All posts in category County business

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 […]

Conflicting Priorities

Bonnie Hauser, founder of Orange County Voice, shares her insight into factors that affect housing affordability: Last month the N.C. General Assembly (NCGA) took away Orange County’s authority to collect impact fees on new home construction. It was a low blow by Raleigh politicians but brings new insights into the important topic of affordability. Thirty […]

Light Rail at Our Own Risk

Alex Cabanes, the founder of SmartTransitFuture.org, has done in-depth analysis of the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project and has explored its implications and transit alternatives. He shares his insight into the latest plot twist of the DOLRT saga. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved moving the 17.7-mile light-rail project into the engineering phase — […]

I know a guy …

With the new travel ban in effect, the U.S. has moved a step closer to the elitist mentality that Donald Trump admires. As of last Thursday night, if you come from one of six Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — your ability to visit the Land of the Free depends […]

Better planning for affordability

Last year, when Orange County commissioners proposed a $5 million bond to be used for affordable housing, I pushed for a plan. The county commissioners instead offered a slogan — 1,065 homes for $5 million — that was so unlikely to be achieved that it didn’t rise to the level of a goal. Trying to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Raising children or the flag?

Whether the Confederate flag symbolizes racial oppression or Southern pride may hinge on the difference between desegregation and integration. A group of parents has asked the Orange County Board of Education to ban images of the Confederate flag, calling it a racially inflammatory symbol that disrupts learning. So far, the board has remained as silent […]

DOLRT’s Cost-Plus

If anything could sway me toward taking on the crushing debt of the Durham-Orange County Light Rail it would be the promise of getting some affordable housing in return. And sure enough, in its presentation about planning DOLRT stations, GoTriangle reps dangled that yarn ball before Town Council — including affordable housing in the mix […]