Seeking Unity Globally and Locally

It’s not news, of course, that our long and divisive election cycle happened to take place amid a devastating pandemic, compounding our difficulties and intensifying our tragedies. 

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How well do you know other members of our community? No, not what they think about politics or their views on international relations. We’re talking about the more important personal questions — like what’s their favorite restaurant.

John News v38: 1/22/21

Direct from his Chapel Hill home, it’s “John News,” a video podcast written, produced and performed by 8-year-old John Wortman, a second-grader at Ephesus Elementary School. The Local Reporter is proud to present the weekly “John News” to help, in John’s words, “bring some happiness to people during these trying times.”

IFC Opens its Commons

The Inter-Faith Council for Social Services’ new facility, IFC Commons, is officially open.

Pandemic Recovery: Public Input Needed

How will Orange County recover from the COVID-19 pandemic? The Orange County Long-Term Recovery Group is offering its suggestions virtually this Friday and Saturday, and will allow the public to have a say in the plan moving forward.

A Shot in the Dark

Hey, Chapel Hill geezer, need a COVID shot? Here’s what to do! Just check some boxes first.

Semester Begins, but Concerns Remain

While UNC has already begun its spring semester and decided on a delayed start for in-person classes, some professors and students are calling for the university to do more.

Barber Calls the Community to Action

The Rev. Dr. William Barber presented those attending Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP’s Annual Service in Commemoration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday with a specific charge.

On My Back, in UNC’s Cardio Section

No one told me how many volts they were going to zap me with, and I didn’t want to ask. Finally, after six months, I decided to look it up on Wikipedia.

A Call to Learn to Live Together

Carl Fox, a retired senior resident superior court judge, said the COVID-19 pandemic has divided the nation into two distinct categories: “One group believing in science and facts,” Fox said, “advocating the use of masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing and other hygiene.

A Talk with the New Superintendent

The four priorities for new Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Superintendent Dr. Nyah Hamlett are: racial equity, school-based mental health and wellness, deeper learning and family engagement.

Offering Aid, One Wash at a Time

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mutual Aid Carrboro has provided help to local residents who really needed it. Now it could use some help itself. It could use some volunteers.

A Music Trailblazer, a Diva, at 100

Martha Flowers came to her Chapel Hill front door prepared for her photo shoot, looking every bit like a diva: dressed for a concert, pearl necklace and a smile that could — and did — light up Broadway.

Local Growth: What do you think?

They seem to be sprouting up all over the community — on Elliott Road, along Fordham Boulevard, in Glen Lennox, down Eubanks Road: sleek, massive apartment complexes.

What helped you make it through?

COVID, a racial reckoning, the election, the economy, and more COVID. Our community — like most — has been devastated, the virus cases piling up, our streets deserted, our campus shut, our schools closed, our distances kept. But, somehow, despite what a year it’s been, at the end of it all, we’ve made it through. How have you made it through?

The Maturing Garden

Generally, from a gardening standpoint, I enjoy the month of January. Typically, I peruse the garden catalogues that arrive this time of year, daydreaming about the possibilities my garden might produce. However, reading the garden catalogues recently has not given me a great deal of enjoyment for the simple reason that my garden, like me, is maturing.

Jimmy Carter: An Appreciation

Not that Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States from Plains, Georgia. We’re talking about the other Jimmy Carter, the metalsmith and jewelry shop owner in Carr Mill Mall. He is who we’re appreciating today. That being said, Jimmy Carter is a big fan of Jimmy Carter.

Society Launches Spring Series

The Chapel Hill Historical Society kicks off its spring 2021 virtual Zoom program series on Jan. 24 with Peter Sandbeck’s “Orange County’s Agricultural Revolution: 1900-1970 – The Transformation of Rural Life Shown Through Historic Photographs.”

Local Residents Get Their Shots

Linda Paylor was one of the first patients Monday morning as COVID-19 vaccinations began at the Friday Center for those 75 and older during Phase 1b of the N.C. vaccination program.

Chicken TV

During COVID lockdown, our three chickens have become a major source of entertainment. We call it “Chicken TV.”

The Why of BMX

I didn’t ride BMX bikes when I was a kid, but plenty of kids I knew did.  There was even a (sort of) hit BMX movie in 1986, “Rad,” which included a very young Lori Loughlin and plenty of awesome biking sequences.

New Funds Coming for Housing Assistance

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Orange County’s Housing Hotline has been consistently receiving up to 1,000 calls for assistance a month. The Emergency Housing Assistance Program has been receiving about 300 applications a month.

New LGBTQ Protections on Agendas

Orange County governing boards will consider adopting new safeguards against LGBTQ discrimination this month, following the expiration of a three-year state ban blocking those protections.

2020 Housing Review: A Year of Bidding Wars

Nearly every recap and review of last year will begin with some variation of this sentence: 2020 was an unusual year. In place of “unusual,” it may say “unprecedented” or “difficult” or some other pejorative, but without a doubt, 2020 will be remembered.

Hunkering Down with Haikus

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how to hunker. We’ve been hunkered down since mid-March and have learned by necessity hunkering techniques. Out of curiosity, I looked up the word: “Hunker: to crouch, cower, to get on all fours.”

A Garden Needs a Soul

It’s a new year, 2021, and it’s time to plan for the garden. Spring is almost here! I have written about this topic before but it bears repeating as I see gardeners twisting themselves in knots, trying to follow the rules of good landscaping: A garden needs to reflect the personality of its owner.