All posts in category Lifestyle

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 […]

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 […]

What’s driving driverless cars?

As we plan for autonomous vehicles, bear in mind that the car, not the driver, causes the demand for infrastructure. At our Sept. 18 council work session, town planning director Ben Hitchings presented some futuristic ideas of the day when everyone owns, or at least uses, a driverless car. Our starry-eyed discussion focused only on […]

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 — […]

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 […]

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 […]

Fitting in our dreams

Chapel Hillians tend to go big or go home, and that proved true in feedback we got after Town Council authorized buying the American Legion property. When we asked residents how to use the 36-acre parcel (only about 23 acres of which are developable, due to topography, stream buffers and resource conservation regulations), we received […]

Paying our bills, and extras

You can craft a budget by starting with the money you expect to have in the coming year and determining how to spend it. Or you can envision the lifestyle you want and figure out how to afford it. Chapel Hill’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which starts July 1 of this year, does a […]