All posts in category Community life

Honor MLK Jr. — Speak Out

Never have I felt so alone and afraid as when the border patrol in El Salvador pulled me off the bus as I headed to American-friendly Guatemala because I had not stayed the three consecutive nights the Salvadoran regime required of tourists to that country torn by civil war in the early 1980s. I watched […]

Requiem to a Newspaper

“I have some good news to share,” began a letter to Chapel Hill News readers from publisher Sara Glines. But it wasn’t good news. What followed was a 6-inch column of malarkey. The Chapel Hill News ceased publication at the end of December. It had stopped publishing news a year before that, when McClatchy, owner […]

Happier New Year

We started a new tradition this New Year’s Eve – we wrote all the bad things that happened in 2017 on little slips of paper, then tossed them into the fireplace. It was not as big of a bonfire as I expected, given the national politics and ripples into global and state affairs. And it […]

Hot Spots

Things change. I count on that every year when we go out looking for holiday lights. This year we stumbled on a treasure trove of lights to complement our old favorites. We hope you and those you celebrate with will enjoy them: Because Southern Village goes all out for Halloween, we ventured in to see […]

Park, Housing: Not an Either-Or

In 2003, as a taxpayer I voted against spending more than $16 million to expand and renovate the Chapel Hill Public Library. The town had a small but functional library, surrounded by the woods and trails of Pritchard Park, and while the demand would only grow as the town grew, it seemed to me we […]

Will we always have Paris?

Maybe Town Council’s next intercity visit should be to Paris, a city that Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane cited as her favorite because of its low buildings. At council’s Nov. 15 meeting, we reviewed a concept plan for a 5-story building of apartments, offices and retail, with 68 parking spaces on less than 4 acres at […]

The flip side of success

Town Council approved plans for a Wegmans to be built on the site now home to Performance Automall. While most residents of Chapel Hill and beyond welcomed the news, dozens of households had mixed reactions. If Wegmans is successful, it will bring in $336,000 in gross property tax receipts and as much as $1.5 million […]

Sitting on the Historic District Commission

In an interview aired on National Public Radio recently, Magazine Editor Hall-of-Famer Tina Brown described her desk-on-a-treadmill, noting, “Sitting is the new smoking.” That shot a little dart of fear in my heart, because my role as a Town Council member requires me to sit a lot. Council meetings, work sessions, committees, task forces and […]

Town — and County — Treasures

The alliteration of “Town Treasures” makes for a snappy title for a well-earned honorific. But the roster of seven recipients shows that the Chapel Hill Historical Society wisely seeks excellence beyond town borders to include members of our community county-wide. The historical society has been celebrating Town Treasures for a decade now. The program has […]

Economics of affordability

A council member told of going to dinner at a new restaurant in town and having to wait a half-hour for a table. Initially, he took that as a good sign of how well the new business was faring. But once he was seated, he noticed that several tables had been removed since the last […]