Chapel Hill News wants our advice

The Chapel Hill News is getting a makeover. (Fortunately this one is not "extreme" and "free.") They are asking for readers' input into the new look.

We'd like your feedback on our new design of The Chapel Hill News. We're launching a new version of Your Original Hometown Newspaper and we'd like to give you a sneak peek at our new design. Take a look at the three samples by clicking here and let us know! E-mail us here with your comments.

So far, I think it's pretty, but I don't get what's better about it...


A few different interesting things from around the news today...

The Chapel Hill News says Eastern Federal Theaters, the owner of the vacant hole in the Elliot Road shopping center, is perfectly content to let it stay that way. Somehow they are blaming the Town for the fact that they had a dispute with the neighbors over who was responsible for the driveways. Since both sides were greedy bastards, they had to come back to the Town Council to resolve the matter last year. And what's the hold up now? Eastern Federal says they won't even start building unless the Town gives them a one-year extension on their permit. One of the things the town will usually look at in making that decision is whether they have actually been working on the project in earnest. Oops.

The Herald reports that the schools are considering starting later one day a month to give teachers more time to plan. Could they possibly think of a solution more disruptive to kids and working parents than this? What are they thinking?

Herald's Boosterism Goes Too Far

Regular readers of my part-time employer, the Chapel Hill Herald, will surely have noticed its editorialists' unflagging support for UNC's growth plans. In a Wednesday editorial titled "Carolina North is coming closer", they wrote that Carolina North is "getting ready to splash across the front pages." They went on to discuss a "new, revised plan" that they said would be presented to the trustees.

This prompted Vice Chancellor Tony Waldrop to write a letter, appearing in today's paper, correcting the editorial and pointing out that what will be presented is only an update and information on a study of potential airport sites.

The irony for me is that I have written repeatedly urging people not to overstate or over-react to events surrounding the proposed Carolina North. Now the university is doing the same!

The encouraging bit in the Herald editorial was their concluding hope that the university has heard concerns already expressed on Carolina North. Given the paper's often disdainful attitude toward those concerned with the impact of UNC's plans, this could be a very positive development.

Reflecting on Internationalist

adapted from Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday May 07, 2005

The great success of last Saturday's first annual Carrboro Book Fair led me to some reflection on the event's organizer, Internationalist Books and Community Center ("Ibooks").

Although the book fair was the brainchild of Ibooks volunteer and board member Ethan Clauset, sponsoring a high-profile event like this is reflective of the growth and organizational maturity of Internationalist over the past decade. A few years ago, Ibooks became an official nonprofit, increasing its options for fundraising. The nonprofit status dovetailed nicely with its member-controlled, volunteer-run collective organization.

Among Ibooks' recent accomplishments is its development of a Radical Lending Library for its members. The store also helped local activists attend anti-war rallies in Washington and Fayetteville, free trade protests in Miami and the March for Women's Lives in Washington.

Faith & Family?

I was a bit turned off when I read the Herald-Sun's recent announcement that they would introduce a Faith and Family section to the paper. This smacked of the familiar right-wing conflation that would twist social relations to conform to some conservative religious viewpoint.

Based on today's debut of the section, it turns out to not be so bad. They've wrapped the religion pages around a page with a couple of secular articles on family matters (including a topic big in my household: kindergarten).

There was a bit of a tease presented in the form of a photo of two women embracing, looking as if they might be about to kiss. No it wasn't for an article on girl-on-girl faith&family fun. It was for a discussion of trends in baby showers.

Still, the section's title does not have the inclusive sensibility that I would look for in our local paper. It is offensive to those whose families follow the faith-free path.



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