News & Observer: Old Dog, New Tricks

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

First we have the N&O’s local property, The Chapel Hill News, jumping on-board the new media train – with video, their OrangeChat ‘blog – maybe in response to some citizen efforts and new outlets like the Carrboro Citizen.

Now, the N&O’s Leah Friedman takes it to the next level, reporting a scant 3 hours (3:05pm to be exact) after the Cindy Sheehan event with audio and video to boot!

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan stopped in Carrboro today and had lunch with about a dozen supporters and Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton.

Sheehan was invited to Carrboro by the Grassroots Impeachment Movement or GRIM, which wants to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney. The group dined at Panzanella, known for its use of local ingredients.

“I’m holding elected officials accountable,” Sheehan said to a horde of media before she sat down for lunch.

Audio, video and still photographs here. Well done Leah.

The tools of new media journalism, to wit a video capable digital camera, are cheap and effective and should be part of any newsprint journalist arsenal.

By the way, the Carrboro Citizen’s Kirk Ross weighed in at 12:52pm, just 13 minutes after CitizenWill did.

I hope they cover this year’s elections in a similar fashion.

Where is the Herald-Sun? Falling further and further behind…

Broadcast Localism: More Fun To Be Had…

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Chad Johnston just posted this over on OrangePolitics.org about this weekend’s Peoples Channel fundraiser (July 21st, Horace-William’s House, 6-8pm):

Hey folks,

Just wanted to give an update on this really cool event! Food and drink will be provided by:

  • Benjamin Vineyard, Anathoth Community Garden from Cedar Grove,
  • Cane Creek Farm Pork,
  • Yugela’s treats,
  • Matthew’s artisan chocolates,
  • Sari Sari Sweets,
  • The Farmer’s Daughter,
  • Curryblossom Creations (Vimala’s food) [Vimala’s food!!!! Absolutely delightful Indian].

Now if food wasn’t enough to entice you, check this out!

Local artist Tama Hochbaum will be present to talk about her work, “The Way I See Us: Family Portraits” currently hanging in the Horace Williams house.

AND, Alan Toda-Ambaras will be playing cello…if you don’t know Alan, you’re in for a surprise! Here’s a bit from his bio:

“Alan’s performances have gained enthusiastic reviews. In Paris, he “touched the public and the jury” (musique.france2.fr). The Washington Post noted that Alan “has the poise of a seasoned performer” and “showed off his strengths convincingly in the demanding repertoire.” And another critic declared that Alan’s playing “proved remarkable by any standard. . . . Toda-Ambaras is worth seeking out and hearing.”

And I might add, he’s only 16!

So come on…eat some great food, drink some wonderful wine, and support local media and arts!

Hope to see you there!

Chad Johnston
The Peoples Channel

For directions and more information, look at my Friday the 13th post “Broadcasting Localism: A Peoples Channel Fundraiser”.

Cindy Sheehan: This is NOT a Rally

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

[UPDATE:] More from the CarrboroCitizen.

[UPDATEx2:] Some photos of the event..

Peggy Misch wants to make sure everyone knows, in spite of what the local press says, there is no Sheehan rally at Carr Mill Mall. Just a simple lunch with Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton and some folks from GRIM ( Grassroots Impeachment Movement).

It appears Cindy is interested in lending her weight to the movement to boot Bush out of office.

The original scuttle-butt suggested there would be a rally on the Weaver St. lawn, but fears of another backlash quashed those plans.

How sad that a visitor of Sheehan’s nature can’t stand under the broad branches of the sheltering trees of the Weave’s lawn to tell her story and make a call for action.

This is NOT a rally on the privately held Carr Mill parking lots.

Peggy Misch, not attending a protest rally.


Other non-protesters at a non-rally on Carr Mill’s private property.

Cindy Sheehan, welcome to Carrboro/Chapel Hill

Maybe there was no room under the tree? Whoops, doesn’t appear so…

Election 2007: Candidates Line Up

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Filing for office begins noon July 6th and ends noon July 20th.

Confirmed candidates for Chapel Hill Council and Mayoral races are:

  • Kevin Foy, current incumbent Mayor.
  • Sally Greene, 4-year incumbent Council member, ‘blogger.
  • Cam Hill (yes, quite a scary snapshot but there was no official site I could find), another 2003 winner and incumbent Council member
  • Bill Strom, another incumbent and current Mayor Pro-Tem (foiled, it seems this round in his quest for the Mayoralship)

As far as current Council members, that leaves Jim Ward yet to declare.

According to local political pundit and Chapel Hill Herald columnist Tom Jensen “this election is probably going to be a snoozer in Chapel Hill” (OP) because “it will be an uphill battle since incumbents rarely lose in Chapel Hill and I don’t think anyone on Council has done anything to outrage any broad segment of the citizenry.”

Interesting spin from Tom but maybe he’s right – no one will rise to the challenge.

I helped Bill, Sally and Cam during the 2003 election, so this year presents some interesting contrasts. Strangely enough (cough, cough), Bill, Sally and Cam represented the Town in the RAM Development/Lot $$$5 debacle.

One might assume that they saw this as a career enhancer – it’ll be interesting to see how their white whale plays during the election cycle.

Tom, maybe possible contenders, like the Neighborhoods for Responsible Growth (NRG) Mike Collin’s or frequent OrangePolitics poster and the Planning Board’s George Cianciolo or a few more locally active folks will be scared off by the awesome weight of incumbency.

We’ll see, as July 20th is a short two weeks away.

In the “cooler” (at least according to WCHL‘s Ron Stutts) ‘berg of Carrboro

are on deck. Current BOA members Joal Broun and Alex Zaffron haven’t officially said which way they’ll jump though I’ve read that Alex might pass.

Who else might run?

In Carrboro, folks are looking North to Katrina Ryan, a 2005 candidate that more than a few folks thought deserved Dan Coleman’s seat.

Carrboro’s NTA (Northern Territories) have more than a few possible candidates to draw upon, including the newly announced Lydia Lavelle. Lydia, who is coincidentally a partner in Foy and Lavelle (yes, that Foy), threw her hat into the appointment ring with Dan and the Village Project’s James Carnahan.

Will James or former well-liked candidate David Marshall make a run? I haven’t heard though the cool ‘berg of Carrboro would be well-served by their entry.

[UPDATE:] Someone asks “Is that all the potential candidates I can think of?” Not really, but I figure time will tell and, hopefully, we’ll all be pleasantly surprised.

June 6th’s Closed Council Session

Monday, June 4th, 2007

As we wind down the planning for this fiscal year, Council’s deliberations take on a bit more gravitas, thus demand even more attention by the public.

As one might observe listening to last year’s Lot #5 closed negotiations ( “Downtown Development Initiative: Listen and Learn How Negotiations Went Awry”), going too long or waiting until to an eve of a decision without public participation or oversight does not serve the public interest.

Looking back through my recent notes, I didn’t find a reference to the purpose of this Wednesdays closed door Council session.

With the Lot #5 deal still a bit wobbly (now up 17 fold from $500K to $8.4M), disclosure that our just hired economic development officer was charged with embezzlement in 2003 (charges subsequently dropped), a probable $0.02 hike in town taxes and a raft of other issues before them, I would hope the Council takes more counsel and welcomes more public oversight as the year closes than try to wrestle with their problems out-of-sight.

With that in mind, I’ve asked for a clarification on the purpose of this Wednesday’s meeting.

Catherine, Roger,

Excuse me for asking both of you the same question, but I wasn’t quite sure whom to address
this question to.

What statutory reason is Council using to hold a closed session June 6th?

Our town’s website suggests it must be one of the following:

# Confidential information
# Consultations with an attorney
# Business location or expansion
# Real property acquisition
# Employment contracts
# Certain personnel matters
# Investigations

and that the specific reason for going to closed session have been adopted in an open session.

Quoting from our town’s website:

“The statute provides that a closed session may be held only on a motion adopted in open session by a majority of those present and voting. The motion must state the purpose set out in the statute that permits the closed session, such as “to consider matters relating to the location or expansion of industry.” In addition, two of the purposes require a more detailed motion. First, if the purpose is to discuss some matter that is confidential by law, the motion must cite the law that makes the matter confidential. For example, if an area authority meets to consider matters relating to a specific patient, the motion to go into closed session would have to cite G.S. 122C-52, the statute that makes patient information confidential. Second, if the purpose is to discuss pending litigation, the motion must identify the parties to the litigation.”

I couldn’t find a reference in my recent notes to indicate for what purpose this particular
closed session was being held, any information you can provide would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Will

If you’re interested in open meetings and the free flow of information from the governing to the governed, check out NC Open Government, an organization sponsored by some of the top press outlets in our state.

Here’s their two cents on closed meetings.

Carolina North Forum: Another Perspective

Monday, June 4th, 2007

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…

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.

Democrats No Longer

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

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) and my willingness to take principled, though sometimes unpopular, stands on local issues demonstrates a small measure of care and commitment.

For years I’ve worked to elect Democrats. Dropped a few bucks here and there for a few of their more worthwhile national candidates. Sat polls for the local Orange County party. Contributed oodles of time to their and other affiliated organizations’ efforts to Get Out The Vote (GOTV). No plans to stop those efforts anytime soon.

But I am no Democrat (I was once). And I am no Republican (never have, never will be).

Heck, don’t try to graph my position on the one dimensional line passing through the Democrats Right to Republicans…. I, like many other local folks, exist outside these parties calculus.

I don’t know why three folks chose this week, from the many other recent weeks of Democratic disappointment, to ask me how to switch their party affiliation.

Maybe it was the recent reversal on Iraq or just the steady dissipation of last November’s promise.

Why me? I’m certainly not trying to “recruit” Independents. Sure, I haven’t been reserved in expressing my dissatisfaction with our local Democrat US Representative. They each knew of my efforts to open the local political scene to Independents via non-partisan elections and other voting reforms.

And I’ve been quite open about my status.

When, during my 2005 run for Town Council, a few local political operators counseled quiet discretion – suggesting talk of my non-affiliation would lead to a loss of stalwart Dem votes – I countered that to do so would not only be against my own tenets but promulgate the ruinous myth that folks are only capable of selecting representatives that fall along a one-dimensional political axis.

They might’ve been right. I did lose.

There is safety in numbers. Yet change springs from the outliers. And in today’s United States, it isn’t too far from “united we stand, divided we fall” to “deru kugi wa utareru”.

If you would like to lose your affiliation, either Republican or Democrat, or register to vote under any flag, the procedure is easy:

  • Review the instructions here.

    If you wish to change your party affiliation, you must complete either a Voter Registration Application Form (downloaded from address above) or complete the reverse side of a Voter Registration Card that has been mailed to you and return to the Board of Elections. All changes must be either postmarked or received in the Board of Election’s office at least 25 days before the election.

  • Download the registration form here [PDF].
  • Emancipate yourself from either of the two currently recognized parties.

Scared? You don’t have to go totally “cold turkey”. You will still be able to play some of the old game, for instance voting in either party’s primary. Initially, in many ways both large and small, you’ll feel stuck on the sidelines – constrained to vote for choices you wouldn’t have made, for flavors as close as Pepsi to Coke.

At first you might feel a little light-headed drifting above our current political Flatland. Navigating the multi-dimensional political reality we all currently occupy, whether we appreciate it or not, without the constant tether of partisan loyalty is heady stuff. Don’t panic! After a while, the relief of free agency sets in.

Still, though shorn of your party’s old baggage, paralyzed by its intransigence no longer, you leave one burden for another.

Sorry. Independence doesn’t mean “indecisive”. It doesn’t mean “uncommitted” And it certainly doesn’t mean “don’t care”.

Carolina North: Location! Location! Relocation?

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

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 raison d’etre as a small side note during the revelation of the first increment of development.

According to Evans, the new plan projects that half the 2,550,000 million sq./ft. of development being done over the next 15 years will house extant initiatives already located on main campus, other UNC properties or rented facilities.

Prior to yesterday, Carolina North was touted as a catalyst for new jobs (“UNC-CH has plans for a state-of-the-art research campus that would bring as many as 20,000 new jobs to Chapel Hill over the next 50 years.” UNC seeks $25 million to start Carolina North N&O Nov. 16th, 2006).

Now, as far as employment, Carolina North has become a convenient place to site their currently dispersed workforce. Having said that, Evans cautioned that the balance between academic and economic development might change dramatically over time – tilting more towards academics as the necessity for moving folks off main campus increases.

In other words, Carolina North has morphed from Chancellor Moeser’s “catalyst for the economic transformation of our state” to what is really an overflow campus….


A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.

Video of Evans and companies May 29th, 2007 3:30pm Carolina North presentation.

The Power of Sorry: A Local Apology to Get the Ball Rolling

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Over the last six years, I’ve learned more than a tad about how our local political sausage is ground. The manufacturing of poor public policy for political gain adds a distinctively bitter taste to that meaty melange.

Yes, at times, pettiness, spite, gamesmanship and ego overwhelm good sense and reasonable public policy. For a few of these “powerful” folks, public disagreement at any level, is a line-crossed forever – a sin never to be forgotten.

Fortunately, at least as I’ve discovered, most of the local “movers-n-shakers” operate using a different calculus – follow their own internal compass – center their arguments more on solving problems – than working to belittle those philosophically opposed. Sure, sometimes the waves of disagreement toss the boat of local discourse about. Maybe a few intemperate barbs about “tone” are thrown around. Debate can and sometimes does devolve into vileness.

In the end, though, whether at OrangePolitics (OP) or SqueezeThePulp (STP) or the Chapel Hill New’s OrangeChat or BlueNC or even on a WCOM radio show, valuable signal seems to punch through the noise of mean-spirited divisiveness.

I don’t buy all the hype about “the wisdom of crowds” but I do know that the folks participating on these forums – whether I agree with them or not – have provided me a new perspective and an invaluable education on local, state and national issues.

There is wisdom in yond hills.

It’s a shame, then, when a healthy dose of disagreement descends into the provinces of puerile, petty vindictiveness (or worse).

Heck, I don’t want to see a group hug or a chorus of Kumbaya but maybe, in these, our country’s current troubled days, just a small crumb of Rodney Kings “can’t we all just get along”.

That’s why I’m happy to see this Geoff Gilson post over on STP:

People, we are lucky that we live in a community that cares enough to be as active as it is. And we are all of us intelligent enough that we should be able to engage in that activity without needless vitriole.

Now, I’m as guilty as anyone of getting a few cheap laughs out of a local politico’s discomfort. But the events of yesterday have got me thinking.

So. Let me start the ball rolling. Dan Coleman, I apologize. I know you are a good and decent man. What happened on ESP was cheap. I’m sorry. On my new show, I will ask you tough questions. But the histrionics will be…well, history.

That bit of radio theatre was a hard listen.

I know Dan. I had listened to and read Gilson’s work. My (quite extensive) stomach sank as the show unrolled. I knew these two had significant disagreements on policy. They had an opportunity to publicly sharpen their cases for and against. Maybe even a better than good chance to shed a little light on the local scene.

All lost in the noise.

Sure, Geoff is working on a new show for WCHL 1360.

Cynically one might presume that this fence-mending is more about dissipating potential guest’s concerns than an honest attempt at rapprochement.

I’m taking Geoff’s bridge building on face value. I think he wants to restart a conversation and not a shouting match.

Good for us. We all win when our local “movers and shakers” expound and sharpen their arguments over local policy in the arena of public debate.

WCHL’s 2007 Babble-thon: Growing, Learning, and Living Together

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

[UPDATE]

I just called in to challenge the Chamber’s Aaron Nelson’s “triple bottom line” bull (the idea that the Town has greatly ignored economic development in deference to social and environmental justice) and to ask how we keep Chapel Hill affordable for existing residents. I’m afraid they’re not quite setup to take questions. I spoke with Christy Dixon who is working the problem. This is a great opportunity to get direct responses from some of our key local leaders – I hope folks are willing to slog through and call to comment.

[ORIGINAL]

It’s time again for WCHL 1360’s

2007 Chapel Hill- Carrboro-Orange County Forum: Growing, Learning, and Living Together. The forum will be held on Wednesday, April 18th and broadcast LIVE on WCHL from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.

What an interesting group of local talent WCHL has assembled – elected folks, University leaders, the distinguished and even some old-school rabble rousers.

If you have an issue you’re particularly interested in, I suggest you call [ 919.929.WCHL (9245) ] during the forum. It’s also a great opportunity to solicit “clarifications” on local public policy from both our elected leaders and the University..

The all-day forum features five panels and ten hours of discussion. Panelists include Town and University officials, local business owners, representatives from civic organizations, as well as local residents.

8:00 am Town & Gown Relations: Growing Together

Moderator: Walter Sturdivant

  • Dick Baddour, Director of Athletics, UNC-CH
  • Ken Broun, Chair, Leadership Advisory Committee on Carolina North/Former Mayor, Town of Chapel Hill
  • James Carnahan, Chair, Carrboro Planning Board
  • Mark Chilton, Mayor, Town of Carrboro
  • Dan Coleman, member, Carrboro Board of Aldermen
  • Mike Collins, Co-Chair, Neighbors for Responsible Growth
  • Laurin Easthom, member, Chapel Hill Town Council
  • Kevin Foy, Mayor, Chapel Hill
  • Jonathan Howes, Vice Chancellor of University Advancement, UNC-CH
  • Richard Mann, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, UNC-CH
  • Gene Pease, Gimghoul Neighborhood Resident
  • Roger Perry, member, UNC-CH Board of Trustees
  • Roger Stancil, Town Manager, Town of Chapel Hill
  • Bill Strom, Mayor Pro Tem, Chapel Hill Town Council
  • TBD

10:00 am Keeping it in Orange: The Price of an Unsustainable Economy

Moderator: TBD

  • Delores Bailey, Executive Director, EmPOWERment, Inc.
  • Creighton Blackwell, Chapel Hill Market Executice, RBC Centura
  • Robert Dowling, Executive Director, Orange Community Housing and Land Trust
  • Barbara Jessie-Black, Executive Director, PTA Thrift Stores
  • Scott Maitland, Owner, Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery
  • Chris Moran, Executive Director, Inter-faith Council
  • Aaron Nelson, Executive Director, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
  • Greg Overbeck, Owner, Chapel Hill Restaurant Group
  • Ruffin Slater, Owner, Weaver Street Market
  • Steve Stewart, Town Manager, Town of Carrboro
  • Tim Toben, Vice Chairman, Board of Visitors at the UNC-CH Environmental Program
  • TBD

12:00 pm Crime & Safety: Its Not Mayberry Anymore

Moderator: Walter Sturdivant

  • Allen Baddour, Orange/Chatham Superior Court Judge
  • Margaret Barrett, Executive Director, Orange County Rape Crisis Center
  • Charles Blackwood, Captain, Orange County Sheriff Department
  • Joel Booker, Captain, Carrboro Police Department
  • Joe Buckner, District Court Judge 15B
  • Brian Currin, Interim Chief, Chapel Hill Police Department
  • Carl Fox, Orange/Chatham Superior Court Judge
  • Kevin Gunter, Lieutenant, Chapel Hill Police Department Community Services
  • Carolyn Hutchinson, Chief, Carrboro Police Department
  • Dan Jones, Chief, Fire Department of Chapel Hill
  • Joyce Kuhn, Executive Director, Orange Chatham Alternative Sentencing, Inc.
  • Steven Moore, Chapel Hill resident
  • Lindy Pendergrass, Sheriff, Orange County Sheriff Department
  • Donna Kay Smith, Executive Director, Family Violence Prevention Center
  • Tom Tucker, Chairman, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
  • TBD

2:00 pm Education: Think Globally, Teach Locally

Moderator: Ron Stutts

  • Mosey Carey, Orange County Commissioner
  • Mike Hanas, Principal, Carolina Friends School
  • Kim Hoke, Director, Public Schools Foundation
  • Graig Meyer, Coordinator, Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate
  • Denise Morton, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum Instruction, Orange County Schools
  • Neil Pedersen, Superintendent, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
  • Sharon Ritchie, Co-Director (First School), Frank Porter Graham Development Institute
  • Lisa Stuckey, Chair, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board
  • Jeff Thomas, Principal, Carrboro High School
  • Steven Weber, Director of Secondary Education, Orange County Schools
  • TBD

4:00 pm The Arts: Too Important to Leave to Professionals

Moderator: Jon Wilner

  • Steve Balcom, The Splinter Group
  • Glenn Booth, owner, Local 506
  • Joseph Haj, Producing Artistic Director, Playmakers Repertory Company
  • Randee Haven-ODonnell, member, Carrboro Board of Aldermen
  • Emil Kang, Executive Director of the Arts, Carolina Performing Arts
  • Michael Maher, owner, Wootini
  • Tess Mangum-Ocana, Concerts and Facility Director, The ArtsCenter
  • Mac McCaughan, Co-Founder, Merge Records
  • John Plymale, Producer, Sixty-Five Roses
  • Derek Powers, Manager, Cats Cradle
  • Mike Roig, artist
  • Kirk Ross, local musician
  • Alex Zaffron, member, Carrboro Board of Aldermen

March 28th: A Self-Advocate Path to Being Well, Feeling Fit

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Carrboro’s self-advocate leader Ellen Perry told me that March 28th’s “Be Well! Feel Fit!” meeting would be a great introduction for those folks interested in positive, self-directed change.

Ellen is part of the “Self-Advocate Leadership Network”, a project under the auspices of the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI.org):

The Self-Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) is a team of self-advocates and their allies who will travel anywhere to prepare self-advocates to play a leadership role in shaping developmental disabilities systems to promote self-determination, community integration and participant-driven supports.

Who is a “self-advocate”? “A self-advocate is somebody who has a disability and speaks up for themselves.”

Be Well! Feel Fit! Peer Connections, A Way to Wellness

Healthy living is more than eating your spinach, carrots and Brussels sprouts!!!

Healthy living is about…

  • Doing things that make you happy – like swimming, art or cooking classes.
  • Being in good health – both physically and emotionally.
  • Learning how to be safe in intimate relationships.
  • Making new friends.

Who decides what what I do?

In the Be Fit! Feel Fit! program you decide what you want to do.
You can choose to lose weight, learn a new art or craft or learn how to be safe in a relationship – it’s up to you.

What does the Be Fit! Feel Fit! program do?

We try to match you up with resources in your community and support from your peers to help you achieve your health and wellness goal.

The meeting is at Carrboro’s Town Hall, 301 W. Main Street (MAP).

  • 5:00-7:30 pm for NEW members
  • 5:30-7:30 pm for existing members

For more information contact Ellen Perry ( 919-942-5602 ) or Danielle Doughman ( 919-962-4029 ),

Lot #5’s Silver Lining

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

View of Bank of America building viewed from west Rosemary Street.

At least I won’t have to see that anymore…

Local resident and business-owner not happy with the size and cost of the Lot #5 development but pleased what’s commonly considered the ugliest building downtown, the Bank of America plaza, will be blocked from view.

CarrboroCitizen: Better Late

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I bumped into the new CarrboroCitizen’s Taylor Sisk and Kirk Ross this morning at Carrboro’s Weaver St. Market. “Where’s the paper?”, I asked. Kirk said that more than 20 folks had already called him asking the same question “Where’s my paper?” Well, they had a few bumps on the road to their premier issue. All’s well, though, as the first content ladened and ad packed edition hit the bricks.

By 3:28pm the papers started appearing around Carrboro – at “the Weave” (inside by the cash registers), at the Orange County Social Club, hand-delivered by Mary Beth to her customers, tossed in the drive of the first 18 home subscribers (all signing up early by “word of mouth”).

I like the CarrboroCitizen’s home delivery model – “don’t ask, don’t get”. The first few times I called Ted Vaden, who ran the Chapel Hill News, was to complain about the 3 or 4 copies of each edition showing up in our drive. We lived on the corner of Wyrick and Barclay, sharing a house with another apartment. For some reason the U-shaped drive attracted multiple deliveries – one of which was sufficient (my neighbors usually pitched the paper directly into the recycling bin or, rarely, used it to scrape up the dog poop along Barclay). I thought about that when I was writing the “My View” column for the Chapel Hill News: just how many of my columns went straight to scraping poop up off the roadway?

What a year for Kirk Ross, the editor of the CarrboroCitizen. I’d run into Kirk a few times over his many years in Town, and though he is a friend of my brother Steve, never really talked with him at length. That changed last year when we both camped out at my brother’s house during SxSWi 2006. Over the week we talked about new media, citizen journalism, citizen activism, developing a brand as a journalist, leveraging the wisdom and interests of the community to better our community, newspapers – living, dying, lost and in-limbo, music, Austin’s “scene”, BBQ Texas-style, politics (lots and lots of politics – local, state and national) and, along with ae [arsepoetica] and her boy-toy db, the incredible Las Manitas.

Coincidentally, it was that same week that CitizenWill really got started.

I think he was casting about for a new direction, a new vibe. I had a few conversations with him since about his developing “brand”. Over the last year he’s traveled the State reporting back via the Cape Fear Mercury, kept his finger on the fibrillating pulse of our somewhat nutty North Carolina legislature via his Exile On Jones Street ‘blog, continued to publish at his former gig – the Indy – and, now, not only help create a new Carrboro newspaper from scratch but inverted current conventional wisdom – using the paper’s ‘net content to deliver a physical product.

Wow! A bold experiment worth the support of the Carrboro community. Congratulations and good luck guys, the news keeps on rolling and you only have 147 hours, 21 minutes until the next edition is due.

CarrboroCitizen: T-Minus 6 Minutes And Counting

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I walked over to the offices of the Carrboro Citizen this afternoon to see if Kirk and company would make their Mar. 21st D-Day. Fingers were flying as the staff wrestled multiple streams of content onto the Triangle’s newest newspaper.

Bubba told me that they had to have all the magic bottled by 10PM, just 6 minutes from now.

Good luck folks, I look forward to reading your Mar. 21st inaugural edition.

I might even pick up a couple extra to save for posterity, hope they factored that into the first run 😉

Where can you get a copy?

….free in-town home delivery for Carrboro (and the contiguous Northside neighborhood in the big city).

To sign up give us a call at 942-2100 or send an email to delivery at carrboro citizen dot com. We’ll need to know where you live, of course, and where you’d like the paper placed.

A couple of things to note:

• We plan on opening up delivery options throughout our coverage area as demand increases. If your neighborhood is outside the Carrboro limits and you’d like to be included, please let us know.

• Since we’re a free publication, most apartment complexes do not allow delivery. If you’d like a rack in your complex, though, we’re happy to bring one over.

There will be a box at the park and ride. Also, Weaver Street Market and some of the shops and eateries are on the list. I was asked this week if we’d consider adding Southern Village to our delivery area. Like a lot of neighborhoods not in 27510, it’s likely we will open Southern Village up to home delivery if the interest is there.

The Carrboro Channel: Streaming Video Tonight

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Carrboro continues to beat lead Chapel Hill in innovation – whether it is Downtown music festivals, freely available Internet access or commitment to hands-on arts. In spite of the long effort by Chapel Hill’s now defunct Technology Board to bring video of public Council, Planning Board, forum, etc. meetings to the accessibility inhibited website, the Town is only now poised to deliver.

Carrboro isn’t waiting on us. From the Chapel Hill News timely ‘blog Orange Chat:

The town of Carrboro asks that viewers keep in mind there may be technical difficulties since it’s a test. Currently, only Microsoft Windows users will be able to watch the live stream.

You can connect to the stream at any time before or during the meeting by visiting the government page of the town of Carrboro’s Web site.

Meiling Arounnarath post Watch a live meeting, but not on the ‘tube’.

Now, longtime readers know I have a problem with using proprietary Microsoft-only technology for public records (Proprietary Public Policy: Chapel Hill Streaming Video Goes Live?) but I’m not worried – Carrboro’s IT staff generally hews to the open source way.

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