Orange County

Commissioner Race Gets Going

Finally! I tell you this July primary business is tough on us political junkies. It was sad to watch May 4, which should have been the date of our primary, come and go with only the thought of an election in the air.

A few newcomers will be challenging the two incumbent members of the Orange County Commision this year. Since this is such a "liberal" community (ha ha) most of the excitement will be played out in the primary election since the Democrats always win the general race in November. (Anyone know how long this consistency dates back? Have I asked that before?)

Join The Party

The Independent Weekly ran a story by Fiona Morgan last week about the Orange County Democratic Party. They are experiencing an influx of Dean supporters which is giving the overall party a boost in organization and momentum.

As for Dean's mantra of "taking back the party," [Orange County Democratic Party Chair Barry] Katz says he would like to see it happen. "On a local level, re-establishing a party that exists independent of its candidates but exists to support its candidates, that's taking back the party. And that's what's happening in Orange County." - Independent Weekly, 3/17/04


"Something stinks south of Mebane"
Late last month, community members, a few farmers and Orange County health officials met to air out concerns that the byproduct of municipal wastewater treatment - sewer sludge - being applied to farmland is contaminating water wells and causing sickness in the community. Though there is no evidence yet that the fertilizer is a health risk, one Oak Grove resident believes there is reason for fear.
-The News of Orange County, 2/4/04

It was my understanding that OWASA does something similar with recycling their waste as fertilizer at local farms. It sounds like these farmers are patronizing Synagrow Industries of Texas and Burlington's treated wastewwater instead of OWASA's crap. Does our shit stink?

Open Thread on Northern Orange

OK people, you asked for coverage of the entire County. I warned you... we're not qualified. But we'll give it a shot. (It hasn't stopped me yet.)

So you tell us: what's going on north of I-85? Is Hillsborough still quaint? How many Wal*Marts are there now?

Orange Approves Benefits for Employee Partners

Bit of a no-brainer, really. The Orange County Commissioners voted last week to extend benefits to domestic parters of County employees. According to the Chapel Hill Herald, Commissioner Alice Gordon says they had wanted to do it before but couldn't afford it. The extra charge from the insurance company is gone, so they did it. It's nice to see the trickle-down effect of progressive social policies at big corporations.

Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro already do it, although Durham only offers the benefit to same-sex couples. What about straight cohabitators? Apparently less than 1% of the employees in these municipalities use the domestic partner benefit. The social impact on the community of doing this is an added value. This is an inexpensive way to do something good.



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