get is that the Council is in agreement: unless a slew of folks come out in support of keeping it alive that it's finished.

hope it was fun while it lasted.


Does anyone else find it a bit ironic that the day after a CRed Summit for Orange County, there was a town-sanctioned bike and car celebration?

What's the fall back position for CH? Can we scale back to a much smaller festival by limiting vendors and events?

My observation is that Apple Chill is a victim of its success. It has gotten too big.

I would adocate smaller mini-street festivals throughout the year that are done in a co-ordinated fashion with local merchants. We have a number of sites that fit for mini-festivals: top of the downtown parking deck, the courtyard on W. Franklin, McCorkle Place, and the courtyard street area by the old BCBS (now UNC IT) building. We can control the access and size but still celebrate glorious days in the spring and fall in downtown Chapel Hill.

Dan, Apple Chill and Festifall were fun "while they lasted". I think we've established that the event yesterday and the original community-based events diverged years ago. In a sense, yesterday was a shadow of what we used to have...

I'm hoping the Council will re-evaluate Apple Chill and Festifall within a larger context. Essentially, as Robert and others have pointed out, going back to their roots and finding the original value which did make them not only "fun", but interesting and relevant to the local community.

Chapel Hill has ceded many cultural activities either to Carrboro (which is eating our lunch, culturally), which has done a great job providing free, human-scale community events or to UNC, which increasingly only provides "platinum-level" events at premium prices.

Surely we can celebrate the creativity of our community - If Council cancels these events, I hope they'll show some leadership and consider filling this cultural events vacuum.

I drove my daughter to an event at Swain Hall around noon yesterday. We took Cameron over to UNC and saw lots of bikers.

It's not the bikers that concern me at all; the extend of their revelry was getting all cranked up on double-tall lattes.

Mr. Siler,

It really wasn't THAT much fun while it lasted, just something people just sorta...did. Up in Buffalo, there was a like festival: The Allentown Art festival. Enourmous and very, very good every year.

No bands, only art. Prizes for the best this and that, and local fooderies.

OT: That voice acting you do on that one dry cleaner commerical verges on the exquisitely creepy. I love your station, btw.

I think it would be unfortunate if the Council quickly cancelled Apple Chill without having a public discussion about what the potential benefits of such community events are.

I can see that it might be time for it to morph into a different kind of activity, maybe even with a different name. But let's make changes in response to a broad community vision, not as a knee-jerk reaction.

I spoke to a fellow school parent this morning that went on the farm tour with their kids yesterday. I think I know what I will be doing next year! They said it was a blast AND educational. I can only imagine that they avoided sucking up a bunch of hydrocarbons as well.

Perhaps North Carolina artisans could be invited to present their goods at various farms and we could make the whole thing a funky public transport/organic farming/north carolina artisan weekend? For the cost of the 200+ police officers we could probably afford to pay for the gas. Ooh! Maybe we could use biodiesel buses, or charge adults (but not kids) and the proceeds could go to buying biodiesel buses for Orange County!

I feel like the call for the end of Apple Chill in unfounded and ultimately built on a foundation of racism and fear. This even is no more dangerous than the alcohol fueled bonfires that the police and fire department allow to occur after large sports victories. The traffic disruptions are less obtrusive than those brought on by the Halloween celebrations.

What this group of inviduals does not like about the event is the race of the festival's patrons. They are not concerned about safety. Their only concern is in terms of property values and the cultivated and manicured image of the town.

Those who signed the petition to ban this rich and valuable event should be ashamed.

I have experience Apple Chill for the past 4 years, and this year has certainly been the worst. It has become a disgrace to the city and the event is blanketed with a violent atmosphere. Unfortunately, Apple Chill and After Chill can not be separated. The streets outside of my house on Merritt Mill were completely clogged with traffic by 3:00. People were hanging outside of their cars, blaring music with the bass turned up as much as possible, and driving down the middle turn lane (which made the frequent travels of ambulances and police cars very slow). Someone was shot in the head and in the chest right outside of Caribou Coffee- that cannot be Chapel Hill values. It needs to be stopped immediately. Please sign the petition to end Apple Chill. It will be sent to the city council when it has enough signatures.

Richard raises some concerns that I share about the Apple Chill critics.

On Leah's petition it says "Note: I have erased the ability to post comments on the petition, as I felt like some were only hurting our cause."

What does this mean? Were people posting racist or otherwise ignorant comments on the petition? Do Leah and others want signatures against Apple Chill even if people are signing for bad reasons?

As a pizza delivery driver, I cursed myself for signing up to work the night of Apple Chill. What would normally be a decent night earning enough to buy half a week's worth of groceries for my kids, turned into 4 hours of frustrated driving to campus from Carrboro via Jones Ferry Road.

I have no problem with Apple Chill. It lasts 5 hours, you know what to expect, everyone is there to see neat art stuff and what the community organizations are doing. The food is passable, maybe too expensive, but it is nice to walk the closed streets of downtown.

But 5 hours is enough, and the town has the choice of deciding whether to shorten the affair or lengthen it. What is frustrating about the post-AC gathering is that there is no control. No one was invited, no one is registered, nothing is planned, we do not know when everyone will go home.

And you will need to remember this point if Apple Chill is cancelled next year. The community groups and artisans will not come back, because the streets will not be closed to them. The Cruisers, however, do not face the same prospect. The streets will be open to them. Chapel Hill and Carrboro may face three succesive weekends of moderate Afta Chill cruising next year, without the compensation of having a pretty decent street fair to go to.

How far is the town council willing to go to regain control of the streets? Roadblocks at the entrance of town where each driver is asked their destination, police give access tags, and if the cruiser is found heading around someplace they are not supposed to be they are escorted to the county line? Sounds like something one of our civil rights attorneys would jump all over. And enforcement of that would take the Highway Patrol to descend en masse into the town.

Maybe next year starting at 4 pm Cameron, Franklin and Rosemary are closed. Carrboro went ahead and closed South Greensboro street inbound - we not too far away from shutting off downtown Chapel Hill.

Only through strict measures which will inconvenience Chapel HIll residents will the town be able to re-assert control over the street. But after 3 years of making the Cruisers realize that residents want normal Sunday night traffic in April, they will realize a trip to Chapel Hill is not worth the effort. Then, after another 3 years, the town can decide to hold a street fair and hopefully the cruisers will not find out.

Richard I'm coming at this from two angles.

One, the current events don't mesh , at least as I experienced, with the original community aspect.

Two, Chapel Hill doesn't have the money to support these events.

We dodged a tax increase this year because a bump in revenues, especially sales taxes, and the State letting us relax our reserve requirements (a reserve, I think, which should be in the "lock box" to help us over the hard financial days facing us).

The violence was just another unfortunate "brick in the wall".

If these events don't serve a wider community purpose, and since they're draining revenue we could use elsewhere, like doubling our human services outlay, I don't see how we continue to justify them...

As far as the bikers, we (me, two 2nd and 3rd grade boys) spent the lion share of our time checking out the motorcycles. The clubs were great and folk respected the enthusiasm of the kids.

I saw absolutely no problems on that side of the event.

Those who would trade their freedom for protection deserve neither.

Richard/Ruby -- are you saying that anyone who opposes gun violence is a racist? There is a real problem here. And to create fear of addressing it by labelling those who speak out is absolutely disgusting.

Sigh, I remember the first Apple Chill in 1972. For a stroll down memory lane, see
(this is a headline archive only, no links to stories)

apparent references to shooting at Apple Chill in 1993.

I believe Apple Chill was the brainchild of Chapel Hill Parks & recreation Director Harper Peterson. I believe this is the same Harper Peterson who was an all-american lacrosse player at Carolina (sorry, couldn't resist throwing in a LAX reference)

That leads me to another question. If After Chill is such a great event, why did the town of Carrboro take steps to keep the post Apple Chill cruising out of their town?

Thanks for the link Gerry. My first AC was late '70s. I vaguely recall Natucket (is that possible?) playing.

from April 20, 1993 N&O:
Although the annual Apple Chill street fair on East Franklin Street is a pleasant outing for some, police say it has also become a regular gathering point for gangs.

This year's gang gathering turned volatile as gunshots sent more than 3,000 panicked spectators fleeing for safety about a block from the festival.

At least two people suffered minor gunshot wounds and four men were arrested as police confiscated a revolver, two semiautomatic guns and five rocks of crack cocaine. Twenty-eight Chapel Hill police officers closed four blocks of West Franklin Street for almost four hours and called in an additional 31 officers before order could be restored.

"It's amazing no one was killed," said Capt. Tony Oakley of the Chapel Hill Police. "There were kids up there wandering alone and others caught in the middle."

Two men were shot Sunday night when a brawl turned into a gun battle on West Franklin Street, sending hundreds of people who had attended the Apple Chill street festival stampeding in fright.

"It was like a cross between Dodge City and Soweto," said David Williamson, research writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who witnessed the violence.

"I saw somebody running down the street firing his gun in the air," said Williamson, a reserve Durham police officer. At least 50 shots were fired, he said.

The shootings occurred shortly after 7 p.m., a short time after the end of the Apple Chill street festival in downtown Chapel Hill. Police were unsure what sparked the disturbance.

"Apple Chill is usually peaceful," Police Chief Ralph Pendergraph said. "But in the past few years the festival's had a small gang presence."

Hundreds of teenagers -- many from out of town -- turned out for the festival late in the day.

About 60 police officers from the town and UNC-CH responded to the shooting. In the aftermath, hundreds of people remained downtown, and dozens of scuffles broke out. One officer was sprayed with Mace as he struggled to clear people from the street. He was not seriously injured, Pendergraph said.

Officers patrolled the downtown area for several hours after the shooting, escorting people to their cars to prevent more fights from breaking out. The state Highway Patrol was called in to assist. Police confiscated several pistols and an automatic weapon.

Police say Apple Chill has earned a reputation among gangs of male teenagers across the state as a time to hang out, play loud music, pick up girls -- and sometimes to pick a fight. While there have been minor problems with drinking and fighting in the past, there was nothing compared with what happened Sunday.

"It's something that has concerned us in the past, and it's certainly escalated this year," said Police Chief Ralph


N&O April 21, 2002
David Hart article on the first Apple Chill in 1972:

Chapel Hill in 1972, like much of the rest of the nation, was tossed by the conflicting passions generated by the long war in Vietnam, the rise of the counterculture, racial tensions and other social pressures. The notion of spending a week to encourage "a coming together of the whole community, discovering and celebrating what talent, energy and love moves through our lives" seemed to many observers a tad pie-in-the-sky.

"You have to admit the goings-on will hardly be in keeping with X-rated movies, pot parties and our mod life-styles," said an editorial in The Chapel Hill Weekly the week before the first Apple Chill Fair in April 1972. "In a community as blase as Chapel Hill often seems, the odds of an Apple Chill Fair's succeeding would seem to be extremely limited."

After two months of meeting, planning and scheduling -- the first Apple Chill was a week-long series of events, not a one-day festival -- they had no idea whether all their hard work would fly or fall.

The idea came up during a meeting of the Chapel Hill Recreation Department's Teen Planning Committee. The committee was discussing arrangements for what it called a Melody Festival, and the teen director, a 23-year old UNC graduate and conscientious objector to the war named Harper Peterson, suggested they might want to expand the concert to involve the whole community.

The kids loved the idea. They ran with it, and -- spurred and steered by Peterson, Rec director Hank Anderson and others -- their enthusiasm proved infectious enough to overcome a lot of obstacles.

"Back then a street fair was a foreign idea," said Peterson, who is now mayor of Wilmington. "There was a lot of resistance. Some of the merchants downtown were very leery of it. I was this kid fresh out of college with long hair and wild ideas, and here were all these teenagers, and there was some sentiment of, 'Who are these crazy hippies?'
Planning went on for two months, involving the entire town staff and hordes of volunteers, merchants, artists and others. In March, Mayor Howard Lee proclaimed the week of April 24-30 "Apple Chill Fair Week," and from that point on planning grew increasingly hectic, as new events were added and scheduled and changed with each passing day. The name was inspired by a toddler's attempt to pronounce "Chapel Hill."

Anyone who confuses gang violence, drugs and harrassment of women with black youth culture has a very sad view of black youth culture.

Ruby, this is absolutely not a knee-jerk reaction. This has been building for years, and after last year it was blatantly clear that we were headed down this road. And as James Barrett said, this has everything to do with guns and very little to do with race (is it racist to oppose gangs? Sexual harrassment?). We need to be able to call for an immediate end to this without suffering knee-jerk labeling of our positions.



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