The Eno River Association in transition

Much of the most exciting grassroots environmental work in Orange County over the past few decades has been done by the Eno River Association. Although many Chapel Hill/Carrboro folk identify the organization with Durham, this amazing and very effective group has helped protect thousands of acres of land in Orange County just this year. And they couldn't have done it without a capable executive director, Lori Olson. Unfortunately, Lori is leaving for Athens and there is currently a search process for the new leader of the organization.

Next steps for gay civil rights in North Carolina

So now that Councilman Kleinschmidt has managed to one-up the edgier, more liberal West End of Chapel Hill (otherwise known as Carrboro) on his resolutions to make Chapel Hill a more accepting place for gay folk, what's next? For the past 10 years of my existence around here, I've noticed Carrboro has generally taken the lead as the trailblazer. I think the Burma resolution was first passed in Carrboro and I KNOW the "eat France first" resolution was first in Carrboro.

The pot calling the kettle black

On Monday night, the Chapel Hill Town Council discussed the idea of beginning to place conservation easements on some town owned property to prevent that property from being developed in the future. Sally Greene pointed out that she felt the council should consider this since the council has been advocating for the university to do the same thing with much of their land along Bolin Creek. If the town council can't consider conservation easements on their own land, how can they expect the university to do the same thing?

War at Home: Sexual Violence in Orange County

Guest Post by Matt Robinson

Two weeks ago, a student at Chapel Hill High School reported that she had been raped by two fellow students in the woods across the street from her school. Later that same week, an employee at Britthaven nursing home was sexually attacked by a coworker while she was at work. In the background of these attacks looms an unsolved series of rapes and sexual assaults in Carrboro last month, assaults likely the work of one man.

What's up with Abbey Court?

For those of you old-timers, maybe this should be entitled "What's up with Old Well". Many of us remember that apartment complex as the cheapest option for student housing when we attended UNC. The apartment complex has shifted to being condos and has experienced a demographic shift so that most of the residents are Spanish-speaking immigrants trying to make ends meet on a less than desirable income.

Downtown study input

The Herald Sun reports today that the Town Council will officially hear from it's downtown consultant tonight on their downtown market study. It's not surprising that the consultant advocates a further reliance on retail of home furnishings, movie theaters, etc. But it's disappointing to hear that they feel there is no need for new owner-occupied units downtown and no grocery store.

The One-Two Punch.

I love it when I can detect a certain love ... errr... affinity shared between our two leading North Carolina think tanks -- the Common Sense Foundation and the John Locke Foundation. The topic on which they seem to most often agree is the practice of government giving incentives (tax breaks, cold cash) to corporations in exchange for what is often a meager or nonexistent return on the investment. In the last week, both groups have issued rousing attacks on the practice, from a couple different angles.

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