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Chapel Hill has open data - Now what?

The latest column published in the Chapel Hill News by OrangePolitics editors Jason Baker and Molly De Marco plus Josh Mayo asks: "Now that Chapel Hill is providing access to their data, what are we going to do with it?" Read more here and share your thoughts below:

On Jan. 14, Chapel Hill’s town staff held an event at the public library to introduce the town’s new open data portal to the community, and gather feedback about where to take it going forward.

If you haven’t yet seen the portal, we encourage you to visit www.chapelhillopendata.org. Launched last summer, the portal is a platform for sharing the data the town collects and manages so that citizens can use this information, that is essentially ours in the first place, to help make our community a better place.

The Role of BRT in the Durham Orange Transit Corridor

With the rollout of regional transit plans in our area, we can see that Wake County plans 20 miles of bus rapid transit (BRT) routes.  Here in Orange County, we have an 8 mile BRT route planned in additional to a proposed 18 mile light rail line connecting Durham and Chapel Hill.  Should we deploy BRT as the anchor of our transit network and replace the Durham Orange Light Rail line with BRT?

First, a bit about BRT.  It takes many of the things that make riding light rail transit (LRT) attractive, but uses diesel buses in dedicated exclusive roadways instead of electric rail cars on tracks.  A true BRT system has stations with shelters and raised platforms like LRT.  Fares are paid in advance to speed loading and buses come at regular intervals.  Most importantly, a true BRT system has its own exclusive roadway.  If the bus is stuck in the same traffic with cars, it’s not really “gold standard” BRT.  It’s just a bus.

Immigration forum

This evening I attended a Chapel Hill/UNC forum about immigration and the law. The county sheriff and town police chief were there. They said the IDs issued by Faith Groups were very helpful and encouraged other districts to use them. The current Trump immigration order bans refugees from all countries not just the 7 nations often listed. None of the officials remember any local police being involved with deporting people. However, depending on the crime someone is arrested for, data is entered into systems which can be accessed by ICE. The immigration lawyers present advised legal immigrants with visas or Green Cards not to travel outside of the US nor near the US border states.

Keeping Bolin Woods asphalt-free

If you enjoy Carrboro's asphalt-free Bolin Woods as-is, please try to see Charlie Morris's new documentary "Bolin Creek Unpaved" at the Oasis on Friday or at the Station on Monday (put on by Townsend-Bertram) .. it was a real eye-opener for me!  The first showing on a Sunday afternoon at the ArtsCenter on January 15 nearly sold out their theatre .. 350 people paid $11.50 each and gave it well-earned sustained applause.  There was an article on the film in the Daily Tarheel on January 23, and the DTH ran my letter on January 27:

https://www.facebook.com/BolinCreekUnpaved/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1621927101449887/

http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2017/01/local-film-sheds-light-on-bo...

http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2017/01/letter-protect-the-bolin-cre...

Contacting White House about immigration

I went to the white house web site to contact Trump about his latest ex order about immigration. I tried to call the numbers listed. I used 202-456-1414 this Sunday afternoon and a pleasant woman answered and explained that the comment line has not been activated for this administration and I should complete the on line form from the web page which I did.

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