All posts for the month March, 2011

How to be heard

The way winter has persisted, especially after we had a few days of Southern spring, has everyone feeling peevish, and Town Council members aren’t immune. It didn’t help matters Monday night when the council meeting started off with an act of civil disobedience: Several people signed up to filibuster in order to draw attention to […]

Signs of change

I’m rattled. Last night’s meeting marked the second time that I agreed with Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. I fear one of us is making a terrible mistake. Dwight Bassett, the town’s economic development director, and Gene Poveromo, development manager, teamed up to present a modified proposal to the sign ordinance. The photos they presented showed tasteful […]

Four and more

How many teenagers can stay home alone without parental supervision before it becomes not a good idea? The Town of Chapel Hill has set the limit at four. Except in areas zoned R-3, like Northside and a couple of historic districts downtown. Those neighborhoods can stuff many more than four in a residence, as long […]

Listing service

The Town Council approves special use permits for local businesses, many of which belong to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. The Town Council does not belong to the Chamber. Yet you’d never know that from the Chamber’s website. Scroll down through the C’s on the Chamber’s business directory, and there you’ll find a listing […]

In defense of churches

In a snippet from Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back,” a mother surveys a mess and says, “… ‘somebody has to clean all this away. Somebody, somebody has to you see.’ Then she picked out to Somebodies. Sally and me.” Something we in Chapel Hill have to clean up is the problem […]


Fortunately, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this past weekend provided excellent training for the hours of sitting on the couch in front of the TV that watching Monday night’s Town Council meeting required. The public hearing began for whether to approve a special use permit for the IFC shelter. And for all IFC director Chris […]

Working out the IFC SUP

Tonight Town Council begins the IFC shelter special use permit process, which council members Sally Greene and Donna Bell promise will be rigorous and thorough. One of the contentious issues that may come up is the fact that the siting of the shelter precludes housing any registered sex offenders, even on white flag nights. Some […]


Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt kicked two people out of Monday night’s Town Council meeting. It marked one of the rare occasions I agreed with him. Several people showed up at the meeting to protest town manager Roger Stancil’s decision to uphold the firing of sanitation workers Kerry Bigelow and Clyde Clark. For the most part, they […]

Receive, then what?

The flawed system exposed during the circus that billed itself as personnel appeals hearings for Kerry Bigelow and Clyde Clark has extended to The Chapel Hill News. In a story in Wednesday’s edition, cub reporter Katelyn Ferral misquoted Mayor Pro Tem Jim Ward as saying he thought the outcome of the hearings “wasn’t wrong.” What […]

Will shelter regs approval clear the way?

Mark Peters of writes: Town Council will discuss homeless shelter regulations again tonight after last month’s requests for additional information. Planning department staff has provided detailed information from the American Planning Association to address Council questions, and staff has also addressed the timing conflict the proposed shelter guidelines present if passed the week prior […]