Why Chapel Hill Doesn’t Have More Startups, in One Chart

In early 2015, UNC-Chapel Hill released an extensive report about the business startups and spinoffs that faculty, students, and alumni have created. This report quantifies the impact of these businesses: 150+ businesses, 8,000 jobs created, and $7 billion in annual revenue for the state of North Carolina.

But what this report doesn’t detail is the direct impact of these startups and spinoffs on our local economy here in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County. There’s a pretty simple reason for that: Few startups coming out of UNC stay in our community.  So why can’t Chapel Hill foster a local startup scene when other college towns, like Boulder and Cambridge, have gotten national attention for the startup economies they’ve developed in their own communities?

Carrboro Police Department is now on Orange Politics

Officer D here; this is my first post on Orange Politics!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a member of the Carrboro Police Department's Community Services Division.  One of my primary assignments is to create, organize and complete Community Oriented Policing (COPS) initiatives.  Our current major COPS initiatives are the Police Department Open House (next event--June 22nd from 6:30 PM to 8 PM) and the Citizen's Police Academy (September 10th, all day).  Current ongoing initiatives are Coffee with the Cops, Kava with the Cops, Neighborhood Forums, Pizza with the Police and other similar events.

I'll be periodically posting officer profiles, announcing major events and attempting to keep people posted on what's going on with the Carrboro Police Department!

Let's make sure all voices are heard

Arrive to the meeting a little early. Sign up with the clerk. Take a seat. Wait. And wait. And wait. Hours later, the governing board arrives at the agenda item of your interest. The presenter takes to the podium to introduce the topic to the board and the community. After some back and forth between board members and the presenter, the mayor finally announces the start of public comment and begins calling names off the list. Three minutes per person, loosely enforced (if at all). On controversial topics, this can go on for hours, all under the guise of public engagement.

We Need Civility in Public Discourse

Tensions can run high in local issues, but lately the state of discourse has reached a sad low. When being the loudest person in the room and the most passionate advocate for your opinion becomes the objective at a public meeting, it’s a sign of a broken dialogue and a complete breakdown in civility.

Our state of uncivil discourse has been a long time coming. In Chapel Hill, the discussions around Ephesus-Fordham, Central West, Obey Creek, Charterwood, and other planning processes and developments foreshadowed where we are today, with outbursts, disruptions, and other tactics being used to derail conversations and suppress diverse viewpoints and opinions. Now, in Carrboro, discussions about the construction of a multi-use path from Winmore/the Landings on Homestead Road to Chapel Hill High School have seen a return to a lack of civility.

Update on the search for possible appropriate alternative FoodFirst sites

Hey everyone, 

Honored to be posting for the first time on Orange Politics. Here's an update as to where the IFC is at with regards to finalizing a location for FoodFirst.

Following the November 2015 Board of Alderman meeting, Inter-Faith Council (IFC) renewed its search for possible appropriate alternative sites for its FoodFirst project. Joining IFC's senior staff and board president in this process were representatives from the Carrboro business community, Gordon Merklein, Executive Director of real estate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Aaron Nelson, President, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. The group met on December 18, January 8 and February 5. The search considered a variety of factors such as topography, site restrictions, access to transportation, availability, space for programs, and room for growth. Of primary concern was how each site positively or negatively affected FoodFirst programming.

IFC analyzed ten sites besides 110 West Main. None of the ten sites was feasible for a variety of factors most notably, availability and site restraints.

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