Commentary, quick thoughts, and reactions from the OrangePolitics editors.

Chapel Hill's Community Connections Strategy

Chapel Hill's Town Council will be discussing a new community outreach and engagement plan on Wednesday evening. Their goal is to "create a vibrant and inclusive community by enriching the lives of those who work, live and visit Chapel Hill by building community and creating a place for everyone". They are taking a three-pronged approach through racial equity, human-centered design, and community engagement. 
 
Here is your opportunity to review their strategy before it is discussed at the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting. What do you think of their plan and ideas? How would you make it better knowing your community's needs and potential?
 

Alderman Bethany Chaney to Step Down at End of Term on Carrboro Board

Carrboro Alderman Bethany Chaney has announced she will not seek reelection in November 2019. Elected first in a 2014 special election and again in 2015, at the end of her term Chaney will have served five and a half years as Alderman and three as a member of the Carrboro Planning Board, including nearly two as chair.

In Twitter thread, Carrboro Mayor Pro Tem spells out what we must do to combat climate change

Percent Growth in Vehicle Miles Traveled by County

OrangePolitics Emeritus Editor and Carrboro Mayor Pro Tem Damon Seils wrote the following thread on Twitter on January 13, 2019. We have curated the thread below, which calls attention to what we must do in our communities to combat climate change. It's an important read.

Sunrise Habitat for Humanity-Carol Woods Development Brings Needed Housing

The following overview was written by Jennifer Player, new Director of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to share key features of this exciting new project proposed for Chapel Hill to provides essential permanent affordble housing and more senior housing.

More than a year ago, two local nonprofits with a combined 70 years of service to Chapel Hill, began discussing a potential development partnership. As a result of those conversations, Carol Woods and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County developed a shared vision to create a vibrant, mixed income, intergenerational community off of Sunrise Road in Chapel Hill.

Our Orange County Transit Plan tax dollars at work (more service, more buses!)

Since Orange County passed our transit plan in 2013, Chapel Hill Transit has been able to add more service and significantly address the need to replace existing buses. GoTriangle and Orange Public Transportation have also been able to add service and vehicles, but we are focusing on CHT here.

To highlight the new service we just got this past August 2018:

  • CW Route extension of it's peak evening service
  • D Route extension of it's peak evening service
  • All routes with existing Saturday service had that service extended from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm

Service
The table below summarizes the increased service since 2013. This represents around 10,585 new annual hours of service.*

What’s Coming up for Fall 2018

We've compiled issues of interest coming before or at play in each of our municipalities and the county this Fall, which we’ll be following. Here goes:

Carrboro

The Carrboro Board of Alderpersons gets back to regular work with a meeting on September 4, 2018. Here’s a snapshot of what’s on their horizon:

  • Public hearing on Weaver Street Market renovations
  • Report on NC 54 West Corridor Study
  • Update on the 203 South Greensboro project (Southern Branch Library)
  • Public hearing on Lloyd Property conditional rezoning (it’s back!)
  • Update on the Old 86 commercial development concept

Chapel Hill

The Chapel Hill Town Council re-convenes on September 5, 2018. Here’s what we and they have to look forward to this fall:

Work Continues on Threats of Displacement to Mobile Home Dwellers

As we’ve covered before, there are many mobile home parks in Orange County and they are some of the most affordable types of housing we have. Many, however, are situated on land that is valuable and ripe for re-development (we are keeping an eye on the mobile home park on MLK and Taylor called the Tar Heel Mobile Court as the gas station in front of it has recently closed).

The Changing Face of Neighborhoods: Should we Blame Students?

What do we owe as a community to our marginalized, historic neighborhoods in a community built around a university? What do we owe to students from a university on which our communities thrive? Should we view students moving into existing residential neighborhoods as a threat or should we expect this change and manage for it?

The neighborhoods closest to the university are the most impacted by students as they move in. Impacts include more noise, foot and car traffic and sometimes more trash. They also result in co-learning, resource sharing and greater vibrancy. The challenge is that many of those neighborhoods are historically African American neighborhoods that have already faced cumulative impacts of systemic racism, dis-investment and gentrification.

Forum Open Thread 2018: Orange County School Board

Welcome to the open thread for the Orange County Board of Education candidate forum happening on April 15, 2018, at 7:00 pm. The candidates are:

  • Hawkeye Aguilar
  • Jessica Aguilar
  • Will Atherton
  • Hillary MacKenzie
  • Sarah Smylie
  • Brenda Stephens

We hope you'll use this open thread to post your thoughts and reactions or to propose additional discussion topics. The forum moderator will have final say in question selection.

Forum Open Thread 2018: Orange County Commissioners

Welcome to the open thread for the Orange County Board of Commissioners candidate forum happening on April 8, 2018, at 7:00 pm. Comments on this page are now open. The candidates are:

  • District 1: Jamezetta Bedford
  • District 2: Earl McKee, Tommy McNeill
  • At Large: Brian Crawford, Sally Greene, Noah Oswald

The forum itself is happening here:
https://orangepolitics.org/elections-2018/forums/bocc.

We hope you'll use this open thread to post your thoughts and reactions, or to propose additional discussion topics. The forum moderator will have final say in question selection.

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