More cutbacks at the Herald

Fiona Morgan at the Indy has written a scathing analysis of the Durham Herald-Sun situation.  As they also publish the Chapel Hill Herald, her conclusions don't bode well for local media coverage in the future. It's also really sad to read that Ginny Hoyle will depart. Given the reported cutbacks at the N&O, it sure looks like this could be a great opportunity for the Daily Tar Heel to have an even more significant impact in this market.

The Herald-Sun's circulation has declined by 38 percent and its staff by more than half since the Paducah, Ky.-based Paxton Media Group bought the newspaper. Paxton, a private company, owns 32 newspapers, including seven in North Carolina, and one television station. But as chains go, it's a small-time operation. Most of its papers are in small Southeastern and Midwestern towns where there is no competing publication. The Herald-Sun continues to be its biggest newspaper.

But that paper is shrinking in every conceivable way.

- Indyweek.com: The Herald-Sun's nosedive, August 6, 2008

Are we un-friendly to business?

A few months ago, I recorded some commentaries for WCHL. Since they were based on comments I had previously written here, I didn't bother re-posting them. But the accusation that Chapel Hill's development review process is overly burdensome to businesses has come up again on the thread on creating green-collar jobs, and this is one of my biggest peeves in local politics. Here's what I said about it on the radio:

I often hear leaders of the Chamber of Commerce complain that Chapel Hill is too hostile to economic development. That we are putting too many restrictions on development, raising taxes too much, or just generally being anti-business. I beg to differ. 

Businesses are clamoring to get into our community, even in spite of these supposedly-onerous restrictions people like to complain about. Businesses are already very attracted to Chapel Hill because of there are so many potential customers here.  It's no accident that people with resources – people who have lots of options – choose to be in Orange County.  It's largely because of the Town governments' work to make sure that development is done in a way that serves the long-term interests of the community (and not just the short-term interests of businesses), that so many people want to live, work, study and therefore spend money here.

New principal hired at Carrboro High

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools just released a statement saying that the School Board selected a new principal for Carrboro High list night. Parents at the brand new school have been feeling shafted as their students have less advanced courses available, and their last principal was let go rather swiftly and unceremoniously. I wonder if people will be more satisfied after this new principal gets settled in.

Rogers Road Back-to-School Bash

I just saw Minister Robert Campbell and he reminded me about this annual event coming up again this year to support the kids of the Rogers Road neighborhood. Their goal is to give out 100 bags filled with school supplies for students returning to school this fall. You can donate bags, school supplies, or money to support the effort.

The event on August 9th will be a big party with fun stuff for kids and, as always, an opportunity to learn more about the community that has hosted our landfill for over three decades.

Folks can drop off in-kind donations at Faith Tabernacle, or send checks made out to "Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association." More information (including a PDF flyer) is available at the web site of the Rogers-Eubanks Coalition. Contact Min. Robert Campbell 933‐6210 or Teresa Thomas 563-2359 with any questions.

Date: 

Saturday, August 9, 2008 - 8:30am to 2:30pm

Location: 

Faith Tabernacle Oasis Of Love International Church, 8005 Rogers Road, Chapel Hill, NC, 27516

Three cheers for transparency

Carrboro's new Official Correspondence e-mail archive shows how easy it is to make the public's business actually available to the public. If you do it as Mayor Chilton did - with a Google Group - it's even free. Chapel Hill News editor Mark Schultz says the new system serves the community better than paper archives used by other governments, and it makes reporters' job easier which leads to better coverage in the papers.  It's also very easy for officials to use as they just forward or CC e-mails to get them into the archive.

What's keeping Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and Orange County from following suit?  Sometimes I wonder if they wouldn't prefer that we just let them govern in peace instead of sticking our noses into the public business all the time.

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