Council treads carefully on keg law

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday April 16, 2005

The Town Council adopted the prudent course in its response to the keg registration bill. The feeling was that, with or without Chapel Hill's encouragement, this bill was gaining traction elsewhere in the state. Thus, the town and its legislative delegation can best safeguard the privacy of consumers by adding strong language to that effect to Joe Hackney's and Verla Insko's House Bill 855.

A unanimous council was concerned about the need for keg purchasers to obtain a permit from the ABC board, the provision for criminal background checks, potential unintended consequences of requiring identification of where the keg would be consumed and the unnecessary intrusion into individual privacy from maintaining keg permits as public records.

Still, it was an odd process for Chapel Hill. Support for keg registration was proposed for a council legislative request by Jim Ward back in February. For most proposals, the town gets a report back from staff and receives citizen comment before taking action. Ward's timing pre-empted such input.

Blogging the Championship

Quite a number of locals blogged about the Tarheels victory last Monday night. Permeating our unity in support of this team is quite a lot of diversity in our reactions. Here is a collection of blog posts on everything from the players to the politics:

• • •
On the partying:

Town Council Member Sally Greene: "Fire chief Dan Jones came up with this: why not have an official bonfire somewhere on campus? But UNC hasn't warmed to the idea, and the police chief isn't so sure about it either, thinking shades of Texas A&M."

Sally was also guest blogging at Is That Legal? where she posted the police report and my picture of two women climbing a pole at the corner of Franklin and Columbia. Sally's husband Paul Jones posted pictures of the victory celebration at the Dean Dome when the team returned.

Rally for the Troops in Fayetteville

Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday, March 19, 2005
[modified slightly from published version to reflect that the event is now past]

Last Saturday's March and Rally to Bring the Troops Home Now in Fayetteville was not your typical peace rally. The location was chosen to focus on support for the troops.

Among the main sponsors were Veterans For Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War and Military Families Speak Out.

Fayetteville, of course, is the home of Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the country. Twenty percent of those serving in Iraq hail from North Carolina.

The event promised a supportive environment for soldiers and military families concerned about the Iraq war. It allowed them to speak out and to raise their questions about Bush administration policy while still having their patriotism honored.

New neighbors

We knew last summer that then-Senator John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth bought some property in Orange County just west of Carrboro. The picture became more complete with the announcement last Friday that Edwards has received a faculty appointment at UNC and will direct a new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.My first reaction: what a testament to the drawing power of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system! It can't help John Edwards' exponentially-growing political career to hail from one of the most famously left-leaning communities in the region. I guess they felt it was worth spending some political capital to get the best for Jack and Emma. Of course I'm assuming they will be in public school.Second thought: the Edwardses are certainly role models for the nouveaux rich yuppies by positioning themselves to pay county/school taxes but not town taxes.

Framing local issues

I joined about 100 other self-identified "progressives" on campus this evening for an event focused on how to win more arguments, and therefore more elections, for the causes we believe in. The gathering was focused on the teachings of linguist George Lakoff, of whom I am admittedly a fan. He is on a mission to help the left catch up with the billions of dollars spent developing right-wing think tanks and media outlets over the past 30 years.



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