Two ways to message

The N.C. General Assembly declined to pass HB-746 during its short session, which left one gun advocate livid. The proposed bill would have allowed concealed handguns to be carried without a permit. The bill came to the floor for consideration at the start of a week that would erupt in eight mass shootings in the […]

In Defense of Silent Sam

After Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child molestation, the statue of his boss, revered head coach Joe Paterno was removed. The statue had been erected to honor the popular “winningest” coach in football. Once it became apparent that Paterno knew about the child abuse for years but […]

Commerce Buzz

Slow-news days have settled upon Chapel Hill, a lull before the storm of students arrives for the new academic year. But the retail world apparently didn’t get the memo. Businesses are opening and closing around town. Here’s what’s been happening: An “urban” Target opened in Carolina Square in late July. Its 21,000 square feet of […]

Managua, N.C.?

Recently a homeowner requested, through his lawyer and architect, permission from the Historic District Commission to build a combination iron and chain-link fence around his large acreage, ostensibly to keep the deer out of his garden. The commissioners, familiar with the challenge of planting anything that deer would not eat, were sympathetic while trying to […]

High-Rent District

I sat on the stoop of my 1940 Cape Cod and surveyed the view — one-bedroom brick-ranch duplexes and frumpy 1930s bungalows, SUVs spilling off gravel driveways onto lawns of hard-packed red clay tufted with weeds — and thought, “Wow, I’ve made it. I now live in the high-rent section of town.” According to a […]

A Blast on the Fourth

I would like to say that my choice of where to live has been motivated by work and family, but you could make a case that fireworks factored in. Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. From the time I was a kid, I woke up every July 4 knowing it was going to be […]

I know a guy …

With the new travel ban in effect, the U.S. has moved a step closer to the elitist mentality that Donald Trump admires. As of last Thursday night, if you come from one of six Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — your ability to visit the Land of the Free depends […]

Better planning for affordability

Last year, when Orange County commissioners proposed a $5 million bond to be used for affordable housing, I pushed for a plan. The county commissioners instead offered a slogan — 1,065 homes for $5 million — that was so unlikely to be achieved that it didn’t rise to the level of a goal. Trying to […]

Fitting in our dreams

Chapel Hillians tend to go big or go home, and that proved true in feedback we got after Town Council authorized buying the American Legion property. When we asked residents how to use the 36-acre parcel (only about 23 acres of which are developable, due to topography, stream buffers and resource conservation regulations), we received […]

Paying our bills, and extras

You can craft a budget by starting with the money you expect to have in the coming year and determining how to spend it. Or you can envision the lifestyle you want and figure out how to afford it. Chapel Hill’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which starts July 1 of this year, does a […]