Indy: Best Blog 2004!

Guest Post by Sally Greene

Congratulations to Ruby! was named by the Independent Weekly today as "Best Blog" in their "Best of the Triangle."

Our own pick for Best Blog is a site that demonstrates how effective the
medium can be as a civic forum:, created by activist
and techie Ruby Sinreich, is a buzzing site full of news about every
conceivable issue: school merger, town'gown relations, traffic, you name
it. Local politicians, activists and commentators often contribute guest
posts, and the message boards host some very lively debate. The site is
elegantly designed and constantly updated, despite being ad-free and
non-commercial. We wish every community in the Triangle had an online
venue like this one.

Sally Greene is a member of the Chapel Hill Town Council. She can be reached at sally AT ibiblio DOT org.

The Real Liberal Media

I've always been perplexed that people think of the media as liberal, especially after the coverage of the war, local gay civil rights issues, and free trade have all been decidedly right of center over the past few years. That's why it's refreshing to hear that there is a new unabashedly progressive voice on the radio: Air America. This radio community includes shows with Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, two faves among progressives. It will debut at noon today, so be sure to log on and be one of the first to hear.

The question is, when will we get this programming on local stations? WCHL apparently thought about including these shows, but then bailed. Who will step up to the plate to make sure that we have progressive voices in with the mix of right wing and centrist voices on our airwaves locally?

Important, But Not Above Reproach

Guest Post by Nick Eberlein

Now that UNC and Chapel Hill are prepping for new discussions over zoning and campus expansion, it seems like the editorial pages in the local papers have been handed their collective wet dream: "contentious negotiations," always ripe fodder for the opinion pages.

Woe is me, however, when I read rants like yesterday's editorial in The Daily Tar Heel entitled "Hostile Intention." I'm now convinced that what hampers both UNC and the town the most during these times of critical decision-making and long-term planning is the tendency of some in our community to blindly hop to one side of the fence or the other in reaction to either side's "hostility."

As both a UNC student and town native, I take strong issue with the DTH editorial board's assertion that "town residents would ideally like to live in a college town without the students." Nothing is further from the truth.

Bad News

Guest post by John Allore

Some recent local news items have got me chewing bile.

The Chapel Hill News, never afraid to address the tough issues (who can forget the three year saga of what is to become of the Orange County Animal Protection Society), has hit us again with another barn-burner:


The first annual Rock Paper Scissors Tournament took place over the weekend at the Cave in Chapel Hill. In case you missed the excitment, the News has devoted 31 paragraphs and front page status to the inaugural event.


On Monday evening two women were the victims of sexual assaults at two Carrboro apartment complexes. In both incidents men broke into the victims homes. In one of the assaults, the victim was molested at knife point; in the other, the woman - who struggled - was tied up and raped. Currently both suspects (or one?) are at-large.

Is Chapel Hill About to Fracture?

Guest post by Nick Eberlein

Once the brouhaha over November's council race and the implications it would have for the town - and more pointedly, for town-UNC relations - died down weeks afterward, we have seen very little in the press about what we may expect in the coming months, years, etc. between the two parties. But when I was made aware of Bob Burtman's fresh column in this week's Indy, it seems that a whole new round of mud-slinging, compromising, controversy, stonewalling, or stalemate could easily begin very soon.

The article, I think anyway, does a good job of weaving a synthesis between the successful advocacy candidates, the gearing up of Carolina North negotiations, the matching of university powerbrokers with elected officials to shoot the bull over common issues, and the ensuing lobbying petition that has resulted. What makes this article interesting is it sourced entirely with anonymous quotes (e.g., "a council member," "a student enrolled in Jonathan Howes' class") and makes some pretty damning allegations.



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