Public Health & Safety

Happy Anniversary Planned Parenthood!

In 1982, five Orange County women who believed that every child born should be loved and wanted, founded a local chapter of Planned Parenthood. This year, we celebrate 25 years of reaching out, growing strong, and meeting the needs of the community.

We've grown from a small storefront operation that could only dispense education and contraceptives to a powerful organization that helped 18,889 people last year alone.

In addition to our health centers, we have reached countless people through our peer education and through our advocacy for good public policy. During the last legislative session we supported a bill that would provide emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault; one that would repair NC's Sex Ed curriculum, one that would expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program and another that provided information about the HPV vaccine to parents.

Lingering doubts?

The Town of Carrboro is scheduling a public hearing for an "anti-lingering ordinance" - basically another way of saying a loitering ordinance - that would apply only at certain times of day and only at the intersection of Jones Ferry Road and Davie Road (ie: across the street from Abbey Court apartments, aka Old Well when I was in college). If you've ever driven by in the morning, you know that this site is used daily by contractors to pick up day laborers.

The problem is that after those with jobs leave, a lot of guys hang around, look unsavory (hardly a crime), and sometimes cause real problems. Back in September the Board of Aldermen directed the town staff to step up enforcement of alcohol rules and to work with property owners and neighbors in the area to address problems with littering, etc.

Stage Two Coming Up?

I just drove across University Lake at Jones Ferry Road. I reckon we have all noticed the grass growing on the bare bottom of the Northe nd of the reservoir, but it looked jsut now like the grass was starting to turn brown . . . Anyway, so the OWASA Board of Directors will be meeting this Thursday at 7:30 PM to consider whether to declare a Stage Two water shortage.

Here's hoping OWASA will proceed to stage two. It looks like we have about 5 and a half months of water left if we keep consuming the way we have been.

Stage Two (2) Water Shortage

. . . Upon OWASA's declaration of a Stage Two Water Shortage, the following actions shall be taken with the goal of reducing overall water demand by fifteen (15) percent:

Water use by individually metered residential customer accounts and by individually metered single-family residential irrigation-only accounts shall be limited to no more than an average of 800 gallons per day during any monthly billing cycle beginning after the declaration of a Water Supply Shortage or Water Supply Emergency and ending while such restrictions are still in effect.

Will Chapel Hill/Carrboro Ever Be Bike-Friendly?

I very nearly bit the dust this morning on Dairyland, about 1/2 mile west of Old 86.

While on my morning bicycle ride, minding my own business along the road's virtually nonexistent shoulder, a driver whipping past me clipped my left hip and the edge of my left handlebar. Miraculously, I was not injured physically, although I am pretty shaken up. Two more inches and I wouldn't be here to type this right now.

I mention this out of a growing frustration with the gaping disparity between the image that this area has of itself (as a place that facilitates active, healthy lifestyles and encourages alternative transportation methods) and the reality of our local roads, which are for the most part very unfriendly to bikes and pedestrians.

I think of the often-expressed desire to limit parking spaces at Carolina North in order to encourage other modes of transport, and then I think of my experience this morning, and I ruefully laugh. The truth is that we do not have the road infrastructure to support anything other than cars and buses on our roads, and, so far as I know, no comprehensive plan to change that.

Local Dems support Rogers Road neighbors

Jack Sanders, Chairman of the OCDP gave the following speech to the Chapel Hill Town Council on Monday 9/24: Please note that I have permission from Jack to post the full text.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor and Council members.

I am Jack Sanders, Chair of the Orange County Democratic Party, and I rise to speak for the Democratic Party in support of the Rogers Road Community. We have asked the Board of County Commissioners to reconsider its decision to site the Waste Transfer Station in the vicinity of the Rogers Road Community and to conduct a thorough public search for an alternative site. I am here before you because Chapel Hill too has a role to play.

Chapel Hill is a progressive community, one that takes its principles seriously, chief among them the principle of social justice. Equally important is the notion of the integrity of government, the notion that our governments will treat all communities fairly, and that promises made will be kept.

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