All posts in category Community life

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 […]

Opportunity cloaked in petulance

For 15 years, UNC has lobbied to close Horace Williams Airport, but the tiny landing strip at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive Extension has amazing staying power. Now, with the help of a petulant board of governors, UNC may get its wish. Built in 1928 in what was then […]

Fighting back for DACA

Donald Trump seems to delight in causing chaos, regardless of the consequences. Like a toddler in the throes of a temper-tantrum, breaking everything he can get his little hands on, Trump gets attention through the disruption he creates. And Congress, the only authority figure that can put him in time out, instead stands to 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 […]

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 […]