Economy & Downtown

Chapel Hill's downtown has long benefited from its proximity to a captive audience of University students without cars. While downtowns around the country have been failing, ours has survived fairly well. However, we have seen an increase in the number of chain stores locating downtown, and instability in the Downtown Economic Development Corporation. In the near future, we will see new Town-directed development on two major parking lots have a big impact.
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Carrboro's downtown has also done better than many towns of comparable size, thanks largely to the presence of Weaver Street Market and progressive shoppers from the rest of the county. The Board of Aldermen has been addressing the evolution of the downtown, and have established a number of community resources in the downtown area including free wireless Internet access, and a low-power radio station.

Chapel Hill is occupied... kinda

#occupyCHC is in full swing at Chapel Hill's Peace & Justice Plaza. I spent about 6 hours downtown yesterday participating in the kick-off of Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro (a.k.a. #occupyCHC). It was a great event with well over 100 people participating. I'm sure there would have been way more if not for the football traffic and parking situation.

At at 2:30 we held a very participatory consensus-based meeting called the General Assembly. This is part of the extensive organizational structure including organized working groups and decision-making processes developed at Occupy Wall Street in New York (a month old tomorrow!) and passed along to the massive diaspora of occupations including "over 1,500 cities globally and over 100 US cities." For now General Assemblies are scheduled for 6pm daily at Peace & Justice Plaza, although this could change.

Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro

Date: 

Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 10:30am

Location: 

Peace and Justice Plaza, Franklin St. Post Office, 179 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

Let's have a park-in

If you're not familiar with the recent or past history of Carr Mill Mall management's anti-Carrboro policies, catch up with us at http://orangepolitics.org/tags/carr-mill. I am so frustrated by the attitude that Carr Mill owes nothing to the community that has made them so successful.

A few days ago ago, Damon and I were looking for a place to park in downtown Carrboro. We had a question and asked Hector (the security guard), he gave us a short answer and a slip of paper with the following printed on it (verbatim):

Quarter-Cent Sales Tax Referendum Gets a Second Chance

A committee to help pass the sales tax referendum has been created with representatives of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, the Chapel Hill Town Council, the Carrboro Board of Alderspersons, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Board of Education, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, The Partnership for Children, the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the Orange County Schools Board of Education, the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtor, and Orange County Justice United. 

I am serving on the Campaign for Jobs and Schools committee as a representative from Orange County Justice United. Justice United discussed the referendum at one of it’s full meetings and voted to endorse it. We are supporting the sales tax because funds raised in this way will reduce the exorbitant sewer and water rates for our lower income neighbors in the north of the county and will also reduce the tax burden on county homeowners, while supporting our schools.

What We Can Learn From Durham

[Mr. Bull]Apparently I was quoted in the News & Observer after last week's information session about UNC's proposed redevelopment of University Square. I didn't notice that story, but today a colleague said something to me about a cartoon in the Independent Weekly. Wha? After some hunting I found this V.C Rogers illustration "Mr. Bull" which features my statement that "Durham has been kicking our ass, Chapel Hill has to catch up."

While I'm not especially proud of how articulate that one (out of context) quotation was, I do stand behind it. Seeing the way the Indy cartoon twisted my point made me want to expand or at least explain a little more.

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