Molly De Marco's blog

Recent updates make walking and biking even easier in our towns

Our Carrboro and Chapel Hill communities have made a number of efforts lately to improve connectivity in their downtowns and improve the walking and cycling experience for residents. Carrboro is already recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community, the only silver-level awardee in North Carolina. Chapel Hill is a bronze-level awardee. But there's always more to be done, to enhance the safety and convenience of getting around by bike and on foot. Several new improvements have recently been completed or are in the works. Our university is getting into the act too.

Bike Fixit Stations. At Wilson Park in Carrboro, the Town installed the first of three bike repair stations, followed in short order by the other two at the Libba Cotten Bikeway and at Town Hall. The tools and pumps at the stations are protected by simple shelters so that riders can make minor repairs or just fill their tires without exposure to rain or hot sun.

Fixit Station

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board poised to pass living wage policy

On Thursday, January 19th, 2017, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education is poised to enact a policy to ensure a living wage for all full-time employees of the school district, welcome news that has the school district joining the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill in having living wage policies. The living wage floor will be set at the new living wage for the county of $13.15/hour.

Frustratingly, as a result of the horrible and far-reaching House Bill 2, no entitity, including our school board, can require that contractors pay a living wage to their employees. This is a significant problem in our school district, as noted in the abstact for this policy, because a large number of positions (predominately janitorial and child nutrition staff - notoriously low paying positions already and filled largely by people of color) have been shifted to contractors. 

Assisting Refugee Families Relocating to Orange County

As many of us in Orange County continue to reel from the recent election and are afraid of what might happen under a, shudder, Trump presidency, we’d like to share some things that we can do to help our neighbors, particularly those most likely to be marginalized—especially under a new administration.

The Northside Neighborhood Initiative - Progress & Partnerships

The Northside Neighborhood Initiative was launched on March 9, 2015 as a partnership between the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving & Making History, Self-Help Credit Union, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Town of Chapel Hill. You can read more about that launch in a prior story on OrangePolitics written by Hudson Vaughn, Assistant Director of the Jackson Center.

Today a celebration was held that included an update on the progress of that Initiative to keep homes affordable, help long-time residents to stay in their homes, and foster good relationships between permanent residents and students. The highlights included:

  • Three homes have been purchased through the Initiative.
  • 31 homes have received repairs.
  • Noise complaints have dropped by 60%.

A summary of the event can be found below in the Storify of the tweets, including details of the work that Orange County Habitat for Humanity is doing to increase the supply of affordable homes in the community.

The History of Carrboro's Jones Ferry Road

A presentation today at the Chapel Hill Public Library shed some light on the history of Carrboro's Jones Ferry Road, recently the site of road improvements and Michael Brown's latest mural. Learn more in the storify of tweets from the presentation.

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