All posts in category Community life

Living Stronger Together

The racial equity workshop I signed up for couldn’t have come at a better time — two days after the American people elected a president who campaigned to deport a large chunk of the workforce because of their ethnicity and to close our borders to Muslims and non-white refugees. For the most part, the workshop […]

How we can win

Heaven help us, we have elected a hatemonger as our next president. The day before the election, I accompanied some foreign journalists, many of them from the Asia Pacific, to a Donald Trump rally in Raleigh. It felt like we were on a movie set for a gladiator film. With lies and innuendo, Trump kept […]

The modestly paid are people, too

Swiss novelist Max Frisch’s quip, “We asked for workers; we got people instead,” applies as much to affordable housing as it does to the immigration issue he addressed in his day. At a council work session on Oct. 19, town staff presented the findings of David Paul Rosen & Associates, a consulting firm that we […]

Talk, listen, change

Former UNC Police Officer Keith Edwards, the first black woman on the force, objected to a less-experienced white male officer getting a promotion and raise ahead of her. One day when she walked into the campus police office, she overheard two white male officers complaining about the ensuing court case. “I wish Keith had never […]

Chapel Hill’s Arab Spring?

More than five years ago, a few weeks after the Tunisian Revolution that launched the Arab Spring, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad told The Wall Street Journal: “When there is divergence between your policy and the people’s beliefs and interests, you will have this vacuum that creates disturbance.” I hope we won’t someday look back on […]

Powering through

Have we learned nothing? Last week a female student at UNC held a news conference to claim that a classmate, a member of the football team, raped her. She was pursuing misdemeanor charges against him because the campus police had refused to file charges, and the district attorney’s office declined as well (though after the […]

How much is that rent, really?

Trying to find an apartment in Chapel Hill affordable to your typical Chapel Hill worker takes diligence and a roommate. An apartment complex may advertise rent at one price, but by the time the management adds up all the additional mandatory fees — valet garbage pick-up, package delivery acceptance, weight room access, and Internet and […]

Best practices, best officers

In North Carolina, a barber needs 1,000 hours of training to get licensed. A law enforcement officer receives 616 hours. As society and circumstances change — think the closing of mental health facilities at the turn of this century that left law enforcement officers to intervene when a mentally ill person posed harm to the […]

The Deciders

Recently I asked the town manager for an organizational flow chart of town staff that would show who was in charge of what. I received 18 pages of charts in response, most of which broke out the hierarchy of positions in each department. The collection led off, however, with a master chart of management levels. […]

Launched

You might expect a low turnout for an event scheduled at the end of a hot day, toward the end of a week of hundred-degree days, in a warehouse venue with only a hint of air-conditioning. But as Thomas Edison said, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Last Thursday, the anteroom of TOPO Distillery […]