Greene on Ending Chronic Homelessness in Orange County

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

Council member Sally Greene is passionately pursuing a ten year plan to end local homelessness. Her participation, along with other valiant volunteers, gives me hope that the goal is achievable.

Tonight, she reports on the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness’ efforts.

Of note, they’ve agreed to “emphasize the chronically homeless in our planning (but not at the expense of current efforts to help all the homeless).”

As documented by Sally, folks chronically homeless account for the lionshare of service consumption. Dealing compassionately with this key segment of the homeless population not only honors our better angels but makes excellent fiscal sense – strained resources can be freed up to address the larger population.

There’s more work for the OCPEH but this difficult decision has significantly advanced their cause.

Ruling in favor of Judge Baddour

Friday, April 28th, 2006

May 2nd, the good folk of Chapel Hill have an opportunity to keep Allen Baddour on the Superior Court bench.

Tapping into our community’s aggregate wisdom

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

My April 26th Daily Tar Heel guest column:

During the November campaign, I spoke of tapping into Chapel Hill’s “talent, innovation and creativity,” a reflection of my belief that good governance flows from maximizing citizen involvement.

How best to tap Chapel Hill’s wisdom?


Sandy Carmany’s Balancing Act

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Sandy Carmany, District 5 representative for the Greensboro City Council, has set a high standard of public outreach for elected officials with her ‘blog .

This blog is my attempt to have an ongoing dialog with citizens and keep you up to date on issues I deal with on the Greensboro City Council and other governmental bodies on which I serve. I hope to provide information and details so you will know “the rest of the story.”

She started her grand experiment March 17th, 2005

Thanks to the urging and encouragement from numerous bloggers, I am going to attempt to publish this blog and focus on the various issues I must deal with as a Greensboro City Council member. I hope to explain my stands on issues and solicit your input and concerns in order to make more informed decisions.

I’ve followed the travails of Greensboro’s Council, via Sandy’s ‘blog, almost from day one. She’s eloquent, detailed and timely. And, quite obviously, dedicated.

But now she’s taking a step back to re-balance her commitment.

I can either do my job or write about it, but I can’t do BOTH effectively right now,”

Quite right, I understand that problem.

So does Greensboro ‘blog guru Ed Cone.

She’s overwhelmed by the demands of answering detailed questions on complex issues. She’s tired as well of the pissy little reprimands for things like not responding fast enough to comments to suit some of her readers.

I don’t blame her a bit.

But, he understands, as do many other local ‘bloggers do, the “power of this medium” and believes Carmany will rise again:

I’m sure Carmany will keep blogging, because she’s a pragmatist and she gets the power of this medium. We’re lucky to have her in Greensboro, and we need more of what she’s doing, not less.

She’s a shining light in a landscape populated by politicians unwilling to effectively reach out to their constituencies.

I hope Sandy will rediscover her balance soon.

Where’s the Thrill of Apple Chill?

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

I’ve attended Apple Chill and Festifall since their inception.

In years past it was a local affair – local folk displaying local crafts to other local folk.

That’s not the case anymore. I spent 3 hours on a beautiful afternoon walking around Downtown looking at the motorcycles, listening to a bit of music, eating at a local restaurant (foregoing the funnel cakes), buying a couple of $5 lemonades for the kids and tossing $10 away on the inflated attractions.

Other than running into a few ‘blogging-folk (Mark,BrianR,Ruby,Paul), getting a chance to talk to a number of local activists (Jack, JanetK) and visits to a few community organization booths (Community Independent School), it just wasn’t that interesting or fun.

Yes, there were a few more local shops open this year but, based on my informal survey, the vast majority of street vendors continue to be from out-of-town (heck, out-of-county). The same for visitors.

As I sit here, 11:15pm on a Sunday night, listening to the continued reverberating echoes of sirens on MLK Blvd. – sirens going on since late this afternoon – with the news of two separate shooting events (2 folks down @ 9:30pm, another just discovered in a parked car), reports of numerous violations and arrests, I realize I’m probably hearing the beginning of the end of these town festivals.

Last year I suggested we rethink the festivals in light of the minimal local participation, the financial outlays (a dedicated festival planner – $100/150K of police, fire and public services costs per event) and the concerns of some of Franklin St. business owners.

Tonight, I’ll join with Lex and the rest of the West End Group in calling for an immediate re-evaluation of these festivals.

If we can return them to their roots, maybe amp up the cultural and community outreach and reduce both the size and cost, then I can see their continued value.

As of now, we cannot continue “business as usual”.



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