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.

Keep dancing - Wednesdays on Weaver Street

Guest post by Michal OsterweilWe're still here... and we still want to dance!For more of that community magic and power...Same time, same place, same dance... let Carr Mill know that we still care about this issue and we are not going to just get bored and go away. Lets make this one even bigger.Bring your friends, musical instruments... and your dancing shoes!WSM lawn, Wednesday, September 6, 5:30 PM, the Carrboro community dances back!Please forward widely.

Franklin, meet Franklin

Speaking of business managers that don't understand the culture from which they profit (or hope to profit)...

A reader points us to an article in today's N & O in which the manager of the not-yet-open Franklin Hotel wants Festifall moved off Franklin Street because it might endanger his building. This guy can't have been in Chapel Hill long as the only street fair he's ever experienced here was last year's Apple Chill, which itself was fine, but ended very very badly.

Although the Franklin will not have any guests during the street fair, [hotel manager Michael] Donaldson said Thursday that fire crews might have trouble responding to the hotel should a problem arise that day.

Footloose Bruce petition & screening

1. There will be a discussion of the dancing ban and a screening of the movie Footloose on Sunday at 7 pm at 116 Old Pittsboro Rd in Carrboro. (Thanks, Michal.)

2. Please sign the petition below to support free expression on the lawn of Carr Mill Mall.

This is a special-rules OP post. For discussion, please join us at http://orangepolitics.org/2006/08/live-on-the-lawn . Any non-petition-signing comments will be removed. E-mail validation is still required. Commenting below will indicate agreement with the following statement:

Partnership's priorities

After the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership spent considerable time and money last spring developing their retro logo and slogan, their board has decided it will not pony up for a local artist to assess the condition of downtown's murals.

If someone's going to put money into assessing the condition of the murals painted on various walls around town, it likely won't be the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.

The partnership's board declined Wednesday to earmark $800 for artist Michael Brown to spend about three days studying the state of the murals and writing up a report on their condition. The board had expressed some doubts this spring about paying for an assessment and deferred action, and partnership director Liz Parham brought the matter back to the board's agenda Wednesday.
- heraldsun.com: Downtown group declines to pay for assessing murals, 8/24/06

Live on the Lawn

Sorry to start yet another thread on the Dancing Man Controversy, but this one's important and time-sensitive. Someone has answered the call for a dance-in. Be there tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5:30 and get your groove on! I understand that Bruce himself helped to organize this:

It's a Carrboro scandal...and Carrboro residents are dancing back...Wednesday, August 23, 5:30 pm... Weaver Street lawn…

In late July Carr Mill Mall manager Nathan Milian told Bruce Thomas, dancer extraordinaire, that he could no longer dance on the "private property" of Weaver Street Market's lawn. Read http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/476463.html for a more complete story.

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