Light rail, redux

Back in June, you may recall that I wrote a blog post (and a commentary on WCHL) about that month's planned decision by Chapel Hill Town Council on the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for Triangle Transit's proposed light-rail line connecting Durham and Chapel Hill. To recap briefly, the two choices are (a) running the light-rail line through a transit corridor reserved when Town Council approved Meadowmont in 1995, with a station right in front of the Harris Teeter on Meadowmont Lane; or (b) running the light rail line down the south side of NC-54 with a stop in the proposed Hillmont development (formerly known as Woodmont) just east of Barbee Chapel. For various reasons, the decision was delayed, but it's coming up again.

Call it what It is: Free Land

On the surface, it is perfectly reasonable to agree with the IFC’s decision to take the University up on its offer to lease the land at a rate of $1 per year. However, there continue to be many unanswered questions that when addressed will shed an entirely different light onto the issue. I’ve listed some, but not all of those questions below.

1. Why is UNC being so generous?
2. What is UNC getting out of this extremely philanthropic act?
3. What are the criteria Chris Moran states the IFC used to select this area?
4. What criteria were used to select the previous sites that were ultimately rejected and where is the evidence the criteria were used before the previous sites were rejected?
5. What is to happen to the men who are turned away from using one of the planned 20 emergency beds?

Local pride - Rudy Tempesta - "Rudy's a trip!"

At a time when partisans seem to be cherishing antagonisms and keeping wounds open, it's nice to have a reason to celebrate a town treasure in common.  

Rudy Tempesta, our 83-year-old letter-carrier on the Estes-West Coker Hills route (I think we're all the 2413 part of the zipcode), was honored yesterday for not one but two million miles without an accident over 63 years of service to the US Postal Service. 

That's remarkable enough, but as "Rudy's people" have come to learn, there's a lot more to him than putting catalogues and bills in our mailboxes.  At yesterday's ceremony amid the sorting stations at the Estes Dr. post office, Rudy showed off one of the five medals he got for flying missions in WW2, when he was part of the group covering the Tuskegee airmen, and he pointed out the other veterans he now works with.

Check out Ruby on WCOM 103.5 LP FM's own Ruby Sinreich will be my guest today on WCOM's West End Report (6pm). Ruby and I will be discussing the talk of the town, primarily getting the audience updated on the Abbey Court situation.

Once again being inspired by Tom Arnel's Placeholder show's Guest DJ feature, I have also asked Ruby to bring along her favorite music to play.

If you are not in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area, you can listen online here

We welcome calls for questions for Ruby 919-929-9601

Thanks so much...

SUPPORT COMMUNITY MEDIA and GIVE THE FINGER TO CORPORATE RADIO. Listen to WCOM 103.5 LP FM Carrboro's All-Volunteer Community Radio station!

Rumblings at Eastgate?

The CH Herald reports that Somerhill Gallery's lease has been terminated: Owner Joe Rowand received a notice that his lease was being terminated by center owner Federal Realty two weeks ago. "There was no rationale given," Rowand said Tuesday of the notice, which gave him 45 days to vacate the location. "It was a three-paragraph notice of termination. If you dig deeper, there are other merchants here that have been told they are not being renewed."

Is the implication that Federal Realty, having upgraded the mall area, now wants to churn the tenant population to charge higher rent? Anyone know any thing about this? Aside from my own admiration of Somerhill and my feeling that it's an asset to both mall and town, I have to wonder about efforts to change the nature of Eastgate in a volatile and perhaps failing economy. Has Federal Realty not noticed the unoccupied spaces on Franklin St. and University Mall?



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