Community Notices Archive

COMMUNITY NOTICES ARCHIVE


November 25, 2022

140 West Parking Repairs

Contractors will perform restoration/waterproofing on the 140 West parking deck for approximately 10 weeks beginning in December to fix water leaks, along with some plaza resurfacing and additional bollards to prevent vehicles from driving on the plaza level. Visitors to the 140 West parking deck will start to see activity mid-December, around the 12th-16th, which will affect an area of 30 parking spaces at a time on the public parking level. The EV-charging stations will be affected for a period during construction. 

The lower level, private parking spaces for residents, will be blocked for a Sunday night into Monday later in the project. This coordination is to take care of the only entry/exit for the private parking when it is least used. The Town will coordinate with the 140 West condominium association to move residents’ cars to another Town parking lot during this period so residents will have access to their vehicles if needed. The contractors will place plastic drapes as a barrier to protect parked cars and to help control dust on the public parking level. All dates and timeframes are dependent on favorable weather and may be adjusted as needed.


Big Book Sale and Holiday Sip & Shop Event at CHPL

The Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) invite bargain hunters and book lovers to their upcoming Big Book Sale—Friday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 4—at CHPL. Friday night, the popular after-hours Sip & Shop event returns for the first time since 2019.

  • Friday, Dec. 2, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. (Members only sale)
  • Friday, Dec. 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. (Sip & Shop)
  • Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($10 bag sale)

For those who want first crack at all the bargains, there are two ways to shop the sale early. Friday afternoon is only for Friends members—and memberships are available at the door or anytime online. Friday evening brings the opportunity to enjoy wine, cheese and desserts and shop the sale in a festive environment. The Sip & Shop is $25 for two shoppers and free for Friends members and a guest.

Saturday and Sunday sales are open to the public, with an extensive inventory of gently used fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults, as well as puzzles, with prices starting at 50 cents. On Sunday, shoppers can bring their own bag and fill it with books for just $10. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags for all three sale days. Commercial book resellers will be charged for extra boxes supplied by the Friends.

The Friends hold three weekend-long book sales each year, with the proceeds going to support library services, special projects and programming. The organization typically raises more than $150,000 for the library each year from the sale of books donated by the community and membership dues. Recently, the Friends have funded projects at the library, including The Circulator, new lobby furniture, world language collections, programs and more.

You can shop the Friends Online Book Store any time. Questions regarding the sale or Friends membership can be sent to info@friendschpl.org.


November 20, 2022

Chapel Hill Historical Society’s “History of Hope, Part 2” Exhibit Opens at Orange County Historical Museum

Just in time for the holiday season, the Chapel Hill Historical Society’s new exhibit, “A History of Hope, Part 2, Chapel Hill and UNC, 1930 – 1980,” is open at the Orange County Historical Museum.  

Part 1 covered the very beginnings of Chapel Hill, the University, and the people from pre-1793 to 1928. Part 2 continues the story by exploring people and events that defined the decades from the 1930s through the 1970s in words, photos, videos and music. Some of the highlights of the exhibit include a World War II WAVES uniform, timeline of the Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill, and the number 1 hit song of 1974.

This shared history helps us understand, connect, and link the past with the present . . . and our future together. Share it with friends and family who may be visiting over the holiday season.

The Orange County Historical Museum is located at 201 N. Churton Street in Hillsborough. Check the museum’s website (https://www.orangehistorync.org/) for more information about the museum and its holiday hours. 


Celebrate Chapel Hill Poet Laureate, CJ Suitt

Join Community Arts & Culture in celebrating Chapel Hill’s inaugural Poet Laureate, CJ Suitt, at Flyleaf Books on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 6 to 7 p.m. This hour-long event will feature remarks and tributes from community members, poetry readings and performances. Light snacks, beer and wine will be provided.


Merritt Properties Breaks Ground for North Chapel Hill Business Center

The groundbreaking ceremony for Merritt Properties’ two flex/light industrial buildings, North Chapel Business Center, took place Wednesday, November 9.

The new construction signifies a Town development vision coming into fruition, with this type of space fulfilling a current need for Chapel Hill businesses. The 19.6-acre development is part of the 60-acre Millhouse Road Enterprise Zone created through the efforts of Mayor Pam Hemminger and the Town Council in 2017. This Enterprise Zone was formed to bring new businesses to Chapel Hill and to help expand the local economy.

The project located on Millhouse Road, just west of I-40 and NC-86, will consist of two buildings totaling 116,300 square feet. Both building feature 18′ clear heights, rear-loaded docks, and drive-in capabilities which allow businesses front patronage space in addition to an area for storage and product development. The Town is looking forwarded to how this development project will establish growth to the Chapel Hill business community.

The construction is expected to be completed during quarter two of 2023. Site and floor plans are available on the Merritt Properties project website.


Update on Legion Property

At a public information meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in Chapel Hill Public Library Meeting Room B, Town staff will share Legion Property Committee (LPC) recommendations that are scheduled to be discussed by the Town Council at their December 7 meeting. The mayor formed the LPC in October 2022 to develop recommendations on the future use of the Legion Property. For an overview of the property see https://www.townofchapelhill.org/legion.


November 18, 2022

Six Ways to Grow the Living Wage Movement

Since September, the following local employers have joined the Orange County Living Wage (OCLW) roster, voluntarily paying their full- and part-time employees a living wage of $15.85/hour: 

Big Spoon Roasters
emma delon LLC
Family Reading Partners
Hill Country Woodworks 
Neat Freak Professional Organizing
New South Law Firm 
Preschool of the Warm Heart  
Rumors
Strowd Roses, Inc. 
The Water Specialist

In addition to these new certifications, six employers have recertified, which means they’ve committed to paying a living wage for at least four years.

See the directory of all 250+ Orange County living wage employers.

Ways to support living wage employers:

  1. Consider making an end-of-year, tax-deductible donation to one or more of the many nonprofits on the roster, who work tirelessly to improve the community when it comes to housing, hunger, racial justice and more. If you’re looking to volunteer over the holidays, check in with the nonprofits about their opportunities to lend a hand. 2. Buy living wage businesses’ gift cards. 3.Consider the living wage restaurants when planning holiday celebrations and/or ordering party platters. 4. Say thank you if you see an OCLW decal; express your gratitude to that business or organization. Acknowledge their efforts to create an economy that works for all. Even better, post your acknowledgement to social media so that others can applaud their efforts as well. 5. Donate to Orange County Living Wage; make a tax-deductible, end-of-year donation to OCLW. Also, help host networking events for living wage employers/employees, help maintain the OCLW job board, fund promotional efforts for living wage employers, and, most of all, raise workers’ wages! OCLW is closing in on $3 million in wages raised since its founding in 2015. They need your help raising wages of Orange County workers even more.6. Join the OCLW Certification Committee; this involves reaching out to local employers, letting them know about the voluntary certification program and answering any questions those employers may have about our application process. Email OCLW to learn more.

James Cates Memorial Dedication Next Week

Monday, Nov. 21, at 4 p.m., UNC will dedicate the James Cates Memorial at the Pit on the UNC campus, in honor of James Lewis Cates, Jr. The memorial represents a long-awaited, permanent recognition of James Cates, a young Black man from Chapel Hill who was murdered during a campus dance in 1970.


 

Chapel Hill Thanksgiving Holiday Service Schedule

November 24-25 are town holidays, and some services will be affected, as follows:

Residential trash—not affected. Yard trimmings will not be collected the week of Nov. 20-26.

Curbside recycling—delayed by one day. Thursday’s recycling collected on Friday, Nov. 25, Friday’s recycling collected on Saturday, Nov. 26.

Commercial trash—not collected Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25; collections will be completed earlier in the week.

Orange County Landfill and waste & recycling centers—closed Thursday and open Friday.

Chapel Hill Public Library—closed Nov. 24-25.

Chapel Hill Transit—not operating on Thanksgiving; Friday, Nov. 25, operating Sunday service (no U or NU route); no service for 420 route or Safe Rides; EZ Rider hours: 8:15 a.m.-6:52 p.m.

Housing—Office and Maintenance Division closed; for emergency maintenance services, call 919-968-2855.

Parks and Recreation—Parks, greenways, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters and outdoor park amenities open.

—Administrative offices, Chapel Hill Community Center and Pool, Hargraves Center and Northside Gym, Homestead Aquatic Center and The Teen Center closed Thursday, Nov. 24.  

—Administrative offices, Chapel Hill Community Center Pool, Hargraves Center and The Teen Center closed Friday, Nov. 25; open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. will be Homestead Aquatic Center, Chapel Hill Community Center and Northside Gym; more information: www.chapelhillparks.org.


Investigators Work to Identify Theft Suspects

Chapel Hill police investigators are working to identify several people accused of stealing tools from a van outside a hotel in the 5600 block of Fordham Boulevard early Tuesday morning, Nov. 15, while using a gun to threaten the owner of the van.

At around 1:30 a.m., images from a security camera show the suspects arriving in a red Ford pickup truck, which appears to have a black truck bed cover. The owner of the truck then confronted the suspects from a second-floor balcony. One of the suspects was seen pointing a gun at the victim while the other suspects stole tools from the van. The victim was not hurt.

Officers are reminding community members to avoid confronting anyone who is committing a crime while armed with a weapon. Instead, gather a detailed description to share with authorities.

If you recognize the suspect vehicle or have any information, call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515 or visit https://chapelhillcrimestoppers.com/.


Small Business Saturday in Carrboro

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils has proclaimed Saturday, Nov. 26 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), as Small Business Saturday in Carrboro.

There are 399 small businesses in Carrboro, making up 97% of all business in town. These small businesses employ 2,550 people and provide over $93 million in payroll. The Town of Carrboro celebrates our local small businesses and the contributions they make to our local economy and community.

Read the proclamation at: https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12073/2022-Small-Business-Saturday.

Spread cheer and support local Carrboro businesses through Carrboro Cheer 2022, which will include an in-person Small Business Saturday kickoff (Nov. 26) with a table at the Carrboro Farmer’s Market featuring the distribution of complimentary local swag bags and launch of the buy local Carrboro Cheer Gift Guide.


Chapel Hill Awards Largest Single-Year Contribution to Support Affordable Housing

Wednesday, Nov. 16, Chapel Hill Town Council approved a $9.1 million funding plan that will support almost 300 new affordable homes through five affordable housing-development projects. These projects will provide homeownership and rental opportunities for households with a range of incomes, including extremely low-income households.

Each project will be along a Chapel Hill Transit line and/or within proximity of downtown. These projects will support the Town’s workforce and continue to advance the effort to make Chapel Hill a place where everyone can live, work and play.

The new affordable housing units will increase the Town’s supply of permanently affordable housing by more than 25%. The funding plan also provides rental subsidies for some of the hardest-to-serve households through a local master leasing program.

Town Council approved funding awards from the Town’s Affordable Housing Bond, Affordable Housing Development Reserve, American Rescue Plan Act, and Affordable Housing Fund.


Welcome the Carolina Sapphire Cypress

Carrboro Town Hall will have its tree lighting ceremony, where a simple tree comes alive with twinkling lights, at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. This year, the event is expected to be even more beautiful with a new live tree. 

The Town will welcome its first living holiday tree—a 20-foot Carolina Sapphire Arizona cypress (Hesperocyparis arizonica). This tree has been locally sourced and will be a welcome landscaping feature to Town Hall during the holiday season and all year long. 

Join members of the Town Council along with local schoolchildren as the festive season is officially kicked off with music and the lighting of the community tree. 

In addition to the tree planting occurring the week of Nov. 21, Town crews will be installing a new rain garden. This feature will capture and treat stormwater runoff from the Town Hall parking lot at the front of the building. The plant material chosen will be North Carolina native species that are pollinator and wildlife friendly. For information on rain gardens and the plants used in these features, visit https://townofcarrboro.org/2555/Rain-Gardens.


Lehew Selected as Town’s Next Police Chief

Assistant Chief Celisa Lehew has been selected as the Town of Chapel Hill’s ninth police chief, effective January 1, 2023. This concludes a nationwide search to replace retiring Police Chief Chris Blue.

“I am thrilled to be able to select one of our own to build on the lasting legacy of Chief Blue and the officers who have served with him,” said Town Manager Maurice Jones. “Assistant Chief Lehew has been not only a leader in this organization but a leader in our community on many of the critical issues related to improving community safety for all. Through a rigorous process, which included a deep and talented pool of candidates, she presented us with a vision that continues the vital work that has made the Chapel Hill Police Department a leading organization locally, regionally and nationally.”

Asst. Chief Lehew will be the Town’s first female police chief. She was sworn in as a patrol officer in 2004 and has served in leadership roles in each of the department’s divisions in her nearly 19-year career in Chapel Hill.

“I am proud to lead the Guardians of the Hill in a community that is supportive of a progressive, forward-thinking department,” said Asst. Chief Lehew. “We have a very strong foundation of community policing, and our officers are at the heart of that. As chief, I will support and invest in our team, so we can give our best to our community.”

Asst. Chief Lehew says she takes pride in her many important relationships with community partners. “I will continue to look inward to our officers and professional staff and outward to our community to help us make thoughtful decisions that will contribute to the health and well-being of everyone in our community,” she said.

Celisa is a native of Sault Ste Marie, Canada. She earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Lake Superior State University and a master’s in justice administration from Methodist University. She enjoys spending time with her husband, their two daughters, and the family’s French bulldog.


Carrboro Thanksgiving Holiday Service Schedule

The Town of Carrboro will observe the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24-25. Town Hall and other administrative offices will be closed. Other services will be affected as follows: 

Residential trash—collected two days before your regular collection day.

Recycling—pick-up scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 24, collected on Saturday, Nov. 26; please have carts out by 7 a.m.; recycling collected as normal on Friday; landfill and related services open on Friday, Nov. 25. More at https://www.orangecountync.gov/795/Solid-Waste-Management.

Yard waste and loose leavesnot collected Thanksgiving week.


Chapel Hill Town Council Approves Six-Month Affordable Housing Development-Review Process

Wednesday, Nov. 15, Chapel Hill Town Council approved changes to the Town’s Land Use Management Ordinance that shortens the development-review process for projects that include at least 25% affordable housing. The changes reduce the timeline from 12 to 18 months to less than six months. The new policy will make it easier for developers to capitalize on funding assistance and incentivize the creation of more affordable housing in town.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Development projects must include at least 25% of its units as affordable.
  • Rental projects must offer affordable units to households earning 60% or less of the area median income (AMI).
  • Home-ownership projects must offer affordable units to households earning 80% or less of AMI.

The new process supports the Town’s “Projected Housing Needs, 2020-2040” study, the Complete Community Strategy, and the Shaping Our Future initiative

Additional details of the adopted policy can be found at townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/planning/plans-and-ordinances/housing-access-text-amendments.

Council passed the amendment unanimously, and the Town will begin implementing the program immediately.

The Town’s Planning and Affordable Housing & Community Connections departments drafted the text amendment in response to a 2021 Council petition. The petition asked staff to create an expedited application process for developments with a significant affordable housing component. It also asked staff to implement strategies to rapidly promote increased production and availability of affordable and missing middle housing. 

After receiving the petition, staff explored potential solutions. They piloted several strategies to streamline review of affordable housing projects, gathered feedback from the community, and engaged key stakeholders about their experiences with rezoning in Chapel Hill and neighboring municipalities. Their findings helped shape the proposed changes, including:

  • Eliminating the concept plan review process for qualifying projects
  • Shifting some of the technical details required in the rezoning stage to later stages of plan review and permitting
  • Exempting eligible applicants from review by all advisory boards except for Planning Commission
  • Delegating authority to staff for minor project modifications after rezoning approval

Orange County Government Announces Closings, Service Alterations for Thanksgiving Week

Orange County Government will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24-25, to observe the Thanksgiving holidays. 
 
Please note the following exceptions:

  • Solid Waste—Recycling pick-up scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 24, collected Friday, Nov. 25; recycling pick-up scheduled for Friday, Nov. 25, collected Saturday, Nov. 26 (have carts out by 7 a.m.); landfill and related services open Friday, Nov. 25.
  • Animal Services—Closed Saturday, Nov. 26, in addition to the government holidays (normally closed on Sundays); they ask that, as always, people call 9-1-1 if they have an animal-related emergency after hours, such as animal bites to humans or exposure to rabies.
  • Transportation Servicesoperate limited service serving the in-county dialysis route only (Carolina Dialysis), Friday, Nov. 25; full service resume Monday, Nov. 28.; in order to provide two-working-day notice for scheduling, trip requests for Monday, Nov. 28, must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23.
  • 9-1-1 Services—available; please call 9-1-1 only to report emergencies.
  • Health—COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Bonnie B. Davis Center closed Saturday, Nov. 26, in addition to the government holidays.

The county will resume its regular schedule on Monday, Nov. 28.


BOCC Seeking Community Members for Schools Safety Task Force

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is recruiting residents to serve on a Schools Safety Task Force that will begin meeting in January 2023.

The Task Force charge will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  • Discuss ways in which Orange County government, schools, law enforcement and community can enhance the safety of the school environment to protect from external threats and promote the education of Orange County K-12 public school students
  • Recommend to the BOCC new or amended policies, ordinances and/or practices that will address those external threats and provide a safer school environment for our students

Commissioners Jean Hamilton and Earl McKee were appointed as the two commissioner representatives on the Task Force, which will meet a minimum of six times between January and June of 2023. The 18-member Task Force will include two at-large representatives who live in the Orange County Schools District and two at-large representatives who live in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools District. Those representatives will be appointed by the BOCC.Applications from interested residents will be accepted through Dec. 4 at 11:59 p.m. The application is available at www.orangecountync.gov/Apply


GSK Celebrates 2022 IMPACT Award Winners

GSK is honoring 20 nonprofits for their outstanding contributions to improving health in

the Triangle (North Carolina) and Greater Philadelphia regions. The 20 IMPACT Award winners (10 per region) are receiving $50,000 each to support their organizations’ missions to build capacity to improve the health and welfare of individuals often underrepresented in their local communities.

To date, GSK has awarded over $14 million in unrestricted funding to local nonprofits across the two regions that are home to its U.S. corporate hubs. Unrestricted funding allows the nonprofits to use the money for any purpose furthering their work.

Each year, the winners are selected by a panel of GSK and community leaders through a competitive process. The winning nonprofits needed to demonstrate that they improve community health through innovative ideas, measured outcomes, collaborative partnerships, accountability and racial equity.

In the Triangle region, the GSK IMPACT Awards are presented in partnership with Triangle Community Foundation (@TriComFdn). 2022 GSK IMPACT Awards for the Triangle Region  winners:

  • Community Empowerment Fund
  • CORA Food Pantry
  • Durham Community Land Trustees
  • Rebuilding Together of the Triangle
  • StepUp Ministry
  • Student UI
  • Swing Pals
  • The Center for Volunteer Caregiving
  • The LGBTQ Center of Durham
  • White Oak Foundation

GSK is a global biopharma company with a purpose to unite science, technology, and talent to get ahead of disease together. Find out more at gsk.com/company.

Triangle Community Foundation is building a brighter future for everyone in the Triangle. By working with dedicated donors and strong nonprofits, the Triangle Community Foundation is able to guide gifts in a strategic way to fill in gaps, reduce inequities, and solve the region’s most pressing challenges. Since 1983, they have envisioned a Triangle that works together so everyone can thrive. Learn more at www.trianglecf.org.


November 16, 2022

November is National Family Caregivers Month

Dementia Alliance of North Carolina is teaming up with CareYaya Health Technologies to raise awareness of National Caregiving Month.  

Over 53 million Americans are taking care of an elderly parent, a spouse with serious illness or disability or a child with special needs. Nationally, family caregivers lose $522 billion in income each year. An AARP research report finds that 71% of caregivers reported cutting back hours, and 42% turned down a promotion. 

Part of the problem for many families is the cost of hiring professional caregivers. To help make in-home care more affordable, CareYaya’s technology has been matching college-educated caregivers with the elderly across the Triangle to better our communities. Built in partnership with UNC Chapel Hill, N.C. State, and Duke Health, the company has been working alongside community leaders to provide affordable care at home. 

More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and over 11 million provide their unpaid care. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated to total $321 billion in 2022, increasing to $1 trillion (in today’s dollars) by mid-century.


Public Meeting on Lack of Mental Health Services in Orange County

Latinx leaders from nonprofit groups Orange County Justice United and the North Carolina Congress of Latino Organizations (NC Latino Congress) will host a Mental Health Public Assembly with Alliance Health representatives on Thursday, Nov. 17, 7-8:30 pm., in a hybrid format. The meeting will be held in person at Binkley Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 1712 Willow Dr., Chapel Hill. The Zoom Webinar link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81473275527?pwd=SE1nZnh5R0Ezc0xzWDFFSkhDQ0hZQT09; passcode 067095. The assembly includes an introduction performance by the traditional dance group “Danza Aztec.”

Leaders will call on Alliance Health, the private company that controls Orange County mental health funds, to recognize the crisis facing Orange County’s Latinx community due to lack of mental health services. Leaders will then invite Alliance Health representatives to respond to specific, tangible proposals to address this crisis.

Speakers will include Latinx community leaders from Orange County Justice United and sister group NC Latino Congress, who will share testimonies to illustrate the depth of the crisis of lack of resources and how it has devastated Latinx families across Orange County. Speakers will also share concrete proposals for more mental health resources, developed after a year of over 30 research meetings with Orange County mental health providers and stakeholders.

For more information, see https://www.ocjusticeunited.org/mental_health_public_assembly_nov_17.

With Alliance Health as Orange County’s new local management entity/managed care organization, community leaders see an opportunity to address the dangerous lack of investment in the Latinx community’s mental health.


Deadline to Apply for Property Tax Assistance Program is Dec. 1

 Longtime Homeowner Assistance applications are due Dec. 1. Longtime Homeowner Assistance provides property tax assistance for Orange County homeowners under income limits. Full program information is available on the Orange County website.
  
Applications can be submitted online at www.orangecountync.gov/LHAP or in person at one of the Orange County Housing offices: 

  • Chapel Hill: 2501 Homestead Road
  • Hillsborough: 300 W. Tryon St., Third Floor

If additional assistance is needed to fill out an application, please call the Orange County Housing Helpline at 919-245-2655.
 
If you know someone who might be eligible, please share this information with them and help spread the word about this important program.


November 12, 2022

Paw Prints Art Show

Paws4ever is hosting Paw Prints, an art show fundraiser, November 19, 6-8 p.m. for general admission and a VIP happy hour at 5 p.m. The show will be held at Extraordinary Ventures,
200 S. Elliot Road, Chapel Hill. The purpose of the show is to support Paws4ever’s mission of creating and growing lifetime relationships between pets and people through adoption, training, education and care.

The Paw Prints Art Show will feature beautiful pieces by local artists celebrating animals, live jazz music by The Mood Enhancers, written-to-order custom poems by Endlesswill, desserts, drinks by Haw River Ales, and the chance to bid on auction items like a handmade cat quilt, N.C. Symphony Tickets, and more.

VIP tickets are $80 (available in advance only) and include a preview of the show at a special reception before it opens. From 5 to 6 p.m. there will be an exclusive VIP happy hour for artists, sponsors, and VIP ticket-holders. VIP happy hour includes the first chance to browse and buy art, the first chance to bid on auction items, a drink from Haw River Ales, and the chance to win a pet photo session with photographer Katie Stember or a Paws4ever dog-training class.

General-admission tickets are $40 in advance ($45 at the door, as space allows).
Paw Prints Art Show will officially open for general-admission ticket-holders at 6 p.m.


Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Person

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is seeking the community’s assistance locating a missing person. Stephanie Knuckles, 32, was last seen Nov. 10 at around 8 p.m., in the area of 1500 East Franklin Street.

Knuckles is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and weighs about 145 pounds. She was last seen wearing a light- blue Walgreens shirt and black pants. On her wrist, Knuckles has a tattoo of a beaded bracelet with a heart on it. On the back of her neck, she has a tattoo of a blue dragon. She is not believed to be in danger.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515 or visit https://chapelhillcrimestoppers.com/.


Carrboro In Motion Events

The Town of Carrboro together with community partners is hosting a series of Carrboro In Motion events to increase neighbor-to-neighbor participation and engagement with the community. 

The events leverage community assets and strengths from public agencies and partners, including El Centro Hispano, Bike Carrboro, NEXT, Red Ridge NC Bike Share, Orange Literacy, Orange County Public Library, and Carrboro Transportation Choices. 

Their next neighborhood block party will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Estes Park Apartments off Estes Extension in Carrboro. Stop by to join the free event – no registration required. 

Carrboro In Motion will feature the following: 

  • Live Zumba class led by Oscar Garcia
  • Chapel Hill Transit bus information about routes and tips like how to load a bike on a bus
  • Storytime for kids from librarians of Orange County Public Library 
  • Mobile Health Unit from El Centro providing basic health screenings and information about exploring greenways for recreation
  • Bike and pedestrian resources, including repair for bicycles, map and routing resources, and reflective gear and bike lights 
  • Town programs—staff from Communication and Engagement providing general information from across all town services, including volunteer opportunities and programs 
  • Recreation programs—Town’s Party Trailer providing games and activities for children
  • New-resident packet information 
  • Snacks and drinks and a food truck

Carrboro In Motion aims to bring people and community assets together to improve lifestyles by:

  • Creating awareness and access to available services offered by public and non-profit agencies 
  • Promoting environmentally friendly habits and lifestyle 
  • Supporting opportunities for conversation and dialogue 
  • Increasing neighbor-to-neighbor participation and engagement with local government 
  • Creating a welcoming spirit of community where everyone belongs 
  • Inspiring leadership through opportunities to serve as neighborhood liaisons, apply for advisory boards and commissions, and more 

Carrboro In Motion advances goals of the Inclusive Carrboro Communications and Community Engagement Plan by creating a method for the Town to establish a presence in communities and neighborhoods, build relationships, offer multiple ways for residents to contribute input and feedback, and advance a neighborhood liaisons network. Learn more at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2735/Carrboro-In-Motion.

For more information, contact Catherine Lazorko, the Town of Carrboro’s communication and engagement director, at 919-918-7314 or clazorko@carrboronc.gov.


Town of Carrboro Veterans Day Ceremony

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils proclaimed Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11, as a day to remember the invaluable contribution of Carrboro’s veterans and urges all residents of Carrboro to take every opportunity to honor the service and sacrifice of individuals in uniform transitioning from active service. Thank you to all who have served.

In a ceremony held outside Carrboro Town Hall, the following Town of Carrboro employees who are veterans were honored for their service and sacrifice: 

Police Department:

  • Capt. Tony Frye (Army)
  • Lt. Mike Metz (Army)
  • Lt. Joseph Thomas (Marine Corps)
  • Officer Brian Cates (Marine Corps)

 Fire-Rescue Department:

  • Eddie Renegar (Marine Corps)

 Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Resources Department:

  • Jack Gaegler (Air Force)
  • Steve Harward (Navy)

 Public Works Department:

  • John Garland (Army)

Read the entire proclamation at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12043/2022-Veterans-Day-Proclamation.


November 10, 2022

UNC SHAC 5K and Health Fair

UNC’s Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) is celebrating its 55th anniversary at the inaugural health fair 5K run/walk, followed by a celebration with food, music, games, free preventive health screenings and more. SHAC is the oldest student-run free clinic in the United States.

This event will be held Saturday, Nov. 12, with the 5K starting at 7:30 a.m. (please arrive by 7:15) and the health fair 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the UNC Campus Y Courtyard, 180 E. Cameron Ave.

For more information about the event and to register for the 5K, go to https://event.racereach.com/shac-5k/details#whenandwheresec.

To donate, go to https://give.communityfunded.com/o/unc-chapel-hill/i/unc-school-of-medicine/s/celebrate-55-years-of-shac?fbclid=IwAR05hMoBaYKNadTDCAue-QoH0E83eqrMHxydnnjf4VY0rHSKbyIzMNmyvJc.

To learn more about SHAC, go to https://www.med.unc.edu/shac/. 


Documentary on Robert Seymour at Seymour Center

The Religious Affairs Committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will present a screening of, You Can’t Hold Back the Spring, “a powerful documentary about the journey of Rev. Bob Seymour to effect change in the many racial and social injustices in Chapel Hill,” on Monday, Nov. 14, at 7:00 p.m. at the Robert & Pearl Seymour Center,
2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. Rev. Seymour was the long-time pastor at Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill. The film provides insights into some of the racial history of Chapel Hill, “drawing inspiration from the example of a stalwart ally in the fight for justice,” Rev. Seymour.


Chapel Hill to Paint “Walking Lanes” on Several Neighborhood Streets

The Town of Chapel Hill will paint walking lanes on Honeysuckle Road, Booker Creek Road, and Cleland Drive. This addition builds on previous efforts to make space for people walking on these streets. 

The walking lanes will be:

  • Dedicated space for people walking on streets without sidewalks
  • At least five feet wide
  • Marked with permanent street paint
  • Placed at the edge of the road
  • On Honeysuckle Road (north side), from Brookview Drive to Booker Creek Road
  • On Booker Creek Road (west side), from Honeysuckle Road to the Booker Creek Trail
  • On Cleland Drive (north side), from Hayes Road to Burning Tree Drive

Drivers are to treat the walking lanes as any other lane marked with a solid white line and not drive or park in them. Pedestrians may walk in the walking lanes in either direction. Normally in the absence of a sidewalk, pedestrians should walk facing traffic, but the walking lane can be treated like a sidewalk that lets people walk in either direction.

Staff will paint the walking lanes the week of November 14. This might create minor traffic delays on these streets. For questions, email Josh Mayo at jmayo@townofchapelhill.org.


Chapel Hill Celebrates Arbor Day

The Town of Chapel Hill will celebrate Arbor Day this year on Friday, Nov. 18, at 11 a.m. at the North Columbia Public Housing Community at 502 North Columbia Street.

Third-grade students from Glenwood Elementary School have been invited to join Mayor Pam Hemminger, staff members of the Parks and Recreation Department and Public Housing Department as well as the N.C. Forest Service to commemorate the occasion. Thank you to Chapel Hill Transit for providing transportation to and from the event for Ms. Candace Currin’s third-grade class.

Arbor Day is traditionally observed in spring; however, in 2000, the Chapel Hill Town Council declared the first Friday after Nov. 15 to be Arbor Day in Chapel Hill. This year, the Town will plant six trees—two red maples, two white oaks and two redbuds at the North Columbia Public Housing Community.

Funding for the tree installation was provided by the Friends of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, a nonprofit organization that supports Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation by improving quality of life for all who live, work and play in the community. For more information or to contribute to future tree planting efforts, visit friendsofchapelhillparks.org.

Learn more about the history of Arbor Day, the benefits of fall planting, and other Arbor Week activities and a book reading list featured by the Chapel Hill Public Library.


November 8, 2022

Applicants Needed for Alliance Health Board of Directors

The Alliance Health Board of Directors is currently seeking to fill one vacancy for an Orange County resident.
 
Now is a critical time to make a difference in public behavioral healthcare as both the federal government and our state legislature consider how to design and fund critically important services for individuals in our communities.
 
Individuals with technical expertise in the following areas will be sought for vacancies:

  • Physicians with experience in the fields of behavioral health, substance abuse services and/or integrated care
  • Human resources/talent management
  • Insurance/managed care background
  • Leadership/management experience
  • Physical health background/expertise
  • Political/community connections
  • Technology/data analytics experience

Please note that employees or family members of employees, volunteers of provider agencies or vendors contracted with Alliance, or persons with a financial interest or ownership in any such agency or vendor, are not eligible to serve.
 
Any appointment to this vacant position will be approved by the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
 
The Alliance Board meets on the first Thursday of every month at 4:00 p.m. Unless otherwise indicated, meetings occur at the Alliance Home Office (5200 Paramount Pkwy., Suite 200, Morrisville, NC 27560). Virtual options are also currently available. 

Board members also participate in two to three subcommittees, based on their expertise and interests. Most Board members dedicate between 6 and 10 hours per month to Board activities.

If interested, please download an application at https://www.alliancehealthplan.org/about/governance/board-of-directors/.

For additional information contact Tara May at 919-245-2125 or tmay@orangecountync.gov.


Town of Carrboro Accepting Applications for Human Services Funding

The Town of Carrboro is now accepting applications for Human Services funding for Fiscal Year 2023-2024. 

A performance measures workshop will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL), Meeting Room B.

An application orientation session will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at CHPL, Meeting Room B.

 Virtual Q & A sessions (optional) will be held from 9 to 10 a.m.

Thursday, Dec. 15 (https://townofcarrboro.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIuf–grzosE9KR2StxPqhsTdGqB18unT88) and

Thursday, Jan. 5 (https://townofcarrboro.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvduqhpjMjEtVsKDn_VEah6w2n9ta12YcL) 

Stay tuned for additional training and technical assistance opportunities. 

Human services—The Town supports nonprofit organizations that deliver vital community programs and services. The program’s overarching goal is to achieve economic and social well-being and opportunities to thrive for all Carrboro residents, particularly those who are low-income or otherwise disenfranchised. The program supports initiatives that improve education, livelihood security and health outcomes for Carrboro residents.

Racial equity update—Consistent with the adopted One Orange Countywide Racial Equity Framework, over the past year the following steps have been taken to further center racial equity in the Human Services Program:  

  • Added racial equity questions to the funding application
  • Conducted Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) training for human services boards and commissions. For more information on GARE training, visit https://www.racialequityalliance.org/

For more information on One Orange Countywide Racial Equity Framework, visit  https://chapelhill.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5390141&GUID=E4E7D69C-ABDA-4398-8CC3-5DA89ED1E78F&Options=ID|Text|&Search=%22one+orange%22.

In addition, the towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill have collaboratively completed a racial equity assessment of the Human Services Program. During this fiscal year, the key findings and recommendations from the assessment will be reviewed and refined by the Towns’ Human Services Advisory Boards/Commissions, Racial Equity Teams/Commission, and program participants. Based on this feedback, the staffs of both towns will implement changes related to the application process, funding, decision making, training and data collection.   

The ultimate goal is to no longer see disparities based on race and improve results for all. Carrboro will continue to work together with the other local governments in Orange County to enhance the Human Services Program and to center equity and inclusion. 

Human Services Funding application is available online at: http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2378/Human-Services-Funding.  

For more information, contact Zequel Hall at 919-918-7318 or humanservices@carrboronc.gov


Bicycle Maintenance and Best Practices Workshop

A bicycle maintenance and best practices workshop will be held Thursday, Nov. 10, 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Wilson Park, 101 Williams St., Carrboro.

Participants will learn basic bike maintenance and solutions to common problems and go over tires, tubes, chains and how to incorporate learned concepts into safe bike riding. There will also be a discussion and demo on how to clean the overall bike and follow-up with a question-and- answer session with local bike technicians. Teens and adults ages 15+ are encouraged to register. Instructor: Tamara Sanders. The cost is $10.

Pre-registration is required. If you have not registered for programs with the Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department previously, please allow a couple of days for account approval.

Registration website: https://register1.vermontsystems.com/…/ncca…/splash.html.


OWASA to Conduct Smoke Testing 

Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) will be testing the sewer lines the week of Nov. 14-18 by putting non-toxic smoke into the sewer lines. You may notice smoke coming out of plumbing system vent pipes above the roof of a house or other building. This is expected and does not indicate a problem in the plumbing system. See the map of the area of town that will be involved in the testing.

The purpose of the testing is to find locations where:

  • There are leaks or other opening in OWASA sewers and in private pipes that drain to the sanitary sewer system. Openings in the sewers will be corrected to help keep stormwater and groundwater out of the OWASA sewer system, which is designed to collect wastewater. If excessive stormwater or groundwater gets into a sewer, a wastewater overflow may occur. 
  • Storm drains are connected improperly to OWASA’s sanitary sewer system.
  • There are unauthorized connections to an OWASA sewer.

Weather or other conditions may delay the start or completion of the work.


 

Chapel Hill Awards $1M+ in ARPA Funding to Community Partners

The Chapel Hill Town Council has approved just more than $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for projects carried out by Town partners such as nonprofit organizations and service agencies. A months-long application and review process, including input from community members and Town staff, resulted in the following list of projects:

  1. Farmer Foodshare: CSA For All
  2. EmPOWERment Inc.: BrightPath Solutions
  3. El Centro Hispano: Covid Recovery Initiative
  4. Orange County Partnership for Young Children: Mitigating Early Learning Loss
  5. OWASA: Water Bill Debt Forgiveness
  6. Compass Center: Lethality Assessment Program

These projects will help food-insecure residents, Latinx community members, those at risk of domestic violence, cost-burdened households, young children, and black-and- indigenous-people-of-color business owners.

In addition to these community partner projects, the Town Council approved more than $3.8 million—$3.15 million for Town projects, including extending the Morgan Creek Greenway, replacing audio-visual equipment in the library’s public meeting rooms, replacing the Cedar Falls Park turf, and replacing the HVAC unit at the Homestead Aquatic Center—and $650,000 in ReVive funding to help downtown and small businesses. In addition, $2.5 million has been set aside for affordable housing construction and preservation. The remaining funds are still under discussion by the Town Council.

For more information about the Town and ARPA funding, visit townofchapelhill.org/arpa or email arpa@townofchapelhill.org.  


Free Virtual Series to Explore the Future of Serious Illness Care in North Carolina

Joining Our Voices: Envisioning the Future of Serious Illness Care is a weeklong virtual symposium that brings together policy professionals, advocates and peers in conversation to share experiences, innovations and opportunities for the future of North Carolina’s serious illness care. For an hour each day, they will share and explore subjects ranging from clinical practice and policy to caregiver engagement and advance care planning.

This event is produced by the North Carolina Serious Illness Coalition in collaboration with its membership representing more than 85 health organizations and over 160 industry leaders throughout the state.


November 6, 2022

Public Forum: CDBG Annual Program Plan Needs Assessment

The federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, operated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides communities with resources to address a wide range of community needs to serve low to moderate income residents. The Town of Chapel Hill has received CDBG funds since 1975 and has used these funds to support a variety of affordable housing initiatives and community service programs. 

The Town Council will hold a public forum at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 16, to receive resident input on the Town’s community development needs. Public comments will be used to help determine specific funding priorities and help identify potential uses of 2023-2024 federal CDB) funds.

More information can be found on the website at www.townofchapelhill.org/cdbg or you can email CDBG@townofchapelhill.org.

Este aviso está disponible en español o en otro idioma bajo petición. Por favor, contacte a Sarah Viñas al teléfono 919-969-5079 o dirección: 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.


Construction Project to Temporarily Affect Some Orange County Government Services

Beginning Monday, Nov. 7, some Orange County government services at the Southern Human Services Center will be temporarily impacted by a facilities construction project that is anticipated to last approximately four months. The departments affected are Health, Housing and Social Services.

—Health: The Orange County Health Department medical clinic at Southern Human Services Center, located at 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, will be closed. All in-person medical, laboratory and communicable disease appointments will temporarily take place at the Orange County Health Department medical clinic in the Whitted Human Services Building at 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough. 

The Chapel Hill COVID-19 testing and vaccine clinic, however, will remain open at Southern Human Service Center during the first phase of the construction project. The Mobile Dental Clinic, which is located in the parking lot of Southern Human Services, will continue to see patients throughout the construction. 

—Housing: During construction, the Orange County Housing Department office will remain open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Housing Helpline services are available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., no appointment needed. The housing department offers assistance with rent, utilities, evictions, longtime homeowners tax assistance and referral to community resources. 

—Social Services (DSS): During construction, the Orange County Department of Social Services office will remain open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Office phone:  919-245-2800


Holiday Arts Market in Chapel Hill

Ackland Art Museum is teaming up with the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership for an arts market at Ackland on Saturday, December 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring local crafts, warm drinks and caroling. Caroling will be provided by Center Theater Company and three East Chapel Hill High School a cappella groups: The Alley Cats, Chiefs of Staff and the Scattertones. Local artists are encouraged to apply as vendors. Go to https://downtownchapelhill.com/ to learn about requirements and to fill out the application. 


Transportation Services Title VI Plan Update to be Presented at Public Meeting

Orange County Transportation Service (OCTS) is a recipient of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds from the N.C. Department of Transportation. Orange County Transportation Service establishes this Title VI Nondiscrimination Plan for the purpose of complying with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as required by FTA Circular 4702.1B, and related requirements outlined within the FTA Certifications & Assurances, “Nondiscrimination Assurance.” This document details the nondiscrimination program, policies and practices administered by OCTS and will be updated periodically to incorporate changes and additional responsibilities as they are made.

Presentation of the OCTS Title VI Plan Update and associated policies will be provided at a public meeting held by OCTS staff Friday, Nov. 11, from 5 to 6 p.m. in OCTS Administration Building, 600 N.C. 86, Hillsborough. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the Title VI Update.

The updated plan will be available for review on the OCTS website (http://www.co.orange.nc.us/transportation/) and in the administrative office during the 30-day public comment period starting Thursday, Nov. 10, and ending Friday, Dec. 9.

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners will consider action on the Title VI Plan, Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Whitted Building, located at 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough, at which time the public will be given additional opportunity to comment on the Title VI Plan.

For further information on the plan or to submit comments, please contact Nishith Trivedi, OCTS interim director, at 919-245-2007 or email at ntrivedi@orangecountync.gov.


Sign Up Now for Winter Basketball

Registration for the Orange County Recreation Basketball winter season is ongoing through Nov. 12 for Youth Winter Basketball for boys and girls ages 5-12. 

The season runs Dec. 5 through Feb. 25. Teams will meet twice per week on weekday evenings and Saturday afternoons. In the preseason, teams will practice twice per week. Once games begin, regular season teams will have one practice and one game per week. For divisions 9-10 and up, the season will conclude with a single-elimination tournament. Please note this is subject to change due to the cancellation of games or practices due to weather or any other reason.

All team meetings will be held at the Central Recreation Center, 302 West Tryon St., Hillsborough.

In-person registration is available at the Bonnie B. Davis Environment and Agricultural Center, Suite 140, 1020 U.S. 70 West, Hillsborough, during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30-11:45 a.m. and 1:15-4:30 p.m.

Online registration is available at www.orangecountync.gov/activityregistration. If you or your family has participated before and you do not know your account information, call 919-245-2660 during regular office hours for further assistance.

Orange County Recreation relies on volunteer coaches to grow a love of sport in the community. Coaches must exhibit the ability to teach good sportsmanship and sport fundamentals, as well as organize practices, prepare for games and communicate effectively with players, parents and Recreation Division staff. All coaches must complete an application and pass a background check. Anyone interested in coaching may contact Kevin Bradsher at kbradsher@orangecountync.gov or 919-245-2672 for more information.


Makers at the Mill Holiday Bazaar

The Orange County Arts Commission and Orange County Arts Alliance present Makers at the Mill Holiday Bazaar Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eno Arts Mill.

Artists, crafters and artisans of all types are invited to apply to the inaugural Makers at the Mill Holiday Bazaar. In addition to the show vendors, the event will feature open Eno Arts Mill Artist Studios, the Orange County Artists Guild Deck the Walls Holiday Show in the gallery, live music, and more.

This event will be a juried showcase of high-quality fine art and crafts. All artists must submit an online application with images to be considered. If accepted, a booth fee will be required. No commission of sales will be collected. Artists residing in Orange County will be given preference, but artists within the Triangle and surrounding communities are encouraged to apply.

The application deadline is Monday, Nov. 7, 11:59 p.m. EST. Notifications will be emailed no later than Friday, Nov. 11. Fees will be due Friday, Nov. 18.


OCAS Reminds Residents of Legal Requirements for Using Dogs and Guns to Hunt Deer

Orange County Animal Services is promoting awareness of the legal requirements and responsibilities of using dogs and guns to hunt deer. The season opens on Saturday, Nov. 12, and ends on Jan. 2. At the direction of the Board of Orange County Commissioners, County staff hope to mitigate health and safety concerns through public outreach.

An Orange County brochure is available that provides general information about using dogs to hunt deer. This is lawful in northern Orange County—specifically, the portion of the county north of I-85. The brochure also describes the process for reporting concerns or issuing complaints about unlawful hunting practices. 

It is important to note that hunters, residents and landowners all have rights and responsibilities. Responsible conduct by all parties can minimize conflict and ensure public health and safety during the upcoming gun hunting season.

One responsibility is that written permission must be obtained to hunt on someone’s private property. In Orange County, written permission is required whether or not private property is posted as “No hunting.” This differs from other counties in North Carolina, which require written permission only when hunting on posted property.

For more information about deer hunting with dogs in Orange County, please visit http://www.orangecountync.gov/303/Hunting-Deer-with-Dogs

More information is also provided by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at https://www.ncwildlife.org/Hunting/Hunting-in-North-Carolina. Wildlife Dispatch may also be reached at 1-800-662-7137 for any hunting-related conflicts.


Applications Open for LHA Property Tax Relief Program

Applications are now being taken for the Longtime Homeowners Assistance (LHA) program for 2022. In 2021, the LHA was a pilot program created by the Board of Commissioners that provided grants to homeowners for assistance in paying property taxes. The goal of the LHA is to provide property tax bill assistance to help people stay in their homes.

The board approved several changes for 2022 to boost participation, including reducing the requirement to have owned and lived in the home from 10 years to five years. The changes formalized policies for heirs’ properties and those owned by family trusts to provide assistance based on the income of the persons who live in the household and not of all the heirs or members of the trust.

Click here for a http://www.orangecountync.gov/303/Hunting-Deer-with-Dogs. Click here for an Online Program Application. To learn more, click here.


Department on Aging to Host Death Café Event

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a Death Café: Death and Dinner discussion on Nov. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m.

Fear of speaking about death doesn’t stop it; fear only stops life. Learn more about what Death Cafés are and discover a safe place to discuss mortality. Join Sara Williams, founder of Shrouding Sisters, www.shroudingsisters.com, for Chapel Hill’s first Death Café.

Please register by Friday, Nov. 11, with the Seymour Center front desk at 919-968-2070.


Orange County Solid Waste Invites Public to Pre-opening Tour of High Rock Waste & Recycling Center

Orange County Solid Waste Management will host a pre-reopening tour of the High Rock Waste and Recycling Facility on Nov. 17, from 12 to 3 p.m. The facility is located at 7001 High Rock Road, Efland. The event is open to the public.

Solid Waste staff will be on hand to answer questions about the facility.

The High Rock Waste and Recycling facility will re-open for business on Friday, Nov 18. Improvements include the modernization of the High Rock Road Center into a Neighborhood Center, at a cost of $1.1 million. As a Neighborhood Center, services will now include collection of bulky materials, textiles, metal, yard waste, tires, clean wood, white goods (appliances), cooking oil and food waste. Smaller bulky materials that fit into the household waste compactor will also be accepted.

The salvage shed, waste oil, oil filters, wet and dry cell batteries and electronics will also remain. Additional upgrades include an asphalt driving surface and concrete pads for staging compactors and 40-cubic-yard roll-off containers


Orange County Seeks Public Input on Future of County Facilities in Hillsborough

Orange County Asset Management Services has scheduled a public listening session on Thursday, Nov. 17, to receive input from the community about the future of several Orange County facilities in downtown Hillsborough and the expansion of services in the southern part of the county.

The session will be held in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room in the Whitted Building, located at 300 W. Tryon Street in Hillsborough. Staff will make a presentation on the current situation and will be prepared to answer questions from the public.

As part of its Facilities Master Plan, Orange County is asking residents to weigh in on a series of options for several county facilities, including:

  • Move of human services to co-locate with Department of Social Services around Mayo Street
  • Use of Whitted as the main administrative office for Orange County Government
  • Options for Link Center/Old Jail
  • Options for future locations for the Board of Elections, District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s office
  • Options for building a new emergency services center
  • Options for building a new recreation center
  • Options for the expansion of services in the Southern part of the County

Chapel Hill Historical Society Program on Declaration of Independence

The Chapel Hill Historical Society returns to in-person programs with its November 20 program, “Everything You Should Have Learned in High School About the Declaration of Independence,” at 3pm in Meeting Room B at the Chapel Hill Public Library. Courtney Smith, exhibits and programs coordinator at the Orange County Historical Museum, will discuss the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the theory and context behind it. She will also translate the document into modern language.


Construction at University Place Moves Bus Stop

Construction around University Place (201 S. Estes Drive) requires the bus stop within the mall’s parking lot to be temporarily relocated. The temporary stop will be located along the sidewalk, past the Estes Drive entrance of the mall and near the entrance to City Kitchen restaurant. A bus stop sign is in place. This stop will service the A and F routes.

Two additional service changes are necessary during construction. The A route will no longer serve the stops at Estes Drive at Camelot Village or at Willow Drive near the Estes Drive intersection. The F route will no longer stop at Willow Drive near the Estes Drive intersection. The F will continue to serve the Camelot Village stop. Customers may board both the A and F routes at the new University Place stop.

Transit customers can look forward to the replacement bus stop to be constructed along Willow Drive at the completion of the construction project in late 2024.

More information can be found on Chapel Hill Transit’s (CHT) Active Detours page, or the schedules for the A route and F route. Connect with CHT on Twitter to stay up to date with route information.


November 3, 2022

CHT Winter Holiday Service Update

Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) will make several service adjustments during the winter holidays. For schedule changes between Nov. 24, 2022 (Thanksgiving), and Jan. 16, 2023 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), visit chtransit.org.

During the University’s Winter Break from December 12, 2022, until January 2, 2023, Safe Rides routes will not operate.

Additionally, CHT administrative offices will be closed Nov. 24-25 and Dec. 23 and 26, 2022, and Jan. 2, 2023.


Vote Early, Then Celebrate

To encourage people to get out and vote, there will be a Soles to the Polls cookout on Friday, Nov. 4, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St., with games, music, and food.


Orange County Launches Zero Waste Survey, Schedules Public Meetings

Orange County Solid Waste has released a survey and scheduled a series of public meetings seeking feedback on services and help in shaping its Road to Zero Waste master plan.

The survey, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, asks people who live or work in Orange County to share their opinions on and experiences with current Orange County Solid Waste services. The survey will remain open through Dec. 7 and is available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Burmese at www.orangecountync.gov/ZeroWaste. Results will help inform the department’s Road to Zero Waste master plan and will be presented to the county’s Solid Waste Advisory Group.

For the plan’s purposes, zero waste is defined as: “The reduction of solid waste to nothing, or as close to nothing as possible, by minimizing excess consumption by means of responsible production, consumption, and reuse and maximizing the recovery of material through recycling and composting.” The plan aims to reach this goal in Orange County by 2045.
In addition to the survey, four public meetings will be held to give people who live or work in Orange County an opportunity to share feedback. Scheduled meetings are:

  • 6 p.m., Nov. 14 ― online via Zoom at www.orangecountync.gov/ZeroWasteMeeting, meeting ID: 897 8486 1008, passcode: 150500, dial-in option: 312-626-6799
  • 6:30 p.m., Nov. 16 ― Chapel Hill Public Library Meeting Room B, 100 Library Drive (Mandarin translator present)
  • 10 a.m., Dec. 5 ― Bonnie B. Davis Environment and Agricultural Center, combined rooms 102 and 104, 1020 U.S. 70, Hillsborough
  • 7 p.m., Dec. 5 ― Carrboro Town Hall Town Council Meeting Room, 301 W. Main St. (Burmese and Spanish translators present)

The Orange County Solid Waste Management Department operates the Orange County Integrated Solid Waste Management facility, which includes the construction and demolition landfill, regulated material recycling, and mulch and compost sales. The department also manages the county’s comprehensive recycling collection programs for residents and businesses and five waste and recycling centers, including two with household hazardous waste and food waste drop-offs.

For more information, email ZeroWaste@orangecountync.gov, call 919-968-2788, or visit the webpages below.


North Carolina Comes to the Big Screen at Carrboro Film Fest

Carrboro Film Fest returns to The ArtsCenter for its 17th year, Nov. 18-20, bringing to the big screen a distinct combination of award-winning and North Carolina-based films. The festival continues its mission to showcase a variety of new Southern films and provide a venue to both celebrate and interrogate Southern culture. This year’s lineup includes seven blocks of short films and two features, representing diverse filmmakers from across the South. 

The festival is held at The ArtsCenter at 300-G E. Main St. The full schedule of films can be found at carrborofilm.org.    

The festival’s opening-night film, Tableau, is a family drama that was filmed in Chapel Hill and Carrboro and directed by Chapel Hill native and UNC alum Stuart Howes. In the film, a family’s bonds are put to the test after a young woman learns that her mother has had an affair. Highlighting several of the locally recognizable settings in the film, Howes describes Tableau as “a love letter to Chapel Hill and Carrboro.” Tableau screens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. 

More than 20 other films based in North Carolina are included among the seven blocks of short films. One such film is “First Final Ride,” a documentary short about a quirky festival for hearse drivers in Beaufort. Another documentary short, “Inner Mounting Flame,” reveals the story of North Carolina musician and rock-climbing legend Mike Stam. Narrative shorts are also included, such as Ma’s Kitchen, a family drama portraying the complicated relationship between a Vietnamese immigrant and her daughter. 


Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Person

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is seeking the community’s assistance locating a missing person. Richard Calvin Edwards, 53, of Chapel Hill, was last seen on Oct. 21, in the area of Legion Road.

Edwards is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and weighs about 150 pounds. Edwards has a tattoo on his left arm that says, “God’s son.”

Edwards is not believed to be in danger.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515 or visit https://chapelhillcrimestoppers.com/.


CD and Record Show

The 31st Biannual CD and Record show will be held Sunday, Nov. 6, 12-6 p.m., at the Carrboro Century Center located in Century Hall (2nd floor), 100 N. Greensboro St.

There will be more than 40 tables filled with new and used CDs, vinyl records and music memorabilia.

The show is open to the public, and admission is free.

Click here for more information.


Youth Advisory Board Applications Open

The Carrboro Youth Advisory Board is now accepting applications from youth between the ages of 15 and 18 years old who live, work in or attend public, private or homeschool classes in Carrboro.

The Board meets one Tuesday per month September through May, 5:30-7 p.m. Check the Town Meeting Calendar for dates (https://townofcarrboro.org/calendar.aspx?CID=14). Duties include:

  • Helping to plan the annual MLK Youth Event with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Council and the Rec and Parks Youth Council
  • Learning about local government
  • Advising the Town Council on items of interest to teens

For an application and to learn more, see http://www.ci.carrboro.nc.us/1091/Youth-Advisory-Board.


November 1, 2022

Orange County Veterans Day Ceremony

The 2022 Orange County Veterans Day Celebration will take place Friday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at Southern Human Services Campus, 2501 Homestead Drive, Chapel Hill.

For the first time, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will join Orange County leaders in a joint ceremony. All of the University’s ROTC programs (Army, Navy, and Air Force) will be represented at the ceremony.

Live music will be provided by Russell Howard of The Auxiliary. The event is free and open to the public. Parking available at site.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz will speak. Guskiewicz, a neuroscientist, academic leader and concussion researcher, is the 12th chancellor of the university.

Special guest speaker is Maj. Gen. George Alan Higgins, U.S. Army (Ret.). Gen. Higgins entered West Point in July 1968 and graduated in June 1972, commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry. Gen. Higgins holds a master of arts in philosophy from the University of Virginia and a master of military art and science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Gen. Higgins served in command and staff positions throughout the field Army in the United States and overseas. After 36+ years on active duty, Gen. Higgins retired from the Army on May 1, 2008. His awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal and Legion of Merit Award, among others.  


 

Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Juvenile

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is seeking the community’s assistance locating a missing juvenile. Lal Rem Ruat, 14, of Chapel Hill, was last seen Oct. 31 at around 11 a.m., in the area of S. Estes Drive and Fordham Boulevard.

Ruat is 5’4” tall and weighs about 120 lbs. Ruat was last seen wearing a short-sleeve black t-shirt, dark pants and black sneakers. He is not believed to be in danger.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515 or visit https://chapelhillcrimestoppers.com/.


October 29, 2022

Submit Chapel Hill Development Applications Online

Beginning Nov. 1, development applications to the Town of Chapel Hill Planning Department will be available for public use on the Town’s online permitting system at http://chapelhillnc.viewpointcloud.com. Planning’s transition to the online system is part of a larger effort to improve the development-review process.  

The first few months will be a period of transition for staff and applicants. Planning staff encourage applicants to use the online system to apply and provide feedback. Feedback from applicants, owners, developers and other stakeholders will inform any changes to the online applications. Email planning@townofchapelhill.org with questions or comments. 

In addition to applying online, applicants can use the system to:  

  • Pay application fees* 
  • Communicate with reviewers through a built-in chat feature
  • Track the progress of applications in a user-friendly dashboard

Cash and checks will still be accepted at the Town Hall Revenue Office.

*The payment system is securely integrated with a third-party transaction processer provided by Stripe.com. Stripe.com charges a non-refundable convenience fee to process a payment for the use of its software and technology. This fee is separate from Town of Chapel Hill fees and goes directly to Stripe.com. The credit card fee is 2.99% + $0.99 per transaction. Electronic checks have a $5.50 flat fee.


Chapel Hill Fire Department Shares Tips for a Safe Halloween

The Chapel Hill Fire Department wants you and your family to have a fun and safe Halloween in your neighborhood. The Department’s Fire and Life Safety Division is sharing expert advice on costumes, candy and decorations to help you plan ahead.

Costumes—

  • Wear flame-resistant material.
  • Wear bright, reflective costumes, or add reflective tape.
  • Carry a flashlight or a glow stick.
  • Do not wear costumes that have long trailing fabric.
  • Do not wear masks that obscure your vision.


Candy—

  • Inspect candy at home before eating it.
  • Look for signs of tampering (tears, holes in packaging).
  • Don’t accept anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
  • Remove choking hazards for smaller children.

Decorations

According to the National Fire Protection Association, decorations are the first items to ignite in roughly 800 reported home fires each year. In more than one-third of those cases, a candle started the fire.

  • Use battery-operated candles instead of real candles.
  • Place flame-lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn.
  • Keep all decorations away from open flames.
  • Keep all exits clear of decorations.

Department on Aging to Host Holiday Market

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Friends of the Jerry M. Passmore Center will host a Holiday Market on Saturday, Nov. 12.

The event will take place at the Passmore Center, 103 Meadowlands Drive in Hillsborough, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering unique holiday gifts, including artwork, jewelry, pottery, woodworking, fused and stained glass, quilts and more! In addition to shopping, lunch and baked goods will be available for purchase.

Vendors who would like to sell crafts or other holiday gift items need to call the Passmore Center at 919-245-2015 for vendor details and application.

Proceeds from the holiday gift sale will benefit The Friends of the Passmore Center, a volunteer, non-profit organization that supports the programs and services provided by the Orange County Department on Aging.

For more information, contact the Passmore Center at 919-245-2015.


Section of S. Greensboro Street to be Closed for Night Work

A section of roadway along the 400 block of S. Greensboro Street in Carrboro will be closed for utility work Wednesday to Friday, Nov. 2-4. Night work will be conducted from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. on these days to minimize disruption to the community.

Traffic will be detoured to Old Pittsboro Road. Signage will be posted, and flaggers will direct local traffic.


Join Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils in the Inaugural Lighten Up Ride

The Town of Carrboro is joining with the Town of Chapel Hill and UNC-Chapel Hill to remind everyone to “Lighten Up.” Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils will be leading the inaugural Lighten Up bike ride, which begins at Carrboro Town Hall Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 5 p.m. The route will run down E. Main St., utilizing the new bike lanes, and circle through town before ending back at Carrboro Town Hall. View the full route map here:  http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11957/Lighten_Up_Route-2022.

There will be a table set up at the Carrboro end of the Libba Cotton Bikeway from 4 to 6 p.m. offering coupons for free bike inspections at local bike shops. Coupons will be good through the end of December.

As the days get shorter, it’s important to be visible when out walking and biking. Wearing bright or reflective clothing and using bike lights and reflectors can help you stay safe. 

Everyone is welcome, and remember to grab your helmets and charge up those bike lights.


Superhero Day at Dead Mule Club

Come to The Dead Mule Club on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a family fun event in honor of a local family. There will be kid-friendly activities, including arts and crafts, games, a scavenger hunt, and more. Enjoy food, drinks and a silent auction with items from local businesses. One hundred percent of the profits will go to the Traverse family, as well as concerted efforts towards raising awareness about childhood cancer and the funding of life-saving research.


Chapel Hill Transit Ceiling Vinyl Application

Chapel Hill Arts & Culture is seeking two Triangle-based artists (or teams) to create an original 2-D design to adorn the ceilings of three Chapel Hill Transit buses as part of the Art + Transit project. Up to four artists will be selected to submit concept proposals and will be paid $100 for this work; two artists will be selected to produce final designs, and will each receive a $700 stipend. Deadline is November 7.


November Chapel Hill Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning pedestrian safety-enforcement operations in November, in addition to normal patrols. Scheduled special operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 1, 6 – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 7, 7 – 11 a.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 11, 7 – 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6 – 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22, 7 – 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 26, 4 – 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 6 – 10 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, 7 – 11 a.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change

Each effort will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors).

The CHPD is also planning at least five speed-enforcement operations in November – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7 – 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 7 – 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2 – 4 p.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change


October 22, 2022

Neutrinos: Hunting the Ghost Particle

Did you know that trillions of neutrinos pass through our bodies every second? Understanding this mysterious ghost particle can help us unlock the mysteries of our universe! Join Dr. Aobo Li as he explains what neutrinos are, why we need to study them, and how artificial intelligence can be applied to detect them.

 
This talk will be hosted on November 1st, from 6:30-7:30 PM, at the cozy TRU Deli Sandwich and Wine Bar in Chapel Hill (https://www.trudeli.com). Listen to Dr. Aobo Li explain his award-winning research during a 30-minute talk, followed by a Q&A session. No background knowledge is required – everyone is welcome!

Charities, Food Trucks Gather for Community Picnic

Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture is hosting the second annual Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo and Non-Profit Showcase on Sunday, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1714 Legion Road. Inspired by the season of eating and giving, Chapel Hill- and Carrboro-based non-profits will provide participatory activities for all ages, and sweet and savory food trucks will offer a variety of cuisines to enjoy. Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC) and PORCH will anchor the event and will collect toiletries and dried food items.

Approximately 12 food trucks will offer a range of cuisines, including Jamaican, Cajun, Mexican and BBQ. Vendors are selected based on diverse menu offerings, including desserts, and on a commitment to use 100% compostable materials. The current line-up of food trucks includes Mia’s Kitchen, Baton Rouge Cuisine, Smoking Deez BBQ, Cilantro Mexican Cuisine and Drizzle D’s Donuts.

Along with food trucks, attendees can expect to see around 20 non-profits representing a range of causes, from mental health to affordable housing to digital equity to adult literacy. This part of the event aims to showcase the variety of organizations advancing great causes in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The IFC and PORCH will serve as anchor non-profits and will accept donations of food, toiletries and other supplies.

The event will have the feeling of a community picnic, and attendees should bring blankets and folding chairs to spread out on the large green space at Legion Road. A local DJ will provide a family-friendly soundtrack, and lawn games will be ready for use. Plenty of parking is available at Legion Road and alternative modes of transportation are always encouraged. Consider biking to the event or using Chapel Hill Transit. Route D will stop every hour at the Europa Center, located close to the event.

The list of participating food trucks and charities is still being finalized. Interested vendors and non-profits can apply until Sunday, Oct. 22. Check the event website to view the application forms and the full lineup of offerings at chapelhillarts.org/foodtruckrodeo.


Carrboro Town Council Passes Resolution in Support of Operation Green Light for Veterans

The Carrboro Town Council has passed a resolution for November 7-11 to be a time to honor the service and sacrifice of individuals in uniform transitioning from active service.

In observance of Operation Green Light, the Town of Carrboro will be displaying green lights on Carrboro Town Hall. The Town Council encourages residents to participate by displaying a green light in a window of their place of business or residence from Nov. 7 to 11.

The Town of Carrboro seeks to join other communities through Operation Green Light for Veterans to shine a light on the plight of veterans across the country who are having a hard time connecting with benefits after serving their country.

Read the full resolution of the Carrboro Town Council at http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11941/2022-Resolution-Operation-Green-Light-for-Veterans.


Registration for Winter Recreation Programs

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will release its Winter 2022-23 RECREATE activities guide, a favorite among residents, Monday, Oct. 24. Registration for winter recreation activities begins Tuesday, Nov. 1, for residents and Thursday, Nov. 3, for non-residents. Printed copies of this unique guide will be available Monday, Oct. 24, at any of our recreation centers or administrative office, Chapel Hill Public Library, Town Hall and the Housing Department. Visit their website, chapelhillparks.org, to browse all recreation programs and register online. 

Featured activities this winter include A Taste of Black History—an interactive program and culinary demonstration of quick, delicious and low-cost meals using foods that are rooted in the culinary traditions of the African diaspora; and Youth Crafting Made Easy—a creative program that offers youth the opportunity to create and decorate beautiful tabletop Christmas trees using ordinary magazines you have around the house.

The longest-running indoor rock-climbing event, Webster’s Rock the Hill, will take place in February at the Chapel Hill Community Center Indoor climbing wall. This event is always a favorite. And, the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Class will teach participants the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. Upon successful completion, participants will be certified in American Red Cross Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED.

There continue to be a number of job openings with Parks & Recreation, such as lifeguards, adventure specialists, recreation center aide, adapted recreation specialist and aquatic instructors. You can apply online at townofchapelhill.org/jobs.

For more information about Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, see chapelhillparks.org.


Chapel Hill Downtown Live and Dance Party

Local artists, bands and DJs throughout downtown continue to support the music and business community by providing outdoor options to enjoy music while dining, drinking, shopping and experiencing downtown. On Saturday, Oct. 29, they’re also throwing a dance party; catch campus dance teams performing at Peace and Justice Plaza with DJ Shizz.

The downtown live and dance party line-up on Oct. 29 includes the following musical performers:

  • C. Albert Blomquist; traditional honky-tonk-style country music
    6:30–8:30 p.m., Epilogue
  • The Simple Joy; original Americana tunes that combine blues, rock, folk, country and other influences with lyric-driven songs and multi-part harmonies
    6:30–8:30 p.m., The Purple Bowl
  • Angela & Will; original tunes plus interesting songs from the American landscape
    6:30–8:30 p.m., Talulla’s
  • DJ Shizz and dance groups from UNC, such as the Kamikazi Dance Team, Qué Rico Latin Dance Team and the UNiCorn KPop Dance Team
    6:00–8:30 p.m., Peace and Justice Plaza
  • Ali Alrabeah; neo soul, middle eastern and folk-inspired
    6:30–8:30 p.m., Midici

Orange County SHIIP Provides Assistance with Medicare

The Orange County Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) provides free and unbiased assistance to those with Medicare. Medicare’s open-enrollment period is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, it is recommended that everyone with Medicare review 2023 plans to ensure you have the best plan for your needs. Both Part D drug plans and Part C advantage plans have changes each year, making it important to compare your current plan with other options. Many people can save $300, $500 or even thousands of dollars by switching to a different plan, and most can only change during this seven-week period.

Here are three ways you can take advantage of open enrollment:

  1. Schedule a meeting with a certified counselor. Orange County volunteer counselors are trained by the N.C. Dept. of Insurance and are committed to helping you understand all your options without pressure to choose a specific plan. They offer in-person appointments at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill and the Passmore Center in Hillsborough as well as Zoom video appointments. Visit www.orangecountync.gov/Medicare to schedule your appointment on-line or call 919-245-4274 and leave a message with your contact information. We’ll call you back to schedule.
  2. You can also get help over the phone 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday by calling the N.C. Dept. of Insurance SHIIP Program at 1-855-408-1212.
  3. You can review plans yourself by visiting www.Medicare.Gov. Important note: If you take injectable insulin, the information provided at Medicare.Gov is incorrect due to legislation passed in August that capped the price of injectable insulin. Please be sure to use one of the other options above.

Whatever approach you choose, the important thing is that you check your Medicare options every year between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7.

If you are new to Medicare with an effective date in 2022, you will choose a plan for 2022 and should still review plans again for 2023 during the open-enrollment period.

If you are an N.C. State retiree, your open-enrollment period ends Oct. 28. There are no major changes to the State retiree plan offerings for Medicare-eligible members, and you don’t need to take any action unless you want to change plans.

The Orange County SHIIP program is sponsored by the Orange County Department on Aging. 


Orange County Nickels for Know-How Referendum

The Orange County Nickels for Know-How Referendum will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17.
 
One polling location will be established in Orange County—at the County Extension Office at Bonnie B. Davis Building, 1020 U.S. 70 West, Hillsborough.
 
Mart Bumgarner, the crops and horticulture extension agent, explained that the referendum is being held to let users and producers of feed or fertilizer decide if they wish to continue the self-assessment program. This program has been in place since 1948, and the law requires that a new referendum be held every six years.
 
A two-thirds favorable vote will mean that growers are willing to continue to assess themselves to support agricultural research and education. The assessment is fifteen cents per hundred pounds on feed and fertilizer produced in North Carolina.
 
The funds, about $1.4 million annually, are collected by the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services and then allocated by the N.C. Agricultural Foundation, Inc.’s, 148-volunteer Board of Directors to support agricultural research and extension projects at North Carolina State University benefitting agriculture in North Carolina. 
 
For more information on the referendum, please call your County Extension Office at 919-245-2062 and speak with Mart.


Orange Co. Dept. on Aging to host Day of the Dead Carnival

The Orange County Dept. on Aging and the Project EngAGE Intergenerational and End of Life Choices Senior Resource Teams invite the public to attend a community event, Day of the Dead Carnival, on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Jerry M. Passmore Center in Hillsborough.

Bring your family, friends and the kiddos to celebrate the memories of loved ones. Enjoy fun, food, arts and crafts, and decorate sugar skulls and picture frames for those you want to honor and remember. There will be a viewing of the Disney-Pixar film Coco, and child-friendly end-of-life educational materials will be provided. Join in costume to celebrate and create memories and take home a Halloween goodie bag. Program sponsored in partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Please register by Monday, Oct. 24, with the Passmore Center front desk by calling 919-245-2015.


Chapel Hill Transit Adjustments for Halloween

Due to road closures downtown, Chapel Hill Transit will make the following changes on Monday, October 31:

  • D route (eastbound): last trip will leave Manning Drive at 7:17 p.m.
  • D route (westbound): last trip will leave Old Chapel Hill Road at Pope Road at 6:48 p.m.
  • NS route (southbound): last trip with service to Southern Village Park-and-Ride will leave Eubanks Park-and-Ride at 7:35 p.m.
  • NS route (northbound): last trip with service to Eubanks Park-and-Ride will leave Southern Village Park-and-Ride at 7:21 p.m.
  • RU route: last trip will leave Aycock Family Medicine at 7:45 p.m.
  • NU route (southbound): last trip will leave the RR lot at 7 p.m.

Chapel Hill Transit will offer a special NS bus from UNC Hospitals to Southern Village Park-and-Ride starting at 8 p.m. The NS will loop from the hospital to the park-and-ride lot with service every 20 minutes. The final departure from the hospital will be at 9:20 p.m.

Safe Ride buses will not operate, and there will be no bus shuttles operating from park-and-ride lots to Halloween on Franklin Street.

For information about Halloween in Chapel Hill, see townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/18211/4048.


October 18, 2022

Traffic Alert: New Traffic Pattern for Roberson, Carr and Maple streets

Beginning on Monday, Oct. 31, a new one-way traffic pattern will be implemented around the construction site of The 203 Project on S. Greensboro Street, Carrboro. 

This will affect traffic movement around the project site only on Roberson (westbound only), Maple (northbound only) and Carr (eastbound only) streets. For accessing the Libba Cotten Bikeway, cyclists are encouraged to use Carr Street to avoid oncoming traffic on Roberson Street. 

As a reminder, the public parking lot at this site is now closed. Alternative public parking lots are located around town and a parking map can be viewed here: http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11225/Carrboro-Parking-Map-?bidId=.

The 203 Project development will be the future home of Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources; Orange County Southern Branch Library; Orange County Skills Development Center; WCOM Radio; a teen center; and performance/multipurpose uses. The 203 Project will provide opportunities for education, art and community connection. 

More information is available at http://townofcarrboro.org/1151/The-203-Project. Questions can be directed to the203project@carrboronc.gov


Carrboro Residents to Benefit from Major Investments

Carrboro residents will benefit from major investments in affordable housing, infrastructure and bike-ped and parks projects following this month’s Town Council approval of a $6.7 million spending plan for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Highlights of the spending plan include improvements at parks across town, such as renovation of Baldwin Park; bike-ped improvements; grants to local small businesses and training for minority businesses and entrepreneurs; and investments to create new units of affordable housing and home energy efficiency renovations.

The funds were provided to the town under the ARPA of 2021/Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, approved by Congress in spring 2021. The Act authorizes specific projects related to mitigating the impacts of COVID-19, addressing the negative economic impacts, replacing lost public sector revenue, and making investments in infrastructure such as water, sewer and broadband. All funds must be spent by Dec. 31, 2026.

Town Manager Richard J. White III said development of the spending plan was a comprehensive effort by a staff work group to identify allowable activities for the federal funds and to align them with needs received from interviews with Town Council members; nonprofits; black, indigenous, and people of color roundtables; community engagement activities; surveys and other means. 

 Highlights of the $6.7 million spending plan include the following: 

  • Economic Development continues to offer small business grants ($326,000 in grants already disseminated and $150,000 in a second round to be granted), as well as training for minority businesses and entrepreneurs. A funded study will help identify disparities related to the Town’s procurement of services and provide goals to better support minority businesses. 
  • Recreation and Parks will use funding for recreation facilities maintenance and repair, including a $227,000 renovation of Baldwin Park, and repair or replacement of park amenities such as signage, benches, picnic tables, etc. This area includes new murals, a horseshoe pit for Anderson Park, and honoraria for bands at the 2023 Carrboro Music Festival. 
  • Public Safety funds totaling $100,000 will be used to purchase new medical equipment for Fire-Rescue, such as defibrillators, cardiac monitors, medical bags and supplies; and respirators and personal protective equipment. Funds also will be used to update public safety radio network for both Fire-Rescue and Police departments; for equipment to train officers in critical skills such as de-escalation and communication; and program implementation recommended by the Community Safety Taskforce Program. Funds will also support a Mental Health Crisis Counselor Pilot Program for Police. 
  • Public Works funds include $475,000 to relocate and replace underground storage tanks, a project to protect the environment and human health. 
  • Information Technology funds totaling $800,000 will help extend the Town’s fiber optic network on S. Merritt Mill Road to the UNC Cogeneration Facility. They will also support the hiring of consultants to develop a plan for providing broadband internet to affordable housing in Carrboro. New broadcasting equipment will be purchased for the Town Council chambers to improve capabilities to offer hybrid (when participants are both on site and remote) meetings. 
  • Planning, Zoning and Inspections will use $200,000 to complete improvements identified in the Carrboro Bike Plan, complete the S. Greensboro Street sidewalk; amenities for bus shelters; and a new bike fix-it station at MLK Park. Additional funds will address the design and installation of a rectangle rapid flashing beacon on Hillsborough Street to improve access to McDougle Elementary School. 
  • Housing and Community Services will oversee $1 million allocated to create transformational projects of new units of affordable housing. An additional allocation of $1 million will support home energy efficiency renovations for housing preservation and weatherization and emergency housing assistance, such as rental payments, for residents most negatively affected by the pandemic. Additional funds totaling $503,500 will support grants to impacted nonprofit agencies that provide benefits to residents most negatively affected by the pandemic. The plan also provides funds for Orange Water and Sewer Authority water bill debt assistance. 
  • General Administration will receive funds for a new position of grants manager to ensure the Town meets all compliance and reporting requirements of the ARPA funding plan. Additional funds in this area will support the Orange County Veteran Memorial Phase III, as well as recommendations identified by the Racial Equity Commission. 

Carrboro Yard Waste Collection Information

The Town of Carrboro would like to remind everyone that leaves should not be piled into traffic lanes, bike lanes or sidewalks, as they become a dangerous public safety hazard. Residents should also check collection schedules for yard waste and leaves, so that piles do not remain at the curb longer than necessary. 

Typically, residents receive yard-waste and loose-leaf collection twice per month, either on the first and third Mondays of the month or the second and fourth Mondays of the month. It’s important to note that although the collection day is Monday, depending on the volume of material placed at the curb, the routes may take more than one day to complete.  


Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Founding Day

Mayor Damon Seils has proclaimed Sunday, Oct. 23, to be Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Founding Day in Carrboro. 

The proclamation recognizes the 75th anniversary of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which first convened on October 23, 1947, in Chapel Hill at what is now called the Hargraves Community Center. 

The anniversary theme “Honor the Past. Build the Future” will be explored through several events designed to bring the community together during the month of October, including: 

  • 75th anniversary gala at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel on Oct. 22
  • Founding Day commemoration on Oct. 23 

Local historian Mike Ogle stated that: “Black Americans had been fighting back for generations, during slavery and in the eight decades since, each successive generation making more gains and then demanding more. But progress had been slow and painful. Now it was becoming apparent that they did not intend to live under Jim Crow much longer. In Chapel Hill, we faced what would infamously be called ‘candy-coated racism.’ In Carrboro, a sundown town dangerous for Black people to venture into at night past the railroad tracks, there was nothing sweet about it.” 

Read the complete resolution at http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11934/2022-Chapel-Hill-Carrboro-NAACP-Founding-Day, and learn more about the anniversary at https://naacp75.com/.


Gallop & Gorge 8K Race coming to Carrboro

The Gallop & Gorge 8K is the third race in the 18th annual Le Tour de Carrboro race series.

Registration for this year’s race will be through RunSignUp, with on-line registration closing at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Bib pickup and registration will be available at Fleet Feet Sports in Carrboro on Wednesday, Nov. 23, and race-day morning.

Please refer to the race website for race-day parking details.

The race starts at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day; the course starts and finishes in front of Weaver Street Market, 101 E. Weaver St.

Since the inception of the Le Tour series, over $600,000 has been donated to local non-profit organizations.


Trinity Court Project Receives Major Tax Credit Award

The Town of Chapel Hill’s redevelopment project on Trinity Court is one step closer to breaking ground, thanks to a major tax credit award from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

The Town was one of 28 projects in 23 North Carolina counties to receive a 2022 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) award. The award is worth more than $10 million and will support the construction of 54 affordable units to replace the 40 existing units that have been vacant since 2018. Most of the units will serve households earning less than 60% of the area median income, and about a quarter will serve households with extremely low incomes.

The 9% LIHTC program is extremely competitive, and scoring is heavily dependent on a project’s location and its proximity to amenities such as a grocery store, shopping, health services, public facilities and transit. Trinity Court benefits from its proximity to downtown amenities and services, Northside Elementary School, Umstead Park and a bus stop at the site entrance, among other things.

The project also takes advantage of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, a federal program that supports public housing authorities in preserving and improving public housing. RAD allows public housing agencies to convert properties to a Section 8 funding platform, enabling them to preserve permanent affordability and leverage outside resources to redevelop communities.

The Town is partnering with an experienced affordable housing developer, Community Housing Partners (CHP), to design, build and manage the site. After finalizing all required financing and permitting, the development team expects to break ground in summer 2023.  

This award represents a big step forward for the Town in advancing Council’s interest in creating more affordable housing opportunities in Chapel Hill and improving the existing inventory of housing within our portfolio. To learn more about the Town’s affordable housing efforts, visit chapelhillaffordablehousing.org


Chapel Hill Fire Department Urges Safety During Colder Months

The Chapel Hill Fire Department wants to make sure you know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from fire dangers as colder weather moves in.

Fire pit safety—remember to follow manufacturer’s instructions when using portable outdoor fireplaces. Keep them at least 15 feet away from structures or combustible materials, such as pine straw or overgrown vegetation. Constructed outdoor fireplaces should be 25 feet away from a structure or combustible materials. If you have questions about fire pits, email firemarshals@townofchapelhill.org.

Home heating safety—heating is the second leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Make sure you have a qualified professional clean and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year.

Simple safety tips that can help prevent most heating fires:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Turn off portable heaters when leaving a room or going to bed.
  • For fuel-burning space heaters, always use fuel specified by the manufacturer.
  • Let professionals handle installation of wood-burning stoves.

If you use a real fireplace, make sure it has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into a room. Ashes should be cool before putting them into a metal container. Keep that container a safe distance away from your home.

Test your smoke alarms once a month. Also, be sure to install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.


October 13, 2022

Leave Your Leaves

The Town of Chapel Hill will begin its seasonal loose-leaf collection on Tuesday, Oct. 18. They are also beginning their second season of the voluntary Leave Your Leaves program. Leave your leaves where they fall, rake them under trees or mulch them with a mower. This saves time and money, improves tree and soil health and supports wildlife.

Other options include: 

  • Compost your leaves—provides valuable nutrients for your yard and garden.
  • Place leaves in containers to be collected weekly—Town-issued yard-waste carts, other rigid containers or paper yard-waste bags (no plastic bags).
  • Place loose leaves/pine straw (no limbs or debris) behind the curb—do not place in the street; avoid blocking travel and bike lanes, sidewalks, fire hydrants, mailboxes, storm drains or water meters, or interfering with sight distances at intersections.

Creative Placemaking Summit in Chapel Hill

For two days in early November, over 400 professionals from the worlds of arts, culture, community affairs and economic development will gather in downtown Chapel Hill for the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit: South & Appalachia. Taking place on Thursday, Nov. 3, and Friday, Nov. 4, the Summit will feature in-person workshops, presentations, networking events and performances. A virtual pre-conference will occur Tuesday, Nov. 1. Registration is open for both events through Nov. 1, and the Summit is expected to sell out. 

The Summit is co-hosted by the Town of Chapel Hill’s Community Arts & Culture  division and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Arts Everywhere initiative, in coordination with South Arts and Creative Placemaking Communities. The event has multiple goals, including building capacity for arts professionals, sharing creative placemaking best practices, inspiring new initiatives around the South, and showcasing both the creative places of downtown Chapel Hill and the opportunities to do more. 

The Summit will feature a wide variety of speakers from around the nation, the South, and North Carolina, presenting on a variety of creative placemaking topics. The Summit’s sessions and workshops:

  • Thursday’s opening keynote session will feature Chapel Hill Poet Laureate CJ Suitt, Executive Director of Empowerment Delores Bailey, and Community Historian Danita Mason-Hogans, in a panel discussion titled, “Our Town/Your Town: Keeping, Honoring, and Making Creative Places in Chapel Hill, NC.”
  • Friday’s opening keynote session will feature Jeff Bell, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council. Bell was formerly the arts innovation coordinator for the City of Wilson, which included being the executive director of the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park.
  • Friday’s closing keynote session will feature Dr. Akilah Watkins, president and CEO of the Center for Community Progress, America’s nonprofit leaders for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”

Topics for workshops and sessions include public art, rural communities and culture, folk arts, mural making, land acknowledgement and more. When they are not in sessions, Summit attendees will stay at local hotels, eat and drink at local establishments, and tour campus and the community. Many attendees are expected to extend their stays and explore the greater Triangle area. 

Community Arts & Culture (https://www.chapelhillarts.org/) is a division of the Town of Chapel Hill and has a mission to inspire creativity and celebrate community for a better Chapel Hill. The department focuses on public art, arts experiences and planning and producing Town festivals and events. Arts Everywhere is a comprehensive initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that connects, advances and celebrates the full range of the arts at Carolina, empowering students to use their creativity to build a better world.


NAACP Freedom Journey

As part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s 75th anniversary celebration, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch will sponsor a Freedom Journey on Saturday, Oct. 15, starting at 9 a.m. The journey will be a light fellowship walk or bicycle ride of the town’s Black historical sites, from Lincoln Center to Hargraves Community Center. It will feature insightful storytelling and heartfelt singing as all commemorate the celebration. The journey will take place “drizzle or shine,” and the first 150 participants will receive a free commemorative t-shirt.


Volunteers Needed for Research Study

N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University is seeking participants for a research study entitled, “Superwomen leading the world; a mixed methods study of Black women managing stress and multitasking.”

Participants will be asked to take an electronic survey and participate in a virtual focus group; participation will take about 30 minutes.

To participate, you must be at least 18 years old, identify as a Black woman, live in the U.S., and serve in two or more leadership roles. You can take the survey at https://tinyurl.com/SWSDJ.

To learn more, contact the principal investigator, Dawna Jones, at dmjones10@aggies.ncat.edu.


October Service Alerts for CHT

On Oct. 15, two Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) routes will detour due to an event on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. South Road will be closed between Raleigh Street and Country Club Road for the student event, Franklin Street Market. The road will close between 1 and 11 p.m., and CHT will detour the A and N routes. Buses will not travel South Road in the area of Carmichael Arena and Hooker Fields. Routes will detour on Raleigh Street and Country Club Road. 

UNC will be on Fall Break from Thursday, Oct. 20, until classes resume Monday, Oct. 24. During this time, CHT will suspend the Safe Ride routes.

The first Tar Heel Express service of the 2022 UNC Men’s Basketball season is Friday, Oct. 28, as the Heels play Johnson C. Smith in an exhibition game. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. Fans can board from three locations this season: Friday Center Park and Ride, Southern Village Park and Ride, and Downtown Chapel Hill. Service starts as early at two hours before tip-off. More information is available on the Tar Heel Express webpage.


Virtual Pumpkin Carving/Decorating Contest

The Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department (CRPCRD) presents a Virtual Pumpkin Carving/Decorating Contest for 2022. 

How to enter:

  • Submit a photo of your carved or decorated pumpkin to dhughes@townofcarrboro.org.
  • Include in your photo a sign that reads, “Carrboro 2022.”
  • Submit photo by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26.
  • Please remember that this is a kid-friendly event and CRPCRD reserves the rights to deny entries deemed inappropriate.

Photos will be posted, and “Best of Show” winner will be announced on the CRPCRD Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/carrbororec/) on Friday, Oct. 28.


Music and Stories Under the Stars

The Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department and Weaver Street Market–Carrboro present, “Music and Stories Under the Stars” on Friday, Oct. 21, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Weaver Street Market Lawn, 101 E. Main St. Bring a blanket and/or low-back chair, sit back and enjoy the music and stories.

A costume contest will be held for children 12 and under; register onsite from 5 to 5:50 p.m. Winners announced before the stories begin.


Halloween Carnival

The Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department invite you and your family to come out and enjoy a fun night of carnival games on Friday, Oct. 28, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.

There will be a host of carnival-style activities that reward the children’s participation with a wickedly good prize bag (while supplies last).

Popcorn, hot chocolate and apple cider will be sold at the concession booth, and Ta Contento Mex Fast Food Truck will be on-site.


Halloween Movie Night

The Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department will host a Halloween movie night 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St. 

Bring a blanket and a few friends to watch Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. The movie starts at 7 p.m. and is free for all to enjoy.


October 31 in Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill is readying for Halloween 2022, and plans include a closure of Franklin Street (Church Street to Henderson Street), Columbia Street (Rosemary Street to Cameron Avenue), and a few connecting roads to vehicle traffic from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31.

With the lingering effects of the pandemic and monkeypox documented in Orange County, the community is encouraged to avoid celebrating in large crowds, even outside, and to find other ways to enjoy Halloween. The Orange County Health Department has developed a guide of safer alternatives for this year at orangecountync.gov/Halloween.

Officers from the Chapel Hill, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Carrboro police departments and Orange County Sheriff Deputies will be downtown the evening of Oct. 31, looking for and removing prohibited items, such as open containers of alcohol, weapons or items that look like or could be used as weapons, and drones. If you bring any of these items, you will be asked to dispose of them or remove them from the downtown area.


October 11, 2022

Carrboro Announces New Poet Laureate

Liza Wolff-Francis has been selected as Carrboro’s new poet laureate, a unanimous selection by the Carrboro Arts Committee. Wolff-Francis is an award-winning poet and writer whose work has been featured in publications and exhibits across the country. She holds a master’s of fine art degree in creative writing from Goddard College and considers herself an eco-poet. 

“I write poetry with different themes, but much of my recent poetry is focused on the environment with an encouraging note to rescue our planet and ourselves from climate change,” she said.  

Her poetry has been published in numerous literary magazines. In the spring of 2022, she won an honorable mention in the Mary Ruffin Poole American Heritage Contest for the North Carolina Poetry Society and was published in Pinesong

Wolff-Francis is a fluent Spanish speaker and has facilitated writing groups in Spanish and English. Her book, Language of Crossing, poems about the Mexico-U.S. border, was published in 2015. As a social worker, she has worked with Spanish-speaking immigrant populations for 20 years. She wrote the play Border Rising from interviews with undocumented Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles. 

In January 2023, Wolff-Francis will follow Fred Joiner as the Carrboro Poet Laureate. As poet laureate, she will serve a two-year term and will work to enhance the presence of poetry in the social and civic life of Carrboro. Wolff-Francis will work with the Carrboro Poets Council (a subcommittee of the Arts Committee) and with town staff for the planning of and participation in the West End Poetry Festival (held annually in October) and Carrboro Day, perform outreach to local schools, and coordinate weekly readings at Town Council meetings. She plans to focus on a theme of hope through writing and self-expression. 

Wolff-Francis will be officially introduced as the next Carrboro Poet Laureate at the upcoming West End Poetry Festival at the Carrboro Century Center on Saturday, Oct. 15.  To learn more about the festival, visit http://westendpoetryfestival.org. Her website is https://writeyourbutterfly.com/.


Applications for Orange County Opioid Advisory Committee Close Oct. 19

Orange County residents interested in serving on the county’s recently created Opioid Advisory Committee must apply by Oct. 19. The committee will advise the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on how to utilize the county’s share of national opioid settlement funds. Orange County is expected to receive $6,799,780 over the next 18 years.

The committee will discuss opioid-related health concerns and issues impacting Orange County residents, advise the BOCC on options to expend funds to prevent opioid use and remedy opioid impacts, and plan and host an annual meeting to receive input on proposed uses of settlement funds.

The BOCC approved a 19-member advisory committee at its Sept. 6 meeting. The committee includes representatives from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office; the Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill police departments; Orange County schools; Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools; UNC Hospital; Alliance Health; and representatives from the following county departments: Social Services, Emergency Services, Criminal Justice Resource Department, and Health.

In addition, several spots are open for county residents through an application process. Two spots will be for individuals with lived experience, along with a substance-abuse treatment provider, a community group working on opioid-related concerns, an employment provider and two flex spots.

Applications are now being taken for the non-designated spots on the committee. The BOCC will review the applications at its Oct. 25 work session and will make appointments to the committee at its Nov. 1 business meeting.

For more information, contact Tara May at tmay@orangecountync.gov or 919-245-2125.

Click here for the application.


October 8, 2022

CHPL to Present Program on Death and Decay

This October, the Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) is tackling the topic of death and decay through their Explore More at Pritchard Park environmental initiative. The presentation, Let’s Talk About Death & Decay: A Conversation on Green Burials, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in Meeting Room B.

Noting that decomposition is an important part of the life cycle of our planet, this program will look at funeral and burial practices that allow our bodies to remain in the cycle of life—ashes to ashes, dust to dust. They’ll explore the history of modern burial practices and explore the natural, life-affirming options of green burial, conservation cemeteries, home funerals and human composting.

The library has also put together a list of resources (https://chpl.bibliocommons.com/list/share/1293990037/2179406449), a collection of nonfiction and fiction on the topics of death, dying, burial and decay. The list also includes a link to download and watch the documentary, A Will for the Woods (https://chpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S92C1600583).

For the kids, the library will present, Dead but Not Gone: Explore a World of Fossils (https://chapelhillpl.librarycalendar.com/event/dead-not-gone-explore-world-fossils), using diggers, sifters and brushes to excavate the sand pit in Pritchard Park, on Saturday, Oct. 22, 1-3 p.m. Follow this link (https://chpl.bibliocommons.com/v2/search?query=fossils&searchType=keyword&f_FORMAT=BK&f_AUDIENCE=juvenile) to browse all the fossils books for kids in the CHPL collection.


CHPL Recognizes LGBTQIA+ History Month

October is LBGTQIA+ History Month, and the Chapel Hill Public Library invites the public to celebrate it by exploring some of the resources in their collection:


CHPL Closed October 19

The Chapel Hill Public Library will be closed on Wednesday, Oct. 19, for a staff development and training day. No materials will be due on this day.


CHPL Computer Workshops

The Chapel Hill Public Library is hosting free computer workshops in the ground floor computer classroom every Wednesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m., with the help of the UNC School of Information and Library Science.

Classes include:

  • Email Basics, 12 
  • Smartphone Basics, 26
  • Hot Topics in Tech, 9
  • Microsoft Excel Pt. 1, Nov. 30
  • Microsoft Excel Pt. 2, Dec. 7

Register at https://chapelhillpl.librarycalendar.com/events/upcoming?keywords=computer%20workshop, or call 919-968-2777.


Final Family Fun Friday at CHPL

The final Family Fun Friday of the season will be held Friday, Oct. 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m., on the library plaza. From 6 to 6:45 p.m., GRAMMY® nominated musician, author and educator Pierce Freelon will perform live music. After the performance, there will be a family dance party. Bring your own chairs and blankets to sit on. You’re welcome to bring your own food and enjoy it, picnic-style. 


Birding 101 with New Hope Audubon Society and CHPL

The Chapel Hill Public Library is teaming up with the New Hope Audubon Society to present a crash course in backyard birding on Thursday, Oct. 20, 6:30-8 p.m. in Meeting Room B in the library. All ages are welcome. Participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars and bird-identification books if they have them.


CHFD Celebrates Fire Prevention Week

The Chapel Hill Fire Department (CHFD) is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week TM (FPW), Oct. 9-15. This year’s FPW campaign, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape. TM”,  works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.

The CHFD encourages all residents to embrace the 2022 FPW theme and offers these key home fire escape planning tips:

  • Make sure your plan meets the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected so when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows open easily.
  • Have an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone should meet.
  • Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year with everyone in the household, including guests. Practice at least once during the day and at night.

If you have questions, reach out to the CHFD’s Life Safety Division by emailing firemarshals@townofchapelhill.org.


Carrboro to Feature 17th Annual West End Poetry Festival: Music in Poetry

The 17th Annual West End Poetry Festival returns in person, Oct. 14-15 at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 West Main St.; and the Century Center, 100 North Greensboro St. All events are free and open to the public.

The following event will take place on Friday, Oct. 14, at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St.:

  • Poetry Prompt Workshop – 7-8:30 p.m. Led by award-winning poets Jessica Jacobs and Nickole Brown, this workshop is based on, “Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire”; arrive 30 minutes early to enjoy some informal social time before the program.

The following events will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St.:

  • Greeting and Opening Remarks – 1 p.m.; Poetry Readings – 1:30 p.m. Recent book poets Joan Barasovska, Cedric Tillman, Jacinta White and Alanda Dagenhart will read excerpts from their recent works.
  • Poetry in the Round – 2:30-4:15 p.m. Led by Gary Phillips and Susan Spalt; everyone is invited to come and ready their poetry.
  • Community Poem Reading – 4:15-4:45 p.m. The Community Poem, a complication edited by Abigail Browning and Liza Wolff- Francis from lines contributed by voices in our community, will be read; the prompt for the 2022 Community Poem was “Music in Poetry.”
  • Featured Poets’ Readings – 5-7 p.m. Alan Shapiro, Fred Joiner, Jessica Jacobs, Nickole Brown and new Carrboro Poet Laureate (to be named later) will share their poetry.

For more information on the events and poets, visit the West End Poetry website, westendpoetryfestival.org.


Carrboro Considers Plan for Use of ARPA Funds

The Carrboro Town Council is considering a plan to spend its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The ARPA 2021 signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, provides $350 billion to state, local and tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. Town of Carrboro will receive $6.7 million as part of this allocation.  

These funds may be used to:

  • Fight the pandemic and support families and businesses struggling with its public health and economic impacts
  • Maintain vital public services, even amid declines in revenue
  • Build a strong, resilient and equitable recovery by making investments that support long-term growth and opportunity

The Town’s framework for use of ARPA is centered around Council goals and policy; racial equity and inclusion; and environmental justice and climate action. Also, the Town has sought to leverage local and regional partnerships and existing data, along with outreach to the community, to identify the impact of the pandemic. 

ARPA rules by the U.S. Treasury emphasize the importance of public input, transparency and accountability and urge grant recipients to engage constituents and communities in developing plans to use ARPA funds. 

The Town has employed several strategies to develop the framework for use of these funds. These include:

Extensive Community Outreach
The Town conducted extensive surveys, including statistically valid surveying with the ETC Institute. More than 975 people participated in three separate surveys, providing 275 comments, ideas and suggestions. The No. 1-ranked ARPA funding priority was to support public health and disproportionately impacted individuals and communities. View the list of comments and suggestions at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/11838/ARPA-Comments-and-Feedback-. Both online and paper surveys in English, Spanish and Burmese were offered. Town staff also worked with the Refugee Community Partnership to increase survey responses from immigrants and refugees in Carrboro.

Reaching Underserved Areas of Carrboro 
To reach underserved areas of the community as part of the Carrboro Community Survey, the Town reached out to 1,800 residents within Carrboro’s Qualified Census Tract (QCT) with a postcard invitation to participate. This outreach brought an additional 135 residents who provided their input. The survey results showed that the No. 1-ranked ARPA funding priority was to provide services to disproportionately impacted communities and individuals and support public health. QCTs are census areas where at least half of households have lower income than most of the surrounding region. 

Interviews and One-on-One Engagement 
Town staff conducted more than 30 one-on-one interviews with nonprofit and human services agencies. Organizations were asked how the pandemic continues to affect their agencies and the communities they serve. Black, Indigenous, Latinx and People of Color business roundtables were held to hear the needs and challenges of businesses in Carrboro and the role the Town can play to help businesses start and grow. The Town has held six roundtables between July 2020 to May 2022. Town staff also engaged with residents about ARPA funding priorities during the Town’s Carrboro Conversations in-person and virtual events in February 2022.  The Town Manager’s Office conducted interviews to hear from Town Council members about their views on prioritization of community needs. These are being considered along with operational needs identified by staff. 

Process and Background 
The Town Council will consider a Grant Project Ordinance for Expenditure of ARP/ Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11, with a potential vote occurring at this meeting or another meeting later this fall. The Town Council will consider adoption of polices and rules required for use of these funds. All meeting materials will be posted at https://bit.ly/3yjimD0

ARPA framework and engagement planning was summarized at the May 24 meeting of the Town Council. See https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/11839/ARPA_Engagement.

For more information about the local legislative process, contact the Town Clerk’s Office at publiccomment@carrboronc.gov.

Additional information about the ARPA funding process for the Town of Carrboro is available at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2583/American-Rescue-Plan.


 

Carrboro Holds Walk & Roll to School Day

Walk & Roll to School Day will be Wednesday, Oct. 12, in Carrboro, as proclaimed by Mayor Damon Seils. “I encourage all students in Carrboro who are able to do so safely to walk, roll or take the bus to school on this day and to consider doing so as often as possible during the school year” Mayor Seils said.

Walk & Roll to School days provide unique opportunities for students and parents to engage with other members of their community while also protecting our environment by reducing dependency on motor vehicle travel.

Anyone looking to participate in a group Walk & Roll to School should meet at the bike repair stand at Wilson Park, 110 Wilson St., between 7 and 7:15 a.m. There will be a group photo before the group begins to Walk & Roll to School at 7:20 a.m.

There will also be table in front of the school with a raffle for all students who walked and biked or took the school bus on that day, starting at 7:20 a.m.

Enabling and encouraging more students to walk, roll or bike to school safely benefits the whole community by creating safer streets, reducing traffic congestion, improving accessibility, fostering a stronger sense of community, lowering household transportation costs and improving the health of the environment.

For more information on year-round walking, biking and rolling to school, visit https://www.walkbiketoschool.org/.

Read the proclamation at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2630/Proclamations-and-Resolutions.


Chapel Hill Historical Society October 16 Zoom Program

The Chapel Hill Historical Society’s next Zoom program, “Local History Through Vintage Postcards,” on Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. will feature local street historian John Schelp, who will show vintage postcards of Durham from his collection and share some local history along the way, including connections with Chapel Hill. Mr. Schelp has served on numerous boards and committees, including as president of the Old West Durham Neighborhood Association, vice-president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People-Durham branch, and the Pauli Murray steering committee. He currently serves as president of the People’s Alliance Fund. The Zoom link for the program will be posted on the Historical Society’s website, https://chapelhillhistoricalsociety.org/.


OCLW Employers Hiring

Orange County Living Wage employers Carrburritos Taqueria, Dynamic Electrical Solutions Inc., The Community Empowerment Fund, the Town of Hillsborough and more are currently hiring. See employment opportunities posted at orangecountylivingwage.org/jobs


Ephesus Park Tennis and Pickleball Courts Closed for Renovations and Repairs

The Ephesus Park tennis courts will be closed for approximately four to six weeks for a court-resurfacing project, beginning Oct. 13. The Ephesus Park pickleball courts will be undergoing surface repair work Oct. 17-19, which will affect the availability of some or all courts on those days. All dates and timeframes are weather dependent and may be adjusted as needed.

Following an assessment in the spring of 2022 of the conditions at the Ephesus Park tennis courts by a geotechnical engineer hired by the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department, efforts are underway and contractors are scheduled for resurfacing the tennis courts to address the subsurface issues affecting the court conditions. The upcoming renovations and repairs will significantly improve the quality of play and enjoyment of the park.  

For alternative tennis and pickleball court locations, patrons may consider several options available for play:

  • Cedar Falls Park, four tennis courts 
  • Hargraves Park, three tennis courts
  • Oakwood Park, one tennis court 
  • Southern Community Park, In-Line Hockey Rink now also doubles as a pickleball venue with five outdoor courts available for play Mon/Wed/Fri 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Tuesdays 3-5:30 p.m.; and Sundays 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Specified times for indoor pickleball are available at Northside and Chapel Hill Community Center gymnasiums; see gym schedules here

For more information about parks and recreation, see chapelhillparks.org.


October 4, 2022

Webinar: Transportation and Land Use

Chapel Hill Town staff will host a webinar for the Shaping Our Future Transportation and Land Use Initiative at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, to discuss future development concepts at locations that will change with new development in the next 10-20 years. The presentation will show how community values around equity, inclusion, resilience, sustainability and environmental stewardship can be implemented in practical ways.

The Town is advancing recommendations from the 2020 Charting our Future initiative. Charting our Future included a Future Land Use Map (FLUM) update, including focus areas that outlined growth along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor to the north, downtown, south to Southern Village, the 15-501 area to the northeast, and the NC-54 corridor to the southeast. Several Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station areas on MLK Jr Boulevard overlap with the MLK north and south and downtown focus areas.

The next step is to take a deeper look at station areas and focus areas, with a finer level of detail and sensitivity to local conditions and market dynamics. Future housing, economic development, development types and quality, public spaces and bike and pedestrian connections will be addressed holistically. Implementation recommendations will include affordable and missing middle housing goals. Design concepts will show what realizing objectives will look like.

Participate by phone at 855-925-2801; meeting code 7812.


Triangle Land Conservancy October Events

Triangle Land Conservancy has several events planned in October to get people out and engaging all of their senses. The following events are scheduled:

  • 7, 9–11 a.m., Horton Grove Nature Preserve, 7360 Jock Road, Bahama—Horton Grove Cardio Walk; fast-paced 4-5 miles of the trail system with a goal speed of 3 mph (20 minutes/mile); see the first hints of fall with bright red sumac and crisp native grasses in our piedmont prairie restoration habitat. This is a free event, but preregistration is required. Make sure to save your spot here; if the event is full, please fill out the form to be added to the waitlist. For more information, email Kayla Ebert at kebert@triangleland.org.
  • 7, 7-10:30 p.m., Three Bear Acres (private preserve), 711 Beaver Dam Road, Creedmoor—First Fridays: Explore the Night Sky; Raleigh Astronomy Club members guide you across the sky, introducing you to the wonders of the night sky at Three Bear Acres; bring a picnic blanket or chair to stargaze in, extra layers, a red flashlight, snacks and a reusable water bottle; monthly night sky viewing session.This is a free event, but preregistration is required. Make sure to save your spot here; if the event is full, please fill out the form to be added to the waitlist. For more information, email Kayla Ebert at kebert@triangleland.org.
  • 8, 8:30–11 a.m., White Pines Nature Preserve (lower lot), 548 South Rocky River Road, Sanford—First Saturday Hike; moderate 3-mile hike over 2 hours, with multiple stops along the way to learn about the ecology and history of the preserve; make sure to wear good walking shoes and bring a full water bottle, along with bug spray and sunscreen if you would like. This is a free event, but preregistration is required. Make sure to save your spot here; if the event is full, please fill out the form to be added to the waitlist. For more information, email Kayla Ebert at kebert@triangleland.org.
  • 15, 10–11:30 a.m., Johnston Mill (secondary entrance), 6001 Turkey Farm Road, Chapel Hill—Become a Tree Detective; family-friendly hike about 2 miles around Johnston Mill Nature Preserve to learn the unique characteristics of several common Piedmont trees to be able to identify on your future adventures; activities geared towards 6- to 10-year-olds, but the whole family is welcome. This is a free event, but preregistration is required. Make sure to save your spot here; if the event is full, please fill out the form to be added to the waitlist. For more information, email Kayla Ebert at kebert@triangleland.org.
  • 16, 9–10:30 a.m., Johnston Mill Nature Preserve (Turkey Farm Road entrance), 6001 Turkey Farm Road, Chapel Hill—Morning Mindfulness at Johnston Mill; learning mindfulness practices to reawaken inner steadiness, resilience and joy; alternating periods of walking and standing, with guidance from mindfulness teacher Barbara Shumannfang. This is a free event. For more information, email Kayla Ebert at kebert@triangleland.org.
  • 20, 6 p.m.–Oct. 22, 12 p.m., Great Outdoor Provision Company (GOPC), Cameron Village, 2017 Cameron St., Raleigh, and Brumley Forest Nature Preserve (BFNP)—You Belong Outside; over 2 days, explore your role in ensuring that outdoor adventure is accessible and open to all, with expert panelists discussing outdoor culture, inclusion and diversity, access and more; night 1 is held at GOPC, and day 2 is a unity hike and meetup at BFNP. For more information, visit https://greatoutdoorprovision.com/youbelongoutside/; email Diquan Edmonds at dedmonds@triangleland.org.
  • 27, 5:30–7 p.m., Brumley North Parking Lot, 3620 Old State Hwy. 10, Chapel Hill—Birds and Boos! Wine + Design; spooktacular birding event and happy hour combo at Brumley North Nature Preserve; short birding opportunity followed by BYOB wine (or drink of choice) and design your own haunted bird house to take home; members of the New Hope Audubon Society will also be there to help. This is a free event, but preregistration is required. Make sure to save your spot here; if the event is full, please fill out the form to be added to the waitlist. For more information, email Kayla Ebert at kebert@triangleland.org.
  • 29, 2–4 p.m., Brumley Preserve (Schoolhouse of Wonder entrance), 3223 New Hope Church Road, Chapel Hill—Get Wild! Get Spooky!; learn about bats and pumpkins and all things spooktacular; costumes not required but strongly encouraged (including adults); event will be outside, so bring good walking shoes, a water bottle and potentially a chair to sit in. This is a free event, but preregistration is required. Make sure to save your spot here; if the event is full, please fill out the form to be added to the waitlist. For more information, email Kayla Ebert at kebert@triangleland.org.

If you are interested in becoming a Triangle Land Conservancy trail guide, join the training cohort starting Oct. 26. To see the full 12-hour schedule, learn how to register, and gain hours for your environmental education certification, go to https://www.triangleland.org/trail-guide-training-schedule.


2019 Holiday Parade

Apply to Participate in 2022 Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade

The 2022 Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. The Town is seeking community organizations with diverse cultural and faith traditions to participate in creating a festive, safe and inclusive experience for both parade participants and spectators.

A few rules:  

  • Get festive; your parade unit must be decorated with a winter theme and have entertainment value—be a spectacle!
  • Get creative; you must provide a description of how your unit will entertain/engage spectators—show us what you got!
  • No ads; no entries are permitted for strictly advertising, fundraising or recruitment activitiesno political campaigning or electioneering!

Apply at https://www.chapelhillarts.org/parade-participant-application/. The deadline for applications is Sunday, Oct. 9 (if you apply after the deadline, you’ll be placed on a waiting list and notified if space allows). You will be notified by Nov. 1 if your organization has been selected; you’ll need to pay a $50 participant fee at that time.


Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo

Food trucks and area non-profits can apply to participate in Chapel Hill’s Food Truck Rodeo on Sunday Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1714 Legion Road. Space is limited, so sign up early. Apply at https://www.chapelhillarts.org/thanks-giving-food-truck-rodeo-food-truck-application/.

In the season inspired by eating and giving, an array of local food trucks and non-profits are brought together for a community picnic, free and open to all.


Chapel Hill October Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning pedestrian safety enforcement operations in October, in addition to normal patrols. Scheduled special operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates: 

  • Friday, Oct. 14, 7-11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6-10 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct, 28, 7-11 a.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change.

Each effort will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown, and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors). We encourage everyone traveling, regardless of your mode of transportation, to remember that community safety is a shared responsibility.

The CHPD is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in October – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2-4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7-9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25, 1-3 p.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change.


South Greensboro Parking Lot Closed Beginning Oct. 17

Beginning Monday, Oct. 17, the parking lot located at 203 S. Greensboro St., Carrboro, will be closed to the public as crews prepare for construction of The 203 Project. Alternative public parking lots are located around town, and a parking map can be viewed at http://townofcarrboro.org/parking.

Signs are posted onsite with the closure notification and a QR code link to a parking map. Additionally, wayfinding signs are coming soon to direct people to alternative parking options. 

If you would like to learn more about The 203 Project, visit http://townofcarrboro.org/1151/The-203-Project.


Arrest in Pritchard Avenue Ext. Homicide Investigation

Michael Jerome Henry, 29, of Durham, is in custody following the shooting on Pritchard Avenue Extension last week. Today, U.S. Marshals with the Carolina Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Henry, who is charged with murder, attempted murder (two counts), assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill, assault with deadly weapon, and shooting into occupied vehicle. Henry is at the Orange County Detention Center without bond.

At around 6:18 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) responded to a report of multiple gunshots in the 800 block of Pritchard Avenue Extension. Officers found Michael Deshai Lee, 51, of Chapel Hill, with gunshot wounds; Lee died at the scene. Two other people were victims of gunshots and had non-life-threatening injuries. One person sustained additional injuries.

A follow-up investigation led investigators to Henry. The investigation is ongoing, and no additional information is available at this time.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


October 2, 2022

Chapel Hill 12-Year-Old Selected as Scholastic Kid Reporter

Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced that Max Chen, a 7th grader from Chapel Hill, has been selected to join the award-winning Scholastic Kids Press program, an international team of 29 kid reporters that reports “news for kids, by kids.”

During the 2022–23 school year, Max will interview leaders and experts in the community about the topics that matter most to young people. Max’s stories will be published on the Scholastic Kids Press website and featured in select issues of Scholastic Magazines+, which reach more than 25 million students in U.S. classrooms. 


Fall Shred-A-Thons

Orange County Solid Waste Management will hold two free Shred-A-Thons in October. Bring your confidential documents for free, secure, and contact-free shredding and recycling. The event is open to residents of Orange County and Chapel Hill, local government employees and small businesses.  

There is a limit of four boxes or bags. Papers must be in clear plastic bags (up to 13 gallons) or boxes (no larger than a banker box). One trip per household or organization. No newspapers, magazines, or catalogs.  

The first Shred-A-Thon will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Eubanks Road Park & Ride Lot, 1768 Eubanks Road, in Chapel Hill.  

On Saturday, Oct. 29, another Shred-A-Thon will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the recycling drop-off site behind Home Depot at Hampton Pointe in Hillsborough.  

More Information: https://www.orangecountync.gov/795/Solid-Waste-Management 

If you can’t make it to the Shred-A-Thon, you can take it to the Shred Center. This free service is available to Orange County residents, small businesses and local government employees. The Shred Center is by appointment only at the Solid Waste Administration Office, 1207 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill. 

For more information, visit https://www.orangecountync.gov/2210/Shred-Center


Traffic Calming Improvements Underway

The Town of Carrboro is improving many traffic-calming areas around town throughout the next few weeks. Crews have already begun to remove several speed tables, including those located at Oak Avenue and Stratford Drive. Most tables will be replaced the week of Oct. 3.

Ben Schmadeke, capital projects manager, notes the importance of this special project, which responds to needs for consistency and emergency access. Tables are being replaced or improved to bring them up to current traffic standards.

Please use caution as crews work to remove current tables and install new ones. While there will be temporary markings initially, prominent permanent markings are coming. You can view a map of where these improvements will be taking place at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11815/Speed-Table-Project-Map.

The Town of Carrboro maintains a process for identifying and addressing existing problems related to speeding, excessive volumes and safety on town-maintained residential streets. Learn more https://www.carrboronc.gov/723/Driving


Chapel Hill Releases Affordable Housing Annual Report

Chapel Hill town staff presented the Fiscal Year 2022 Affordable Housing Annual Report to the Council Sept. 28, highlighting the Town’s housing needs and progress towards reaching the Council’s affordable-housing goals. 

“Even as we see the need for affordable housing growing and the challenges to deliver affordable housing projects become increasingly complex, the Town has made meaningful progress over the last year consistent with our affordable housing goals,” says Sarah Viñas, director of affordable housing and community connections.

Highlights from the annual report summarizing the Town’s affordable-housing progress over the last year include:

  • Deploying $2.5 million in funding to community partners to support affordable-housing development and preservation projects
  • Approving affordable housing units; 28% (123) of the total housing units approved were affordable, including 102 in Town-initiated projects on Town land at Jay Street and Trinity Court
  • Enhancing the Employee Housing Program, resulting in the first homebuyer assistance award and increased interest from employees
  • Partnering with the other local governments in Orange County to create a county-wide Manufactured Home Action Plan to address the preservation needs and displacement threats to manufactured-home residents
  • Creating and presenting options to the Council to expedite the review process for affordable- housing development; if approved, an expedited review process could drastically change the Town’s ability to create more affordable housing more quickly
  • Completing renovations at several Transitional Housing and affordable rental units and supporting one of the families in the program in achieving their dream of homeownership

To help best make progress towards addressing the community’s significant housing needs, the Town is implementing an Affordable Housing Plan that focuses on funding affordable housing projects, initiating development and preservation of housing, owning and managing housing, and creating and implementing housing policies. The Affordable Housing Quarterly Report is a tool to monitor the Town’s progress in implementing the plan, share the status of projects funded with Town resources, and summarize key community indicators related to housing in Chapel Hill.

If you are interested in learning more about the Town’s affordable housing efforts, see the Town’s Affordable Housing Quarterly Report and staff’s Annual Report to Council and www.chapelhillaffordablehousing.org.


Festifall Arts Market Opens October 8

The 2022 Festifall Arts Market opens Oct. 8 at 140 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, featuring live music, crafts and an open-air market filled with local vendors. The event will take place over three Saturdays in October, beginning Oct. 8. It starts at 1 p.m. and is free and open to all.


2022 Midterm Election Online Nonpartisan Voter Guide:  VOTE411.org

The League of Women Voters (LWV) of North Carolina announces the availability of VOTE411.org  for the 2022 midterm election. The League’s nonpartisan online election resource offers voters a “one-stop shop” for all things election-related as they prepare to cast their ballots. Early voting runs from Thursday, Oct. 20, through Saturday, Nov. 5.  Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

VOTE411.org is a comprehensive resource on voting information, where citizens can learn about the policy positions of candidates on their ballot, get detailed instructions on registering to vote, find an early-voting location, confirm their election day polling place, and take the guesswork out of the absentee-by-mail process.

VOTE411.org supports the commitment of the LWV to provide the information voters need to become empowered citizens. From the League’s founding in February 1920, it has been dedicated to the belief that citizens should play a critical role in our democracy. Citizens can utilize VOTE411.org to help them make a plan and vote this midterm election season.


Musical Performance: Dutch Keyboard and Viol Music

Chapel of the Cross (304 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill) will host a special performance of music from the Dutch Golden Age, on Oct. 8 from 2 to 3 p.m., presented in connection with the Ackland’s current exhibition, Drawn to Life: Master Drawings from the Age of Rembrandt in the Peck Collection at the Ackland Art Museum. Joseph Causby (organ, harpsichord), Brent Wissick (bass viol) and the UNC Consort of Viols will perform music by Sweelinck, Schenk, Schop and more. The event is free and open to the public.

Following the performance, exhibition curator Dana Cowen will lead a tour of Drawn to Life for concert-goers at the Ackland Art Museum at 3:30 p.m.


September 27, 2022

Carrboro Music Festival

The 25th Annual Carrboro Music Festival is scheduled to take place at venues all over the downtown Carrboro area on Sunday, Oct. 2. The daylong festival starts at 1 p.m. 

One of the largest free music festivals in North Carolina, the Carrboro Music Festival will host more than 100 acts on stages all over Carrboro, with no tickets required. There is also a festival mobile app, released this year, available by searching “Carrboro Music Festival” in your app store.  

A Festival Guide & Map is available, along with a sortable Excel database to search bands by name, genre, location and time.

Venues include traditional sites such as Cat’s Cradle, The ArtsCenter, and Weaver Street Market lawn, as well as new locales, including Craftboro at South Green, 401 Main and Dingo Dog Brewing Company. For more information, visit carrboromusicfestival.com

Festival attendees ae highly encouraged to walk or bike to the venues if possible. The festival needs to be able to accommodate the performers and allow them to park in designated areas near their respective venues, so public parking may be limited in some lots. If attending the festival by car, please utilize the free park and ride shuttle from the Jones Ferry Road lot. See the parking map at http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11225/Carrboro-Parking-Map-?bidId=.

The Town of Carrboro has partnered with Chapel Hill Transit to provide a free shuttle for festival goers. The shuttle will run on Sunday from 12 noon to 9 p.m. from the Jones Ferry Road Park & Ride Lot, located just south of the intersection of Old Fayetteville Road and Jones Ferry Road, across from the entrance to Poplar Place Apartment Homes and beside University Lake Road. Shuttle service will run approximately every 15-20 minutes, and drop-off locations exist near most of the music venues. See the Festival Shuttle Map at http://carrboromusicfestival.com/DocumentCenter/View/1493/2022-Carrboro-Music-Festival-Shuttle-Map?bidId=.   

The following streets will be closed from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2: 

  • Weaver Street
  • Center Street @ Weaver Street
  • Lindsay Street @ Weaver Street
  • Oak Street @ Weaver Street

On Saturday, Oct. 1, Cat’s Cradle, at 300 E. Main St., will host a kick-off event, a free show featuring Shirlette Ammons. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Shirlette Ammons is a Durham-based poet and musician. Her most recent hip hop solo debut album, Twilight for Gladys Bentley, a “re-imaging” of 1920’s blues singer Gladys Bentley, was released in 2013 by Berlin-based record label Springstoff Records. On Sunday, Oct. 2, from 2 to 10 p.m., Cat’s Cradle is putting on a free all-day showcase of local artists from North Carolina, including hip hop, pop, jazz and more.

In the event of inclement weather, check the music festival website and Town social media channels for updates. Indoors venues should be unaffected, but some outdoor venues may be canceled in the event of rain.

Questions regarding the Music Festival may be directed to the Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department at 919-918-7364. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Diaper Need Awareness Week

The week of Sept. 24 to Oct. 2 is “Diaper Need Awareness Week” in Carrboro, as proclaimed by Mayor Damon Seils. “I encourage residents of Carrboro to donate generously to diaper banks, diaper drives and those organizations that collect and distribute diapers to those struggling with diaper need, so that all of Carrboro’s children and families can thrive and reach their full potential,” Mayor Seils said. 

Carrboro is proud to be home to trusted community-based organizations including Diaper Bank of North Carolina that recognize the importance of diapers in ensuring health and providing economic stability for families and thus distribute diapers to families through various channels.


Chapel Hill Police Investigating Shooting

The Chapel Hill Police Department responded at 6:18 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, to the report of multiple gunshots in the 800 block of Pritchard Avenue Extension. The Chapel Hill Fire Department and Orange County Emergency Services assisted multiple victims at the scene. The Police Department is investigating the incident and will release additional information soon.

Anyone with information should call 911 or the non-emergency Orange County Communications number, 919-732-5063. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


September 24, 2022

Blackwood Farm Park Reopening Delayed until October

The reopening of Blackwood Farm Park has been delayed until October due to ongoing supply-chain issues.

The park was closed for renovations in August 2021 and was expected to reopen in August 2022. Enhancements included a new entrance with a dedicated turn lane on Highway 86, an expanded parking area with a looped driveway, an amphitheater, a large picnic shelter, permanent restrooms and a park office and maintenance area.

After making excellent progress, supply-chain issues in recent months have impacted the delivery of many items, including windows and other glass and certain mechanical and electrical equipment.

Due to these delays, the park is scheduled to be completed in mid-to-late October, with an opening date in the weeks following.


S Route Returns to Full Service

Starting Monday, Sept. 26, Chapel Hill Transit’s S Route will return to full service. As a result of improved staffing levels, all previously suspended trips will be restored on the popular S route serving UNC’s campus and the Friday Center South park-and-ride lot. Service will be available departing the Friday Center South park-and-ride lot as early as 6 a.m., with the last trip returning to the lot at 7:52 p.m. 

The complete schedule and route map is available here. Follow Chapel Hill Transit on Twitter for the latest service updates, including any temporary service interruptions.


Chapel Hill Town Council to Explore Transferring Maintenance of Franklin Street from NCDOT to the Town

Chapel Hill Town Council wants to explore transferring maintenance of Franklin Street from the N.C. Department of Transportation to the Town. Staff prepared a presentation describing various options for the street layout and invite residents to review the presentation and respond to a short survey about the current and future design of the street. Visit the Project Website


September 22, 2022

Annual Maintenance, Temporary Closures for Chapel Hill Centers

The Chapel Hill Community Center gymnasium and indoor pool are scheduled to close for annual maintenance Monday, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 25. The Northside gymnasium at the Hargraves Center is scheduled to close for annual maintenance Thursday, Sept. 22, through Monday, Sept. 26.

Completion of maintenance and reopening the Chapel Hill Community Center at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26, and the Northside gymnasium in time for after-school programs at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, are anticipated.

During the closures, pass holders may use the pool at the Homestead Aquatic Center. For pool schedules, see the aquatic facility web page. Gym-pass holders may use the Northside gymnasium and the Rashkis Elementary School gymnasium. See the gymnasium facility web page for gym schedules. 

For more information about parks and recreation, visit chapelhilparks.org.


Carrboro Receives Planning Award

The American Planning Association-North Carolina Chapter has recognized the Town of Carrboro with the Marvin Collins Award for a comprehensive plan developed for a community of fewer than 25,000 people. The Town of Carrboro’s award recognizes the Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan, available for viewing at https://www.carrboroconnects.org/adopted-plan

On June 7, Carrboro’s Town Council unanimously voted to adopt the Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan. Adoption is only the beginning, as the real achievements and progress for the Town will take place over the next five to 20 years of plan implementation. 

The plan is built on the twin foundations of racial equity and climate action and, for the first time, brings the goals of the Town as a whole into a single document. From supporting local businesses to expanding affordable housing options and access to open space, the plan builds on Carrboro’s leadership in taking bold action to meet its goals.

To all who have participated in this process in some way, thank you. Carrboro Connects is the product of a community-wide planning effort. The policies and projects reflect the vision, ideas and commitment to Carrboro that were shared by thousands of residents, businesses and organizations.


Electric Vehicle Rodeo Comes to Carrboro

The EV Rodeo is coming to Carrboro. Explore various electric vehicles (EVs), test ride EV bikes, and bring the kids out for veggie-mobile races from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St. 

The event is sponsored by Climate Reality Orange County, the Triad Electric Vehicle Association of North Carolina and the Town of Carrboro. 

The public is invited to explore multiple EVs, including the Chevy Volt and Bolt, Kia EV6, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius Prime, Teslas and more. Owners of these EVs will share mileage ranges, charging options and costs and will answer questions about EVs. 

Learn the difference between hybrid plug-ins and all-electric vehicles. Diverse types of EVs, including e-bikes and e-motorcycles, will also be available.  

Help your kids build their own veggie-mobiles and participate in races. 

For more information, contact Margie Muenzer at mmuenzerpt@gmail.com


Affordable-Housing Rally in Carrboro

An affordable-housing rally will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2-5 p.m. Meet at Weaver Street Market, 101 E. Weaver St., and March to Lincoln Center, 750 S. Merritt Mill Road.


Virtual Solar Info Session

Solarize the Triangle campaign organizers and reps from Yes Solar Solutions are offering a free, virtual, informational event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. 

The event will cover: 

  • An overview of the bulk-purchasing concept
  • Info about the benefits of solar and batteries and how to enroll for a free assessment
  • Info from the 11 partner communities that initiated Solarize the Triangle
  • Q & A with solar experts and installers

Please register for the event at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kdeupqT8tEtHQmmSV587JvyYwc46_-FTK.

For more information about the program, visit www.SolarizetheTriangle.com. 


Carrboro Increases Town Employees’ Pay

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Carrboro Town Council authorized implementation of a compensation and classification study designed to increase town employees’ pay to more competitive levels. A study showed that the town’s pay rates were 7.5% below similar governmental entities, contributing to vacancies across departments. The plan will provide all employees with a 2% across-the-board pay adjustment, increase starting salaries and make internal pay adjustments.

The study was completed by Management Advisory Group. The comprehensive study included receiving employee input related to all 91 positions in the Town at the time of the study as well as a market survey benchmarking nearly one-third of all positions against 20 peer and competitor government employers. 

In addition to the pay adjustments, all positions were placed in a new unified range plan with employees performing the same level of duties and responsibilities positioned in the same class and pay grade, regardless of the number of hours worked. These new ranges are competitive with the market.

The Council addressed an initial market adjustment for all Police Department staff in January 2022. Then, in July 2022, all permanent Town employees, including the Police Department staff, received a $3,000 adjustment. Together, the two adjustments lessened the total impact of the cost to implement the recommended position classification and pay plan.

The implementation date is Oct. 8.


Buy Minority Business Enterprises Day

Saturday, Sept. 24, is Buy Minority Business Enterprises Day, to help generate awareness, support and revenue to minority-owned businesses across the country. Support local black, indigenous and people-of-color (BIPOC) businesses by visiting #Carrboro’s Buy BIPOC directory (https://ecs.page.link/RDUUPauto).


September 18, 2022

Chapel Hill Complete Community and Shaping Our Future Initiatives

The Complete Community initiative is a follow-up to the 2021 Chapel Hill-UNC Housing Needs Assessment. Using a new community-based approach, this initiative will create a strategy for where and how to build new housing for an inclusive, sustainable, and economically competitive future.

The Shaping Our Future initiative is a follow-up to the 2020 planning effort that outlined the future development of selected focus area locations and a follow-up to the 2019 North-South Bus Rapid Transit (NS-BRT) Transit Oriented Development framework. The NS-BRT new high-capacity buses will connect North Chapel Hill to downtown and Southern Village. With the Shaping Our Future initiative, the Town will evaluate sites in the station and focus areas that will see the most change between now and 2040.

Through these initiatives, the Town’s aim is to:

  • Elevate all of Chapel Hill’s voices, including those less engaged in the past
  • Create vibrant and walkable places
  • Link existing neighborhoods to transit, greenways, multi-modal paths and more
  • Discuss how future changes will provide affordable homes, quality services and jobs

The following activities are planned to promote these initiatives:

  • 15, 4-5 p.m., Complete Community strategy drop-in event; 5-5:30 p.m., presentation; Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, One Europa Drive, Chapel Hill
  • 15, 5:30-8 p.m., Transit Oriented Development drop-in event (food provided); Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, One Europa Drive, Chapel Hill
  • 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m., open house (food provided); Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill
  • 16, 5-7 p.m., drop-in event (coffee provided); Epilogue Books, 109 E. Franklin St., Ste. 100, Chapel Hill
  • 17, 8-10 a.m., Farmers’ Market pop-up; Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, University Place, 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill
  • 17, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., open house (food provided); Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill/Orange County 2022-2023 Official Visitors Guide and Visitors Map Now Available

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau has published a new edition of its annual Official Visitors Guide and Official Visitors Map for use in 2022-2023.

The bureau has returned to a 64-page guide featuring Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Orange County and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A pull-out perforated map is again included, as well as parking maps for the towns’ downtowns. Find user-friendly listings of accommodations, shopping, attractions and entertainment, restaurants, coffee shops and nightlife, top festivals and events and essential facts and resources.

New to this guide is information about accessibility in Orange County, free things to do, ideas for kids and families and a “Take Home a Taste of Orange” page highlighting locally made products.

The 2022-2023 Visitors Guide, a comprehensive resource for residents, visitors, meeting and conference attendees and others planning a trip to the Chapel Hill and Orange County area features a wrap cover photo of the new Chapel Hill and Orange County Welcome Center on West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.

The companion piece to the visitors guide is a multi-panel Official Visitors Map with a matching cover. The map is a detailed look at visitor resources throughout the county.

To request a copy be mailed to you, call 919-245-4320 or email info@visitchapelhill.org. Free copies can also can be picked up at the Welcome Center at 308 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or select Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. An online version of the guide can be viewed and downloaded at https://www.visitchapelhill.org/maps-info/request-literature/.


The 203 Project Update

Construction has recently begun on the 203 Project at 203 S. Greensboro St., currently the site of a Carrboro municipal parking lot across from Open Eye Cafe. The project to complete a new library and civic building will be underway through spring 2024. 

After conducting subsurface utility locating, excavation for the stormwater system began the week of Aug. 22 in the southwest corner of the site. Barnhill Contracting Co. constructed one stormwater junction box and installed about 50 feet of stormwater pipe. Utility coordination is ongoing among Dominion Gas, Spectrum/Charter and AT&T to accommodate construction. 

Currently, the eastern section of the parking lot is closed and barricaded off. Full closure of the parking lot is pending utility work with a date to be determined. Signage has been ordered to notify the public of the lot closure date. Notification will be provided two weeks before the closure. Please find alternative parking locations at http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11225/Carrboro-Parking-Map.

At its Sept. 13 meeting, the Town Council heard from Barnhill Contracting Co. about their procedures for mitigating noise disturbances connected to construction. The project will require about eight early-morning (deemed after hours) concrete pours to complete construction of the building and parking deck.  These pours are expected to take place before 7 a.m. 

Barnhill will notify the Town one week in advance of expected after-hours concrete work and will work with Town staff to notify residents and businesses of upcoming work. No more than two after-hours concrete pours will be permitted in a given week, and they will not fall on consecutive nights. No after-hours work will be permitted on Sunday. The Council directed staff to expand the radius of neighborhood notification to inform of pending disturbances related to construction. 

The development will be the future home of Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources; Orange County Southern Branch Library; Orange County Skills Development Center; WCOM Radio; a teen center; and performance/multipurpose uses. The 203 Project will provide opportunities for education, art and community connection. 

Find more information at https://www.carrboronc.gov/1151/The-203-Project.


Carrboro Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Carrboro is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed nationally from Sept. 15 to Oct. 20. 

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Hispanic and Latinx people make up approximately 13% of the population of Carrboro, the highest percentage in Orange County. 

Some area events of note: 

  • Sept. 25, El Futuro will hold its Hispanic Heritage Community Fiesta and its Fall Fundraiser & Art Auction on Oct. 8, both in Durham.
  • Oct. 14, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will host a Hispanic Heritage Month Community Celebration on the Carrboro Town Commons.
  • Throughout the month, the UNC Carolina Latinx Center is celebrating Latinx Heritage Month with the theme “Vivir Mi Vida!” and has shared a calendar of events online at clc.unc.edu. 

Carrboro Mayor Seils Joins Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils has joined mayors from across the country to sign the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry. The effort is led by the Anti-Defamation League and U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The Mayors’ Compact has 10 components:

  • Expressly rejecting extremism, white supremacy and all forms of bigotry
  • Denouncing all acts of hate wherever they occur
  • Ensuring public safety while protecting free speech and other basic constitutional rights
  • Calling for fully restored law enforcement and civil rights investigations of domestic terrorism and hate crimes
  • Elevating and prioritizing anti-bias and anti-hate programs in our nation’s schools
  • Supporting targeted communities and bringing together civic and community leaders to build trust
  • Celebrating diversity, promoting inclusivity and challenging bias
  • Promoting law enforcement training on responding to and reporting hate incidents, hate crimes and domestic terrorism
  • Encouraging residents in their communities to report hate incidents and crimes, including using hotlines and online tools
  • Maintaining civil rights enforcement and strengthening hate crime laws when necessary

“I’m proud to stand with other mayors as we speak out against hate, extremism and bigotry,” Mayor Seils said. 

The complete compact is available at https://www.usmayors.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/USCM-Mayors-Compact-to-Combat-Hate-and-Extremism-with-Names-Sept-2022.pdf.


September 15, 2022

Town Receives Exceptional Innovation Award for Affordable Housing Efforts

On September 8, the Town of Chapel Hill received an Exceptional Innovation Award from Community Home Trust for the many ways the Town is advancing affordable housing. Creative strategies recognized by this award include inclusionary housing, master leasing, employee housing, local funding investments, development on Town land and more. To learn more about the Town’s affordable housing efforts, visit chapelhillaffordablehousing.org


Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade Returns

The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are excited to announce the return of the Community Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10:30 a.m. The parade will highlight a variety of arts, cultural and winter holiday traditions. Local organizations aligned with this focus are invited to apply to participate. Learn more at chapelhillarts.org/parade.

Due to COVID restrictions, the parade has been on hiatus for two years. In planning for the parade’s return, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, along with planning partners at Carrboro Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Resources, and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, discussed how the event could better reflect the community and its values. Susan Brown, Director of Community Arts & Culture, says they all agreed that, “This event could and should better showcase the many different cultural and holiday traditions in our community, as well as our commitment to environmental stewardship.” Representatives from UNC Arts Everywhere and UNC Community Relations are also assisting with planning and encouraging campus groups to participate.

To create a more inclusive and diverse event, participation will be curated by parade planners through an open call for creative and festive parade units. Local organizations and community groups who will entertain, engage and reflect the winter holiday theme and diverse cultural traditions are invited to apply. Any units that are strictly for advertising or fundraising will not be considered. Parade planners will also invite community and campus performance groups, like marching bands, drum corps and choruses to participate.

The call for participants will close on Sunday, Oct. 9. Applications will be reviewed and selected based on criteria and the goal of creating an interesting and inclusive event. Participation will be confirmed by early November.

 For more information and details on how to apply, visit chapelhillarts.org/parade.


 


New Memorial Bench Installation and Temporary Trail Closure

The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture are coordinating the installation of a new memorial bench, created by artists Michael Waller and Leah Foushee Waller, on the Tanyard Branch Trail near Umstead Park. Made possible through private donations, the artistic bench commemorates Eva Metzger’s contributions and advocacy for greenways and trails in Chapel Hill.

The bench, made from bronze, concrete and steel, will be installed Wednesday, Sept. 21, beginning at 10 a.m., and should be complete by 1 p.m. A short section of the Tanyard Branch Trail will be temporarily closed during this installation.   

Steve Wright, public art coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, says a plaque installed with the bench describes Eva Metzger as, “a staunch supporter of creating a system of trails throughout Chapel Hill. Eva mapped existing trails in the 1970’s and advocated for the Town to formally maintain them. She served on the Sidewalk Commission, the Greenway Commission, the Bike & Pedestrian Board, and the OWASA Board. Thank you, Eva, for your perseverance towards a more walkable community.”

Parks and Recreation routinely seeks out and receives private contributions, which enhance visitor experiences to parks and facilities. For more information on the Park and Recreation Contributions program, visit Giving & Volunteers, or contact Wes Tilghman at wtilghman@townofchapelhill.org. For more information about Community Arts & Culture visit chapelhillarts.org.


Chapel Hill Public Library Celebrates Freedom to Read During Banned Books Week

For the eighth year, Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) is celebrating local artists, great literature and intellectual freedom during Banned Books Week with the return of the popular Banned Books Trading Cards project and a series of public programs.

Banned Books Week is an annual, national celebration of your freedom to read, celebrated Sept. 18-24 this year. The library, in partnership with Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, celebrates annually by asking local artists to create original works of art inspired by a book that has been challenged, banned or censored, seven of which are then turned into collectible trading cards.

In addition to the trading cards the library will host a series of public programs around banned books and censorship:

  • Banned Books Trading Cards Exhibit Launch and Artist Reception — Sept. 16, 7-8:30 p.m., at CHPL. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, this event will launch the exhibit and unveil the winners, along with refreshments and a silent auction.
  • Conversation on Censorship with Carolina Public Humanities — Sept. 22, 7-8:30 p.m., at CHPL. This town/gown community conversation will feature UNC-Chapel Hill journalism professor Tori Ekstrand and Renee Sekel of NC Red, Wine, and Blue, an organization that combats efforts to ban books in schools and libraries.
  • Banned Books Community Read Aloud — Sept. 29, 7-8 p.m., at CHPL. Join community luminaries, including chef/author Bill Smith, WCHL’s Aaron Keck and Poet Laureate CJ Suitt, for a reading of favorite passages from banned and censored books.
  • Banned Books Trading Cards Exhibit Gallery — Open to the public Sept. 17-30 at CHPL. The display will feature all of the entries submitted for Banned Books Trading Cards 2022 and large-format reproductions of past winners.

Book challenges and intellectual censorship have made headlines in the past few years, from national efforts to ban books covering topics about race, gender identity and sexuality, to local challenges around the Triangle hitting close to home. The national theme of this year’s Banned Books Week is, “Books unite us. Censorship divides us.”

The Banned Books Trading Cards project is a true community effort, with 74 submissions this year coming from artists young and old, emerging and well-established, across a variety of artistic mediums and literary genres.

Among those submissions, a selection committee chose seven winners to turn into this year’s set of trading cards. The cards feature the artwork on the front, along with an excerpt from the artist statement and the reason the book has been challenged or banned. Each piece represents the ongoing struggle for intellectual freedom and the dangers of censorship.

The winning artwork will be revealed at the Banned Books Trading Cards Exhibit Launch + Artist Reception on Sept. 16. This year’s winning set includes works of watercolor, mixed media, quilting and digital illustration inspired by authors such as Maia Kobabe, Herman Melville and Toni Morrison.

Pick up your free set of Banned Books Trading Cards at CHPL at the exhibit launch or anytime during or after Banned Books Week. During Banned Books Week, cards will also be available for pick up at the UNC Davis Library.

You can find a list of all 54 books that inspired submissions on the library’s website here.

The Banned Books Trading Card Project is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library and printing support from A Better Image Printing in Durham. 

Learn more about the project on the library website: chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/banned-books.


Interfaith Benefit for Sanctuary

The Immigrant Justice Initiative (IJI) of the Community Church Unitarian Universalist of Chapel Hill will hold a benefit concert Sept. 23, 7:30-9 p.m., to benefit the initiative, which provides housing, medical, dental and legal services for immigrant families in the U.S. Performing will be Emma’s Revolution.

Known for fearless, truth-telling lyrics and melodies you can’t resist singing, Emma’s Revolution is the award-winning activist duo of Pat Humphries & Sandy O. Now in their 20th year, the duo writes songs about critical issues happening in the world, lending their voices to the movements those issues inspire and delivering moving, uplifting performances, whether on stage or on screen. Emma’s Revolution’s songs have travelled around the world and have been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger, and covered by Holly Near. 

All proceeds from the concert go to support the IJI, a ministry of the Community Church Unitarian Universalist of Chapel Hill, which sponsors and assists asylum seekers whose lives were in danger in the countries from which they fled. IJI, with support from Kehillah Synagogue, other faith communities and the community, has provided housing and all other financial needs for 10 asylum-seeking immigrants (five adults and five children) over the last three years. These immigrants are generally not permitted to work for at least the first year that they are in this country. Thereafter, they will face very large legal expenses to achieve their dreams of a fresh and safe future. Click here for tickets. For more information, see the

Immigrant Justice Initiative.


September 14, 2022

Coal Ash Health Impacts at 828 MLK Blvd—The Scientists Speak.
September 22, 2022, 7:30-9:00 PM

Safe Housing for Chapel Hill invites you to a public forum on the health impacts of coal ash for people who would live at 828 MLK if the Town’s proposal is approved this Fall. Listen to the scientists who know what the health impacts are. Ask your questions.

3 key points:

Coal ash is the new lead: 16 toxic metals like arsenic, mercury, and boron can cause cancer and death—impacting children and families who would live in the 250 units of housing the Council wants to build on top of  60,000 tons of coal ash, 828 MLK.

Failure to get health science data: The Town failed to get scientific data showing coal ash health risks. Said no such data available. We got it. No cost.

Nation’s Top Coal Ash Scientists Speak: Hear their findings & answer your questions; Susan Wind will as well; Mooresville, NC used coal ash as structural fill; believes her daughter got thyroid cancer because of it.  

  • Julia Kravchenko, Duke School of Medicine—analysis of all coal ash health impacts research
  • Avner Vengosh, Environmental Science, Duke University—coal ash’s impacts on water safety
  • Kristina Zierold, Environmental Health Sciences, Univ. Alabama—coal ash health impacts on children 6-14
  • Susan Wind, tried to get NC & EPA to address coal ash threat; leading national protest at EPA, DC, 9/20/22

Zoom: https://duke.zoom.us/j/98885473481?pwd=QXNSOERFM2lXbVFvT0hudWJGdHp2dz09   Passcode: 315315

Contact: Dr. Edward Marshall, edward.marshall@duke.edu


Chapel Hill Police Investigating Gunshots

The Chapel Hill Police Department is investigating reports of gunshots heard on Caldwell Street and Mitchell Lane at 5:24 p.m. Sept. 11. There were no victims at the scene; however, officers found evidence that shots had been fired in the area. The suspect or suspects may have left the scene in a white Lexus SUV with rails (like a luggage rack) on top.

Anyone with information should call 911 or the non-emergency Orange County Communications number, 919-732-5063. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.

No additional information is available at this time.


Free Narcan Vending Machine Available

The Orange County Detention Center is one of six detention centers in the state to receive a naloxone vending machine. The machine is stocked with free harm-reduction supplies, including Narcan nasal spray kits (a brand of naloxone) and COVID tests.

The vending machine is located in the lobby of the Orange County Detention Center at 1200 US-70 West, Hillsborough (across from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles) and is available to the public 24 hours/day.

The free Narcan kits include Narcan nasal spray and instructions for use. Naloxone works to reverse an opioid overdose by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain and restoring normal breathing. The detention center is a critical place to distribute naloxone to people in need, as those leaving jail have been found to be 40 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose in the two weeks after leaving incarceration. A key component of North Carolina Opioid Action Plan is to make naloxone widely available.

Harm-reduction supplies like naloxone and fentanyl test strips are critical in fighting the opioid epidemic. In 2021, 3,759 people died of opioid overdose in North Carolina, and 29 were Orange County residents. In that same time period, there were 4,154 reported community reversals of opioid overdose. Harm-reduction seeks to “meet people where they are.” Substance use is complicated. Not everyone is able to abstain or ready for treatment, and treatment resources are stretched thin. Harm-reduction fills that gap to keep people and the community safe.

Some risk factors of opioid overdose are mixing opioids with alcohol or other medications; taking opioids for the first time in a long time (e.g., on release from jail or detox); taking high doses of opioids; having existing kidney, liver or breathing problems; and having a previous overdose.

Signs that someone is experiencing an opioid overdose are that the person is not responsive, not breathing well (slow or shallow), pinpoint pupils, lips or fingernails are blue, or vomiting.

In the event that you or someone you’re with is experiencing an opioid overdose, call 911 and administer naloxone if it is available.


September 10, 2022

Chapel Hill Historical Society Launches Fall Program Series

The Chapel Hill Historical Society (https://chapelhillhistoricalsociety.org/) launches its fall program series on September 25 at 3 p.m. with a Zoom program, “A Better Life for Their Children – Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America.” Author Andrew Feiler will discuss how the Rosenwald Schools drove dramatic improvement in African American educational attainment and fostered the generation who became the leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement.

Andrew Feiler is a photographer and author. His work has been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, Architect, Preservation, Eye on Photography, and The Forward, as well as on CBS This Morning and National Public Radio. His prints have been displayed in galleries and museums, including solo exhibitions at such venues as the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, and International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro. Richard Ellington, president of the Historical Society, will finish with a review of the Orange County experience.

This presentation is in collaboration with the Chapel Hill Preservation Society. See the Historical Society’s website for more information and Zoom link.


Suicide Prevention Month Events

From 2016 to 2020, 206 Orange and Durham county community members lost their lives to suicide. Throughout the month of September, the Orange County Health Department and Durham County Department of Public Health will host events to support survivors, to share how to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, and to teach what to do if a loved one is in danger. 

Events include: 

  • Adult Mental Health First Aid Training for the Community: Friday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough. This training is for community members, family members, friends, students and other people who have been affected by suicide or want to prevent suicide. The training will cover common signs and symptoms of mental health and substance abuse challenges as well as how to connect people with help. The training is free, and lunch is included. Please register at this link: https://www.orangecountync.gov/MHFA
  • Adult Mental Health First Aid Training for Professional Partners: Friday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough. This training is for employers, police officers, hospital staff, first responders, public health workers, local government staff, and school employees who want to learn to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental health and substance-use challenges. The training is free, and lunch is included. Please register at this link: https://www.orangecountync.gov/MHFA-Partners
  • A Path for Hope: Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk: Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Leigh Farm Park, 370 Leigh Farm Road, Durham. The event is hosted by Orange County Health Department, Durham County Department of Public Health, Alliance Health, Insight Humans Services and Healthy Carolinians of Orange County. Before the walk, community members will gather to hear featured speaker Rwenshaun Miller, who believes that mental wellness begins with a conversation. Miller is an award-winning psychotherapist whose personal mission is to shift our society into one that acknowledges, addresses and treats mental health challenges. Miller is the founder and executive director of Eustress, Inc., a non-profit based in North Carolina. 

Two hundred and six pairs of shoes will be on display to honor the 206 Durham and Orange county community members who lost their lives to suicide from 2016 to 2020. Gently used shoes, which will be donated after the event to those in need, are needed in advance of the event. To donate shoes or for questions about the walk, email Willa Robinson Allen at wrobinson@dconc.gov for Durham County or Ashley Rawlinson at arawlinson@orangecountync.gov for Orange County or call 919-245-2440.


Stay Connected with Town of Carrboro

Whether you’re new to the area or a longtime resident, Carrboro welcomes your participation in local government and the Carrboro community. 

Ways to stay connected with local happenings and get involved include the following: 

  • Carrboro This WeekNews digest about town services, meetings and events; will resume publication on Monday, Sept. 12. Sign up at carrboronc.gov/signup. Get weekly agendas, meeting schedules and important news releases sent to your email inbox or via text message. You can also sign up for news from the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department.  
  • Town Council Meetings—Watch Town Council meetings, event coverage and more on the Legislative Portal at https://carrboro.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx or Carrboro YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/carrboronc. For cable viewers, Carrboro is on government access Channel 18. The Peoples Channel is the community’s public access Channel 8. 
  • Public participation in the local decision-making process
  • Participate with boards and commissions—https://townofcarrboro.org/228/Advisory-Boards-Commissions. Many recommendations and decisions that chart the future begin with boards and commissions. You can attend a meeting and provide comment, or you can apply to be a board or commission member. Openings are now available. 
  • Participate at a Town Council meeting—Carrboro Town Council provides a “Public Comment” portion at each Council meeting. The meetings are held most Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
  • Community Conversations—Town of Carrboro is taking additional steps to connect with people whose voices are often missing from decision-making processes. Throughout the year, the Town reaches out to hear from residents on various topics via drop-in sessions, surveys, public hearings, pop-up opportunities and listening sessions. 
  • Social Media—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor, Linkedin and YouTube. View all profiles at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2652/Social-Media 
  • Emergency Resources (Carrboro Ready)—Emergency information and resources are available at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2633/Emergency-Resources-Carrboro-Ready. 
  • Town Information Centers (TICs)—Town staff members post flyers and printed materials at outdoor kiosks around Carrboro. If you are interested in requesting a TIC for your neighborhood or community, contact communications@carrboronc.gov for consideration. 
  • Neighborhoods and Communities—Town of Carrboro seeks to build a team of engagement liaisons willing to share and exchange information between the Town and residents through neighborhood liaisons and representatives from homeowners’ associations (HOAs), neighborhood associations and apartment communities. 
  • Sign up to be a neighborhood liaison at https://www.carrboronc.gov/FormCenter/Communication-and-Engagement-Department-31/Neighborhood-Liaisons-Registration-170
  • Sign up your neighborhood association/HOA at https://www.carrboronc.gov/FormCenter/Communication-and-Engagement-Department-31/NeighborhoodHomeowners-Association-Regis-172
  • Volunteer Programs—The Town of Carrboro welcomes the assistance of volunteers in a number of roles. Learn more and apply at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2698/Volunteer-Programs

For more information, contact Communication and Engagement Director Catherine Lazorko at clazorko@carrboronc.gov or 919-918-7314. 


Complete Community and Shaping Our Future Announcement

You are invited to learn more about the Town of Chapel Hill’s Complete Community Initiative and emerging plans for the North-South Bus Rapid Transit corridor. A series of events highlighting this work kicks off Thursday, Sept. 15, and will continue through Saturday, Sept. 17.

A Complete Community drop-in and presentation from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Sheraton Chapel Hill, will give you an opportunity to visit with consultant Jennifer Keesmaat and her team about what makes a complete community and the emerging directions they see for Chapel Hill’s future.

Immediately following, the Town will hold an open house entitled, “Shaping Our Future,” during which your feedback is wanted on early proposals and ideas for how key transit corridors can better connect residents and existing neighborhoods to transit, greenways, parks, shopping and jobs. The open house will also take place at the Sheraton, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Other opportunities to learn and share your feedback will take place on the following dates:

  • Friday, Sept. 16
    • Open house, 9:30–11:30 a.m. (food provided); Hargraves Community Center (216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill)
    • Drop-in event, 5–7 p.m. (free coffee); Epilogue Books (109 E. Franklin St., Ste. 100, Chapel Hill)
  • Saturday, Sept. 17
    • Farmers’ market pop-up,8–10 a.m.; Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market – University Place (201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill)
    • Open house, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. (food provided); Hargraves Community Center (216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill)

Complete Community is a Council-led initiative that began in June 2021 as a follow-up to a joint Chapel Hill-UNC housing-needs assessment. Using a new community-based approach, the initiative will create a strategy for where and how to build new housing in Chapel Hill.

Following these public information and input sessions, Town Council will receive updated presentations on the Complete Community and Shaping Our Future efforts in October and November.

Find more information about the Complete Community Initiative and 2021 Housing Study at chapelhillcompletecommunity.org and  Shaping Our Future at townofchapelhill.org/shapingourfuture.


September Transit Service Update

Starting Monday, Sept. 12, the Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) T Route returns to full service, with all trips scheduled to run. This includes restoring midday trips between 8:50 a.m. and 2:50 p.m. that were previously affected by reduced staffing levels. The T Route serves areas from East Chapel Hill High School, Martin Luther King Boulevard corridor and Mason Farm Road/UNC Hospital.

CHT has also monitored demand on the FCX Route between the Friday Center park-and-ride lots and UNC Hospital. To provide relief for crowded trips, a “tripper bus” has been added. This additional bus is not scheduled, but will run in tandem with the highest demand trips, at 3, 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5 and 5:30 p.m. Be on the lookout for the additional bus.

Customers may also use the S Route or the N Route to reach the Friday Center park-and-ride lots. 

Updates are available on Twitter, or contact CHT at chtransit@townofchapelhill.org


Downtown Tailgate Party

Come party at a downtown tailgate on Henderson Street on Sept. 24 with DJ CJ and emcee Bdaht, the official voice of Carolina Basketball, and cheer on the Tar Heels as they take on Notre Dame. The event will include yard games, music, giveaways, and drink sales courtesy of Gizmo Brew Works. Purchase a VIP wristband for access to a buffet from Linda’s Bar & Grill and other perks for $30! The event starts 3 hours before kickoff and is free and open to the public.


Tracks Music Series

The next edition of the Tracks Music Series will take place Thursday, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m., in the Rosemary & Columbia street lot, with live performances featuring Bonies, Alicia Marie and Larry & Joe. The outdoor concerts are free and open to all. Each act will play a 45-minute set.


Orange County Commissioners Create Opioid Advisory Board

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved the creation of the Orange County Opioid Advisory Committee at its Sept. 6 business meeting. The committee will advise the BOCC on how to utilize the county’s share of the national opioid settlement funds. Orange County is expected to receive $6,799,780 over the next 18 years and has already received its initial payment of $261,245.

According to Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart, there were 29 overdose deaths and 110 emergency department visits for suspected overdoses in Orange County in 2021. Stewart said more than 90% of the deaths were unintentional.

The committee will discuss opioid-related health concerns and issues impacting Orange County residents, advise the BOCC on options to expend funds to prevent opioid use and remedy opioid impacts, and plan and host an annual meeting to receive input on proposed uses of settlement funds.

The BOCC approved a 19-member advisory committee that includes representatives from the Orange County Sheriff, the Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill police departments, Orange County schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, UNC Hospital, Alliance Health and representatives from the following county departments: Social Services, Emergency Services, Criminal Justice Resource Department and Health.

In addition, several spots will be open for county residents through an application process. Two spots will be for individuals with lived experience, along with a substance-abuse treatment provider, a community group working on opioid-related concerns, an employment provider and two flex spots.

Residents interested in volunteering for one of the non-designated spots on the committee can contact Tara May at tmay@orangecountync.gov or 919-245-2125 to be notified when the application is ready.


September 7, 2022 

Heart of the Hill Tours Fall Schedule

Heart of the Hill Tours of Chapel Hill, designed to surprise, delight, educate and inspire launches their new fall schedule. Registration is required and now available atheartofthehilltours.com.

Several new tours join the “fan favorites” for a full complement of experiences with our local history – from Franklin Street to “beneath our feet” – an archeological look at Chapel Hill’s earliest days. Tours are designed by the individual guide to share pieces of the collective story and town spirit through history, lore and personal experience. Tours are free, open to the public and typically last 60-90 minutes.

Heart of the Hill Tours is a joint project of the Chapel Hill Historical Society and Preservation Chapel Hill. For decades, the Chapel Hill Historical Society, founded in 1966, and Preservation Chapel Hill, started in 1972, have been essential to collecting, preserving and highlighting what makes Chapel Hill unique and treasured in the hearts of so many.


C.H.A.L.T. Webinars Exploring Affordable Housing Crisis

Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town is holding webinars to address the affordable housing crisis. Part three of the series, “Financing Permanently Affordable Housing,” is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11,
4-5:30 p.m., via Zoom.

Register at www.chalt.org/events. Special guest speakers will be featured, followed by open discussions. Open to all.


OdysseyStage Offers New Twist on Annual 10×10

 OdysseyStage offers a new twist on an annual audience favorite. This year, OdysseyStage 10×10 will
showcase local playwrights, actors, and directors in all 10 plays, each 10 minutes long. This homegrown
approach features the OdysseyStage company and friends and will be presented Thursday-Saturday,
Sept. 15-17 and 22-24, at 7 p.m. at The Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. Tickets are free; suggested donation at the door is $20.

Producer Maria Piskor hints at the variety of offerings, “This year’s 10×10 includes a phone, a hospital room, a pipe, some records, a bar, an audience member, rooms, and elective surgery–along with plenty of love, loss, and laughter!”


New OCLW Certifications

Since July, these local employers have joined the roster of Orange County Living Wage employers, voluntarily paying their full- and part-time employees a living wage of $15.85/hour:

Child Care Services Association
Community School for People under Six 
Deli Edison
H3 Plumbing & Mechanical 
Little House Playschool
Notch Design
Piedmont Electric Membership Cooperative 
St. Thomas More Catholic Parish of Chapel Hill 

In addition to these new certifications, many employers have recertified, which means they’ve been committed to paying a living wage for at least four years.


NCDOT Litter Sweep

The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are inviting residents to participate in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Litter Sweep Sept. 10-24. Litter Sweep is the NCDOT biannual statewide roadside litter removal initiative. Residents throughout the state can participate in local efforts to help clean up North Carolina’s roadways.

Trash in a stream does not always start at the streambank, but it will end up there. If it is on the ground, chances are that it will end up in our local streams and creeks. By cleaning up trash around roadways, you are helping protect our local waterways from pollution.

If you would like to participate in a clean-up, you can do so in either of the following ways:

  1. Contact Angie Tilson at NCDOT by phone (919-296-6081) or email (aktilson@ncdot.gov) for cleanup supplies, such as reversible orange/blue trash bags, gloves and orange safety vests.
  2. Join the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro for a joint litter clean up on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. along Highway 54. The final details will be available on the Town of Chapel Hill’s Stormwater Management Public Education and Participation webpage.

The Town of Chapel Hill’s Stormwater Management department provides litter clean-up supplies, including grabbers, gloves and vests on a first-come, first-served basis year-round.

If you see a street that needs a cleanup, email Morgan Flynt (mflynt@townofchapelhill.org).


Update on the East Main Street and West Franklin Street Resurfacing Project

The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) resurfacing project for East Main Street in Carrboro and West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is nearing completion. The pavement work is completed, the signal hardware is in place, and all of the new signal programming should be finished by Friday, Sept. 9. 

The Town is working with NCDOT to complete punch-list items, including the installation of the bicycle symbols and signage. In addition, the Town is arranging for the installation of green pavement markings to highlight the new bike facilities. The green thermoplastic work should be completed by the end of September.  

See the final design at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2368/East-Main-Street-Restriping. If you have any questions, contact John Howell at 336-570-6830 or Ben Schmadeke at 919-918-7424.


Town of Carrboro Lineups for Fall Arts Festivals

The Town of Carrboro has announced festival lineups and date information for three of the Triangle’s most beloved fall festivals, starting Sunday, Oct. 2.

Carrboro will showcase a diversity of musicians from the Piedmont with free concerts at Town Commons, the Cat’s Cradle and venues across the town, with the return of the Carrboro Music Festival (opening night on Saturday, Oct. 1, with a full day of outdoor concerts on Sunday, Oct. 2); West End Poetry Festival (Oct. 14-15), featuring poetry in the round and a community poem reading; and Carrboro Film Fest (Nov. 18-20), showcasing numerous independent films that challenge and expand our understanding of Southern culture.

All festivals are made possible with support from the Town of Carrboro and the Carrboro Tourism Development Authority. Schedule highlights are below with full details and updates online. Also, see the Carrboro public parking map at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/11225/Carrboro-Parking-Map-?bidId=

Carrboro Music Festival – Oct. 2
Established in 1998, the festival was originally held on June 21 as an official affiliate of the Fête de la Musique, which is also known as ”Make Music Day.” One of the largest free music festivals in North Carolina, the festival will host more than 100 acts on 25 stages all over Carrboro, all for free. Venues include traditional sites such as Cat’s Cradle, The ArtsCenter and Weaver Street Market lawn, as well as new locales, including Craftboro at South Green, 401 Main, and Dingo Dog Brewing Company.
www.carrboromusicfestival.com/

West End Poetry Festival – Oct. 14-15
The theme for this year’s festival is “Music in Poetry,” featuring poetry readings, a poetry writing workshop, poetry in the round, and a community poem reading. All events will be offered live, with Friday evening’s event occurring at Carrboro Town Hall and Saturday’s activities continuing in the Carrboro Century Center. Carrboro held its first poetry festival, organized by then Carrboro Poet Laureate Patrick Herron, in 2006. Since then, many poets from North Carolina and beyond have participated. Participants have included finalists for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; winners of the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Oregon Book Award, and the Pushcart Prize; and recipients of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
www.westendpoetryfestival.org  

Carrboro Film Fest – Nov. 18-20
Since 2006, the festival brings “Southern films in one of the South’s funkiest small towns.” Embracing its identity as a Southern institution, the festival presents exclusively Southern films in a non-competitive setting. Held at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. 
www.carrborofilm.org


Solarize in Carrboro

The Town of Carrboro is a community partner of Solarize the Triangle, a community-based group-purchasing program for solar energy, battery storage and other clean-energy technologies. The more property owners who purchase renewable energy systems, the lower the price to all buyers – through the power of purchasing together.

By promoting clean and renewable energy in Carrboro, the Solarize the Triangle campaign supports the implementation of Carrboro’s Community Climate Action Plan. This initiative will play a role in helping the Town reach its goals to reduce 2010 levels of greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2030. 

Solarize Carrboro will enable residents to invest in solar at a more affordable group-purchasing price and realize the benefits of financial savings through energy efficiency, the creation of new jobs and improved air quality and public health. 

Solarize the Triangle is partnering exclusively with Yes Solar Solutions for this campaign. The enrollment deadline is Dec. 31, 2022. 


Franklin All-Nighter Race

Join University Baptist Church for an all-night run for mental health on November 5. Participants can register as individuals or with friends to run or walk all night to raise awareness and funds for mental health in our community. Cost is $30/person, and the route is a one-mile loop along sidewalks. 

Register here.


BARS Training

The Being a Responsible Server free class on September 12 teaches restaurant and bar servers how to properly identify fake IDs and check for signs of intoxication. Training is from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Courthouse, 179 E. Franklin St. The first 100 voluntary attendees can earn $30 by completing the class.


 

Orange County Names Trivedi as Transportation Director

Nish Trivedi has been named Orange County Transportation Director, County Manager Bonnie Hammersley announced Sept. 1.

Trivedi had been serving as interim transportation director since April and has been with Orange County since September 2017, when he was hired as a transportation planner in the Planning and Inspection Department. As transportation planner, he directed and coordinated all transportation projects, plans and programs in the County and collaborated with local jurisdictions and regional, state and federal agencies, including N.C. Department of Transportation and metropolitan and rural planning organizations, as well as Triangle J Council of Governments.

While serving as transportation planner, Trivedi worked on many key projects, including the 2019 Efland-Buckhorn-Mebane Access Management Plan, the ongoing US 70 Multimodal Corridor Study and Orange County Transportation Projects Map.

Before coming to Orange County, Trivedi worked as a transportation planner for the Town of Waxhaw, N.C.; as a land use/transportation planner for Augusta-Richmond County, Ga.; and transportation planner for Augusta Regional Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization.

He has a master’s in city and regional planning from the University of Memphis and is the owner/chief instructor at Tiger Way of Honor Martial Arts in Hillsborough.


County Continues to Offer Pandemic-Assistance Programs

As the nation slowly emerges from more than two years of COVID-related emergency restrictions and declarations, Orange County continues to offer programs and services for residents who are still struggling from the health and economic effects of the pandemic.

Gov. Roy Cooper allowed the state’s coronavirus-related declaration of emergency to expire on Aug. 15, while the Orange County state of emergency declaration expired May 1.

“Even though the state and local declarations of emergency regarding COVID have ended, many households still are experiencing challenges in rebounding from the pandemic,” said Orange County Chair Renee Price. “We want our residents to understand that we continue to provide services to those needing assistance paying utilities, rent and other household expenses.”

Affordable and secure housing is an issue throughout the nation and has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Orange County offers many programs to help residents struggling to stay in their homes or apartments, including emergency housing assistance (EHA). The EHA Program provided more than $10.4 million in housing assistance to more than 4,200 Orange County residents since March 2020. Orange County also administered the first round of the HOPE Program beginning in the Fall of 2020 and disbursed $1.9 million to over 400 families. Combined, the programs provided nearly $12.3 million to ensure residents can remain in stable housing.

Residents can learn more about the EHA and HOPE programs at https://www.orangecountync.gov/2359/Emergency-Housing-Assistance, which also has instructions on how to apply and a link to the application. If you are experiencing a housing crisis, contact housinghelp@orangecountync.gov, or call the Housing Helpline at 919-245-2655.

As things open back up, Orange County Dept. on Aging programs and services remain popular. Below is a sample of a few of the numerous programs offered:

  • Daily hot lunches served on-site or for curbside pick-up at either senior center. Registration is required to participate in the program. At this time, the department is only accepting new applications for county residents age 60 and over who can pick up a meal at either the Seymour Center or Passmore Center. With our current funding source, the curbside meals are scheduled to continue through September. After that time, lunch participants will need to come inside to pick-up their meal if they do not feel comfortable dining in. For questions or help filling out the lunch application, contact food services coordinator Isabel Jackson by email or phone at 919-245-4256.
  • Caregiver Support Groups offer a space to meet with other caregivers to share experiences, learn new skills, and get answers to questions about dementia and other long-term disabilities. One group continues to meet virtually. In addition, the Passmore Caregiver Support Group and Seymour Caregiver Support Group have returned as in-person options. All caregiver support groups meet twice a month. For more information, contact the Aging Helpline at 919-968-2087 or agingtransitions@orangecountync.gov.
  • Community-Based Services added Tour Tuesdays at the Seymour Center to introduce the public back to the Seymour Center and continue to offer this program. Chinese Dance Party is a new program initiated to encourage our Chinese population to return to the centers. This popular program continues to grow. Gardening has been a healthy, safe way to stay active during the pandemic, and the Garden Clubs continue to be active and take on new beautification projects at both centers. The Sunshine Program reaches isolated older adults with a short in-person visit to check in and brighten their day. Homebound individuals also receive cards of encouragement from volunteers and staff. Virtual Health Promotion, Educational Programs and Exercise Classes were such a hit that they have continued virtually or in a hybrid format. To see all of the programs each quarter, pick up an Endless Possibilities activity guide at either center or online at www.orangecountync.gov/EP.
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program food boxes continue to be delivered to transit-dependent or homebound individuals and provided to those who are able to pick up or designate a pick-up person. This Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina-sponsored program provides a monthly box of food to supplement the nutritional needs of qualifying low-income older adults. For information, or to apply for this free food program, email Shenae McPherson, Volunteer Connect 55+ (VC55+) Administrator, call 919-245-4243 or stop by the front desk at either center.
  • Mail & Budget Management Volunteer Program serves Orange County seniors who need assistance with basic budgeting, sorting mail and emails and avoiding financial fraud and other scams. If you are interested in becoming a mail & budget management volunteer or learning more about the program, contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 or Lydia Arnold at 919-245-4276.
  • Telephone Reassurance Program provides morning wellness-check calls between 8 and 10 a.m., Monday through Friday, offering a sense of security and support. This program offers an opportunity for both volunteers and participants to engage through phone conversations as we continue working to decrease social isolation. To receive telephone reassurance calls or to volunteer, contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 or Lydia Arnold at 919-245-4276.

To learn more about Orange County Department on Aging’s programs, services and resources, visit the Passmore Center located at 103 Meadowlands Drive in Hillsborough (919-245-2015), the Seymour Center at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill (919-968-2070) or online at www.orangecountync.gov/Aging.

Dept. of Social Services (DSS) continues to operate pandemic-related programs for water and utility assistance and enhanced pandemic benefits for traditional programs like Food and Nutrition Services. Staff are available to assist with employment services and other social work programs. DSS can provide emergency financial support for rent and utilities and ongoing support for food assistance through Food and Nutrition Services and food distributions and medical assistance through Medicaid. Clients can come to either office location or call 919-245-2800.

While there are no longer any COVID-related restrictions in effect in Orange County, residents are still encouraged to practice safety to protect themselves and others. COVID is still circulating in the community, Health Director Quintana Stewart says. She encourages residents to mask indoors during periods of high transmission, wash your hands often, give each other a little space and, most importantly, be sure you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations. The health department offers both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and boosters. To make an appointment, visit https://takemyshot.nc.gov or call 919-913-8088 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages spoken.      


August 31, 2022

Photo by Frank McKenna via Unsplash.com.

Show Labor Day Love to Local Workers and Their Living Wage Employers

Going shopping this Labor Day weekend? Salute Orange County workers in the spirit of the holiday by shopping at local Living Wage Certified Employers, and then sharing the experience on social media with the hashtag #OrangeCountyNCLivingWage and the hashtag of the employer you’re shopping with!

Orange County Living Wage (OCLW) has a directory of its certified employers, which now number around 250. Employers range from governments and nonprofits to local businesses of various sizes and professional services such as healthcare.


UNC’s Postdoctoral Association Science Talks Start September 6

Could sugar be a secret weapon for detecting COVID? The first of a series of talks on science topics intended for the general public will be held by UNC’s Postdoctoral Association on September 6, 2022, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at TRU Deli & Wine, 114 Henderson St. in Chapel Hill.

“Detecting COVID Using Sugar” will be presented by Dr. Sanghoon Kim, who will explain how we can use sugar to better detect all variants with a single test, thereby detecting COVID more reliably. TRU has partnered with the university association to make these talks available to people from all walks of life in the Chapel Hill area so they can enjoyably make sense of science.


Join in Solidarity with Duke Volleyball Player Heckled by BYU Fans

A black volleyball student at Duke was heckled with racial slurs at a match with Brigham Young University (BYU) on the BYU campus on Aug. 26. A show of solidarity with the student is encouraged at the next few home matches at Cameron Indoor Stadium (Friday, Sept. 2, at noon and Saturday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.) No tickets are needed. Help show that the entire community has her back and will not stand for racism and racial attacks. 


Chapel Hill Fire Department Enhances High Insurance Rating

The Chapel Hill Fire Department is celebrating the improvement of its Insurance Services Organization (ISO) rating from its 2016 evaluation of 84.50, to this year’s evaluation of 88.67 – maintaining the department’s level-two rating overall.

The department’s rating is based on an inspection conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal. The inspection is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS).

The ranking accounts for, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Staffing levels
  • Call response times
  • Equipment and maintenance
  • Training
  • Communications capabilities
  • Availability of a water source
  • Inspections
  • Community outreach

The department was just 1.33 points shy of a level-one rating. A higher rating has the ability to significantly lower residential and commercial insurance rates, as insurance companies use the rating to determine premiums.

The NCRRS ranges from level one, the highest, to level 10, which is not recognized as a certified fire department by the state.

“I’d like to congratulate Chief Harris for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey. The commissioner added that community members “should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

The Department’s newest ISO rating takes effect November 1.


Police Plan Enhanced Traffic-Safety Enforcement During First Weeks of School

The Chapel Hill Police Department is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian safety enforcement operations during September – the first full month of school.

Twenty-two scheduled pedestrian safety enforcement operations are in addition to normal patrols. Between Thursday, Sept. 1, and Friday, Sept. 9, school-zone operations will take place each weekday during peak school travel times—7 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.

Other pedestrian safety operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates in September:

  • Saturday, Sept. 10, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 11, 7 to 11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 to 11 a.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 16, 7 to 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 24, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 to 11 a.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 30, 7 to 11 a.m.

*Dates and/or times are subject to change

Aside from school zones, efforts will focus on other areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors).

The Chapel Hill Police Department is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in September – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 6, 8 to 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13, 7 to 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27, 9 to 11 a.m.

*Dates and/or times are subject to change

The Town will utilize its variable message sign boards throughout Town to alert people driving of the events as well as encouraging them to limit distractions and watch out for people walking and people riding their bikes.


Carolina Cross Connection Receives SECU Foundation Grant

State Employees Credit Union Foundation recently awarded a $40,000 grant to Carolina Cross Connection (CCC), a non-profit located in Gastonia that supports the needs of the elderly, disabled and low-resourced residents of Western North Carolina with home repair projects to address safety and accessibility. The funding will help the organization develop strategies to address diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to ensure greater reach of services across populations in the northwest region of the state.

Carolina Cross Connection has been partnering with local agencies to provide services for North Carolina communities since 1987. The organization enlists the help of youth and adults across the state who volunteer their time at one of CCC’s camp locations to assist residents in 11 counties. Carolina Cross Connection has completed over 17,880 projects and hosted more than 30,400 volunteers to date.


August 29, 2022

Carrboro Seeks Engineering Firm for Site analysis

The Town of Carrboro is seeking an engineering firm to conduct a site assessment on selected town-owned parcels for the purpose of creating affordable housing.  

A Request for Qualifications notice has been re-advertised on the Town’s website, on the Historically Underutilized Businesses site, in the Triangle Tribune, and in the Durham Herald-Sun. The RFQ posting can be found at http://www.carrboronc.gov/967/Bid-Opportunities.  Submissions are due to the Town on Sept. 23.

 Learn more about the process to conduct a comprehensive site analysis of the properties and more information at http://carrborofire.org/2681/Creating-Affordable-Housing—Town-Owned.


New Draft Strategic Plan Sets OWASA Priorities for Years to Come

A draft strategic plan prioritizing investments and priorities for the next five years will be going to the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) Board of Directors in September. The draft plan is the culmination of an inclusive development process that involved input from the community, stakeholders, past and present Board members, as well as the OWASA team.

The plan will guide the investment of the OWASA team’s focuses and efforts over the next five years and help ensure that they are advancing the priorities of the community and preparing for the future that the community wants for its water and sewer utility.

The strategic priorities identified through developing the plan are:

  • Employee recruitment, retention and development
  • Equitable services
  • Climate and land-use change adaptation
  • Community engagement
  • Emergency management and cybersecurity
  • Service reliability and resiliency

The draft plan identifies a suite of goals and initiatives that will advance each of those strategic priorities in the coming years. The draft strategic plan is available here.

The OWASA Board will consider approval of the draft plan at a meeting on Sept. 8; the agenda for that meeting will be posted here.

For more information and any questions, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, 919-537-4236, bhodge@owasa.org.


August 26, 2022

Town of Carrboro Seeking Applications for Poet Laureate Position

The Arts Committee of the Town of Carrboro seeks applications for the position of Poet Laureate of Carrboro, for a two-year term that will begin Jan. 1, 2023, and expire Dec. 31, 2024. 

Established in 2002, the central duty of the poet laureate is to engage in activities that enhance the presence of poetry in the social and civic life of Carrboro. These activities include, but are not limited to, working with the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department staff for the planning of and participation in the West End Poetry Festival (held annually in October), Carrboro Day, outreach to local schools, and weekly readings at Carrboro Town Council meetings (view past weekly readings at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2593/Poetry-Readings-During-Town-Council-Meet). The Poet Laureate will work in conjunction with the Carrboro Poets Council (a subcommittee of the Arts Committee). Residency in Carrboro is preferable, but not required. The Poet Laureate receives an annual honorarium in the amount of $2,500.  

Carrboro Poet Laureate Fred Joiner will continue to serve in the role through Dec. 31. Learn more about Fred and his work via http://www.fredjoiner.com/.

Those who wish to apply for consideration can access the application online at www.carrboronc.gov/poetlaureate. All application materials must be received by Aug. 31. Please complete the online application form or email all application materials to arts@carrboronc.gov. If you have questions regarding the poet laureate program, contact arts@carrboronc.gov or 919-918-7377.


Share Your Vision for Chapel Hill’s Next Police Chief

The Town of Chapel Hill will soon post a job advertisement for the new police chief and is seeking feedback concerning the qualities you would like to see in the next chief.

To share your feedback in a concise way, please consider completing a short survey  (empliant.com/survey/F7829FA3D-C1D2-AB84-0478/) by Sept. 30 to ensure your thoughts are considered during the hiring process.

The job will be posted for 30 days, followed by an extensive review process. At the conclusion of that process, Town Manager Maurice Jones will select a candidate from the finalists.

The position will be vacated by Chris Blue upon his retirement on Dec. 31. The goal is to have the next chief in place before Jan. 1, 2023.


Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Person

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is seeking the community’s assistance locating a missing person. Mark A. Allen, 48, of Henderson, was last seen on Aug. 24, around noon, in the area of Franklin Street. Allen was seen boarding a bus to Durham.

Allen is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and weighs about 160 pounds. Allen may be wearing blue scrubs. He is not believed to be in danger.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


Traffic Safety Enforcement as Students Head Back to School

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning pedestrian safety enforcement operations as students head back to school. Pedestrian safety enforcement in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools zones is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29; Tuesday, Aug. 30; and Wednesday, Aug. 31. –

The CHPD is also planning speed-enforcement operations with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads on Tuesday, Aug. 30.


Chapel Hill Police Investigate Homicide

At 11:35 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, the Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) responded to a report of a shooting at 800 Pritchard Ave. Extension. Officers found one victim, Rahzel Tyreek Jenkins, 19, of Chapel Hill, suffering from gunshot wounds. Jenkins was pronounced dead at UNC Hospitals.

Anyone who has information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515. Information that leads to an arrest could be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.

No further information is available at this time.


 

 

 

 

 

Orange Co. Commissioners Price and Bedford Complete Emergency Preparedness Training

Orange County Board of Commissioners Chair Renee Price and Vice Chair Jamezetta Bedford completed the 100 Counties Prepared Emergency Preparedness Training for County Commissioners at the N.C. Association of County Commissioners’ (NCACC) 115th Annual Conference in Cabarrus County on Aug. 11. Price and Bedford were two of 61 county officials to complete the class, which was the culmination of Brunswick County Commissioner and NCACC Past President Frank Williams’ 100 Counties Prepared presidential initiative.

The 100 Counties Prepared training was created to equip elected officials with the tools, resources and information needed to lead effectively during emergencies such as natural disasters, public health crises, and other critical incident situations. 


988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

An initiative led by the federal government in partnership with the states is making it easier for people in mental health crisis to get immediate help when needed. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) can now be reached by calling 9-8-8. This service will immediately connect callers to trained crisis counselors 24/7. The new three-digit number provides a faster, easier way to get the help already available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

“Help is available to those experiencing a mental health crisis,” said N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “Our goal is to make 9-8-8 a household word that North Carolinians know they can access from wherever they are to get the help they need. This resource will literally save lives.”

Since 2012, the NCDHHS has partnered with REAL Crisis Intervention, Inc., in Greenville to operate the N.C. Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center. In addition to providing trained crisis counseling, the call center connects also callers to help in their local community based on each caller’s specific needs. 

NCDHHS, in collaboration with many community, local and state partners, received a $3.3 million federal grant in April to transition to the new number. Additionally, $1.3 million in recurring funds to support the call center was included in the budget that was passed by the N.C. General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper in July. For more information on the NSPL, visit 988lifeline.org.


Applications Open for 2023 Piedmont Laureate

The City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County are opening the application process for the position of Piedmont Laureate for 2023. Each year the program is open to writers creating work in a particular selected genre (poetry, novels, plays, etc.), and for the 2023 cycle, applications will be accepted from poets. The selected candidate will focus on elevating poetry in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties. The application submission period closes Sept. 9 at 11:59 p.m.

They hope to elevate explorations of poetry writing across sub-genres and forms. Writers of all forms of poetry and poetic presentation styles, including slam poetry, beat poetry and spoken word poetry, are welcome. They do ask that the poetry writing is created for an adult audience and emphasizes the written form. Note that future Piedmont Laureate specialization years will include playwriting and screenwriting, fiction and creative nonfiction, and as such are not accepting submissions this year from these genres.

The primary goal of the Piedmont Laureate program is to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region. The program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens.

The Piedmont Laureate serves for one year and will offer activities throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties. Click here for more information and a link to the application.


Overdose Awareness Day Events Scheduled for Aug. 31

Orange County will sponsor a special event on Wednesday, Aug. 31, to bring attention to International Overdose Awareness Day.

Overdose is a public health issue that impacts families and individuals from all backgrounds. The Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department and Health and Emergency Services departments, along with Freedom House, are coordinating several activities throughout the day, culminating with a gathering to include speakers and candle-lighting to symbolize losses, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Peace and Justice Plaza in Chapel Hill.

Speakers at the gathering include Renee Price, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, and Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart. UNC Family Medicine professor and founder of the Formerly Incarcerated Transition program, Dr. Evan Ashkin, will speak on the scope of the overdose issue and best practice interventions. Troy Manns, from Recovery Communities NC (stigma and recovery), and Reid Getty, from the NC Harm Reduction Coalition (critical need for access to harm reduction resources), will also be featured. Other speakers will represent families who have lost a loved one to overdose or who have had an overdose reversed.


August 24, 2022

Apply to Join Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board

The Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board is seeking Board applicants interested in an opportunity to help shape the Town of Chapel Hill’s housing policies and who have experience, knowledge, or expertise in affordable housing. The Town is currently seeking an affordable housing advocate and a non-profit housing provider/professional to fill two vacant seats on the Board. They can be residents or non-residents of Chapel Hill.

Housing Advisory Board members are appointed by Town Council to serve three-year terms. The Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The average time commitment to serve on this board is about 2-4 hours per month. No previous board experience is required; new members will receive training and guidance to support their success.

Applications should be submitted by Tuesday, Sept. 6, to ensure consideration. Visit townofchapelhill.org/boards to submit an application.

If you have questions, email advisoryboards@townofchapelhill.org or call 919-968-2844.


Labor Day Holiday in Chapel Hill

Monday, Sept. 5, is a Town holiday. Some services will be affected, as follows:

Residential trash—will not be collected Sept. 5 (make-up day Wednesday, Sept. 7); yard trimming collection will not be affected.

Curbside recycling—will not be collected Sept. 5; recycling collection will be delayed by one day that week.

Commercial trash—will not be collected on Sept. 5; collections will be completed by the end of the week.

Orange County Landfill and Waste & Recycling Centers—closed.

Chapel Hill Public Library—closed.

Chapel Hill Transit—will not operate Sept. 5.

Housing—Office and Maintenance Division closed; for emergency maintenance services, call
919-968-2855.

Parks and Recreation

  • Parks, greenways, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and outdoor park amenities open.
  • D. Clark Outdoor Pool, Homestead Aquatic Center, Chapel Hill Community Center (pool closed), and Northside Gym open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 5.
  • Parks and Rec Administrative Office, Chapel Hill Community Center pool, Hargraves Community Center, and Teen Center closed Sept. 5; see org for more information.

August 17, 2022

203 Project Construction Begins

Construction is about to start on the 203 Project at 203 S. Greensboro St., currently the site of a Carrboro municipal parking lot across from Open Eye Cafe. The project to complete a new library and civic building will be underway for the next 19 months. 

Initially, only a portion of the project site will be closed for delivery of construction equipment and materials. The public will receive two weeks’ notice before the entire parking lot closure. You can find alternative parking locations at http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11225/Carrboro-Parking-Map.  

The $42 million development will be the future home of the Orange County Southern Branch Library. The facility will also provide a permanent home for the Orange County Skills Development Center; Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department; WCOM Radio; and performance/multipurpose uses. The 203 Project will provide opportunities for education, art and community connection.

It will be a nearly 50,000-square-foot public facility designed with energy efficiency and waste reduction features that will result in an LEED Gold equivalency. Green building features include stormwater control measures, daylighting, vegetative roofing and a state-of-the-art HVAC system. The project has received a Duke Energy building efficiency incentive. 

While the parking lot currently holds about 88 parking spaces, upon completion of the new facility, the parking deck will have a 171-parking-space capacity. This includes five electric vehicle charging spots. Another 25 parking spots will be installed with EV-ready infrastructure for future upgrades. Additionally, 70 bike parking spots are planned.

Ways to keep up to date with the project: 


2022 Tar Heel Express Service

Chapel Hill Transit provides Tar Heel Express service to Kenan Stadium for every UNC home football game. This season, service from run from two park-and-ride locations and a third from downtown Chapel Hill. Fans can board Tar Heel Express at:

Riding Tar Heel Express:

  • Buses drop off and pick up on South Road, in front of Carmichael Auditorium.
  • Buses depart every 10-15 minutes, or when full, and run continuously until game time.
  • Buses run for approximately 45 minutes after the game.
  • One-way tickets are $3; a round-trip ticket is $5. CASH ONLY.
  • No fee is charged to park at the park-and-ride lots listed above.
  • Masks are required aboard buses.
  • Fans are encouraged to arrive early and expect crowds.
  • Items that are prohibited at Kenan Stadium are also prohibited on Chapel Hill Transit.

Stay updated at chtransit.org and Tar Heel Express.

2022 Tar Heel football games:

  • UNC v. Florida A&M, Aug. 27, 8 p.m.
  • UNC v. Notre Dame, Sept. 24, TBA
  • UNC v. Virginia Tech, Oct. 1, TBA
  • UNC v. Pittsburgh, Oct. 29, TBA
  • UNC v. Georgia Tech, Nov. 19, TBA
  • UNC v. NC State, Nov. 25, TBA

 

Basketball Tournament, Back-to-School, Dribble for Victory

The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation is hosting or partnering with three community events this month. All three events offer residents and families a variety of opportunities to benefit from back-to-school promotions, to attend family fun events, as well as opportunities to support worthy causes through volunteering, monetary donations and partnering with local and national organizations on charitable initiatives.

  • Basketball Tournament | August 15-18

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation’s Summer Competitive League basketball tournament will take place August 15-18 at three local gymnasiums in Chapel Hill. During the tournament, you’ll enjoy pregame warm-up music and player introductions before tipoff and halftime promotions and contests to win prizes. Their partner, Dick’s Sporting Goods, is offering Chapel Hill families coupons for an exclusive back-to-school discount of 20% off throughout the entire store, Friday, August 19, through Monday, August 22.

  • Book Bag Giveaway and Family Fun Day | August 20

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, Summit Church, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, NOW Church, and The Community Church Chapel Hill Unitarian present the Community Book Bag Giveaway and Family Fun Day for grades K-12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Hargraves Community Center (216 Roberson St.). Each child will receive a book bag and a few school supplies while supplies last. Plus, they are offering free haircuts and braiding and a fun kickball game.

  • Dribble with the Tar Heels | August 28

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation is joining forces with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and UNC Health | Children’s Hospital to help support Dribble for Victory Over Cancer Sunday, Aug. 28, to help put an end to childhood cancer.

This is a peer-to-peer fundraising event where participants will dribble basketballs with the UNC men’s and women’s basketball teams while raising funds and awareness for lifesaving research. Also in attendance will be the UNC men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, dance team, cheerleaders, band and Rameses! This is a unique opportunity for you and your families to meet the teams and dribble around campus with the players, all while supporting a great cause.


Art Project to Inform and Delight on the Booker Creek Trail

Four of the Orange Water and Sewer Authority vertical pipes surrounded by woods along Booker Creek Trail will be painted with bird and plant life found on the trail that is native to the area. When complete, the pipes will both educate and harmonize with the environment.

The Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways fundraising effort is halfway to its goal of $2,000. They invite the community and others to consider helping make this project a success. Any additional funding will go towards continued greenway improvements via the ongoing Adopt-a-Trail project. The New Hope Audubon Society and The Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways are partnering to raise funds to make this artwork a reality. Donation Information can be found at https://friendsofchapelhillparks.org/impact/; select the project: Chapel Hill Adopt-a-Trail, add “Mural Project” in the leave-a-comment box.

The New Hope Audubon Society and The Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways have partnered on several projects over the years for enhancing the Lower Booker Creel Trail and Greenway in Chapel Hill. In 2019, New Hope Audubon Society was instrumental in contributing to a project for planting perennial beds to highlight native pollinators and bird-friendly plants where people could see the plants as they walked the trail. In addition to the plant beds, new signs at Lower Booker Creek Trail were installed, displaying graphics and information on the importance of native plants for birds and other wildlife.

The Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways has led an Adopt-a-Trail volunteer program over the past four years, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, they have removed 3 to 4 acres of invasive privet and replaced it with over 400 native trees and pollinators. For more information, visit friendsofchapelhilparks.org.


Help Solarize the Triangle in Chapel Hill

Thanks to a coordinated effort across the Triangle, it’s getting easier to add solar to your home or business. And, the more people who join the cause, the less it will cost for everyone.

Solarize the Triangle is a region-wide campaign designed to increase the number of rooftop solar installations on homes and businesses. Chapel Hill is one of 11 participating communities in this campaign. More solar energy in our region can help reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and increase resiliency for when the power goes out.

https://info.solarcrowdsource.com/solarize-chapel-hill


Project EngAGE to Host Dementia Care Planning Event

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE Mental Wellness Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a presentation, Dementia: Where to Start, on Sept. 9.
 
Join instructors Serena Wong, DO, and Nansi Greger-Holt, FNP, as they guide you through the process of evaluation, care planning and available supports for family members of those living with dementia. Not knowing where to start when dementia is suspected can be confusing, but this journey doesn’t have to be navigated alone. Learn how and where to receive the supports you need so that you can best support your loved one with strength and confidence. 

The free event will take place on Friday, Sept. 9, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Seymour Center, located at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill. Light refreshments will be served from 3:30 to 4 p.m. 

Register by Wednesday, Sept. 7, by contacting the Seymour Center at 919-968-2070.


Parks & Recreation Council Seeking Teen Perspective

The Parks & Recreation Council (PRC) announces the addition of a youth delegate. Candidates should be an Orange County resident between the ages of 13 and 17.

The PRC consults with the Dept. of Environment, Agriculture, Parks & Recreation, and advises the Board of County Commissioners on matters including park planning, public trails and open space, and recreation facilities and programs.  

The council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The Council comprises 12 members that are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. Council members serve a three-year term.

Apply here.


James Cates Memorial Planned at UNC

In the midst of an ongoing U.S. Dept. of Justice cold case investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 1970 murder of James L. Cates, Jr., UNC has now announced plans to permanently memorialize James Cates on its landscape.

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz released a statement about the James Cates Memorial, which will be installed by the Pit later this year. The UNC Board of Trustees approved the plan late last month, evidently in closed session. Mr. Cates was killed in an act of racial violence outside the Student Union while attending a dance in the Union. He was 22 at the time of his death.

Outside of the local black community, this tragic murder had largely been forgotten until recent years. Now 52 years later, in a six-month span, the U.S. Dept. of Justice has launched a cold case investigation, and UNC has announced it will install a permanent memorial in the center of campus.

The move by the university comes after years of advocacy by the family of Mr. Cates, his friends, their community, UNC students and multiple campus groups, and the James Cates Remembrance Coalition.

In June of last year, the family called on UNC to rename the Student Stores building for James Cates in an essay for The Assembly, and the James Cates Remembrance Coalition published a scholarly proposal to bolster the idea. (The building was originally named in 1968 for white supremacist Josephus Daniels and was stripped of that name in 2020.) The Cates Building proposal received endorsements (listed at the document’s end) from 17 groups or organizations and more than 175 individuals, including the Board of Orange County Commissioners, the Carrboro Town Council, most of the Chapel Hill Town Council, and the mayors of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough. The Student Stores building, also next to the Pit, has yet to be renamed.

As calls for Cates Building grew louder, the UNC Black Student Movement (BSM) and other campus groups were proposing a permanent campus memorial, which was also supported by the family. As the Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure controversy erupted last summer, the BSM announced a set of demands for the university. At the top of BSM’s list was a permanent monument for James Cates. The BSM, Carolina Black Caucus, and Black Graduate and Professional Student Association also released a consolidated list of priorities that included a permanent memorial for James Cates. Several of those issues were addressed in Hannah-Jones’s settlement with UNC that was announced last month.


2021 Visitor Spending in Orange County Tops $194 Million

Domestic and international visitors to and within Orange County spent $194.81 million in 2021, an increase of 51.7% from 2020. The data come from an annual study commissioned and released by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Tourism impact highlights for 2021 for Orange County:

  • Domestic and international visitors spending totaled $194.81, up from $128.4 million in 2020. Visitors spending represents a tax savings of $100.83 per county resident.
  • Travel and tourism industry directly employs 1,514.
  • Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Orange County was $53.4 million.
  • State tax revenue generated in Orange County totaled $8.3 million through state sales and excise taxes and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $6.9 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses. This total of $15.2 million is up from $11.6 million in state and local tax revenue generated in 2020.

These statistics come from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2021,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by Tourism Economics in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association. Tourism Economics measures visitor spending in lodging, food and beverage, recreation, retail and transportation as well as labor income and tax revenues.

Statewide, visitor spending was up 44.9% to $28.9 billion compared to 2020. Direct tourism employment increased 10.5% to 197,500.


Chapel Hill Transit Makes Change to S-Route Servicing Friday Center South

The Friday Center South Park and Ride will be serviced by the S route starting August 17.

The FCX route will service the Friday Center Park and Ride lot near Highway 54, while the S route will go directly to the Park and Ride South lot located past the Friday Center.

Additional trips will be serviced between 10:20 a.m. and 3 p.m. to ease overcrowding along the route.

An updated schedule is available online at: townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/transit/routes-schedules/all-routes-schedules/s-route. More information is available at chtransit.org and by following Chapel Hill Transit on Twitter.


Tuition Assistance for N.C. High School Graduates Enrolling in Community College

Students in North Carolina who graduated high school in 2022 are eligible to have tuition and fees covered at any of the state’s 58 community colleges through the Longleaf Commitment Grant. The grant provides between $700 and $2,800 to recent high school graduates to cover the cost of tuition and fees for up to two years at a North Carolina Community College. 2022 high school graduates in North Carolina are eligible for the grant money to use for current and subsequent semesters through fall 2024.

North Carolina was recently named “America’s Top State for Business in 2022” by CNBC, highlighting the importance of an educated and talented workforce, in addition to the vital role that the 58 North Carolina community colleges play in the state’s workforce development. The Longleaf Commitment Grant aims to provide students with a more affordable option and greater access to higher education, increasing the talent pipeline for growing industries in North Carolina – healthcare, energy, information technology, real estate and transportation, among others.

In May 2021, Governor Roy Cooper’s office launched the Longleaf Commitment Grant in partnership with the N.C. Community College System and the State Education Assistance Authority, demonstrating the state’s continued commitment to developing and training a strong, educated workforce. The grant is funded by Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds.

For full-time students to receive the Longleaf Commitment Grant and take full advantage of the opportunity, they must follow the below steps and meet the eligibility requirements:

  • Apply for admission to any North Carolina community college
  • Complete the 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submission process
    • Note – The FAFSA and enrollment information are used to determine eligibility. There is not an application specifically for the Longleaf Commitment Grant.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Be a North Carolina resident
  • Be a 2022 North Carolina high school graduate (High school equivalency completers [GED, HiSET] are eligible)
  • Be a first-time college student (Career & College Promise and Early/Middle College High School students are eligible)
  • Be enrolled in a curriculum program for the 2022-2023 academic year
  • Be taking at least 6 credit hours per semester (part-time eligible students will receive a partial award)
  • Be a student who has completed the 2022-2023 FAFSA (with a resulting Expected Family Contribution between $0 and $15,000)

 For additional information, visit www.yourhireeducation.com/tuitionfree.


August 8, 2022

Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill Recently Recertified as Living Wage Employers

The towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill were recently recertified as living wage employers by Orange County Living Wage (OCLW), and more than 330 workers will share a total annual wage increase of $500,000 as a result. Both towns first became certified as living wage employers in 2016. OCLW’s 2022 living wage for hourly workers is $15.85 an hour, or $14.35 for employers who pay at least half of employees’ health insurance costs.

When a business or organization certifies as a living wage employer, OCLW calculates the total amount they raised wages to meet the living wage threshold. Since 2015, businesses and organizations that have been certified have collectively raised wages by $2.7 million – money that is often spent in Orange County. 

Check out living wage jobs posted on the Town of Carrboro’s site and jobs posted on the Town of Chapel Hill’s site. (Chapelboro reported that Chapel Hill Transit and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are seeking bus drivers, and bonuses are being offered [https://chapelboro.com/news/news-transit/chapel-hill-transit-chccs-seeking-new-bus-drivers].) 

Plus, peruse employment opportunities at orangecountylivingwage.org/jobs – at The Morningside School, School of Rock Chapel Hill, Soltys Place, Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, and more. 


Carrboro ArtsCenter Has a New Home and a New Director

The Carrboro ArtsCenter will have a new home within walking distance of downtown shops, restaurants, the new Orange County library, and more, with plenty of parking.

Learn more about their new home and meet the new executive director, Jenny Shultz-Thomas, on August 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at 300-G E. Main St., in the Nicholson Gallery.

In other ArtsCenter news, ArtSchool classes for the fall are now online. The Fall ArtSchool catalog will be available in mid-August. See the ArtsCenter website for more information. If you are interested in teaching adult-level art classes at the ArtsCenter, contact ArtSchool Manager Anna Hewett at ahewett@artscenterlive.org.

Also, registration is open on their website for the afterschool program, and a 5-day option is now available. This program provides afterschool care for students in grades K-5, while also providing quality art instruction by local teaching artists. Students will participate in two-hour-long art classes each day, in which they will explore in-depth techniques in a variety of mediums. Some examples include creative drama, African drumming, printmaking and ceramics. These classes rotate every month.

Transportation is provided by Chapel Hill/Carrboro public elementary schools, or parents may drop their children off at the check-in desk. Pick-up is between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. There are 3-day (MWF) and 5-day options available. Registration and payment are done through the online course registration system accessible through their website. If a section is full, you can sign up for the waitlist. New openings will be created if there is enough demand. Contact the director of education, Heather Tatreau, with questions: htatreau@artscenterlive.org.


August 5, 2022

LWVODC 75th Anniversary Celebration

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties (LWVODC), Deborah Ann Turner, MD, JD, currently serving as the 20th president of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS), will be coming to Chapel Hill. Dr. Turner will be speaking at The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, 150 South Road, at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 15.

The public is invited to celebrate the League’s accomplishments of the past 75 years and re-energize their commitment to the mission of “Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy” at this critical time in our nation’s history. The League welcomes and encourages the public’s participation in its goals: to help inform voters across the three-county region about the candidates and issues on their ballots in a nonpartisan way; to inform voters on voting locations, options for casting ballots and ever-changing voting laws through its website VOTE411.org; and to encourage getting out to vote this fall.

This program is free and open to the public; free parking is available at the adjacent Bell Tower Parking Deck 5-9 p.m.;  registration is required:  Register Here or via the League’s online calendar: https://my.lwv.org/north-carolina/orange-durham-and-chatham-counties-inc/calendar.


August CHT Update

Current service levels: Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) is experiencing a bus operator shortage. While they were recently able to restore service on several routes, some schedules remain modified. Carolina Livery is assisting by operating the B, CCX, and JFX routes. Both online and hard-copy schedules were updated in August to accurately reflect routes, stops and times. The schedule can be found around town, on buses or at Routes and Schedules.

Real-time bus-locator technology: CHT is working to find the best solution for real-time bus locator technology. The Next Bus software that was previously in use requires new equipment. That equipment is expected to arrive in September; once it arrives, CHT will be able to provide an update on re-activation. Note—with Next Bus non-operational, information will not display on the TransLoc mobile app. CHT is also working on a new contract with GMV Syncromatics—a user-friendly tool that improves bus location and customer load information. CHT will share more information as it develops. For those customers waiting in bus shelters, CHT is upgrading the electronic signage showing routes and departure-time information. They will replace the 15 large display screens and add 50 additional small solar-powered signs to the 26 signs currently in use.

Tar Heel Express: CHT, along with partners at UNC Athletics and UNC Transportation and Parking, have finalized plans for Tar Heel Express service to UNC home football games. Fans can catch a roundtrip ride to Kenan Stadium for $5 from:

  • Friday Center Park and Ride lot—starting three hours before game time
  • Southern Village Park and Ride lot—starting 1.5 hours before game time
  • Downtown, near the Carolina Coffee Shop—starting three hours before game time

Safety measures: CHT asks that passengers wear a mask while on the bus and respect the operator’s guidance for distancing, including while loading and unloading. Physical barriers, HEPA filtration and cleaning procedures remain in place. Also, the Town of Chapel Hill is improving the experience for users of all modes of transportation. This includes changes to traffic patterns and sharing travel spaces. Please be aware of new traffic patterns, bicycles and pedestrians while waiting for, loading and unloading the bus. Finally, CHT emphasizes bus-operator safety. They ask that if customers witness behavior that puts the safety of passengers or their operators at risk, please call 911. Assault on a bus operator is a crime, and everyone has the right to work in a safe environment.

Safe ride routes: CHT operates the Safe Ride Program while UNC is in session, which provides safe, student-centered transportation during the late weekend hours. Safe Ride routes will resume Thursday, August 18. You can find the route schedules at Safe Ride.

Student-operator job opportunity: CHT announces a new opportunity for students as part-time bus operators. The position is adapted to fit a student’s availability and strengths, including the same training requirements but with a modified schedule. Pay starts at $16/hour. Find more information and apply at Student Transit Operator.

Where to find information:

  • Online at chtransit.org
  • Follow on Facebook and Twitter
  • Call CHT administration main desk at 919-969-4900, including for Lost and Found or EZ Rider program
  • Use Google Maps, and select for Transit mode
  • Call GoTriangle Regional Information Center at 919-485-7433
  • Email chtransit@townofchapelhill.org
  • Ask your operator; they are happy to help.

Animal Services Joins Clear the Shelters “Adopt and Donate” Campaign

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) has joined NBCUniversal Local’s 2022 Clear the Shelters™ pet adoption and donation campaign. This is the eighth consecutive year that NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations are partnering with affiliate stations and animal shelters and rescues to promote pet adoption and help raise funds to support animal welfare. Since its inception in 2015, Clear the Shelters has helped more than 700,000 pets find new homes.
 
This year’s Clear the Shelters will run for the entire month of August, and adoption fees will be reduced at OCAS during that time. For more information about available pets and reduced adoption fees during Clear the Shelters, visit www.orangecountync.gov/287/Available-Pets, or call 919-942-7387, option 3.

OCAS also encourages donations by asking that everyone check out the opportunities listed at www.orangecountync.gov/364/Donations. Donations always make a difference, but they are especially helpful during these challenging times. OCAS depends upon monetary and material donations to continue to care for the thousands of animals that come to the shelter each year.

For more information on Clear The Shelters, including participating shelters and rescues, along with details on local events and activities, visit ClearTheShelters.com and the Spanish-language website DesocuparlosAlbergues.com. Follow the effort on social media using #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues. For more information about OCAS, visit www.orangecountync.gov/animalservices.


Registration Open for Fall Basketball, Soccer, Flag Football

Orange County Recreation is now accepting registration for fall youth athletic leagues. Programs offered include:

Youth flag football—offers youth ages 5 to 11 the opportunity to learn football fundamentals in a fun and fast-paced but non-contact environment. Practices are one hour per week on a weekday evening (varies by team and division), and games are on Saturdays. More information at www.orangecountync.gov/529/Flag-Football. Register by Aug. 12.

Youth soccer—developmental league for boys and girls ages 4 to 14. Practices and games are one hour on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Soccer.com Center. More information at www.orangecountync.gov/546/Youth-Soccer-League—Fall. Register by Aug. 19.

Youth basketball—teen league for players ages 13 to 15. Teams will meet twice weekly on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. More information at www.orangecountync.gov/2934/Youth-Basketball-League—Fall-13-15-Div. Register by Aug. 12.

In-person registration is at the Bonnie B. Davis Environment and Agricultural Center, Suite 140, 1020 US 70 West, Hillsborough, during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.-4:30 p.m. For questions contact Orange County Recreation at 919-245-2660.
 
All youth recreation leagues rely on volunteer coaches to teach good sportsmanship and sport fundamentals, as well as organize practices, prepare for games and communicate effectively with players, parents and Recreation Division staff. If this sounds like you and you would like to give back and support youth sports in our community, contact Kevin Bradsher at kbradsher@orangecountync.gov or 919-246-2672. 


Town of Carrboro Receives National Award for Resident Satisfaction

The Town of Carrboro has been recognized with a national award for outstanding resident satisfaction. 

The Town received the “Leading the Way Award” from ETC Institute to recognize local governments for outstanding achievement in the delivery of services to residents. According to the institute, recipients of the award rank in the top 10 percent of all local governments nationwide in three performance areas: quality of services, customer service and satisfaction with value residents receive for local taxes. A maximum of 100 points are awarded in each area, and a minimum composite score of 210 is required to rank in the top 10 percent. The surveys for this year’s awards were conducted between December 2021 and May 2022, and more than 200 communities participated.

Carrboro’s composite score was 238, which was 62 points above the average composite score of 176 for all cities in the United States. In addition to ranking in the top 10% overall, the Town of Carrboro also rated in the top 10% of all cities that participated in the following areas: 

  • Accessibility of streets, sidewalks and buildings for people with disabilities 
  • Mowing and tree trimming along streets and public areas
  • Level of public involvement in local decision-making
  • Efforts to promote diversity in the community  

The statistically valid community survey, which was mailed to all households within Carrboro’s town limits in December 2021, asked residents about their level of satisfaction and priorities for a wide range of community services. The six-page survey was mailed to a random sample of 2,000 households. The goal to obtain completed surveys from at least 400 residents was surpassed when a total of 512 residents completed the survey. The survey is conducted every other year. 

Learn more about the results of the Community Survey at https://www.carrboronc.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2109 https://www.carrboronc.gov/1096/Citizen-Survey-Reports. More details about the Leading the Way Award are available at www.etcinstitute.com


Town of Carrboro Recent Appointments

The Town of Carrboro has established the chief race and equity officer as a fulltime position within the Town Manager’s Office and appointed Anita Jones-McNair to the position, Town Manager Richard J. White III has announced.  

In assuming the race and equity work as a fulltime role, Jones-McNair will step aside from her role as director of the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department. 

Town Manager White has appointed Charles Harrington (currently, recreation administrator) as interim Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources director. The appointments are effective on Monday, Aug. 8. 

Anita Jones-McNair, chief race and equity officer, has served as director of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources for the Town of Carrboro since January 2003. She was appointed the Town’s first race and equity officer in 2019 and has served in both roles since that time. She holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from Virginia Union University in Richmond and a master’s degree in recreation administration and supervision from Morgan State University in Baltimore. 

Jones-McNair has held progressive opportunities throughout her career in Dallas; Plano, Texas; and Carrboro. She also has worked as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas at Denton. 

She holds numerous certifications in diversity, equity and inclusion, including ones from the University of South Florida, the N.C. Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Learning Cohort and Foundations of Racial Equity Training Cohort. She is a certified parks and recreation professional through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). She also holds a certificate from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government’s Municipal and County Administration course. 

Additionally, she is currently a member of GARE and GARE Racial Equity CEO’s Working Group, a staff liaison for Mayors Organized for Reparations and Equity, and serves on the OneOrange Racial Equity Team. She also serves on numerous boards, including the National Recreation and Parks Ethnic Minority Society, the N.C. Black Recreation and Park Professionals Association, and the N.C. Recreation and Parks Association Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee.  
  
Learn more about the Town of Carrboro’s ongoing work in race and equity at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2535/Race-and-Equity.  

Charles Harrington, interim Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources director, has worked for the Town of Carrboro for more than 23 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science with a minor in recreation administration from UNC-Chapel Hill, a graduate certificate in public administration from the University of Virginia, and is a certified parks and recreation professional through the NRPA. 

Harrington began his career with the Town of Carrboro working part-time as a facility/activity supervisor while a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has served in positions of athletics specialist, recreation supervisor, and recreation administrator. During his time as recreation administrator, he has led the department’s programs division, which is responsible for implementing recreational programs and special events, including Freight Train Blues and the July 4th celebration.

The Town of Carrboro will launch searches this summer for other new and open leadership positions, including an assistant town manager, public works director and fire chief recruitment processes.

Additionally, the Town of Carrboro will soon be releasing job announcements for assistant to the town manager and race and equity manager positions. Currently, new positions of grants manager and communication and engagement specialist are being advertised. Learn more about position openings at www.carrboronc.gov/jobs

Learn more about the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department at https://www.carrboronc.gov/275/Recreation-Parks-Cultural-Resources


James Cates Scholars Community Showcase

The public is invited to a showcase of the work of the James Cates Scholars from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, in Meeting Room B at Chapel Hill Public Library. The James Cates Scholars are a cohort of young people who center, explore and share marginalized black history in Chapel Hill. They worked on local civil rights history projects at Chapel Hill Public Library this summer, including collecting oral histories and making podcast episodes. 


Family Fun Friday with Alina Celeste and Mi Amigo Hamlet

The Chapel Hill Public Library will host a Family Fun Friday event from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the front plaza, to celebrate the end of summer. It’s a party with music, food trucks and fun, and jamming out to a lively, bilingual, Latin duet from Alina Celeste and Mi Amigo Hamlet.

Maple View Farm ice cream and Mr. Mongolian food truck will be at the event. Final prizes for summer reading will be handed out. Lawn games, bubbles, chalk and other activities will be available. Please bring chairs and blankets to sit on.

August 3, 2022

“Racist Roots” Film Screening

The N.C. Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty will sponsor the premier showing of the film, “Racist Roots,” on Thursday, August 18, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at the Chelsea Theatre, 1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Suite AB, Chapel Hill. This date marks the actual anniversary of the last North Carolina execution 16 years ago.

This short film, created by the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, exposes the death penalty’s deep entanglement with slavery, lynching and racism. The film, and a panel discussion to follow, will highlight the diverse voices that are central to the movement to end North Carolina’s death penalty — and remind us why we must work together to ensure that state-sponsored executions are never again carried out in our name. There are currently 136 people sentenced to death in North Carolina.

Panelists include writer and researcher Seth Kotch, Ph.D, and Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate North Carolina. Both Kotch and Blagrove are featured in the film. The panel will be moderated by James Williams, retired chief public defender for Orange and Chatham counties. James also serves as the chair of the N.C. Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the criminal justice system and was recently recognized for his tireless racial equity work as this year’s winner of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Annie Brown Kennedy Award.

Co-sponsors include the Chapel Hill/Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Orange Co. Community Remembrance Coalition, along with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. This is a free event, but online registration is required and space is limited. An online livestream of the event will also be available. Per Chelsea Theater COVID policy, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the past 48 hours will be required and masks will be optional.


Votes of 55,000 North Carolinians Unlocked

Effective, July 27, any individual on probation, parole or post-release supervision is immediately eligible to register and vote. Forward Justice (https://forwardjustice.org/campaign/unlock-our-vote-campaign/) kicked off the Unlock Our Vote Freedom Summer Tour on July 27 in Raleigh, with events across the state beginning July 30.

Community organizers will be hosting voter information and registration drives across the state for those directly impacted by this historic voting rights expansion. They will be sending text messages, making phone calls and hitting the pavement out in the community working to get as many newly eligible voters registered as they can, and they need support. Sign up to volunteer at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMO6CTCvGq_reBzvrtui1G7JO_wLbdE8uen0OaWxjGQw2J5Q/viewform.

With key issues like poverty, criminal justice reform, healthcare, reproductive rights and voting rights on the ballot, now is the time for as many people as possible to use their vote to make their voice heard. See unlockourvotenc.org for information on how to register, important election dates and deadlines, and upcoming voter registration drives in your community.


August 1, 2022

Police Plan Enhanced Traffic-Safety Enforcement

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian safety enforcement operations as students return to both UNC and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) in August.

Scheduled pedestrian safety enforcement operations are in addition to normal patrols. The operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:

  • Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 23, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Scheduled pedestrian safety enforcement in CHCCS school zones will be in effect August 29 (first day of school), 30 and 31, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dates and/or times are subject to change.

Aside from school zones, efforts will focus on other areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors).

The CHPD is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in August – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads:

  • Tuesday, August 2, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 9, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 23, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 30, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

*Dates and/or times are subject to change.

The Town will utilize its variable message sign boards throughout Town to alert people driving of the events as well as encouraging them to limit distractions and watch out for people walking and people riding their bikes.


Congressman Price Accepting Applications for Interns

Congressman David E. Price, Fourth District of N.C., is now accepting applications for interns in his Washington, D.C. office for the Fall 2022 semester. This is an opportunity for undergraduate students interested in learning about government or the legislative process in our nation’s capital. The application deadline for the fall 2022 internship program is Monday, August 19. 

This program will allow undergraduate students to learn first-hand about the workings of the House of Representatives and constituent services. Interns will have the opportunity to experience the legislative process, develop research skills, interact with constituents and assist with administrative responsibilities.  

Interested individuals can find the internship program description, eligibility requirements and an application form at: https://priceforms.house.gov/constituent-services/internships.htm?utm_campaign=1055-418. Click here to download a PDF of the internship program description.  

For questions, contact Sarah Aldridge, operations manager and legislative aide, at NC04Intern@mail.house.gov or by calling 202-225-1784. 


July 30, 2022

Andrew Aydin In Conversation with Natalie Murdock

Andrew Aydin, National Book Award winner, recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors, and New York Times #1 Bestselling co-author of the “Run” and “March” series, is holding a conversation and book signing at Epilogue Books, 109 E. Franklin St., Suite 100, Chapel Hill, on Thursday, August 4, 2-4 p.m. The presentation is free.

Andrew, who worked with John Lewis to publish the series of graphic novels covering the late congressman’s story and the civil rights movement, will be holding a lively discussion about the books, the legacy of John Lewis and the lessons from our history, moderated by North Carolina State Senator Natalie Murdock.

 


 

BARS/Raise the Bar Training

Being a Responsible Server (BARS) class teaches restaurant and bar servers how to properly identify fake IDs and check for signs of intoxication. Training is offered the 2nd Monday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Courthouse, 179 E. Franklin St. The first 100 voluntary attendees can earn $30 by completing the class.

Raise the Bar teaches bar staff how to identify, prevent and intervene in instances of sexual harassment, violence or drug-facilitated sexual assault. The goal of this training is to make bars in Chapel Hill and Carrboro as safe as possible for all bar and restaurant patrons and employees. This course is recommended for anyone who works in a restaurant or retail establishment that sells or serves alcohol.


Twilight on the Terrace

Ackland Art Museum, 101 S. Columbia St., Chapel Hill, will host art-inspired crafts and local craft beer at this August’s Twilight on the Terrace on Friday, Aug. 12, from 5 to 9 p.m.

  • Enjoy craft beer and art-inspired crafts, then pick up a paintbrush and experiment with watercolor on the Ackland’s Terrace while enjoying a local beer and snacks from Craftboro Share and tag your photos with #acklandpARC for a chance to take home your own watercolor kit (while supplies last).
  • Join the Ackland and the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership for a meet-and-greet for artists and downtown businesses. Artists can learn how to connect with downtown businesses, including restaurants, cafes, bookstores, hotels and more, to showcase their work. Business leaders can find an artist to partner with their businesses for 2nd Fridays.
  • Galleries are open until 9 p.m., with free admission. On view will be Houseguests: American Art from the Art Bridges Collection Loan Partnership, with stunning works visiting the Ackland from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Orange County Public Library Now Open on Sundays

Effective Sunday, July 31, the main location of the Orange County Public Library in downtown Hillsborough will be open every Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
 
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved restoring Sunday hours when it approved the county’s budget in June.  
  
The Orange County Public Library has two locations, the main library, at 137 W. Margaret Lane in downtown Hillsborough, and the Cybrary, at 100 N. Greensboro St. in downtown Carrboro. For more information, visit https://www.orangecountync.gov/156/Library, call 919-245-2525, or email library@orangecountync.gov.


Commissioner Greene Receives National Honor

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ committee of county leaders on national opioid settlement funds won a 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Award.

Orange County Commissioner Sally Greene served on the 5-5-5 Committee, a specially appointed opioid settlement working group created to develop a statewide plan to effectively use funds coming to North Carolina from national opioid settlements. The 5-5-5 Committee consists of five county commissioners, five county managers, and five county attorneys from across the state and was recognized in the health category.


July 28, 2022

National Night Out in Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill invites you and your neighbors to join representatives of town government, including police, fire, housing and community departments, as well as churches and community organizations for free food, games, music and family fun on National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2.

National Night Out is a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and stronger community safety across the country. The effort culminates annually on the first Tuesday each August.

This year the Town is hosting block parties in four neighborhoods:

  • Hargraves Center, 216 N. Roberson St., 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Oakwood, 605 Oak Ave., 4m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • South Estes Drive (Ridgefield), S. Estes Drive at Fordham Boulevard, 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Bright Sun Place, Bright Sun Place & New Stateside Drive, 4 p.m. -6:30 p.m.

The Town also invites you to host an event in your own neighborhood to get out and get to know your immediate neighbors.

View and share the National Night Out flyer in five languages.


Chapel Hill Rolls Out New Art Bus and Bus Shelter Installations

Chapel Hill’s Art + Transit program unveils nine new bus shelter installations and a new art bus that celebrates LGBTQIA+ Pride. Led by Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Transit, Art + Transit aims to bring more vibrancy to the daily commute by annually commissioning area artists to create art for transit infrastructure, like bus stops and buses. In Chapel Hill and Carrboro, more than 30 bus shelters and three buses are now adorned with art that celebrate the people, the places and the environment of the area.

The new installations include:

“Can’t Stop Pride”

To celebrate Pride Month, the Art + Transit program staff worked with the Town of Chapel Hill’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group to commission a local artist to design a bus wrap that celebrates equality and increases visibility about Pride. Staff selected Durham artist Wutang McDougal’s concept for its inclusive design and nontraditional color palette.

One of the nine artistic bus shelters installed also celebrates Pride. It uses a color palette inspired by the Progressive Pride flag and an art concept based on intersectionality. Located at Carolina Apartments, Jane Cheek’s We Knew Intersectionality Was the Forward is whimsical and celebratory with overlapping colorful circles, blended colors, and gold outlines.

“Home is Where the Hill Is”

Some of the newly added artistic bus shelters include messages that celebrate community, like Mayanthi Jayawardena’s Home Is Where The Hill Is and Sara Roberts’ Blooms Over Chapel Hill, where historical photos of local buildings are incorporated into the design. Antonio Alanis’ Sun, located at South Columbia Street and Mason Farm Road, uses a bold Latin-American-inspired graphic to inspire happiness, warmth, and optimism.

Other new shelters encourage exploration, like Sally Gregoire’s Barning Around in North Carolina, while others invite imagination, like Jesse White’s Hidden Worlds. White’s piece, located at the intersection of Manning and Hibbard Drive, includes a short storybook narrative that hopes to pull transit users from their daily routine into an immersive experience.

“Growth of Life”

East Chapel Hill High School (ECHHS) students will now be greeted with art at their local bus stop, thanks to the ECHHS Art Appreciation Club. After learning of the Art + Transit program, students from the club collaborated to design Growth Of Life, depicting the resilience of a tree even in some of the most unforgiving environments.  

Other new shelters also honor the local environment: Unity Flight by Loren Pease illustrates large butterflies to represent today’s youth coming together to help the environment heal, and Carolina Flora by Taylor Bragg includes artistic renderings of natural flora in North Carolina’s ecosystem.

“Look Up and Beyond”

For more art, bus users are reminded to look up while riding. Last year, artistic vinyls from Luis Franco and Victoria Primicias were installed on the ceilings of several buses, and more will be added this fall.

As the Art + Transit program continues to grow, local artists can expect to see calls opening this fall and winter for future installations.


Accidental Alarm Program

To improve public safety and wisely manage Town safety resources, the Accidental Alarm Program and its associated ordinance set civil penalties for excessive accidental alarms (four or more within a permit year) and failure to obtain permits. Registering your alarms is free.

An accidental alarm is any signal that solicits a response from Police or Fire departments to which the responding units find no evidence of fire or products of combustion or medical emergency or no evidence of unauthorized intrusion, robbery or other such crime in or on premises. Malfunctioning equipment, human error or environmental concerns can cause accidental alarm activations.

When the program was implemented, public safety leaders looked at how limited resources were being used. Many hours were being spent investigating alarm reports that turned out to be accidental.

Accidental alarms that occur at locations that have failed to register will result in a $100 fine.

Accidental alarm activations within a 365-day period will result in the following fines:

Alarms 4 & 5—$100 each
Alarms 6 & 7—$200 each
Alarms 8 & 9—$300 each
Alarms 10+—$500 each

If you have additional questions or comments, e-mail records-police@townofchapelhill.org or call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760.

If you have questions about the registration process or appeals, call 1-855-725-7107 to reach Cry Wolf, the third-party vendor that handles this process.


July 23, 2022

Orange County Names Sapienza as Library Director

Erin Sapienza has been named Orange County Library director, having served as interim director since last October. She started with Orange County Public Library in June 2013. In October 2015 she was promoted to community services librarian and in March 2020 was named assistant library director.

Sapienza has more than nine years of library experience with Orange County and began her career there as a branch manager. She managed the budget, hired and supervised staff and worked with local community leaders to develop programming in both branches.

While serving as assistant library director, she organized a strategic planning team that engaged with community partners and residents to solicit feedback on how the library could improve services. This effort led to a recommendation to eliminate fines for overdue materials, which the Board of County Commissioners approved in November 2021.

After earning her master’s of library science in 2010 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Sapienza worked as a librarian for Durham Tech, the Living Arts Institute in Winston-Salem and Alamance County before coming to Orange County.


Town of Carrboro Seeking Applicants for Poet Laureate Position

The Arts Committee of the Town of Carrboro is seeking applications for the position of poet laureate of Carrboro, for a two-year term that will begin January 1, 2023, and expire December 31, 2024. 

Established in 2002, the central duty of the poet laureate is to engage in activities that enhance the presence of poetry in the social and civic life of Carrboro. These activities include, but are not limited to, working with the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Dept. staff for the planning of and participation in the West End Poetry Festival (held annually in October), Carrboro Day, outreach to local schools and weekly readings at Carrboro Town Council meetings (view past weekly readings at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2593/Poetry-Readings-During-Town-Council-Meet). The poet laureate will work in conjunction with the Carrboro Poets Council (a subcommittee of the Arts Committee). Residency in Carrboro is preferable, but not required. The poet laureate receives an annual honorarium in the amount of $2,500.  

Carrboro Poet Laureate Fred Joiner will continue to serve in the role through Dec. 31, 2022.


Suspect Sought in Shooting

The Carrboro Police Department responded to a shooting near the intersection of Jones Ferry Road and Davie Road on Monday, July 18, at 6:53 pm. 

Investigation revealed that two people were engaged in an argument that escalated when shots were fired from one vehicle into another vehicle. The suspect vehicle then left the scene. No injuries were reported. 

It is not believed that there is an ongoing threat to the community. No additional information is being released at this time, as the investigation is open and active.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Investigator Armstrong at 919-918-7417 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.


NAACP Political Action Committee Needs Help

Midterm elections are coming up fast, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People needs help with critically important voter education and registration efforts. The current committee chair is staying on through the midterms before stepping down but needs more support. Committee meeting attendance has waned, and branch members need to get active. If you think you’d like to get involved with the political action committee or get-out-the-vote efforts, fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYzFwnivistGmeCQzdbaMFexYlx-Um00fPTpwGToq6j1cLuA/viewform.


Town of Chapel Hill Seeking Community Feedback

The Town of Chapel Hill has partnered with FlashVote to capture community feedback. Questions will cover a variety of topics with the goal of helping serve the community better.

Each survey the Town conducts through FlashVote will take a minute or less to complete, and they don’t anticipate sending more than one survey per month. You can select how you’d like to receive notification of the survey—by email, text message, or voice. FlashVote makes sure your responses are anonymous and shares the final results of the survey with you within 48 hours of the survey being published.

FlashVote has many safeguards in place to protect your information when you sign up. FlashVote will not share your personal information with anyone.

You can sign up at flashvote.com/chapelhillgov. For questions or help signing up, email info@townofchapelhill.org.


Resurfacing Project Underway in Carrboro and Chapel Hill

N.C. Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) resurfacing project for E. Main Street and a portion of Rosemary Street in Carrboro and W. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is underway to improve the road condition and safety through the corridor. 

Coming soon, portions of the road will have a new traffic pattern, where two lanes become one lane with new bike lanes and turn lanes for vehicles. Initially, the contractor is painting temporary markings as they pave the corridor. Permanent markings will be done after the paving is complete. NCDOT has changed the message boards to advertise “New Traffic Pattern” since the two-lane sections will be narrowing to one lane as work progresses.  

The Carrboro portion of the project on E. Main Street extends from Jones Ferry Road to the Carrboro-Chapel Hill town limits at Merritt Mill Road and Rosemary Street. Project contractor Carolina Sunrock has begun the paving starting at the project’s western Carrboro end (Jones Ferry intersection). They will pave the outside (right lane) eastbound lane from one end of the project to the other (Columbia Street), then turn around and pave the westbound outside lane back to the Carrboro end. The Rosemary Street portion of the project within Carrboro has been completed. The remaining work will take a few weeks. 

To limit disturbance on local businesses and traffic, work is underway at night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday. No work will occur after 6 a.m. Friday or any time on Saturday.  

Traffic and signal patterns will change in some areas. Sidewalks should remain open.

The NCDOT contact is John Howell, at 336-570-6830.

The restriping plan includes:

  • Bicycle lanes.
  • Bicycle boxes, which create a clear space for people riding bicycles to make a left turn and to wait out in front of vehicles during a red signal before turning.
  • Intersection bike markings, which create a clear demarcation of the conflict areas between people on bicycles and vehicles within intersections.
  • Center turn lanes, which will provide storage for vehicles turning left at signals or into driveways to reduce the risk of crashes, improve traffic flow and improve access for left-turning vehicles.

Learn more at  http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2368/East-Main-Street-Restriping.


Orange County Rejoins RTRP

The County Commissioners of Orange County have agreed to once again become a member of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP), growing the organization to 13 member counties and the Research Triangle Foundation. The RTRP will work closely with Orange County’s economic development team to grow the county’s brand and attract new investments.

As the primary organization focused on marketing the Research Triangle region of North Carolina nationally and internationally, expanding its geographic footprint to include Orange County helps the RTRP attract more diverse and unique companies with a wide range of relocation or expansion needs.

The 13-county region comprises the Research Triangle and three Tier 1 research universities—Duke University, North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.


Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Releases Fall RECREATE Guide

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation has released the fall RECREATE Guide, a favorite publication among residents. Patrons may download their own copy of RECREATE, as well as browse all recreation programs and register online. Registration for fall recreation activities begins Tuesday, August 2, for residents and Thursday, August 4, for non-residents. Printed copies of the guide may be picked up after July 25 at any of their recreation centers and the Chapel Hill Public Library.  

Featured activities this fall include a mix of outdoor events like the Campfire and a Movie series and Skate Night Spooktacular, a number of new teen programs and a Teen Paint Ball Trip, as well as youth and adult athletic leagues for all ages, abilities and skill levels. 

Also, the Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways has a new website and brand that’s just been rolled out. You can consider how you may get involved at www.friendsofchapelhillparks.org. The Friends are a voice for the value of parks and recreation in the community. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life for all who work, live and play in Chapel Hill.

There continue to be a number of new job openings with parks and recreation, such as lifeguards, adventure specialists, recreation center aide, adapted recreation specialist and aquatic instructors. You can apply online at www.townofchapelhill.org/jobs.

For more information about Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation see www.chapelhillparks.org.


OWASA Board Votes to Eliminate Account Delinquency Fee

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) Board of Directors voted unanimously on July 14, 2022, to eliminate the account delinquency fee that has historically been charged to customers to reconnect their water service after it was disconnected due to non-payment. The change in OWASA policy is effective immediately.

The account delinquency fee was $45 and charged as a way to recover some of the costs for OWASA to disconnect and reconnect customers who had two consecutive unpaid bills. The removal of this fee furthers OWASA’s priority on service equity of essential services for all customers. 

All Board members present at the meeting were supportive of the proposal. 

Between July 2016 and June 2019, OWASA collected an annual average of $33,615 through this fee. It’s anticipated this amount can be covered through the annual budgeting process without a direct need for a rate increase for all customers. 

More information on the change can be found here.

For more information, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, 919-537-4236 or bhodge@owasa.org.


N.C. Agriculture Cost-share Funds Available Soon

The Orange Soil and Water Conservation District receives cost-share allocation from the state each year for non-point source pollution control from agriculture activities. These funds assist farmers in implementing best management practices (BMPs) to decrease the amount of sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, animal waste, chemicals and other pollutants entering surface and ground waters.
 
Landowners and operators may apply for technical and cost-share assistance to install BMPs such as animal waste storage facilities, mortality management systems, wells and watering troughs in conjunction with livestock exclusion fencing from streams, heavy use areas, animal trails and stream crossings, closure of waste impoundments, cropland conversions, sod-based rotations, grassed waterways, field borders and diversions.
 
For a complete list of BMPs available and other cost-share programs to improve water
quality and enhance agriculture operations, go to Orange County Soil and Water Conservation’s website at www.orangecountync.gov/soilwater (see Financial Assistance).
 
An initial sign up will be held through Aug. 19 for landowners and operators requesting technical and cost-share assistance on practices. Technical assistance will be provided throughout the year and cost-share assistance for as long as funding is available.
 
To apply for cost-share assistance and other agricultural funding programs, contact Kenny Ray, Todd Roberts or Jessica Perrin at 919-245-2750.


July 14, 2022

Carrboro Seeks Volunteers to Remove Invasive Plants

Carrboro is seeking volunteers for the Town’s invasive-plant removal event to take place from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, July 24, at Wilson Park, 101 Williams St. 

The goal is to fight invasive plants, save trees and native-plant communities and restore habitat. The spread of non-native and invasive plants is a threat to native plants and wildlife. The removal of these species will improve forest resilience and biodiversity and encourage the success of native species, as outlined in the Town’s Community Climate Action Plan.

The work will involve moderate exertion, including cutting, pulling vines/roots. Please wear long sleeves, long pants, and close-toed shoes. Bring water and apply sunscreen/insect repellant as needed. Water, tools, gloves and protective eye gear will be provided, but please bring your own if possible.

Contact Town of Carrboro Sustainability Coordinator Laura Janway to sign up as a volunteer, by phone (919-918-7324) or email (ljanway@carrboronc.gov).


Call for applicants — Orange County Volunteer Boards and Commissions:

One way residents can have a positive impact on the future of Orange County is to serve on a volunteer board or commission, and right now there are several opportunities for such service.
 
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is currently recruiting applicants for the following boards and commissions:

Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee (five at-large vacancies) – Works to maintain the intent of the Adult Care Home Residents’ Bill of Rights for those residing in licensed adult-care homes and promote community involvement and cooperation with these homes to ensure quality care for the elderly and disabled adults. Has an initial training period before recommendation for appointment by the BOCC. Typically meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 4:00 p.m.
 
Advisory Board on Aging (one at-large vacancy) – Suggests policy and makes recommendations to the BOCC and the Dept. on Aging while acting as the liaison between the older residents of the County and the County government; promotes needed services, programs and funding that impact older persons. Meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 1:00 p.m.

Affordable Housing Advisory Board (five at-large vacancies) – Prioritizes affordable housing needs and assesses project proposals; publicizes the County’s housing objectives; monitors the progress of local housing programs; explores new funding opportunities; and works to increase the community’s awareness of, understanding of, commitment to and involvement in producing attractive affordable housing. Typically meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

Agricultural Preservation Board (one vacancy for a representative of the Cedar Grove Voluntary Agricultural District, one vacancy for the New Hope/Hillsborough Voluntary Agricultural District, and one at-large vacancy) – Promotes the economic and cultural importance of agriculture in the County and encourages voluntary preservation and protection of farmland for future production. Typically meets on the third Wednesday of every other month at 7:30 p.m.

Animal Services Advisory Board (one vacancy for an individual who resides within the town limits of Chapel Hill; one vacancy for an individual who resides within the town limits of Carrboro; one vacancy for an individual representing a for-profit business, located in Orange County, focused on companion or recreational animal welfare [e.g., pet-supply stores, kennels, grooming salons, dog-walking businesses]; one vacancy for a County resident whose experience demonstrates a commitment to education around animal issues, legislative advocacy and/or animal welfare [e.g., rescue work, support for residents with animals, efforts to work with free-roaming cats, volunteering at animal shelters]; and one at-large vacancy) –  Advises the BOCC on matters of concern regarding animal issues and animal services in Orange County; works with the animal services director to ensure quality animal services and maintains contact with the stakeholder groups from which its members are appointed; provides a venue in which stakeholder concerns about animals, animal policies and issues, and animal services programming may be voiced, considered and referred as appropriate. Typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

Animal Services Hearing Panel Pool (one vacancy for a resident who resides within the unincorporated area of the County and one vacancy for a resident who resides within the Town of Chapel Hill) – Hears appeals concerning violations of the Orange County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 4 (“Animal Control Ordinance”), as provided in the Orange County Code of Ordinances, Section 4-53 Appeals, and potentially dangerous-dog appeals as prescribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. §67-4.1(c); conducts fair and impartial hearings for these appeals. Will receive training in both law and proper procedure before participating in a hearing. Convene on an as-needed basis for hearings.

Board of Equalization and Review (five alternate vacancies) – Hears appeals from residents concerning various property-tax issues, including valuation and exemption appeals; ensures that all taxable property is appraised and assessed according to the standards required by the N.C. General Statutes. Meets up to three days per week, for approximately three to four hours per meeting, for up to three consecutive months (typically April-June); additional meetings as needed during the year.  Members compensated for all meetings attended. Orange County residents with knowledge of real estate are specifically encouraged to apply; however, others will also be given consideration.

Commission for the Environment (one at-large vacancy, one vacancy for an applicant with expertise in air quality, and one vacancy for an applicant with expertise in engineering) – Advises the BOCC commissioners on matters affecting the environment, with particular emphasis on protection; educates public and local officials on environmental issues; performs special studies and projects; recommends environmental initiatives; studies changes in environmental science and local and federal regulations. Typically meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Historic Preservation Commission (two at-large vacancies) – Charged with undertaking an inventory of properties of historical, prehistorical, architectural and/or cultural significance; recommends areas to be designated or removed as “historic districts”; reviews and acts upon proposals for alterations, demolition, new construction, etc. Typically meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Human Relations Commission (three at-large vacancies and one vacancy for a person residing in the Town of Chapel Hill) Advises the BOCC on solutions to problems in the field of human relationships; makes recommendations designed to promote goodwill and harmony among groups in the County, irrespective of their race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, affectional preference, disability, age, marital status or status with regard to public assistance. Typically meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee (five at-large vacancies) – Helps maintain the intent of the Residents’ Bill of Rights, promotes community involvement and provides public education on long-term-care issues. Has an initial training period before recommendation for appointment by the Orange County BOCC. Typically meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
 
Orange County Board of Adjustment (one at-large vacancy) Hears and decides all appeals from and reviews any decisions made by the zoning officer, as well as matters required to pass by the zoning ordinance; hears and makes decisions upon applications for special uses that require the BOCC’s approval.  Typically meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
 
Orange County Housing Authority Board (two at-large vacancies) – Provides decent, safe and sanitary housing for low- and moderate-income families in Orange County. Applicants with experience and/or interest in real estate, development, affordable housing, municipal law or banking, as well as Housing Choice Voucher program participants, are encouraged to apply. Typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
 
Orange County Parks and Recreation Council (one vacancy for a resident who resides within the Chapel Hill Township) – Consults with and advises the departments of Environment, Agriculture, and Parks and Recreation, and the BOCC on matters affecting parks planning, development and operation; recreation facilities, policies and programs; and public trails and open space. Typically meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

Orange Unified Transportation Board (one vacancy for a resident of Little River Township, one vacancy for a resident of Cedar Grove Township, and one at-large vacancy) Advises the BOCC and provides information and comments on major transportation issues; provides the BOCC with recommendations regarding the overall planning and programming of transportation improvements in the County, including identification and prioritization of the County’s roadway and transit needs, along with associated costs and specific sources of funding; provides recommendations to the BOCC regarding federal and state legislation affecting transportation in Orange County; and explores and suggests recommendations on innovative techniques and methods to improve the efficiency and capacity of existing and future transportation systems. Typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

If interested in any of these positions, apply at www.orangecountync.gov/Apply.

Orange County strives for authentically diverse representation on volunteer boards and commissions. Residents of all demographic backgrounds, identities and perspectives are encouraged to apply. Applicants must reside in Orange County. Volunteers appointed by the BOCC have the opportunity to directly influence the County’s decisions, policies and priorities.

For additional information, contact Tara May at 919-245-2125 or tmay@orangecountync.gov.


July 11, 2022

Tips from Carrboro Stormwater: Disconnecting Roof Downspouts

Downspouts from your gutters may be directed to driveways or channeled through buried pipes to streets, swales, curb inlets or streams. Downspouts contribute to the heavy inflow of rainwater into the stormwater sewer system and, eventually, to nearby streams. 

By disconnecting your downspout and redirecting the runoff onto grass or into a landscaped area or your yard, you can interrupt that flow. It is a simple, effective way to reduce stormwater runoff volume -and water pollution. According to research from N.C. State University, you can reduce the runoff volume from your roof anywhere from 50 to 90%. 

For information on properly disconnecting your roof downspouts visit the Carrboro’s Homeowner’s Watershed and Stormwater Handbook or request a site visit from Stormwater staff for technical advice via the Stormwater Service Request Form or by email (Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov) or call the hotline at 919-913-2999. 


July 9, 2022 

Registration for Preschool Academy, After School Program Opens July 15

Preschool Academy offers in-person, classroom curriculum-based learning, using age-appropriate activities to students ages 3-5 years old in numbers, letters, colors, rhythm and science. Based on the weekly theme, students will partake in a wide variety of activities each day. The program includes academic enrichment and socialization opportunities. A snack is provided.

See https://www.orangecountync.gov/2764/Preschool-Academy to learn more.

Orange County Recreation Division also offers an after-school program that provides enrichment learning, including physical activity and fitness, homework assistance, STEAM-based activities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, music and much more. Transportation is provided from Central, Pathways, and River Park elementary schools.

Priority registration is given to returning students. For August/September enrollment, open spaces will be filled first-come, first-served, beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 15.

See https://www.orangecountync.gov/2165/After-School for more information.


Orange County Receives Fourth Positive Rabies Test of 2022

Orange County Animal Services has received its fourth positive rabies test result of the year, according to the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health. This incident involved a skunk and occurred in Hillsborough. For more information about rabies in Orange County and other areas in North Carolina, see The N.C. Dept. of Health & Human Services.
 
This case originated on Wednesday, June 29, when a Hillsborough resident discovered a skunk in an area with her livestock. Animal Control was contacted, and they removed the skunk for rabies testing.
 
The resident’s dog and livestock had exposure to the skunk. A veterinarian from the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services will evaluate the livestock. When there is “a reasonable suspicion of exposure,” a dog, cat, or ferret with a valid vaccination history must receive a booster shot within 96 hours (four days). By contrast, an unvaccinated cat or dog must either be euthanized or quarantined for a period up to four months (or six months for a ferret).
 
Please make sure your pets are current on their rabies vaccinations. It is important for the health of your family and your pets. Rabies is a fatal viral infection. Your veterinarian is the best source of information on vaccinations for your pet.
 
In North Carolina and other areas, rabies is commonly found in raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs and beavers. A host species of rabies in our own region and others is the bat. Of the few cases of rabies in humans in our country in recent years, most have been traced to bats. If there is any possibility of exposure from a bat, it is critical that citizens immediately contact their animal control program. If an incident involving a bat – or other rabies vector, such as a raccoon or skunk – should occur outside regular hours of service, an Animal Control officer can be reached right away through emergency communications (9-1-1).
 
For more information, see the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention. You can also visit http://www.orangecountync.gov/307/Rabies


Fire Damages Carrboro Townhomes

On Thursday, July 7, at 5 p.m., members of the Carrboro Fire Rescue Department responded to 101 Rock Haven Road for a reported structure fire. 

Responding crews arrived in just over five minutes and found a six-unit townhome complex with smoke visible from one unit. Fire crews immediately initiated a fire attack in the affected unit and assisted occupants from an adjacent unit. The fire was brought under control in approximately 15 minutes. Fire damage was contained to the second floor and attic of one unit. There was minor smoke and water damage to an adjacent unit. Initial damage estimates are approximately $50,000. Two residents were displaced, and the American Red Cross is assisting with temporary housing and other needs of the displaced residents.

There was one minor injury to a resident, and the injured person was transported to the hospital by Orange County Emergency Medical Services. One unit in the complex was deemed uninhabitable.

The cause of the fire was determined to be improper disposal of smoking materials. 

Carrboro Fire Rescue received assistance from the Chapel Hill Fire Department, Orange County Emergency Medical Services and the Carrboro Police Department. Additional Carrboro Fire Rescue personnel provided coverage to the Town of Carrboro for the duration of the fire.


Residential Parking Permits

The Town of Chapel Hill manages a residential parking permit program in neighborhoods that see high levels of transient parking, especially those around the University of North Carolina, to ensure that residents have safe and accessible neighborhoods. The program allows qualifying residents who live within the parking zone to obtain a permit to park during the posted time limits. For a list of zones, see Residential Parking Zones FY 22-23.

Apply online for permits at https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/fd013270452a4d9da1f47d67f866c921. All permits will be processed as they are received. The timestamp on the online application is your “place in line” for your address. Guest permits are $25 unless otherwise stated.

You will be notified of the decision for your application once your documents are reviewed. During the processing period, your pending application will serve as a temporary permit. For administrative reasons, you may receive a bill for your permits at a later date via U.S. Mail.  Please ensure your address and billing information are accurate.

If you are unable to apply online or have questions, please email parking@townofchapelhill.org.

Residential parking permits will be fully digitized for the 2022-23 permit year, when your license plate information will be used to validate your parking.

Click here to apply for permits for the remainder of 2022 permit year.


Movies Under the Stars

The Forest Theatre will present five nights of family-friendly films Thursdays from July 21 through August 18. The show will start at sundown. Movies to be shown are:

  • July 21: Soul
  • July 28: Encanto
  • August 4: Annie (2014)
  • August 11: Inside Out
  • August 18: High School Musical

These screenings are made possible thanks to Community Arts & Culture, UNC’s Arts Everywhere and Chapel Hill Public Library.


Local Artists Sought

Community Arts & Culture is accepting applications for several local-artist calls:

  • Festifall custom poster design – Graphic designer; $500 award
  • Festifall art vendor – Artisans and makers; $25 application fee
  • Booker Creek pipe murals – Muralist; $4,700 stipend
  • Banned Books Week art – Artists of all kinds; $100 award

Go to https://www.chapelhillarts.org/applications/ to learn more and apply.


July 7, 2022

New OCLW Certifications, OCLW Turns Seven

The following local employers have joined the roster of Orange County Living Wage, voluntarily paying their full- and part-time employees a living wage of $15.85/hour: 

  • Belltree Cocktail Club
  • Carrboro Farmers’ Market
  • Clarion Associates
  • Efland Trash Service
  • Humane Homes NC
  • My Muses Card Shop
  • SECU Family House
  • The Morningside School
  • Yep Roc Records

In addition to these new certifications, many employers have recertified, including the Town of Chapel Hill and Durham Technical Community College (Hillsborough Campus), which means they’ve committed to paying a living wage for at least four years. For a directory of all Orange County Living Wage (OCLW) employers, see https://orangecountylivingwage.org/directory/.

Seven years ago, on July 1, 2015, OCLW certified their first living wage employer, Marcoplos Construction. Since then, they have certified 314 more employers. They are one of only four living wage certifying organizations in North Carolina (with the others being Durham Living Wage Project, Asset Building Coalition in Forsyth County, and Just Economics  in the western part of the state.)

The last time the federal minimum wage increased was in 2009, when it went from $6.55 per hour to $7.25. Orange County Living Wage has calculated that the living wage in Orange County in 2022 is $15.85 per hour, or $14.35 per hour if the employer pays at least half the cost of health insurance.


Special Olympics Orange County Athletes Participate in the USA Games in Orlando, Florida

Special Olympics Orange County (SOOC) was represented by two track and field athletes and the UNC Unified Basketball team for Team Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) delegation who traveled to Orlando, Florida, to compete at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games hosted June 5-12.

The Team SONC delegation returned home on Sunday, June 12, with 26 gold medals, 28 silver medals, 23 bronze medals, 12 fourth-place ribbons, eight fifth-place ribbons, two sixth-place ribbons, five seventh-place ribbons, two eighth-place ribbons, and one participation ribbon. 

Of the medalists, the UNC Unified basketball team, comprising UNC students and local SOOC athletes, went undefeated during the USA Games, winning the gold against Team Florida in the finals.

Unified basketball team members included SOOC athletes Kwame Alston, Clyde Gattis, Man Jackson and Kevin Thomas, and UNC Unified Partners included Katie Baich, Max Conolly, David Klein, Jonah Koenig and Brenna Mehl. Athlete Walter Hampton was not able to attend the games, but he was awarded his gold medal by his UNC teammates when they returned. Coaches included Jonathan Wilson (head coach), Pat Barnes and Kent Thomas.

Other SOOC athletes who participated included Hunter Stanford (gold medal in the 400-meter dash, 4th in 100-meter dash, 5th in 200-meter dash) and Preston Uhlenberg (participation ribbon in 100-meter dash, 7th in 200-meter dash, 4th in 4×100-meter relay dash). ESPN highlighted Preston during the opening ceremonies.

At SOOC, more than 275 athletes train year-round in 12 different sports and compete in local and state-level events. Special Olympics Orange County partners with the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Dept., which employs a full-time Special Olympics coordinator and provides facilities and equipment to support Special Olympics programming.

For more info about SOOC and the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department, see townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/parks-and-recreation/recreation/special-olympics.

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games united more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean during one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The Games offered 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports. For more than 50 years, Special Olympics has been empowering athletes and encouraging a more inclusive world for those with intellectual disabilities and beyond.


Tomato Day is Coming to Carrboro

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market (CFM) celebrates all things tomato with Tomato Day on Saturday, July 9. Shoppers can enjoy freshly-sliced tomato samples, live music, recipes, a raffle with prizes from Carrboro businesses and more.

From old favorites like Sun Gold, Cherokee Purple, Brandywine and Big Beef to lesser-known varieties like Black Krim, Chef’s Choice, Mountain Magic, Super Sweet 100, and Tomimaru Mucho, CFM farmers grow over 70 different types of tomatoes. A brochure with all the tomato varieties at CFM as well as which farms grow them is available.

Starting at 8:30 a.m. on Tomato Day, shoppers can try different varieties of freshly-sliced tomatoes in the Market gazebo with a tomato “flight.” There will be additional samples of dishes as you walk around the market, as well as tomato recipes to inspire your summer cooking. Tomato farmers Alex and Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farm will be there to answer all your tomato questions. Shoppers can also enjoy live music by C. Albert Blomquist.

Visit the Information Tent for limited-edition Tomato Day t-shirts and to enter a giant raffle with over 20 prizes and gift certificates from local Carrboro businesses and restaurants.


Volunteers Needed at Food Drive

The Town of Chapel Hill needs volunteers to help with food bank distributions every Wednesday. If you’re able to volunteer a few hours (up to four), sign up at https://bit.ly/3nHmQhi. The food bank distribution takes place at the Eubanks Park and Ride lot (https://goo.gl/maps/dFvYaVmVfoUR2Dwm6).

Community members in need of food assistance can view the weekly food-distribution schedule at https://bit.ly/3ONc84B


Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Announces 75th Anniversary Events

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announces a series of events in October to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the branch’s founding.

The events include a community read-in (Oct. 8), walk/bike event (Oct. 15), founding day gathering (Oct. 23) and a celebratory 75th Diamond Anniversary Gala at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Sheraton Chapel Hill.

The gala – an occasion to celebrate the branch’s achievements, honor living past presidents and keep an eye toward the future of justice and equality – will be hosted by University of North Carolina basketball legend Phil Ford and feature entertainment by Liquid Pleasure, a Chapel Hill-based band that has been bringing audiences to their feet for more than 40 years.

On the branch’s anniversary website, www.naacp75.com, community members can learn more about the events, purchase gala tickets and explore sponsorship and advertising opportunities that directly support the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP’s mission of ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality rights of all people and eliminate race-based discrimination.

Through organized and accountable advocacy, the branch works to empower communities of color and other marginalized groups to transform Chapel Hill and Carrboro into racially just and equitable communities.

As of this date, major sponsors already include Carol Woods, UNC Health and Grubb Properties.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP first convened on Oct. 23, 1947, at what is now the Hargraves Center. Among the first officers elected by members was A.D. Clark, president and eventual namesake of the swimming pool at Hargraves; as well as a future town council member, Hubert Robinson; a beloved teacher, Ruth Pope; and a future small business owner, Lucy Edwards.

The early meetings of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP 75 years ago took place at a rotation of meaningful locations: the Community Center (now Hargraves), Saint Joseph CME Church, First Baptist Church (then Rock Hill Baptist) and Second Baptist Church.

Nineteen forty-seven was a time of tension and change in America, especially in the South. Chapel Hill was no different. Black American soldiers were coming back from fighting a war against oppression and genocide in Europe, where they personally experienced better treatment than they were used to, only to return to familiar racial tyranny here at home.

There have been advances and setbacks over the decades, and the branch will use its 75th anniversary events to both honor the work of the past and also focus on the opportunity to build a community where all can thrive.


July 1, 2022

Chapel Hill July Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian-safety enforcement operations in July, in addition to normal patrols. Scheduled special operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:

  • Tuesday, July 5, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday, July 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 9, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 13, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Monday, July 18, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 23, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 28, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 30, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change.

Each effort will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive corridors). Everyone traveling is encouraged to remember that community safety, regardless of your mode of transportation, is a shared responsibility.

The CHPD is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in July – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads:

  • Tuesday, July 5, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 12, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 19, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 26, 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change

The Town will utilize its variable message sign boards throughout town to alert people driving of the events as well as encouraging them to limit distractions and watch out for people walking and people riding their bikes.



Update on the E. Main Street Resurfacing Project

The N.C. Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) resurfacing project for E. Main Street and W. Franklin Street in Carrboro is underway; Carolina Sunrock is the project contractor.  

The subcontractor Fulcher continues to cut traffic-signal sensor loops at intersections within the Carrboro limits of the project (E. Main Street from Jones Ferry Road to the Carrboro-Chapel Hill town limits at Merritt Mill Road and Rosemary Street).  

To limit disturbance on local businesses and traffic, work will occur at night, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday. No work will occur after 6 a.m. Friday or any time on Saturday. All work will be performed with single-lane closures that will allow continued flow within multilane portions of the work zone and flagging operations through the two-lane portion.  

Milling and resurfacing is anticipated to begin the week of July 5.  The milling and resurfacing work will also take place at night.

Drivers should use caution and stay alert.  Sidewalks should remain open. 

Contact:  John Howell at 336-570-6830 for more information.

Learn more about the project at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2368/East-Main-Street-Restriping.


OCBC Reauthorizes Longtime Homeowners Assistance Program for FY 23, Eases Eligibility Requirements

The Orange County Board of Commissioners has reauthorized the Longtime Homeowners Assistance Program, a 2021 pilot program that provided grants to homeowners for assistance in paying property taxes.

The program started as a way to help lower-income property owners whose property taxes increased because of the 2020 revaluation that saw values in some areas rise significantly. For FY 2021-22, the Board designated $250,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds, but the program received only 91 successful applications and awarded $16,364 of relief.

The revised program will be based on the homeowners’ income and age and will no longer be restricted to properties that saw a tax increase due to the revaluation. The board again designated $250,000 for the program in FY 2022-23 and directed staff to develop a policy that prioritizes applicants based on age, length of time lived in the home and the homeowner’s tax burden (percentage of annual income needed to pay property tax bill) should demand exceed available funds.

The board approved several changes to boost participation, including reducing the requirement to have owned and lived in the home from 10 years to 5 years. According to data compiled by the Orange County Tax Office and the Orange County Housing Department, this would potentially double the number of eligible properties.


June 29, 2022

CHT July 4, Shuttles to Town Celebration

Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) will not operate transit service Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. EZ Rider will also be closed.

Chapel Hill Transit will operate shuttle service to the Town’s July 4 fireworks at Southern Village. Shuttles will run from the Jackson Deck at UNC Hospitals starting at 6:30 p.m. The last shuttle will leave the parking deck at 8:15 p.m. No shuttles will run during the show.

Shuttles will run for 30 minutes following the end of the celebration. For more about the Town celebration, see https://www.chapelhillarts.org/calendar/fireworks/.


Vaccines for Children Ages 6 Months to Under 5 Years Available in Orange County

Children ages 6 months and older can now receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children who are eligible receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is available in Orange County following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) emergency use authorization and the CDC recommendation.

Children ages 6 months to younger than 5 get a smaller vaccine dose than any other age group. This vaccine dose differs from the vaccine that was previously authorized for children ages 5 to 11. Booster shots are currently not authorized for children in this age group. 

As with all routine vaccinations for children, these vaccines were tested and reviewed by the FDA and the CDC and their independent scientific committees to ensure they are safe for children. Results from ongoing clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were safe and effective to protect children ages 6 months to under 5 years from COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for three doses, while the Moderna will initially begin as two. Moderna is currently testing their third dose, with data expected this summer.   

There were no safety concerns or serious side effects noted in the clinical trials for either vaccine. 

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 have the option of getting vaccinated at a pharmacy or grocery store in addition to a doctor’s office or local health center. Children under 3 years are not able to be vaccinated by a pharmacist. Parents and guardians of children who do not have an established medical provider can visit MySpot.nc.gov to search for a nearby vaccine provider. The N.C. COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center can also help you make an appointment by calling 888-675-4567. The help center is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends. You may also call the Orange County Health Department at 919-913-8088 to make an appointment or visit takemyshot.nc.gov. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They speak Spanish and other languages. 
Children may be able to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and other routine shots they are due for at the same visit. This is also a good time for them to get a routine checkup. 

Children may experience temporary and minimal side effects. These side effects are similar to adults – a sore arm, headache and being tired or achy for a day or two. According to the CDC, children under 5 had the highest rate of hospitalizations compared to other pediatric groups. COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalization, death, MIS-C (inflammation in different parts of the body) and long-term problems with symptoms that last for months. Vaccines will help reduce infections and transmission, bringing all North Carolinians closer to fewer family disruptions ahead of the summer months and school year. 

Everyone ages 6 months and older can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, even if they don’t have health insurance and regardless of their immigration status. Parents and guardians with questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk with their child’s physician.
 
North Carolina’s actions are based on recommendations from the CDC. Read the CDC’s full statement at https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0618-children-vaccine.html.


Carrboro to Present Frederick Douglass Community Reading

The Town of Carrboro will hold its Ninth Annual Community Reading of the Frederick Douglass essay, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro,” on Monday, July 4. 

The reading will occur from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. Introductory remarks will be provided by N.C. Central University professor Irving Joyner. From 1984 to 1992, Professor Joyner served as the associate dean of NCCU School of Law. He regularly teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, civil rights, and race and the law. 

Frederick Douglass’ essay reflects a sobering point of view about what is commonly considered to be America’s Independence Day and is a part of the history of this country that should be recognized and remembered. The community is urged to attend and listen to the reading of this compelling work. 

For more information, contact Mayor Damon Seils at dseils@carrboronc.gov.

The reading is one of the events included in the day-long Carrboro July 4 Celebration. Learn more at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/308/July-4th-Celebration.

Access the entire Douglass speech at https://masshumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/speech_complete.pdf.


Orange County Approves Budget, Reaffirms Commitment to Public Education

On Tuesday, June 21, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners adopted the operating budget and capital investment plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget includes an increase in per pupil spending to $4,808 per student, funding for the expansion of Durham Tech on the Orange County campus, the return of Sunday hours at the main library, the creation of a mini-park in Perry Hills, and more.


Groundbreaking for New EMS Station

The public is invited to the groundbreaking for a new emergency management services (EMS) station in Efland on Thursday, July 14, at 3 p.m. This is the first stand-alone EMS station Orange County has built in many years and will help improve service in the western central part of the county.


 

Month-long Celebration Highlights Positive Impact of Parks and Recreation

This July, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will celebrate Park and Recreation Month, an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). A variety of activities are planned for residents of all ages and abilities, including:

  • Parks and Recreation staff and volunteers will be featured on the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Facebook page throughout the month of July creating opportunities for inclusive recreational and cultural experiences and nurturing beautiful, sustainable spaces.
  • A special story hour and book-signing event, “Home is Where Your Park Is,” by author Cameron Levis, will be held at Southern Community Park on Wednesday, July 6, at 11 a.m. See https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/parks-and-recreation/recreation-events/park-and-recreation-month to read Cameron’s story and his inspiration.
  • A tourof Parks and Recreation facilities with members of the Town Council and Parks, Greenways, and Recreation Commission, will be held Sunday, July 17, at 1:30 p.m. The tour will depart from Homestead Park at 1:30 p.m. aboard a Chapel Hill Transit Bus. Please RSVP.
  • Share social media with the hashtag #RiseUpJuly, your experiences, memories, and stories about how parks and recreation has improved your quality of life, as well as why local park and recreation professionals are important to you.

To learn more about each of these Park and Recreation Month activities, see the Park and Recreation Month Web page.


ARPA Community Partner Application Open

Community Partners may now submit applications for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Based on the Chapel Hill Council’s feedback from spring meetings, the Town is seeking programs or services that address COVID-related needs that are:

  • Between $50,000 and $1,000,000 for calendar years 2023 and 2024 combined
  • Not only for staff salaries
  • Either:
    • New programs specific to pandemic relief or that benefit those most negatively affected by the COVID pandemic; or
    • Existing services that had to adapt because of the COVID pandemic and will still be expanded needs during the Award Period

Applications are due July 29, and questions are due July 22. More information can be found on the Town’s ARPA website or by emailing the team at arpa@townofchapelhill.org.


 

Story Hour and Book Signing with Author Cameron Levis

A special story hour and book-signing event will take place on Wednesday, July 6, at 11 a.m. under the large picnic shelter at Southern Community Park, to help celebrate National Park and Recreation Month.

Author and special populations coordinator for the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Dept., Cameron Levis will be reading his new book, “Home Is Where Your Park Is.”

Inspired by his grandfather’s park-to-scale project, Levis wrote the 46-page book that tells the story of a young boy who befriends an elderly man after meeting him in the park. Together, the two dream up their version of a perfect park.

During the event, there will be hands-on activities for children to draw their idea of what a perfect park is, as well as a question-and-answer session and opportunities to purchase your own signed copy of the book.

Cameron Levis tells everyone he is a “parks and rec kid.” In fact, he wears the title proudly as a badge of honor. So much so he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dr. Alton Little, a long-time parks administration professor at Western Kentucky University.


June 24, 2022

Tips for Erosion Control from Carrboro Stormwater 

Carrboro is a town that has many natural streams, varied topography and wooded areas that make up our landscape. This landscaping changes over the years with development, yard gardening and natural processes. One of these natural processes is erosion. Over time you may have discovered an area in your yard eroding. There are steps you can take to control erosion on your property. 

If you have steep slopes, you may want to hire someone to help with regrading and landscape design. This type of work may require permitting to ensure that you are not impacting your neighbors. Please contact Planning, Zoning, and Inspections Department at https://townofcarrboro.org/133/Planning-Zoning-Inspections for information on permitting. If your slopes are not too steep, then you have several good options for stabilizing your yard.

First, avoid using any invasive plant materials like English ivy and Asiatic jasmine. Most residents who use invasive plants in their yard regret the choice, as these plants are hard to control, can take over not only your yard but also your neighbors and may exacerbate erosion issues. For more information on invasive plants, visit https://townofcarrboro.org/2679/Invasive-Plants. Second, if you have a stream-bank erosion on your property, consult with Stormwater and Planning staff to ensure that federal, state and town regulations are being followed.

The best way to control erosion on your property is to stabilize the soil as quickly as possible. You can cover the soil with a natural jute/coconut fiber ground fabric as soon as possible to stop the current erosion. Use metal or wooden stakes to hold the fabric. 

The next step is to use plants, of which there many options. You can use grasses, sedges, wildflowers, wood shrubs and trees in various combinations to control erosion long-term. Choosing native plants will give you deeper and wider-spread roots over typical turf grass species. N.C. Cooperative Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox is a great resource for plant materials. You can search for plants based on site conditions, plant types, appearance or maintenance needs.

For stream and drainage pathway erosion, you can also use similar techniques to restore and stabilize the banks. There are a variety of additional techniques that can be helpful with these unique yard features. We suggest researching the material on backyard stream repair https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/options-for-backyard-stream-repair from N.C. Cooperative extension, attending a workshop https://www.bae.ncsu.edu/workshops-conferences/sbr/, and scheduling a site visit with town staff https://townofcarrboro.org/FormCenter/Public-Works-Department-23/Stormwater-Service-Request-134

Using native plants and landscaping with the nature of your yard can turn a perceived erosion issue into a landscaping feature. If you would like some technical advice on addressing erosion issues in your yard, contact the Stormwater Division at 919-913-2999 or Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov and schedule a site visit with staff.


Chapel Hill Transit Names Facility in Honor of Howard and Lillian Lee

The Chapel Hill transit facility on Millhouse Road was named in honor of Howard and Lillian Lee in a celebration held Monday, June 20, to recognize former Chapel Hill Mayor and state Sen. Howard Lee’s role in bringing public transit to Chapel Hill.

Lee was the first black mayor elected in Chapel Hill, and the first black person to be elected mayor of any majority-white city in the South. Lillian Lee was an advocate for children as one of the first teachers at the UNC Hospital School in 1965. She retired after many years as a counselor and administrator in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. 


You Don’t Have to Ride Jim Crow!

Most Americans know something of the civil rights movement—the speeches of Martin Luther King, the Freedom Rides of the 1960s and the March on Washington. But there were earlier actions that also profoundly changed our country’s history. One of great significance to the civil rights movement but nearly lost to that history was the Journey of Reconciliation.

A special film telling the story of that ride will be shown at the Chelsea Theater in Chapel Hill on Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m.

Seating for this event is limited. Register at https://chapelhillhistory.org/places/journey-of-reconciliation/.

If you need to cancel your registration, email Molly at mluby@townofchapelhill.org.


Public Comment Period on Signature Verification for Absentee Voting

The State Board of Elections has opened a written public comment period for a request by the N.C. Republican Party for the State Board to authorize county boards of elections to scrutinize voter signatures on absentee-ballot request forms and absentee-ballot return envelopes, to determine whether to count those ballots in North Carolina elections. North Carolina law currently requires an absentee voter to confirm their identity by having two witnesses or a notary attest that the voter completed their ballot. This request seeks an additional layer of verification for absentee voters. 

Read the Republican Party’s request for a declaratory ruling, which was made on May 14.

The public comment period is open through Tuesday, July 5. Members of the public may comment using the form at https://www.ncsbe.gov/2022-public-comment-period-signature-verification-absentee-voting.

State Board staff will compile the comments and post them online before the State Board meets to consider a ruling on the request, likely in mid-July. 

Specifically, in addition to confirming that the voter’s ballot was properly witnessed, the request seeks to also allow county boards of elections to compare the signature on an absentee document with the voter’s signature on their voter-registration documents, which are kept on file with the county boards. The request also asks that the county boards be able to “exhaust all available resources to confirm that the signature provided on an absentee container-return envelope is that of the purported voter.” 

The State Board’s current guidance to county boards of elections is not to use signature verification in the consideration of absentee returns. Under state law, each absentee by-mail voter must have two witnesses or a notary attest that the voter completed their ballot in the witnesses’ presence. Verification of the voter’s identity is completed through this witness requirement. State law does not explicitly address the comparison of voter signatures. 


Ephesus Church Road Repaving

Ephesus Church Road is set to be resurfaced and repaved by the N.C. Dept. of Transportation beginning as soon as June 27, and the final pavement markings have been approved.

As part of this resurfacing, the Town will add bike lanes on Ephesus, as included in the Mobility & Connectivity Plan. This will be accomplished by narrowing vehicle lanes and prohibiting parking on the side of the road.


Chapel Hill Police Investigate Shooting

Officers responded to a shooting in the 200 block of Erwin Road on June 22. One person was transported to UNC Hospitals with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Another person was detained for further questioning.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


Original Freedom Riders Exonerated in Special Court Ceremony

Four men arrested in Chapel Hill and convicted in 1947 after challenging Jim Crow-era segregation laws had their names cleared June 17 in a special ceremony in Orange County Superior Court.

The Journey of Reconciliation, an interracial freedom ride organized by civil rights leaders Bayard Rustin and George Houser to protest Jim Crow bus segregation, came through Chapel Hill in April 1947. As the riders attempted to board a bus to continue the journey to Greensboro, several were removed by force and were attacked by angry cab drivers. Four of the riders—Andrew Johnson, James Felmet, Bayard Rustin, and Igal Roodenko—were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for refusing to move from the front of the bus.

“Imagine the courage it took to quietly sit together at the front of the bus while people outside taunted them, ridiculed them, threatened them with violence,” said Woodrena Baker-Harrell, the public defender for Orange-Chatham counties. “They were probably mortified, scared about what was going to happen to them. Yet through that agony, they continued to sit there quietly because these four men believed in what they were doing. We, as members of this community, should strive to have the courage displayed by these men.”

Following a May 1947 trial in Orange County, the four men were convicted and sentenced to 30 days on the chain gang. The convictions were later upheld by Orange County Superior Court and then the N.C. Supreme Court.

During ceremonies honoring the 60th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides, Renee Price, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, learned that the charges against the men arrested in Chapel Hill, in what many civil rights historians consider the first Freedom Ride, had never been dropped. She reached out to Orange County Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour, whose office researched the incident and legal cases.

Baddour decided that a Motion for Appropriate Relief would be the legal vehicle to drop the charges because the men were convicted under state statutes that violated the Constitution. The statutes (N.C.G.S. 60-135 and 60-136) weren’t repealed until 1963.

For more information, including photos and video of the ceremony, see https://www.orangecountync.gov/2937/Journey-of-Reconciliation.


Animal Services Receives Petco Love Grant for Working Barn Cat Program

Orange County Animal Services is proud to announce that they have received a grant from Petco Love to sustain their Working Barn Cat Program. This grant will be used to support spay/neuter services for free-roaming cats belonging to Orange County residents, and thereby reduce pet overpopulation even further in Orange County.

Orange County Animal Services is set to receive the $20,000 grant investment from national nonprofit Petco Love during a special celebration at Petco at 1800 East Franklin St. in Chapel Hill on June 28 at
11 a.m. in support of their lifesaving work for animals in Orange County.

The Working Barn Cat Program helps to trap, sterilize and return free-roaming cats found at farms, stables and in other rural settings belonging to Orange County residents. These cats will be spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and licensed. All of these services are provided at no cost to Orange County residents who have cats that qualify for the program. The Working Barn Cat Program is part of a broader effort to more humanely and proactively manage free-roaming cats in Orange County.

Petco Love is a national nonprofit leading change for pets by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger and healthier. Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love has invested $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And Petco Love helps find loving homes for pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations across North America, with
6.5 million pets adopted and counting.

Orange County residents interested in spay/neuter assistance can contact Tiani Schifano at 919-932-4966 or tschifano@orangecountync.gov.


Treatment of Invasive Plant in Eno River Begins Next Week

The Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in cooperation with the Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, City of Durham, Durham County, Town of Hillsborough and Orange County will be treating the Eno River for hydrilla through August 31.

Hydrilla is a submerged aquatic plant originally from Asia. The invasive species was first discovered in the Eno River Watershed’s Lake Orange in the early 1990s. It can create nearly impenetrable mats of stems and leaves in lakes, rivers and other waterways, impeding recreational use. It also affects native vegetation and can harm fish and other aquatic and bird species. 

The treatment area is located just below the Lake Ben Johnson dam along the river to U.S. Highway 501 crossing in Durham. The herbicide is applied using a two-injection system to meter the appropriate amount of herbicide throughout the treatment area. It is used at a concentration well within limits approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—determined safe for swimmers and boaters and non-toxic to fish and wildlife. For additional information on water quality safety during the treatment period, contact the Dept. of Health and Human Services at 919-707-5900.

The Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force first introduced the herbicide fluridone in 2015 to a 16-mile treatment zone largely within Eno River State Park in Orange and Durham counties. It was the first time the herbicide was used successfully in a river in North Carolina to combat hydrilla, although it has been used for many years elsewhere in large lakes.

The Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force comprises federal, state and local government representatives, including staff from North Carolina state parks, the N.C. Division of Water Resources Aquatic Weed Control Program and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The group has been working since 2007 to evaluate and address the hydrilla threat in the Eno River.

For more information, visit the DEQ website’s Eno River Hydrilla Management Project page, or contact Drew Gay, Aquatic Weed Specialist, Division of Water Resources, at 919-707-9020 or email andrew.gay@ncdenr.gov.


Notice of Public Meeting ADA Paratransit Plan

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires Orange Public Transportation Services (OCTS) provide complementary ADA-accessible paratransit service to eligible persons within three-quarters of a mile of its fixed-route service at concurrent times and dates to the routes and hours of fixed-route operation.

Presentation of the OCTS ADA Paratransit Plan and associated policies will be provided at a public meeting held by OCTS staff Thursday, June 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Orange County North Campus, Bonnie B Davis EAC Building, located at 1020 US-70 West, Hillsborough. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the current adopted 2015 ADA Paratransit Plan.

The revised plan will be available for review on the OCTS website (https://www.orangecountync.gov/transportation) and in the administrative office located at 600 Highway 86 N, Hillsborough, during the 30-day public comment period starting Thursday, July 21, and ending Friday, Aug. 19. 

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners will conduct a public hearing on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Whitted Building, located at 300 W. Tryon St, Hillsborough, at which time a presentation of the Updated ADA Paratransit Plan will be provided and the public will be given an opportunity to comment. 

For further information on the plan or to submit comments, please contact Nishith Trivedi, Orange County Transportation Services interim director, at 919-245-2007 or email ntrivedi@orangecountync.gov.


Department on Aging Accepting Nominations for 2022 Direct-Care-Worker Awards

Orange County Dept. on Aging and the community group Senior Health Advocacy and Resource Partners of Orange County (SHARP), will host the eighth annual SHARP Direct-Care-Worker Awards.

Nominations will be accepted from June 15 through Sept. 15. A recognition ceremony will be held for award winners on Thursday, Nov. 3.

This event is in honor of direct-care workers (nurse aides, personal care aides, companion caregivers, etc.) who affect their clients’ lives on a daily basis and make a difference in the Orange County community.

In recognition of the outstanding service provided by direct-care workers, the Dept. on Aging and SHARP will present awards in the following categories: client impact, longevity, leadership, going the extra mile and rising star. One person will be chosen as the “Direct Care Worker of the Year.”

To be eligible, direct-care workers must have served clients in Orange County within the past year. Each person may be nominated in two categories. Nominees must have provided direct care to clients and have at least six consecutive months of service in the past year.

For more information about the awards and to nominate a direct-care worker, complete the online or downloadable nomination form at: www.orangecountync.gov/SHARPAwards.


June 18, 2022

Town of Chapel Hill Awards $546,500 to Nonprofit Organizations

The Town of Chapel Hill’s Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) budget includes $546,500 to support 40 nonprofit organizations that provide vital community programs and services. This funding cycle was exceptionally competitive, with the Town receiving a record $1.3 million in requests from nonprofit organizations.

The Town’s Human Services Program’s overarching goal is to achieve economic and social well-being and opportunities to thrive for all Chapel Hill residents, particularly those who are low-income or otherwise disenfranchised. The program funds programs that improve education, livelihood security and health outcomes for Chapel Hill residents.

The Town awarded three Community Impact Awards, large awards between $30,000 and $50,000 for particularly impactful programs and projects that demonstrate an evidence-based approach and scale of impact. Recipients of the Community Impact Award are El Centro Hispano, Inc.; EmPOWERment Inc.; and Meals on Wheels.

The Human Services Program was established in the 1970s and has supported hundreds of community programs and services. In total, over the past almost 50 years, the Town has invested more than $7 million in the Human Services Program. Last year alone, 50+ agencies were funded, and more than 32,000 individuals were served through funded programs and services.

In 2018, the Town Council adopted a new Results Framework for the Human Services Program. Adoption of the Results Framework reflects the Town’s interest in further focusing the Human Services Program on results and deepening the program’s impact to address the community’s greatest challenges.


OWASA 2021 Water-Quality Report Card Now Available

Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) met all state and federal drinking water regulations during the 2021 calendar year. The annual water-quality report card is now available in English and Spanish. Customers will also be receiving a packet in the mail with highlights from the full report card.

The report card provides details on where your water comes from, how OWASA treats your drinking water to meet regulatory standards, and more about how we can all work together to protect our vital natural resources. The annual water-quality report card shows how OWASA measures up against regulatory standards to ensure that customers continue to receive high-quality drinking water.

You can also learn through this year’s report card more about the OWASA team working to serve customers every day and different water-based activities to enjoy – whether that’s taking a kayak onto Cane Creek Reservoir or University Lake or learning more about how high-quality water is the first and most important ingredient for homebrewing, your morning coffee, and so much more.

Roughly half of every dollar that OWASA receives from customers is put back into the community’s water and sewer infrastructure. The report card also takes time to highlight one of these projects that saw significant work during 2021 at the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant. This project was focused on increasing the reliability and resiliency of OWASA’s services for residents.

OWASA’s affordability program is also highlighted in the report card. OWASA is working with customers who have bills that are past due to help connect them with funding assistance associated with COVID-19. OWASA also has the Care to Share bill-assistance program, and customers are able to sign up to donate funds as part of their monthly bill to help those in our community who are in need.

For more information, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, 919-537-4236 or bhodge@owasa.org.


Chapel Hill Firefighters Respond to North Columbia Street House Fire

Just before 7 p.m. on June 16, the Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a fire at a home in the 300 block of North Columbia Street. The fire displaced one person, and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Carrboro Fire Department and Orange County Emergency Services assisted 14 Chapel Hill firefighters at the scene


July 1, 2022

Chapel Hill July Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian-safety enforcement operations in July, in addition to normal patrols. Scheduled special operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:

  • Tuesday, July 5, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday, July 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 9, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 13, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Monday, July 18, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 23, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 28, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 30, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change.

Each effort will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive corridors). Everyone traveling is encouraged to remember that community safety, regardless of your mode of transportation, is a shared responsibility.

The CHPD is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in July – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads:

  • Tuesday, July 5, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 12, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 19, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 26, 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change

The Town will utilize its variable message sign boards throughout town to alert people driving of the events as well as encouraging them to limit distractions and watch out for people walking and people riding their bikes.



Update on the E. Main Street Resurfacing Project

The N.C. Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) resurfacing project for E. Main Street and W. Franklin Street in Carrboro is underway; Carolina Sunrock is the project contractor.  

The subcontractor Fulcher continues to cut traffic-signal sensor loops at intersections within the Carrboro limits of the project (E. Main Street from Jones Ferry Road to the Carrboro-Chapel Hill town limits at Merritt Mill Road and Rosemary Street).  

To limit disturbance on local businesses and traffic, work will occur at night, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday. No work will occur after 6 a.m. Friday or any time on Saturday. All work will be performed with single-lane closures that will allow continued flow within multilane portions of the work zone and flagging operations through the two-lane portion.  

Milling and resurfacing is anticipated to begin the week of July 5.  The milling and resurfacing work will also take place at night.

Drivers should use caution and stay alert.  Sidewalks should remain open. 

Contact:  John Howell at 336-570-6830 for more information.

Learn more about the project at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2368/East-Main-Street-Restriping.


OCBC Reauthorizes Longtime Homeowners Assistance Program for FY 23, Eases Eligibility Requirements

The Orange County Board of Commissioners has reauthorized the Longtime Homeowners Assistance Program, a 2021 pilot program that provided grants to homeowners for assistance in paying property taxes.

The program started as a way to help lower-income property owners whose property taxes increased because of the 2020 revaluation that saw values in some areas rise significantly. For FY 2021-22, the Board designated $250,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds, but the program received only 91 successful applications and awarded $16,364 of relief.

The revised program will be based on the homeowners’ income and age and will no longer be restricted to properties that saw a tax increase due to the revaluation. The board again designated $250,000 for the program in FY 2022-23 and directed staff to develop a policy that prioritizes applicants based on age, length of time lived in the home and the homeowner’s tax burden (percentage of annual income needed to pay property tax bill) should demand exceed available funds.

The board approved several changes to boost participation, including reducing the requirement to have owned and lived in the home from 10 years to 5 years. According to data compiled by the Orange County Tax Office and the Orange County Housing Department, this would potentially double the number of eligible properties.


June 29, 2022

CHT July 4, Shuttles to Town Celebration

Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) will not operate transit service Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. EZ Rider will also be closed.

Chapel Hill Transit will operate shuttle service to the Town’s July 4 fireworks at Southern Village. Shuttles will run from the Jackson Deck at UNC Hospitals starting at 6:30 p.m. The last shuttle will leave the parking deck at 8:15 p.m. No shuttles will run during the show.

Shuttles will run for 30 minutes following the end of the celebration. For more about the Town celebration, see https://www.chapelhillarts.org/calendar/fireworks/.


Vaccines for Children Ages 6 Months to Under 5 Years Available in Orange County

Children ages 6 months and older can now receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children who are eligible receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is available in Orange County following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) emergency use authorization and the CDC recommendation.

Children ages 6 months to younger than 5 get a smaller vaccine dose than any other age group. This vaccine dose differs from the vaccine that was previously authorized for children ages 5 to 11. Booster shots are currently not authorized for children in this age group. 

As with all routine vaccinations for children, these vaccines were tested and reviewed by the FDA and the CDC and their independent scientific committees to ensure they are safe for children. Results from ongoing clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were safe and effective to protect children ages 6 months to under 5 years from COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for three doses, while the Moderna will initially begin as two. Moderna is currently testing their third dose, with data expected this summer.   

There were no safety concerns or serious side effects noted in the clinical trials for either vaccine. 

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 have the option of getting vaccinated at a pharmacy or grocery store in addition to a doctor’s office or local health center. Children under 3 years are not able to be vaccinated by a pharmacist. Parents and guardians of children who do not have an established medical provider can visit MySpot.nc.gov to search for a nearby vaccine provider. The N.C. COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center can also help you make an appointment by calling 888-675-4567. The help center is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends. You may also call the Orange County Health Department at 919-913-8088 to make an appointment or visit takemyshot.nc.gov. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They speak Spanish and other languages. 
Children may be able to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and other routine shots they are due for at the same visit. This is also a good time for them to get a routine checkup. 

Children may experience temporary and minimal side effects. These side effects are similar to adults – a sore arm, headache and being tired or achy for a day or two. According to the CDC, children under 5 had the highest rate of hospitalizations compared to other pediatric groups. COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalization, death, MIS-C (inflammation in different parts of the body) and long-term problems with symptoms that last for months. Vaccines will help reduce infections and transmission, bringing all North Carolinians closer to fewer family disruptions ahead of the summer months and school year. 

Everyone ages 6 months and older can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, even if they don’t have health insurance and regardless of their immigration status. Parents and guardians with questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk with their child’s physician.
 
North Carolina’s actions are based on recommendations from the CDC. Read the CDC’s full statement at https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0618-children-vaccine.html.


Carrboro to Present Frederick Douglass Community Reading

The Town of Carrboro will hold its Ninth Annual Community Reading of the Frederick Douglass essay, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro,” on Monday, July 4. 

The reading will occur from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. Introductory remarks will be provided by N.C. Central University professor Irving Joyner. From 1984 to 1992, Professor Joyner served as the associate dean of NCCU School of Law. He regularly teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, civil rights, and race and the law. 

Frederick Douglass’ essay reflects a sobering point of view about what is commonly considered to be America’s Independence Day and is a part of the history of this country that should be recognized and remembered. The community is urged to attend and listen to the reading of this compelling work. 

For more information, contact Mayor Damon Seils at dseils@carrboronc.gov.

The reading is one of the events included in the day-long Carrboro July 4 Celebration. Learn more at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/308/July-4th-Celebration.

Access the entire Douglass speech at https://masshumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/speech_complete.pdf.


Orange County Approves Budget, Reaffirms Commitment to Public Education

On Tuesday, June 21, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners adopted the operating budget and capital investment plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget includes an increase in per pupil spending to $4,808 per student, funding for the expansion of Durham Tech on the Orange County campus, the return of Sunday hours at the main library, the creation of a mini-park in Perry Hills, and more.


Groundbreaking for New EMS Station

The public is invited to the groundbreaking for a new emergency management services (EMS) station in Efland on Thursday, July 14, at 3 p.m. This is the first stand-alone EMS station Orange County has built in many years and will help improve service in the western central part of the county.


 

Month-long Celebration Highlights Positive Impact of Parks and Recreation

This July, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will celebrate Park and Recreation Month, an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). A variety of activities are planned for residents of all ages and abilities, including:

  • Parks and Recreation staff and volunteers will be featured on the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Facebook page throughout the month of July creating opportunities for inclusive recreational and cultural experiences and nurturing beautiful, sustainable spaces.
  • A special story hour and book-signing event, “Home is Where Your Park Is,” by author Cameron Levis, will be held at Southern Community Park on Wednesday, July 6, at 11 a.m. See https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/parks-and-recreation/recreation-events/park-and-recreation-month to read Cameron’s story and his inspiration.
  • A tourof Parks and Recreation facilities with members of the Town Council and Parks, Greenways, and Recreation Commission, will be held Sunday, July 17, at 1:30 p.m. The tour will depart from Homestead Park at 1:30 p.m. aboard a Chapel Hill Transit Bus. Please RSVP.
  • Share social media with the hashtag #RiseUpJuly, your experiences, memories, and stories about how parks and recreation has improved your quality of life, as well as why local park and recreation professionals are important to you.

To learn more about each of these Park and Recreation Month activities, see the Park and Recreation Month Web page.


ARPA Community Partner Application Open

Community Partners may now submit applications for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Based on the Chapel Hill Council’s feedback from spring meetings, the Town is seeking programs or services that address COVID-related needs that are:

  • Between $50,000 and $1,000,000 for calendar years 2023 and 2024 combined
  • Not only for staff salaries
  • Either:
    • New programs specific to pandemic relief or that benefit those most negatively affected by the COVID pandemic; or
    • Existing services that had to adapt because of the COVID pandemic and will still be expanded needs during the Award Period

Applications are due July 29, and questions are due July 22. More information can be found on the Town’s ARPA website or by emailing the team at arpa@townofchapelhill.org.


 

Story Hour and Book Signing with Author Cameron Levis

A special story hour and book-signing event will take place on Wednesday, July 6, at 11 a.m. under the large picnic shelter at Southern Community Park, to help celebrate National Park and Recreation Month.

Author and special populations coordinator for the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Dept., Cameron Levis will be reading his new book, “Home Is Where Your Park Is.”

Inspired by his grandfather’s park-to-scale project, Levis wrote the 46-page book that tells the story of a young boy who befriends an elderly man after meeting him in the park. Together, the two dream up their version of a perfect park.

During the event, there will be hands-on activities for children to draw their idea of what a perfect park is, as well as a question-and-answer session and opportunities to purchase your own signed copy of the book.

Cameron Levis tells everyone he is a “parks and rec kid.” In fact, he wears the title proudly as a badge of honor. So much so he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dr. Alton Little, a long-time parks administration professor at Western Kentucky University.


June 24, 2022

Tips for Erosion Control from Carrboro Stormwater 

Carrboro is a town that has many natural streams, varied topography and wooded areas that make up our landscape. This landscaping changes over the years with development, yard gardening and natural processes. One of these natural processes is erosion. Over time you may have discovered an area in your yard eroding. There are steps you can take to control erosion on your property. 

If you have steep slopes, you may want to hire someone to help with regrading and landscape design. This type of work may require permitting to ensure that you are not impacting your neighbors. Please contact Planning, Zoning, and Inspections Department at https://townofcarrboro.org/133/Planning-Zoning-Inspections for information on permitting. If your slopes are not too steep, then you have several good options for stabilizing your yard.

First, avoid using any invasive plant materials like English ivy and Asiatic jasmine. Most residents who use invasive plants in their yard regret the choice, as these plants are hard to control, can take over not only your yard but also your neighbors and may exacerbate erosion issues. For more information on invasive plants, visit https://townofcarrboro.org/2679/Invasive-Plants. Second, if you have a stream-bank erosion on your property, consult with Stormwater and Planning staff to ensure that federal, state and town regulations are being followed.

The best way to control erosion on your property is to stabilize the soil as quickly as possible. You can cover the soil with a natural jute/coconut fiber ground fabric as soon as possible to stop the current erosion. Use metal or wooden stakes to hold the fabric. 

The next step is to use plants, of which there many options. You can use grasses, sedges, wildflowers, wood shrubs and trees in various combinations to control erosion long-term. Choosing native plants will give you deeper and wider-spread roots over typical turf grass species. N.C. Cooperative Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox is a great resource for plant materials. You can search for plants based on site conditions, plant types, appearance or maintenance needs.

For stream and drainage pathway erosion, you can also use similar techniques to restore and stabilize the banks. There are a variety of additional techniques that can be helpful with these unique yard features. We suggest researching the material on backyard stream repair https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/options-for-backyard-stream-repair from N.C. Cooperative extension, attending a workshop https://www.bae.ncsu.edu/workshops-conferences/sbr/, and scheduling a site visit with town staff https://townofcarrboro.org/FormCenter/Public-Works-Department-23/Stormwater-Service-Request-134

Using native plants and landscaping with the nature of your yard can turn a perceived erosion issue into a landscaping feature. If you would like some technical advice on addressing erosion issues in your yard, contact the Stormwater Division at 919-913-2999 or Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov and schedule a site visit with staff.


Chapel Hill Transit Names Facility in Honor of Howard and Lillian Lee

The Chapel Hill transit facility on Millhouse Road was named in honor of Howard and Lillian Lee in a celebration held Monday, June 20, to recognize former Chapel Hill Mayor and state Sen. Howard Lee’s role in bringing public transit to Chapel Hill.

Lee was the first black mayor elected in Chapel Hill, and the first black person to be elected mayor of any majority-white city in the South. Lillian Lee was an advocate for children as one of the first teachers at the UNC Hospital School in 1965. She retired after many years as a counselor and administrator in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. 


You Don’t Have to Ride Jim Crow!

Most Americans know something of the civil rights movement—the speeches of Martin Luther King, the Freedom Rides of the 1960s and the March on Washington. But there were earlier actions that also profoundly changed our country’s history. One of great significance to the civil rights movement but nearly lost to that history was the Journey of Reconciliation.

A special film telling the story of that ride will be shown at the Chelsea Theater in Chapel Hill on Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m.

Seating for this event is limited. Register at https://chapelhillhistory.org/places/journey-of-reconciliation/.

If you need to cancel your registration, email Molly at mluby@townofchapelhill.org.


Public Comment Period on Signature Verification for Absentee Voting

The State Board of Elections has opened a written public comment period for a request by the N.C. Republican Party for the State Board to authorize county boards of elections to scrutinize voter signatures on absentee-ballot request forms and absentee-ballot return envelopes, to determine whether to count those ballots in North Carolina elections. North Carolina law currently requires an absentee voter to confirm their identity by having two witnesses or a notary attest that the voter completed their ballot. This request seeks an additional layer of verification for absentee voters. 

Read the Republican Party’s request for a declaratory ruling, which was made on May 14.

The public comment period is open through Tuesday, July 5. Members of the public may comment using the form at https://www.ncsbe.gov/2022-public-comment-period-signature-verification-absentee-voting.

State Board staff will compile the comments and post them online before the State Board meets to consider a ruling on the request, likely in mid-July. 

Specifically, in addition to confirming that the voter’s ballot was properly witnessed, the request seeks to also allow county boards of elections to compare the signature on an absentee document with the voter’s signature on their voter-registration documents, which are kept on file with the county boards. The request also asks that the county boards be able to “exhaust all available resources to confirm that the signature provided on an absentee container-return envelope is that of the purported voter.” 

The State Board’s current guidance to county boards of elections is not to use signature verification in the consideration of absentee returns. Under state law, each absentee by-mail voter must have two witnesses or a notary attest that the voter completed their ballot in the witnesses’ presence. Verification of the voter’s identity is completed through this witness requirement. State law does not explicitly address the comparison of voter signatures. 


Ephesus Church Road Repaving

Ephesus Church Road is set to be resurfaced and repaved by the N.C. Dept. of Transportation beginning as soon as June 27, and the final pavement markings have been approved.

As part of this resurfacing, the Town will add bike lanes on Ephesus, as included in the Mobility & Connectivity Plan. This will be accomplished by narrowing vehicle lanes and prohibiting parking on the side of the road.


Chapel Hill Police Investigate Shooting

Officers responded to a shooting in the 200 block of Erwin Road on June 22. One person was transported to UNC Hospitals with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Another person was detained for further questioning.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


Original Freedom Riders Exonerated in Special Court Ceremony

Four men arrested in Chapel Hill and convicted in 1947 after challenging Jim Crow-era segregation laws had their names cleared June 17 in a special ceremony in Orange County Superior Court.

The Journey of Reconciliation, an interracial freedom ride organized by civil rights leaders Bayard Rustin and George Houser to protest Jim Crow bus segregation, came through Chapel Hill in April 1947. As the riders attempted to board a bus to continue the journey to Greensboro, several were removed by force and were attacked by angry cab drivers. Four of the riders—Andrew Johnson, James Felmet, Bayard Rustin, and Igal Roodenko—were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for refusing to move from the front of the bus.

“Imagine the courage it took to quietly sit together at the front of the bus while people outside taunted them, ridiculed them, threatened them with violence,” said Woodrena Baker-Harrell, the public defender for Orange-Chatham counties. “They were probably mortified, scared about what was going to happen to them. Yet through that agony, they continued to sit there quietly because these four men believed in what they were doing. We, as members of this community, should strive to have the courage displayed by these men.”

Following a May 1947 trial in Orange County, the four men were convicted and sentenced to 30 days on the chain gang. The convictions were later upheld by Orange County Superior Court and then the N.C. Supreme Court.

During ceremonies honoring the 60th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides, Renee Price, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, learned that the charges against the men arrested in Chapel Hill, in what many civil rights historians consider the first Freedom Ride, had never been dropped. She reached out to Orange County Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour, whose office researched the incident and legal cases.

Baddour decided that a Motion for Appropriate Relief would be the legal vehicle to drop the charges because the men were convicted under state statutes that violated the Constitution. The statutes (N.C.G.S. 60-135 and 60-136) weren’t repealed until 1963.

For more information, including photos and video of the ceremony, see https://www.orangecountync.gov/2937/Journey-of-Reconciliation.


Animal Services Receives Petco Love Grant for Working Barn Cat Program

Orange County Animal Services is proud to announce that they have received a grant from Petco Love to sustain their Working Barn Cat Program. This grant will be used to support spay/neuter services for free-roaming cats belonging to Orange County residents, and thereby reduce pet overpopulation even further in Orange County.

Orange County Animal Services is set to receive the $20,000 grant investment from national nonprofit Petco Love during a special celebration at Petco at 1800 East Franklin St. in Chapel Hill on June 28 at
11 a.m. in support of their lifesaving work for animals in Orange County.

The Working Barn Cat Program helps to trap, sterilize and return free-roaming cats found at farms, stables and in other rural settings belonging to Orange County residents. These cats will be spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and licensed. All of these services are provided at no cost to Orange County residents who have cats that qualify for the program. The Working Barn Cat Program is part of a broader effort to more humanely and proactively manage free-roaming cats in Orange County.

Petco Love is a national nonprofit leading change for pets by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger and healthier. Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love has invested $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And Petco Love helps find loving homes for pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations across North America, with
6.5 million pets adopted and counting.

Orange County residents interested in spay/neuter assistance can contact Tiani Schifano at 919-932-4966 or tschifano@orangecountync.gov.


Treatment of Invasive Plant in Eno River Begins Next Week

The Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in cooperation with the Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, City of Durham, Durham County, Town of Hillsborough and Orange County will be treating the Eno River for hydrilla through August 31.

Hydrilla is a submerged aquatic plant originally from Asia. The invasive species was first discovered in the Eno River Watershed’s Lake Orange in the early 1990s. It can create nearly impenetrable mats of stems and leaves in lakes, rivers and other waterways, impeding recreational use. It also affects native vegetation and can harm fish and other aquatic and bird species. 

The treatment area is located just below the Lake Ben Johnson dam along the river to U.S. Highway 501 crossing in Durham. The herbicide is applied using a two-injection system to meter the appropriate amount of herbicide throughout the treatment area. It is used at a concentration well within limits approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—determined safe for swimmers and boaters and non-toxic to fish and wildlife. For additional information on water quality safety during the treatment period, contact the Dept. of Health and Human Services at 919-707-5900.

The Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force first introduced the herbicide fluridone in 2015 to a 16-mile treatment zone largely within Eno River State Park in Orange and Durham counties. It was the first time the herbicide was used successfully in a river in North Carolina to combat hydrilla, although it has been used for many years elsewhere in large lakes.

The Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force comprises federal, state and local government representatives, including staff from North Carolina state parks, the N.C. Division of Water Resources Aquatic Weed Control Program and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The group has been working since 2007 to evaluate and address the hydrilla threat in the Eno River.

For more information, visit the DEQ website’s Eno River Hydrilla Management Project page, or contact Drew Gay, Aquatic Weed Specialist, Division of Water Resources, at 919-707-9020 or email andrew.gay@ncdenr.gov.


Notice of Public Meeting ADA Paratransit Plan

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires Orange Public Transportation Services (OCTS) provide complementary ADA-accessible paratransit service to eligible persons within three-quarters of a mile of its fixed-route service at concurrent times and dates to the routes and hours of fixed-route operation.

Presentation of the OCTS ADA Paratransit Plan and associated policies will be provided at a public meeting held by OCTS staff Thursday, June 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Orange County North Campus, Bonnie B Davis EAC Building, located at 1020 US-70 West, Hillsborough. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the current adopted 2015 ADA Paratransit Plan.

The revised plan will be available for review on the OCTS website (https://www.orangecountync.gov/transportation) and in the administrative office located at 600 Highway 86 N, Hillsborough, during the 30-day public comment period starting Thursday, July 21, and ending Friday, Aug. 19. 

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners will conduct a public hearing on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Whitted Building, located at 300 W. Tryon St, Hillsborough, at which time a presentation of the Updated ADA Paratransit Plan will be provided and the public will be given an opportunity to comment. 

For further information on the plan or to submit comments, please contact Nishith Trivedi, Orange County Transportation Services interim director, at 919-245-2007 or email ntrivedi@orangecountync.gov.


Department on Aging Accepting Nominations for 2022 Direct-Care-Worker Awards

Orange County Dept. on Aging and the community group Senior Health Advocacy and Resource Partners of Orange County (SHARP), will host the eighth annual SHARP Direct-Care-Worker Awards.

Nominations will be accepted from June 15 through Sept. 15. A recognition ceremony will be held for award winners on Thursday, Nov. 3.

This event is in honor of direct-care workers (nurse aides, personal care aides, companion caregivers, etc.) who affect their clients’ lives on a daily basis and make a difference in the Orange County community.

In recognition of the outstanding service provided by direct-care workers, the Dept. on Aging and SHARP will present awards in the following categories: client impact, longevity, leadership, going the extra mile and rising star. One person will be chosen as the “Direct Care Worker of the Year.”

To be eligible, direct-care workers must have served clients in Orange County within the past year. Each person may be nominated in two categories. Nominees must have provided direct care to clients and have at least six consecutive months of service in the past year.

For more information about the awards and to nominate a direct-care worker, complete the online or downloadable nomination form at: www.orangecountync.gov/SHARPAwards.


June 18, 2022

Town of Chapel Hill Awards $546,500 to Nonprofit Organizations

The Town of Chapel Hill’s Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) budget includes $546,500 to support 40 nonprofit organizations that provide vital community programs and services. This funding cycle was exceptionally competitive, with the Town receiving a record $1.3 million in requests from nonprofit organizations.

The Town’s Human Services Program’s overarching goal is to achieve economic and social well-being and opportunities to thrive for all Chapel Hill residents, particularly those who are low-income or otherwise disenfranchised. The program funds programs that improve education, livelihood security and health outcomes for Chapel Hill residents.

The Town awarded three Community Impact Awards, large awards between $30,000 and $50,000 for particularly impactful programs and projects that demonstrate an evidence-based approach and scale of impact. Recipients of the Community Impact Award are El Centro Hispano, Inc.; EmPOWERment Inc.; and Meals on Wheels.

The Human Services Program was established in the 1970s and has supported hundreds of community programs and services. In total, over the past almost 50 years, the Town has invested more than $7 million in the Human Services Program. Last year alone, 50+ agencies were funded, and more than 32,000 individuals were served through funded programs and services.

In 2018, the Town Council adopted a new Results Framework for the Human Services Program. Adoption of the Results Framework reflects the Town’s interest in further focusing the Human Services Program on results and deepening the program’s impact to address the community’s greatest challenges.


OWASA 2021 Water-Quality Report Card Now Available

Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) met all state and federal drinking water regulations during the 2021 calendar year. The annual water-quality report card is now available in English and Spanish. Customers will also be receiving a packet in the mail with highlights from the full report card.

The report card provides details on where your water comes from, how OWASA treats your drinking water to meet regulatory standards, and more about how we can all work together to protect our vital natural resources. The annual water-quality report card shows how OWASA measures up against regulatory standards to ensure that customers continue to receive high-quality drinking water.

You can also learn through this year’s report card more about the OWASA team working to serve customers every day and different water-based activities to enjoy – whether that’s taking a kayak onto Cane Creek Reservoir or University Lake or learning more about how high-quality water is the first and most important ingredient for homebrewing, your morning coffee, and so much more.

Roughly half of every dollar that OWASA receives from customers is put back into the community’s water and sewer infrastructure. The report card also takes time to highlight one of these projects that saw significant work during 2021 at the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant. This project was focused on increasing the reliability and resiliency of OWASA’s services for residents.

OWASA’s affordability program is also highlighted in the report card. OWASA is working with customers who have bills that are past due to help connect them with funding assistance associated with COVID-19. OWASA also has the Care to Share bill-assistance program, and customers are able to sign up to donate funds as part of their monthly bill to help those in our community who are in need.

For more information, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, 919-537-4236 or bhodge@owasa.org.


Chapel Hill Firefighters Respond to North Columbia Street House Fire

Just before 7 p.m. on June 16, the Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a fire at a home in the 300 block of North Columbia Street. The fire displaced one person, and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Carrboro Fire Department and Orange County Emergency Services assisted 14 Chapel Hill firefighters at the scene.


June 15, 2022

Carrboro Town Council Adopts Carrboro Connects

On Tuesday, June 7, Carrboro’s Town Council unanimously voted to adopt the Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan. As was discussed during the Council meeting, plan adoption is only the beginning, as the real achievements and progress for the Town will take place over the next five to 20 years of plan implementation. The plan is built on the twin foundations of racial equity and climate action and, for the first time, brings the goals of the Town as a whole into a single document. From supporting local businesses to expanding affordable housing options and access to open space, the plan builds on Carrboro’s leadership in taking bold action to meet its goals.

Carrboro Connects is the product of a community-wide planning effort. The policies and projects reflect the vision, ideas and commitment to Carrboro that were shared by thousands of residents, businesses and organizations. Learn more at https://www.carrboroconnects.org/

Stay tuned for more to come, including an executive summary in English and Spanish. Engagement continues throughout plan implementation.


Free Parking in June 

Downtown parking west of Columbia Street will be free every Saturday in June. 

Support Local Artisans

Gizmo Brew Works will hold a summer night market every Tuesday in June from 5 p.m. to 8p.m. Shop for clothing, jewelry, body care products, visual art and more. Admission is free and food and drink specials will be available for shoppers.


A Conversation with Jenny Schuetz

On Tuesday, June 21, from 5 to 6 p.m., NEXT NC will hold a virtual conversation (on Zoom) with senior Brookings fellow Jenny Schuetz  to discuss her new book, Fixer-Upper: How To Repair America’s Broken Housing Systems. Go here to register. 


Survey for Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Chapel Hill is conducting a survey to see what residents think is great and what needs improvement in downtown Chapel Hill. This info will be used to shape the work plan for the year and to share with partners when appropriate.
Go here to take the survey.


Reduced Cat Adoption Fees in June

For the month of June, Orange County Animal Services in Chapel Hill (www.orangecountync.gov/animalservices) has reduced adoption fees for all adoptable cats. Call 919-942-7387 for more information.


Orange County Receives Third Positive Rabies Test of 2022

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) has received its third positive rabies test result of the year, according to the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health. This incident involved a sheep and occurred in Hillsborough. The county recorded a total of four positive cases last year and eight the year before.

Because the owners of the sheep had possible exposure to rabies due to handling the animal, a communicable disease nurse from the Orange County Health Department will evaluate the risk of rabies exposure. As is always the case, a decision about the post-exposure prophylaxis that protects people from rabies is based upon an assessment of all the factors involved in this type of situation. Other livestock on this property will be evaluated by a veterinarian from the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services. 

Rabies is a fatal, viral infection. It is important for the health of your family and your pets to make sure your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. Your veterinarian is the best source of information on vaccinations for your pet. When there is “a reasonable suspicion of rabies exposure” to a dog, cat or ferret with a valid vaccination history, that pet must receive a booster shot within 96 hours (four days). By contrast, an unvaccinated cat or dog must either be euthanized or quarantined for a period up to four months (or six months for a ferret). 

In North Carolina and other areas, rabies is commonly found in raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs and beavers. A host species of rabies in our own region and others is the bat. Of the few cases of rabies in humans in our country in recent years, most have been traced to bats. If there is any possibility of exposure from a bat, it is critical that citizens immediately contact their animal control program. If an incident involving a bat – or other rabies vector, such as a raccoon or skunk – should occur outside regular hours of service, an Animal Control Officer should be reached right away through Emergency Communications (9-1-1).

For more information, you can review the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention. You can also visit http://www.orangecountync.gov/307/Rabies.


Kimberly Jones Named 2022-23 Teacher of the Year 

Kimberly Jones of Chapel Hill High School was named the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Teacher of the Year at its annual Recognition Reception on June 6.

Jones is an English teacher with 16 years of teaching experience.  She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Wake Forest University and a master of education degree from Wake Forest University, as well as her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in ELA, Adolescence and Young Adulthood.  Jones received a $1,000 check from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation.

During her impromptu acceptance speech, Mrs. Jones said, “This is the first and only place I’ve ever taught. When I interviewed, I told the staff I wanted to be at Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools because I wanted to be in the best school district in the state, and 16 years have proven that. Every year I am so fortunate to be gifted with young minds to help shape and influence and as a humanities teacher, I firmly believe that what is past does not have to be prologue. Every day we have the power to change the future, to teach the struggles and the crises of our past, but more importantly to equip our young people to create a better and more just world.”


 

Fire Damages Carrboro Apartment Building

On Saturday, June 11, at 8:05 p.m., members of the Carrboro Fire Rescue Department responded to 101 Rock Haven Road, for the report of a structure fire. Additional information was given that significant flames and smoke were visible.

Responding fire crews arrived in just over four minutes and found a 14-unit apartment building with heavy smoke and flames emitting from first- and second-floor units at the rear of the building. The fire was brought under control approximately 40 minutes after arrival. Fire crews were able to contain the fire to the four of the units; however, an additional four units received smoke and water damage. Most of the fire damage was limited to two apartments, with the most significant damage in one second-floor apartment, including the attic and roof of that unit. 

There was one minor injury to a civilian, and that resident was not transported to the hospital. An estimated 17 residents were displaced. The American Red Cross is assisting with temporary relocation and other needs of residents. Initial damage estimates are approximately $500,000. The building was deemed uninhabitable. 

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Carrboro Fire Rescue Department with assistance from the Chapel Hill Fire Department. Carrboro Fire Rescue Department received assistance at the scene from Chapel Hill, White Cross and North Chatham Fire Departments, and South Orange Rescue Squad. The New Hope Fire Department and Orange Grove Fire Department provided coverage to the Town of Carrboro for the duration of the fire.


Orange County Names First Chief Equity and Human Rights Officer

Dr. Shameka Fairbanks has been hired as Orange County’s first chief equity and human rights officer, county manager Bonnie Hammersley announced Monday, June 13. Dr. Fairbanks comes to Orange County from the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, where she served as health equity manager.

Fairbanks will be responsible for implementing Orange County’s One Orange goals to integrate equity in the organization through practical and impactful policies, procedures, programs and services. She will lead the county’s Government Alliance for Racial Equity Workgroup; the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup; provide support and consultation to departments/agencies; and propel the countywide strategy for advancing equity and inclusion into organizational culture and service delivery in the county and its communities.

Fairbanks will also serve as a key liaison to the Orange County Human Relations Commission as well as the community for equity and human rights efforts, including the implementation of the County Racial Equity Action Plan, administration of the Non-Discrimination Ordinance and administration of the County’s fair housing program.

At the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, Fairbanks led communications and creative groupthink strategy sessions for representatives of three departments to design and facilitate organizational initiatives focused on equity. She also motivated a call to action for leadership to implement programs to improve experiences for all cultures by developing a lecture event focused on social justice. 

Dr. Fairbanks earned her bachelor’s degree in communication/marketing from Western Kentucky University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Indiana and her doctoral degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. Her first day in Orange County will be June 27.


Orange County Community Climate Action Grant

The application period for Orange County’s Community Climate Action Grant is now open for FY22-23. The process for soliciting and selecting projects to receive funding is being conducted through a formal grant program.

An estimated $275,075 in funding will be provided to support expansion of climate-change mitigation and resilience projects that build on Orange County’s long history of sustainable actions. An additional $275,075 in funding will be set aside to fund applications submitted under this grant program from either of Orange County’s two public school districts. 
 
Details on grant eligibility, scoring and application materials are available at the grant program website: www.orangecountync.gov/CCAGP.

As part of the FY20 budget, the Board of Orange County Commissioners (BOCC) created the Orange County Climate Action Fund dedicated to accelerating climate change mitigation and resilience projects in Orange County. The first round of projects was proposed by the Commission for the Environment (CFE) and approved by the commissioners. These projects funded solar projects for each of the school districts, a LED lighting campaign for lower-income residents and affordable housing weatherization.
 
Following the direction of the BOCC, the Orange County Sustainability Program is seeking applications for the FY22-23 funding cycle of the Orange County Climate Action Fund.
 
The BOCC has regularly emphasized the need to consider social justice and racial equity, so that those who benefit most directly from the county’s actions and investments are the people who most need assistance. The scoring formula used to rank potential projects reflects these priorities and will be used by the CFE to rank climate action grant applications.
 
Applications are scored using a 25-point scale based on the following weighted criteria:

  • Social justice and racial equity (six points)
  • Emissions reduced (four points)
  • Efficient use of funds (four points) 
  • Capacity of applicant (three points)
  • Local economic development (three points)
  • Amount and duration of engagement (three points)
  • Time to complete (two points)

Pollinator Week in Carrboro

Carrboro will kick off Pollinator Week at Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 1120 Hillsborough Road from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 18, with a short presentation and discussion about pollinators. A gardener will show visitors around the site and explain the importance of pollinators, how they built and care for the pollinator beds in the garden, and how having pollinators is important for growing food. 

The community is also invited to visit the Cedars neighborhood pollinator garden to learn about Carrboro’s local pollinators and how you can start your own pollinator garden. Just a 15-minute walk from MLK Park, the community garden is located on the corner of Bolin Forest and Stable roads (parking also available on Bolin Forest Road). (On Google Maps, type in Stable Road for walking or driving directions.)


Carrboro Stormwater Control Measures & Mosquitoes

If designed and maintained properly, stormwater control measures (SCMs) should not promote mosquito breeding. Stormwater management is essential to mitigate the adverse effects of human impacts on the environment, including controlling flooding, improving water quality, increasing groundwater recharge and reducing stream channel erosion. Ensuring that stormwater facilities are properly designed and maintained is the key to limiting mosquito production in these practices. 

There are many SCMs in Carrboro, some of which are large, end-of-pipe basins that contain and treat water from large drainage areas. Others are small, landscaped practices located within right-of-way areas, schools and libraries, and on private property that collect and treat smaller volumes of water close to the source. Some SCMs will pond water temporarily and some retain water permanently to improve water quality. Some are owned and maintained by the town; most are privately owned and maintained.

SCMs that hold water permanently: Stormwater management ponds typically are not preferred breeding habitats for mosquitoes. Wet ponds and stormwater wetlands with aquatic habitats maintain natural predators that control mosquito populations.

SCMs that hold water temporarily: Dry detention basins, bioretention and rain gardens are designed to detain and infiltrate stormwater. Facilities fill up during storm events and then release the water within two to three days. Because these systems are designed to hold water for only short periods of time, these practices should not sustain mosquito populations.

See https://townofcarrboro.org/2711/Mosquitoes for more information on mosquitoes and how to reduce them on your property.


Chapel Hill Police Search for Homicide Suspect

The Chapel Hill Police Department is working to locate Nathaniel Shamone Byrd, 41, of Chapel Hill, who is charged with first-degree murder.

At around 5:30 a.m. on June 10, officers found Ezzard Charles Stroud Jr, 50, deceased inside his home in the 100 block of Creel Street. Their investigators identified Byrd during a subsequent investigation.

The investigation is ongoing, and no additional information is available at this time.

Anyone who has seen Byrd or has information should call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515. Information that leads to an arrest could be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.


June 9, 2022

Orange County to Host “Welcome to Medicare” Seminars

The Orange County Dept. on Aging and the N.C. Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) has partnered with the Orange County Public Library to host free “Welcome to Medicare” seminars.

The seminar topics will introduce Medicare Parts A & B, Medicare Advantage, Part D Prescription Drug Coverage, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and programs to assist with Medicare costs.

The seminars are free and open to the public. However, space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register in advance.

Seminar Dates and Times:

Wednesday, June 29, 12-1:30 p.m.
Orange County Public Library
137 W. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough
Register at 919-245-2015 by Tuesday, June 28
 
Wednesday, July 13, 6-7:30 p.m.
Online Class using Zoom
Register at www.orangecountync.gov/Medicare101_july
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Monday, August 15, 12-1:30 p.m.
Orange County Public Library
137 W. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough
Register at 919-245-2015 by Friday, August 12
 
In addition, certified counselors are available to meet with you individually, in-person or virtually via Zoom, to explain the basics of Medicare. Book an appointment online or call 919-245-4274.


Chapel Hill Public Library Summer Blast

Chapel Hill Public Library Summer Blast is back in 2022, with reading goals, events, concerts, and other in-person programming.

To get started:

  • Beginning June 1, kids, teens and adults can register online or in-person and come pick up their summer reading log at the library. You’ll also get to pick out your free book.
  • Write down your reading goals and keep track of the time you spend reading using your reading log. You can set any reading goal you want. Don’t be afraid to get creative—try a new genre, aim to finish your to-be-read list, or track minutes, hours, pages or books.
  • If you need reading recommendations, you can always come and ask the staff, explore booklists , or fill out a You Might Like form.
  • See the calendar of events at https://chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/events-calendar/. Join in Family Fun Fridays (https://chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/eventscalendar/family-fun-fridays/), featuring music, food trucks and other fun activities.
  • Look for your name on the Summer Blast window display.
  • Get a stamp on your reading log and pick a prize when you’ve met your reading goal at the end of the summer.

Banned Books Week

In conjunction with Banned Books Week, September 18-24, the Chapel Hill Public Library is looking for original artworks on paper, inspired by books or authors that have been challenged, censored or banned.

Banned Books Week (https://bannedbooksweek.org/) is an annual, national celebration of your freedom to read. Chapel Hill Public Library, in partnership with Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture (https://www.chapelhillarts.org/), celebrates by asking local artists to create original works of art inspired by a banned book or author whose work has been challenged.

The call for artwork for Banned Books Trading Cards 2022 is now open. Help us celebrate the freedom to read. Each piece represents the ongoing struggle for intellectual freedom and the dangers of censorship.

You can collect a free set of Banned Books Trading Cards by visiting the library during Banned Books Week, 2022.

All entries will be displayed at the library during Banned Books Week. Seven works will be selected to be printed as trading cards. Selected entries will also receive $100 and a poster-sized print of their work. Learn more about eligibility and submission requirements at the link below.


Animal Services Reminds Pet Owners about Heat and Hot Car Dangers

Orange County Animal Services asks residents to be mindful of pets during hot temperatures. Temperatures in our area often climb above 90 degrees Fahrenheit during this time of year. Knowing the dangers for pets is a critical part of responsible pet ownership.

One of the biggest areas for concern is people leaving pets inside cars during summer months. Temperatures inside parked vehicles can reach deadly levels in only a matter of minutes, even if parked in the shade and even with all the windows cracked. In Orange County, it is against the law to leave animals inside a parked car if the outside temperature exceeds 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Because pets cannot sweat, their bodies cannot regulate temperature like humans, and they can go into irreversible organ failure that is often fatal in only a matter of minutes inside a car or other overly heated environment.

Other dangers present during extreme heat include pets who do not have access to fresh water and shade. Pets may become dehydrated quickly, and it is critical that they have shade to protect them from the sun. Walking pets in extreme temperatures is not advised, as the heat can cause heatstroke, and the pavement can cause quick damage to the feet of walked pets. Temperatures of these kinds are even harder on senior pets and pets with medical conditions.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also offers more information about hot weather dangers for pets at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/hot-weather-safety-tips.


Fire Sparks Warning About Candle Dangers

The Chapel Hill Fire Department is reminding everyone not to leave burning candles unattended.

Chapel Hill Fire Marshal Chris Wells said that was the cause of a small fire in office space at 141 Providence Road on Monday, May 30. Sprinklers contained the fire and the damage to the immediate area. Wells said the fire did not injure anyone.

The National Fire Protection Association offers the following candle safety tips:

  • Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Keep candles at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy and won’t tip over easily.
  • Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down — put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
  • Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
  • Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles.

Update on E. Main Street Resurfacing Project

The N.C. Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) resurfacing project for E. Main Street in Carrboro and W. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is underway, with Carolina Sunrock as the project contractor.  

Carolina Sunrock’s subcontractor Browe Construction continues to adjust utilities throughout the project limits. The work will continue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Friday, June 10. This work is advancing with minimal traffic disruption.

To limit disturbance of local businesses and traffic, work will occur at night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday. No work will occur after 6 a.m. on Friday or on Saturday. All work will be performed with single-lane closures that will allow continued flow within multilane portions of the work zone and flagging operations through the two-lane portion. Drivers should use caution and stay alert. Sidewalks should remain open. 

At this time, the milling and resurfacing is anticipated to begin the week of June 27. The milling and resurfacing work will also take place during the night.

NCDOT Project Contact:  John Howell at 336-570-6830. 


Chapel Hill Police Chief to Retire in December

Police Chief and Executive Director for Community Safety Chris Blue will retire Dec. 31, after 25 years of service to the Town of Chapel Hill.

“This is a bittersweet announcement for me to make,” said Chief Blue. “It has truly been an honor to serve as a police officer in my hometown for all these years and I still love every minute of it. But, it is time for me to try other things and make space for the next leader of this outstanding organization. They will be taking over the most progressive and innovative law enforcement agency in this state and I’m excited to see what’s next for the incredible team at CHPD.”

Chief Blue was sworn in as a patrol officer in November of 1997, serving in many roles before his appointment as chief of police on Dec. 1, 2010. During his tenure, Chief Blue led the department’s response to the tragic murders of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, as well as the investigation into the murder of Faith Hedgepeth. Also under his leadership, the Town successfully prepared for and managed three UNC men’s basketball Final Four appearances and reduced the size, cost and community impacts of the annual Halloween event. Finally, with the input and collaboration of an engaged community, his team has enthusiastically responded to calls for enhanced transparency about Chapel Hill’s policing efforts and more progressive police policies, has expanded the ground-breaking Police Crisis Unit, and has strengthened police/community relationships in Chapel Hill. 

The Town is developing a hiring process to fill this position that will include opportunities for public input. That process will be announced soon, with the goal of having the new chief hired before Chief Blue’s retirement.  

Members of the media wishing to speak with Chief Blue can contact Communications Manager Ran Northam at rnortham@townofchapelhill.org or 919-969-4878.


June 2, 2022

Special Court Session to Address Orange County Convictions of 1947 Freedom Riders

A special session of Orange County Superior Court is scheduled for June 17 at 2 p.m. in the Historic Courthouse in Hillsborough (106 E. King St.), the sole purpose of which is a Motion for Appropriate Relief seeking to vacate posthumously the 1947 convictions of four original Freedom Riders in the Civil Rights movement. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour will preside.
 
On April 9, 1947, an interracial group of 16 men began the Journey of Reconciliation, the first “freedom ride,” to challenge continued Jim Crow segregation on buses despite the 1946 U.S. Supreme Court Morgan v. Virginia ruling declaring segregation on interstate travel unconstitutional. After an overnight stay in Chapel Hill, the buses prepared to leave. The riders, black and white, sat in front, while an angry mob of cab drivers gathered outside the bus.
 
Police were called to the scene. Four riders—Bayard Rustin, Igal Roodenko, Andrew Johnson and Joseph Felmet—were arrested for disorderly conduct for refusing to move from the front of the bus. The four men subsequently were convicted in the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough and sentenced to serve 30 days on a chain gang. Civil rights leader Bayard Rustin later wrote about his experiences of incarceration and hard labor in North Carolina, and this work is credited with reforming the practice of prison chain gangs.
 
“While this judicial action is taking place 75 years after the injustice occurred, never should we falter in examining past wrongs, seeking reparation, and lifting those heavy burdens from our hearts and minds so that future generations may know justice,” said Renée Price, chair of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners. “We also must recognize the brave individuals who stood up in the face of Jim Crow to demand our humanity and our liberation. Seeking legal redress for Roodenko, Rustin, Felmet and Johnson as we prepare for the Juneteenth holiday is timely and relevant.”
 
A short program will be part of the court session and will include Price; District Attorney James R. Woodall; Public Defender Woodrena Baker-Harrell; Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger; Dr. Freddie Parker, professor emeritus of history at N.C. Central University; LaTarndra Strong, president of the Northern Orange Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue. Family members and friends of Mr. Rustin, Mr. Roodenko, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Felmet will attend this event and will also participate. For those unable to attend in person, the court session and program will be live-streamed.
 
For further information, please contact Renee Price, BOCC Chair, at rprice@orangecountync.gov or 919-593-1904.


Chapel Hill-Carrboro Juneteenth Celebration

A coalition of local organizations invites the community to be a part of the second annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro Juneteenth Celebration. The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill. Attendees can expect live performances by local black artists, a black-owned small-business fair, kids activities, food trucks and more. 

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro proclaimed the observance and commemoration of Juneteenth on June 19, 2020, and encourage residents and employers to recognize the holiday. 

Planning for the event is led by representatives from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and NAACP Youth Council, the Marion Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Office of Equity and Engagement, the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, and the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. 

Events include:

Live Performances
The main stage will feature a variety of local musical acts, including the Gospel Winds, the R&B ensemble Souls of Joy, hip-hop performer Kevin “Rowdy” Rowsey, and steel drummer Mickey Mills & Steel. Chapel Hill poet laureate C.J. Suitt and Carrboro poet laureate Fred Joiner will also perform on the main stage. 

Small Business Fair, Non-Profit Expo and Local Food 
Local black-owned business and organizations will be highlighted throughout the event. Small business vendors will sell handcrafted goods and wares inside the center, while non-profits and community groups will engage festivalgoers outside. Local black-owned restaurants and food trucks will serve a variety of foods and special menu items. 

Kids Programming
The celebration will feature an entire zone dedicated to youth, with arts, books, crafts, games and more. A basketball skills clinic and a performance by the Bouncing Bulldogs jump rope team will take place inside the Hargraves gym.  

Local History
Different exhibits will be on display for attendees to learn about local black history and discover local black culture. 

Planning is still underway for Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s in-person Juneteenth Celebration. Regular updates will be shared via social media and the official website at chapelhillcarrborojuneteenth.org.


Gun Violence Awareness Day in Carrboro

Carrboro will recognize Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 3, as proclaimed by Mayor Damon Seils. 

Mayor Seils encourages all residents to contact state and federal lawmakers — including Senator Richard Burr and Senator Thom Tillis — to insist they enact widely supported gun restrictions and gun safety legislation, and to remind them that lawmakers’ continued inaction on such legislation helps to make guns easily available and contributes to the deaths of North Carolinians and people across the U.S.

Recent mass shootings — including the incident of racial terrorism at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., and the massacre of children and teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex. — are horrifying reminders that the U.S. stands alone among high-wealth countries in its exceptionally high level of gun violence. 

Read the full proclamation at http://www.carrboronc.gov/2630/Proclamations-and-Resolutions.


June Chapel Hill Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian-safety enforcement operations in June — in addition to normal patrols. Scheduled special operations include — but are not limited to – the following dates:

  • Wednesday, June 1, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, June 4, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 7, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 11, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Monday, June 13, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 18, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 21, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 25, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 30, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change

Each effort will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors).

The CHPD is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in June – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads.

  • Tuesday, June 7, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, June 14, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Tuesday, June 21, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, June 28, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change

The Town will utilize its variable message sign boards throughout town to alert people driving of the events as well as encouraging them to limit distractions and watch out for people walking and people riding their bikes.


May 30, 2022

New OCLW Certifications 

Since March, Orange County Living Wage has certified the following local businesses and employers: 

B3 Coffee
Krave Kava Bar
Pee Wee Homes
Quantum Eye Care
Rasberry Maintenance Services, LLP
Simple Air Solutions
Soltys Place

In addition to these new certifications, many employers have recertified. Go to https://orangecountylivingwage.org/directory/ to see all Orange County living wage employers. OCLW recently certified their 300th employer since their founding in 2015.

The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro announced the 2022 Business Excellence Awards finalists. OCLW is included, as well as certified living wage employers Craftboro, Hope Renovations, Community Home Trust, Orange Literacy, Fitch Lumber Company, Carrboro Plumbing and Carrboro Coffee Roasters. The winners will be revealed during an awards ceremony on June 16 (https://bit.ly/3t5BvGa). 


Orange County Adds 12 EV Charging Stations in Hillsborough

Orange County has recently installed 12 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for use by the public.
The new “Level 2” Clipper Creek charging stations are available to the public 24/7. Six stations are located at the Eno River Parking deck accessed from 131 W. Margaret St. or Nash and Kollack streets, in Hillsborough. Six more stations are available at the Durham Technical Community College Park and Ride lot located at 525 College Park Road, Hillsborough.

Orange County is pleased to offer these chargers to support EV adoption and to further the county’s climate action goals. The county looks forward to offering more EV charging opportunities in the future to expand the growing network and to provide greater access to this service in the community. 

The charging stations are free of charge; however, users are asked to limit their use to a maximum of four hours a day as a courtesy to other users.

Questions about the chargers can be directed to Amy Eckberg, Sustainability Program Manager, Orange County Asset Management Services, at 919-245-2626


May 26, 2022

25-Year Town Veteran Receives Employee Service Honor

Assistant Public Housing Director Lisa Edwards was selected by a panel of her peers to receive the 2022 W. Calvin Horton Service Award. Town Manager Maurice Jones presented the award to Ms. Edwards at the Town’s Employee Appreciation Event Friday, May 20.

Ms. Edwards has worked for the Town of Chapel Hill since 1996, serving in the police, human resources, fire, and public housing departments.

On the nomination form, Lisa was celebrated for her belief in the Town’s organizational values, “[it is] not simply a poster that hangs in a break room. Lisa ensures that we understand, recognize, and appreciate how adherence improves our workspace.”

The nominating party said she adds more than institutional knowledge in her current role, but real-world experience to help the people she serves. “She strives to make sure that all public housing residents are treated fairly, with dignity and with respect.”

The award is one of the highest honors the Town bestows upon an employee, who receives an inscribed glass plaque and $3,000 cash award.

The W. Calvin Horton Service Award was initiated in 2007, when funds were raised by the community through the Foundation for a Sustainable Community, Inc., a not-for-profit charitable corporation under the auspices of the Chapel Hill–Carrboro Chamber of Commerce. The community raised the funds to honor the 16 years of service of former Town Manager Cal Horton. It was Horton’s request that the funds raised be used to award Town employees for distinguished service of at least 10 years. The fund supports the cash stipend associated with the award. 


Chapel Hill Fire Department Responds to Fires, Downed Tree

The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to two fires and a downed tree as a storm moved through Monday afternoon. Lightning was reported around the time of the fires, but the cause of each fire remains under investigation. There were no reports of injuries during any of the incidents.

At 4 p.m. firefighters extinguished a small fire in the basement of a home in the 100 block of Cynthia Drive. At 4:06 p.m. firefighters responded to 18 Hamilton Road, where a tree fell on a home; there were no reports of injuries. At 4:12 p.m. firefighters responded to 600 Perkins Drive. They saw flames on the roof of an apartment building and began their work to extinguish the fire. Four of nine units in the building are uninhabitable. Of those four units, seven residents are displaced.

Take time now to prepare for the next storm. Sign up for OC Alerts to receive notifications when severe weather is approaching or happening in our area. Visit weather.gov/rah to check the forecast.


BLM Vigil

Saturday, May 28, from 12 to 1 p.m., Binkley Baptist Church will again hold a Black Lives Matter vigil at 1712 Willow Drive to remind people driving by, and those of us standing together, that we will never give in to hatred. This marks the two-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd. Music and fellowship will follow the vigil.



Freight Train Blues Concert this Friday 

Sister Lena Mae Perry of The Branchettes says her gospel music is like medicine. Come hear her amazing voice at the Freight Train Blues concert Friday, May 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St. Friday’s concert will also feature the innovative bluegrass band Hard Drive. 

The Town of Carrboro continues to present the Music Maker Foundation’s Freight Train Blues series of free concerts every Friday evening through June 10.


Chapel Hill Police Investigate Armed Robberies

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is investigating two armed robberies reported Wednesday night, one at Rosemary Street and Pritchard Avenue at 9:30 p.m. and one at Church Street and Clark Court at 9:45 p.m. A gun was displayed during both robberies, and each robbery involved two suspects. No injuries were reported.

One of the suspects was described as a man wearing a black hoodie, black sweatpants, and blue bandana or scarf over his face.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Celebrates National Trails Day

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with Chapel Hill Public Housing and the Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation, and Greenways, has planned a unique, interactive trail experience to celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4, at Umstead Park from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The event will highlight a recently .3-mile refurbished natural-surface trail, which is in Town-owned open space, and is adjacent to the planned Trinity Court housing development.

This vital trail development project connects pedestrians from the planned Trinity Court community to Umstead Park, the Northside Neighborhood and Downtown Chapel Hill via the Tanyard Branch Trail, as well as East Franklin Street and the Chapel Hill Community Center on South Estes Drive via the Bolin Creek Trail.

Faith Brodie, director of public housing, will share more about the new Trinity Court development and what’s coming as part of the Community Housing Partners leadership on the project. Steve Price, from the Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation, and Greenways, will also be on hand to share about recent trail improvements, new wayfinding signage, as well as opportunities for getting involved with similar projects.

Following the ceremony, Adventure Jones from the Parks and Recreation adventure team will lead a short interactive hike and talk about the new trail features as well as many new adventure programs coming this summer and fall. Chapel Hill’s municipal arborist Adam Smith will also be on hand to share information and to answer questions that you may have about trees in the area. 

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, parks and open spaces are vitally important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life in a community, ensuring the health of families and youth, and contributing to the economic and environmental well-being of a community and region.

For more information about National Trails Day and Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, or to find a trail near you, see chapelhillparks.org


Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Juvenile

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is seeking the community’s assistance locating a juvenile who was last seen Wednesday at around 10:25 p.m. in the area of River Birch Lane.

Saniya Famer, 15, of Chapel Hill, was last seen wearing a dark hoodie, jean shorts, and several wrist bracelets. Farmer has brown eyes with braided black hair. She has a nose ring and ear piercings. Farmer is not believed to be in any danger.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


Period Poverty Awareness Week in Carrboro

May 23-29 is Period Poverty Awareness Week in Carrboro, proclaimed by Mayor Damon Seils. 

Carrboro is proud to be home to trusted community-based organizations, including On the Spot, a program of the Diaper Bank of North Carolina, a member of the Alliance for Period Supplies, a network of more than 100 active period-supply banks in that are raising awareness of the importance of period products in ensuring health and providing economic stability, and thus distributing period products through various channels. 

Read the full proclamation at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/11383/Period-Poverty-Awareness-Week-2022.

Support efforts of the Diaper Bank of North Carolina at https://ncdiaperbank.org/circle-of-change.   


May 23, 2022

Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Juvenile

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is seeking the community’s assistance locating a missing juvenile. Colby Williams, 15, of Chapel Hill, was last seen at approximately 4:30 p.m. May 18 in the area of Perkins Drive. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts with a silver design and black Adidas slide-style sandals.

Williams is not believed to be in danger.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


May 20, 2022

Volunteers Needed for Partnership to End Homelessness Project Review Committee

The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness (OCPEH) is recruiting new members for the OCPEH Project Review Committee. OCPEH helps to coordinate nearly $1 million in federal funding for housing and homeless services each year. The Project Review Committee is a standing group that meets year-round (usually 2-3 hours every other month) to establish funding priorities, rate and rank project applications, create and maintain relationships with Continuum of Care- and Emergency Solutions Grant-funded service providers and monitor program performance.

For more information, register at https://orangecountync.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkfu-pqj8jGNKZgdjhZNhEH6O7-9eIxn6R to attend the Project Review Committee Information Session to be held on Tuesday, May 24, from 4 to 5 p.m. The session will be recorded and available at https://www.ocpehnc.com/project-review-committee.

To apply:

Applications will be accepted ongoing with deadline for consideration for the 2022-2024 term by June 3. Please feel free to contact Rachel Waltz at rwaltz@orangecountync.gov with any questions.


Stober Selected to be Planning Director for Orange County

Orange County manager Bonnie Hammersley announced May 20 that Cy Stober, who is currently the development director for the City of Mebane, will fill the position of planning director for Orange County created by the retirement of Craig Benedict.

“As Planning Director of Mebane, I have witnessed the county’s commitment to innovative and progressive planning,” Stober said. “In order to meet the challenges of unprecedented growth, Orange County will need to maintain its role as a proponent of economic development, regional partnerships, transportation efficiency, and sustainability while also maintaining its emphasis on equity, accountability and environmental protection.”

As Mebane’s development director, Stober oversees development and growth for a fast-growing city of 18,000 residents. His duties include approval and oversight of the construction of hundreds of houses and millions of industrial square feet, from the initial permits through the issuance of the certificate of occupation.

Under his leadership, Mebane created a historic downtown small-area plan; implemented a bicycle and pedestrian plan; and managed regional and local transportation plans to construct multimodal infrastructure for a growing city.

Stober earned a B.S. in biological sciences from Ohio University and a master of environmental management from Duke University.

He has worked with the City of Mebane since 2017. Before that, he served as a source water assessment program manager for the N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality and was a senior regional planner for the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, which provided services to 74 local governments throughout 12 counties, including Alamance. He began his career as environmental education/outreach coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 3) as part of an Americorps Service Year.

Stober replaces Benedict, who retired April 1 after 23 years of service to the county. Stober’s first day on the job will be June 21.


E. Main Street Resurfacing Project Set to Begin May 23

Crews for the N.C. Dept. of Transportation are scheduled to begin work to improve a prominent stretch of roadway in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. The work will begin Monday, May 23, and run through mid-August. 

West Franklin Street/East Main Street will be milled and resurfaced between N.C. 86 and Jones Ferry Road over the coming months. A new traffic pattern will also be implemented to add bike lanes along this stretch. The new restriping plan will include turn lanes and bike lanes on E. Main Street in Carrboro.

Lane closures will be utilized for the duration of the project. Drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians are urged to be cautious when traveling through this work zone – for their own safety and that of the crews that will be working near the open travel lanes.

Learn more about the project at https://bit.ly/3wx2FYn


Memorial Day Holiday in Chapel Hill

Monday, May 30, is a Town holiday for Chapel Hill. Some services will be affected, as follows:

Residential trash will not be collected (make-up day Wednesday, June 1). Yard waste collection will not be affected.

Curbside recycling will not be collected on Monday (make-up day Saturday, June 4).

Commercial trash will not be collected. Collections will be completed by the end of the week.

Orange County Landfill and Waste and Recycling Centers will be closed.

Chapel Hill Public Library will be closed.

Chapel Hill Transit will not operate.

Housing: Office and Maintenance Division will be closed. For emergency maintenance services, call 919-968-2855.

Parks and Recreation: Parks, greenways, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters and outdoor park amenities are open.

Parks and Recreation administrative offices, Chapel Hill Community Center and Pool, Hargraves Community Center and Teen Center will be closed. Homestead Aquatic Center and A.D. Clark Outdoor Pool will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


May 18, 2022

Town of Carrboro Receives NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards

The Town of Carrboro was among 29 North Carolina governments to earn recognition in the N.C. City & County Communicators (NC3C) 2022 Excellence in Communications Awards. The Town of Carrboro won awards in the Citizen Participation and Most Creative with Least Dollars categories. 

The Town of Carrboro received the First Place Award for Citizen Participation with the Carrboro Connects Comprehensive Plan. The engagement plan aimed to have all residents, organizations, businesses and appointed and elected officials come together to develop a common vision for the future of Carrboro and set of goals and strategies to meet that vision. The Draft Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan has been well received by the community. This engagement effort culminated in a new draft, which was released on May 2 and is available for viewing at https://www.carrboroconnects.org/

Small Town Pride won a Second Place Award in the Most Creative Least Dollars category. You can watch a video at https://youtu.be/wf5vlRSM0jk.  

The purpose of N.C. City & County Communicators is to encourage professional development and networking among local governmental communications professionals. The organization is celebrating 15 years since its founding in March 2007 and consists of professional government communicators from around the state. For more information about NC3C, see nc3c.com.


Former Carrboro Mayor Robert “Bob” Drakeford Dies 

Robert “Bob” Drakeford made history as Carrboro’s first and only black mayor, elected in 1977 and serving until 1983. Longtime residents remember him as the young activist mayor who was elected as part of the progressive Carrboro Coalition in the 1970s. 

“Mayor Drakeford brought a planner’s sensibility and a forward-looking vision to a Carrboro that was ripe for both,” Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils said. “Many of his priorities, from expanding public transportation and improving pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to fostering a welcoming, inclusive community, are at the heart of what we in Carrboro continue to reach for today.” 

Mayor Drakeford served as alderman from 1975 to 1977 before being elected as mayor in 1977. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill’s city and regional planning program, he was an advocate for public transit and cycling, and he developed valuable collaborations with other progressive black mayors in the South during his tenure. 

Mayor Drakeford held public office when the Council (then Board of Aldermen) hired Richard Knight as the town’s first black town manager, employed from 1976-1980.  And he served as mayor during the hiring of the Town’s first professional planner, who was black. This decision helped set high standards that eventually made Carrboro more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. He also established a loan program to encourage business entrepreneurs and created the Carrboro Community Park, later renamed the Hank Anderson Community Park. The biggest issue during his tenure was planning the Chapel Hill-Carrboro bus system. 

The Town of Carrboro will remember Mayor Drakeford for his service to the community, for his courage and dedication and for laying the foundation for an inclusive community. 


Police Week in Carrboro 

The week of May 15-21 is Police Week in the Town of Carrboro. In 1961 a joint resolution of Congress authorized the president to proclaim May 15th of each year to be Peace Officers Memorial Day, which honors law enforcement officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty, and to proclaim the week of each year during which that date occurs as Police Week.

In the most recent biennial community survey, the Carrboro Police Department was among the major categories of Town services that had the highest levels of satisfaction. 

The Carrboro Police Department provides a vital public service by fostering the well-being of the community in a way that respects and promotes the rights of individuals; by providing for the safety of the Town’s residents and visitors; by acting as first responders in emergency and crisis situations; by investigating and solving crimes; by offering a variety of community services to individuals, local businesses, and community organizations and agencies; and by participating in ongoing training to stay up to date on current policing techniques, to achieve the department’s bias-free policing goals, and to provide community services in a fair and professional manner.


Public Works Week in Carrboro

The week of May 15-21 is Public Works Week in the Town of Carrboro, proclaimed by Mayor Damon Seils. 

The town is following a national observance, of which the theme is “Ready and Resilient,” highlighting the ability of public works professionals to perform regular public works duties and react as first responders during natural disasters and overcome trials in the field. 

Carrboro Public Works provides reliable solid waste collection; loose leaf collection; street, greenway, and right-of-way maintenance; snow removal; stormwater facility maintenance; mowing and landscaping of Town properties; tree trimming and removal; ball field preparation and maintenance; facility maintenance; vehicle and equipment maintenance; cemetery maintenance and burials; and more. 

There are 35 dedicated employees, half of whom joined the Town in the last five years, 10 of whom have reached up to 15 years of service, 4 of whom have reached up to 25 years of service, and another 4 of whom have achieved more than 25 years of service. 

In the most recent biennial community survey, Carrboro Public Works earned residents’ highest ratings of satisfaction, with 91% of residents indicating they were satisfied or very satisfied with the department’s services. 

Read the complete proclamation at https://bit.ly/3Mwlwsk.


No Mow May

The Town of Carrboro is participating in No Mow May. The goal of No Mow May is to allow grass to grow unmown for the month of May, creating habitat and forage for early season pollinators. 

Researchers in Wisconsin studying the impact of No Mow May found that participating yards had three-times higher bee species richness and five-times higher bee abundance than nearby parks that had been mowed. Many pollinator species emerge in May from their hibernation or wintering habitat, and flowers in your yard can provide them with a critical first meal. 

Regular lawn mowing favors grasses and other low-growing species. Mowing your lawn less can allow different species to thrive, increasing biodiversity. Researchers in Canada have found that certain allergenic species, such as ragweed, can be decreased simply through reducing lawn-mowing frequency. 

As part of its commitment to Bee City USA, the Carrboro Town Code was updated to allow managed natural landscapes. No Mow May is one way you can participate. 


Stormwater Contractors Directory Available

To promote residential stormwater improvements and help bridge the connection between residents seeking assistance and those companies wishing to provide it, the Stormwater Division is continually compiling a directory of qualified contractors who are capable and available to perform such work and wish to be contacted by Carrboro residents.

The directory is now available and can be downloaded as an Excel workbook at https://bit.ly/3wj7Riv

If you want your business to be included, or know of a business that you think would like to be listed, contractors/businesses are invited to submit information for listing in the directory via the Contractor Directory Application at https://bit.ly/3sKllBS.


Carrboro Seeks Feedback on Jones Ferry Road Protected Bike Lane

The Town of Carrboro is seeking feedback from cyclists who have used the protected bike lane along the eastbound lane of Jones Ferry Road. 

Take the survey at: 

The protected bike lane in Carrboro was approved by the N.C. Dept. of Transportation as a pilot project and installed by the Town’s Public Works Department. It begins just south of the N.C. 54 eastbound ramps and extends north to the point near Barnes Street, where the street narrows and the buffered bike lane end. 

Protected bike lanes generally have a separation element between the bike lane and the vehicular travel lane. On Jones Ferry Road, this element is a row of flex posts. The flex posts serve to identify the bike lane as a space for people on bikes.  

Contact planning administrator Tina Moon at 919-918-7325 or cmoon@carrboronc.gov to submit additional questions or comments or to request a physical copy of the survey.


Carrboro and Chapel Hill Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Pride Month is celebrated nationally and locally each year in June. The towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill are hosting Small Town Pride, a joint celebration featuring events, art installations, online resources and other opportunities to celebrate the Pride community. Through Small Town Pride, the aim is to affirm community values ensuring that all residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated with respect and dignity.

Together with Carrboro, the Town of Chapel Hill’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group has been instrumental in planning Small Town Pride. Celebrations will happen the entire month of June and will recognize local LGBTQ+ leaders, artists and activists and highlight history, resources and businesses. More information is available at carrboronc.gov/pride and chapelhillarts.org/smalltownpride

Participate in one of the many events happening in June: 

  • Chapel Hill Pride! Promenade | Saturday, June 4, 2-4 p.m. (downtown Chapel Hill)
    Gather at Peace and Justice Plaza (179 E. Franklin St.) and strut alongside performers and other revelers in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community to 140 W. Franklin Plaza for a social gathering with music and activities.
  • Poets Open Mic Night | Tuesday, June 7, 7-9 p.m. (via Zoom)
    Celebrate LGBTQ Pride through your poetry with other local poets. This event encourages the writing, reading and listening of poetry. Hosted by Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department. Join the zoom event at https://bit.ly/3ws92w4.
  • Drag Story Times | Saturdays, June 11, 18 and 25, 3-4 p.m. (locations vary)
    Drag Story Times celebrate glamour, imagination, play and gender fluidity while providing positive queer role models. Bring your kids to enjoy a fabulous hour of story time by some of the most prominent drag royalty in the Triangle!
  • ORGULLO LATINX PRIDE | Saturday, June 11, 5-9 p.m. (Carrboro Town Commons)
    Celebrate Latinx Pride with local food trucks, a drag show, a DJ and games for the kids. Organizers from El Centro Hispano aim to create an event that fosters unity, inclusivity and empowerment by showcasing our community’s talents while providing social, healthcare and advocacy resources, and family fun.
  • Pride Piper Walk | Friday, June 24, 4:30 p.m. (Carrboro Century Center)
     Join local officials and the Bulltown Strutters to help roll “Rainbow Ram” down Weaver Street from the Century Center to Town Commons for the Pride Food Truck Rodeo & Dance Party. 
  • Pride Food Truck Rodeo & Dance Party | Friday, June 24, 5-8 p.m. (Carrboro Town Commons)
    Join for food, dance and frolicking on the lawn. If you’re interested in participating as a vendor or by setting up a table, fill out the application form at https://bit.ly/3LnN41L.  

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Small Town Pride hopes to promote the equality of the LGBTQIA+ communities, as well as increase visibility, challenge anti-LGBTQ legislation and bring awareness to other LGBTQ issues. Progress for true equality requires the support of everyone, including straight allies who know that support for LGBTQ+ people strengthens the entire community.

For media inquiries, contact Catherine Lazorko for the Town of Carrboro at clazorko@carrboronc.gov and Melissa Bartoletta for the Town of Chapel Hill at mbartoletta@townofchapelhill.org


New Anti-Dooring Ordinance in Chapel Hill

At its May 4 meeting, the Chapel Hill Town Council enacted an anti-dooring ordinance. This ordinance makes it unlawful for a driver to open their car door in a way that puts bicyclists, pedestrians and other drivers in danger. Check your rearview and sideview mirrors before leaving your vehicle to make sure the path is clear.


Orange County Launches Digital Payment System for Property Taxes

MyOrangeCountyNC is Orange County’s new official online and mobile payment portal for property taxes. Orange County leadership created the new payment solution in partnership with PayIt, an award-winning digital government and payment platform. The system went through a soft launch on May 5 and is now available for everyone to use.

MyOrangeCountyNC provides residents with an easy-to-use experience that streamlines the payment process through a user-friendly interface. MyOrangeCountyNC allows residents to securely store their preferred payment methods within the platform and set up automatic payments as well as create reminder notifications about bill due dates. 

MyOrangeCountyNC replaces Orange County’s previous online bill-pay site. The new digital payment system is currently available to download in the Google Play store for Android devices as well as the Apple App Store for iOS devices. It can also be accessed online at pay.orangecountync.gov.


W. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill Returns to Five Lanes Temporarily

The N.C. Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) will begin resurfacing W. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill soon. In preparation for this work, Town crews and contractors have adjusted the Merritt Mill Road intersection, installed curb ramps for new bus stops and removed the temporary barriers that created the on-street walkway. The road has been returned to the pre-COVID-19, five-lane design until the road is resurfaced in June and July.

A contractor for NCDOT will resurface and repaint the road with a design provided by the Town. Utility work will begin the week of May 23, then milling and resurfacing will begin in mid-June. This schedule is dependent on favorable weather in Chapel Hill and where the contractor is performing other projects.

The new pavement-marking design includes bike lanes that are mostly next to the curb and, where there is on-street parking, will run between parked cars and the curb (known as curb-running bike lanes), except in front of Carolina Square, where the bike lane will be between parked cars and traffic. See the project website (https://bit.ly/3sGHK2Q) for more information.


May 11, 2022

Seeking Volunteers to Be Local History Stewards at Visitors Center

 The Chapel Hill Historical Society and Preservation Chapel Hill are seeking volunteers for Hometown Ambassadors, a program to provide local history to visitors and new residents at the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Center.

Missy Julian-Fox, program organizer, says, “Hometown Ambassadors are a way to marshal a cohort to help tell the stories of our town. We hope to involve community members from across neighborhoods and from many areas of town. It seems a perfect match for those of us who love to learn, value our history, like to meet new people, and serve our community. We can help shape the experience and understanding of others, near and far.”

CHOCVB executive director Laurie Paolicelli says, “Many of the surrounding towns offer visitors frequently scheduled, guided historical tours. I think Hometown Ambassadors is a fun, unique and engaging way to fill that void for visitors to Chapel Hill and Carrboro.”

Hometown Ambassadors will volunteer at the CHOCVB’s Welcome Center at 308 West Franklin Street for a selected, two-hour shift to share history, insight, and recommendations to visitors. The Hometown Ambassador may prefer to stay on site to share history and landmarks or to lead a walking tour downtown. A series of prep sessions will be held to prepare volunteers as Hometown Ambassadors.

To become a Hometown Ambassador, volunteers should like to meet new people, love the community, want to learn more, and understand and honor the responsibility of representing the community.  

A trial program will run from July through September. If interested in serving as a Hometown Ambassador, please email Missy Julian-Fox at mjulianfox@gmail.com.

 


May 7, 2022

Chapel Hill Town Manager Recommends $128 Million Budget to Council

Chapel Hill Town Manager Maurice Jones presented his recommended budget for fiscal year 2022-2023 to the Chapel Hill Town Council Wednesday night. The proposed budget is $127,716,587, an 8.9% increase from fiscal year 2022. The recommended budget supports Town Council’s strategic priorities, continues recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, restores focus on long-term priorities and invests in the Town’s most valuable resources, its employees.

The Town’s current tax rate is 51.4 cents per $100 assessed valuation. Mr. Jones has proposed a half-cent increase in the tax rate to support the operations and capital costs in Chapel Hill Transit.

Community members have multiple opportunities to weigh in on the budget before the Council adopts it June 8. The Council will hold two — possibly three — work sessions by June 1 and a public hearing May 18. 


Electric-Vehicle Charging Stations at Town Hall Closed Temporarily

To maintain personal and vehicle safety while the roof is being replaced at the Chapel Hill Town Hall, the electric-vehicle charging stations are temporarily unavailable. The project is expected to continue for as long as eight weeks.


Chapel Hill Recognized as Top Solar Energy Designation

Chapel Hill was officially recognized at this year’s State Energy Conference as having a SolSmart Gold designation from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. As their website says, “SolSmart recognizes cities, counties, and regional organizations for making it faster, easier, and more affordable to go solar.” The Town initially received this designation in 2017.

SolSmart designations of Gold, Silver or Bronze are based on actions across permitting and inspection, planning and zoning, government operations, community management and market development. The designation recognizes communities that have taken bold steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development.

For more details visit https://solsmart.org/communities/chapel-hill-nc/.


Carrboro Connects Adoption Draft Ready for Consideration

After multiple rounds of public comment and review by Town staff, advisory boards and commissions, and the Town Council, the Carrboro Connects Adoption Draft is ready to be considered for adoption. It reflects the extensive engagement conducted throughout the planning process, as well as specific input on previous drafts of the plan.

The Town Council will review and consider this draft for possible adoption at its meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 10. You can view the livestreamed meeting at YouTube.com/CarrboroNC or Cable TV 18.

Access the document at https://www.carrboroconnects.org/adoption-draft-may-10-2022


Severe Storm Damages Three Buildings in Mebane

Three buildings in Orange County sustained damage from heavy winds that could have been the result a tornado, Orange County emergency officials said Friday, May 6. The county has not been able to confirm if the damage was caused by a tornado, but Orange County Emergency Services Director Kirby Saunders said several callers to 911 reported seeing a funnel cloud.

Saunders said the Orange County 911 center received the first call about a potential tornado at 5:18 p.m. from the Gildan Distribution Center on E. Washington Street in Mebane. The county received several more calls, including from residences on Frazier Road and Mace Road that reported damage, including fallen trees and downed power lines.

Saunders said 30 employees were inside the distribution center when the storm struck and ripped off large chunks of an exterior wall, but no one suffered any injuries. Crews were still assessing the impacted residences but had no estimates of the amount of damage. Saunders said the county would work with any residents who might be displaced and need emergency housing assistance.

Saunders said the storm also damaged several natural gas lines. Utility crews were working to secure those lines.


May 5, 2022

Outdoor Festival to Showcase Local Bands

Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) will collaborate on Tracks Local Music Fest, a free outdoor concert in downtown Chapel Hill later this month.

On Saturday, May 21, from 3 to 7 p.m., five diverse acts from the Tracks Music Library (https://tracksmusiclibrary.org/) collection will perform back-to-back as part of Tracks Music Fest, taking place outside at CPA’s CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio (https://carolinaperformingarts.org/venues/), located in Carolina Square and created to connect campus and community via the arts. The lineup spans a range of genres – from pop to hip hop to punk rock – mirroring the mix of sounds that make up the Triangle’s music scene. Each act will play a 30-minute set with small break in between. Acts are as follows:

3:00 p.m. – Kicking off the event is Anne-Claire, North Carolina-born and Carrboro-based singer and songwriter. Anne-Claire is known for elegant vocals both on and off the stage – as a teacher of singing and songwriting for adults and kids alike.

3:50 p.m. – Americana band Dissimilar South takes the stage with sounds rooted in country and folk genres while experimenting with synthesizers, electric guitars and drum kits. Expect tight harmonies and lyrics that explore “the bittersweet nature of relationships and queerness with honesty and whit.”  

4:40 p.m. – Transition to the dance realm with Treee City, the electronic music project of Durham-based DJ and producer Patrick Phelps-McKeown. Drawing inspiration from field recordings, pop radio, vintage technology and 90’s rave nostalgia, Treee City’s sound is unique and an essential part of the Triangle’s electronic music scene.

5:30 p.m. – Rapper, producer and songwriter Austin Royale turns up with a full band to explore experimental sounds of hip hop, rock and beyond. Austin continues to recreate himself and has been an ongoing influence in the local music scene for almost a decade.

6:20 p.m. – The event closes out with punk rock duo, BANGZZ, hailed for their “loud and fast songs with in-your-face feminist themes.” Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Erika Libero is also the co-founder of the local Chapel Hill music festival Manifest.

Each slated act appears on Tracks Music Library, a free local music streaming platform from Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Public Library.  With over 100 albums from Triangle-based artists, Tracks aims to help new audiences discover new music and for local musicians to reach new listeners.

Limited seating is available, so bringing a chair or blanket is recommended. Beer and ice cream will be available for purchase. Additional food can be purchased at local and nearby restaurants. To learn more about the event, like parking and transportation options, visit chapelhillarts.org/tracksfest.  To learn more about CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio, visit carolinaperformingarts.org. To learn more about Tracks Music Library, visit tracksmusiclibrary.org. For media inquiries, contact Melissa Bartoletta at mbartoletta@chapelhillarts.org.


Tar Heel Express Shuttles to Serve the UNC Chapel Hill Commencement Ceremony May 8

Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) will provide Tar Heel Express service from 6:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 8, for the UNC-Chapel Hill commencement ceremony at Kenan Stadium.

Tar Heel Express Shuttles will transport customers from the Friday Center park-and-ride lot (100 Friday Center Drive) to Gate 2 of Kenan Stadium (Stadium Drive). Shuttles will run every 10 minutes, providing continuous service between the Friday Center and Kenan Stadium.

The shuttles and parking at the Friday Center will be free. Customers, especially graduates, are encouraged to arrive at the park-and-ride lot at least one hour before the start of the ceremony to allow for possible traffic delays.

Face coverings are required on CHT vehicles.

For those wishing to stay on campus longer, Carolina Livery will provide shuttle service from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Carolina Livery shuttles will loop campus, making stops at the Student Union, the Old Well (Cameron Avenue) and the Dean E. Smith Center, and return to the Friday Center park-and-ride lot.

For additional information about UNC-Chapel Hill’s commencement ceremony, see commencement.unc.edu/spring-commencement/.


Carrboro Police Investigating Sexual Assault

The Carrboro Police Department is investigating a sexual assault that occurred in the 600 block of Jones Ferry Road at approximately 12:05 a.m. Wednesday, May 4. Investigation revealed that the victim was jogging on Jones Ferry Road near Willow Creek Shopping Center when a suspect approached from behind. The suspect threw the victim to the ground and began sexually assaulting her. A bystander in the area heard the victim screaming and called 911. The suspect fled the area on foot towards Poplar Place Apartments, located at 605 Jones Ferry Road. The victim was transported to UNC Hospitals for treatment.

The suspect was described as a black male with a dark complexion, clean shaven, approximately 6 feet tall, medium build, possibly in his mid-30’s.

This is an active investigation, and updates will be released as they become available. If you have information on this incident, please contact INV Trey Kennedy with the Carrboro Police Department at 919-918-7412, or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. Media point of contact: CPT A.L. Westbrook II: 919-918-7415.


Legendary N.C. Musician Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten to be Inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced on Wednesday, May 4, that legendary Carrboro musician Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

Ms. Cotten will be honored with the Early Influence Award as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 2022 class. She will be inducted in a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. 

Its new webpage about the Carrboro artist states: “Elizabeth ‘Libba’ Cotten’s warm and intimate recordings and live performances inspired generations of artists, and her guitar prowess and musical inventiveness influenced countless other musicians. Cotten’s compositions have been performed by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal and Peter, Paul and Mary, among many others.” 

Born on Jan. 5, 1893, Ms. Cotten wrote her signature song, “Freight Train,” about the train she could hear from her childhood home on Lloyd Street in Carrboro. Cotten’s talents as guitarist and songwriter came to light while she was working in the home of the Seeger family, who encouraged her career as a professional musician. Cotten toured across the country, recording several albums and winning a Grammy Award and a National Heritage Fellowship before her death in 1987.

In her honor, the Town of Carrboro is presenting the Music Maker Foundation’s Freight Train Blues series of live concerts every Friday evening between May 13 and June 10 at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St. The series is a collaboration among the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources; the Music Maker Foundation; and WUNC 91.5FM. 

Music Maker Foundation honors Cotten’s legacy in the world of roots music by emphasizing the cultural diversity, complexity and vitality of her music and the music of many other artists local to her community and all over the country. For more information, see https://musicmaker.org/freight-train-blues-concert-series/. 

 Learn more about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announcement at https://www.rockhall.com/elizabeth-cotten.


Town of Carrboro Recognized by N.C. League of Municipalities

The Town of Carrboro was among 13 municipalities recognized by the N.C. League of Municipalities Local Leadership Foundation in its 2022 Annual Awards program. 

Carrboro was recognized with an Honorable Mention for its Town Information Center project in the Direct Reflection category. This category recognizes municipalities that have adapted their approaches or changed services or practices to address inequity in an area of concern for the community. 

The Town of Carrboro began its neighborhood information network on Christmas Eve 2020 at the Rocky Brook Manufactured Home Community. In 2021, three more outdoor kiosks were installed around town. Plans are underway to install six additional kiosks at public parks, and queries are continuing with local apartment managers and neighborhood residents. The growing network of outdoor Town Information Centers advances a goal to find new methods of non-digital outreach and to build relationships by going where the people are.


May 2, 2022

May Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Dept. (CHPD) is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian safety enforcement operations again this month in addition to normal patrols. Officers will watch for driving violations, including failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and turning right on red where it is not allowed. Scheduled special operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:

  • Wednesday, May 4, 7-11 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 7, 2-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 10, 7-11 a.m.
  • Friday, May 13, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 18, 1-5 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 21, 12-4 p.m.
  • Monday, May 23, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 28, 10:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change.

Each effort will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown, and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors). We encourage everyone traveling, regardless of your mode of transportation, to remember that community safety is a shared responsibility.

The CHPD is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in May – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads.

  • Tuesday, May 10, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 17, 9-11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, May 31, 8-10 a.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change.


Small Business Week in Carrboro

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils has proclaimed May 2-5 to be Small Business Week in Carrboro. Ninety-six percent of businesses in Carrboro are small businesses, and together they employ more than 3,350 workers.

“I encourage all residents to support the small businesses in our community, appreciating and celebrating the personal touches and unique expertise small businesses offer and the economic resilience they foster,” Mayor Seils said. 

Accepting the proclamation on behalf of the local business community was Josh Moorhead, who is chair of the Carrboro Business Alliance Leadership Council and manager of Weaver Street Market.  

The Town’s Economic Development Dept. supports the business community, with a special emphasis on locally owned businesses, by serving as an information hub to help businesses succeed. It also administers loan programs to support job creation, business retention and energy efficiency, partnering with the Carrboro Tourism Development Authority, the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, and the Carrboro Business Alliance to promote local businesses.

Access the complete proclamation for Small Business Week in Carrboro at https://bit.ly/3y7ELE2


OWASA Announces Resumption of Standard Collection Practices

Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) will be resuming standard collection practices on June 1. Funding assistance is still available for customers who have bills that are past due, and OWASA is offering extended, fee-free payment plans to assist customers pay down any debts accrued since March 2020.

OWASA has had a moratorium on service disconnections in place since March 12, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OWASA has been using the Orange County State of Emergency as guidance for resuming standard collection practices. With the declaration expiring on May 1, OWASA is providing 30 days’ notice before resuming standard collection practices. 

Under standard collection practices, a customer who has a bill that is more than 60 days past due is subject to service disconnection. In this scenario, the earliest a customer could have their service disconnected would be August. 

Funding assistance is available for customers who have bills that are past due. OWASA is offering fee-free, 6-, 12-, and 18-month payment plans for these customers. OWASA is directly reaching out to all customers who have bills that are more than 60 days past due to ensure they are aware of the funding assistance and extended payment plans. 

OWASA customers can contact the customer service team at customerinquiries@owasa.org or 919-537-4343 for more information and to register for extended payment plans. Customers can also register for a payment plan through the OWASA website (https://www.owasa.org/covid-bill-assistance/).

For more information, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, bhodge@owasa.org or 919-537-4326.


April 30, 2022

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Summer Programs

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation has released their summer RECREATE activity guide. Registration opens for residents on Tuesday, May 3, at 8:30 a.m. and for non-residents on Thursday, May 5, at 8:30 a.m.

Browse the programs offered and register online at (https://bit.ly/3OPqrWX), or pick up a copy of the full-color RECREATE activity guide at any of recreation and aquatic centers, as well as the Chapel Hill Public Library and Chapel Hill public housing offices. You may also download a copy at https://bit.ly/3Kw9LjF.

Feature articles in this edition include celebrating National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4, at Umstead Park, as well as National Parks and Recreation Month the entire month of July. Also featured in the summer edition of RECREATE are new pickleball clinics where beginners and intermediates get introduced to this growing new sport; Art in the Park, a series of fun, family-oriented arts and crafts activities; and lifeguard training courses where they’ll teach you how to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies, in addition to becoming eligible to join their aquatics lifeguard team in a part-time employment role.

Applications are being accepted for camp counselors, lifeguards, camp coordinators and swim instructors and provide competitive rates for ages 16 and older. They provide flexible, part-time hours and a positive environment for individuals who are looking to grow. View job descriptions and apply online at www.townofchapelhill.org/jobs.    


Bike Month in Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill and Go Chapel Hill support special events during the month of May to celebrate Bike Month. 

Chapel Hill is committed to being a community where bicycling and walking are safe and convenient everyday choices. The Town of Chapel Hill is busy with projects to improve travel safety and convenience—including sidewalks, streets, trails and greenways. 

Events include the following:

  • May 4—National Bike & Roll to School Day, 7 a.m.
  • May 14: Bicycles, sweet ice, and Bike Rack Youth Art Workshop, 1-3 p.m., Chapel Hill Community Center
  • May 16-22—National Bike to Work Week. Ride your bike to work any day (or every day).
  • May 21—Bike on Bus Workshop, 9 a.m.-noon, Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market
  • June 10—Vets on the Move; Jim Huegerich Bike Ride, 6 p.m., Hargraves Community Center.

Jim Huegerich was instrumental in development of the Town’s Vets on the Move program. This special bicycle ride will have a short Vets on the Move ceremony, with Jim’s family leading the Huegerich Bicycle Ride—a salute to Jim and to all veterans for their service. Come for the ceremony or for the bike ride, and enjoy sweet red, white and blue ice pops afterwards.


New Storm Drain Art Completed

Community Arts & Culture and Stormwater Management teamed up to bring educational art to three storm drains around town. With hopes of bringing more awareness to our water system and how storm drains work, the murals bring bright colors, native species and educational messages to the pavement. Visit all three:

  • Northside Elementary by Mayanthi Jayawardena called, “We Are All Connected”
  • Southern Village Park & Ride by Nyssa Collins
  • Chapel Hill Public Library by Elisabeth Flock

Learn more about murals around in Chapel Hill by visiting chapelhillarts.org/murals.


Department on Aging to Host Presentation on the Five Wishes

The Orange County Dept. on Aging and the Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a free discussion on The Five Wishes on Wednesday, May 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
 
Instructors Sheila Evans and Anne Weston will walk you through the importance of discussing and documenting your care and comfort choices with the Five Wishes. End-of-life care should honor your personal choices. The Five Wishes is more than just a document—it can be the tool you need to ensure your voice is heard and choices are known. It’s about connecting families, learning to communicate with our healthcare providers, and supporting our community members, using advance directives. 
 
Each registrant will receive a free copy of the Five Wishes. Light refreshments will be served from 5:30 to 6 p.m. 
  
To register, contact the Seymour Center at 919-968-2070 by Monday, May 9. 


Orange County COVID Emergency Declaration to Expire at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 1

The longest-running state-of-emergency declaration in Orange County history will expire at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. Orange County originally declared a state of emergency due to COVID on March 13, 2020, and extended it more than a dozen times as conditions warranted. With the overall situation improving, officials will allow the current declaration to expire as scheduled.

As a result, masks will no longer be required in some indoor settings, including public transportation. Even so, Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart urges individuals to wear masks while using public transportation.

Key metrics like number of hospital admissions and percent of emergency-room visits due to COVID remain low across North Carolina, and no counties in the state are considered at high risk of straining their healthcare system.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s state-of-emergency declaration for North Carolina is still in effect, and the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services continues to recommend masks for individuals in high-risk settings (health and long-term-care facilities, correctional facilities and homeless shelters).


April 28, 2022

Carrboro Day Event May 1

The annual Carrboro Day event will be returning in person this year, scheduled to occur at Town Commons on Sunday, May 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Carrboro Day is an annual event that is traditionally held at Town Commons on the first Sunday in May. This event is about meeting your neighbors, learning about aspects of the Town’s history, connecting with the Town and learning about Town services, and taking a day to celebrate Carrboro. Events this year include the following:

  • 12:00-5:00 p.m.—The Orange County Artists Guild (OCAG) will present their Spring Art Show. To learn more about OCAG, visit see https://www.ocagnc.org/.
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m.—Local historian Richard Ellington will present an encore of last year’s virtual presentation entitled, “Ringing the School Bells – Schools of the Carrboro Area from Jim Crow to Integration.” The talk will discuss the development of the separate school systems that developed in Orange County in the late 1880s and trace their changes up to the late 1960s. The county systems, black and white, were the only schools until 1909, when Chapel Hill decided to form their own school system. Carrboro did not become part of the Chapel Hill system until 1959. The presentation will be held in the Town Council chambers.
  • 1:00-4:00 p.m.—There will be live music for the community, with these artists confirmed for this year’s event: 1:00 p.m. – Saludos Compay; 2:00 p.m. – Certain Seas; 3:00 p.m. – The Dowdy Boys; 4:00 p.m. – Bluegrass Battleship.
  • 2:00-4:00 p.m.—Community members are invited to join members of the Carrboro Poets Council inside the Town Council chambers for a special Carrboro Day “Poetry in the Round.” Everyone who wants to read joins the circle and reads a short (one page or less) poem. Participation is voluntary. You can read your own poem or a favorite poem of another poet. This is an informal event designed to allow the celebration of poetry in true Carrboro fashion. The reading will be facilitated by Gary Phillips, former Carrboro poet laureate, and Susan Spalt, longstanding member of the Carrboro Poets Council.
  • Plan a walk or run around downtown Carrboro, and check out the sites on the Historic Downtown Walking Tour. Learn more about the history of the area while getting in some exercise and enjoying the spring weather.
  • Carrboro Day provides an opportunity for residents to engage with Town staff and learn more about Town services. Many Town departments/divisions/advisory boards are currently scheduled to participate in this year’s event.

Parking—the main Town Hall parking lots will be reserved for event activities and vendor parking. While attendees are encouraged to walk or bike, additional vehicle parking will be available in the public lot at 303 West Weaver St., on-street parking along Fidelity Avenue, and at Carrboro Elementary School (400 Shelton St.).

To see a map and a brief description of each site, see https://www.townofcarrboro.org/2491/Walking-Tour.

Continue to check the Carrboro Day website at http://www.carrboroday.org for updates on the event.


Carrboro Launches New Website

The Town of Carrboro has officially launched a revamped website, www.carrboronc.gov, shaped by user input, in its continuing commitment to provide exceptional services and enhance transparency, communication and community engagement.

The site reflects the look and feel of the community while incorporating features designed to help residents, visitors and community partners quickly locate the information and services they need. 

The new website is easy to navigate and presents information in a variety of formats.  The site incorporates a translation feature allowing the Town to communicate with residents in languages other than English. 

The site was designed using feedback from surveys of users, as well as from analytics of the most-visited pages and requested services. Research on usability was led by the Town’s Communication and Engagement Department in collaboration with CivicPlus, the website designer; the Town Communications Team; the Information Technology Department; and the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. 

Residents ranked the website as one of their top three sources for Town of Carrboro news and information in a communitywide survey conducted in November 2021. Also ranking highly as information sources are word of mouth and outdoor signage. 

The Town aims for continuous website improvement with more streamlining of content, continual review of analytics and communications support of Town departments. 

To provide feedback or share any concerns about the website, please contact Communication and Engagement Director Catherine Lazorko at clazorko@carrboronc.gov or 919-918-7314. 


May is Bike Month in Carrboro

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils has proclaimed May to be Bike Month in Carrboro. Highlights include:

  • Wednesday, May 4—Bike to School Day
  • May 16-22—Bike to Work Week
  • Friday, May 20—Bike to Work Day

Biking is an easy way for people to reduce their carbon footprint and advance the Town’s climate action goals by avoiding the use of single-occupancy vehicles and reducing reliance on nonrenewable resources for transportation.

The Town of Carrboro will promote biking at several upcoming events: 

  •  May 10, 8 a.m.­—Ride with the mayor   
  •  May 10, 9 a.m.-noon—Bike on Bus event at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market
  •  May 17, 7-9 a.m.—Bike Breakfast at the Libba Cotten Bikeway

Additional events are being organized with local partners, including the Town of Chapel Hill, the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition, the Orange County Commuter Options program and UNC Transportation and Parking. 

In 2010, Carrboro became the first community in North Carolina to be designated a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

See the proclamation at https://bit.ly/3rShXV5.


Drop Off Old or Unused Medicines

Carrboro Police is hosting an operation medicine drop event on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harris Teeter at 310 N. Greensboro St. OperationMedicineDrop provides safe and secure ways for people to get rid of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications—preventing accidental poisonings and drug abuse while protecting our waters. Find a permanent drop box near you at https://ecs.page.link/LxaNc.


Kids Seedling Day  

Come join the Carrboro Farmers’ Market (CFM) for Kids Seedling Day on Saturday, April 30. Kids can start their gardens with a free seedling donated by CFM farmers, with potting soil and growing tips from the event’s sponsor, Fifth Season Gardening Company in Carrboro. 

From 8:30 a.m. until seedlings run out, kids can come by the market gazebo and pick a seedling of their choice, then plant it in a cup with potting soil provided by Fifth Season Gardening Company. Kids can also decorate a label for their seedling, then write a thank-you card to the farmer who donated it. Fifth Season Gardening will also be raffling off a composter.

Kids Seedling Day is also supported by the CFM’s Big Beef Sponsor, Laser Image Printing & Marketing.


Stormwater-Friendly Car Washing

Vehicle washing can contribute pollutants to our rivers and streams, depending on where your vehicle is cleaned. Dirty water from commercial car washes goes into the city’s sanitary system and is treated at the regional wastewater treatment plant. However, soap suds and water run-off from vehicle washing on driveways, parking lots and streets typically flows along the gutter and into a storm drain before it empties into a creek or river.

Soap is only one part of the discharge problem. Even if only water is used, there’s a mix of pollutants, including oils, grease, heavy metals, particulates from vehicle exhaust emissions and brake linings and rust being washed down the drain. Adding soap to the mix may introduce phenols, dyes, acids and ammonia. And even more potentially harmful ingredients are found in spray-off tire cleaner.

There are some environmental advantages to washing a car at a drive-through or self-serve commercial car wash. Commercial car washes drain used water into the sanitary system instead of storm drains. This water is treated to remove pollution before it is discharged to our waterways. Plus, conveyor car washes can use substantially less water, depending on the equipment used. Advanced, computerized pumps and nozzles control water output, reducing the amount of water used by up to 60% compared to a home wash. Special pressure nozzles mix air in with the water to create pressure without volume. Some even recycle and reuse water on site.

If you plan to wash your vehicle at home, here are some earth-friendly tips. If you wash with more than water, choose soaps, cleaners or detergents labeled phosphate-free and biodegradable. Vegetable or citrus-based soaps are the safest products. Before you get started, sweep driveways to prevent leaves and trash from being carried to the storm drain. Control water volume by using a spray nozzle and, if possible, wash your car on lawn or gravel areas where runoff doesn’t flow to the street and to streams. If your wash area is paved and slopes toward the street, try rolling up a few towels to divert run-off to a landscape area. When you are done, discard dirty wash water onto your grass, flower bed or into the sink.

If you see suds or other pollutants in your local creek or stream, please report it using the Stormwater Hotline at 919-913-2999 or Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov.


LWVONC Announces: Availability of 2022 Primary Election Online Nonpartisan Voter Guide

The League of Women Voters of North Carolina announces the availability of VOTE411.org, their online 2022 Primary Election Voter Guide.  The league’s nonpartisan election resource offers voters a “one-stop shop” for all things election-related as voters prepare to cast their ballots. Early voting runs from Thursday, April 28, to Saturday, May 14.  Primary election day is Tuesday, May 17. Visit VOTE411.org, enter your address and see:

  • Your customized ballot
  • Candidate profiles and responses to questions in the candidate’s words
  • Where and when to vote
  • Voter registration status

The league invited all statewide and local candidates in 38 counties to participate in VOTE411.org. All candidates were asked to provide their contact information, personal profiles and responses to survey questions.  Voters can see a candidate’s unedited responses, compare the responses from multiple candidates in a contested race, make their choices, and keep a copy of their choices to take to the polling place.  VOTE411.org is a user-friendly tool designed to help voters make informed choices and simplify the voting process.


Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Juvenile

The Chapel Hill Police Department is seeking the community’s assistance locating a missing juvenile. Zoe Borden, 16, of Chapel Hill, was last seen on April 22. Borden is not believed to be in danger.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


NorthState, Orange County Partner to Provide Fiber-optic Internet Service to Underserved Areas

NorthState, a telecommunications company headquartered in High Point, and Orange County have announced a public-private partnership to bring ultra-high-speed fiber internet service to approximately 28,000 homes and businesses in Orange County, including nearly 10,000 locations that currently have little or no internet service. The project, one of the largest fiber infrastructure public-private partnerships in North Carolina’s history, is made possible by significant investments from both NorthState and Orange County.

Orange County is using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to provide fiber service to close to 10,000 addresses in unserved and underserved areas. NorthState’s own investment expands the project and will result in access to best-in-class fiber technology and a competitive choice for fiber service for the additional 18,000 Orange County homes and businesses.

As part of its partnership with Orange County, NorthState will also provide fiber internet service to approximately two dozen county-owned anchor institutions, including fire stations, emergency medical services and community centers.

NorthState will begin work within weeks to initiate the process of installing approximately 990 miles of fiber in Orange County; service is planned to be available to some areas as early as spring 2023.


April 24, 2022

Free Child Safety Seat Clinics

Free child safety seat clinics are starting again Saturday at Chapel Hill Fire Station Two on Hamilton Road. Pull up to the bay doors between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. each Saturday. Firefighters will explain where in your vehicle you should put a child safety seat, and they’ll show you how to correctly install it. They’ll also answer any questions you have. No appointment is necessary, but you must bring your own child safety seats.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 325 children younger than five are saved by car seats each year, and 46% of car seats and booster seats are used incorrectly.


Chapel Hill Releases Interactive Map for Parkland, Greenways and Open Spaces

In commemoration of Earth Day, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation released a new interactive map showing parkland, open spaces and greenways in Chapel Hill. The new interactive map identifies spaces that maintain the town’s tree canopy and provide green spaces and opportunities for outdoor recreation. The map features properties owned by the Town of Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, N.C. Botanical Garden and N.C. Botanical Garden Foundation.

“Parkland” areas on the map are designed and managed to provide various recreational interests to residents and visitors alike. “Open space reserve areas” are underdeveloped properties that receive a lower level of maintenance. Reserve areas may offer environmental conservation benefits and may have been acquired to develop a park or greenway.

The new map shows the Town of Chapel Hill’s 1,376 acres of parkland and open space. The map also shows 1,242 acres of open space managed by other agencies.

Chapel Hill’s natural surface trails and paved greenway system provide access to an interconnected system of linear open-space reserve areas. In addition to the many recreational benefits greenways provide, they also help pedestrians and bicyclists travel easily between residential neighborhoods, community parks and educational and commercial shopping centers.

As the map continues to be refined, feel free to make suggestions on future improvements by contacting Marcia Purvis at Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, mpurvis@townofchapelhill.org or 919-968-2750.

The Town of Chapel Hill, together with Orange County and other local jurisdictions, continues to support the Orange County park locator map as well as the Orange County interactive trails and greenways map. These resources feature publicly managed parks-and-recreation-related amenities, trails and greenways. Each of these maps and the new interactive map are easily accessible on the parks and recreation webpage (https://tinyurl.com/yckmbbcz).


Seymour Center to Host Open House in Celebration of Older Americans Month

Orange County Dept. on Aging, along with the Friends of the Robert and Pearl Seymour Center, is sponsoring a public event for people of all ages. Celebrate Older Americans Month at the Seymour Center Community Open House: We Are Here for You event and discover all they have to offer. The event is free and will take place on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Seymour Center, located at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill. 

May is Older Americans Month and a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country. Specifically, this event will recognize the many contributions of Orange County’s older adults.

The event  will feature:

  • Music with a live disc jockey
  • Dancing
  • Seymour Center tours
  • Food trucks
  • Wellness demonstrations
  • Senior living resource

In conjunction with the Community Open House, the Friends of the Seymour Center will host a Books and Games Fundraiser to benefit the many programs offered at the Center. There will be books of all genres, puzzles and a variety of tabletop and board games.

Registration is encouraged, but not required. For information, or to register, call 919-968-2070. 


Orange County Arts Commission Offers Summer Camps for Youth

This summer the Orange County Arts Commission will host several camps for children of all ages.
Programs on mosaic art, drumming, painting, creative writing and musical theatre are just some of the offerings available. Visit the Arts Commission website (https://tinyurl.com/438792kh) for more information. Check back often – more camps are being added regularly.

Financial assistance is available. All youth should be able enjoy the benefits of self-expression, regardless of financial standing. Please complete the Youth Scholarship Application (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSefKgv9JngGpMVu6F8RvwtDh8gg3r5KnEL8qUAv6lnAINC1lw/viewform if financial assistance is needed. 


Orange County FY23 Transit Work Program Available for Public Review, Comment

Each year, a work group with representatives from Orange County, GoTriangle and the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization puts together a work program for transit service and infrastructure improvements for funding in the next fiscal year (July-June).

Following an extremely successful second phase of community outreach and engagement, the consulting team and Orange County staff are ready to finalize and document the projects, concepts and implementation plan that together represent the Transit Plan Update.

The draft FY23 Orange County Transit Work Program is available for a 21-day public review and comment period through May 11 (https://tinyurl.com/2p9devd2). The work group will collect and review comments before the work program’s adoption in June.


BGMPO to Host Public Meetings on CTP and TSP

The Burlington-Graham Metropolitan Planning Organization (BGMPO), which includes the City of Mebane and portions of Orange County, will hold public meetings in the coming weeks to gather feedback on a comprehensive transportation plan (CTP) and a transportation safety plan (TSP).

A CTP is a long-range multimodal transportation plan of the future transportation network. The N.C. Dept. of Transportation and BGMPO will host a CTP public information meeting on April 26, from 6 to 7 p.m., at the Burlington Municipal Conference Room (425 S. Lexington Ave., Burlington).

The BGMPO is developing a TSP to identify safety concerns and recommend improvements with the goal of reducing crash fatalities and serious injury rates within the Burlington-Graham planning area. The BGMPO will host an in-person public information meeting on May 4, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Alamance Community College Main Campus Auditorium (1247 Jimmie Kerr Road, Graham). 

A formal presentation will be made at 6:15 p.m. The public may drop in at any time during the meeting hours. The project team, led by Eric Tang, VHB, Inc., will be available to answer questions and listen to comments regarding the development of the plan. 

Go to https://tinyurl.com/3mkj2fwr for more information, including how to submit comments or to request meeting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this meeting.


Tarred Healing Photo Exhibit Comes to Chapel Hill Public Library

A student in cap and gown standing barefoot next to a crumbling gravestone. Four generations of a family seated in their historic home. Barricades surrounding a campus monument. These are just some of the images in Tarred Healing, a photography exhibit by Cornell Watson that will be on display at Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) from April 30 through June 30.

The community is invited to the exhibit launch and reception, which will include a talk by Cornell Watson, on Saturday, April 30, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The exhibit, which debuted in The Washington Post (https://tinyurl.com/ycktjk4k) and has garnered national attention, consists of 14 large-scale photographs and accompanying narratives that reflect the experiences of Chapel Hill’s black community, past and present. Some images are documentary, like the photos of protests at the University Board of Trustees meetings that resulted in tenure denial for Nikole Hannah-Jones. Other photographs are conceptual, such as the image of a pair of angel’s wings marking the spot where James Cates was murdered on campus in 1970. All of the images explore important people, places and milestones, from Rev. Robert Campbell and Mr. David Caldwell of the Rogers-Eubanks neighborhood to the Clark family and the historic Strayhorn home. 

A coalition of black community leaders, including many of the people featured in the exhibit, came together with the artist to bring Tarred Healing to CHPL. This group led the planning efforts, from the location of the exhibit within the library to the public programs that will accompany the exhibit.

Watson says that the collaborative nature of the planning aligned with the spirit of many of the photographs. “The Black community of Chapel Hill has faced challenges, solved problems, and joined together over decades of oppression and injustice. Working with them to bring the exhibit, which has had its own challenges and injustices, to the library put that resilient community spirit on display once again. I am so pleased that the community will finally be able to engage with these photos and learn about these stories.”

Lorie Clark, whose family is featured in several photos, says the exhibit is important to her, both as a family member and a community activist and leader. “These photos tell of generational struggles and strengths. To see my family’s history portrayed in such beautiful and powerful images is incredibly moving. I hope that people who visit the exhibit are inspired to learn more about local history and the legacies that have been created. These images should move all to act in support of justice and reconciliation for healing for the people and places in the show.”  

In addition to the support of the planning coalition, the Friends of the CHPL and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) provided financial support for the exhibit. The NAACP marks its 75th anniversary this year, and Anna Richards, co-chair of the Anniversary Planning Committee, says, “Our celebration is focused on remembering what the community was like 75 years ago and what led to the founding of this NAACP chapter. Tarred Healing tells a similar story, and we are honored to support this important exhibition.”  

Additional support for the exhibit was provided by Through This Lens, who printed and framed all of the photographs, and A Better Image Printing, who printed the narrative captions and promotional materials.

Cornell Watson is an acclaimed photojournalist and artist who lives in Durham. His photojournalism appears regularly in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other major media outlets. Watson is also recognized for his art photography and photo essays, including his well-known photo series, “Behind the Mask.” His work has been exhibited at The Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, The Mint Museum in Charlotte, and The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk. More information about the artist and his other work can be found at cornellwatson.com.


April 20, 2022

Religious and Nonprofit Leaders to Meet with Orange-Chatham District Attorney Candidates

Nonprofit groups Orange County Justice United and the N.C. Congress of Latino Organizations will host a nonpartisan Orange-Chatham (District 15B) District Attorney Candidates’ Assembly on Tuesday, April 26, 7-8:30 p.m., both in-person and virtually. The in-person location will be Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 1929 Piney Grove Church Road, Hillsborough. The assembly will take place outside, under a tent, for additional COVID-19 precaution.

Candidates Jeff Nieman and Kayley Taber will attend the event. It is co-sponsored by community partners Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP’s Criminal Justice Committee, Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Project, Inter-Faith Council for Social Services, Kehillah Synagogue and Binkley Baptist Church, to build public relationships of accountability with the candidates.

Both candidates will be asked to make specific commitments to increase transparency and consistency in the district attorney’s (DA’s) office, reduce mass incarceration and involvement with the justice system through increased diversion, and implement policies to end racially biased and wealth-based pretrial detention.

Candidates also will be asked to continue the agreement made by outgoing DA Jim Woodall to offer a deferral program, in place of prosecution, for otherwise safe drivers who cannot obtain a license. Candidates will have the opportunity to share their vision for increasing transparency and fairness in the DA office, if elected. Because both candidates for DA are running as Democrats, the winner of the May 17 primary election will effectively be the new Orange-Chatham DA.

Speakers will include community members with direct experience in the justice system, as well as representatives from the Success While In Transition reentry support program, Reentry House Plus, Inc., and the Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Project.

With the DA Candidates’ Assembly just two days before the start of early voting, Orange County Justice United and N.C. Latino Congress members and community partners will also announce during the Assembly their own commitments for a nonpartisan Get Out The Vote effort to provide voter education to at least 1,000 residents who pledge to vote.

RSVP for virtual option at. https://bit.ly/3EyN9xC.

The proposals to be presented to the DA candidates are available at https://bit.ly/3K7OvQZ.


Early Voting for May 17 Primary

Early voting for the May 17 primary election will be held April 28 through May 14. This primary will decide the Orange County Board of Education and include candidates in the Nov. 8 election for the U.S. Senate and House, N.C. legislators, county commissioners, district attorney, sheriff and judges.

Unaffiliated voters may choose a Democratic, Republican or Libertarian ballot in the May primary. Eligible voters can register, update their registration and vote at the same time at any early-voting site. You will need to show an ID with name and current address (e.g., N.C. driver’s license, utility bill). A photo ID is not required to register or to vote. Voters cannot register on election day.

Early-voting locations are the following:

  • Carrboro Town Hall Complex
    108 Bim St., Carrboro
  • Chapel of the Cross
    304 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
  • Efland Ruritan Club
    3009 Forrest Ave., Efland
  • Orange Works at Hillsborough Commons
    113 Mayo St., Hillsborough
  • Seymour Center
    2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill

All locations will have the same dates and hours:

  • Thursday-Friday, April 28-29, 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 30, CLOSED
  • Sunday, May 1, 12-4 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, May 2-6, 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 7, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 8, CLOSED
  • Monday-Friday, May 9-13, 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 14, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

If you vote on election day (May 17), you must cast a ballot at your assigned polling place. You can check your registration status, election-day polling place and sample ballot (when available) at vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/.

For more information, see orangecountync.gov/Elect, or call 919-245-2350.


April 18, 2022

Keep Carrboro Beautiful Volunteer Day

On April 23 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Dept. will host its annual Keep Carrboro Beautiful Volunteer Day. Bring your group, friends or family out to help clean-up the Town of Carrboro and prevent trash from entering our local streams. Jeremy Poythress, recreation supervisor for Carrboro’s recreation, parks and cultural resources department, said the event’s purpose is to beautify the town by removing litter. Bring your work gloves, and dress to be outside. Volunteers will meet at the Century Center at 9 a.m. and clean-up supplies are provided. Scout groups and youth groups are welcome to participate. Please register your family or group at by calling 919-918-7392.


Protect Our Watershed During Spring Cleaning in Carrboro

It’s important to keep pollutants and litter out of storm drains because in The Town of Carrboro they flow directly to creeks and to the water supply sources, without going to a treatment plant first. Grass clippings, soot, auto fluids and other residue from daily life settles on sidewalks, driveways, roofs and other structures. When these surfaces are cleaned by hosing or using a power washer, the wash water carr­ies the pollutants away from your home, where they eventually they find their way into a storm drain. Even tap water can harm the delicate microorganisms that help keep water ecosystems healthy.

You can prevent pollution by sweeping instead of hosing. If you must wash, be sure that the flow of water ends up on landscaping or gravel areas instead of the street or sidewalk. Allowing wash water runoff to enter storm drains or streams is a considered an illicit discharge (https://bit.ly/3KZDF0G) and is a violation of town ordinance Article IV ( https://bit.ly/3MjwMaL).

For more information on outdoor washing activities and how you can prevent stormwater pollution, see Carrboro’s Homeowner’s Watershed and Stormwater Handbook (https://bit.ly/3rCEqp0) and other online resources (https://bit.ly/3rE7mgh).

To report suspected illicit discharges, use the Stormwater Hotline at 919-913-2999, Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov, or the online form at https://bit.ly/3vunGRV.


Groundbreaking for New Library and Cultural Center

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Orange County Southern Branch Library and Cultural Center at 203 S. Greensboro St. is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, May 5, on the current parking lot site across from Open Eye Café. 

The event will include remarks by local officials, a reading by the poet laureate of Carrboro, and a dance performance by Takiri Folclor Latino. 

Parking will be available nearby at the future site of The ArtsCenter at 400 Roberson St.

The library will serve residents in or near southern Orange County. The facility will also provide a permanent home for the Orange County Skills Development Center; Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Dept.; WCOM Radio; the Virtual Justice Center; and performance/multipurpose uses. 

For more information about the groundbreaking event, please contact Libbie Hough, communications manager for the Orange County Public Library, at lhough@orangecountync.gov; Catherine Lazorko, communication and engagement director for the Town of Carrboro, at clazorko@carrboronc.gov; or Todd McGee, community relations director for Orange County at tmcgee@orangecountync.gov

Learn more about the 203 Project at www.the203project.org.   


April 15, 2022

Estes Drive Connectivity Project Update

As the Estes Drive Connectivity Project is underway, construction impacts continue. 

The existing sidewalk on the south side of Estes Drive, from Phillips Middle School to MLK, is now closed. The closure will last until October. 

This closure is necessary due to the need to stockpile dirt that will be used to create an even, flat sidewalk and bike lane. The construction project is designed to be neutral in terms of dirt removed and dirt added on Estes Drive. This neutrality means that the dirt left over from the grading on the north side of the road will be used to build up the south side so there is no waste and no need to purchase new dirt. However, until construction can begin on the south side of the road, the dirt will need to be stored on the sidewalk—storing it offsite would be prohibitively costly, would require a number of large dump trucks moving the dirt back and forth, and delay completion of this phase of the project.

The Town is working with Chapel Hill Transit to make EZ Rider service available to all those who need to access a location on Estes Drive by foot. Those who walk can use the Bolin Creek Trail or the G Route as a detour.


Franklin Street Lane Reallocation

The resurfacing of W. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill will occur shortly after UNC graduation in May. The N.C. Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT), using a contractor, will resurface and repaint the new asphalt with a design provided by the Town. The design will include bike lanes that are mostly next to the curb and, where there is on-street parking, will run between parked cars and the curb (known as curb running bike lanes) except for Carolina Square, where the bike lane will be between parked cars and traffic. See https://bit.ly/3OfrP4I for final pavement marking plans.

The NCDOT will be resurfacing Franklin Street in 2022, providing an opportunity to implement a lane reallocation at a lower cost since they will paint the new asphalt. The Town of Carrboro is also adding a bike lane on E. Main Street, which will provide an important connection across both downtowns.

Lane reallocations are when vehicle lanes are repurposed for bike lanes, parking, loading zones, turn lanes or other amenities. They are relatively low-cost ways to achieve safety, mobility and access for all transportation modes. Many lane reallocation projects have resulted in significant increases in the number of pedestrians and bicyclists, more customers and higher sales revenue for local businesses, and decreases in speeding and crashes along the corridors. Town staff have been considering W. Franklin Street for lane reallocation for a number of years, and it is a recommended project in the Mobility and Connectivity Plan.

For more information about this project, email or call Sarah Poulton (spoulton@townofchapelhill.org or 919-969-5009).


Storm Drain Mural Installations in Chapel Hill

The Chapel Hill Community Arts and Culture Dept. (https://www.chapelhillarts.org/) is teaming up with Chapel Hill Stormwater to commission artists to paint murals around local storm drains (https://bit.ly/3OiBs2q) in an effort to bring awareness to Chapel Hill’s water system and encourage environmentally friendly habits.

The Town hopes to commission three artists within a 40-mile radius of Chapel Hill to paint three murals by Earth Day, April 22, and the project comes with a $1,300 stipend.

Steve Wright, public art coordinator for the Town of Chapel Hill, says that the vision of the project is to help educate people about local stormwater drains by fixing the misconception that all drains are the same; stormwater drains and the regular sewer system are separate things.

The stormwater drains in Chapel Hill go into Jordan Lake alongside anything else that happens to make its way into the water system, including sediment from erosion, trash from littering, and household hazardous waste like improperly disposed paint or soap from washing your car.

Sammy Bauer, community education coordinator for stormwater, says that this project is an excellent way to engage local artists in order to draw attention to storm drains that usually go unnoticed and in turn promote people to be more conscious about how their actions affect the water system.


Nate Broman-Fulks

Affordable Housing and Community Connections Names Broman-Fulks Assistant Director

Affordable Housing and Community Connections Director Sarah Viñas has selected Affordable Housing Manager Nate Broman-Fulks as the department’s assistant director.

Broman-Fulks joined the Town as affordable housing manager in 2017. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of South Carolina. After receiving his master of public administration and master of international studies degrees from N.C. State University, Nate began his local-government career in 2014 as assistant to the town manager in Carrboro, where he managed strategic initiatives, including the Town’s affordable housing and community development efforts. 

In the last nearly five years, Nate has worked with the Town of Chapel Hill’s affordable housing team to implement the Town’s affordable housing work plan and performance measurement systems.


Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance in Two Hit-and-Run Crashes

The Chapel Hill Police Dept. is seeking assistance locating drivers involved in two separate hit-and-run crashes involving bicyclists this month.

A driver struck a bicyclist on Franklin Street around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 13. An image from a bystander shows a blue suspect vehicle in the intersection of Franklin and Mallette streets. The bicyclist did not have apparent injuries.

Surveillance video shows the driver of a red Chevrolet Cruz striking a bicyclist while leaving the Shortbread Lofts on Rosemary Street around 4:45 p.m. Friday, April 8. The vehicle should have a damaged front bumper and hood. The bicyclist had minor injuries.

Anyone who recognizes the vehicles or has information should call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Dept. at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


Pump Track at MLK Park closed April 19-22

The pump track located at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1120 Hillsborough Road, will be closed for maintenance from Tuesday, April 19, to Friday, April 22.


Carrboro Residents Express High Satisfaction for Town Services and Quality of Life

Carrboro ranks as a “high performing city,” with nearly all (98%) of the residents surveyed rating the Town of Carrboro as excellent or good as a place to live, as a place to raise children (98%), and as a place they feel welcome (96%), according to results from the Carrboro Resident Survey.

The Carrboro Town Council received the results from the biennial survey at its April 12 meeting. The status of “high performing city” comes from the national surveying company, which has benchmarking data to compare Carrboro to cities across the country and region.

“I am pleased to see in these survey results that residents rate the quality of life and their satisfaction with services and local government as excellent or good,” Town Manager Richard J. White III said. “This is certainly a great validation of the high-quality services that town employees have continued to deliver despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. We will continue to review the data and feedback to find areas where we can improve services, increase civic engagement, and address quality-of-life issues in the community.”  

Highlights from overall survey results: 

  • Notable high areas of satisfaction are overall appearance of the town (82%), access to parks and green space (80%), and availability of festivals and community events (78%). Notable high areas of satisfaction with town services were public works (91%), fire services (87%), parks and recreation facilities (87%), recreation and cultural programs (83%), and police services (81%).
  • Most important categories of Town services identified by residents were parks and recreation facilities, public works and police services. 
  • The top three priorities for the Town were identified from importance-satisfaction data as being affordable housing, economic development and police services.  
  • Residents were asked to prioritize the allocation of funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the purpose of which is to address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The actions that had the highest levels of support were providing services to disproportionately impacted communities and investing in infrastructure. 

In an effort to hear voices from residents who are historically hard to reach, a second survey of residents who live in the town’s Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) was conducted. These tracts have 50% of households with incomes below 60% of the Area Median Gross Income or have a poverty rate of 25% or more. Results from this specialized survey will be used along with other information to identify ARPA funding priorities.

Respondents from these areas of town were more likely to be renters (78% in the QCT as compared to 45% in the overall survey), younger (43% in the QCT are ages 18-34 as compared to 19% in the overall survey), people of color (13.3% are black, 9.6% Asian and 9.6 % Hispanic in the QCT as compared to 11% black, 9% Asian and 7% Hispanic in the overall survey), and have less access to the internet (6% reported no access to the Internet in the QCT as compared to 3% in the overall survey). 

Highlights from QCT survey results:

  • Most important categories of Town services were parks and recreation, housing and community, and transportation.  
  • Satisfaction was lower than the overall survey results for ease of walking, adequacy of street lighting and availability of sidewalks.  
  • When residents were asked to prioritize the allocation of funds received through the ARPA, the actions that had the highest levels of support were providing services to disproportionately impacted communities and investing in infrastructure. 

When Carrboro is compared to communities across the region and the U.S., it scores the highest in every comparable category. For example, overall ratings for Carrboro “as a place to live” were 98% for Carrboro, 60% in the Atlantic Region and 50% in the U.S. These data were collected from ETC Institute (etcinstitute.com) national and regional surveys. North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia and New Jersey comprise the Atlantic Region. 

The six-page survey was mailed to a random sample of 2,000 households in Carrboro in December 2021. The goal to obtain completed surveys from at least 400 residents was surpassed when a total of 512 residents completed the survey. The survey mailing was followed up by emails and phone calls inviting responses. 

Survey reports are available for public review at. https://bit.ly/3jIk9d9.  

To learn more about Town of Carrboro services, come out to Carrboro Day from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 1. Carrboro Day is an annual event that is traditionally held at Town Commons on the first Sunday in May. This event is about meeting your neighbors, learning about aspects of the Town’s history, connecting with the Town and learning about Town services, and taking a day to celebrate Carrboro. Learn more at http://carrboroday.com/301/Carrboro-Day.


Interest in American Rescue Plan Act Funding

The Town of Chapel Hill is accepting letters of intent (LOI) from community organizations for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding (https://bit.ly/3ryWfVR) of eligible projects. This is the first step in applying for ARPA funds from the Town, designed to give Town staff and leadership an estimate of what funding our partners need. The next step will be submitting a full application, most likely over the summer.

Letter of intent (LOI) forms are due by Friday, May 13. You can email them to arpa@townofchapelhill.org or mail them to Sarah Poulton, Town of Chapel Hill Managers Office, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill NC  27514.

The LOI is not strictly required but organizations that submit their LOI will have their projects reviewed for eligibility and ensure that Town Council will be aware of their need and thus be more likely to fund it during the open application process.

See details on ARPA eligibility categories at https://bit.ly/3xtFK1a. Any organization that has an idea that is ARPA-eligible can apply. You do not have to be a 501(c)3 to apply.

The Town’s ARPA team will hold three virtual office hours:

If those times do not work for you or you would like to chat separately, email arpa@townofchapelhill.org to set up a time.

For more information, see https://www.townofchapelhill.org/arpa.


Department on Aging to Host Presentation on Retirement and Mental Wellness

The Orange County Dept. on Aging and the Project EngAGE Mental Wellness Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a virtual presentation, Retirement and Mental Wellness, on May 3.

The Project EngAGE Mental Wellness Senior Resource Team welcomes you to join Lydia Arnold, AT/VC 55+ specialist; Carl Nordgren with Being Better than Before; Mike Komives, employment specialist; and Alison Smith, VC 55+ volunteer coordinator, for a discussion about challenges associated with the new transition of retirement and how they can impact our mental wellbeing. You’ll learn more about discovering your creative renewal, becoming involved, overcoming these challenges and embracing this new chapter.

The free virtual event will take place on Tuesday, May 3, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. 

To register, go to www.orangecountync.gov/Retirement-MentalWellness. If technology assistance is needed, contact Lydia Arnold at 919-245-4276 by Friday, April 29.


April 13, 2022

Town of Chapel Hill Adds Public Art to New Hip Hop South Festival

Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture is partnering with Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) on a new mural to celebrate the Hip Hop South Festival (https://bit.ly/3xHIw3), taking place in Chapel Hill and Carrboro later this month.   

Acclaimed artist Artie Barksdale will create a downtown mural featuring images and icons of hip hop, including an 808 drum machine, a cassette tape, a microphone and a rooster. “The rooster represents the southern hospitality, waking up early, and fighting for supremacy. I was inspired by the rooster from the movie ‘Idlewild,’ a Hip Hop musical featuring OutKast which an animated rooster made cameo appearances throughout the film,” says Barksdale in his project proposal. It will also include Andre 3000’s famous quote, “The South got something to say.” The mural will be installed at 108 Henderson St., on the side of the building that currently houses Imbibe restaurant and Zog’s bar. This location was selected because of its proximity to the site of a former hip hop club, The Hideaway, which was a key stop on the Southern hip hop circuit in the early 2000s.

Carolina Performing Arts’ Hip Hop South Festival is a two-day event, taking place April 22nd and 23rd in venues around Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Co-curated by Harvard Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellows Christopher Massenburg (also known as Dasan Ahanu) and Dr. Regina Bradley, the festival will feature headlining performances by hip hop heavyweights and local artists, as well as academic gatherings, late-night beat and dance battles, visual art, and more. The festival is part of CPA’s Southern Futures initiative, which focuses on racial equity, social justice, and the American South (go to the website above to learn more and buy tickets).

The new hip hop mural is part of the growing collection of art being added to the downtown landscape – focusing on diverse artists and inclusive themes. The mural is made possible by a coalition of funding partners, including CPA, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the Orange County Arts Commission. To see mural updates, follow Community Arts & Culture on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/chapelhillarts/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CHCommunityArts) and visit chapelhillarts.org.


ADA Improvement Survey Still Available

The Town of Chapel Hill has hired a consultant to look at their operations and facilities for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. As part of that study, they are asking community members how the town is doing right now with sidewalks, parks, greenways and other facilities and how easy they are to access.

Go to  https://bit.ly/3vjQPPw to take the survey in English, Chinese, or Spanish; email talktown@townofchapelhill.org or call 919-969-5009 to complete the survey in English. 


Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Partners with the 2022 Vision & View Garden Tour

The 13th biennial Vision & View Garden Tour is Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24. This year Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation partners with the Chapel Hill Garden Club’s Garden Tour after the tour was postponed in 2020. Since 1931, the Chapel Hill Garden Club has showcased the wonders of gardening and championed good stewardship of the environment.

The 2022 tour, “Vision & View,” will showcase six private gardens and the North Carolina Botanical Garden. The gardens range from historic to modern, personal to campus, mountaintop to lakeside, and have each been thoughtfully created by passionate, visionary gardeners with diverse properties and points of view. 

Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 on tour days. Youth 16 and under are free with a ticketed adult. Ticket vouchers can be redeemed during the tour for a full-color tour brochure that includes fabulous photos of each garden, a map, and much more.

Proceeds support the North Carolina Botanical Garden’s expanding Children’s Wonder Garden and ongoing programs, as well as the Chapel Hill Garden Club’s many community-service projects.

For descriptions of all seven gardens, and to purchase tickets in advance, see https://bit.ly/3jDyZ4B.


Town, Community Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the First Freedom Riders

At its April 6 meeting, the Chapel Hill Town Council proclaimed April 13 as the Journey of Reconciliation Day of Remembrance. The Town of Chapel Hill, in partnership with community groups, faith organizations, and the university, encourages everyone to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, also known as the First Freedom Ride.

On April 9, 1947, eight Black and eight white members of the Congress of Racial Equality set out from Washington, D.C., on Greyhound and Trailways buses in what was billed as the “Journey of Reconciliation.” Their goal was to test the enforcement of Morgan vs. Virginia, a Supreme Court decision that declared segregation on interstate buses and trains unconstitutional. Their planned route included stops in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. Chapel Hill was the only stop where the riders met with violence.

On April 12, the buses arrived in Chapel Hill, where the organizers met with local pastor, Reverend Charles Jones, as well as students and townspeople. As the buses prepared to depart on April 13, four riders — Andrew Johnson, James Felmet, Bayard Rustin and Igal Roodenko — were arrested for disorderly conduct for refusing to comply with the segregated seating rules. One rider, James Peck, was physically attacked for his participation.

The riders arrested in Chapel Hill were later sentenced to thirty days on a chain gang. Bayard Rustin’s writings about the journey and later about his experiences on the chain gang inspired Rosa Parks’ protest in 1955 and the Freedom Riders of 1960-61.

Several events and activities will mark the 75th anniversary of the journey and educate the community about this important historical event. In the coming weeks, activities and commemorations are planned, including those listed below. James Williams, retired public defender for Orange and Chatham counties, brought community members together to think of ways to recognize this milestone and says, “This is such an important aspect of both local and national history, and I’m so pleased that community partners came together to commemorate the Journey in creative ways.”

  • Keeping Your Seat to Take a Stand: Trailblazer Sarah Keys Evans
    • This virtual event will be hosted by Carolina K-12, a program of UNC Chapel Hill’s Carolina Public Humanities (https://humanities.unc.edu/ck12/). The date and time of this event will be announced later.
  • The 1947 Journey of Reconciliation: A Long Road to Justice. May 20, 2-4 p.m. at the Hillsborough Courthouse
    • This public event will focus on the trial and sentencing of the riders.
  • Re/Collecting Chapel Hill podcast episode
    • Later this month, co-hosts Danita Mason-Hogans and Molly Luby will share how the journey impacted the local community. Other episodes of the podcast can be found at chapelhillhistory.org.
  • Journey of Reconciliation Bus Shelter
    • The bus shelter at Rosemary and Columbia streets will be wrapped with a photo of the riders as they set out on the journey. This will add to the collection of Civil Rights bus shelters in downtown, part of the Art + Transit program (https://www.chapelhillarts.org/arts-experiences/public-art/art-transit/).

Learn more and stay up to date on events at https://bit.ly/3Ef4ag1.


WCOM Radio Friends & Family Festival April 23

To celebrate and support Carrboro’s VERY OWN radio station, come enjoy the WCOM Friends & Family Festival from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.

The WCOM Friends & Family Festival will be a day of fun, friends, live music, food and lots of activities for kids and kids at heart. This fundraiser for WCOM is free to attend. There will be food trucks; a beer/wine tent; a KIDS ZONE; and live music featuring Karen K, Saludos Compay, The Carolina Songbirds and Jay Carlis. 

Carrboro’s WCOM 103.5 FM broadcasts more than 50 locally produced music and talk shows and carries such essential news shows as Democracy Now, Counter Spin, and Making Contact. 


Chapel Hill Police Department Joins 30×30 Pledge to Advance Women in Policing

The Chapel Hill Police Dept. has signed the national 30×30 Pledge (https://30x30initiative.org/the-30×30-pledge/) to strengthen the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement. These actions address recruitment, assessment, hiring, retention, promotion and agency culture. Collectively the actions promote stronger community policing outcomes.

The goal of the 30×30 Pledge is for women to make up 30% of police recruit classes by 2030 and to ensure that law enforcement agencies are truly representative of the community each serves.

The Department’s commitment corresponds with its current recruitment for both non-sworn and sworn positions, seen at https://bit.ly/3jCvVWz and at https://bit.ly/3KG5gEg.

By signing the pledge, the Chapel Hill Police Dept. has agreed to:

  • Take measures to increase the representation of women in all ranks
  • Ensure that policies and procedures are free of all bias
  • Promote equitable hiring, retention and promotion of women officers
  • Ensure the department’s culture is inclusive, respectful, and supportive of women in all ranks and roles

More than 155 agencies have signed the 30×30 Pledge. The pledge is based on social science research that shows that greater representation of women on police forces leads to stronger community outcomes. Currently, women make up only 12% of sworn officers and 3% of police leadership in the U.S., according to the 30×30 Initiative. This underrepresentation of women in policing has significant public safety implications. Research suggests that women officers:

  • Use less force and less excessive force
  • Are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits
  • Are perceived by communities as being more compassionate
  • See better outcomes for crime victims, especially in sexual assault cases

For more information about the 30×30 Initiative, see www.30x30initiative.org.


OWASA Responds to Wastewater Overflow

An overflow caused by grease in the sewer line prompted Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) crews to respond at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, to an overflow of untreated wastewater from a manhole near 121 Turvey Court near Erwin Road. OWASA was alerted of the overflow by an OWASA employee traveling to a project site. An estimated 2,925 gallons of untreated wastewater entered surface water that eventually led to Booker Creek.

OWASA reminds all residents that fats, oils, and grease should be disposed of in the trash rather than being put down the drain. These items solidify in sewer lines, causing these blockages.

The blockage was cleared, and the overflow was stopped at approximately 8:45 a.m. OWASA personnel are continuing efforts to clean up the affected area. Samples will be taken once again after mitigation efforts have concluded to determine if further remediation efforts are required. The appropriate state officials have been notified. 

For more information, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, at bhodge@owasa.org or (919) 537-4326.


April 11, 2022

Chapel Hill Good Friday Holiday Schedule

Friday, April 15, is a municipal holiday. Some Town services will be affected, as follows:

Residential trash pickup will not be affected. Yard waste will not be collected (no make-up day). Curbside recycling will not be affected.

Chapel Hill Public Library will be closed on Sunday, April 17.

Chapel Hill Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule (no U route) on April 15. Go Triangle 420 will operate.

Parks and Recreation:

  • Parks, greenways, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters and outdoor park amenities are open.
  • Administrative offices, Hargraves Community Center, Teen Center and Community Center Pool will be closed Friday, April 15. Chapel Hill Community Center (pool closed), Homestead Aquatic Center and Northside Gymnasium will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Hargraves Community Center, Teen Center and Community Center Pool will be closed Sunday, April 17. Chapel Hill Community Center (pool closed), Homestead Aquatic Center and Northside Gymnasium will be open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Social Services Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month

Orange County Dept. of Social Services kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month on April 1 by wearing blue and planting a pinwheel garden. Pinwheels are the national symbol for child-abuse prevention, and they represent the bright future all children deserve.

This month, and throughout the year, Orange County Dept. of Social Services encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Orange County a better place for children and families. By ensuring parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by making meaningful connections with children, youth and families in our communities.

Orange County Dept. of Social Services encourages community members to learn how we can all prevent child maltreatment by registering for Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina’s free webinar, “Ensuring Strong Foundations for Children | Learn the Basics & Take Action” (https://bit.ly/3EdU2ED) on April 20.

Learn how you can #BeAConnection at www.preventchildabusenc.org.


OCAC, CJRD Present Our Lens, Our Voice

The Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Dept. (CJRD), in partnership with the Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC), is presenting Our Lens, Our Voice, a photography and emotional expression project that reframes and refocuses narratives of justice-impacted youth. The photography exhibit will open to the public on Friday, April 29, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Orange County Courthouse (106 E. Margaret Ln., Hillsborough) as part of Hillsborough’s Last Fridays ArtWalk. In addition to the exhibit, attendees will enjoy live music and spoken-word artists.

In September 2020, CJRD and the OCAC, together with photographer Emily Baxter and “artivist” Soteria Shepperson, created Our Lens, Our Voice, where justice-impacted youth used photography and poetry to create a series of anonymous photographs using meaningful words and phrases as prompts. All cameras and supplies were provided, thanks to the generosity of community members. The exhibit will feature the final photographs together with named emotional experiences by each participant.

Growing positive outcomes have led to creative expression becoming a more commonly used tool for engaging justice-involved individuals. A study by the California Dept. of Corrections showed six months after release, rates of parole violation for arts-in-corrections participants were 15% lower than nonparticipants; after two years, this difference climbed to 30%. Seventy-five percent of program participants had fewer disciplinary infractions than nonparticipants.

Involvement in the arts is also critical for student outcomes. Students engaged in arts-learning have higher grade-point averages and standardized test scores and are two times more likely to graduate college. Low-income students who participate in the arts, both in school and after school, have a dropout rate of just 4% — five times lower than their peers. Participation in after-school arts programs causes juvenile crime to fall by 4.2% on average, and slightly more (5.4%) in lower-income cities.

For more information, see https://artsorange.org/ourlens/.


Town of Carrboro Offices Closed Good Friday

Town of Carrboro government offices will be closed for the Good Friday holiday on Friday, April 15.

Residents who normally receive solid-waste collection on Friday will be serviced on Monday, April 18.


Carrboro to Participate in Black Restaurant Week

From April 22 to May 1, you are invited to discover and enjoy Black-owned restaurants and culinary businesses throughout the Triangle. Participating restaurants will be offering weekly specials, including prix-fixe brunch and lunch and dinner specials for dine-in or take-out.

Find participating restaurants at https://blackrestaurantweeks.com/carolinas-directory/.


April 8, 2022

Native Plant Month in Carrboro

At the April 5 Town Council meeting, Council members resolved to designate April as “Native Plant Month” in Carrboro. The designation recognizes the benefits of native plants to our town’s environment and economy.

Residents are invited to celebrate Native Plant Month by planting more native plants in their yard and common spaces. Each seedling does its part to help feed birds, bees and butterflies and to create a more resilient ecosystem. A list of native plant recommendations can be found at. https://bit.ly/3JnDpaj.

Residents interested in learning more about the value of native plants as pollinator habitats can do so at https://townofcarrboro.org/986/Pollinator-Habitat.

Read the full resolution at. https://bit.ly/3v5PT1d.


Carrboro Egg Hunts

The Carrboro Community Egg Hunt and the Flashlight Egg Hunt are scheduled for Saturday, April 16.

Originally scheduled for April 9, the Carrboro Community Egg Hunt has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 16. The start time for the event remains 12:00 p. m. The event is open to children ages 2 through 10. The location is Hank Anderson Community Park, located at 302 N.C. Highway 54 West, Chapel Hill. Participants should bring their own bag or basket.

The Flashlight Egg Hunt begins at dark, with registration beginning on site at 7:45 p.m. This hunt is open to youth ages 11 through 14. The location is Wilson Park, located at 101 Williams St., Carrboro. Participants should bring their own bag or basket and flashlight.

There will not be a rain date for either event.

Both events are free for participants.  

If you have any questions, contact the Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department at 919-918-7392.


Carrboro E. Main Street Closure April 19-20

A contractor conducting work on the railroad that intersects near the 200 block of E. Main Street in Carrboro will close this portion of the roadway on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19-20. A contractor notified the Town of Carrboro that they plan to replace wooden railroad ties and do other work.

Detours will be set up for local traffic, but commuters are encouraged to look for alternative routes to their destination.

The town will share updates on the status of the closures on its social media channels.


Orange County Voters to Gather in Hillsborough to Thank Local Election Workers

Orange County voters will assemble at the historic old county courthouse in downtown Hillsborough (104 E. King St.) on Tuesday, April 12, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. to express their appreciation for Orange county’s hard-working and dedicated poll workers and election officials.

Voters recognize that election workers are on the front line of democracy. Year in and year out, they perform the essential work that keeps elections fair and free, but now they are facing attacks as never before. One in five local election administrators around the country say they are likely to leave their jobs before the 2024 presidential election (https://bit.ly/3xdQNLK). One in three know an election worker who has already left.

Organized by local volunteers in cooperation with the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham counties, this event brings together Americans across race, place and party to stand up for the right to decide who represents us. American voters turned out in record numbers in 2020 to make their voices heard, despite Covid and other threats. We are determined to cast our votes in 2022.

America’s free and fair elections depend on the vital work done by election workers behind the scenes and at the polls. Their diligence and nonpartisanship enable voters to have their say. They truly embody the League’s mission, “making democracy work.”

To express the public’s support for local election workers, Orange County voters will come together, hold signs along Churton Street (Hillsborough’s main artery), and then gather at the historic Old County Courthouse to hear from Orange County Board of Elections Chair Jamie Cox and Board Secretary Shawnee Seese, representing the Orange County poll workers and board staff. Voters will sign giant thank you cards to honor these local Election Heroes.

The event will send a simple message to Orange County’s election heroes: You are essential workers in American democracy. Voters stand with you and deeply appreciate the work that you do. Election workers are just as essential to Orange County communities as are nurses, grocery store workers, letter carriers and firefighters.

The Hillsborough event is one of more than 50 events across the country organized by a coalition of 200 pro-democracy groups, the Voter Empowerment Collaborative (https://www.mobilize.us/voterempowerment/), to thank these unsung election heroes.

For more information, contact Jennifer Bremer at bremer.jennifer@gmail.com or 301-955-6333.


Second Chance Month in N.C.

Governor Roy Cooper has announced that April is Second Chance Month in North Carolina, a time to focus on the challenges facing the more than 20,000 people returning to their communities each year after completing sentences of incarceration. Barriers facing previously incarcerated individuals can be overwhelming. The Orange County Local Reentry Council (LRC) is now in its fourth year of service to Orange County and its formerly incarcerated residents.

The purpose of the LRC, as mandated by the N.C. Department of Public Safety, is to coordinate resources in the community in order to assist residents and their families as they transition from incarceration to society. In addition to assembling these resources and addressing gaps, the LRC and its umbrella agency, the Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Dept., provide case management services, funding and support to formerly incarcerated clients.

This year was heavily influenced by COVID-19 and the attending restrictions and limitations. Due to the pandemic, the LRC and clients experienced challenges similar to those that most human services providers experienced and continue to experience. The work for both provider and client is tough and required creativity and adaption on all fronts. Despite often overwhelming barriers, LRC clients experienced many successes this year.

It is difficult to present them all, especially when there are so many different person-centered goals and needs for a client caseload that averages around 30. See https://bit.ly/37wxYsy to read a few client success stories to shine light, power, encouragement and strengthened community support for a resilient population who have been navigating and adapting since well before COVID-19.


April 7, 2022

Check Out OCLW’s Job Board

Orange County Living Wage maintains a job listing on their website (orangecountylivingwage.org/jobs). Jobs are posted by living-wage employers that demonstrated that they paid the living wage that was in effect at the time they certified. Openings include positions such as human resources manager, front-of-house restaurant workers, office and community organizer, and asset manager. See the entire listing at orangecountylivingwage.org/jobs.


Help Preparing for April Showers

April showers in Carrboro can sometimes result in more than just May flowers. Wet weather can also bring flooding, streambank erosion and property damage. In Carrboro, stormwater management is always top of mind, as evidenced by the maintenance of a stormwater team dedicated to helping residents mitigate its effects, managing stormwater and identifying future restoration projects to improve the health of our watersheds.

If you are experiencing issues, you can reach the stormwater staff via these reporting tools:


April 4, 2022

Earth Day in Carrboro

Earth Day will be celebrated from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St., with a wide array of food vendors; information tables, displays, and demonstrations; and a children’s parade at 6 p.m.  

Organizers with the Orange County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project have partnered with the Town of Carrboro to line up an amazing group of Orange County’s finest to share information with attendees on food-waste composting, native plants, electric vehicles, edible gardens on the UNC campus and many others, along with kid-friendly activities of Earth Day crafts, seed-planting and a Children’s Parade at 6 p.m. Children (and any brave adults) are invited to come in costume of a favorite animal or plant. There will be small costume add-ons to make at the event, and loaned items from Paperhand Puppets will bring a festive spirit to the parade. 

Organizations and vendors that wish to participate in this event can apply at. https://bit.ly/38jbtre.  

Learn more about Carrboro’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution and fight climate change at. https://bit.ly/3r3nwiU.


Poetry Month in Carrboro

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils has declared April as Poetry Month in Carrboro. 

Carrboro poet laureate Fred Joiner will invite special guests to read poems at the beginning of upcoming meetings of the Town Council for April 5, 12, 19, and 26. A list of poems read at previous Council meetings can be found at http://www.ci.carrboro.nc.us/2593/Poetry-Readings-During-Town-Council-Meet.

The Town of Carrboro established the position of poet laureate in 2002 to enhance the presence of poetry in the social and civic life of Carrboro. Poet laureate Fred Joiner was selected as a laureate fellow of the Academy of American Poets in 2019, one of 13 poets of literary merit chosen from across the U.S. to “enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities, as well as create new work.” 

The Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org/) established the month of April as National Poetry Month in 1996 to celebrate the legacy and ongoing achievements of poets in the U.S., introduce the pleasures and benefits of reading poetry, bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways, and make poetry an important part of children’s education.

“Poem in Your Pocket Day,” which will take place on Friday, April 29, encourages people to select a poem and carry it with them to share with others.

Read the proclamation at https://bit.ly/3DJRwFz.

There’s a poem in this place—
in the footfalls in the halls
in the quiet beat of the seats.
It is here, at the curtain of day,
where America writes a lyric
you must whisper to say.
Amanda Gorman from “In This Place” (An American Lyric)


Robertson Selected for President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts

President Joe Biden has appointed Carrboro resident Diane Robertson, along with 13 others, to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts (PACA). Robertson is the only appointee from North Carolina.

Robertson’s creativity and background in the arts led her to this appointment. The appointees provide input on artistic programming for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The PACA was established in 1958 to help sustain the center.

Read the full story at https://bit.ly/3DOMGqL.



March 31, 2022

New Music Venue Coming to Carrboro

Carrboro United Methodist Church is launching a free, family-friendly night of music, food and friendship Friday, May 6, in the church fellowship hall. Doors will open at 6:30, and music will start at 7:00. The aim is to provide a space where friends and family can meet and hear music from some of the many superlative musicians in our area.

Kicking it off at 7 p.m. will be Carol Parker Shafer and SheSings, an acoustic trio featuring some original songs by Carol on acoustic guitar and vocals, joined by Susan Colwell on vocals and Tracy Parker on bass guitar and vocals. The rich blend of their voices creates a vibrant, compelling sound that will surprise and delight the audience.

At 8 p.m. Michael Parks will take the stage. Michael is a singer/songwriter/musician from Durham. His original musical style is Americana/folk, and his songs cover many topics, including themes from his Appalachia roots. He is a multi-instrumentalist, including dobro and Irish bouzouki. 

Coming up Friday, May 20, at 7 p.m. will be the String Beings, a trio performing original and non-original tunes centered around tight harmonies in the Americana style, followed by Larry Hicks from Chatham County at 8 p.m., bringing his original songs played in an eclectic Americana style. 

And Friday, June 3, the entire evening will feature the Twang Bandits. They will be playing classic country and honky-tonk plus newer Americana.


Expect Schedule Delays in Chapel Hill Transit Service April 2

Chapel Hill Transit will operate regular services Saturday, April 2, but customers should expect delays throughout the afternoon and evening due to pedestrian and vehicular traffic in downtown Chapel Hill. Additional delays may occur with the NCAA men’s basketball Watch Party at the Smith Center, starting at 5:30 p.m. One-way traffic will begin on Skipper Bowles Drive at 4 p.m. The U route will serve the bus stops along Skipper Bowles Drive.

Pending a victory celebration on Franklin Street following the basketball game, Safe Rides will attempt to operate on a regular schedule, but may be delayed until Franklin Street reopens.

Chapel Hill Transit will make every attempt to maintain schedules but is advising customers to expect delays and to allow extra travel time.

For specific schedule information, please visit www.chtransit.org, email chtransit@townofchapelhill.org, or call a customer service representative at 919-485-7433.


Chapel Hill Bonfire Burn Survivor Warns Tar Heel Fans

Andrew Madlon did not know he was dangerously close to a bonfire in April 2009. He was in a tightly packed crowd of fans on Franklin Street celebrating UNC’s victory in the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

 “With so many people, you can’t always see where there is a bonfire,” Madlon said, as he cautioned that he and his friends had no interest in setting or jumping over bonfires when they ran to Franklin Street in the heat of the moment. “The group of us that lived together were out on Franklin Street, on the curb, kind of away from a bonfire,” Madlon said. “Someone in the crowd picked me up and sent me crowd surfing for about 10 seconds. The crowd ran out because the bonfire was there, and I got dropped on top of it.”

Madlon received second- and third-degree burns on his right arm. He said it was more than a year before he did not have to worry about the pain or inconvenience of the severe injury.

Madlon said his injuries could have been even worse. If he knew then what he knows now, he said he would have celebrated somewhere away from a fire. Madlon is urging current students and fans to make sure their celebratory traditions are safe.


Earth Day in Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill is celebrating Earth Day the entire month of April. The Town’s Climate Action and Response Plan has 97 actions that are designed to lower the emissions that cause climate change, help us adapt to our changing climate, protect our local environment and strengthen our community’s resilience. This work includes actions like:

  • Developing energy efficiency and resiliency programs to support residents who are most impacted by climate change
  • Converting more outdoor lighting to high-efficient LED fixtures
  • Adding more electric vehicles to the Town’s fleet and building more public charging stations for the community
  • Updating land development regulations to make them more climate friendly and responsive
  • Building a town-wide network of biking and walking paths
  • Expanding rainwater sensor technology to enhance flood alert systems
  • Developing community programs that support individual and neighborhood-level action

The monthlong celebration will include these events:

  • Family concert with Latin GRAMMY Award-winning artist Mister G, Friday, April 15, 4-5 p.m. at Chapel Hill Public Library
  • Chapel Hill Public Library volunteer workday, Saturday, April 23, 9:30 a.m.- noon at Pritchard Park
  • Nature walk and cyanotype prints workshop, Sunday, April 24, at Bolin Creek; times vary by attendee age

Chapel Hill Transit Service Changes Due to Estes Drive Improvements

Beginning Monday, April 4, Estes Drive will be converted to one-way traffic as construction begins on the Estes Drive Connectivity Project. Chapel Hill Transit will be updating the G route and the Senior Shuttle to best accommodate customers during this time.

For specific schedule information, email chtransit@townofchapelhill.org, or call a customer service representative at 919-485-7433.

For more information on the project see https://bit.ly/3DtJ11r.


Summer Camp Registration Begins April 5

Summer camp registration for residents residing in Orange County begins Tuesday, April 5, at 8:30 a.m. Non-residents may begin registering Thursday, April 7, at 8:30 a.m.

Campers ages 5-17 years will enjoy 10 action-packed weeks of summer day-camp this year, filled with swimming, arts and crafts, gym games, team building and more. Camp counselors help campers develop new skills and friendships while they play and interact together.

Other partial-day specialty camps include arts and clay camps, youth explorer adventure camps, video game design and animation, sports-theme camps and a social cafe for teens and adults with specialized needs.

Online and walk-in are two ways you can register. See  https://bit.ly/3qTsmPP for details on this and answers to many other frequently asked questions. You can also download the Summer Camp Guide at https://bit.ly/3uEFuta.

Full-day camps fill up the fastest, so it’s important that you plan ahead. This year all camps will be run at reduced capacity.

Chapel Hill is hiring camp counselors, lifeguards and swim instructors. Apply online at townofchapelhil.org/jobs. Earn $10-$17 per hour in a fun environment where we care and provide great training.

For more information about Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, see chapelhillparks.org.


NAACP Scholarship Deadline Approaching

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awards annual scholarships to high school seniors selected from among the four high schools in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System. The recipient must be entering a four‐year college/university or a two-year community college. The scholarships recognize academic achievement, civic engagement, leadership qualities and strong character. Each initial scholarship is in the amount of $1,000, of which $500 is renewable, subject to criteria. 

New scholarship applications are due at 5 p.m, Friday, April 22. Finalists’ interviews will be scheduled the week of May 9-13.

Apply for a scholarship at https://bit.ly/3qTggpM.


U.S. DOJ Investigating 1970 Campus Murder

THE U.S. Dept. of Justice has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the murder of James Lewis Cates, Jr., who was stabbed on UNC’s campus in 1970 and bled to death when he was not transported to the hospital in a timely manner.

The family of James Cates, represented by his cousins Nate Davis and Valerie P. Foushee, are announcing this investigation with the following statement provided to Stone Walls:

“Fifty-two years ago when we lost our beloved cousin James Lewis Cates Jr., community members asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death. They never heard back from the DOJ in 1970. But this January, in 2022, we did. The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice contacted us about the possibility of opening an investigation with the authority granted under the Emmett Till Act. Now we can announce that the federal government has officially opened a case to investigate the death of James Cates on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We do not know where this process will lead, but we are glad that it is taking place, even if all these decades later. We would like to express our deep gratitude to our community, especially those who loved him and have kept his memory alive, and extend our heartfelt thanks to so many who have refused to let the name James Cates fade again. Thank you to so many students on campus, both in the 1970s and in recent years, who have advocated to remember James Cates, and to the members of the James Cates Remembrance Coalition, whose work to preserve the history surrounding our tragic loss continues. ‘Baby Boy,’ as we call him, can never be brought back, but perhaps there might finally be some accountability. And we know he will not be forgotten again.”

More information about the DOJ’s Cold Case Initiative under the Till Act and its reauthorization can be found at https://www.justice.gov/crt/cold-case-initiative. It includes a list of cases (https://www.justice.gov/crt/file/1470121/download) that have been opened under the Till Act that now includes James Cates.


CHCCS SIT Members to Lead Conversation on SITs

On April 6, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., two Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools School Improvement Team (SIT) members, a student, and a parent will lead a conversation on “How Can School Improvement Teams (SITs) Advance Racial Equity?” The event is sponsored by the Campaign for Racial Equity in Our Schools.

Register at https://bit.ly/3LzRUcM.


Journey of Reconciliation Community Walk

The month of April marks the 75th anniversary of a little-known piece of local history. In 1947, an interracial group sought to challenge whether busing companies would continue to enforce Jim Crow segregation laws in spite of the 1946 Supreme Court decision that ruled it illegal for interstate travel. Their bus journey began in Washington, D.C., continued through Richmond, and then passed into North Carolina, where the riders encountered their first violent reaction, in Chapel Hill. In addition to the brave individuals who put their bodies on the line, another figure at the heart of this story is Charlie Jones, former pastor at University Presbyterian Church (UPC) (then called The Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill). Rev. Jones welcomed the riders to the church for Sunday morning worship and, when things turned violent at the bus station, he welcomed them into his home for protection and secured them safe passage on to Greensboro, where they continued their journey unharmed.

In partnership with the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition and a number of other local organizations, there will be a community walk Sunday, April 10, from 2 to 3 p.m. This will be an opportunity to visit the sites where this seldom-told story unfolded and to reflect on the twin legacies of deep prejudice and an even deeper faithfulness that animate this incredible tale of courageous witness.

To participate in the walking tour, meet in the UPC parking lot at 1:45 p.m. Those meeting there will then walk to the starting point to join the full group and remember together.


ARP Increases Tax Benefits for Low-, Moderate-Income Families

Under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, more money is available to families and/or individuals with low to moderate incomes. Filing your taxes is how you can claim benefits like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Families can now receive an increased Child Tax Credit ($3,000 or $3,600, depending on child/dependents age), and more people with low incomes are eligible for a larger EITC.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit benefits families and communities by providing economic support and security for eligible workers with children,” said Orange County Vice Chair Jamezetta Bedford, who is a certified public accountant and works at a local firm doing tax work for small businesses, trusts and estates, nonprofits and individuals. “These EITC dollars are returned to the local economy as residents use their tax credit to pay for necessities like food, rent, utilities, medical expenses, etc. The EITC especially benefits children and is aligned with higher educational and better health outcomes. Many of those eligible do not know to claim this benefit. This tax credit along with the child tax credit are important anti-poverty tools for families.”

Claiming the credit can reduce the tax you owe or give you a larger refund, and the amount of your credit may change if you have children or other dependents, are disabled or meet other criteria.

Receiving these benefits will not impact eligibility for other federal benefits (unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], Social Security, state disability insurance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children [WIC], Section 8 or public housing). Even if you did not earn enough to file taxes, you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit and potentially thousands of additional dollars in benefits.

Orange County Dept. of Social Services can offer access to computers and help taxpayers with navigating to the sites to file taxes online, but staff are prohibited from helping residents file taxes or providing tax advice. The Orange County Skills Development/Career Center (100 Europa Drive, Suite 101, Chapel Hill) and the Orange Works Employment and Training Center (113 Mayo St., Hillsborough) have public computers available Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The deadline to file 2021 income taxes is Monday, April 18.  For more information and to learn how to get free assistance with filing your taxes, visit www.ChildTaxCredit.gov.

See https://bit.ly/3K78ccQ for a flyer on the EITC in English and https://bit.ly/3DtL5GP for Spanish.


Carrboro Mayor Seils Signs Monarch Pledge

On March 29, Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils joined mayors and leaders from across the United States, Canada and Mexico in signing the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayor’s Monarch Pledge (https://www.nwf.org/mayorsmonarchpledge), a step aimed at protecting the iconic butterfly, which has experienced a 90-percent decrease in eastern population in recent years. 

Through the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities and other communities commit to creating a habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and to educating community members about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.  

In 2021, the Town Code was updated to allow residents to maintain native prairie and plant habitats, called managed natural landscapes. 

The town’s actions to increase pollinator habitat throughout Carrboro in the next year include:  

  • Engaging with community garden groups and encouraging them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants  
  • Working with Town departmental staff to plant and maintain monarch and pollinator-friendly species, including milkweed, throughout the Town in prominent community locations
  • Continuing to expand the volunteer-led invasive species removal program in local parks that supports the re-establishment of native habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators  

Information on how to plant a pesticide-free monarch habitat garden can be found on the National Wildlife Foundations’ Monarch Butterfly webpage.

Laura Janway, the Town of Carrboro Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, is leading the initiative. For more information or to get involved, contact her at ljanway@carrboronc.gov or (919) 918-7342.


New Speed Table on James Street Installed

Carrboro Public Works has installed a temporary speed table on the 100 block of James Street. The speed table, installed Wednesday, March 30, is the remaining element of the interim traffic calming measures for the Barred Owl Creek Neighborhood, discussed at a November 2021 town information meeting with the neighborhood. 

Town staff plans to conduct traffic counts this spring to evaluate the effectiveness of the four measures: curb extensions at the intersection of Lorraine and Carol streets, two sets of neckdowns on Carol Street (100 and 300 blocks), and the speed table on the 100 block of James Street. 

For questions or more information, please contact Tina Moon at cmoon@carrboronc.gov or 919-918-7325.


March 28, 2022

Pride Bus Wrap Deadline Extended

The deadline for applying to design a bus wrap that celebrates Pride Month in June is now 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 31. Local artists who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer [or sometimes questioning] and others) community are strongly encouraged to apply.   

Apply with a concept proposal and artistic resume following the instructions found on the website https://www.chapelhillarts.org/applications/pride-bus-wrap-artist-call/. The final design will be based on the selected artist/team proposal and stakeholder input.

The final design file must be delivered as an .ai or .eps file. The winning design will be printed on vinyl and then wrapped around a Chapel Hill Transit bus. The bus wrap will be on display for 1-2 years. 

Artists must live within 40 miles of Chapel Hill and submit application materials using the directions below. A stipend of $2,000 will be paid to the winning artist.


Chapel Hill Transit Restores Trips on CW and CM Routes

Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) restored several trips to the CW and CM routes on Monday, March 28.

Staff at CHT reduced service on several routes January 10 amidst the unprecedented numbers of daily call-outs due to safety protocols related to COVID-19 and other illnesses. “The number of call-outs has decreased, though they haven’t returned to normal levels. We feel comfortable adding back some of the services we had to stop,” according to Nick Pittman, transit planning manager. Customers can view the updated schedules at. https://bit.ly/3uECm0i.


Atuya Cornwell Selected as Parks and Recreation Assistant Director

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Director Phil Fleischmann has selected Atuya Cornwell to fill the assistant director role beginning April 4. Cornwell was selected following a national recruitment effort and a competitive selection process.

As assistant director, Cornwell will oversee the day-to-day operations of Parks and Recreation, including service provision, facility operations, programming and staff within the Business Operations, Park and Landscape Maintenance, and Recreation divisions. He will also manage special projects on behalf of the department, including strategic planning and evaluation.

 “Throughout the selection process, he demonstrated strong competencies, the right balance of prior leadership and operational experience, and an interest in serving our community and organization in this position, making him the ideal selection for this crucially important role,” said Fleischmann.

Cornwell’s career spans nearly 20 years within public sector recreation and athletic operations, programming and management roles within Mecklenburg County (NC) Park and Recreation and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission – Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. He currently serves as assistant division chief for the Youth & Countywide Sports Division of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County. Cornwell is a nationally certified park and recreation professional and has been recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association with several awards and scholarships. A native of Charlotte, he holds a bachelor of science degree in exercise and sports science from UNC-Greensboro and a master of business administration degree with a concentration in government services from Pfeiffer University. 


Two Chapel Hill Greenway and Sidepath Projects Receive Funding from MPO

The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization Board has approved $1.43 million to support the Fordham Boulevard Sidepath and Morgan Creek Greenway – West section extension projects in Chapel Hill. These funds will allow the Town to continue to move forward with these long-anticipated projects.

The Fordham Boulevard Sidepath project (https://bit.ly/3tNxuXy) will provide a multi-modal path along Fordham Boulevard between Cleland Drive and Willow Drive.

The Town received $160,000 for this project, which will supplement the approximately $1.2 million in funding the Town and the Federal Highway Administration have provided through its Transportation Alternative Program. 

The Sidepath project is divided into two segments. The southern portion, between Cleland Drive and Ridgefield Road, involves upgrading the existing asphalt section to concrete. The northern portion will construct a new path between Ridgefield Road and Willow Drive along the eastern side of Fordham Boulevard. Design for the project is underway, and construction should begin this fall. The Town’s Parks and Recreation Department is managing this project with support from the Planning Department’s Transportation Planning Division.

The Morgan Creek Greenway – West Section project (https://bit.ly/3qKR4BH) will extend the existing greenway west to the Carrboro town line at Smith Level Road, connecting directly with the Town of Carrboro segment of the Morgan Creek Greenway. In addition to large Carrboro neighborhoods, the greenway will link directly to Kingswood Apartments and Frank Porter Graham School.

The Town set aside $1.1 million from the 2015 Greenways Bond, and the $1.27 million award allows the Town to finish the design and construct the West Section.

This project will require a large bridge, a small bridge, a large retaining wall, a new parking area, and flood-resistant construction. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2023. The Parks and Recreation Department is managing this project. 

For more information, contact Senior Planner for Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Marcia Purvis at mpurvis@townofchapelhill.org.


2022-2023 CDBG Program Plan Public Forum 

The Chapel Hill Town Council held an initial public forum on November 10, 2021, and will hold a second virtual public forum on Wednesday, April 6, at 7 p.m. to receive resident input on the Town’s 2022-2032 federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The CDBG program, operated by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, provides communities with resources to address a wide range of community needs to serve low- to moderate-income residents. The Town of Chapel Hill has received CDBG funds since 1975 and has used these funds to support a variety of affordable housing initiatives and community service programs. 

The public is invited to review and comment on the draft 2022-2023 CDBG Annual Plan, which will be made available online for a period of no fewer than 30 days from Wednesday, March 23, at https://www.townofchapelhill.org/cdbg.

Please submit all written comments by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, to Megan Culp, Community Development Program Manager, Office for Housing and Community, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or via email to CDBG@TownofChapelHill.org.


Police Headquarters sign in Spring

Police Seek Information in Hit-and-Run Crash

The Chapel Hill Police Department is seeking the community’s assistance following a crash that injured a bicyclist the morning of March 23. The bicyclist has been treated and released from UNC Hospitals.

At around 5:52 a.m., a driver struck the bicyclist, who was traveling south on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Municipal Drive. The driver left the scene of the crash.

Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.


Local Fundraiser to Help People of Ukraine

A local fundraiser to help the people of Ukraine will be held Saturday, April 2, 12-5 p.m. at the Church of Reconciliation, 110 Elliot Road. All of the monies donated will go to three non-governmental organizations involved in assisting Ukrainians suffering from the invasion of their country—United Help Ukraine (https://unitedhelpukraine.org/), Nova Ukraine (https://novaukraine.org/), and World Central Kitchen (https://wck.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwloCSBhAeEiwA3hVo_UauQ1eqZTgK9lmL_bHJ5XYzKMegFtrfsRyYJsA6rP2tNsfOSU2RNxoCiwAQAvD_BwE).

Stop by, make a donation, and pick up some homemade borscht made by members of the church. The borscht-makers found incredible generosity as they set about putting the fundraiser together, such as:

  • A woman who makes and sells bread at the farmers’ market refused payment for her loaves saying, “I want to participate. This is a wonderful thing.” 
  • An organic farmer donated the vegetables for the borscht.
  • A third person donated 100 food-grade containers to take the borscht home, saying, “If you need more, let me know.  I’ll give them to you.”

Please be part of this wonderful outpouring and stop by the Church of Reconciliation on Saturday with your donation. If you can’t come on Saturday, please make a donation directly to the charities listed above (although, that won’t get you any borscht).


CHALT Webinar on the Housing Crisis

Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town (CHALT) will present their first Speaker Series event of 2022, a two-part webinar exploring local and national perspectives on the affordable housing crisis, on April 3 and April 10, 4-5:30 p.m., via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4800794120).

Part 1, on April 3, will be, “Origins of the Housing Crisis: How We Got Here.” Part 2, on April 10, will be, “The Housing We Need & Finding Solutions That Work.” Each session will feature a panel of experts followed by open discussion.


Take a Walk—for Your Health

A 30-minute walk can have huge health benefits, so celebrate National Take A Walk In The Park Day on Wednesday, March 30, 12-1 p.m. Explore Carrboro’s Hank Anderson Park, breathe in some fresh air, and re-energize before heading back to the real world. This free event is for all ages and will take place at Hank Anderson Park Pond Trail, 302 Hwy. 54 West, Carrboro.


March 25, 2022

Take to the Streets on Sunday, April 3

On Sunday, April 3, from noon to 4 p.m., East and West Weaver streets will be closed to vehicles for Open Streets 2022, when the streets reopen to the public for recreation.

The Carrboro Bicycle Coalition started Carrboro Open Streets in 2013, the main purpose of which was to recreate the street and encourage community building through a variety of activities.

The event is held annually in April on Weaver Street. The community is invited to dance, do yoga, ride bikes, climb a rock wall, make smoothies on a bike blender and participate in many other activities in a public space that not many ever thought of as a place to partake in recreation.

Given the success of this inaugural event in 2013, the Carrboro Town Council approved the continuation of future Open Streets events in Carrboro, and it is now an annual event put on by the Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Department.

For more information, contact Galen Poythress at 919-918-7392 or jpoythress@carrboronc.gov


Orange County Egg Hunt

Orange County will host its annual egg hunt on Saturday, April 9, at Central Recreation Center, 302 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough, in the sports field behind the building. Activities will include egg hunts, crafts, photos with the bunny, inflatables and more. Register all household members who plan to attend for just $5 per household (must reside at the same residence). Bring an egg basket and come ready to have fun!

The event is open to all ages. Register by Monday, April 4.


Arts Commission, Housing Department present “HOME?”

The Orange County Arts Commission, in partnership with the Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development, present “HOME? An Artistic Exploration of Housing in the Triangle,” which seeks to showcase “home” through the eyes and words of working artists.

The exhibit features 100 works of art by 54 Triangle-based artists and will be on view through April at the Eno Mill Gallery (https://artsorange.org/enomill/how-to-find-us/) in Hillsborough. 

The public is invited to a free opening party on Friday, April 1, from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring:

See https://artsorange.org/home/ for more information, including a list of featured artists.


March 23, 2022

Miller-Foushee Receives 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has named Paris Miller-Foushee as the recipient of the branch’s 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award.

The award exemplifies Dr. King’s legacy of service and recognizes an individual who has:

  • Made a significant impact on the community through advocacy efforts
  • Raised awareness of social justice issues
  • Demonstrated a track record of service to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community
  • Inspired others to act in service to making our community a better place to live

Miller-Foushee is serving in her first term as a member of the Chapel Hill Town Council. She is also secretary of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP branch, as well as a board member of EmPOWERment, Inc., and the Marian Cheek Jackson Center.

These roles allow her to advocate for housing education and justice, affordable housing management and community engagement.

She uses service as a vehicle for conversation and fellowship with people across generations, varied backgrounds, and socio-economic statuses. We thank Paris for her commitment to service and embodiment of the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It is an absolute honor to continue on the 75-year legacy of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP,” Miller-Foushee said. “I hope that we continue to build a community that is inclusive, promotes equity, fair housing, fair labor laws, environmental justice and economic sustainability.”


Carrboro Town Council Passes Resolution in Support of Earth Hour

The Carrboro Town Council has passed a resolution to recognize Saturday, March 26, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. as Earth Hour in Carrboro. 

Every year, at 8:30 p.m. local time on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour asks people to turn off any non-essential lights—not lights that affect public safety—for one hour. To date, millions of supporters in over 190 countries and territories have taken this unified action, making Earth Hour the world’s largest environmental action. 

Earth Hour is a reminder that although humans are the cause of climate change, we are also the solution. By participating in Earth Hour, individuals can make a positive impact in the fight against climate change.

Read the full resolution of the Carrboro Town Council at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/10926/Resolution—Earth-Hour-2022.


Spring Shred-a-Thons in Orange County

Two spring shred-a-thons are scheduled in Orange County, one on Saturday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until capacity is met) at the Eubanks Road Park & Ride Lot, 1768 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill; and the other on Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until capacity is met) at the recycling drop-off site behind Home Depot, Hampton Pointe, Hillsborough.

They are open to residents of Chapel Hill and Orange County, small businesses, and local government employees. Bring your confidential documents for free, safe and contact-free destruction and recycling.

Wearing a mask is required, and you must handle your own paper. No on-site help will be available. Paper must be in clear plastic bags (up to 13-gallon) or boxes (no larger than a banker box). There is a limit of four bags or boxes and one trip per household or organization. Remove any plastic or metal binders or electronic media. Please bring confidential papers only—no newspaper, magazines or catalogs. Recycle non-confidential paper in blue carts or at recycling drop-off sites.

For more information on recycling in Chapel Hill, see https://www.orangecountync.gov/795/Solid-Waste-Management.


One-Way Eastbound Traffic on Estes Begins Week of April 4

The week of April 4, contractors will begin constructing a bike lane and sidewalk on the north side of Estes Drive as part of the Estes Drive Connectivity Project. This phase of the work requires one-way eastbound traffic between Somerset Drive and the Caswell Road traffic light. During this time, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians should follow any detours and posted road signs. 

The official detour directs vehicles to use Weaver Dairy Road or Franklin Street. For the most up-to-date traffic conditions, check Waze or Google Maps. Both applications recognize lane closures and traffic automatically.  

For project and construction updates, join the project listserv at https://chplan.us/30y4kjd

Many of the improvements in the Estes Drive Connectivity Project will enhance the Town of Chapel Hill’s efforts to increase safety on local roads for those who walk, ride or roll. This project includes raised bike lanes, a sidewalk on the south side of Estes Drive and a 10-foot multiuse path on the north side. The intersection at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive will see improvements for turning traffic, crosswalks on all four legs, and bike lanes that will extend onto Estes Drive Extension.  The Town recently installed a rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) at Estes Drive and Caswell Road.  Another RRFB will be installed at Estes Drive and Somerset Drive. 

For more information about this project, see www.townofchapelhill.org/estes


Orange County Offers Free Help with 2021 Income Tax Returns

Orange County Department on Aging’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is continuing to assist low- and moderate-income taxpayers with tax-preparation services. VITA services are free to those with incomes below $70,000 for a single person or $100,000 for a household. The deadline for filing 2021 income taxes is now through April 18, 2022.

We are offering a Valet Tax Preparation Service that will provide service for the remainder of March, ending the first week in April. Taxpayers with scheduled appointments can bring in their tax documents and complete the intake paperwork at the Seymour Center (2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill). Walk-in services are not available.

The VITA tax team members will scan and upload your documents, and IRS-certified preparers will contact you by phone to prepare and electronically file your return. Appointments will be scheduled to sign and pick up the completed returns. 

Valet days and times:     

  • Thursdays, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (March 24 and 31 and April 7)
  • Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (March 25 and April 1 and 8)

Alternatively, if you have internet access, an active email account, and either a computer and scanner or a cell phone with a camera, you can participate in the Virtual VITA program. Check the website www.orangecountync.gov/ocncvita, or send an email to ocncvita@gmail.com for more information.

To schedule an appointment, call 919-245-4242, or schedule online using AppointmentPlus at www.orangecountync.gov/ocncvita


March 19, 2022

River Park Arch Installation Underway

The Hillsborough Arts Council and the Orange County Arts Commission, along with representatives from the Town of Hillsborough and Orange County, announce the installation of River Park Arch, underway in River Park in downtown Hillsborough. The public is invited to River Park over the next several weeks to watch the installation and meet the artist, including during Last Fridays ArtWalk on Friday, March 25.
 
The project was initiated when an approximately 250-year-old, venerable Southern Red Oak on Calvin Street in West Hillsborough fell during Hurricane Florence in September, 2018. Identified as one of Hillsborough’s “Treasure Trees,” the project partners responded to a call from the community to repurpose the wood.
 
For more information, see https://www.hillsboroughartscouncil.org/tree.


Animal Services Needs Home for Available Dogs

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) needs to find homes for available dogs at the shelter. Recently, the number of dog adoptions at OCAS has decreased. The staff at OCAS report an increase in the length of stay for dogs at the shelter and the number of dogs is increasing. The Animal Services facility has many wonderful dogs available for adoption and some available as part of their medical foster program (http://www.orangecountync.gov/1873/Foster-Opportunities). 

“It is a little unusual for us to see a reduction in dog adoptions for an extended period of time,” said Orange County Animal Services Director Dr. Sandra Strong. “The longer animals stay in our shelter, the more likely that they experience stress and anxiety. We do everything we can to provide enrichment and keep them comfortable, but dogs really need to be with families that can help them establish routines in a loving home environment. The home environment is where dogs can be social, thrive and settle into happy lives.”

You do not need to be an Orange County resident to adopt a pet from OCAS. Adoption fees for dogs (http://www.orangecountync.gov/288/Adoption-Fees) include health screening, standard vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, heartworm testing (for dogs seven months and older) and heartworm preventative, spay or neuter surgery, microchip and broad-spectrum deworming.

If anyone is interested in viewing available pets or adopting a dog, see www.orangecountync.gov/287/Available-Pets, or visit the shelter to select your new best friend. You may also call the OCAS adoption desk at 919-942-7387, menu option 3, for more information.


Upcoming Events at the Orange County Senior Centers

Upcoming events to be held at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill and the Passmore Center in Hillsborough include the following:

CBD – What it is, should you consider it?

Join Elliot Galdy for a brief history of cannabis and focus on the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids for age-related issues, i.e., arthritis, pain, insomnia and anxiety.

Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill (hybrid: in-person & virtual options); Wednesday, March 30, 1 pm-2 pm; free. Register by Monday, March 28, by calling 919-968-2070.

Bluestem Conservation Burial Ground: An Introduction?

Why conservation burial, and why Bluestem in particular? Bluestem, a conservation cemetery designed as a nature preserve and place of reverence, with a trail network, quiet areas for reflection, open space for contemplation, and designated areas within its restored landscape for natural burial.

Virtual event, Tuesday, April 12, 4-5:30 p.m.; free. Register at www.orangecountync.gov/Bluestem. For frequently asked questions, see www.orangecountync.gov/BluestemFAQ.

Conversation Project Workshop PART I
In small conversation groups, patterned after the Conversation Project, Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team members will coach participants how to engage their loved ones in end-of-life-care conversations. Attendees will receive the Conversation Starter Kit from The Conversation Project and a free copy of The Five Wishes Booklet.

Passmore Center, 103 Meadowlands Dr, Hillsborough; Tuesday, April 26, 4-6 p.m.; free. Register by Friday, April 22, by calling 919-968-2070. Maximum in-person attendance: 12.


Register of Deeds Office to Resume Fulltime Passport Services

The Orange County Register of Deeds office will resume offering passport services fulltime beginning Monday, March 21. Hours of service will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The office will also host a passport fair on Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., walk-ins only, at the office located at 228 S. Churton St., Hillsborough.

For more information about what is required to obtain a passport, see https://www.orangecountync.gov/771/Passports, or call 919-245-2681.

The Register of Deeds office also now offers fraud alert protection service to provide email notifications whenever a document is recorded in the Register of Deeds office that matches your name. You can enter up to five names per email address. If a document is recorded in any of the names you submit, you will receive an email notifying you.

To sign up for the service, see https://fraudalertme.com/ORANGENCNW/FRAUDDETECTION.ASP.


Local Superintendents Discuss School Budgets and Resources 

The Public Education Action Team of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties is hosting a virtual panel discussion with superintendents representing local district PK-12 public schools, Wednesday April 27, 7:00-8:00 p.m. The superintendents of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City, Chatham County, Durham Public and Orange County school systems are joining us.

As taxpayers and good consumers, many people want to know where resources come from, how school budgets are created and approved, and how spending is connected to educational quality and equity. Questions about how state and federal funding interact with local funding and how this impacts districts are common.

The goal is that attendees come away more informed about the process of funding public schools and confident in the investment they are making in our public schools, be it as a parent, employee, taxpayer or interested member of the public.

This virtual event is free and open to the public. Register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSehh7JDRgUx_70rOh9j7J5iek4jRf02HoGbzLb7XzWdoBxwVA/viewform, or via the online calendar at https://my.lwv.org/north-carolina/orange-durham-and-chatham-counties-inc/calendar.


New Certifications & Recertifications by OCLW

Several local businesses and employers have joined the Orange County Living Wage roster, including:

The Beehive 
Bowbarr
ClearWind Farm
Franklin Motors Hospitality
New Vista Development 
Pure Tree Care 
Roquette Restaurants 
Spotted Dog Restaurant & Bar 
Ten Mothers Farm

In addition to these new certifications, many employers have recertified. For a directory of all Orange County living-wage employers, see https://orangecountylivingwage.org/directory/.

As of this month, living-wage employers have collectively raised wages for workers by more than $2 million since OCLW’s founding in 2015.


March 17, 2022

Public Information Meeting: Police Property MOU for Redevelopment

A public information meeting to share information with the public about the proposed redevelopment of the police station property located at 828 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. will be held virtually on March 21 at 5:30 p.m. The Town Council is considering entering into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with development team Belmont-Sayre to further explore opportunities to safely redevelop the site. The project is proposed to include a municipal services center and a private development component. This meeting will provide an overview of the N.C. brownfields program and the proposed public/private partnership for redevelopment.

The Town has conducted multiple studies on site conditions since coal ash was discovered on the site in 2013. Visit the project webpage for past meetings, reports and site documentation: https://www.townofchapelhill.org/residents/community-sustainability/coal-ash-disposal-site-remediation-project.

Please register in advance for this meeting at
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMocuqgpzooHdfU3dm-5K6_5lXO-Pvtgtv4. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Homestead Gardens Affordable Housing Project Receives Federal Funding Award

The Town of Chapel Hill is excited to announce that the Homestead Gardens (https://www.townofchapelhill.org/?splash=https%3a%2f%2fwww.chapelhillaffordablehousing.org%2f2200-homestead&____isexternal=true) mixed-income affordable housing development (2200 Homestead Road) has received a $2 million Community Development Fund grant from the Community Project Funding (CPF) program. The Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) omnibus spending bill, which the president signed into law on March 11, includes $1.5 billion in CPF funds, also described as congressional earmarks for local community development projects.

Homestead Gardens was one of ten requests submitted by Congressman David Price (NC-04) in April 2021. The FY22 omnibus bill includes all ten of the CPF requests Congressman Price submitted.

The Homestead Gardens project is one of the Town’s first efforts to develop affordable housing on town land as a strategic way of addressing the critical need for affordable housing in Chapel Hill. The project represents a unique partnership between the Town and four local affordable housing partners—Self-Help Ventures Fund, CASA, Community Home Trust, and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. These partners formed the Homestead Housing Collaborative to achieve the project’s vision of an inclusive, mixed-income community offering a variety of housing types that serve a variety of housing needs. 

Since 2018, the Town has been working closely with the Collaborative and its design team to design and plan the project. Chapel Hill Town Council approved the Homestead Gardens development plan, which includes about 120 units of affordable apartments, townhomes and duplexes surrounded by community amenities, such as a multi-use greenway, a basketball court and a community garden, in May 2021. The project is scheduled to break ground in 2022.


New Art Banners on Display at Peace & Justice Plaza

New art banners are now on display at Peace & Justice Plaza in downtown Chapel Hill. Created by Carrboro artist Charlie Dupee, the banners display a series of raised fists in a colorful marbled texture. This is the second set of banners to be hung between the columns of the historic Post Office building, energizing the space with mural-style art. Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture coordinated the project and encourages the community to come downtown to see the art.

The project was envisioned in 2020, in the weeks after the death of George Floyd. UNC student Emile Charles approached Community Arts & Culture with an interest in raising awareness of the struggles for racial and social justice. “I thought a community art piece was a fantastic way to engage with the cultural side of the Black Lives Matter movement,” says Charles. After considering what was possible at the historic building, staff landed on the idea of mural art banners. The inaugural set of banners, New Voices, by Victoria Primicias, went up in the spring of 2021 and featured a montage of local elements and widely recognized icons that represent the struggle for social justice.

Earlier this year, Community Arts & Culture issued a call to local artists for the second iteration of the banners. Charlie Dupee’s concept proposal was selected for several reasons, including the vibrant aesthetics and the powerful symbolism that accompanies the raised fist. “The raised fist has a rich, global history as an icon for resistance, revolution, and solidarity which extends beyond the Black Lives Matter movement,” says Dupee in his artist statement. “My piece, Radical Futures, is an attempt to visualize a future for this symbol and continue its lineage as an emblem of abolition.”

Nearly two decades ago, Peace & Justice Plaza was dedicated by the Chapel Hill Town Council to honor individuals, no longer living, who committed their lives to peace and justice in Chapel Hill. There are currently seventeen names inscribed on the plaza, including Charlotte Adams, founder of the local branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1935; Hank Anderson, the first black parks and recreation director in North Carolina in 1969; and Rebecca Clark, the first licensed practical nurse to work in the UNC campus infirmary in 1953. The Plaza has also been the space of many historic protests for peace and justice. Knowing this place has played such a critical role in the local struggle for civil rights, the site was the top pick for art on the theme of racial and social justice.


Big Book Sale Returns to CHPL  

The Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) invites bargain hunters and book lovers to their first Big Book Sale since the pandemic began. Shoppers will find an extensive inventory of gently used fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults, as well as puzzles and games. Prices start at 50 cents. The sale will be held at the CHPL these dates/times:

  • Friday, March 25, from 3 to 6 p.m. (members only—join at the door or online
  • Saturday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
  • Sunday, March 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ($10 bag sale) 

The Friends are also raffling off gift baskets (themes include cat lovers, dog lovers and Downtown Abbey). Purchase tickets at friendschpl.org or at the library during the book sale. Winners will be drawn on Monday, March 28. If you simply can’t wait until the sale, you can shop the Friends Online Book Store any time. 

Questions regarding the sale or Friends membership can be sent to info@friendschpl.org


Request for Proposals from Local LGBTQ+ Artists

A Triangle-based artist or artist team is sought to design a bus wrap that celebrates Pride Month this June. Local artists who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning plus (LGBTQ+) community are strongly encouraged to apply.   

Artists must live within 40 miles of Chapel Hill and submit application materials, following the directions at https://www.chapelhillarts.org/applications/pride-bus-wrap-artist-call/, by 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 24. The final design will be based on the selected artist/team proposal and stakeholder input. It will be printed on vinyl and then wrapped around a Chapel Hill Transit bus. The bus wrap will be on display for 1-2 years. A stipend of $2,000 will be paid to the selected artist/artist team.
 
Community Arts & Culture aims to inspire creativity and celebrate community for a better Chapel Hill, valuing inclusion, experience and understanding, and encourages proposals that reflect these values.


Drainage Project to Improve Ephesus Park Tennis and Pickleball Complex

Repairs and upgrades to pickleball and tennis courts, including improvements to the playing surfaces, have now been completed at the Ephesus Park racquet sports complex. Once the repairs were completed, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation’s contractor, Stewart engineering, recommended drainage work be performed around the exterior of the racquet sports complex to deter any chance of water getting beneath the new surface improvements. 

The drainage project is scheduled to begin March 21, with an estimated two weeks to complete the project. Parks and Recreation will avoid closing the courts while this drainage project is completed and recommends that Chapel Hill Pickleball, as well as others who enjoy the courts, use alternative entrances to the complex while the drainage project is underway.


District Attorney Teach-In to be Conducted by Orange County Justice United

In preparation for the District Attorney Candidates’ Assembly on April 26 (https://www.ocjusticeunited.org/district_attorney_candidates_assembly_april_26), Orange County Justice United will host a Zoom teach-in so that people have a chance to learn:

The meeting Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88313543452?pwd=VHlheWFxMENLOHBTYW4rS3o3WkxhQT09.


Affordable Housing and Advocacy Event

The Women’s Voices series of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will present a virtual event focused on affordable housing and advocacy on March 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event’s keynote speaker will be Demetria McCain, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

The program will focus on issues related to affordable housing and advocacy and what is necessary to meet the challenges faced now and in the future. Local affordable housing professionals from public, private and nonprofit entities will hold a panel discussion and share their points of view on current and ongoing challenges and opportunities.

Register for the event at https://forms.gle/fuQCtVQpfZvC21SRA.


Moral Monday March in Raleigh on March 28

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is bringing a Moral Monday March on Raleigh to the steps of the state legislature at 16 W. Jones St. in Raleigh on March 28, beginning at 5 p.m. The Moral Monday March on Raleigh is part of a 10-stop mobilization tour toward the Mass Poor People’s and Low Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls on June 18 (https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/june18/).

Bishop William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis have said that “in North Carolina we know the power of bringing together a fusion coalition of people around a common set of demands. The state legislature continues to drive its extremist agenda using voter suppression and gerrymandered maps. Their policies are disproportionately hurting the 4.6 million poor and low-income people of our state. And the U.S. Congress has failed thus far to pass real support that would fill the gap. We are coming to Raleigh to put our state and federal elected officials that this system is killing ALL of us and we can’t…we won’t…we refuse to be silent anymore!

They are calling for impacted people from across North Carolina as well as Virginia and South Carolina, joined by faith leaders, moral allies and artists, to demand that North Carolina and this whole nation do more to live up its possibilities:

“MORE to fully address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the denial of health care, militarism and the war economy and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism.

“MORE to change the narrative and build the power of those most impacted by these injustices.

“MORE to realize a Third Reconstruction agenda that can build this country from the bottom up and realize the nation we have yet to be.

“And we must do MORE – Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering and Educating people for a movement that votes – as we drive toward The Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly & Moral March on Washington and to the Polls on June 18, 2022, which will be a generationally transformative declaration of the power of poor and low-wealth people and our moral allies.

“It is NOT just a day of action. It is a declaration of an ongoing, committed moral movement to 1) Shift the moral narrative; 2) Build power; and 3) Make real policies to fully address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up.”


Behind the Creation of the African American Trailblazers Mural

The Chapel Hill Historical Society and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will host a session on the stories behind the creation of the African American Trailblazers Memorial and the individuals featured on it Sunday, April 10, at 3 p.m. via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9091129297).

The moderator of the session will be Danita Mason-Hogans, and the session will feature muralist Kiara Sanders. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, go to https://chcaa-dst.org or https://chapelhillhistoricalsociety.org.


New Library and Cultural Center for Carrboro

The Carrboro Town Council and the Orange County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, March 15, gave final approval to a new Orange County Southern Branch Library and Cultural Center for Carrboro. 

The $41.1 million joint project will be located at 203 S. Greensboro St., an existing Carrboro municipal parking lot near the center of the town. The groundbreaking ceremony will be scheduled in May 2022. 

The library will serve residents in or near southern Orange County. The facility will also provide a permanent home for the Orange County Skills Development Center; Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department; WCOM radio; the Virtual Justice Center; and performance/multipurpose uses. 

Proceeding with the 203 Project will allow the county to provide much-needed amenities for the surrounding Orange County and Carrboro community. The library and skills-development center will enhance the opportunity to uplift and improve the lives of all who embrace and utilize these resources.

Approval followed discussions that came about when a construction estimate showed that the project was significantly over budget. Project managers attributed the escalation of construction costs to the unprecedented supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages associated with the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.

The agreement between the town and county calls for Carrboro to contribute $18.9 million and Orange County to contribute $22.2 million. 

For more information, see www.the203project.org.


March 14, 2022

Registration Now Open for Entrepreneur Class

The Town of Carrboro is partnering with the Business Accelerator Group (BAG) and the Durham Tech Small Business Center to host some business accelerator programs starting in April. Get practical, actionable business training from experienced advisors and support from peers in the same boat.

There are two groups (or cohorts) that will meet once a week for five weeks:  

Cohort 1 is for aspiring entrepreneurs, folks looking to launch their idea.

Cohort 2 is for small business owners who have been in business from one to five years. 

Ten to 15 members will be accepted into each cohort. Each BAG cohort meets weekly for five weeks, from mid-April through late May. Sessions are 1.5 hours in length and are in-person in Carrboro. Masking guidelines and social distancing will be followed during sessions.

What to expect:

  • Education on essential small business topics
  • Coaching on how to implement the work for your business
  • Support from a cohort of entrepreneur peers

The BAG is $195 per business, with scholarships up to $170 available (a cost of $25 to the business). A second business owner may attend for no additional cost. 

The application is due by 11:59 p.m. on March 27. Selected applicants will be notified by April 1. Direct all questions to Kate Wiggins at wigginsk@durhamtech.edu. Black, indigenous, and people-of-color business owners are encouraged to apply. Register at bit.ly/sbcbag.  

You can listen to a brief radio piece about the sessions at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2678/Business-Accelerator-Group-BAG.


Federal Mask Mandate for Public Transportation Extended Through April 18

The federal mask mandate for public transportation has been extended through April 18. Orange County Transportation Services will continue to require masks on transportation conveyances and at transportation facilities, including administrative offices and maintenance facilities.


Spring Events at Historic Moorefields in Hillsborough

Historic Moorefields, built in 1785 as a summer home by Alfred Moore, a military, educational and judicial leader who ultimately served as the second and last North Carolinian on the U.S. Supreme Court, is hosting several spring events this year. Moorefields sits at 2201 Moorefields Road, Hillsborough, on 70 beautiful acres just 20 minutes from downtown Chapel Hill and Durham and a short drive from downtown Hillsborough. The property adjoins the trail and other amenities of Orange County’s 300-acre Seven Mile Creek Nature Preserve. For more information, visit https://moorefields.org/.

The annual spring wildflower hike is scheduled for Sunday, April 10. The hike explores the ridges and bottomlands proximate to Seven Mile Creek, one of Orange County’s most significant and undisturbed natural areas. The hike leader is Milo Pyne, a N.C. State-trained botanist and an expert on Piedmont wildflowers. The hike leaves Moorefields at 10 a.m. 

The annual Introduction to Identifying Birds, or “Birding 101,” will be conducted on Saturday, May 7. The hike, from 8 am to 10 am, will leave from Moorefields and be guided by Helen Kalevas, an expert on avian ecology who has taught ornithology lab and bird identification at Northern Arizona University. Please bring binoculars and prepare for insects and uneven terrain. (Rain date is May 8.)

Last Sunday open houses take place from 1 to 5 p.m. beginning on April 24. On the last Sunday of the month from April through September, Moorefields will have open-house tours to see the historic home and grounds. Volunteers will be present to answer questions and direct visitors to points of interest—artistic, historic and horticultural. View artwork, sculpture and antiques. Visit two cemeteries, the old family burial ground and one near the house memorializing cats and former owner Edward Draper-Savage. Walk the trail on the adjoining Seven Mile Creek Nature Preserve. Stroll among hedges and hemlocks in the shaded back yard. Or just sit in a rocker on the front porch and enjoy the quiet.

All spring hikes and the open-house tours are free. A suggested donation goes to the Friends of Moorefields to help coordinate events such as these. 


“Freight Train Blues” Concert Series Returns In-person May 13

The Town of Carrboro will present the Music Maker Foundation’s Freight Train Blues series of live concerts every Friday evening between May 13 and June 10 at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St. The series is a collaboration among the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources, the Music Maker Foundation, and WUNC 91.5FM. The concert series was held virtually the past two years in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic safety measures.

An annual event, the concert series highlights GRAMMY-winning folk and blues artist and N.C. Music Hall of Famer Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, born in Carrboro in 1893. Cotten’s soulful voice and unique guitar style have rendered her a legend in the world of blues, leading her to receive National Heritage Fellowship in 1984 and a GRAMMY award in 1985. She lived to be 104 years old and died in 1987. Her songs, like the iconic “Freight Train,” have been reimagined by artists like The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan.

Music Maker Foundation honors Cotten’s legacy in the world of roots music by emphasizing the cultural diversity, complexity and vitality of her music and the music of many other artists local to her community and all over the country. 

The concert lineup includes:

  • May 13- Hermon Hitson, Harvey Dalton Arnold
  • May 20- Sacred Soul of North Carolina Revue; Weaver Gospel Singers Tribute
  • May 27- Hard Drive, The Branchettes
  • June 3- La Banda de los Guanajuatenses, Joe Troop w/Larry Bellorín
  • June 10- Music Maker Blues Revue featuring Gail Ceasar, Tad Walters & Lil’ Jimmy Reed

For more information, see www.freighttrainblues.com.


March 10, 2022

Carrboro Town Council Passes Resolution in Solidarity with Ukraine

The Carrboro Town Council passed a resolution on Tuesday, March 8, in solidarity with Ukraine and in opposition to the Russian invasion, assault and atrocities against the Ukrainian peoples. 

The resolution states: “The Town of Carrboro stands in solidarity with Ukrainian sovereignty and her territorial integrity as an independent and democratic Ukraine, and with the Ukrainian peoples as they resist Russian aggression, military invasion and the threat to their existence. The Town of Carrboro calls for an immediate ceasefire, sincere negotiations, a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainians seeking safe passage, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in peril and to war refugees.” 

Further, the resolution states that Carrboro is a peace-loving community that advocates human rights and the wellbeing of all peoples. The people of Carrboro oppose tyranny, unprovoked aggression and war, and “we hold that war is never an acceptable response to human conflict.” 

The Carrboro Town Council encourages residents to: advocate for humanitarian aid, ensure safe passage and haven for refugees, and provide support for the Ukrainian people and organizations, such as these: 

Read the full resolution of the Carrboro Town Council at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/10815/Carrboro-Council-Solidarity-with-Ukraine-Resolution-3_8_2022.


Presentation on Invasive Plants in Carrboro

Chapelboro Tree Rescue (https://www.meetup.com/chapelboro-tree-rescuers/) and Carrboro staff will host an online informative presentation and Q&A on Sunday, March 13, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. They will discuss what the most common invasive plant species in Carrboro and resources for controlling them. The presentation and resource materials will be available online Monday, March 14.

Email Heather Holley at HHolley@CarrboroNC.gov for the presentation link and more information.


Apply Now to Have an Impact on Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill wants people with diverse perspectives to serve on advisory boards and commissions. Members of the Chapel Hill community volunteer for nearly two dozen boards and commissions that advise the Town Council on a wide range of issues, from building development to public art to parks and greenways. These boards and commissions need new members.

The town has a focus on increasing the diversity of residents engaged in town processes and opportunities, with an emphasis on engaging populations that have been most impacted and historically disconnected. This priority helps the town achieve outcomes that reflect our community’s concerns, aspirations, and values.

The current demographic breakdown for Chapel Hill’s boards and commissions is:

  • 78% Caucasian (non-Hispanic), 10% African American/Black, 4% Asian or Pacific Islander, 2% Hispanic/Latino
  • 54% male, 45% female
  • 43% age 35-54, 41% age 55+, 10% age 25-34, 6% age 18-24

They want all community members to have access to engagement and participation opportunities. In the past, communities of color and other marginalized groups have been excluded from decision-making processes. As a result, deep inequities persist in income, housing, education and health. More diversity on boards and commissions provides a deeper understanding of the issues and needs of all, helps to repair or establish public trust, and leads to better outcomes for everyone in the community.

Boards typically meet for two to five hours per month. Boards are currently meeting virtually but may meet in person when COVID-19 infection rates decrease.

Having no experience is not a problem. Board members who want additional support will have access to assistance, including childcare, language services, technology and transportation.

Apply by April 1 to be considered in this round of recruitment. Apply online at  chapelhill.granicus.com/boards/forms/146/apply.

For questions contact the Communications and Public Affairs Department at 919-968-2844 or advisoryboards@townofchapelhill.org.


March 9, 2022

Wesley Barker Selected as Carrboro’s New Town Clerk

Following a comprehensive recruitment effort, the Carrboro Town Council has selected Wesley Barker as Carrboro’s new town clerk. Mr. Barker was sworn into service on March 1.

“I am excited to join the Carrboro team and begin work with the mayor, Town Council, town leadership and employees – and all our residents,” Mr. Barker said. “I am happy to be part of the team and look forward to making a difference in this community.”

A native of Ashe County, Mr. Barker said he was drawn to Carrboro by its reputation as a welcoming, accepting and creative community. He is the former planning director for Ashe County, where he was born and raised. His duties included land-use ordinance work and interpretation. While employed by the town of West Jefferson from 2010 to 2017, he wore several hats, including town clerk, human resources officer and zoning administrator.

Mr. Barker obtained the designation of certified municipal clerk from the N.C. Association of Municipal Clerks. He holds a bachelor’s degree in city/urban, community and regional planning from Appalachian State University and an associate’s degree from Wilkes Community College. He has served as a board member on the Ashe County Arts Council and the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce. He also served a 10-year stint as marketing manager for the Christmas in July Festival in West Jefferson. 


Severe Weather Preparedness Week

The week of March 6-12 is North Carolina’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week. During the week, the National Weather Service (https://www.weather.gov/rah/) and its partners will focus on topics to ensure you are ready for the upcoming severe weather season. Topics include flash floods, thunderstorm safety and tornado safety.

A statewide tornado drill is scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, at 9:30 a.m. Businesses, schools and families across the state are encouraged to participate. The drill will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System through the required monthly test. There won’t be an actual tornado warning issued.

On average, North Carolina sees about 30 tornadoes each year, according to the State Climate Office. The month of May averages the most tornadoes at five, followed by April and September tied for second with four each. March averages three tornadoes per year.

To prepare for tornadoes and other weather events, come up with a plan. It’s also wise to have an emergency kit in the event of a natural disaster. Your kit needs to include essential items, such as medicine, food and water.

Find severe weather preparedness tips at https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes and general emergency preparedness tips at https://www.readync.gov/


Contractors: Get Listed for Stormwater-Related Work

The Carrboro Stormwater Division is requesting applications from qualified contractors who are available to perform stormwater-related work on a residential scale and wish to be listed in a directory on the town’s website. 

Types of residential stormwater work that are of interest include erosion control, rain gardens and backyard wetlands, French drains, flood mitigation such as dry or wet floodproofing, stormwater control measure maintenance and inspection, sewage spill cleanup, and more. 

For more information, see: www.carrboronc.gov/Stormwater-Services-Contractors.


Carrboro Annual Kite Fly

Celebrate National Kite Flying Month (a couple of weeks early) by flying a kite! This welcome-to-spring event of the Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department provides plenty of fun. Bring a kite and help fill the skies with color! A few kites will be available for those who need one. This event will be canceled if it is raining. 

This free event is happening from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13, in the open field of Hank Anderson Community Park, 302 N.C. Hwy. 54 W, Chapel Hill.


Applicants Needed for Alliance Health Board of Directors

  The Alliance Health Board of Directors is currently seeking to fill one vacancy for an Orange County resident who would like to make a difference in public behavioral healthcare as both the federal government and our state legislature consider how to design and fund critically important services for individuals in our communities.
 
Individuals with technical expertise in the following areas will be sought for vacancies:

  • Physicians with experience in the fields of behavioral health, substance abuse services and/or integrated care
  • Human resources/talent management
  • Insurance/managed-care background
  • Leadership/management experience
  • Physical health background/expertise
  • Political/community connections
  • Technology/data analytics experience

Please note that employees or family members of employees, volunteers of provider agencies or vendors contracted with Alliance, or persons with a financial interest or ownership in any such agency or vendor, are not eligible to serve.
 
Any appointment to this vacant position will be approved by the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
 
The Alliance Board meets on the first Thursday of every month at 4:00 p.m. Unless otherwise indicated, meetings occur at the Alliance Home office (5200 Paramount Pkwy Suite 200, Morrisville, NC 27560).

Board members also participate in two to three subcommittees, based on their expertise and interests. Most Board members dedicate between 6 and 10 hours per month to Board activities.

If interested, please download an application at https://www.alliancehealthplan.org/about/governance/board-of-directors/

For additional information, contact Tara May at 919-245-2125 or tmay@orangecountync.gov.


Visiting Artist sTo Len

sTo Len (https://www.stoishere.com/) will be artist-in-residence at Chapel Hill’s LEVEL retreat (https://www.levelretreat.com/) from Thursday, March 24, through Sunday, April 10.

sTo is a printmaker, installation, sound and performance artist based in Queens, N.Y., and operating at the intersections of art, environmentalism, and activism. The cross-disciplinary nature of sTo’s work includes transforming public spaces – such as a river into an art studio, recycling waste into art materials, creating a community pirate radio station, and hosting water ritual performances at Superfund sites.

During his LEVEL residency, sTo will collaborate with the Haw River Assembly to convert trash collected from local watersheds into a series of prints and mixed media artworks. The results of this collaboration will be on view at Peel Gallery. Leading up to his exhibition, sTo will be conducting an artist talk and discussion at Attic 506.

Key events during sTo’s residency include the following:

sTo has exhibited his artwork internationally, including exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Texas, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, Australia, Denmark and Canada. sTo co-founded the alternative arts space Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., which has exhibited hundreds of artists since its inception in 2004 and continues to curate exhibitions as a project-based non-profit arts organization. As a performance/sound artist, sTo has performed at diverse venues such as MOMA PS1, New Museum, St. Marks Church, Ramiken Crucible, Silent Barn, and Roulette in New York, as well as Atelier Kunst Spiel Raum and the English Theater in Berlin, Theater de Chameleon in Amsterdam, La Société de Curiosités in Paris, Manzi Gallery and Heritage Space in Vietnam.

sTo was the first artist in residence at AlexRenew wastewater treatment facility in Alexandria, Va., and took part in the Field R/D program at FreshKills Park, a transformed landfill in Staten island, N.Y. He is a member of Works on Water, a group of artists and activists working with and about water in the face of climate change and environmental justice concerns. sTo is currently the new artist in residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation as part of the PAIR program with the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Email inquiries and interview requests to levelretreat@gmail.com.


Work to Begin on Estes Drive Connectivity Project

On Monday, March 14, contractors will begin clearing and grading the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive as part of the Estes Drive Connectivity Project. This initial work will require around two weeks of intermittent lane closures. Flaggers will be present at the site to control traffic and assist pedestrians. 

Many of the improvements in the Estes Drive Connectivity Project will enhance the town of Chapel Hill’s efforts to increase safety on local roads for those who walk, ride or roll. This project includes raised bike lanes, a sidewalk on the south side of Estes Drive and a 10-foot multiuse path on the north side. The intersection at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive will see improvements for turning traffic, crosswalks on all four legs and bike lanes that will extend onto Estes Drive Extension. The town recently installed a rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) at Estes Drive and Caswell Road.  Another RRFB will be installed at Estes Drive and Somerset Drive. 

For more information about this project, see www.townofchapelhill.org/estes


March 7, 2022

Orange County to Host 2022 Orange County Senior Games

The Orange County Department on Aging, Carrboro Recreation and Parks and Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation invite adults age 50+ to participate in the 2022 Orange County Senior Games.

Senior Games is a year-round health-promotion program for adults age 50 and over. Activities include sports and games competitions/tournaments, social activities, and the SilverArts – including visual and heritage arts such as wood working, basket weaving, ceramic glass and more. 

The 2022 Orange County Senior Games’ athletic events will be held April 1–May 18. The kick-off event for artists, athletes and SilverArts opening will be on Thursday, March 31, at 4:30 p.m. at the Seymour Center, at 2551 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill.

Pick up or call one of the sponsoring locations for a registration application and a schedule of events: 

The deadline to register is Friday, March 18.

For more information, contact Dana Hughes (dhughes@townofcarrboro.org, 919-918-7372) or Lee Schimmelfing (leeshim@email.unc.edu, 919-606-2598).

Learn more at www.orangecountync.gov/SeniorGames.


Literary Peep Show Contest

The Orange County Public Library invites you to make and bring in a literary-themed marshmallow peep diorama for their contest. The 3 entry categories are youth, teen and adult. Entries will be judged by the public while they are on display and are eligible to win a number of awards from most creative to funniest entry.

  • Submit your (family-friendly) entries Monday, March 7-Saturday, March 19.
  • View the entries & vote for your favorites Monday, March 21-Saturday, April 2.   
  • Winners will be announced Wednesday, April 6.
  • Pick up your diorama Thursday, April 7- Saturday, April 9.

Big Night In for the Arts on March 10

The Orange County Arts Commission, in partnership with the Durham, Wake and Chatham arts councils and WRAL, present Big Night In for the Arts on Thursday, March 10, from 7 to 8 p.m.

This Triangle-wide televised fundraiser will feature performances from Ben Folds, Hiss Golden Messenger, Jaki Shelton Green, Nnenna Freelon and Jabu Graybeal, plus a behind-the-scenes tour of Mark Hewitt’s Chatham County pottery studio.

Enjoy a featured segment about the arts commission’s new Eno Arts Mill and hear from familiar Orange County artists. 


Traffic Update from OWASA

Construction for Orange Water and Sewer Authority’s (OWASA) East Main Street Sewer Rehabilitation Project is progressing, and most work has now been completed on East Main Street from Greensboro Street through the intersection with Roberson Street.

Work continues on East Main Street from Roberson Street through Lloyd Street and will cause additional lane closures as shown in the diagram. One lane will remain open, and flaggers will be on site to direct traffic from each direction through the open lane. This general traffic configuration will be in place through March 20, moving with the work area toward the intersection with Rosemary Street.

Weekly updates are being posted to the project page on OWASA’s website, https://bit.ly/3sOUsND

The project work will include replacing approximately 2,000 feet of sewer line, replacing and installing new manholes and several smaller repairs (shown as point repairs in the diagram) within the project area, but outside of Main Street.

OWASA will provide updates on any changes to the construction timeline.

How the work may affect customers in the area:

  • Normal work hours will occur each weekend from Friday night at 8 p.m. through Monday morning at 6 a.m.; once work begins Friday night, it will continue throughout the weekend in order to minimize the impact on the community.
  • Some smaller tasks will occur during weekday nights from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Traffic impacts are expected during construction times; signs will be provided for detours, changes in traffic patterns and accessibility around construction.
  • Businesses in the area will be open during construction.
  • All travel lanes will be open at the end of each weekend, with no impacts to vehicle traffic.
  • It is possible that customers will have short sanitary sewer service interruptions (typically a few hours) while their service is reconnected to the new sewer line; property owners will be notified 48 hours before any planned service disruptions. No drinking water service interruptions are anticipated as part of the project.

For more information: 


2022 Jacquelyn Gist Summer Apprenticeship in the Arts

The Carrboro Arts Committee is offering an award of up to $1,000 to assist emerging young artists in developing their talent through the Jacquelyn Gist Summer Apprenticeship in the Arts program.  Up to three apprenticeships are available.

The program’s purpose is to encourage and support emerging young artists who are residents of Orange County, by facilitating a summer apprenticeship with an Orange County artist or arts organization. 

Apprenticeships are available to rising high school juniors and seniors, graduating seniors, as well as college students and those who have graduated from college within the past year.

Applicants must live in Orange County. Carrboro residents will be given priority consideration. Applicants must have an interest in the arts (visual arts, performing arts, arts administration, etc.) and have secured an apprenticeship with an Orange County artist or arts organization. The apprenticeship must be for at least 15 hours a week for at least 5 weeks. Students who may need assistance finding a local artist or arts organization may contact arts@townofcarrboro.org.

An online application is available at https://bit.ly/3pJZHfr. PDF/Word copies of the application are available upon request. Applications will also be accepted via email, mail, or by dropping off at the Carrboro Century Center.

Please include two letters of reference with your application to: 

Carrboro Arts Committee
c/o Charles Harrington
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro NC 2751
Email: arts@townofcarrboro.org

The deadline is April 29 at 5 p.m.


March 5, 2022