Public Health & Safety

Revisting Assumptions

I applaud the Mayor and Council for meeting to examine the assumptions that they have held about growth and planning development in Chapel Hill as described in the 2/28 Herald Sun Article below:

         Council revisits assumptions on high density projects

Concierge Medicine comming to Chapel Hill

My GP doctor of 18 years and his practice, Chapel Hill Family Medicine, are converting to "concierge medicine", sometimes known as boutique medicine. What this means is that to stay with my doctor, whom I like, it will cost me $1500 per year, $1000 which goes to him and $500 which goes to MDVIP, the company which franchises this service. My doctor will reduce his patient load to a maximum of 600 patients. MDVIP limits its franchises to experienced established practices in high income areas.

What this buys is 24 hour access to your doctor, extended preventative medicine including expanded physical, all you records on a cd.. etc.. or to put it another way, high quality individual attention that should be available anyway.


WATER: THE CYCLE of LIFE: A Water Resources and the Future of Orange County Symposium  

Do you have questions and concerns about the current and future affect of the drought on our reservoir and well water supply?  If you do, then come to a program where a distinguished group of water resource experts will help us understand these complex issues. Charles Daniel, Pat Davis, Tom Konsler, and Rick Bolich will make presentations Sunday March 9th from 2:30 to 4:30 at the Southern Human Services Building on Homestead Rd. in Chapel Hill.

The Community Action Network (CAN), whose mission is to raise public awareness for a sustainable community, is sponsoring “Water the Cycle of Life — A Water Resources and Future of Orange County Symposium.”  Charles Daniel and Rick Bolich are hydro-geologists who will help us understand how our water supply is replenished and show of results of the “Orange County Water Resource Studies” completed by the US Geological Survey (USGS).  Mr. Daniel conducted the Orange County USGS research and Mr. Bolich of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, conducted drought workshops for Orange County citizens this past summer and fall.  Pat Davis, OWASA Utility Manager and past Triangle J Water Resources Manager, will show us the state of the municipal water supply, recent research findings, and the efforts implemented to protect our local water quality.  Tom Konsler, Orange County Environmental Health Director, will provide information on the health and care of wells and ground water in Orange County.

All of the speakers will share their ideas on what we can do to conserve the quantity and protect the quality of our water resources.  Orange County is fortunate to have had our water resources studied and protected more than any other county in the state.  So come on out and bring your friends and neighbors with you!  We all need to learn more about the status of our water and we also must know what each of us can do to conserve and protect our precious water resource.



Sunday, March 9, 2008 - 10:30am to 12:30pm


Southern Human Services Bldg., 2501 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill

Your Daily Commute

A few weeks ago, I was asked to take a look at my daily commute and examine it in terms of the physical factors that affect my journey. Below is a video that represents the route I travel (almost) every day and the hurdles I encounter. Because I walk a pretty short distance most days, it's a very microscopic view of pedestrian travel issues in downtown Chapel Hill. I want to turn the question around to the Orange Politics community, and see what you think of your commute. What problems do you have to deal with every day on your way to work/school/where ever, and what do you see as the solution?



How can we let this happen

I found this very disturbing because we are on one hand trying to help people who are homeless - who probably have mental health problems and don't have any health insurance and don't have a provider to give them help - and we are shutting down another health provider that was doing great work in all three counties. Here's the article:

Around 1500 mental health patients won’t get services this year because of cuts in state reimbursement rates [says] Doctor John Gilmore, a psychiatrist at UNC Hospitals. The funding cut has caused mental health assistance group Caring Family Network to cease offering services in Orange, Chatham and Person counties.

CFN received around 12 million dollars from the federal and state budgets this fiscal year, and has dealt with financial problems. Gilmore says mental health funding for the state doesn’t provide enough money to go around.

Gilmore believes the problem centers around the privatization of local mental health centers so that public mental health systems are now in the hands of private companies.



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