All posts in category Community life

Giving back

When it comes to charitable giving, I wish “deep pockets” meant “bottomless resources.” But in reality, people and organizations have a finite amount of money they make available to donate to nonprofits. Competition for those dollars is fierce, as you may have guessed by the number of solicitations you have received in the past several […]

Free access or free money?

I’ve never been one to turn down free money, so when Chapel Hill Public Library director Susan Brown proposed changing the library’s Internet policy to block access to certain sites in exchange for becoming eligible for spending federal grants on technology, the tradeoff seemed reasonable. But she took ill the day she was to present […]

Parking — It’s not just for cars anymore

Chapel Hill’s parking problem extends beyond where to put your car when you go downtown. A truly vibrant downtown needs spots for pedestrians to park their bodies when they are fatigued or simply want to people watch or absorb the ambience. Last Tuesday, University of Kentucky Professor Ned Crankshaw came to town and shared some […]

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 […]