Caught this young scofflaw just a short time after the private press conference announcing WSM’s new policy of “licensing” lawn performers.

The, short notice, private press event, held by Ruffin Slater, general manager of the Weaver St. Market (WSM) co-op, and Nathan Milian, property manager of Carr Mill mall appears to have been short on answers, including how the new, by permission only “Live on the Lawn” program will work.

Local radio WCHL1360 covered the event, so, hopefully more details will be forthcoming. Until then, we’ll have to scratch our heads about how the “limit of one performance per week per artist or group” will apply to free spirits like the young hoopers or even to the supposed reason for the new policy, dancing Bruce.

Nathan Milian underlined the graciousness of Carr Mill’s owners in providing “an outlet for artists wishing to share their work with the general public, free of charge to both the artist and the public.” Is that the same public that already supports Carr Mill’s business with their hard-earned wages?

Milian, again spinning furiously, proclams this is “another way for the community to benefit from the lawn.” No mention on how Carr Mill’s tenants benefit from the community.

Applications for the new lawn license are not currently available (as of 4:30pm) but I’ve been told the office will have some tomorrow (Aug. 23rd).

The whole mess remains a cautionary tale for Chapel Hill as our Council rushes to turn over public-owned lands to private control. We need stronger requirements protecting open access to what will have been citizen-owned assets.

I believe in strong property rights. Carr Mill’s owners are free to set the public access rules. If empty stores are a result of an


empty lawn,

so be it.

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