Carolina North Forum: Another Perspective

Local activists Neighborhoods for Responsible Growth are holding a forum this evening to discuss their and other local folks views of UNC’s Carolina North project:

In cooperation with a series of sponsors and collaborators, NRG will host a community forum on Carolina North, the proposed UNC research campus planned for the Horace Williams tract in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The forum will take place the evening of June 4, 2007, at the Chapel Hill Town Council Chambers at 7:00 p.m. Forum topics will include a review of the most recent discussions and developments, and what these might mean for our community. Our panel will consist of community leaders who have been involved in the Leadership Advisory Committee discussions and other activities concerning this issue. The forum will include presentations from the panel and a question and answer session for citizens.

Click here for forum details.

Groups sponsoring tonight’s forum include:

What? No Chamber of Commerce sustainability folks?

Mike Collins, the NRG’s “go to guy” wrote a column on tonight’s event for the Chapel Hill News


Imagine a thriving research community in the heart of Chapel Hill — a home for innovative technologies and business opportunities, a model of sustainability, self-sufficient, self-powered, a place of the future on a footprint small enough to preserve the surrounding 700 acres of woodlands and streams. One that merges seamlessly into the surrounding community, accessible by a number of transit modes, and with green spaces and amenities that draw citizens from everywhere.

Or…imagine a development the size of five Southpoint shopping malls, traditional buildings with massive parking lots, gridlock as people fill the roads on their way home to northern Orange, Alamance, and Chatham counties. Imagine more and more days with air pollution advisories. Imagine water shortages and increased taxes brought on by poor planning and lack of foresight.

There’s a fairly developed thread discussing the forum, its participants and other ephemera over here on OrangePolitics.

This will be a great opportunity to hear different perspectives on Carolina North.


3 responses to “Carolina North Forum: Another Perspective”

  1. Fred Black Avatar
    Fred Black

    “What? No Chamber of Commerce sustainability folks?”

    Maybe, Will, you should ask the organizers who they invited to be “sponsors.” If you look closely, you can easily see the interlocking relationships. And note that Bernadette Pelissier is a member of the Foundation for a Sustainable Community’s CLC.

    Rather than to create a division of our community by insinuation, it may be in all of our best interests to work together!

  2. Administrator Avatar

    That’s what I get for being snarky.

    I am familiar with the “interlocking” relationships. By happenstance, I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how our small Town functions, the various groups/players/etc. promoting various agendas – good and bad – and, how, sometimes, coziness morphs into cliquishness.

    Who is on what important sounding committee or a member of an inclusive sounding organization or who attended this or that function becomes more of a tool of exclusion than a strengthener of our democratic institutions.

    The circles of influence run tight at times.

    What’s more divisive than having your local folks wanting to promote positive change litmus tested and categorized into “ins and outs”? It’s easy to ignore the “outs”, isn’t it?

    As far as the Foundation, aren’t you troubled by the growing divergence between what is said and what is done? You called out the H-S, even retired as a columnist, when their promotion didn’t match their product – can you see why folks, like myself, are concerned about the Chamber’s initiative?

  3. Fred Black Avatar
    Fred Black

    Will, the issues that you raise are indeed issues, but not the one that your post calls up. Who was asked to sponsor is an empirical question, just as who said yes is.

    In this community, who participates is less a function of intentional exclusion and more a case of who takes the initiative to participate. Sure, there are always barriers that need to be removed, but saying it is hard or inconvenient to vote so I won’t is a great indicator of the desire to participate here.

    Why are so many boards and commissions spending so much time to find volunteers? Why do so many “grass root” and “representative organizations” all face the same labor shortage? Joining is not the same as working!

    Therefore I disagree on the “tool of exclusion” observation because I think that for a variety of reasons, people lack the desire to participate. They don’t have your energy or staying power – or your tenacity, base of knowledge, and unbounded interest.

    As one who is part of the Chamber’s initiative, I disagree with your take and I have heard little of the criticisms that you lodge. You tend to forget, it is a member based organization and doesn’t get to move at the speed that you might like.

    Hence, as Plato asked, “who shall lead?” No vacuum lasts long so those who are the willing fill whatever void is out there. Thus, rail against the reasons why people have lost the desire to serve, work, and be involved.

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