Dan Coleman's blog

Carrboro launches online "Action Line"

Carrboro has launched a new online system to help residents interact with town government. The Carrboro Action Line is oriented toward facilitating communication with town staff on a wide range of informational and action items.

There is an article on the project in today's Herald.

We discussed improving the friendliness of the town web site at the board retreat last February. This strikes me as a big step forward, entirely from staff initiative and at a fairly low cost.

I'll be interested to learn of the experience of users of the system (as, I'm sure, will town staff who just rolled out the program). In particularly, you web savvy folks who've been riding Chapel Hill's case on technology, let us know what you think of this step for Carrboro.

N. Chatham Big Box (Wal-Mart?) A Step Closer

From the Chatham chatlist:

Lee-Moore Oil Co. requests rezoning of a 63.3 acre tract at the Chatham/Orange County line into a 29.4 acre conditional use B-1 business district and a 33.9 acre RA-40 residential district.

A separate request for the 29.4 acres is for a "home improvement center" and additional retail and shops. Of course once they get the permit for the "home improvement center" it doesn't matter what big box goes in.

Public Hearing September 18.

Dancing May Return to Carr Mill Mall

Many have expressed concern about a recent action by Carr Mill Mall to ban dancing by free-form dancer Bruce Thomas (even the CH Herald today opined "Let the dancing guy keep on dancing.").

Thomas has been enlivening the Carr Mill lawn for the last few years with his spontaneous, gracefully spiritual dancing. Other times, Bruce can be seen sitting in quiet meditation on one of the nearby benches. And, yes, he is a regular customer of Weaver Street Market.

The ban apparently results from a Carr Mill policy that states that only mall tenants and those attending their events can use the lawn space (thus, Bruce may dance during a WSM event but not otherwise).

Carrboro Book Fair this Saturday

Readers, writers and lovers of the written word, please join us at the 2nd Annual Carrboro Book Fair! Participating organizations include AK Press, Mineshaft Magazine, Parcell Press, Garrett County Press, Feral House, Daniel 13, Carolina Wren Press, John F. Blair, Crimethinc, SURGE, The People's Channel and others.

Readers will include:

11 AM: Bill Powers, author of the new novel "Love Is Strong As Death" and father of William Powers, below.

12 PM: Hannah Gill, author of "Going to Carolina del Norte: Narrating Mexican Migrant Experiences"

1 PM: Kim Arrington, founder of Greased Scalp Press and author of "The Lapis Dwellers"

2 PM: William Powers, author of the new book "Whispering in the Giant's Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia's War on Globalization." Long the obscure “Tibet of South America,” Bolivia emerged as a world flashpoint during the four years William Powers lived there as an aid

3 PM: Ebony Golden, of Betty's Daughter Literary Press

4 PM David Carr

Storytelling sessions and child care for young ones from 11am to 2pm.

John Edwards' views on poverty

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday December 17, 2005

The second biggest item of national news coming from UNC this year was the return of John Edwards to direct the Law School's Program on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. Edwards is also a new resident of Orange County, one whom I hoped might offer some insight into our local efforts to address the problems of poverty. This past week I had a conversation with him on that question.

A significant issue for us over the years has revolved around efforts to site facilities to serve the poor. Edwards believes it is possible for neighborhoods and communities to become more welcoming.

"It's similar to the way I talk about this in general," he said. "[Helping] people who are struggling in poverty, it's not something we do for them, it's something we do for us. It's not them and us, it's all of us, people who are struggling want to be part of our community and we want to give them a chance to do better."



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