Environment

Chatham County Growth Issues

are the topic of tonight's Sierra Club forum:

Chatham County Growth Issues
Prospects and Possible Solutions
Wednesday, March 9th, 7:30 p.m
Chapel Hill Town Hall, 306 North Columbia Street

Loyse Hurley, president of Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities, Jeffrey Starkweather, president of Chatham Coalition and Mike Cross and Patrick Barnes, two newly-elected Chatham County commissioners who were endorsed by the Sierra Club, are the presenters.

The meeting will be televised on public access.

A new challenge for town and gown

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday, March 05, 2005

On Feb. 16, 141 nations celebrated the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, an unprecedented global response to the greatest crisis facing the world -- global warming. In one respect, Kyoto represents the culmination of a process that spanned the last century as nations worked to build the capacity to cooperate in the face of global challenges.

Unfortunately, the celebration of this historic moment is sadly diminished for Americans. Alone among the world's great powers, the United States steadfastly refuses to participate.

Reading the various reports and analyses of what one commentator called America's "monumental shame," it struck me that this was a time for local government to truly step into the breach. Symbolic measures, like our towns' occasional protests of national policy, would not be sufficient. Action was needed, the only question being what form that action should take.

Sustainability matters

Guest Post by Sarah Myers

With Chapel Hill debating how to spend extra transit money, Carrboro looking at several major downtown development projects, and Carolina North looming over it all, encouraging integrated transportation is a hot topic and one important to the entire community. The UNC Sustainability Office has invited Spenser Havlick to speak Monday, 3/7. This is a great opportunity for Orange County residents to learn more about transportation strategies from a well-known expert in the field.

Blurb from the UNC Sustainability Office:

The Grocery Shopping Project: Whole Foods or Whole Paycheck?

In January I wrote about my first experience shopping at Weaver Street Market for my major grocery needs. I've been an owner for several years, but primarily limited my purchases to single meals at the cafe, doing the majority of my shopping at the neighboring Harris Teeter.

I thought I'd follow that up by shopping at the Whole Foods in Chapel Hill. Not as convenient to me in Carrboro as the Harris Teeter or Weaver Street, but after having a friend laughingly call it "Whole Paycheck," I decided to put my paycheck on the line and see how it compares.

This experiment was never intended to be rigorously scientific, but I did bring my standard grocery list of cold cuts, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, granola bars, mixed nuts, crackers, chips, bread, milk, juice, eggs, morningstar products, and room for anything else that might catch my eye. Since I go out to eat (and drink) fairly frequently, I tend to avoid purchasing some pricer individual items like beer, wine, and meat.

Here comes Briar Chapel

Last week the Chatham County Commissioners approved a project called Briar Chapel. It is being described as "another Siler City" (pop. 7,000) - and that's not counting the three shopping centers. Except of course it's nowhere near Siler City, it's over here near our neck of the woods.

Many people in Chatham County are understandably alarmed about how their schools and other public facilities will handle this rapid growth. Here's some information about the fiscal impact of this development on Chatham County, from a local blog called The Chatham Shagbark (sadly defunct of late) .

But being selfish, I have to wonder about the impact here in southern Orange County. Where are these people going to work and how are they going to get there?

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