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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, email@example.com 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
- 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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; Catherine Lazorko, communication and engagement director for the Town of Carrboro, at email@example.com; or Todd McGee, community relations director for Orange County at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 (email@example.com 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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:
- Thursday, April 21, 10-11 a.m.; join Zoom meeting (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84028299082)
- Monday, April 25, 12-1 p.m.; join Zoom meeting (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87959101192)
- Thursday, April 28, 2-3 p.m.; join Zoom meeting (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85108956909)
If those times do not work for you or you would like to chat separately, email email@example.com 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.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:
- To report general stormwater issues or request a site visit from staff, you can email Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov, call the hotline at 919-913-2999, or use the online form at https://bit.ly/38nhrr4.
- To report flooding issues, you can use the online flood reporting tool at https://tocgis.ci.carrboro.nc.us/Carrboro/FloodReport/, or contact the team via the hotline at Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov or 919-913-2999.
- To report spills and illicit discharges, you can use hotline at Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov, 919-913-2999, or use the online form at https://bit.ly/3JeNOFd.
- To report concerns related to erosion and sediment control or off-site sedimentation from a construction site, contact the N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality at 866-STOP-MUD (866-786-7683).
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.