What Would You Be Willing To Do Without?

One of the recent threads raised the issue of the unsustainable increases in taxes that Chapel Hill citizens are faced with.  I'd be interested in knowing what services/benefits citizens (this includes Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Orange County) would be willing do do without in order to minimize tax increases or to even decrease taxes.  Would you be willing to have trash picked up every two weeks instead of weekly?  Would you be willing to have recycling every other week as well?  What about schools?  Would you be willing to have larger class sizes and/or fewer teachers?  How about fire/police protection?  Would you be willing to have fewer police and fire persons or to have fewer stations and longer response times?

Anyone who watched the Chapel Hill budget process last year knows that the Town Manager and his staff worked hard to cut the budget to the bone, in many cases leaving staff positions unfilled to make the Council-requested percentage cuts.  Although I don't believe public safety was jepoardized by these cuts it is hard (for me, at least) to see where any future cuts might come from.

Building a Green-Brown-Bridge

Recently I’ve been thinking about Barack Obama, Henry Louis Gates, Van Jones, and Greenbridge.

When tension around race comes up, our society has a really difficult time differentiating between individual incidents of incivility and patterns of bias. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson thinks that an apology for his single act of disrespect is enough. But others see his “You Lie” comment towards the President to be part of a larger racial pattern questioning Obama’s authority. Henry Louis Gates saw being arrested in his own home in the light of a larger pattern of racial profiling. The police officer who arrested him thought he was just arresting a guy who threatened his authority.

Closer to home, Greenbridge and its developers continue to come under criticism for gentrifying Northside, and some attacks this summer called the Greenbridge developers racist. UNC-NOW and other Greenbridge critics see this project as a part of the larger pattern of African-American displacement in Chapel Hill. Not surprisingly, Greenbridge’s developers say they’re just one project impacting the neighborhood, and one that came relatively late to the gentrification party at that.

Carolina North - Where we are now

[The following was sent out by e-mail to NRG supporters. Julie McClintock agreed to let us publish it as a post on OP as well.]

Hello Neighbors,

We all saw the headlines earlier this summer announcing approval of the Agreement for a new 250 acre UNC campus in Chapel Hill.

The new campus, Carolina North, will house classroom, research, mixed use development and business incubator space. Because of its size (3 million square feet over 20 years), and central location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard at the current site of the Horace Williams Airport, this project will have far-reaching impacts on the community. 

Neighbors for Responsible Growth (NRG) worked with the citizens of Chapel Hill and Carrboro throughout the planning process to highlight your concerns and ideas about Carolina North. Attached is a brief report titled “Report to Residents: Key Points in the Carolina North Development Agreement” that summarizes how issues important to our community are addressed.  

We advocated with Town and the University to see these key issues and guiding principles incorporated into the Agreement as a result of your input:

OCDP & Colonial Heights Candidate Forum


Saturday, September 26, 2009 - 9:00am


Umstead Park, Umstead Drive, Chapel Hill

Trail Guide Coordinator Needed

Community Trail Guide

Sustain Foundation has published the first comprehensive mapping of the natural surface trails in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. These important natural resources are unknown to the community at large.  In response, members of the organization used GPS/GIS to walk to trails, researched and designed 12 trifold brochures about the 12 main trails in the area and linked them all on general map of Chapel Hill/Carrboro. There are over 25,000 brochures in print and they are currently for sale at several businesses and at UNC Student Stores. However, Sustain Foundation needs help in accomplishing our mission of providing these trail guides to the community so that people are introduced to these beautiful trails and begin utilizing them.

Position: Sustain Foundation is looking for volunteers who genuinely appreciate running in nature or being active in the environment more generally to promote the Community Trail Guide. We are building a Task Force of volunteers to attend events and lead creative efforts in which awareness and sales of the Trail Guide are increased. In addition, Sustain Foundation hopes to have a weekly guided hike and/or run of each of the 12 trails over a 12 week period to students or community members. This volunteer opportunity would be a great way to serve the community by making information about the vast, beautiful natural areas and trail network known to all who seek to trail run, hike or connect with nature. Also, volunteers would be able to network with businesses, non-profits and students/community members with similiar interests in active living and promoting natural spaces. Positions could vary from a structured weekly engagement with the community such as leading a walk/run on a trail to consideration leadership and creativity in event planning or fundraising for the Sustain Foundation and for the team through selling the guides on commission and splitting the revenues. Semester commitment of 3 hours per week. Visit our website: to learn more and contact if interested.



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