Classic decision-making

The world would be better off if we had more classics majors. This past weekend, with so many universities in the Triangle showcasing their accomplished faculty and alumni as part of commencement celebrations, I couldn’t help but notice that innovation and entrepreneurship took the spotlight. Applied sciences got the glory, along with the plethora of […]

Trumped in Orange County

The Trump Era has pierced Chapel Hill’s bubble. Last week five of the seven Orange County Commissioners voted for taxpayers to take responsibility for 18% of the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit costs not covered by federal and state governments, plus 18.5% of the debt service, on top of 20% of the regular maintenance costs of […]

Historic professionalism

Days after the Historic District Commission meeting last week, the unsettling exchanges have stayed with me. Once again — and this happens routinely — an applicant requesting a Certificate of Approval treated the commissioners with disdain, as though they were something that must be scraped off the bottom of a shoe. I’ve been to meetings […]

If we build it, they will park

We walked to our downtown E. Franklin Street church Easter morning to avoid a lengthy search for parking. The Morehead lot fills up quickly, as does Lot 2 on the corner of E. Rosemary and Columbia streets on a typical Sunday morning. Sometimes the Wallace Deck has no room, either. Bub O’Malley’s gravel lot used […]

Chapel Hill’s Central Park?

Dream first; set your sights; then figure out what you have to do to get there. That philosophy has worked for me over the years, and town staff used it, too, last Saturday by hosting a charrette to find out what value taxpayers believe the 36-acre parcel we bought from the American Legion could add […]

Playing the game: basketball and politics

Town Council members caught some flack last year when we approved the 2016-17 meeting schedule and moved our first regular Monday night meeting in April to the first Wednesday. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final would be held that Monday, and if UNC were to play in it, many of us would want to watch. “You […]

News on the Move

When the Chapel Hill News began publishing recipes on its front page — sometimes recipes from restaurants in Raleigh — we knew its marriage to The News & Observer was on the skids. Today the breakup becomes official. As you read this, the sole reporter and her editor are cleaning out their desks and moving […]

Funding Our Bubble

Chapel Hill’s bubble has been both boasted about and blasted, depending on the politics of the critic. We have a reputation of being a haven for bleeding-heart liberals, a sanctuary city in sentiment and practice, albeit not codified. But a sneak peek at the proposed Trump administration budget indicates that our bubble is about to […]

Bargaining Power

People love to feel special. Sales agents make a living by understanding the power of “just for you”: “I don’t usually do this, but just for you, I’ll …” It closes the deal and mitigates buyer’s remorse. But “just for you” would lose its value if there were no standards or rules to push back […]

The Gift of Rezoning

Town Council gave the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools a gift last week. But school board members, perhaps dismayed that they didn’t get what they came for, may not have noticed what they got instead. The school board has proposed expanding the existing building at Lincoln Center to centralize preschool classes now spread out across the […]