Month: May 2007

  • Democrats No Longer

    I’m a registered Independent. OK, OK. I know there is no such thing as an Independent designation, just unaffiliated. Unaffiliated. Indecisive. Indifferent. Uncommitted. Uninvolved. Fence-sitter. Don’t care. A truly perverse bit of political framing. I hope my occasional contributions to the local debate (CitizenWill , OrangePolitics, SqueezeThePulp, the Daily Tar Heel, the Chapel Hill News) […]

  • Carolina North: Two Years of Diminishing Economic Expectations

    Yesterday’s Carolina North outreach, once again, was heavy on promises – the vast possibility of grey goo, the escalating energy efficiencies of blue sky projections – light on details. As a NC taxpayer, I’ve been waiting for UNC to produce a real, updated business plan reflecting 2007’s economic realities. Hey, we’re plunking down billions at […]

  • Carolina North: Location! Location! Relocation?

    If there was a theme to yesterday’s third community outreach on UNC’s Carolina North project it was “more of the same”. Same dearth of detail. Same soft sell of the economic benefits. Same back “peddling” (as in wheeling-n-dealing) on their functional commitments. UNC Chancellor Moeser’s “quarterback”, Jack Evans, presented the major recalibration of Carolina North’s […]

  • Orange County’s White Vote

    OK, before folks freak out, I have gotten to know the staff at the Orange County Board of Elections fairly well over the last 5 years. They’re friendly, professional and have always gone the extra mile to clarify issues/fix problems. I’m fairly sure they had no hand in the selection of this, ummmm, very white […]

  • Municipal Networking: Could We Have a Little Less Big Brother?

    Four years ago I suggested we use the scheduled upgrade of our traffic system to fiber to upgrade Chapel Hill’s own communication infrastructure. May 21st, Council is prepared to approve funds. $500,000 to be exact, to move ahead with that tandem upgrade. For a very modest cost, less, I believe, than what Council has set […]

  • Downtown Internet Gets a Little Hotter?

    Ran into Bob Avery, the Town’s IT Director, on Franklin St. today. Turns out he’s surveying Downtown with an eye towards deploying a small pilot program of free Internet hot spots in the near future. The pilot would use Clearwire as the high-speed wireless backhaul. The only resources needed are power and location. I cautioned […]

  • Another $460,000 for Lot $5: Will Rising Costs Mean Raising Taxes?

    From the May 7th Chapel Hill Town Council agenda: We estimate the following budget is needed to continue carrying out the implementation of the Lot 5 project in accordance with the Town’s responsibilities under the Development Agreement through June 30, 2008: Environmental Remediation: $240,000 Construction Management Services: $150,000 Professional Services: $65,000 Peer Review Honorarium: $5,000 […]

  • Carrot or Stick: House Approves Chapel Hill’s Energy Reduction Incentives

    Via Council member Mark Kleinschmidt’s ‘blog, it appears we’re well on the way to Chapel Hill getting a carrot to entice developers to adhere to better environmental standards. The new law : “Sec. 5.19. Ordinances permitting density bonuses and other land‑use development incentives for development projects agreeing to meet energy conservation carbon reduction standards. For […]