Late this afternoon, via social media linked to a News and Observer article, came the gut punch news that beloved local restaurant Panzanella is closing. On a personal level, this is just very, very sad. Since my wife and I got married over a decade ago, we have celebrated all sorts of major life events, and perhaps most of them– graduations, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, rare visits from cherished friends, you name it – at Panzanella. With such good food, valuable relationships with local farmers, brewers, and other food producers, not to mention what has always been consistently a warm and friendly staff– this is a big surprise that nobody saw coming.
Weaver Street Market
Anyone else going to this tonight?
Weaver Street Market Co-operative still has $8 million in loans to repay from its last failed expansion project in 2007/2008. Yet, it is now planning, in its '2022 Vision', to build at least three more stores over the next decade.
I’m sorry. I misspoke. A few of the self-selected upper management in the corporate office in Hillsborough, NC are making these plans. And, to date, have shared them only with other managers.
Owners and workers in this worker-consumer co-op, where all are supposed to be equal, are not deemed equal enough to be consulted on the planning. Notwithstanding the fact that Board Policy and Employee Policy both demand that workers be meaningfully involved in major decisions that affect their workplace.
Which is a good spot for a little history for newcomers to the Family of Weave.
This is a bit of a stretch for an Orange County blog. But not much of one. All around America, progressives are concerned at the civil rights of ordinary workers, and the plight of those most at risk in society. Not least with the effect at every level of government of the new austerity - whether natural or Republican-driven. And that goes for Orange County too.
Sometimes a song can have more immediate effect than a thousand speeches. So I wrote a song. Inspired by the fight for rights by workers both here in Orange County and all around America.
I had become tired of tax-cutters, tax-dodgers and war-mongers claiming to themselves the mantle of patriot. When it is ordinary working Americans and those who fight every day to make ours a better county, state and country, it is we who are the true patriots. Not those who would run down government and destroy the safety net.
As an active worker-owner with Weaver Street Market Co-operative these past six years, I have worked hard not only to help WSM be successful as a business, but also as a model for democratic co-operation. It is with regret that I have to report that WSM continues to fail on both counts. It is time now to begin an active, community-wide conversation about the future financial and co-operative direction of WSM, and I invite OrangePolitics to take part in that conversation.
Bottom line: WSM has a crippling long-term debt of $8 million, incurred undemocratically in order to pay for the dubious expansion project of 2007/2008. That debt is costing our co-op millions in capital and interest repayments each year. Hence, the need for the 15% sales increase in 2011. With similar efforts required in the next four years.
Part of the latest Weaver Street Market newsletter states that Weaver Street Market has sold their property at the corner of Greensboro and Main Streets to Mark Pantlin of Raleigh. (This was the former location of WCOM and Community Realty.) Apparently they had high hopes for this high-profile property in the center of Carrboro, but finally resigned themselves to just taking the money and avoiding the hassle of a new venture and new development. I keep hearing the word "Walgreens" come up in discussions of this corner, so this makes me nervous.
A friend and I did a little research to see if we could find out more about this developer. Pantlin lives in Cary, and on a LinkedIn profile he says he is President of Pantlin Development. (But he only has one connection on LinkedIn, and the NC Dept of State says Pantlin Development was dissolved in 2009.) I found him on this neat CorporationWiki network map (at left), which also lists some other companies to which he may be related. It also looks like he donated to the Republican National Committee in 2001 and to George Bush in 1999.
Of more concern is the possibility of a national chain not just locating, but developing a lot (or multiple lots, probably) in the heart of Carrboro. Since it would be right across the street from an existing chain drug store, you can't even really argue that it's meeting some community need.
Sunday, October 25 at the Carrboro Century Center
Blog entry Submitted by Rickie White on Sun, 10/04/2009 - 7:40pm.
We thought turnout for the municipal elections in Carrboro was low, but word on the street is that the turnout for the board elections at Weaver Street Market is abyssmal. Apparently even though many folks in Carrboro are members of the Weaver Street Market cooperative, only a couple of hundred members actually vote in a given election for the board. Considering there are probably 10,000+ members (educated guess based on the membership numbers i'm hearing people give at the register these days), that's a 1-2% turnout rate. Considering that the market is arguably the soul and conscience of Carrboro, it's surprising that so few people take a moment to learn about the candidates and take the important step of voting.
This year we're hoping that changes. So
in an effort to promote voting of "consumer-owners", both candidates
for the board have written this piece to get the word out about the
voting, to tell you a little about ourselves, and to encourage each of
you to reach out to your friends and neighbors and encourage them to
vote as well.
Blog entry Submitted by Philippa on Sat, 06/20/2009 - 4:14pm.
Hi, I'm new to this site (which I was pleased to discover via google), and I have some questions regarding Carr Mill Mall/Weaver Street Market's policies.
Event Submitted by Jason Baker on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 10:32am.
06/03/2009 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Weaver Street Market is moving from discounts at the register to a patronage dividend system, and the Board of Directors wants your feedback and the opportunity to answer your questions. If you are unable to attend this meeting, another will be held Sunday, May 31st at 7pm in the Carrboro Century Center. Or, you can email our Board directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Barn in Hillsborough
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