Going digital, Time-Warner, and who owns the airwaves

Forewarned that setting up my two non-cabled analog televisions to receive digital signals will be "fiddly" and probably doomed, I've now got the converter instructions spread out in my kitchen, only to learn they presume that I either have a large outdoor antenna or cable service to the room.

If I had cable service to the room, I wouldn't need a converter, would I?  (It also says that trying to sync the remote with the TV should be abandoned "after 150 trials" - must have been written by someone with hugely more patience than I have).

All this brings me back to two abiding irritants: the national FCC giveaway to the big media companies and our local thralldom to Time-Warner.

The FCC giveaway probably doesn't qualify as a local issue for OP purposes, although the general loss of media local-ness is pertinent and - to put it mildly - regrettable. Our relation to Time-Warner is definitely local, since - at least in theory - the contract with them was locally considered, approved, and re-approved (?). 

High-speed Internet must be a part of Carrboro’s infrastructure

(An article I wrote for today's Carrboro Citizen.)

People who live, work and visit Carrboro love the free wireless Internet. But the Town of Carrboro’s wireless is a victim of its own success. I’ve heard from a lot of people who have problems with it and wish it worked in their homes. Fact is, the area the wireless signal covers is too small, the connection is unreliable and the bandwidth is too little. Now is the time for the Town of Carrboro to take the next step. I propose the town support the construction of fiber optic Internet connections to buildings within the downtown business district.

If a Diagonal Crossing is installed, but not visible?

As noted on the Endangered Pedestrians thread, Chapel Hill is testing an "exclusive pedestrian" traffic signal phase at the Columbia (NC 86) & Cameron intersection, a configuration of traffic signals and pedestrian "walk" displays that will allow those on foot to cross in all directions at once, including diagonally across the street.  This video (also below) demonstrates such a crossing in Los Angeles.

Maps & notices of Chapel Hill development proposals now online

This notice just issued from the Chapel Hill Planning Department:

Information about major development applications and concept plan submittals is now available online at the Town of Chapel Hill website at

The Planning Department has posted informational notices for major development applications and concept plan submittals. The notices announce opportunities for public review and comment, and provide maps showing proposed development locations. A citizen petition recently requested an update on the status of this work. The information will be updated regularly. Development application forms and materials continue to be available online at this same location. Please contact the Planning Department if you have questions at 919-968-2728.

Global Education Building Green Roof Tour

Via an email to UNC Sustainability Listserve:

Representatives from UNC Grounds, Facilities Planning, Energy Services, and Environment, Health and Safety will be on hand to describe the system and answer any questions you may have.  Come learn about all aspects of this project, everything from what it took to make the project happen to the routine maintenance requirements.  And if that isn't enough, we will also be providing FREE FOOD!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 8:00am to 10:00am


Global Education Building, Fourth Floor



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