Welcome to the club

Some of us spend so much time thinking about stormwater runoff and traffic jams and other indications of overdevelopment that we forget quality of life goes beyond whether an apartment has granite countertops or who has to shovel the sidewalks. So I consider it a gift that I was invited to a tour of Club […]

Dry county

Mayor Hemminger declared a state of emergency in Chapel Hill when OWASA warned all of its customers not to drink, cook or wash with its water this past weekend. After reading the news release that concluded: “They [the Emergency Operations team] anticipate that this situation is temporary …” a friend emailed: “Well, that’s reassuring … […]

Dry reading worth wading into

Have you read the Lower Booker Creek Subwatershed Study Report? The tome is the type of reading you do only when the roads are iced over and you can’t leave your house for three days. But it contains critically important information that could save our town from washing away downstream. Stormwater management experts give this […]

We the people

After the U.S. Department of the Interior retweeted a pair of aerial photos comparing the size of the crowd at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009 with the much sparser attendance at Donald Trump’s ceremony, Trump ordered the department’s Twitter accounts to be shut down. Soon after, all pages on Whitehouse.gov that made reference to civil […]

I have a dream; do you?

Chapel Hill’s town manager Roger Stancil nailed it in his remarks at the close of the town employees’ celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The event took place at Hargraves Center just before lunch last Friday. The program included a dramatic re-enactment of Rosa Park’s story, starring Myra Evans of Parking Services; a musical […]

In the Big Muddy

A friend looked over GoTriangle’s newest plan to pay for the ever-escalating cost of the Durham-Orange Light Rail and said Pete Seeger had it right: “We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool says to push on.” Seeger’s ballad tells the story of an Army captain leading his platoon to cross a […]

To a Healthy New Year

My husband and I gave each other matching colds for Christmas this year, not the gifts we had intended, but a result of getting out and into the community more than I have in years past. When it comes to germs, especially in the holiday season, I’ve tried not to give back. And that means […]

Lights in the Darkness

The gifts have been unwrapped; the holiday feast reduced to leftovers. But I hope the warmth and joy and generosity of the season have stayed with you. If you need a booster shot of Christmas spirit — especially if the past several months of the presidential campaign and the past several days of the N.C. […]

Giving back

When it comes to charitable giving, I wish “deep pockets” meant “bottomless resources.” But in reality, people and organizations have a finite amount of money they make available to donate to nonprofits. Competition for those dollars is fierce, as you may have guessed by the number of solicitations you have received in the past several […]

Free access or free money?

I’ve never been one to turn down free money, so when Chapel Hill Public Library director Susan Brown proposed changing the library’s Internet policy to block access to certain sites in exchange for becoming eligible for spending federal grants on technology, the tradeoff seemed reasonable. But she took ill the day she was to present […]