Public Health & Safety

Great Investigative Piece in the Indy

The Indy has a great investigative story this week about how a member of Orange County's committee studying whether the county should limit the practice of tethering dogs on chains or ropes has extensive ties to the dog fighting industry.

An excerpt from reporter Ashley Roberts' story:

When Alane Koki applied to become a member of an Orange County citizens' committee studying whether the county should limit the practice of tethering dogs on chains or ropes, she submitted a 13-page résumé citing numerous accomplishments as a scientist and medical researcher: a doctorate in zoology, a dozen patents, and publication in more than 50 journals.

What Koki didn't list in her application, however, was her long history of breeding pit bulls in other states and her association with local kennel owner Tom Garner, a nationally known breeder of pit bulls and a convicted dog fighter whom commissioners declined to appoint to the committee the same night they approved Koki.

Health as a human right

Guest Post by Sarah Chasnovitz

I am a student at UNC School of Law participating in the Human Rights Policy Clinic. Along with my classmates and our faculty advisor, Deborah Weissman, I am working with the National Health Law Project on a project promoting health as a human right.

Although Orange County is a vocal supporter of human rights and has a history of supporting resolutions reminding our leaders of our obligations under the Geneva Convention and the Convention Against Torture, we have not been as vocal about social and economic rights, particularly here at home. There is a national movement of policymakers, activists, and civic leaders promoting the idea that we need to bring human rights home to our communities. One area in which Orange County can take the lead is by affirming its commitment to the internationally recognized right to health.

New Findings, Meeting on Fire Violations at Shearon Harris

Elected officials have questions about risks, why Harris wants years to comply with safety rules

What: A public meeting hosted by NC Senators Ellie Kinnaird and Janet Cowell

When: Thursday, March 22nd, 7 pm

Where: The Barn at Fearrington Village (15-501, between Pittsboro & Chapel Hill)

Participants: Officials from various local, state and federal jurisdictions.

David Lochbaum, Union of Concerned Scientists
Paul Gunter, Nuclear Information and Research Service
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (declined 3/19)
Progress Energy (invited)

The Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant has increased its risk of a radiation disaster by violating federal fire safety regulations for 14 years – after promising for years to correct all vulnerabilities. The meeting will deal with new information regarding legal action by public interest groups demanding the NRC enforce its rules on fire safety. Key issues include:

Commissioners discuss waste transfer station tonight

At their meeting tonight, the Board of Orange County Commissioners (BOCC) will getting an update on the process of siting as waste transfer station to ship our garbage out of the county. It looks like they might be deciding on the Eubanks site, or they could decide to look at other sites, or maybe even re-open the search.

The Manager recommends that the Board receive the attached information and provide staff with additional comments or direction regarding a final decision on a transfer station location. Should the Board wish to further consider one of the two Highway 70 candidate sites, staff will prepare a detailed assessment of the site, including the scheduling of a community meeting and other opportunities for community input into the search process, and arrange a transfer station tour for interested residents of the Highway 70/Eno DD area.

- Action agenda item abstract (PDF).

New Chief announced in Chapel Hill

Below are excepts from the Town's press release announcing the selection of Thomas McCarthy to be Chapel Hill's new Chief of Police starting June 25. The press release is unclear about where the new chief worked immediately before applying for this position, but in his picture he's wearing a uniform from Fayetteville. The Interim Chief in Fayetteville apparently took the helm upon McCarthy's retirement on February 1, 2007. Hmm, any connection to our new manager?

Following a comprehensive search and selection process, Town Manager Roger L. Stancil today (Tuesday, March 6) announced the selection of Thomas McCarthy as the new chief of police for Chapel Hill.

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