The Big Show in Chatham

Perhaps I'm the first back from the packed house at Dock side so I'll get the ball rolling.

What impressed me most was the strong group of progressive activists assembled from Chatham County. These folks are committed to achieving the kind of sustainable land-use planning and economic development strategies that progressive orangepolitics would surely endorse.

Based on last year's election, we can see that real change is coming to Chatham. Allies in Orange should acknowledge their leadership on their own turf (as was the case tonight) and work in solidarity where possible.

Some tidbits:
Wasn't expecting Kevin Foy who apparently carpooled with Bill Strom, Cam Hill, and Mark Chilton. The way my brain works, I noted that they comprised a group of Town Council members elected in 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2003 and a mayor to fill in the missing year of 2001 if you count Foy twice. I guess Alderman Chilton counts twice too.

Nearby was a table with Joe Capowski, Terri Buckner, Laurin Easthom, Alex Zaffron, and Mary Rabinowitz. Now there's a fivesome Roy might balk at coaching!

Up Against the Wal

From Mark Barroso:

I would like to remind everyone of the citizen-organized meeting about a possible Wal-Mart in north Chatham on Thursday, 7/28 at 7 pm at the Dockside Restaurant in Cole Park Plaza. Former Chatham Commission Chair Gary Phillips will moderate the discussion. The Chatham County Planning Director and at least one commissioner will attend and answer questions.

Several presenters will explain the process and issues, we will organize our opposition and begin the fight to keep the godzilla of retail from stomping on our community.

Please come early and buy dinner at Dockside, in support of the owner who has opened his doors to us without charge.

For those who don't know, Lee-Moore Oil Co is planning a retail center with a Walmart, two restaurants and yet another gas station on the land between ALR and the new UNC park and ride. Here's a map of the area (cool new Google map feature learned at yesterday's Blogging Teach-In)

New OWASA board members

For those unfamiliar with it, the Orange Water And Sewer Authority Board of Directors is considered by many to be the most powerful non-elected body in Orange County. Members are appointed by the elected officials of the various government bodies. According to a recent announcement from OWASA:

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen, Chapel Hill Town Council and Orange County Board of Commissioners recently made four appointments to the OWASA Board of Directors.

  • Mr. Mac Clarke of Chapel Hill, who began serving on the OWASA Board in 2003, was reappointed.
  • Ms. Terri Buckner and Mrs. Laura Sandvik were appointed by the Carrboro Aldermen.
  • Ms. Marge Anders Limbert was appointed to the OWASA Board by the Orange County Commissioners.

Ms. Buckner has served on Carrboro's Transportation Advisory Board and Environmental Advisory Board. She is now Vice Chair of the Chapel Hill Information Technology Committee and a volunteer researcher for the local Community Initiative to End Homelessness.

Let them eat cake

In today's Chapel Hill News, Fearrington Village Resident Lola Spritzer wants to have her cake and eat it too. She moved out into the country not because she couldn't afford living in town, but because she "loved the rural-like atmosphere of Chatham County." And yet now she "can't accept" the inconvenience of having to drive 30-minutes to get what she needs.

We moved to this area 10 years ago because we loved the rural-like atmosphere of Chatham County. But growth is inevitable. So it is with a great sense of loss that I accept the upcoming housing developments, the increase in population and the denuded two-lane country road that was once U.S. 15-501.

What I don't accept is the long-distance driving we face week after week. Wal-Mart, if the rumor becomes a fact, would be just down the road. So considering the high cost of fuel and the wear and tear on the car, I'll swallow my reservations, ignore the barbs from my friends and enjoy the convenience
- My View, Chapel Hill News, 7/20/05

Free Fridays from OWASA

Here's an announcement from the folks at OWASA:

Customers are invited to “Free Fridays” at University Lake and the Cane Creek Reservoir from July 15th through August 19th

OWASA cordially invites all customers to use the Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake for free on July 15, 22 and 29th; and on August 5, 12 and 19th.

The “Free Friday” program enables OWASA customers to rent an OWASA boat or use a private boat without the usual lake use fees. (The fee for renting an electric trolling motor does apply on Free Fridays.)

To get a waiver, an OWASA customer would need to bring a recent bill.

In addition, the Free Friday program is offered to residents of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community who receive OWASA service but do not receive an OWASA bill because they live in a development served through a master meter. Residents without a bill are asked to bring identification so that their local residence can be confirmed.

The lakes will be open for recreation through mid-November as follows:



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