September 24, 2022
Blackwood Farm Park Reopening Delayed until October
The reopening of Blackwood Farm Park has been delayed until October due to ongoing supply-chain issues.
The park was closed for renovations in August 2021 and was expected to reopen in August 2022. Enhancements included a new entrance with a dedicated turn lane on Highway 86, an expanded parking area with a looped driveway, an amphitheater, a large picnic shelter, permanent restrooms and a park office and maintenance area.
After making excellent progress, supply-chain issues in recent months have impacted the delivery of many items, including windows and other glass and certain mechanical and electrical equipment.
Due to these delays, the park is scheduled to be completed in mid-to-late October, with an opening date in the weeks following.
S Route Returns to Full Service
Starting Monday, Sept. 26, Chapel Hill Transit’s S Route will return to full service. As a result of improved staffing levels, all previously suspended trips will be restored on the popular S route serving UNC’s campus and the Friday Center South park-and-ride lot. Service will be available departing the Friday Center South park-and-ride lot as early as 6 a.m., with the last trip returning to the lot at 7:52 p.m.
Chapel Hill Town Council to Explore Transferring Maintenance of Franklin Street from NCDOT to the Town
Chapel Hill Town Council wants to explore transferring maintenance of Franklin Street from the N.C. Department of Transportation to the Town. Staff prepared a presentation describing various options for the street layout and invite residents to review the presentation and respond to a short survey about the current and future design of the street. Visit the Project Website
September 22, 2022
Annual Maintenance, Temporary Closures for Chapel Hill Centers
The Chapel Hill Community Center gymnasium and indoor pool are scheduled to close for annual maintenance Monday, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 25. The Northside gymnasium at the Hargraves Center is scheduled to close for annual maintenance Thursday, Sept. 22, through Monday, Sept. 26.
Completion of maintenance and reopening the Chapel Hill Community Center at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26, and the Northside gymnasium in time for after-school programs at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, are anticipated.
During the closures, pass holders may use the pool at the Homestead Aquatic Center. For pool schedules, see the aquatic facility web page. Gym-pass holders may use the Northside gymnasium and the Rashkis Elementary School gymnasium. See the gymnasium facility web page for gym schedules.
For more information about parks and recreation, visit chapelhilparks.org.
Carrboro Receives Planning Award
The American Planning Association-North Carolina Chapter has recognized the Town of Carrboro with the Marvin Collins Award for a comprehensive plan developed for a community of fewer than 25,000 people. The Town of Carrboro’s award recognizes the Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan, available for viewing at https://www.carrboroconnects.org/adopted-plan.
On June 7, Carrboro’s Town Council unanimously voted to adopt the Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan. Adoption is only the beginning, as the real achievements and progress for the Town will take place over the next five to 20 years of plan implementation.
The plan is built on the twin foundations of racial equity and climate action and, for the first time, brings the goals of the Town as a whole into a single document. From supporting local businesses to expanding affordable housing options and access to open space, the plan builds on Carrboro’s leadership in taking bold action to meet its goals.
To all who have participated in this process in some way, thank you. Carrboro Connects is the product of a community-wide planning effort. The policies and projects reflect the vision, ideas and commitment to Carrboro that were shared by thousands of residents, businesses and organizations.
Electric Vehicle Rodeo Comes to Carrboro
The EV Rodeo is coming to Carrboro. Explore various electric vehicles (EVs), test ride EV bikes, and bring the kids out for veggie-mobile races from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.
The event is sponsored by Climate Reality Orange County, the Triad Electric Vehicle Association of North Carolina and the Town of Carrboro.
The public is invited to explore multiple EVs, including the Chevy Volt and Bolt, Kia EV6, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius Prime, Teslas and more. Owners of these EVs will share mileage ranges, charging options and costs and will answer questions about EVs.
Learn the difference between hybrid plug-ins and all-electric vehicles. Diverse types of EVs, including e-bikes and e-motorcycles, will also be available.
Help your kids build their own veggie-mobiles and participate in races.
For more information, contact Margie Muenzer at email@example.com.
Affordable-Housing Rally in Carrboro
An affordable-housing rally will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2-5 p.m. Meet at Weaver Street Market, 101 E. Weaver St., and March to Lincoln Center, 750 S. Merritt Mill Road.
Virtual Solar Info Session
Solarize the Triangle campaign organizers and reps from Yes Solar Solutions are offering a free, virtual, informational event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28.
The event will cover:
- An overview of the bulk-purchasing concept
- Info about the benefits of solar and batteries and how to enroll for a free assessment
- Info from the 11 partner communities that initiated Solarize the Triangle
- Q & A with solar experts and installers
Please register for the event at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kdeupqT8tEtHQmmSV587JvyYwc46_-FTK.
For more information about the program, visit www.SolarizetheTriangle.com.
Carrboro Increases Town Employees’ Pay
On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Carrboro Town Council authorized implementation of a compensation and classification study designed to increase town employees’ pay to more competitive levels. A study showed that the town’s pay rates were 7.5% below similar governmental entities, contributing to vacancies across departments. The plan will provide all employees with a 2% across-the-board pay adjustment, increase starting salaries and make internal pay adjustments.
The study was completed by Management Advisory Group. The comprehensive study included receiving employee input related to all 91 positions in the Town at the time of the study as well as a market survey benchmarking nearly one-third of all positions against 20 peer and competitor government employers.
In addition to the pay adjustments, all positions were placed in a new unified range plan with employees performing the same level of duties and responsibilities positioned in the same class and pay grade, regardless of the number of hours worked. These new ranges are competitive with the market.
The Council addressed an initial market adjustment for all Police Department staff in January 2022. Then, in July 2022, all permanent Town employees, including the Police Department staff, received a $3,000 adjustment. Together, the two adjustments lessened the total impact of the cost to implement the recommended position classification and pay plan.
The implementation date is Oct. 8.
Buy Minority Business Enterprises Day
Saturday, Sept. 24, is Buy Minority Business Enterprises Day, to help generate awareness, support and revenue to minority-owned businesses across the country. Support local black, indigenous and people-of-color (BIPOC) businesses by visiting #Carrboro’s Buy BIPOC directory (https://ecs.page.link/RDUUPauto).
September 18, 2022
Chapel Hill Complete Community and Shaping Our Future Initiatives
The Complete Community initiative is a follow-up to the 2021 Chapel Hill-UNC Housing Needs Assessment. Using a new community-based approach, this initiative will create a strategy for where and how to build new housing for an inclusive, sustainable, and economically competitive future.
The Shaping Our Future initiative is a follow-up to the 2020 planning effort that outlined the future development of selected focus area locations and a follow-up to the 2019 North-South Bus Rapid Transit (NS-BRT) Transit Oriented Development framework. The NS-BRT new high-capacity buses will connect North Chapel Hill to downtown and Southern Village. With the Shaping Our Future initiative, the Town will evaluate sites in the station and focus areas that will see the most change between now and 2040.
Through these initiatives, the Town’s aim is to:
- Elevate all of Chapel Hill’s voices, including those less engaged in the past
- Create vibrant and walkable places
- Link existing neighborhoods to transit, greenways, multi-modal paths and more
- Discuss how future changes will provide affordable homes, quality services and jobs
The following activities are planned to promote these initiatives:
- 15, 4-5 p.m., Complete Community strategy drop-in event; 5-5:30 p.m., presentation; Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, One Europa Drive, Chapel Hill
- 15, 5:30-8 p.m., Transit Oriented Development drop-in event (food provided); Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel, One Europa Drive, Chapel Hill
- 16, 9:30-11:30 a.m., open house (food provided); Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill
- 16, 5-7 p.m., drop-in event (coffee provided); Epilogue Books, 109 E. Franklin St., Ste. 100, Chapel Hill
- 17, 8-10 a.m., Farmers’ Market pop-up; Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, University Place, 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill
- 17, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., open house (food provided); Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill/Orange County 2022-2023 Official Visitors Guide and Visitors Map Now Available
The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau has published a new edition of its annual Official Visitors Guide and Official Visitors Map for use in 2022-2023.
The bureau has returned to a 64-page guide featuring Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Orange County and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A pull-out perforated map is again included, as well as parking maps for the towns’ downtowns. Find user-friendly listings of accommodations, shopping, attractions and entertainment, restaurants, coffee shops and nightlife, top festivals and events and essential facts and resources.
New to this guide is information about accessibility in Orange County, free things to do, ideas for kids and families and a “Take Home a Taste of Orange” page highlighting locally made products.
The 2022-2023 Visitors Guide, a comprehensive resource for residents, visitors, meeting and conference attendees and others planning a trip to the Chapel Hill and Orange County area features a wrap cover photo of the new Chapel Hill and Orange County Welcome Center on West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill.
The companion piece to the visitors guide is a multi-panel Official Visitors Map with a matching cover. The map is a detailed look at visitor resources throughout the county.
To request a copy be mailed to you, call 919-245-4320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Free copies can also can be picked up at the Welcome Center at 308 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or select Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. An online version of the guide can be viewed and downloaded at https://www.visitchapelhill.org/maps-info/request-literature/.
The 203 Project Update
Construction has recently begun on the 203 Project at 203 S. Greensboro St., currently the site of a Carrboro municipal parking lot across from Open Eye Cafe. The project to complete a new library and civic building will be underway through spring 2024.
After conducting subsurface utility locating, excavation for the stormwater system began the week of Aug. 22 in the southwest corner of the site. Barnhill Contracting Co. constructed one stormwater junction box and installed about 50 feet of stormwater pipe. Utility coordination is ongoing among Dominion Gas, Spectrum/Charter and AT&T to accommodate construction.
Currently, the eastern section of the parking lot is closed and barricaded off. Full closure of the parking lot is pending utility work with a date to be determined. Signage has been ordered to notify the public of the lot closure date. Notification will be provided two weeks before the closure. Please find alternative parking locations at http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11225/Carrboro-Parking-Map.
At its Sept. 13 meeting, the Town Council heard from Barnhill Contracting Co. about their procedures for mitigating noise disturbances connected to construction. The project will require about eight early-morning (deemed after hours) concrete pours to complete construction of the building and parking deck. These pours are expected to take place before 7 a.m.
Barnhill will notify the Town one week in advance of expected after-hours concrete work and will work with Town staff to notify residents and businesses of upcoming work. No more than two after-hours concrete pours will be permitted in a given week, and they will not fall on consecutive nights. No after-hours work will be permitted on Sunday. The Council directed staff to expand the radius of neighborhood notification to inform of pending disturbances related to construction.
The development will be the future home of Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources; Orange County Southern Branch Library; Orange County Skills Development Center; WCOM Radio; a teen center; and performance/multipurpose uses. The 203 Project will provide opportunities for education, art and community connection.
Find more information at https://www.carrboronc.gov/1151/The-203-Project.
Carrboro Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Carrboro is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed nationally from Sept. 15 to Oct. 20.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Hispanic and Latinx people make up approximately 13% of the population of Carrboro, the highest percentage in Orange County.
Some area events of note:
- Sept. 25, El Futuro will hold its Hispanic Heritage Community Fiesta and its Fall Fundraiser & Art Auction on Oct. 8, both in Durham.
- Oct. 14, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will host a Hispanic Heritage Month Community Celebration on the Carrboro Town Commons.
- Throughout the month, the UNC Carolina Latinx Center is celebrating Latinx Heritage Month with the theme “Vivir Mi Vida!” and has shared a calendar of events online at clc.unc.edu.
Carrboro Mayor Seils Joins Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry
Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils has joined mayors from across the country to sign the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry. The effort is led by the Anti-Defamation League and U.S. Conference of Mayors.
The Mayors’ Compact has 10 components:
- Expressly rejecting extremism, white supremacy and all forms of bigotry
- Denouncing all acts of hate wherever they occur
- Ensuring public safety while protecting free speech and other basic constitutional rights
- Calling for fully restored law enforcement and civil rights investigations of domestic terrorism and hate crimes
- Elevating and prioritizing anti-bias and anti-hate programs in our nation’s schools
- Supporting targeted communities and bringing together civic and community leaders to build trust
- Celebrating diversity, promoting inclusivity and challenging bias
- Promoting law enforcement training on responding to and reporting hate incidents, hate crimes and domestic terrorism
- Encouraging residents in their communities to report hate incidents and crimes, including using hotlines and online tools
- Maintaining civil rights enforcement and strengthening hate crime laws when necessary
“I’m proud to stand with other mayors as we speak out against hate, extremism and bigotry,” Mayor Seils said.
The complete compact is available at https://www.usmayors.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/USCM-Mayors-Compact-to-Combat-Hate-and-Extremism-with-Names-Sept-2022.pdf.
September 15, 2022
Town Receives Exceptional Innovation Award for Affordable Housing Efforts
On September 8, the Town of Chapel Hill received an Exceptional Innovation Award from Community Home Trust for the many ways the Town is advancing affordable housing. Creative strategies recognized by this award include inclusionary housing, master leasing, employee housing, local funding investments, development on Town land and more. To learn more about the Town’s affordable housing efforts, visit chapelhillaffordablehousing.org.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade Returns
The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are excited to announce the return of the Community Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10:30 a.m. The parade will highlight a variety of arts, cultural and winter holiday traditions. Local organizations aligned with this focus are invited to apply to participate. Learn more at chapelhillarts.org/parade.
Due to COVID restrictions, the parade has been on hiatus for two years. In planning for the parade’s return, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, along with planning partners at Carrboro Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Resources, and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, discussed how the event could better reflect the community and its values. Susan Brown, Director of Community Arts & Culture, says they all agreed that, “This event could and should better showcase the many different cultural and holiday traditions in our community, as well as our commitment to environmental stewardship.” Representatives from UNC Arts Everywhere and UNC Community Relations are also assisting with planning and encouraging campus groups to participate.
To create a more inclusive and diverse event, participation will be curated by parade planners through an open call for creative and festive parade units. Local organizations and community groups who will entertain, engage and reflect the winter holiday theme and diverse cultural traditions are invited to apply. Any units that are strictly for advertising or fundraising will not be considered. Parade planners will also invite community and campus performance groups, like marching bands, drum corps and choruses to participate.
The call for participants will close on Sunday, Oct. 9. Applications will be reviewed and selected based on criteria and the goal of creating an interesting and inclusive event. Participation will be confirmed by early November.
For more information and details on how to apply, visit chapelhillarts.org/parade.
New Memorial Bench Installation and Temporary Trail Closure
The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture are coordinating the installation of a new memorial bench, created by artists Michael Waller and Leah Foushee Waller, on the Tanyard Branch Trail near Umstead Park. Made possible through private donations, the artistic bench commemorates Eva Metzger’s contributions and advocacy for greenways and trails in Chapel Hill.
The bench, made from bronze, concrete and steel, will be installed Wednesday, Sept. 21, beginning at 10 a.m., and should be complete by 1 p.m. A short section of the Tanyard Branch Trail will be temporarily closed during this installation.
Steve Wright, public art coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, says a plaque installed with the bench describes Eva Metzger as, “a staunch supporter of creating a system of trails throughout Chapel Hill. Eva mapped existing trails in the 1970’s and advocated for the Town to formally maintain them. She served on the Sidewalk Commission, the Greenway Commission, the Bike & Pedestrian Board, and the OWASA Board. Thank you, Eva, for your perseverance towards a more walkable community.”
Parks and Recreation routinely seeks out and receives private contributions, which enhance visitor experiences to parks and facilities. For more information on the Park and Recreation Contributions program, visit Giving & Volunteers, or contact Wes Tilghman at email@example.com. For more information about Community Arts & Culture visit chapelhillarts.org.
Chapel Hill Public Library Celebrates Freedom to Read During Banned Books Week
For the eighth year, Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) is celebrating local artists, great literature and intellectual freedom during Banned Books Week with the return of the popular Banned Books Trading Cards project and a series of public programs.
Banned Books Week is an annual, national celebration of your freedom to read, celebrated Sept. 18-24 this year. The library, in partnership with Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, celebrates annually by asking local artists to create original works of art inspired by a book that has been challenged, banned or censored, seven of which are then turned into collectible trading cards.
In addition to the trading cards the library will host a series of public programs around banned books and censorship:
- Banned Books Trading Cards Exhibit Launch and Artist Reception — Sept. 16, 7-8:30 p.m., at CHPL. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, this event will launch the exhibit and unveil the winners, along with refreshments and a silent auction.
- Conversation on Censorship with Carolina Public Humanities — Sept. 22, 7-8:30 p.m., at CHPL. This town/gown community conversation will feature UNC-Chapel Hill journalism professor Tori Ekstrand and Renee Sekel of NC Red, Wine, and Blue, an organization that combats efforts to ban books in schools and libraries.
- Banned Books Community Read Aloud — Sept. 29, 7-8 p.m., at CHPL. Join community luminaries, including chef/author Bill Smith, WCHL’s Aaron Keck and Poet Laureate CJ Suitt, for a reading of favorite passages from banned and censored books.
- Banned Books Trading Cards Exhibit Gallery — Open to the public Sept. 17-30 at CHPL. The display will feature all of the entries submitted for Banned Books Trading Cards 2022 and large-format reproductions of past winners.
Book challenges and intellectual censorship have made headlines in the past few years, from national efforts to ban books covering topics about race, gender identity and sexuality, to local challenges around the Triangle hitting close to home. The national theme of this year’s Banned Books Week is, “Books unite us. Censorship divides us.”
The Banned Books Trading Cards project is a true community effort, with 74 submissions this year coming from artists young and old, emerging and well-established, across a variety of artistic mediums and literary genres.
Among those submissions, a selection committee chose seven winners to turn into this year’s set of trading cards. The cards feature the artwork on the front, along with an excerpt from the artist statement and the reason the book has been challenged or banned. Each piece represents the ongoing struggle for intellectual freedom and the dangers of censorship.
The winning artwork will be revealed at the Banned Books Trading Cards Exhibit Launch + Artist Reception on Sept. 16. This year’s winning set includes works of watercolor, mixed media, quilting and digital illustration inspired by authors such as Maia Kobabe, Herman Melville and Toni Morrison.
Pick up your free set of Banned Books Trading Cards at CHPL at the exhibit launch or anytime during or after Banned Books Week. During Banned Books Week, cards will also be available for pick up at the UNC Davis Library.
The Banned Books Trading Card Project is made possible through the generous support of the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library and printing support from A Better Image Printing in Durham.
Learn more about the project on the library website: chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/banned-books.
Interfaith Benefit for Sanctuary
The Immigrant Justice Initiative (IJI) of the Community Church Unitarian Universalist of Chapel Hill will hold a benefit concert Sept. 23, 7:30-9 p.m., to benefit the initiative, which provides housing, medical, dental and legal services for immigrant families in the U.S. Performing will be Emma’s Revolution.
Known for fearless, truth-telling lyrics and melodies you can’t resist singing, Emma’s Revolution is the award-winning activist duo of Pat Humphries & Sandy O. Now in their 20th year, the duo writes songs about critical issues happening in the world, lending their voices to the movements those issues inspire and delivering moving, uplifting performances, whether on stage or on screen. Emma’s Revolution’s songs have travelled around the world and have been sung for the Dalai Lama, praised by Pete Seeger, and covered by Holly Near.
All proceeds from the concert go to support the IJI, a ministry of the Community Church Unitarian Universalist of Chapel Hill, which sponsors and assists asylum seekers whose lives were in danger in the countries from which they fled. IJI, with support from Kehillah Synagogue, other faith communities and the community, has provided housing and all other financial needs for 10 asylum-seeking immigrants (five adults and five children) over the last three years. These immigrants are generally not permitted to work for at least the first year that they are in this country. Thereafter, they will face very large legal expenses to achieve their dreams of a fresh and safe future. Click here for tickets. For more information, see the
September 14, 2022
Coal Ash Health Impacts at 828 MLK Blvd—The Scientists Speak.
September 22, 2022, 7:30-9:00 PM
Safe Housing for Chapel Hill invites you to a public forum on the health impacts of coal ash for people who would live at 828 MLK if the Town’s proposal is approved this Fall. Listen to the scientists who know what the health impacts are. Ask your questions.
3 key points:
Coal ash is the new lead: 16 toxic metals like arsenic, mercury, and boron can cause cancer and death—impacting children and families who would live in the 250 units of housing the Council wants to build on top of 60,000 tons of coal ash, 828 MLK.
Failure to get health science data: The Town failed to get scientific data showing coal ash health risks. Said no such data available. We got it. No cost.
Nation’s Top Coal Ash Scientists Speak: Hear their findings & answer your questions; Susan Wind will as well; Mooresville, NC used coal ash as structural fill; believes her daughter got thyroid cancer because of it.
- Julia Kravchenko, Duke School of Medicine—analysis of all coal ash health impacts research
- Avner Vengosh, Environmental Science, Duke University—coal ash’s impacts on water safety
- Kristina Zierold, Environmental Health Sciences, Univ. Alabama—coal ash health impacts on children 6-14
- Susan Wind, tried to get NC & EPA to address coal ash threat; leading national protest at EPA, DC, 9/20/22
Zoom: https://duke.zoom.us/j/98885473481?pwd=QXNSOERFM2lXbVFvT0hudWJGdHp2dz09 Passcode: 315315
Contact: Dr. Edward Marshall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapel Hill Police Investigating Gunshots
The Chapel Hill Police Department is investigating reports of gunshots heard on Caldwell Street and Mitchell Lane at 5:24 p.m. Sept. 11. There were no victims at the scene; however, officers found evidence that shots had been fired in the area. The suspect or suspects may have left the scene in a white Lexus SUV with rails (like a luggage rack) on top.
Anyone with information should call 911 or the non-emergency Orange County Communications number, 919-732-5063. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.
No additional information is available at this time.
Free Narcan Vending Machine Available
The Orange County Detention Center is one of six detention centers in the state to receive a naloxone vending machine. The machine is stocked with free harm-reduction supplies, including Narcan nasal spray kits (a brand of naloxone) and COVID tests.
The vending machine is located in the lobby of the Orange County Detention Center at 1200 US-70 West, Hillsborough (across from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles) and is available to the public 24 hours/day.
The free Narcan kits include Narcan nasal spray and instructions for use. Naloxone works to reverse an opioid overdose by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain and restoring normal breathing. The detention center is a critical place to distribute naloxone to people in need, as those leaving jail have been found to be 40 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose in the two weeks after leaving incarceration. A key component of North Carolina Opioid Action Plan is to make naloxone widely available.
Harm-reduction supplies like naloxone and fentanyl test strips are critical in fighting the opioid epidemic. In 2021, 3,759 people died of opioid overdose in North Carolina, and 29 were Orange County residents. In that same time period, there were 4,154 reported community reversals of opioid overdose. Harm-reduction seeks to “meet people where they are.” Substance use is complicated. Not everyone is able to abstain or ready for treatment, and treatment resources are stretched thin. Harm-reduction fills that gap to keep people and the community safe.
Some risk factors of opioid overdose are mixing opioids with alcohol or other medications; taking opioids for the first time in a long time (e.g., on release from jail or detox); taking high doses of opioids; having existing kidney, liver or breathing problems; and having a previous overdose.
Signs that someone is experiencing an opioid overdose are that the person is not responsive, not breathing well (slow or shallow), pinpoint pupils, lips or fingernails are blue, or vomiting.
In the event that you or someone you’re with is experiencing an opioid overdose, call 911 and administer naloxone if it is available.
September 10, 2022
Chapel Hill Historical Society Launches Fall Program Series
The Chapel Hill Historical Society (https://chapelhillhistoricalsociety.org/) launches its fall program series on September 25 at 3 p.m. with a Zoom program, “A Better Life for Their Children – Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America.” Author Andrew Feiler will discuss how the Rosenwald Schools drove dramatic improvement in African American educational attainment and fostered the generation who became the leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement.
Andrew Feiler is a photographer and author. His work has been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian, Architect, Preservation, Eye on Photography, and The Forward, as well as on CBS This Morning and National Public Radio. His prints have been displayed in galleries and museums, including solo exhibitions at such venues as the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, and International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro. Richard Ellington, president of the Historical Society, will finish with a review of the Orange County experience.
This presentation is in collaboration with the Chapel Hill Preservation Society. See the Historical Society’s website for more information and Zoom link.
Suicide Prevention Month Events
From 2016 to 2020, 206 Orange and Durham county community members lost their lives to suicide. Throughout the month of September, the Orange County Health Department and Durham County Department of Public Health will host events to support survivors, to share how to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, and to teach what to do if a loved one is in danger.
- Adult Mental Health First Aid Training for the Community: Friday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough. This training is for community members, family members, friends, students and other people who have been affected by suicide or want to prevent suicide. The training will cover common signs and symptoms of mental health and substance abuse challenges as well as how to connect people with help. The training is free, and lunch is included. Please register at this link: https://www.orangecountync.gov/MHFA
- Adult Mental Health First Aid Training for Professional Partners: Friday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough. This training is for employers, police officers, hospital staff, first responders, public health workers, local government staff, and school employees who want to learn to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental health and substance-use challenges. The training is free, and lunch is included. Please register at this link: https://www.orangecountync.gov/MHFA-Partners
- A Path for Hope: Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk: Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Leigh Farm Park, 370 Leigh Farm Road, Durham. The event is hosted by Orange County Health Department, Durham County Department of Public Health, Alliance Health, Insight Humans Services and Healthy Carolinians of Orange County. Before the walk, community members will gather to hear featured speaker Rwenshaun Miller, who believes that mental wellness begins with a conversation. Miller is an award-winning psychotherapist whose personal mission is to shift our society into one that acknowledges, addresses and treats mental health challenges. Miller is the founder and executive director of Eustress, Inc., a non-profit based in North Carolina.
Two hundred and six pairs of shoes will be on display to honor the 206 Durham and Orange county community members who lost their lives to suicide from 2016 to 2020. Gently used shoes, which will be donated after the event to those in need, are needed in advance of the event. To donate shoes or for questions about the walk, email Willa Robinson Allen at email@example.com for Durham County or Ashley Rawlinson at firstname.lastname@example.org for Orange County or call 919-245-2440.
Stay Connected with Town of Carrboro
Whether you’re new to the area or a longtime resident, Carrboro welcomes your participation in local government and the Carrboro community.
Ways to stay connected with local happenings and get involved include the following:
- Carrboro This Week—News digest about town services, meetings and events; will resume publication on Monday, Sept. 12. Sign up at carrboronc.gov/signup. Get weekly agendas, meeting schedules and important news releases sent to your email inbox or via text message. You can also sign up for news from the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department.
- Town Council Meetings—Watch Town Council meetings, event coverage and more on the Legislative Portal at https://carrboro.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx or Carrboro YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/carrboronc. For cable viewers, Carrboro is on government access Channel 18. The Peoples Channel is the community’s public access Channel 8.
- Public participation in the local decision-making process—
- Participate with boards and commissions—https://townofcarrboro.org/228/Advisory-Boards-Commissions. Many recommendations and decisions that chart the future begin with boards and commissions. You can attend a meeting and provide comment, or you can apply to be a board or commission member. Openings are now available.
- Participate at a Town Council meeting—Carrboro Town Council provides a “Public Comment” portion at each Council meeting. The meetings are held most Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
- Community Conversations—Town of Carrboro is taking additional steps to connect with people whose voices are often missing from decision-making processes. Throughout the year, the Town reaches out to hear from residents on various topics via drop-in sessions, surveys, public hearings, pop-up opportunities and listening sessions.
- Social Media—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor, Linkedin and YouTube. View all profiles at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2652/Social-Media
- Emergency Resources (Carrboro Ready)—Emergency information and resources are available at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2633/Emergency-Resources-Carrboro-Ready.
- Town Information Centers (TICs)—Town staff members post flyers and printed materials at outdoor kiosks around Carrboro. If you are interested in requesting a TIC for your neighborhood or community, contact email@example.com for consideration.
- Neighborhoods and Communities—Town of Carrboro seeks to build a team of engagement liaisons willing to share and exchange information between the Town and residents through neighborhood liaisons and representatives from homeowners’ associations (HOAs), neighborhood associations and apartment communities.
- Sign up to be a neighborhood liaison at https://www.carrboronc.gov/FormCenter/Communication-and-Engagement-Department-31/Neighborhood-Liaisons-Registration-170.
- Sign up your neighborhood association/HOA at https://www.carrboronc.gov/FormCenter/Communication-and-Engagement-Department-31/NeighborhoodHomeowners-Association-Regis-172.
- Volunteer Programs—The Town of Carrboro welcomes the assistance of volunteers in a number of roles. Learn more and apply at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2698/Volunteer-Programs.
For more information, contact Communication and Engagement Director Catherine Lazorko at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-918-7314.
Complete Community and Shaping Our Future Announcement
You are invited to learn more about the Town of Chapel Hill’s Complete Community Initiative and emerging plans for the North-South Bus Rapid Transit corridor. A series of events highlighting this work kicks off Thursday, Sept. 15, and will continue through Saturday, Sept. 17.
A Complete Community drop-in and presentation from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Sheraton Chapel Hill, will give you an opportunity to visit with consultant Jennifer Keesmaat and her team about what makes a complete community and the emerging directions they see for Chapel Hill’s future.
Immediately following, the Town will hold an open house entitled, “Shaping Our Future,” during which your feedback is wanted on early proposals and ideas for how key transit corridors can better connect residents and existing neighborhoods to transit, greenways, parks, shopping and jobs. The open house will also take place at the Sheraton, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Other opportunities to learn and share your feedback will take place on the following dates:
- Friday, Sept. 16
- Open house, 9:30–11:30 a.m. (food provided); Hargraves Community Center (216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill)
- Drop-in event, 5–7 p.m. (free coffee); Epilogue Books (109 E. Franklin St., Ste. 100, Chapel Hill)
- Saturday, Sept. 17
- Farmers’ market pop-up,8–10 a.m.; Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market – University Place (201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill)
- Open house, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. (food provided); Hargraves Community Center (216 N. Roberson St., Chapel Hill)
Complete Community is a Council-led initiative that began in June 2021 as a follow-up to a joint Chapel Hill-UNC housing-needs assessment. Using a new community-based approach, the initiative will create a strategy for where and how to build new housing in Chapel Hill.
Following these public information and input sessions, Town Council will receive updated presentations on the Complete Community and Shaping Our Future efforts in October and November.
September Transit Service Update
Starting Monday, Sept. 12, the Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) T Route returns to full service, with all trips scheduled to run. This includes restoring midday trips between 8:50 a.m. and 2:50 p.m. that were previously affected by reduced staffing levels. The T Route serves areas from East Chapel Hill High School, Martin Luther King Boulevard corridor and Mason Farm Road/UNC Hospital.
CHT has also monitored demand on the FCX Route between the Friday Center park-and-ride lots and UNC Hospital. To provide relief for crowded trips, a “tripper bus” has been added. This additional bus is not scheduled, but will run in tandem with the highest demand trips, at 3, 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5 and 5:30 p.m. Be on the lookout for the additional bus.
Downtown Tailgate Party
Come party at a downtown tailgate on Henderson Street on Sept. 24 with DJ CJ and emcee Bdaht, the official voice of Carolina Basketball, and cheer on the Tar Heels as they take on Notre Dame. The event will include yard games, music, giveaways, and drink sales courtesy of Gizmo Brew Works. Purchase a VIP wristband for access to a buffet from Linda’s Bar & Grill and other perks for $30! The event starts 3 hours before kickoff and is free and open to the public.
Tracks Music Series
The next edition of the Tracks Music Series will take place Thursday, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m., in the Rosemary & Columbia street lot, with live performances featuring Bonies, Alicia Marie and Larry & Joe. The outdoor concerts are free and open to all. Each act will play a 45-minute set.
Orange County Commissioners Create Opioid Advisory Board
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved the creation of the Orange County Opioid Advisory Committee at its Sept. 6 business meeting. The committee will advise the BOCC on how to utilize the county’s share of the national opioid settlement funds. Orange County is expected to receive $6,799,780 over the next 18 years and has already received its initial payment of $261,245.
According to Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart, there were 29 overdose deaths and 110 emergency department visits for suspected overdoses in Orange County in 2021. Stewart said more than 90% of the deaths were unintentional.
The committee will discuss opioid-related health concerns and issues impacting Orange County residents, advise the BOCC on options to expend funds to prevent opioid use and remedy opioid impacts, and plan and host an annual meeting to receive input on proposed uses of settlement funds.
The BOCC approved a 19-member advisory committee that includes representatives from the Orange County Sheriff, the Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill police departments, Orange County schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools, UNC Hospital, Alliance Health and representatives from the following county departments: Social Services, Emergency Services, Criminal Justice Resource Department and Health.
In addition, several spots will be open for county residents through an application process. Two spots will be for individuals with lived experience, along with a substance-abuse treatment provider, a community group working on opioid-related concerns, an employment provider and two flex spots.
Residents interested in volunteering for one of the non-designated spots on the committee can contact Tara May at email@example.com or 919-245-2125 to be notified when the application is ready.
September 7, 2022
Heart of the Hill Tours Fall Schedule
Heart of the Hill Tours of Chapel Hill, designed to surprise, delight, educate and inspire launches their new fall schedule. Registration is required and now available atheartofthehilltours.com.
Several new tours join the “fan favorites” for a full complement of experiences with our local history – from Franklin Street to “beneath our feet” – an archeological look at Chapel Hill’s earliest days. Tours are designed by the individual guide to share pieces of the collective story and town spirit through history, lore and personal experience. Tours are free, open to the public and typically last 60-90 minutes.
Heart of the Hill Tours is a joint project of the Chapel Hill Historical Society and Preservation Chapel Hill. For decades, the Chapel Hill Historical Society, founded in 1966, and Preservation Chapel Hill, started in 1972, have been essential to collecting, preserving and highlighting what makes Chapel Hill unique and treasured in the hearts of so many.
C.H.A.L.T. Webinars Exploring Affordable Housing Crisis
Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town is holding webinars to address the affordable housing crisis. Part three of the series, “Financing Permanently Affordable Housing,” is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11,
4-5:30 p.m., via Zoom.
Register at www.chalt.org/events. Special guest speakers will be featured, followed by open discussions. Open to all.
OdysseyStage Offers New Twist on Annual 10×10
OdysseyStage offers a new twist on an annual audience favorite. This year, OdysseyStage 10×10 will
showcase local playwrights, actors, and directors in all 10 plays, each 10 minutes long. This homegrown
approach features the OdysseyStage company and friends and will be presented Thursday-Saturday,
Sept. 15-17 and 22-24, at 7 p.m. at The Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. Tickets are free; suggested donation at the door is $20.
Producer Maria Piskor hints at the variety of offerings, “This year’s 10×10 includes a phone, a hospital room, a pipe, some records, a bar, an audience member, rooms, and elective surgery–along with plenty of love, loss, and laughter!”
New OCLW Certifications
Since July, these local employers have joined the roster of Orange County Living Wage employers, voluntarily paying their full- and part-time employees a living wage of $15.85/hour:
Child Care Services Association
Community School for People under Six
H3 Plumbing & Mechanical
Little House Playschool
Piedmont Electric Membership Cooperative
St. Thomas More Catholic Parish of Chapel Hill
In addition to these new certifications, many employers have recertified, which means they’ve been committed to paying a living wage for at least four years.
NCDOT Litter Sweep
The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are inviting residents to participate in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Litter Sweep Sept. 10-24. Litter Sweep is the NCDOT biannual statewide roadside litter removal initiative. Residents throughout the state can participate in local efforts to help clean up North Carolina’s roadways.
Trash in a stream does not always start at the streambank, but it will end up there. If it is on the ground, chances are that it will end up in our local streams and creeks. By cleaning up trash around roadways, you are helping protect our local waterways from pollution.
If you would like to participate in a clean-up, you can do so in either of the following ways:
- Contact Angie Tilson at NCDOT by phone (919-296-6081) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for cleanup supplies, such as reversible orange/blue trash bags, gloves and orange safety vests.
- Join the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro for a joint litter clean up on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. along Highway 54. The final details will be available on the Town of Chapel Hill’s Stormwater Management Public Education and Participation webpage.
The Town of Chapel Hill’s Stormwater Management department provides litter clean-up supplies, including grabbers, gloves and vests on a first-come, first-served basis year-round.
If you see a street that needs a cleanup, email Morgan Flynt (email@example.com).
Update on the East Main Street and West Franklin Street Resurfacing Project
The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) resurfacing project for East Main Street in Carrboro and West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is nearing completion. The pavement work is completed, the signal hardware is in place, and all of the new signal programming should be finished by Friday, Sept. 9.
The Town is working with NCDOT to complete punch-list items, including the installation of the bicycle symbols and signage. In addition, the Town is arranging for the installation of green pavement markings to highlight the new bike facilities. The green thermoplastic work should be completed by the end of September.
See the final design at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2368/East-Main-Street-Restriping. If you have any questions, contact John Howell at 336-570-6830 or Ben Schmadeke at 919-918-7424.
Town of Carrboro Lineups for Fall Arts Festivals
The Town of Carrboro has announced festival lineups and date information for three of the Triangle’s most beloved fall festivals, starting Sunday, Oct. 2.
Carrboro will showcase a diversity of musicians from the Piedmont with free concerts at Town Commons, the Cat’s Cradle and venues across the town, with the return of the Carrboro Music Festival (opening night on Saturday, Oct. 1, with a full day of outdoor concerts on Sunday, Oct. 2); West End Poetry Festival (Oct. 14-15), featuring poetry in the round and a community poem reading; and Carrboro Film Fest (Nov. 18-20), showcasing numerous independent films that challenge and expand our understanding of Southern culture.
All festivals are made possible with support from the Town of Carrboro and the Carrboro Tourism Development Authority. Schedule highlights are below with full details and updates online. Also, see the Carrboro public parking map at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/11225/Carrboro-Parking-Map-?bidId=
Carrboro Music Festival – Oct. 2
Established in 1998, the festival was originally held on June 21 as an official affiliate of the Fête de la Musique, which is also known as ”Make Music Day.” One of the largest free music festivals in North Carolina, the festival will host more than 100 acts on 25 stages all over Carrboro, all for free. Venues include traditional sites such as Cat’s Cradle, The ArtsCenter and Weaver Street Market lawn, as well as new locales, including Craftboro at South Green, 401 Main, and Dingo Dog Brewing Company.
West End Poetry Festival – Oct. 14-15
The theme for this year’s festival is “Music in Poetry,” featuring poetry readings, a poetry writing workshop, poetry in the round, and a community poem reading. All events will be offered live, with Friday evening’s event occurring at Carrboro Town Hall and Saturday’s activities continuing in the Carrboro Century Center. Carrboro held its first poetry festival, organized by then Carrboro Poet Laureate Patrick Herron, in 2006. Since then, many poets from North Carolina and beyond have participated. Participants have included finalists for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; winners of the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Oregon Book Award, and the Pushcart Prize; and recipients of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Carrboro Film Fest – Nov. 18-20
Since 2006, the festival brings “Southern films in one of the South’s funkiest small towns.” Embracing its identity as a Southern institution, the festival presents exclusively Southern films in a non-competitive setting. Held at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.
Solarize in Carrboro
The Town of Carrboro is a community partner of Solarize the Triangle, a community-based group-purchasing program for solar energy, battery storage and other clean-energy technologies. The more property owners who purchase renewable energy systems, the lower the price to all buyers – through the power of purchasing together.
By promoting clean and renewable energy in Carrboro, the Solarize the Triangle campaign supports the implementation of Carrboro’s Community Climate Action Plan. This initiative will play a role in helping the Town reach its goals to reduce 2010 levels of greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2030.
Solarize Carrboro will enable residents to invest in solar at a more affordable group-purchasing price and realize the benefits of financial savings through energy efficiency, the creation of new jobs and improved air quality and public health.
Solarize the Triangle is partnering exclusively with Yes Solar Solutions for this campaign. The enrollment deadline is Dec. 31, 2022.
- View a map of the Solarize the Triangle campaign’s territory to see if your address qualifies – https://tjcoggis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/instant/interactivelegend/index.html?appid=0629633123234e9f9f55d6425b2aee2b
- View the Town’s Community Climate Action Plan to learn more about Carrboro’s climate action efforts and how you can reduce your carbon footprint at https://townofcarrboro.org/262/Sustainability-Energy-Climate-Change
- Sign up for your free, no obligation assessment today! https://info.solarcrowdsource.com/solarize-carrboro
Franklin All-Nighter Race
Join University Baptist Church for an all-night run for mental health on November 5. Participants can register as individuals or with friends to run or walk all night to raise awareness and funds for mental health in our community. Cost is $30/person, and the route is a one-mile loop along sidewalks.
The Being a Responsible Server free class on September 12 teaches restaurant and bar servers how to properly identify fake IDs and check for signs of intoxication. Training is from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Courthouse, 179 E. Franklin St. The first 100 voluntary attendees can earn $30 by completing the class.
Orange County Names Trivedi as Transportation Director
Nish Trivedi has been named Orange County Transportation Director, County Manager Bonnie Hammersley announced Sept. 1.
Trivedi had been serving as interim transportation director since April and has been with Orange County since September 2017, when he was hired as a transportation planner in the Planning and Inspection Department. As transportation planner, he directed and coordinated all transportation projects, plans and programs in the County and collaborated with local jurisdictions and regional, state and federal agencies, including N.C. Department of Transportation and metropolitan and rural planning organizations, as well as Triangle J Council of Governments.
While serving as transportation planner, Trivedi worked on many key projects, including the 2019 Efland-Buckhorn-Mebane Access Management Plan, the ongoing US 70 Multimodal Corridor Study and Orange County Transportation Projects Map.
Before coming to Orange County, Trivedi worked as a transportation planner for the Town of Waxhaw, N.C.; as a land use/transportation planner for Augusta-Richmond County, Ga.; and transportation planner for Augusta Regional Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization.
He has a master’s in city and regional planning from the University of Memphis and is the owner/chief instructor at Tiger Way of Honor Martial Arts in Hillsborough.
County Continues to Offer Pandemic-Assistance Programs
As the nation slowly emerges from more than two years of COVID-related emergency restrictions and declarations, Orange County continues to offer programs and services for residents who are still struggling from the health and economic effects of the pandemic.
Gov. Roy Cooper allowed the state’s coronavirus-related declaration of emergency to expire on Aug. 15, while the Orange County state of emergency declaration expired May 1.
“Even though the state and local declarations of emergency regarding COVID have ended, many households still are experiencing challenges in rebounding from the pandemic,” said Orange County Chair Renee Price. “We want our residents to understand that we continue to provide services to those needing assistance paying utilities, rent and other household expenses.”
Affordable and secure housing is an issue throughout the nation and has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Orange County offers many programs to help residents struggling to stay in their homes or apartments, including emergency housing assistance (EHA). The EHA Program provided more than $10.4 million in housing assistance to more than 4,200 Orange County residents since March 2020. Orange County also administered the first round of the HOPE Program beginning in the Fall of 2020 and disbursed $1.9 million to over 400 families. Combined, the programs provided nearly $12.3 million to ensure residents can remain in stable housing.
Residents can learn more about the EHA and HOPE programs at https://www.orangecountync.gov/2359/Emergency-Housing-Assistance, which also has instructions on how to apply and a link to the application. If you are experiencing a housing crisis, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Housing Helpline at 919-245-2655.
As things open back up, Orange County Dept. on Aging programs and services remain popular. Below is a sample of a few of the numerous programs offered:
- Daily hot lunches served on-site or for curbside pick-up at either senior center. Registration is required to participate in the program. At this time, the department is only accepting new applications for county residents age 60 and over who can pick up a meal at either the Seymour Center or Passmore Center. With our current funding source, the curbside meals are scheduled to continue through September. After that time, lunch participants will need to come inside to pick-up their meal if they do not feel comfortable dining in. For questions or help filling out the lunch application, contact food services coordinator Isabel Jackson by email or phone at 919-245-4256.
- Caregiver Support Groups offer a space to meet with other caregivers to share experiences, learn new skills, and get answers to questions about dementia and other long-term disabilities. One group continues to meet virtually. In addition, the Passmore Caregiver Support Group and Seymour Caregiver Support Group have returned as in-person options. All caregiver support groups meet twice a month. For more information, contact the Aging Helpline at 919-968-2087 or email@example.com.
- Community-Based Services added Tour Tuesdays at the Seymour Center to introduce the public back to the Seymour Center and continue to offer this program. Chinese Dance Party is a new program initiated to encourage our Chinese population to return to the centers. This popular program continues to grow. Gardening has been a healthy, safe way to stay active during the pandemic, and the Garden Clubs continue to be active and take on new beautification projects at both centers. The Sunshine Program reaches isolated older adults with a short in-person visit to check in and brighten their day. Homebound individuals also receive cards of encouragement from volunteers and staff. Virtual Health Promotion, Educational Programs and Exercise Classes were such a hit that they have continued virtually or in a hybrid format. To see all of the programs each quarter, pick up an Endless Possibilities activity guide at either center or online at www.orangecountync.gov/EP.
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program food boxes continue to be delivered to transit-dependent or homebound individuals and provided to those who are able to pick up or designate a pick-up person. This Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina-sponsored program provides a monthly box of food to supplement the nutritional needs of qualifying low-income older adults. For information, or to apply for this free food program, email Shenae McPherson, Volunteer Connect 55+ (VC55+) Administrator, call 919-245-4243 or stop by the front desk at either center.
- Mail & Budget Management Volunteer Program serves Orange County seniors who need assistance with basic budgeting, sorting mail and emails and avoiding financial fraud and other scams. If you are interested in becoming a mail & budget management volunteer or learning more about the program, contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 or Lydia Arnold at 919-245-4276.
- Telephone Reassurance Program provides morning wellness-check calls between 8 and 10 a.m., Monday through Friday, offering a sense of security and support. This program offers an opportunity for both volunteers and participants to engage through phone conversations as we continue working to decrease social isolation. To receive telephone reassurance calls or to volunteer, contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 or Lydia Arnold at 919-245-4276.
To learn more about Orange County Department on Aging’s programs, services and resources, visit the Passmore Center located at 103 Meadowlands Drive in Hillsborough (919-245-2015), the Seymour Center at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill (919-968-2070) or online at www.orangecountync.gov/Aging.
Dept. of Social Services (DSS) continues to operate pandemic-related programs for water and utility assistance and enhanced pandemic benefits for traditional programs like Food and Nutrition Services. Staff are available to assist with employment services and other social work programs. DSS can provide emergency financial support for rent and utilities and ongoing support for food assistance through Food and Nutrition Services and food distributions and medical assistance through Medicaid. Clients can come to either office location or call 919-245-2800.
While there are no longer any COVID-related restrictions in effect in Orange County, residents are still encouraged to practice safety to protect themselves and others. COVID is still circulating in the community, Health Director Quintana Stewart says. She encourages residents to mask indoors during periods of high transmission, wash your hands often, give each other a little space and, most importantly, be sure you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations. The health department offers both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and boosters. To make an appointment, visit https://takemyshot.nc.gov or call 919-913-8088 Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages spoken.
August 31, 2022
Show Labor Day Love to Local Workers and Their Living Wage Employers
Going shopping this Labor Day weekend? Salute Orange County workers in the spirit of the holiday by shopping at local Living Wage Certified Employers, and then sharing the experience on social media with the hashtag #OrangeCountyNCLivingWage and the hashtag of the employer you’re shopping with!
Orange County Living Wage (OCLW) has a directory of its certified employers, which now number around 250. Employers range from governments and nonprofits to local businesses of various sizes and professional services such as healthcare.
UNC’s Postdoctoral Association Science Talks Start September 6
Could sugar be a secret weapon for detecting COVID? The first of a series of talks on science topics intended for the general public will be held by UNC’s Postdoctoral Association on September 6, 2022, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at TRU Deli & Wine, 114 Henderson St. in Chapel Hill.
“Detecting COVID Using Sugar” will be presented by Dr. Sanghoon Kim, who will explain how we can use sugar to better detect all variants with a single test, thereby detecting COVID more reliably. TRU has partnered with the university association to make these talks available to people from all walks of life in the Chapel Hill area so they can enjoyably make sense of science.
Join in Solidarity with Duke Volleyball Player Heckled by BYU Fans
A black volleyball student at Duke was heckled with racial slurs at a match with Brigham Young University (BYU) on the BYU campus on Aug. 26. A show of solidarity with the student is encouraged at the next few home matches at Cameron Indoor Stadium (Friday, Sept. 2, at noon and Saturday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.) No tickets are needed. Help show that the entire community has her back and will not stand for racism and racial attacks.
Chapel Hill Fire Department Enhances High Insurance Rating
The Chapel Hill Fire Department is celebrating the improvement of its Insurance Services Organization (ISO) rating from its 2016 evaluation of 84.50, to this year’s evaluation of 88.67 – maintaining the department’s level-two rating overall.
The department’s rating is based on an inspection conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal. The inspection is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS).
The ranking accounts for, but is not limited to, the following:
- Staffing levels
- Call response times
- Equipment and maintenance
- Communications capabilities
- Availability of a water source
- Community outreach
The department was just 1.33 points shy of a level-one rating. A higher rating has the ability to significantly lower residential and commercial insurance rates, as insurance companies use the rating to determine premiums.
The NCRRS ranges from level one, the highest, to level 10, which is not recognized as a certified fire department by the state.
“I’d like to congratulate Chief Harris for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey. The commissioner added that community members “should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”
The Department’s newest ISO rating takes effect November 1.
Police Plan Enhanced Traffic-Safety Enforcement During First Weeks of School
The Chapel Hill Police Department is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian safety enforcement operations during September – the first full month of school.
Twenty-two scheduled pedestrian safety enforcement operations are in addition to normal patrols. Between Thursday, Sept. 1, and Friday, Sept. 9, school-zone operations will take place each weekday during peak school travel times—7 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.
Other pedestrian safety operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates in September:
- Saturday, Sept. 10, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 11, 7 to 11 a.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 to 11 a.m.
- Friday, Sept. 16, 7 to 11 a.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6 to 10 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 24, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 to 11 a.m.
- Friday, Sept. 30, 7 to 11 a.m.
*Dates and/or times are subject to change
Aside from school zones, efforts will focus on other areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors).
The Chapel Hill Police Department is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in September – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads.
- Tuesday, Sept. 6, 8 to 10 a.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 13, 7 to 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 20, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 27, 9 to 11 a.m.
*Dates and/or times are subject to change
The Town will utilize its variable message sign boards throughout Town to alert people driving of the events as well as encouraging them to limit distractions and watch out for people walking and people riding their bikes.
Carolina Cross Connection Receives SECU Foundation Grant
State Employees Credit Union Foundation recently awarded a $40,000 grant to Carolina Cross Connection (CCC), a non-profit located in Gastonia that supports the needs of the elderly, disabled and low-resourced residents of Western North Carolina with home repair projects to address safety and accessibility. The funding will help the organization develop strategies to address diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to ensure greater reach of services across populations in the northwest region of the state.
Carolina Cross Connection has been partnering with local agencies to provide services for North Carolina communities since 1987. The organization enlists the help of youth and adults across the state who volunteer their time at one of CCC’s camp locations to assist residents in 11 counties. Carolina Cross Connection has completed over 17,880 projects and hosted more than 30,400 volunteers to date.
August 29, 2022
Carrboro Seeks Engineering Firm for Site analysis
The Town of Carrboro is seeking an engineering firm to conduct a site assessment on selected town-owned parcels for the purpose of creating affordable housing.
A Request for Qualifications notice has been re-advertised on the Town’s website, on the Historically Underutilized Businesses site, in the Triangle Tribune, and in the Durham Herald-Sun. The RFQ posting can be found at http://www.carrboronc.gov/967/Bid-Opportunities. Submissions are due to the Town on Sept. 23.
Learn more about the process to conduct a comprehensive site analysis of the properties and more information at http://carrborofire.org/2681/Creating-Affordable-Housing—Town-Owned.
New Draft Strategic Plan Sets OWASA Priorities for Years to Come
A draft strategic plan prioritizing investments and priorities for the next five years will be going to the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) Board of Directors in September. The draft plan is the culmination of an inclusive development process that involved input from the community, stakeholders, past and present Board members, as well as the OWASA team.
The plan will guide the investment of the OWASA team’s focuses and efforts over the next five years and help ensure that they are advancing the priorities of the community and preparing for the future that the community wants for its water and sewer utility.
The strategic priorities identified through developing the plan are:
- Employee recruitment, retention and development
- Equitable services
- Climate and land-use change adaptation
- Community engagement
- Emergency management and cybersecurity
- Service reliability and resiliency
The draft plan identifies a suite of goals and initiatives that will advance each of those strategic priorities in the coming years. The draft strategic plan is available here.
The OWASA Board will consider approval of the draft plan at a meeting on Sept. 8; the agenda for that meeting will be posted here.
For more information and any questions, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, 919-537-4236, firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 26, 2022
Town of Carrboro Seeking Applications for Poet Laureate Position
The Arts Committee of the Town of Carrboro seeks applications for the position of Poet Laureate of Carrboro, for a two-year term that will begin Jan. 1, 2023, and expire Dec. 31, 2024.
Established in 2002, the central duty of the poet laureate is to engage in activities that enhance the presence of poetry in the social and civic life of Carrboro. These activities include, but are not limited to, working with the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department staff for the planning of and participation in the West End Poetry Festival (held annually in October), Carrboro Day, outreach to local schools, and weekly readings at Carrboro Town Council meetings (view past weekly readings at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2593/Poetry-Readings-During-Town-Council-Meet). The Poet Laureate will work in conjunction with the Carrboro Poets Council (a subcommittee of the Arts Committee). Residency in Carrboro is preferable, but not required. The Poet Laureate receives an annual honorarium in the amount of $2,500.
Carrboro Poet Laureate Fred Joiner will continue to serve in the role through Dec. 31. Learn more about Fred and his work via http://www.fredjoiner.com/.
Those who wish to apply for consideration can access the application online at www.carrboronc.gov/poetlaureate. All application materials must be received by Aug. 31. Please complete the online application form or email all application materials to email@example.com. If you have questions regarding the poet laureate program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-918-7377.
Share Your Vision for Chapel Hill’s Next Police Chief
The Town of Chapel Hill will soon post a job advertisement for the new police chief and is seeking feedback concerning the qualities you would like to see in the next chief.
To share your feedback in a concise way, please consider completing a short survey (empliant.com/survey/F7829FA3D-C1D2-AB84-0478/) by Sept. 30 to ensure your thoughts are considered during the hiring process.
The job will be posted for 30 days, followed by an extensive review process. At the conclusion of that process, Town Manager Maurice Jones will select a candidate from the finalists.
The position will be vacated by Chris Blue upon his retirement on Dec. 31. The goal is to have the next chief in place before Jan. 1, 2023.
Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Person
The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is seeking the community’s assistance locating a missing person. Mark A. Allen, 48, of Henderson, was last seen on Aug. 24, around noon, in the area of Franklin Street. Allen was seen boarding a bus to Durham.
Allen is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and weighs about 160 pounds. Allen may be wearing blue scrubs. He is not believed to be in danger.
Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.
Traffic Safety Enforcement as Students Head Back to School
The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning pedestrian safety enforcement operations as students head back to school. Pedestrian safety enforcement in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools zones is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29; Tuesday, Aug. 30; and Wednesday, Aug. 31. –
The CHPD is also planning speed-enforcement operations with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Chapel Hill Police Investigate Homicide
At 11:35 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25, the Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) responded to a report of a shooting at 800 Pritchard Ave. Extension. Officers found one victim, Rahzel Tyreek Jenkins, 19, of Chapel Hill, suffering from gunshot wounds. Jenkins was pronounced dead at UNC Hospitals.
Anyone who has information should call 911 or contact the CHPD at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515. Information that leads to an arrest could be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.
No further information is available at this time.
Orange Co. Commissioners Price and Bedford Complete Emergency Preparedness Training
Orange County Board of Commissioners Chair Renee Price and Vice Chair Jamezetta Bedford completed the 100 Counties Prepared Emergency Preparedness Training for County Commissioners at the N.C. Association of County Commissioners’ (NCACC) 115th Annual Conference in Cabarrus County on Aug. 11. Price and Bedford were two of 61 county officials to complete the class, which was the culmination of Brunswick County Commissioner and NCACC Past President Frank Williams’ 100 Counties Prepared presidential initiative.
The 100 Counties Prepared training was created to equip elected officials with the tools, resources and information needed to lead effectively during emergencies such as natural disasters, public health crises, and other critical incident situations.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
An initiative led by the federal government in partnership with the states is making it easier for people in mental health crisis to get immediate help when needed. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) can now be reached by calling 9-8-8. This service will immediately connect callers to trained crisis counselors 24/7. The new three-digit number provides a faster, easier way to get the help already available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
“Help is available to those experiencing a mental health crisis,” said N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “Our goal is to make 9-8-8 a household word that North Carolinians know they can access from wherever they are to get the help they need. This resource will literally save lives.”
Since 2012, the NCDHHS has partnered with REAL Crisis Intervention, Inc., in Greenville to operate the N.C. Suicide Prevention Lifeline call center. In addition to providing trained crisis counseling, the call center connects also callers to help in their local community based on each caller’s specific needs.
NCDHHS, in collaboration with many community, local and state partners, received a $3.3 million federal grant in April to transition to the new number. Additionally, $1.3 million in recurring funds to support the call center was included in the budget that was passed by the N.C. General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper in July. For more information on the NSPL, visit 988lifeline.org.
Applications Open for 2023 Piedmont Laureate
The City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County are opening the application process for the position of Piedmont Laureate for 2023. Each year the program is open to writers creating work in a particular selected genre (poetry, novels, plays, etc.), and for the 2023 cycle, applications will be accepted from poets. The selected candidate will focus on elevating poetry in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties. The application submission period closes Sept. 9 at 11:59 p.m.
They hope to elevate explorations of poetry writing across sub-genres and forms. Writers of all forms of poetry and poetic presentation styles, including slam poetry, beat poetry and spoken word poetry, are welcome. They do ask that the poetry writing is created for an adult audience and emphasizes the written form. Note that future Piedmont Laureate specialization years will include playwriting and screenwriting, fiction and creative nonfiction, and as such are not accepting submissions this year from these genres.
The primary goal of the Piedmont Laureate program is to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region. The program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens.
The Piedmont Laureate serves for one year and will offer activities throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties. Click here for more information and a link to the application.
Overdose Awareness Day Events Scheduled for Aug. 31
Orange County will sponsor a special event on Wednesday, Aug. 31, to bring attention to International Overdose Awareness Day.
Overdose is a public health issue that impacts families and individuals from all backgrounds. The Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department and Health and Emergency Services departments, along with Freedom House, are coordinating several activities throughout the day, culminating with a gathering to include speakers and candle-lighting to symbolize losses, from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Peace and Justice Plaza in Chapel Hill.
Speakers at the gathering include Renee Price, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, and Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart. UNC Family Medicine professor and founder of the Formerly Incarcerated Transition program, Dr. Evan Ashkin, will speak on the scope of the overdose issue and best practice interventions. Troy Manns, from Recovery Communities NC (stigma and recovery), and Reid Getty, from the NC Harm Reduction Coalition (critical need for access to harm reduction resources), will also be featured. Other speakers will represent families who have lost a loved one to overdose or who have had an overdose reversed.
August 24, 2022
Apply to Join Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board
The Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board is seeking Board applicants interested in an opportunity to help shape the Town of Chapel Hill’s housing policies and who have experience, knowledge, or expertise in affordable housing. The Town is currently seeking an affordable housing advocate and a non-profit housing provider/professional to fill two vacant seats on the Board. They can be residents or non-residents of Chapel Hill.
Housing Advisory Board members are appointed by Town Council to serve three-year terms. The Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The average time commitment to serve on this board is about 2-4 hours per month. No previous board experience is required; new members will receive training and guidance to support their success.
Applications should be submitted by Tuesday, Sept. 6, to ensure consideration. Visit townofchapelhill.org/boards to submit an application.
If you have questions, email email@example.com or call 919-968-2844.
Labor Day Holiday in Chapel Hill
Monday, Sept. 5, is a Town holiday. Some services will be affected, as follows:
Residential trash—will not be collected Sept. 5 (make-up day Wednesday, Sept. 7); yard trimming collection will not be affected.
Curbside recycling—will not be collected Sept. 5; recycling collection will be delayed by one day that week.
Commercial trash—will not be collected on Sept. 5; collections will be completed by the end of the week.
Orange County Landfill and Waste & Recycling Centers—closed.
Chapel Hill Public Library—closed.
Chapel Hill Transit—will not operate Sept. 5.
Housing—Office and Maintenance Division closed; for emergency maintenance services, call
Parks and Recreation
- Parks, greenways, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters, and outdoor park amenities open.
- D. Clark Outdoor Pool, Homestead Aquatic Center, Chapel Hill Community Center (pool closed), and Northside Gym open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 5.
- Parks and Rec Administrative Office, Chapel Hill Community Center pool, Hargraves Community Center, and Teen Center closed Sept. 5; see org for more information.
August 17, 2022
203 Project Construction Begins
Construction is about to start on the 203 Project at 203 S. Greensboro St., currently the site of a Carrboro municipal parking lot across from Open Eye Cafe. The project to complete a new library and civic building will be underway for the next 19 months.
Initially, only a portion of the project site will be closed for delivery of construction equipment and materials. The public will receive two weeks’ notice before the entire parking lot closure. You can find alternative parking locations at http://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11225/Carrboro-Parking-Map.
The $42 million development will be the future home of the Orange County Southern Branch Library. The facility will also provide a permanent home for the Orange County Skills Development Center; Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department; WCOM Radio; and performance/multipurpose uses. The 203 Project will provide opportunities for education, art and community connection.
It will be a nearly 50,000-square-foot public facility designed with energy efficiency and waste reduction features that will result in an LEED Gold equivalency. Green building features include stormwater control measures, daylighting, vegetative roofing and a state-of-the-art HVAC system. The project has received a Duke Energy building efficiency incentive.
While the parking lot currently holds about 88 parking spaces, upon completion of the new facility, the parking deck will have a 171-parking-space capacity. This includes five electric vehicle charging spots. Another 25 parking spots will be installed with EV-ready infrastructure for future upgrades. Additionally, 70 bike parking spots are planned.
Ways to keep up to date with the project:
- Sign up to receive monthly Carrboro Town News updates at www.carrboronc.gov/signup, and check social media.
- Join a neighborhood email distribution list, which includes residents living in the adjacent neighborhood and the local business community; notify firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Check out the construction progress with time-lapse photography; these visual updates will be posted at https://www.the203project.org/.
- Watch the groundbreaking video for this project at https://youtu.be/UhhQtZd1e-8.
- Contact Town of Carrboro Project Manager Ben Schmadake at email@example.com or 919-918-7424 for more information.
2022 Tar Heel Express Service
Chapel Hill Transit provides Tar Heel Express service to Kenan Stadium for every UNC home football game. This season, service from run from two park-and-ride locations and a third from downtown Chapel Hill. Fans can board Tar Heel Express at:
- Friday Center Park and Ride – starting three hours before game time
- Southern Village Park and Ride – starting 1.5 hours before game time
- Franklin Street at the Carolina Coffee Shop – starting three hours before game time. Note, there is no free parking associated with the downtown stop.
Riding Tar Heel Express:
- Buses drop off and pick up on South Road, in front of Carmichael Auditorium.
- Buses depart every 10-15 minutes, or when full, and run continuously until game time.
- Buses run for approximately 45 minutes after the game.
- One-way tickets are $3; a round-trip ticket is $5. CASH ONLY.
- No fee is charged to park at the park-and-ride lots listed above.
- Masks are required aboard buses.
- Fans are encouraged to arrive early and expect crowds.
- Items that are prohibited at Kenan Stadium are also prohibited on Chapel Hill Transit.
2022 Tar Heel football games:
- UNC v. Florida A&M, Aug. 27, 8 p.m.
- UNC v. Notre Dame, Sept. 24, TBA
- UNC v. Virginia Tech, Oct. 1, TBA
- UNC v. Pittsburgh, Oct. 29, TBA
- UNC v. Georgia Tech, Nov. 19, TBA
- UNC v. NC State, Nov. 25, TBA
Basketball Tournament, Back-to-School, Dribble for Victory
The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation is hosting or partnering with three community events this month. All three events offer residents and families a variety of opportunities to benefit from back-to-school promotions, to attend family fun events, as well as opportunities to support worthy causes through volunteering, monetary donations and partnering with local and national organizations on charitable initiatives.
- Basketball Tournament | August 15-18
Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation’s Summer Competitive League basketball tournament will take place August 15-18 at three local gymnasiums in Chapel Hill. During the tournament, you’ll enjoy pregame warm-up music and player introductions before tipoff and halftime promotions and contests to win prizes. Their partner, Dick’s Sporting Goods, is offering Chapel Hill families coupons for an exclusive back-to-school discount of 20% off throughout the entire store, Friday, August 19, through Monday, August 22.
- Book Bag Giveaway and Family Fun Day | August 20
Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, Summit Church, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, NOW Church, and The Community Church Chapel Hill Unitarian present the Community Book Bag Giveaway and Family Fun Day for grades K-12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Hargraves Community Center (216 Roberson St.). Each child will receive a book bag and a few school supplies while supplies last. Plus, they are offering free haircuts and braiding and a fun kickball game.
- Dribble with the Tar Heels | August 28
Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation is joining forces with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and UNC Health | Children’s Hospital to help support Dribble for Victory Over Cancer Sunday, Aug. 28, to help put an end to childhood cancer.
This is a peer-to-peer fundraising event where participants will dribble basketballs with the UNC men’s and women’s basketball teams while raising funds and awareness for lifesaving research. Also in attendance will be the UNC men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, dance team, cheerleaders, band and Rameses! This is a unique opportunity for you and your families to meet the teams and dribble around campus with the players, all while supporting a great cause.
Art Project to Inform and Delight on the Booker Creek Trail
Four of the Orange Water and Sewer Authority vertical pipes surrounded by woods along Booker Creek Trail will be painted with bird and plant life found on the trail that is native to the area. When complete, the pipes will both educate and harmonize with the environment.
The Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways fundraising effort is halfway to its goal of $2,000. They invite the community and others to consider helping make this project a success. Any additional funding will go towards continued greenway improvements via the ongoing Adopt-a-Trail project. The New Hope Audubon Society and The Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways are partnering to raise funds to make this artwork a reality. Donation Information can be found at https://friendsofchapelhillparks.org/impact/; select the project: Chapel Hill Adopt-a-Trail, add “Mural Project” in the leave-a-comment box.
The New Hope Audubon Society and The Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways have partnered on several projects over the years for enhancing the Lower Booker Creel Trail and Greenway in Chapel Hill. In 2019, New Hope Audubon Society was instrumental in contributing to a project for planting perennial beds to highlight native pollinators and bird-friendly plants where people could see the plants as they walked the trail. In addition to the plant beds, new signs at Lower Booker Creek Trail were installed, displaying graphics and information on the importance of native plants for birds and other wildlife.
The Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways has led an Adopt-a-Trail volunteer program over the past four years, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, they have removed 3 to 4 acres of invasive privet and replaced it with over 400 native trees and pollinators. For more information, visit friendsofchapelhilparks.org.
Help Solarize the Triangle in Chapel Hill
Thanks to a coordinated effort across the Triangle, it’s getting easier to add solar to your home or business. And, the more people who join the cause, the less it will cost for everyone.
Solarize the Triangle is a region-wide campaign designed to increase the number of rooftop solar installations on homes and businesses. Chapel Hill is one of 11 participating communities in this campaign. More solar energy in our region can help reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and increase resiliency for when the power goes out.
Project EngAGE to Host Dementia Care Planning Event
The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE Mental Wellness Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a presentation, Dementia: Where to Start, on Sept. 9.
Join instructors Serena Wong, DO, and Nansi Greger-Holt, FNP, as they guide you through the process of evaluation, care planning and available supports for family members of those living with dementia. Not knowing where to start when dementia is suspected can be confusing, but this journey doesn’t have to be navigated alone. Learn how and where to receive the supports you need so that you can best support your loved one with strength and confidence.
The free event will take place on Friday, Sept. 9, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Seymour Center, located at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill. Light refreshments will be served from 3:30 to 4 p.m.
Register by Wednesday, Sept. 7, by contacting the Seymour Center at 919-968-2070.
Parks & Recreation Council Seeking Teen Perspective
The Parks & Recreation Council (PRC) announces the addition of a youth delegate. Candidates should be an Orange County resident between the ages of 13 and 17.
The PRC consults with the Dept. of Environment, Agriculture, Parks & Recreation, and advises the Board of County Commissioners on matters including park planning, public trails and open space, and recreation facilities and programs.
The council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The Council comprises 12 members that are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. Council members serve a three-year term.
James Cates Memorial Planned at UNC
In the midst of an ongoing U.S. Dept. of Justice cold case investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 1970 murder of James L. Cates, Jr., UNC has now announced plans to permanently memorialize James Cates on its landscape.
Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz released a statement about the James Cates Memorial, which will be installed by the Pit later this year. The UNC Board of Trustees approved the plan late last month, evidently in closed session. Mr. Cates was killed in an act of racial violence outside the Student Union while attending a dance in the Union. He was 22 at the time of his death.
Outside of the local black community, this tragic murder had largely been forgotten until recent years. Now 52 years later, in a six-month span, the U.S. Dept. of Justice has launched a cold case investigation, and UNC has announced it will install a permanent memorial in the center of campus.
The move by the university comes after years of advocacy by the family of Mr. Cates, his friends, their community, UNC students and multiple campus groups, and the James Cates Remembrance Coalition.
In June of last year, the family called on UNC to rename the Student Stores building for James Cates in an essay for The Assembly, and the James Cates Remembrance Coalition published a scholarly proposal to bolster the idea. (The building was originally named in 1968 for white supremacist Josephus Daniels and was stripped of that name in 2020.) The Cates Building proposal received endorsements (listed at the document’s end) from 17 groups or organizations and more than 175 individuals, including the Board of Orange County Commissioners, the Carrboro Town Council, most of the Chapel Hill Town Council, and the mayors of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough. The Student Stores building, also next to the Pit, has yet to be renamed.
As calls for Cates Building grew louder, the UNC Black Student Movement (BSM) and other campus groups were proposing a permanent campus memorial, which was also supported by the family. As the Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure controversy erupted last summer, the BSM announced a set of demands for the university. At the top of BSM’s list was a permanent monument for James Cates. The BSM, Carolina Black Caucus, and Black Graduate and Professional Student Association also released a consolidated list of priorities that included a permanent memorial for James Cates. Several of those issues were addressed in Hannah-Jones’s settlement with UNC that was announced last month.
2021 Visitor Spending in Orange County Tops $194 Million
Domestic and international visitors to and within Orange County spent $194.81 million in 2021, an increase of 51.7% from 2020. The data come from an annual study commissioned and released by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
Tourism impact highlights for 2021 for Orange County:
- Domestic and international visitors spending totaled $194.81, up from $128.4 million in 2020. Visitors spending represents a tax savings of $100.83 per county resident.
- Travel and tourism industry directly employs 1,514.
- Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Orange County was $53.4 million.
- State tax revenue generated in Orange County totaled $8.3 million through state sales and excise taxes and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $6.9 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses. This total of $15.2 million is up from $11.6 million in state and local tax revenue generated in 2020.
These statistics come from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2021,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by Tourism Economics in collaboration with the U.S. Travel Association. Tourism Economics measures visitor spending in lodging, food and beverage, recreation, retail and transportation as well as labor income and tax revenues.
Statewide, visitor spending was up 44.9% to $28.9 billion compared to 2020. Direct tourism employment increased 10.5% to 197,500.
Chapel Hill Transit Makes Change to S-Route Servicing Friday Center South
The Friday Center South Park and Ride will be serviced by the S route starting August 17.
The FCX route will service the Friday Center Park and Ride lot near Highway 54, while the S route will go directly to the Park and Ride South lot located past the Friday Center.
Additional trips will be serviced between 10:20 a.m. and 3 p.m. to ease overcrowding along the route.
An updated schedule is available online at: townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/transit/routes-schedules/all-routes-schedules/s-route. More information is available at chtransit.org and by following Chapel Hill Transit on Twitter.
Tuition Assistance for N.C. High School Graduates Enrolling in Community College
Students in North Carolina who graduated high school in 2022 are eligible to have tuition and fees covered at any of the state’s 58 community colleges through the Longleaf Commitment Grant. The grant provides between $700 and $2,800 to recent high school graduates to cover the cost of tuition and fees for up to two years at a North Carolina Community College. 2022 high school graduates in North Carolina are eligible for the grant money to use for current and subsequent semesters through fall 2024.
North Carolina was recently named “America’s Top State for Business in 2022” by CNBC, highlighting the importance of an educated and talented workforce, in addition to the vital role that the 58 North Carolina community colleges play in the state’s workforce development. The Longleaf Commitment Grant aims to provide students with a more affordable option and greater access to higher education, increasing the talent pipeline for growing industries in North Carolina – healthcare, energy, information technology, real estate and transportation, among others.
In May 2021, Governor Roy Cooper’s office launched the Longleaf Commitment Grant in partnership with the N.C. Community College System and the State Education Assistance Authority, demonstrating the state’s continued commitment to developing and training a strong, educated workforce. The grant is funded by Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds.
For full-time students to receive the Longleaf Commitment Grant and take full advantage of the opportunity, they must follow the below steps and meet the eligibility requirements:
- Apply for admission to any North Carolina community college
- Complete the 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submission process
- Note – The FAFSA and enrollment information are used to determine eligibility. There is not an application specifically for the Longleaf Commitment Grant.
- Be a North Carolina resident
- Be a 2022 North Carolina high school graduate (High school equivalency completers [GED, HiSET] are eligible)
- Be a first-time college student (Career & College Promise and Early/Middle College High School students are eligible)
- Be enrolled in a curriculum program for the 2022-2023 academic year
- Be taking at least 6 credit hours per semester (part-time eligible students will receive a partial award)
- Be a student who has completed the 2022-2023 FAFSA (with a resulting Expected Family Contribution between $0 and $15,000)
For additional information, visit www.yourhireeducation.com/tuitionfree.
August 8, 2022
Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill Recently Recertified as Living Wage Employers
The towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill were recently recertified as living wage employers by Orange County Living Wage (OCLW), and more than 330 workers will share a total annual wage increase of $500,000 as a result. Both towns first became certified as living wage employers in 2016. OCLW’s 2022 living wage for hourly workers is $15.85 an hour, or $14.35 for employers who pay at least half of employees’ health insurance costs.
When a business or organization certifies as a living wage employer, OCLW calculates the total amount they raised wages to meet the living wage threshold. Since 2015, businesses and organizations that have been certified have collectively raised wages by $2.7 million – money that is often spent in Orange County.
Check out living wage jobs posted on the Town of Carrboro’s site and jobs posted on the Town of Chapel Hill’s site. (Chapelboro reported that Chapel Hill Transit and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are seeking bus drivers, and bonuses are being offered [https://chapelboro.com/news/news-transit/chapel-hill-transit-chccs-seeking-new-bus-drivers].)
Plus, peruse employment opportunities at orangecountylivingwage.org/jobs – at The Morningside School, School of Rock Chapel Hill, Soltys Place, Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, and more.
Carrboro ArtsCenter Has a New Home and a New Director
The Carrboro ArtsCenter will have a new home within walking distance of downtown shops, restaurants, the new Orange County library, and more, with plenty of parking.
Learn more about their new home and meet the new executive director, Jenny Shultz-Thomas, on August 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at 300-G E. Main St., in the Nicholson Gallery.
In other ArtsCenter news, ArtSchool classes for the fall are now online. The Fall ArtSchool catalog will be available in mid-August. See the ArtsCenter website for more information. If you are interested in teaching adult-level art classes at the ArtsCenter, contact ArtSchool Manager Anna Hewett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, registration is open on their website for the afterschool program, and a 5-day option is now available. This program provides afterschool care for students in grades K-5, while also providing quality art instruction by local teaching artists. Students will participate in two-hour-long art classes each day, in which they will explore in-depth techniques in a variety of mediums. Some examples include creative drama, African drumming, printmaking and ceramics. These classes rotate every month.
Transportation is provided by Chapel Hill/Carrboro public elementary schools, or parents may drop their children off at the check-in desk. Pick-up is between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. There are 3-day (MWF) and 5-day options available. Registration and payment are done through the online course registration system accessible through their website. If a section is full, you can sign up for the waitlist. New openings will be created if there is enough demand. Contact the director of education, Heather Tatreau, with questions: email@example.com.
August 5, 2022
LWVODC 75th Anniversary Celebration
In honor of the 75th anniversary of the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties (LWVODC), Deborah Ann Turner, MD, JD, currently serving as the 20th president of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS), will be coming to Chapel Hill. Dr. Turner will be speaking at The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, 150 South Road, at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 15.
The public is invited to celebrate the League’s accomplishments of the past 75 years and re-energize their commitment to the mission of “Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy” at this critical time in our nation’s history. The League welcomes and encourages the public’s participation in its goals: to help inform voters across the three-county region about the candidates and issues on their ballots in a nonpartisan way; to inform voters on voting locations, options for casting ballots and ever-changing voting laws through its website VOTE411.org; and to encourage getting out to vote this fall.
This program is free and open to the public; free parking is available at the adjacent Bell Tower Parking Deck 5-9 p.m.; registration is required: Register Here or via the League’s online calendar: https://my.lwv.org/north-carolina/orange-durham-and-chatham-counties-inc/calendar.
August CHT Update
Current service levels: Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) is experiencing a bus operator shortage. While they were recently able to restore service on several routes, some schedules remain modified. Carolina Livery is assisting by operating the B, CCX, and JFX routes. Both online and hard-copy schedules were updated in August to accurately reflect routes, stops and times. The schedule can be found around town, on buses or at Routes and Schedules.
Real-time bus-locator technology: CHT is working to find the best solution for real-time bus locator technology. The Next Bus software that was previously in use requires new equipment. That equipment is expected to arrive in September; once it arrives, CHT will be able to provide an update on re-activation. Note—with Next Bus non-operational, information will not display on the TransLoc mobile app. CHT is also working on a new contract with GMV Syncromatics—a user-friendly tool that improves bus location and customer load information. CHT will share more information as it develops. For those customers waiting in bus shelters, CHT is upgrading the electronic signage showing routes and departure-time information. They will replace the 15 large display screens and add 50 additional small solar-powered signs to the 26 signs currently in use.
Tar Heel Express: CHT, along with partners at UNC Athletics and UNC Transportation and Parking, have finalized plans for Tar Heel Express service to UNC home football games. Fans can catch a roundtrip ride to Kenan Stadium for $5 from:
- Friday Center Park and Ride lot—starting three hours before game time
- Southern Village Park and Ride lot—starting 1.5 hours before game time
- Downtown, near the Carolina Coffee Shop—starting three hours before game time
Safety measures: CHT asks that passengers wear a mask while on the bus and respect the operator’s guidance for distancing, including while loading and unloading. Physical barriers, HEPA filtration and cleaning procedures remain in place. Also, the Town of Chapel Hill is improving the experience for users of all modes of transportation. This includes changes to traffic patterns and sharing travel spaces. Please be aware of new traffic patterns, bicycles and pedestrians while waiting for, loading and unloading the bus. Finally, CHT emphasizes bus-operator safety. They ask that if customers witness behavior that puts the safety of passengers or their operators at risk, please call 911. Assault on a bus operator is a crime, and everyone has the right to work in a safe environment.
Safe ride routes: CHT operates the Safe Ride Program while UNC is in session, which provides safe, student-centered transportation during the late weekend hours. Safe Ride routes will resume Thursday, August 18. You can find the route schedules at Safe Ride.
Student-operator job opportunity: CHT announces a new opportunity for students as part-time bus operators. The position is adapted to fit a student’s availability and strengths, including the same training requirements but with a modified schedule. Pay starts at $16/hour. Find more information and apply at Student Transit Operator.
Where to find information:
- Online at chtransit.org
- Follow on Facebook and Twitter
- Call CHT administration main desk at 919-969-4900, including for Lost and Found or EZ Rider program
- Use Google Maps, and select for Transit mode
- Call GoTriangle Regional Information Center at 919-485-7433
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ask your operator; they are happy to help.
Animal Services Joins Clear the Shelters “Adopt and Donate” Campaign
Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) has joined NBCUniversal Local’s 2022 Clear the Shelters™ pet adoption and donation campaign. This is the eighth consecutive year that NBC- and Telemundo-owned stations are partnering with affiliate stations and animal shelters and rescues to promote pet adoption and help raise funds to support animal welfare. Since its inception in 2015, Clear the Shelters has helped more than 700,000 pets find new homes.
This year’s Clear the Shelters will run for the entire month of August, and adoption fees will be reduced at OCAS during that time. For more information about available pets and reduced adoption fees during Clear the Shelters, visit www.orangecountync.gov/287/Available-Pets, or call 919-942-7387, option 3.
OCAS also encourages donations by asking that everyone check out the opportunities listed at www.orangecountync.gov/364/Donations. Donations always make a difference, but they are especially helpful during these challenging times. OCAS depends upon monetary and material donations to continue to care for the thousands of animals that come to the shelter each year.
For more information on Clear The Shelters, including participating shelters and rescues, along with details on local events and activities, visit ClearTheShelters.com and the Spanish-language website DesocuparlosAlbergues.com. Follow the effort on social media using #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues. For more information about OCAS, visit www.orangecountync.gov/animalservices.
Registration Open for Fall Basketball, Soccer, Flag Football
Orange County Recreation is now accepting registration for fall youth athletic leagues. Programs offered include:
Youth flag football—offers youth ages 5 to 11 the opportunity to learn football fundamentals in a fun and fast-paced but non-contact environment. Practices are one hour per week on a weekday evening (varies by team and division), and games are on Saturdays. More information at www.orangecountync.gov/529/Flag-Football. Register by Aug. 12.
Youth soccer—developmental league for boys and girls ages 4 to 14. Practices and games are one hour on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Soccer.com Center. More information at www.orangecountync.gov/546/Youth-Soccer-League—Fall. Register by Aug. 19.
Youth basketball—teen league for players ages 13 to 15. Teams will meet twice weekly on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. More information at www.orangecountync.gov/2934/Youth-Basketball-League—Fall-13-15-Div. Register by Aug. 12.
In-person registration is at the Bonnie B. Davis Environment and Agricultural Center, Suite 140, 1020 US 70 West, Hillsborough, during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.-4:30 p.m. For questions contact Orange County Recreation at 919-245-2660.
All youth recreation leagues rely on volunteer coaches to teach good sportsmanship and sport fundamentals, as well as organize practices, prepare for games and communicate effectively with players, parents and Recreation Division staff. If this sounds like you and you would like to give back and support youth sports in our community, contact Kevin Bradsher at email@example.com or 919-246-2672.
Town of Carrboro Receives National Award for Resident Satisfaction
The Town of Carrboro has been recognized with a national award for outstanding resident satisfaction.
The Town received the “Leading the Way Award” from ETC Institute to recognize local governments for outstanding achievement in the delivery of services to residents. According to the institute, recipients of the award rank in the top 10 percent of all local governments nationwide in three performance areas: quality of services, customer service and satisfaction with value residents receive for local taxes. A maximum of 100 points are awarded in each area, and a minimum composite score of 210 is required to rank in the top 10 percent. The surveys for this year’s awards were conducted between December 2021 and May 2022, and more than 200 communities participated.
Carrboro’s composite score was 238, which was 62 points above the average composite score of 176 for all cities in the United States. In addition to ranking in the top 10% overall, the Town of Carrboro also rated in the top 10% of all cities that participated in the following areas:
- Accessibility of streets, sidewalks and buildings for people with disabilities
- Mowing and tree trimming along streets and public areas
- Level of public involvement in local decision-making
- Efforts to promote diversity in the community
The statistically valid community survey, which was mailed to all households within Carrboro’s town limits in December 2021, asked residents about their level of satisfaction and priorities for a wide range of community services. The six-page survey was mailed to a random sample of 2,000 households. The goal to obtain completed surveys from at least 400 residents was surpassed when a total of 512 residents completed the survey. The survey is conducted every other year.
Learn more about the results of the Community Survey at https://www.carrboronc.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2109 https://www.carrboronc.gov/1096/Citizen-Survey-Reports. More details about the Leading the Way Award are available at www.etcinstitute.com.
Town of Carrboro Recent Appointments
The Town of Carrboro has established the chief race and equity officer as a fulltime position within the Town Manager’s Office and appointed Anita Jones-McNair to the position, Town Manager Richard J. White III has announced.
In assuming the race and equity work as a fulltime role, Jones-McNair will step aside from her role as director of the Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department.
Town Manager White has appointed Charles Harrington (currently, recreation administrator) as interim Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources director. The appointments are effective on Monday, Aug. 8.
Anita Jones-McNair, chief race and equity officer, has served as director of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources for the Town of Carrboro since January 2003. She was appointed the Town’s first race and equity officer in 2019 and has served in both roles since that time. She holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from Virginia Union University in Richmond and a master’s degree in recreation administration and supervision from Morgan State University in Baltimore.
Jones-McNair has held progressive opportunities throughout her career in Dallas; Plano, Texas; and Carrboro. She also has worked as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas at Denton.
She holds numerous certifications in diversity, equity and inclusion, including ones from the University of South Florida, the N.C. Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Learning Cohort and Foundations of Racial Equity Training Cohort. She is a certified parks and recreation professional through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). She also holds a certificate from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government’s Municipal and County Administration course.
Additionally, she is currently a member of GARE and GARE Racial Equity CEO’s Working Group, a staff liaison for Mayors Organized for Reparations and Equity, and serves on the OneOrange Racial Equity Team. She also serves on numerous boards, including the National Recreation and Parks Ethnic Minority Society, the N.C. Black Recreation and Park Professionals Association, and the N.C. Recreation and Parks Association Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Learn more about the Town of Carrboro’s ongoing work in race and equity at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2535/Race-and-Equity.
Charles Harrington, interim Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources director, has worked for the Town of Carrboro for more than 23 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science with a minor in recreation administration from UNC-Chapel Hill, a graduate certificate in public administration from the University of Virginia, and is a certified parks and recreation professional through the NRPA.
Harrington began his career with the Town of Carrboro working part-time as a facility/activity supervisor while a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has served in positions of athletics specialist, recreation supervisor, and recreation administrator. During his time as recreation administrator, he has led the department’s programs division, which is responsible for implementing recreational programs and special events, including Freight Train Blues and the July 4th celebration.
The Town of Carrboro will launch searches this summer for other new and open leadership positions, including an assistant town manager, public works director and fire chief recruitment processes.
Additionally, the Town of Carrboro will soon be releasing job announcements for assistant to the town manager and race and equity manager positions. Currently, new positions of grants manager and communication and engagement specialist are being advertised. Learn more about position openings at www.carrboronc.gov/jobs.
Learn more about the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department at https://www.carrboronc.gov/275/Recreation-Parks-Cultural-Resources.
James Cates Scholars Community Showcase
The public is invited to a showcase of the work of the James Cates Scholars from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, in Meeting Room B at Chapel Hill Public Library. The James Cates Scholars are a cohort of young people who center, explore and share marginalized black history in Chapel Hill. They worked on local civil rights history projects at Chapel Hill Public Library this summer, including collecting oral histories and making podcast episodes.
Family Fun Friday with Alina Celeste and Mi Amigo Hamlet
The Chapel Hill Public Library will host a Family Fun Friday event from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the front plaza, to celebrate the end of summer. It’s a party with music, food trucks and fun, and jamming out to a lively, bilingual, Latin duet from Alina Celeste and Mi Amigo Hamlet.
Maple View Farm ice cream and Mr. Mongolian food truck will be at the event. Final prizes for summer reading will be handed out. Lawn games, bubbles, chalk and other activities will be available. Please bring chairs and blankets to sit on.
August 3, 2022
“Racist Roots” Film Screening
The N.C. Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty will sponsor the premier showing of the film, “Racist Roots,” on Thursday, August 18, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at the Chelsea Theatre, 1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Suite AB, Chapel Hill. This date marks the actual anniversary of the last North Carolina execution 16 years ago.
This short film, created by the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, exposes the death penalty’s deep entanglement with slavery, lynching and racism. The film, and a panel discussion to follow, will highlight the diverse voices that are central to the movement to end North Carolina’s death penalty — and remind us why we must work together to ensure that state-sponsored executions are never again carried out in our name. There are currently 136 people sentenced to death in North Carolina.
Panelists include writer and researcher Seth Kotch, Ph.D, and Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate North Carolina. Both Kotch and Blagrove are featured in the film. The panel will be moderated by James Williams, retired chief public defender for Orange and Chatham counties. James also serves as the chair of the N.C. Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the criminal justice system and was recently recognized for his tireless racial equity work as this year’s winner of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Annie Brown Kennedy Award.
Co-sponsors include the Chapel Hill/Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Orange Co. Community Remembrance Coalition, along with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. This is a free event, but online registration is required and space is limited. An online livestream of the event will also be available. Per Chelsea Theater COVID policy, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within the past 48 hours will be required and masks will be optional.
Votes of 55,000 North Carolinians Unlocked
Effective, July 27, any individual on probation, parole or post-release supervision is immediately eligible to register and vote. Forward Justice (https://forwardjustice.org/campaign/unlock-our-vote-campaign/) kicked off the Unlock Our Vote Freedom Summer Tour on July 27 in Raleigh, with events across the state beginning July 30.
Community organizers will be hosting voter information and registration drives across the state for those directly impacted by this historic voting rights expansion. They will be sending text messages, making phone calls and hitting the pavement out in the community working to get as many newly eligible voters registered as they can, and they need support. Sign up to volunteer at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMO6CTCvGq_reBzvrtui1G7JO_wLbdE8uen0OaWxjGQw2J5Q/viewform.
With key issues like poverty, criminal justice reform, healthcare, reproductive rights and voting rights on the ballot, now is the time for as many people as possible to use their vote to make their voice heard. See unlockourvotenc.org for information on how to register, important election dates and deadlines, and upcoming voter registration drives in your community.
August 1, 2022
Police Plan Enhanced Traffic-Safety Enforcement
The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian safety enforcement operations as students return to both UNC and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) in August.
Scheduled pedestrian safety enforcement operations are in addition to normal patrols. The operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:
- Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Saturday, August 20, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Tuesday, August 23, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Scheduled pedestrian safety enforcement in CHCCS school zones will be in effect August 29 (first day of school), 30 and 31, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dates and/or times are subject to change.
Aside from school zones, efforts will focus on other areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors).
The CHPD is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in August – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads:
- Tuesday, August 2, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Tuesday, August 9, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, August 23, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, August 30, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
*Dates and/or times are subject to change.
The Town will utilize its variable message sign boards throughout Town to alert people driving of the events as well as encouraging them to limit distractions and watch out for people walking and people riding their bikes.
Congressman Price Accepting Applications for Interns
Congressman David E. Price, Fourth District of N.C., is now accepting applications for interns in his Washington, D.C. office for the Fall 2022 semester. This is an opportunity for undergraduate students interested in learning about government or the legislative process in our nation’s capital. The application deadline for the fall 2022 internship program is Monday, August 19.
This program will allow undergraduate students to learn first-hand about the workings of the House of Representatives and constituent services. Interns will have the opportunity to experience the legislative process, develop research skills, interact with constituents and assist with administrative responsibilities.
Interested individuals can find the internship program description, eligibility requirements and an application form at: https://priceforms.house.gov/constituent-services/internships.htm?utm_campaign=1055-418. Click here to download a PDF of the internship program description.
For questions, contact Sarah Aldridge, operations manager and legislative aide, at NC04Intern@mail.house.gov or by calling 202-225-1784.
July 30, 2022
Andrew Aydin In Conversation with Natalie Murdock
Andrew Aydin, National Book Award winner, recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors, and New York Times #1 Bestselling co-author of the “Run” and “March” series, is holding a conversation and book signing at Epilogue Books, 109 E. Franklin St., Suite 100, Chapel Hill, on Thursday, August 4, 2-4 p.m. The presentation is free.
Andrew, who worked with John Lewis to publish the series of graphic novels covering the late congressman’s story and the civil rights movement, will be holding a lively discussion about the books, the legacy of John Lewis and the lessons from our history, moderated by North Carolina State Senator Natalie Murdock.
BARS/Raise the Bar Training
Being a Responsible Server (BARS) class teaches restaurant and bar servers how to properly identify fake IDs and check for signs of intoxication. Training is offered the 2nd Monday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Courthouse, 179 E. Franklin St. The first 100 voluntary attendees can earn $30 by completing the class.
Raise the Bar teaches bar staff how to identify, prevent and intervene in instances of sexual harassment, violence or drug-facilitated sexual assault. The goal of this training is to make bars in Chapel Hill and Carrboro as safe as possible for all bar and restaurant patrons and employees. This course is recommended for anyone who works in a restaurant or retail establishment that sells or serves alcohol.
Twilight on the Terrace
Ackland Art Museum, 101 S. Columbia St., Chapel Hill, will host art-inspired crafts and local craft beer at this August’s Twilight on the Terrace on Friday, Aug. 12, from 5 to 9 p.m.
- Enjoy craft beer and art-inspired crafts, then pick up a paintbrush and experiment with watercolor on the Ackland’s Terrace while enjoying a local beer and snacks from Craftboro Share and tag your photos with #acklandpARC for a chance to take home your own watercolor kit (while supplies last).
- Join the Ackland and the Downtown Chapel Hill Partnership for a meet-and-greet for artists and downtown businesses. Artists can learn how to connect with downtown businesses, including restaurants, cafes, bookstores, hotels and more, to showcase their work. Business leaders can find an artist to partner with their businesses for 2nd Fridays.
- Galleries are open until 9 p.m., with free admission. On view will be Houseguests: American Art from the Art Bridges Collection Loan Partnership, with stunning works visiting the Ackland from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Orange County Public Library Now Open on Sundays
Effective Sunday, July 31, the main location of the Orange County Public Library in downtown Hillsborough will be open every Sunday, noon-6 p.m.
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved restoring Sunday hours when it approved the county’s budget in June.
The Orange County Public Library has two locations, the main library, at 137 W. Margaret Lane in downtown Hillsborough, and the Cybrary, at 100 N. Greensboro St. in downtown Carrboro. For more information, visit https://www.orangecountync.gov/156/Library, call 919-245-2525, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commissioner Greene Receives National Honor
The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ committee of county leaders on national opioid settlement funds won a 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Award.
Orange County Commissioner Sally Greene served on the 5-5-5 Committee, a specially appointed opioid settlement working group created to develop a statewide plan to effectively use funds coming to North Carolina from national opioid settlements. The 5-5-5 Committee consists of five county commissioners, five county managers, and five county attorneys from across the state and was recognized in the health category.
July 28, 2022
National Night Out in Chapel Hill
The Town of Chapel Hill invites you and your neighbors to join representatives of town government, including police, fire, housing and community departments, as well as churches and community organizations for free food, games, music and family fun on National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2.
National Night Out is a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and stronger community safety across the country. The effort culminates annually on the first Tuesday each August.
This year the Town is hosting block parties in four neighborhoods:
- Hargraves Center, 216 N. Roberson St., 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Oakwood, 605 Oak Ave., 4m. – 6:30 p.m.
- South Estes Drive (Ridgefield), S. Estes Drive at Fordham Boulevard, 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
- Bright Sun Place, Bright Sun Place & New Stateside Drive, 4 p.m. -6:30 p.m.
The Town also invites you to host an event in your own neighborhood to get out and get to know your immediate neighbors.
View and share the National Night Out flyer in five languages.
Chapel Hill Rolls Out New Art Bus and Bus Shelter Installations
Chapel Hill’s Art + Transit program unveils nine new bus shelter installations and a new art bus that celebrates LGBTQIA+ Pride. Led by Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Transit, Art + Transit aims to bring more vibrancy to the daily commute by annually commissioning area artists to create art for transit infrastructure, like bus stops and buses. In Chapel Hill and Carrboro, more than 30 bus shelters and three buses are now adorned with art that celebrate the people, the places and the environment of the area.
The new installations include:
“Can’t Stop Pride”
To celebrate Pride Month, the Art + Transit program staff worked with the Town of Chapel Hill’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group to commission a local artist to design a bus wrap that celebrates equality and increases visibility about Pride. Staff selected Durham artist Wutang McDougal’s concept for its inclusive design and nontraditional color palette.
One of the nine artistic bus shelters installed also celebrates Pride. It uses a color palette inspired by the Progressive Pride flag and an art concept based on intersectionality. Located at Carolina Apartments, Jane Cheek’s We Knew Intersectionality Was the Forward is whimsical and celebratory with overlapping colorful circles, blended colors, and gold outlines.
“Home is Where the Hill Is”
Some of the newly added artistic bus shelters include messages that celebrate community, like Mayanthi Jayawardena’s Home Is Where The Hill Is and Sara Roberts’ Blooms Over Chapel Hill, where historical photos of local buildings are incorporated into the design. Antonio Alanis’ Sun, located at South Columbia Street and Mason Farm Road, uses a bold Latin-American-inspired graphic to inspire happiness, warmth, and optimism.
Other new shelters encourage exploration, like Sally Gregoire’s Barning Around in North Carolina, while others invite imagination, like Jesse White’s Hidden Worlds. White’s piece, located at the intersection of Manning and Hibbard Drive, includes a short storybook narrative that hopes to pull transit users from their daily routine into an immersive experience.
“Growth of Life”
East Chapel Hill High School (ECHHS) students will now be greeted with art at their local bus stop, thanks to the ECHHS Art Appreciation Club. After learning of the Art + Transit program, students from the club collaborated to design Growth Of Life, depicting the resilience of a tree even in some of the most unforgiving environments.
Other new shelters also honor the local environment: Unity Flight by Loren Pease illustrates large butterflies to represent today’s youth coming together to help the environment heal, and Carolina Flora by Taylor Bragg includes artistic renderings of natural flora in North Carolina’s ecosystem.
“Look Up and Beyond”
For more art, bus users are reminded to look up while riding. Last year, artistic vinyls from Luis Franco and Victoria Primicias were installed on the ceilings of several buses, and more will be added this fall.
As the Art + Transit program continues to grow, local artists can expect to see calls opening this fall and winter for future installations.
Accidental Alarm Program
To improve public safety and wisely manage Town safety resources, the Accidental Alarm Program and its associated ordinance set civil penalties for excessive accidental alarms (four or more within a permit year) and failure to obtain permits. Registering your alarms is free.
An accidental alarm is any signal that solicits a response from Police or Fire departments to which the responding units find no evidence of fire or products of combustion or medical emergency or no evidence of unauthorized intrusion, robbery or other such crime in or on premises. Malfunctioning equipment, human error or environmental concerns can cause accidental alarm activations.
When the program was implemented, public safety leaders looked at how limited resources were being used. Many hours were being spent investigating alarm reports that turned out to be accidental.
Accidental alarms that occur at locations that have failed to register will result in a $100 fine.
Accidental alarm activations within a 365-day period will result in the following fines:
Alarms 4 & 5—$100 each
Alarms 6 & 7—$200 each
Alarms 8 & 9—$300 each
Alarms 10+—$500 each
If you have additional questions or comments, e-mail email@example.com or call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760.
If you have questions about the registration process or appeals, call 1-855-725-7107 to reach Cry Wolf, the third-party vendor that handles this process.
July 23, 2022
Orange County Names Sapienza as Library Director
Erin Sapienza has been named Orange County Library director, having served as interim director since last October. She started with Orange County Public Library in June 2013. In October 2015 she was promoted to community services librarian and in March 2020 was named assistant library director.
Sapienza has more than nine years of library experience with Orange County and began her career there as a branch manager. She managed the budget, hired and supervised staff and worked with local community leaders to develop programming in both branches.
While serving as assistant library director, she organized a strategic planning team that engaged with community partners and residents to solicit feedback on how the library could improve services. This effort led to a recommendation to eliminate fines for overdue materials, which the Board of County Commissioners approved in November 2021.
After earning her master’s of library science in 2010 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Sapienza worked as a librarian for Durham Tech, the Living Arts Institute in Winston-Salem and Alamance County before coming to Orange County.
Town of Carrboro Seeking Applicants for Poet Laureate Position
The Arts Committee of the Town of Carrboro is seeking applications for the position of poet laureate of Carrboro, for a two-year term that will begin January 1, 2023, and expire December 31, 2024.
Established in 2002, the central duty of the poet laureate is to engage in activities that enhance the presence of poetry in the social and civic life of Carrboro. These activities include, but are not limited to, working with the Town of Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Dept. staff for the planning of and participation in the West End Poetry Festival (held annually in October), Carrboro Day, outreach to local schools and weekly readings at Carrboro Town Council meetings (view past weekly readings at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2593/Poetry-Readings-During-Town-Council-Meet). The poet laureate will work in conjunction with the Carrboro Poets Council (a subcommittee of the Arts Committee). Residency in Carrboro is preferable, but not required. The poet laureate receives an annual honorarium in the amount of $2,500.
Carrboro Poet Laureate Fred Joiner will continue to serve in the role through Dec. 31, 2022.
Suspect Sought in Shooting
The Carrboro Police Department responded to a shooting near the intersection of Jones Ferry Road and Davie Road on Monday, July 18, at 6:53 pm.
Investigation revealed that two people were engaged in an argument that escalated when shots were fired from one vehicle into another vehicle. The suspect vehicle then left the scene. No injuries were reported.
It is not believed that there is an ongoing threat to the community. No additional information is being released at this time, as the investigation is open and active.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Investigator Armstrong at 919-918-7417 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.
NAACP Political Action Committee Needs Help
Midterm elections are coming up fast, and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People needs help with critically important voter education and registration efforts. The current committee chair is staying on through the midterms before stepping down but needs more support. Committee meeting attendance has waned, and branch members need to get active. If you think you’d like to get involved with the political action committee or get-out-the-vote efforts, fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYzFwnivistGmeCQzdbaMFexYlx-Um00fPTpwGToq6j1cLuA/viewform.
Town of Chapel Hill Seeking Community Feedback
The Town of Chapel Hill has partnered with FlashVote to capture community feedback. Questions will cover a variety of topics with the goal of helping serve the community better.
Each survey the Town conducts through FlashVote will take a minute or less to complete, and they don’t anticipate sending more than one survey per month. You can select how you’d like to receive notification of the survey—by email, text message, or voice. FlashVote makes sure your responses are anonymous and shares the final results of the survey with you within 48 hours of the survey being published.
FlashVote has many safeguards in place to protect your information when you sign up. FlashVote will not share your personal information with anyone.
Resurfacing Project Underway in Carrboro and Chapel Hill
N.C. Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) resurfacing project for E. Main Street and a portion of Rosemary Street in Carrboro and W. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is underway to improve the road condition and safety through the corridor.
Coming soon, portions of the road will have a new traffic pattern, where two lanes become one lane with new bike lanes and turn lanes for vehicles. Initially, the contractor is painting temporary markings as they pave the corridor. Permanent markings will be done after the paving is complete. NCDOT has changed the message boards to advertise “New Traffic Pattern” since the two-lane sections will be narrowing to one lane as work progresses.
The Carrboro portion of the project on E. Main Street extends from Jones Ferry Road to the Carrboro-Chapel Hill town limits at Merritt Mill Road and Rosemary Street. Project contractor Carolina Sunrock has begun the paving starting at the project’s western Carrboro end (Jones Ferry intersection). They will pave the outside (right lane) eastbound lane from one end of the project to the other (Columbia Street), then turn around and pave the westbound outside lane back to the Carrboro end. The Rosemary Street portion of the project within Carrboro has been completed. The remaining work will take a few weeks.
To limit disturbance on local businesses and traffic, work is underway at night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday. No work will occur after 6 a.m. Friday or any time on Saturday.
Traffic and signal patterns will change in some areas. Sidewalks should remain open.
The NCDOT contact is John Howell, at 336-570-6830.
The restriping plan includes:
- Bicycle lanes.
- Bicycle boxes, which create a clear space for people riding bicycles to make a left turn and to wait out in front of vehicles during a red signal before turning.
- Intersection bike markings, which create a clear demarcation of the conflict areas between people on bicycles and vehicles within intersections.
- Center turn lanes, which will provide storage for vehicles turning left at signals or into driveways to reduce the risk of crashes, improve traffic flow and improve access for left-turning vehicles.
Orange County Rejoins RTRP
The County Commissioners of Orange County have agreed to once again become a member of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP), growing the organization to 13 member counties and the Research Triangle Foundation. The RTRP will work closely with Orange County’s economic development team to grow the county’s brand and attract new investments.
As the primary organization focused on marketing the Research Triangle region of North Carolina nationally and internationally, expanding its geographic footprint to include Orange County helps the RTRP attract more diverse and unique companies with a wide range of relocation or expansion needs.
The 13-county region comprises the Research Triangle and three Tier 1 research universities—Duke University, North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Releases Fall RECREATE Guide
Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation has released the fall RECREATE Guide, a favorite publication among residents. Patrons may download their own copy of RECREATE, as well as browse all recreation programs and register online. Registration for fall recreation activities begins Tuesday, August 2, for residents and Thursday, August 4, for non-residents. Printed copies of the guide may be picked up after July 25 at any of their recreation centers and the Chapel Hill Public Library.
Featured activities this fall include a mix of outdoor events like the Campfire and a Movie series and Skate Night Spooktacular, a number of new teen programs and a Teen Paint Ball Trip, as well as youth and adult athletic leagues for all ages, abilities and skill levels.
Also, the Friends of Chapel Hill Parks, Recreation and Greenways has a new website and brand that’s just been rolled out. You can consider how you may get involved at www.friendsofchapelhillparks.org. The Friends are a voice for the value of parks and recreation in the community. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life for all who work, live and play in Chapel Hill.
There continue to be a number of new job openings with parks and recreation, such as lifeguards, adventure specialists, recreation center aide, adapted recreation specialist and aquatic instructors. You can apply online at www.townofchapelhill.org/jobs.
For more information about Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation see www.chapelhillparks.org.
OWASA Board Votes to Eliminate Account Delinquency Fee
The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) Board of Directors voted unanimously on July 14, 2022, to eliminate the account delinquency fee that has historically been charged to customers to reconnect their water service after it was disconnected due to non-payment. The change in OWASA policy is effective immediately.
The account delinquency fee was $45 and charged as a way to recover some of the costs for OWASA to disconnect and reconnect customers who had two consecutive unpaid bills. The removal of this fee furthers OWASA’s priority on service equity of essential services for all customers.
All Board members present at the meeting were supportive of the proposal.
Between July 2016 and June 2019, OWASA collected an annual average of $33,615 through this fee. It’s anticipated this amount can be covered through the annual budgeting process without a direct need for a rate increase for all customers.
More information on the change can be found here.
For more information, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, 919-537-4236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.C. Agriculture Cost-share Funds Available Soon
The Orange Soil and Water Conservation District receives cost-share allocation from the state each year for non-point source pollution control from agriculture activities. These funds assist farmers in implementing best management practices (BMPs) to decrease the amount of sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, animal waste, chemicals and other pollutants entering surface and ground waters.
Landowners and operators may apply for technical and cost-share assistance to install BMPs such as animal waste storage facilities, mortality management systems, wells and watering troughs in conjunction with livestock exclusion fencing from streams, heavy use areas, animal trails and stream crossings, closure of waste impoundments, cropland conversions, sod-based rotations, grassed waterways, field borders and diversions.
For a complete list of BMPs available and other cost-share programs to improve water
quality and enhance agriculture operations, go to Orange County Soil and Water Conservation’s website at www.orangecountync.gov/soilwater (see Financial Assistance).
An initial sign up will be held through Aug. 19 for landowners and operators requesting technical and cost-share assistance on practices. Technical assistance will be provided throughout the year and cost-share assistance for as long as funding is available.
To apply for cost-share assistance and other agricultural funding programs, contact Kenny Ray, Todd Roberts or Jessica Perrin at 919-245-2750.
July 14, 2022
Carrboro Seeks Volunteers to Remove Invasive Plants
Carrboro is seeking volunteers for the Town’s invasive-plant removal event to take place from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, July 24, at Wilson Park, 101 Williams St.
The goal is to fight invasive plants, save trees and native-plant communities and restore habitat. The spread of non-native and invasive plants is a threat to native plants and wildlife. The removal of these species will improve forest resilience and biodiversity and encourage the success of native species, as outlined in the Town’s Community Climate Action Plan.
The work will involve moderate exertion, including cutting, pulling vines/roots. Please wear long sleeves, long pants, and close-toed shoes. Bring water and apply sunscreen/insect repellant as needed. Water, tools, gloves and protective eye gear will be provided, but please bring your own if possible.
Contact Town of Carrboro Sustainability Coordinator Laura Janway to sign up as a volunteer, by phone (919-918-7324) or email (email@example.com).
Call for applicants — Orange County Volunteer Boards and Commissions:
One way residents can have a positive impact on the future of Orange County is to serve on a volunteer board or commission, and right now there are several opportunities for such service.
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is currently recruiting applicants for the following boards and commissions:
Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee (five at-large vacancies) – Works to maintain the intent of the Adult Care Home Residents’ Bill of Rights for those residing in licensed adult-care homes and promote community involvement and cooperation with these homes to ensure quality care for the elderly and disabled adults. Has an initial training period before recommendation for appointment by the BOCC. Typically meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 4:00 p.m.
Advisory Board on Aging (one at-large vacancy) – Suggests policy and makes recommendations to the BOCC and the Dept. on Aging while acting as the liaison between the older residents of the County and the County government; promotes needed services, programs and funding that impact older persons. Meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 1:00 p.m.
Affordable Housing Advisory Board (five at-large vacancies) – Prioritizes affordable housing needs and assesses project proposals; publicizes the County’s housing objectives; monitors the progress of local housing programs; explores new funding opportunities; and works to increase the community’s awareness of, understanding of, commitment to and involvement in producing attractive affordable housing. Typically meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
Agricultural Preservation Board (one vacancy for a representative of the Cedar Grove Voluntary Agricultural District, one vacancy for the New Hope/Hillsborough Voluntary Agricultural District, and one at-large vacancy) – Promotes the economic and cultural importance of agriculture in the County and encourages voluntary preservation and protection of farmland for future production. Typically meets on the third Wednesday of every other month at 7:30 p.m.
Animal Services Advisory Board (one vacancy for an individual who resides within the town limits of Chapel Hill; one vacancy for an individual who resides within the town limits of Carrboro; one vacancy for an individual representing a for-profit business, located in Orange County, focused on companion or recreational animal welfare [e.g., pet-supply stores, kennels, grooming salons, dog-walking businesses]; one vacancy for a County resident whose experience demonstrates a commitment to education around animal issues, legislative advocacy and/or animal welfare [e.g., rescue work, support for residents with animals, efforts to work with free-roaming cats, volunteering at animal shelters]; and one at-large vacancy) – Advises the BOCC on matters of concern regarding animal issues and animal services in Orange County; works with the animal services director to ensure quality animal services and maintains contact with the stakeholder groups from which its members are appointed; provides a venue in which stakeholder concerns about animals, animal policies and issues, and animal services programming may be voiced, considered and referred as appropriate. Typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
Animal Services Hearing Panel Pool (one vacancy for a resident who resides within the unincorporated area of the County and one vacancy for a resident who resides within the Town of Chapel Hill) – Hears appeals concerning violations of the Orange County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 4 (“Animal Control Ordinance”), as provided in the Orange County Code of Ordinances, Section 4-53 Appeals, and potentially dangerous-dog appeals as prescribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. §67-4.1(c); conducts fair and impartial hearings for these appeals. Will receive training in both law and proper procedure before participating in a hearing. Convene on an as-needed basis for hearings.
Board of Equalization and Review (five alternate vacancies) – Hears appeals from residents concerning various property-tax issues, including valuation and exemption appeals; ensures that all taxable property is appraised and assessed according to the standards required by the N.C. General Statutes. Meets up to three days per week, for approximately three to four hours per meeting, for up to three consecutive months (typically April-June); additional meetings as needed during the year. Members compensated for all meetings attended. Orange County residents with knowledge of real estate are specifically encouraged to apply; however, others will also be given consideration.
Commission for the Environment (one at-large vacancy, one vacancy for an applicant with expertise in air quality, and one vacancy for an applicant with expertise in engineering) – Advises the BOCC commissioners on matters affecting the environment, with particular emphasis on protection; educates public and local officials on environmental issues; performs special studies and projects; recommends environmental initiatives; studies changes in environmental science and local and federal regulations. Typically meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
Historic Preservation Commission (two at-large vacancies) – Charged with undertaking an inventory of properties of historical, prehistorical, architectural and/or cultural significance; recommends areas to be designated or removed as “historic districts”; reviews and acts upon proposals for alterations, demolition, new construction, etc. Typically meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
Human Relations Commission (three at-large vacancies and one vacancy for a person residing in the Town of Chapel Hill) – Advises the BOCC on solutions to problems in the field of human relationships; makes recommendations designed to promote goodwill and harmony among groups in the County, irrespective of their race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, affectional preference, disability, age, marital status or status with regard to public assistance. Typically meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee (five at-large vacancies) – Helps maintain the intent of the Residents’ Bill of Rights, promotes community involvement and provides public education on long-term-care issues. Has an initial training period before recommendation for appointment by the Orange County BOCC. Typically meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
Orange County Board of Adjustment (one at-large vacancy) – Hears and decides all appeals from and reviews any decisions made by the zoning officer, as well as matters required to pass by the zoning ordinance; hears and makes decisions upon applications for special uses that require the BOCC’s approval. Typically meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
Orange County Housing Authority Board (two at-large vacancies) – Provides decent, safe and sanitary housing for low- and moderate-income families in Orange County. Applicants with experience and/or interest in real estate, development, affordable housing, municipal law or banking, as well as Housing Choice Voucher program participants, are encouraged to apply. Typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
Orange County Parks and Recreation Council (one vacancy for a resident who resides within the Chapel Hill Township) – Consults with and advises the departments of Environment, Agriculture, and Parks and Recreation, and the BOCC on matters affecting parks planning, development and operation; recreation facilities, policies and programs; and public trails and open space. Typically meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
Orange Unified Transportation Board (one vacancy for a resident of Little River Township, one vacancy for a resident of Cedar Grove Township, and one at-large vacancy) – Advises the BOCC and provides information and comments on major transportation issues; provides the BOCC with recommendations regarding the overall planning and programming of transportation improvements in the County, including identification and prioritization of the County’s roadway and transit needs, along with associated costs and specific sources of funding; provides recommendations to the BOCC regarding federal and state legislation affecting transportation in Orange County; and explores and suggests recommendations on innovative techniques and methods to improve the efficiency and capacity of existing and future transportation systems. Typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
If interested in any of these positions, apply at www.orangecountync.gov/Apply.
Orange County strives for authentically diverse representation on volunteer boards and commissions. Residents of all demographic backgrounds, identities and perspectives are encouraged to apply. Applicants must reside in Orange County. Volunteers appointed by the BOCC have the opportunity to directly influence the County’s decisions, policies and priorities.
For additional information, contact Tara May at 919-245-2125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 11, 2022
Tips from Carrboro Stormwater: Disconnecting Roof Downspouts
Downspouts from your gutters may be directed to driveways or channeled through buried pipes to streets, swales, curb inlets or streams. Downspouts contribute to the heavy inflow of rainwater into the stormwater sewer system and, eventually, to nearby streams.
By disconnecting your downspout and redirecting the runoff onto grass or into a landscaped area or your yard, you can interrupt that flow. It is a simple, effective way to reduce stormwater runoff volume -and water pollution. According to research from N.C. State University, you can reduce the runoff volume from your roof anywhere from 50 to 90%.
For information on properly disconnecting your roof downspouts visit the Carrboro’s Homeowner’s Watershed and Stormwater Handbook or request a site visit from Stormwater staff for technical advice via the Stormwater Service Request Form or by email (Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov) or call the hotline at 919-913-2999.
July 9, 2022
Registration for Preschool Academy, After School Program Opens July 15
Preschool Academy offers in-person, classroom curriculum-based learning, using age-appropriate activities to students ages 3-5 years old in numbers, letters, colors, rhythm and science. Based on the weekly theme, students will partake in a wide variety of activities each day. The program includes academic enrichment and socialization opportunities. A snack is provided.
See https://www.orangecountync.gov/2764/Preschool-Academy to learn more.
Orange County Recreation Division also offers an after-school program that provides enrichment learning, including physical activity and fitness, homework assistance, STEAM-based activities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, music and much more. Transportation is provided from Central, Pathways, and River Park elementary schools.
Priority registration is given to returning students. For August/September enrollment, open spaces will be filled first-come, first-served, beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 15.
See https://www.orangecountync.gov/2165/After-School for more information.
Orange County Receives Fourth Positive Rabies Test of 2022
Orange County Animal Services has received its fourth positive rabies test result of the year, according to the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health. This incident involved a skunk and occurred in Hillsborough. For more information about rabies in Orange County and other areas in North Carolina, see The N.C. Dept. of Health & Human Services.
This case originated on Wednesday, June 29, when a Hillsborough resident discovered a skunk in an area with her livestock. Animal Control was contacted, and they removed the skunk for rabies testing.
The resident’s dog and livestock had exposure to the skunk. A veterinarian from the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services will evaluate the livestock. When there is “a reasonable suspicion of exposure,” a dog, cat, or ferret with a valid vaccination history must receive a booster shot within 96 hours (four days). By contrast, an unvaccinated cat or dog must either be euthanized or quarantined for a period up to four months (or six months for a ferret).
Please make sure your pets are current on their rabies vaccinations. It is important for the health of your family and your pets. Rabies is a fatal viral infection. Your veterinarian is the best source of information on vaccinations for your pet.
In North Carolina and other areas, rabies is commonly found in raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs and beavers. A host species of rabies in our own region and others is the bat. Of the few cases of rabies in humans in our country in recent years, most have been traced to bats. If there is any possibility of exposure from a bat, it is critical that citizens immediately contact their animal control program. If an incident involving a bat – or other rabies vector, such as a raccoon or skunk – should occur outside regular hours of service, an Animal Control officer can be reached right away through emergency communications (9-1-1).
For more information, see the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention. You can also visit http://www.orangecountync.gov/307/Rabies.
Fire Damages Carrboro Townhomes
On Thursday, July 7, at 5 p.m., members of the Carrboro Fire Rescue Department responded to 101 Rock Haven Road for a reported structure fire.
Responding crews arrived in just over five minutes and found a six-unit townhome complex with smoke visible from one unit. Fire crews immediately initiated a fire attack in the affected unit and assisted occupants from an adjacent unit. The fire was brought under control in approximately 15 minutes. Fire damage was contained to the second floor and attic of one unit. There was minor smoke and water damage to an adjacent unit. Initial damage estimates are approximately $50,000. Two residents were displaced, and the American Red Cross is assisting with temporary housing and other needs of the displaced residents.
There was one minor injury to a resident, and the injured person was transported to the hospital by Orange County Emergency Medical Services. One unit in the complex was deemed uninhabitable.
The cause of the fire was determined to be improper disposal of smoking materials.
Carrboro Fire Rescue received assistance from the Chapel Hill Fire Department, Orange County Emergency Medical Services and the Carrboro Police Department. Additional Carrboro Fire Rescue personnel provided coverage to the Town of Carrboro for the duration of the fire.
Residential Parking Permits
The Town of Chapel Hill manages a residential parking permit program in neighborhoods that see high levels of transient parking, especially those around the University of North Carolina, to ensure that residents have safe and accessible neighborhoods. The program allows qualifying residents who live within the parking zone to obtain a permit to park during the posted time limits. For a list of zones, see Residential Parking Zones FY 22-23.
Apply online for permits at https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/fd013270452a4d9da1f47d67f866c921. All permits will be processed as they are received. The timestamp on the online application is your “place in line” for your address. Guest permits are $25 unless otherwise stated.
You will be notified of the decision for your application once your documents are reviewed. During the processing period, your pending application will serve as a temporary permit. For administrative reasons, you may receive a bill for your permits at a later date via U.S. Mail. Please ensure your address and billing information are accurate.
If you are unable to apply online or have questions, please email email@example.com.
Residential parking permits will be fully digitized for the 2022-23 permit year, when your license plate information will be used to validate your parking.
Click here to apply for permits for the remainder of 2022 permit year.
Movies Under the Stars
The Forest Theatre will present five nights of family-friendly films Thursdays from July 21 through August 18. The show will start at sundown. Movies to be shown are:
- July 21: Soul
- July 28: Encanto
- August 4: Annie (2014)
- August 11: Inside Out
- August 18: High School Musical
These screenings are made possible thanks to Community Arts & Culture, UNC’s Arts Everywhere and Chapel Hill Public Library.
Local Artists Sought
Community Arts & Culture is accepting applications for several local-artist calls:
- Festifall custom poster design – Graphic designer; $500 award
- Festifall art vendor – Artisans and makers; $25 application fee
- Booker Creek pipe murals – Muralist; $4,700 stipend
- Banned Books Week art – Artists of all kinds; $100 award
Go to https://www.chapelhillarts.org/applications/ to learn more and apply.
July 7, 2022
New OCLW Certifications, OCLW Turns Seven
The following local employers have joined the roster of Orange County Living Wage, voluntarily paying their full- and part-time employees a living wage of $15.85/hour:
- Belltree Cocktail Club
- Carrboro Farmers’ Market
- Clarion Associates
- Efland Trash Service
- Humane Homes NC
- My Muses Card Shop
- SECU Family House
- The Morningside School
- Yep Roc Records
In addition to these new certifications, many employers have recertified, including the Town of Chapel Hill and Durham Technical Community College (Hillsborough Campus), which means they’ve committed to paying a living wage for at least four years. For a directory of all Orange County Living Wage (OCLW) employers, see https://orangecountylivingwage.org/directory/.
Seven years ago, on July 1, 2015, OCLW certified their first living wage employer, Marcoplos Construction. Since then, they have certified 314 more employers. They are one of only four living wage certifying organizations in North Carolina (with the others being Durham Living Wage Project, Asset Building Coalition in Forsyth County, and Just Economics in the western part of the state.)
The last time the federal minimum wage increased was in 2009, when it went from $6.55 per hour to $7.25. Orange County Living Wage has calculated that the living wage in Orange County in 2022 is $15.85 per hour, or $14.35 per hour if the employer pays at least half the cost of health insurance.
Special Olympics Orange County Athletes Participate in the USA Games in Orlando, Florida
Special Olympics Orange County (SOOC) was represented by two track and field athletes and the UNC Unified Basketball team for Team Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) delegation who traveled to Orlando, Florida, to compete at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games hosted June 5-12.
The Team SONC delegation returned home on Sunday, June 12, with 26 gold medals, 28 silver medals, 23 bronze medals, 12 fourth-place ribbons, eight fifth-place ribbons, two sixth-place ribbons, five seventh-place ribbons, two eighth-place ribbons, and one participation ribbon.
Of the medalists, the UNC Unified basketball team, comprising UNC students and local SOOC athletes, went undefeated during the USA Games, winning the gold against Team Florida in the finals.
Unified basketball team members included SOOC athletes Kwame Alston, Clyde Gattis, Man Jackson and Kevin Thomas, and UNC Unified Partners included Katie Baich, Max Conolly, David Klein, Jonah Koenig and Brenna Mehl. Athlete Walter Hampton was not able to attend the games, but he was awarded his gold medal by his UNC teammates when they returned. Coaches included Jonathan Wilson (head coach), Pat Barnes and Kent Thomas.
Other SOOC athletes who participated included Hunter Stanford (gold medal in the 400-meter dash, 4th in 100-meter dash, 5th in 200-meter dash) and Preston Uhlenberg (participation ribbon in 100-meter dash, 7th in 200-meter dash, 4th in 4×100-meter relay dash). ESPN highlighted Preston during the opening ceremonies.
At SOOC, more than 275 athletes train year-round in 12 different sports and compete in local and state-level events. Special Olympics Orange County partners with the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Dept., which employs a full-time Special Olympics coordinator and provides facilities and equipment to support Special Olympics programming.
For more info about SOOC and the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department, see townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/parks-and-recreation/recreation/special-olympics.
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games united more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean during one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The Games offered 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports. For more than 50 years, Special Olympics has been empowering athletes and encouraging a more inclusive world for those with intellectual disabilities and beyond.
Tomato Day is Coming to Carrboro
The Carrboro Farmers’ Market (CFM) celebrates all things tomato with Tomato Day on Saturday, July 9. Shoppers can enjoy freshly-sliced tomato samples, live music, recipes, a raffle with prizes from Carrboro businesses and more.
From old favorites like Sun Gold, Cherokee Purple, Brandywine and Big Beef to lesser-known varieties like Black Krim, Chef’s Choice, Mountain Magic, Super Sweet 100, and Tomimaru Mucho, CFM farmers grow over 70 different types of tomatoes. A brochure with all the tomato varieties at CFM as well as which farms grow them is available.
Starting at 8:30 a.m. on Tomato Day, shoppers can try different varieties of freshly-sliced tomatoes in the Market gazebo with a tomato “flight.” There will be additional samples of dishes as you walk around the market, as well as tomato recipes to inspire your summer cooking. Tomato farmers Alex and Betsy Hitt of Peregrine Farm will be there to answer all your tomato questions. Shoppers can also enjoy live music by C. Albert Blomquist.
Visit the Information Tent for limited-edition Tomato Day t-shirts and to enter a giant raffle with over 20 prizes and gift certificates from local Carrboro businesses and restaurants.
Volunteers Needed at Food Drive
The Town of Chapel Hill needs volunteers to help with food bank distributions every Wednesday. If you’re able to volunteer a few hours (up to four), sign up at https://bit.ly/3nHmQhi. The food bank distribution takes place at the Eubanks Park and Ride lot (https://goo.gl/maps/dFvYaVmVfoUR2Dwm6).
Community members in need of food assistance can view the weekly food-distribution schedule at https://bit.ly/3ONc84B.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Announces 75th Anniversary Events
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announces a series of events in October to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the branch’s founding.
The events include a community read-in (Oct. 8), walk/bike event (Oct. 15), founding day gathering (Oct. 23) and a celebratory 75th Diamond Anniversary Gala at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Sheraton Chapel Hill.
The gala – an occasion to celebrate the branch’s achievements, honor living past presidents and keep an eye toward the future of justice and equality – will be hosted by University of North Carolina basketball legend Phil Ford and feature entertainment by Liquid Pleasure, a Chapel Hill-based band that has been bringing audiences to their feet for more than 40 years.
On the branch’s anniversary website, www.naacp75.com, community members can learn more about the events, purchase gala tickets and explore sponsorship and advertising opportunities that directly support the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP’s mission of ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality rights of all people and eliminate race-based discrimination.
Through organized and accountable advocacy, the branch works to empower communities of color and other marginalized groups to transform Chapel Hill and Carrboro into racially just and equitable communities.
As of this date, major sponsors already include Carol Woods, UNC Health and Grubb Properties.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP first convened on Oct. 23, 1947, at what is now the Hargraves Center. Among the first officers elected by members was A.D. Clark, president and eventual namesake of the swimming pool at Hargraves; as well as a future town council member, Hubert Robinson; a beloved teacher, Ruth Pope; and a future small business owner, Lucy Edwards.
The early meetings of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP 75 years ago took place at a rotation of meaningful locations: the Community Center (now Hargraves), Saint Joseph CME Church, First Baptist Church (then Rock Hill Baptist) and Second Baptist Church.
Nineteen forty-seven was a time of tension and change in America, especially in the South. Chapel Hill was no different. Black American soldiers were coming back from fighting a war against oppression and genocide in Europe, where they personally experienced better treatment than they were used to, only to return to familiar racial tyranny here at home.
There have been advances and setbacks over the decades, and the branch will use its 75th anniversary events to both honor the work of the past and also focus on the opportunity to build a community where all can thrive.
July 1, 2022
Chapel Hill July Traffic-Safety Initiatives
The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is planning an enhanced number of pedestrian-safety enforcement operations in July, in addition to normal patrols. Scheduled special operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:
- Tuesday, July 5, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Friday, July 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Saturday, July 9, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 13, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Monday, July 18, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday, July 23, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Thursday, July 28, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Saturday, July 30, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
*Dates and times are subject to change.
Each effort will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive corridors). Everyone traveling is encouraged to remember that community safety, regardless of your mode of transportation, is a shared responsibility.
The CHPD is also planning at least four speed-enforcement operations in July – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads:
- Tuesday, July 5, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 12, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Tuesday, July 19, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Tuesday, July 26, 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
*Dates and times are subject to change
The Town will utilize its variable message sign boards throughout town to alert people driving of the events as well as encouraging them to limit distractions and watch out for people walking and people riding their bikes.
Update on the E. Main Street Resurfacing Project
The N.C. Dept. of Transportation (NCDOT) resurfacing project for E. Main Street and W. Franklin Street in Carrboro is underway; Carolina Sunrock is the project contractor.
The subcontractor Fulcher continues to cut traffic-signal sensor loops at intersections within the Carrboro limits of the project (E. Main Street from Jones Ferry Road to the Carrboro-Chapel Hill town limits at Merritt Mill Road and Rosemary Street).
To limit disturbance on local businesses and traffic, work will occur at night, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday. No work will occur after 6 a.m. Friday or any time on Saturday. All work will be performed with single-lane closures that will allow continued flow within multilane portions of the work zone and flagging operations through the two-lane portion.
Milling and resurfacing is anticipated to begin the week of July 5. The milling and resurfacing work will also take place at night.
Drivers should use caution and stay alert. Sidewalks should remain open.
Contact: John Howell at 336-570-6830 for more information.
Learn more about the project at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2368/East-Main-Street-Restriping.
OCBC Reauthorizes Longtime Homeowners Assistance Program for FY 23, Eases Eligibility Requirements
The Orange County Board of Commissioners has reauthorized the Longtime Homeowners Assistance Program, a 2021 pilot program that provided grants to homeowners for assistance in paying property taxes.
The program started as a way to help lower-income property owners whose property taxes increased because of the 2020 revaluation that saw values in some areas rise significantly. For FY 2021-22, the Board designated $250,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds, but the program received only 91 successful applications and awarded $16,364 of relief.
The revised program will be based on the homeowners’ income and age and will no longer be restricted to properties that saw a tax increase due to the revaluation. The board again designated $250,000 for the program in FY 2022-23 and directed staff to develop a policy that prioritizes applicants based on age, length of time lived in the home and the homeowner’s tax burden (percentage of annual income needed to pay property tax bill) should demand exceed available funds.
The board approved several changes to boost participation, including reducing the requirement to have owned and lived in the home from 10 years to 5 years. According to data compiled by the Orange County Tax Office and the Orange County Housing Department, this would potentially double the number of eligible properties.
June 29, 2022
CHT July 4, Shuttles to Town Celebration
Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) will not operate transit service Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. EZ Rider will also be closed.
Chapel Hill Transit will operate shuttle service to the Town’s July 4 fireworks at Southern Village. Shuttles will run from the Jackson Deck at UNC Hospitals starting at 6:30 p.m. The last shuttle will leave the parking deck at 8:15 p.m. No shuttles will run during the show.
Shuttles will run for 30 minutes following the end of the celebration. For more about the Town celebration, see https://www.chapelhillarts.org/calendar/fireworks/.
Vaccines for Children Ages 6 Months to Under 5 Years Available in Orange County
Children ages 6 months and older can now receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children who are eligible receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is available in Orange County following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) emergency use authorization and the CDC recommendation.
Children ages 6 months to younger than 5 get a smaller vaccine dose than any other age group. This vaccine dose differs from the vaccine that was previously authorized for children ages 5 to 11. Booster shots are currently not authorized for children in this age group.
As with all routine vaccinations for children, these vaccines were tested and reviewed by the FDA and the CDC and their independent scientific committees to ensure they are safe for children. Results from ongoing clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were safe and effective to protect children ages 6 months to under 5 years from COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for three doses, while the Moderna will initially begin as two. Moderna is currently testing their third dose, with data expected this summer.
There were no safety concerns or serious side effects noted in the clinical trials for either vaccine.
Children between the ages of 3 and 5 have the option of getting vaccinated at a pharmacy or grocery store in addition to a doctor’s office or local health center. Children under 3 years are not able to be vaccinated by a pharmacist. Parents and guardians of children who do not have an established medical provider can visit MySpot.nc.gov to search for a nearby vaccine provider. The N.C. COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center can also help you make an appointment by calling 888-675-4567. The help center is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends. You may also call the Orange County Health Department at 919-913-8088 to make an appointment or visit takemyshot.nc.gov. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They speak Spanish and other languages.
Children may be able to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and other routine shots they are due for at the same visit. This is also a good time for them to get a routine checkup.
Children may experience temporary and minimal side effects. These side effects are similar to adults – a sore arm, headache and being tired or achy for a day or two. According to the CDC, children under 5 had the highest rate of hospitalizations compared to other pediatric groups. COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalization, death, MIS-C (inflammation in different parts of the body) and long-term problems with symptoms that last for months. Vaccines will help reduce infections and transmission, bringing all North Carolinians closer to fewer family disruptions ahead of the summer months and school year.
Everyone ages 6 months and older can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, even if they don’t have health insurance and regardless of their immigration status. Parents and guardians with questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk with their child’s physician.
North Carolina’s actions are based on recommendations from the CDC. Read the CDC’s full statement at https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0618-children-vaccine.html.
Carrboro to Present Frederick Douglass Community Reading
The Town of Carrboro will hold its Ninth Annual Community Reading of the Frederick Douglass essay, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro,” on Monday, July 4.
The reading will occur from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. Introductory remarks will be provided by N.C. Central University professor Irving Joyner. From 1984 to 1992, Professor Joyner served as the associate dean of NCCU School of Law. He regularly teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, civil rights, and race and the law.
Frederick Douglass’ essay reflects a sobering point of view about what is commonly considered to be America’s Independence Day and is a part of the history of this country that should be recognized and remembered. The community is urged to attend and listen to the reading of this compelling work.
For more information, contact Mayor Damon Seils at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reading is one of the events included in the day-long Carrboro July 4 Celebration. Learn more at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/308/July-4th-Celebration.
Access the entire Douglass speech at https://masshumanities.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/speech_complete.pdf.
Orange County Approves Budget, Reaffirms Commitment to Public Education
On Tuesday, June 21, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners adopted the operating budget and capital investment plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget includes an increase in per pupil spending to $4,808 per student, funding for the expansion of Durham Tech on the Orange County campus, the return of Sunday hours at the main library, the creation of a mini-park in Perry Hills, and more.
Groundbreaking for New EMS Station
The public is invited to the groundbreaking for a new emergency management services (EMS) station in Efland on Thursday, July 14, at 3 p.m. This is the first stand-alone EMS station Orange County has built in many years and will help improve service in the western central part of the county.
Month-long Celebration Highlights Positive Impact of Parks and Recreation
This July, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will celebrate Park and Recreation Month, an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). A variety of activities are planned for residents of all ages and abilities, including:
- Parks and Recreation staff and volunteers will be featured on the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Facebook page throughout the month of July creating opportunities for inclusive recreational and cultural experiences and nurturing beautiful, sustainable spaces.
- A special story hour and book-signing event, “Home is Where Your Park Is,” by author Cameron Levis, will be held at Southern Community Park on Wednesday, July 6, at 11 a.m. See https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/parks-and-recreation/recreation-events/park-and-recreation-month to read Cameron’s story and his inspiration.
- A tourof Parks and Recreation facilities with members of the Town Council and Parks, Greenways, and Recreation Commission, will be held Sunday, July 17, at 1:30 p.m. The tour will depart from Homestead Park at 1:30 p.m. aboard a Chapel Hill Transit Bus. Please RSVP.
- Share social media with the hashtag #RiseUpJuly, your experiences, memories, and stories about how parks and recreation has improved your quality of life, as well as why local park and recreation professionals are important to you.
To learn more about each of these Park and Recreation Month activities, see the Park and Recreation Month Web page.
ARPA Community Partner Application Open
Community Partners may now submit applications for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Based on the Chapel Hill Council’s feedback from spring meetings, the Town is seeking programs or services that address COVID-related needs that are:
- Between $50,000 and $1,000,000 for calendar years 2023 and 2024 combined
- Not only for staff salaries
- New programs specific to pandemic relief or that benefit those most negatively affected by the COVID pandemic; or
- Existing services that had to adapt because of the COVID pandemic and will still be expanded needs during the Award Period
Story Hour and Book Signing with Author Cameron Levis
A special story hour and book-signing event will take place on Wednesday, July 6, at 11 a.m. under the large picnic shelter at Southern Community Park, to help celebrate National Park and Recreation Month.
Author and special populations coordinator for the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Dept., Cameron Levis will be reading his new book, “Home Is Where Your Park Is.”
Inspired by his grandfather’s park-to-scale project, Levis wrote the 46-page book that tells the story of a young boy who befriends an elderly man after meeting him in the park. Together, the two dream up their version of a perfect park.
During the event, there will be hands-on activities for children to draw their idea of what a perfect park is, as well as a question-and-answer session and opportunities to purchase your own signed copy of the book.
Cameron Levis tells everyone he is a “parks and rec kid.” In fact, he wears the title proudly as a badge of honor. So much so he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dr. Alton Little, a long-time parks administration professor at Western Kentucky University.
June 24, 2022
Tips for Erosion Control from Carrboro Stormwater
Carrboro is a town that has many natural streams, varied topography and wooded areas that make up our landscape. This landscaping changes over the years with development, yard gardening and natural processes. One of these natural processes is erosion. Over time you may have discovered an area in your yard eroding. There are steps you can take to control erosion on your property.
If you have steep slopes, you may want to hire someone to help with regrading and landscape design. This type of work may require permitting to ensure that you are not impacting your neighbors. Please contact Planning, Zoning, and Inspections Department at https://townofcarrboro.org/133/Planning-Zoning-Inspections for information on permitting. If your slopes are not too steep, then you have several good options for stabilizing your yard.
First, avoid using any invasive plant materials like English ivy and Asiatic jasmine. Most residents who use invasive plants in their yard regret the choice, as these plants are hard to control, can take over not only your yard but also your neighbors and may exacerbate erosion issues. For more information on invasive plants, visit https://townofcarrboro.org/2679/Invasive-Plants. Second, if you have a stream-bank erosion on your property, consult with Stormwater and Planning staff to ensure that federal, state and town regulations are being followed.
The best way to control erosion on your property is to stabilize the soil as quickly as possible. You can cover the soil with a natural jute/coconut fiber ground fabric as soon as possible to stop the current erosion. Use metal or wooden stakes to hold the fabric.
The next step is to use plants, of which there many options. You can use grasses, sedges, wildflowers, wood shrubs and trees in various combinations to control erosion long-term. Choosing native plants will give you deeper and wider-spread roots over typical turf grass species. N.C. Cooperative Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox is a great resource for plant materials. You can search for plants based on site conditions, plant types, appearance or maintenance needs.
For stream and drainage pathway erosion, you can also use similar techniques to restore and stabilize the banks. There are a variety of additional techniques that can be helpful with these unique yard features. We suggest researching the material on backyard stream repair https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/options-for-backyard-stream-repair from N.C. Cooperative extension, attending a workshop https://www.bae.ncsu.edu/workshops-conferences/sbr/, and scheduling a site visit with town staff https://townofcarrboro.org/FormCenter/Public-Works-Department-23/Stormwater-Service-Request-134.
Using native plants and landscaping with the nature of your yard can turn a perceived erosion issue into a landscaping feature. If you would like some technical advice on addressing erosion issues in your yard, contact the Stormwater Division at 919-913-2999 or Stormwater@CarrboroNC.gov and schedule a site visit with staff.
Chapel Hill Transit Names Facility in Honor of Howard and Lillian Lee
The Chapel Hill transit facility on Millhouse Road was named in honor of Howard and Lillian Lee in a celebration held Monday, June 20, to recognize former Chapel Hill Mayor and state Sen. Howard Lee’s role in bringing public transit to Chapel Hill.
Lee was the first black mayor elected in Chapel Hill, and the first black person to be elected mayor of any majority-white city in the South. Lillian Lee was an advocate for children as one of the first teachers at the UNC Hospital School in 1965. She retired after many years as a counselor and administrator in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
You Don’t Have to Ride Jim Crow!
Most Americans know something of the civil rights movement—the speeches of Martin Luther King, the Freedom Rides of the 1960s and the March on Washington. But there were earlier actions that also profoundly changed our country’s history. One of great significance to the civil rights movement but nearly lost to that history was the Journey of Reconciliation.
A special film telling the story of that ride will be shown at the Chelsea Theater in Chapel Hill on Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m.
Seating for this event is limited. Register at https://chapelhillhistory.org/places/journey-of-reconciliation/.
If you need to cancel your registration, email Molly at email@example.com.
Public Comment Period on Signature Verification for Absentee Voting
The State Board of Elections has opened a written public comment period for a request by the N.C. Republican Party for the State Board to authorize county boards of elections to scrutinize voter signatures on absentee-ballot request forms and absentee-ballot return envelopes, to determine whether to count those ballots in North Carolina elections. North Carolina law currently requires an absentee voter to confirm their identity by having two witnesses or a notary attest that the voter completed their ballot. This request seeks an additional layer of verification for absentee voters.
Read the Republican Party’s request for a declaratory ruling, which was made on May 14.
The public comment period is open through Tuesday, July 5. Members of the public may comment using the form at https://www.ncsbe.gov/2022-public-comment-period-signature-verification-absentee-voting.
State Board staff will compile the comments and post them online before the State Board meets to consider a ruling on the request, likely in mid-July.
Specifically, in addition to confirming that the voter’s ballot was properly witnessed, the request seeks to also allow county boards of elections to compare the signature on an absentee document with the voter’s signature on their voter-registration documents, which are kept on file with the county boards. The request also asks that the county boards be able to “exhaust all available resources to confirm that the signature provided on an absentee container-return envelope is that of the purported voter.”
The State Board’s current guidance to county boards of elections is not to use signature verification in the consideration of absentee returns. Under state law, each absentee by-mail voter must have two witnesses or a notary attest that the voter completed their ballot in the witnesses’ presence. Verification of the voter’s identity is completed through this witness requirement. State law does not explicitly address the comparison of voter signatures.
Ephesus Church Road Repaving
Ephesus Church Road is set to be resurfaced and repaved by the N.C. Dept. of Transportation beginning as soon as June 27, and the final pavement markings have been approved.
As part of this resurfacing, the Town will add bike lanes on Ephesus, as included in the Mobility & Connectivity Plan. This will be accomplished by narrowing vehicle lanes and prohibiting parking on the side of the road.
Chapel Hill Police Investigate Shooting
Officers responded to a shooting in the 200 block of Erwin Road on June 22. One person was transported to UNC Hospitals with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Another person was detained for further questioning.
Anyone with information should call 911 or contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.
Original Freedom Riders Exonerated in Special Court Ceremony
Four men arrested in Chapel Hill and convicted in 1947 after challenging Jim Crow-era segregation laws had their names cleared June 17 in a special ceremony in Orange County Superior Court.
The Journey of Reconciliation, an interracial freedom ride organized by civil rights leaders Bayard Rustin and George Houser to protest Jim Crow bus segregation, came through Chapel Hill in April 1947. As the riders attempted to board a bus to continue the journey to Greensboro, several were removed by force and were attacked by angry cab drivers. Four of the riders—Andrew Johnson, James Felmet, Bayard Rustin, and Igal Roodenko—were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for refusing to move from the front of the bus.
“Imagine the courage it took to quietly sit together at the front of the bus while people outside taunted them, ridiculed them, threatened them with violence,” said Woodrena Baker-Harrell, the public defender for Orange-Chatham counties. “They were probably mortified, scared about what was going to happen to them. Yet through that agony, they continued to sit there quietly because these four men believed in what they were doing. We, as members of this community, should strive to have the courage displayed by these men.”
Following a May 1947 trial in Orange County, the four men were convicted and sentenced to 30 days on the chain gang. The convictions were later upheld by Orange County Superior Court and then the N.C. Supreme Court.
During ceremonies honoring the 60th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides, Renee Price, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, learned that the charges against the men arrested in Chapel Hill, in what many civil rights historians consider the first Freedom Ride, had never been dropped. She reached out to Orange County Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour, whose office researched the incident and legal cases.
Baddour decided that a Motion for Appropriate Relief would be the legal vehicle to drop the charges because the men were convicted under state statutes that violated the Constitution. The statutes (N.C.G.S. 60-135 and 60-136) weren’t repealed until 1963.
For more information, including photos and video of the ceremony, see https://www.orangecountync.gov/2937/Journey-of-Reconciliation.
Animal Services Receives Petco Love Grant for Working Barn Cat Program
Orange County Animal Services is proud to announce that they have received a grant from Petco Love to sustain their Working Barn Cat Program. This grant will be used to support spay/neuter services for free-roaming cats belonging to Orange County residents, and thereby reduce pet overpopulation even further in Orange County.
Orange County Animal Services is set to receive the $20,000 grant investment from national nonprofit Petco Love during a special celebration at Petco at 1800 East Franklin St. in Chapel Hill on June 28 at
11 a.m. in support of their lifesaving work for animals in Orange County.
The Working Barn Cat Program helps to trap, sterilize and return free-roaming cats found at farms, stables and in other rural settings belonging to Orange County residents. These cats will be spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and licensed. All of these services are provided at no cost to Orange County residents who have cats that qualify for the program. The Working Barn Cat Program is part of a broader effort to more humanely and proactively manage free-roaming cats in Orange County.
Petco Love is a national nonprofit leading change for pets by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger and healthier. Since its founding in 1999, Petco Love has invested $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. And Petco Love helps find loving homes for pets in partnership with Petco and more than 4,000 organizations across North America, with
6.5 million pets adopted and counting.
Orange County residents interested in spay/neuter assistance can contact Tiani Schifano at 919-932-4966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Treatment of Invasive Plant in Eno River Begins Next Week
The Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in cooperation with the Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, City of Durham, Durham County, Town of Hillsborough and Orange County will be treating the Eno River for hydrilla through August 31.
Hydrilla is a submerged aquatic plant originally from Asia. The invasive species was first discovered in the Eno River Watershed’s Lake Orange in the early 1990s. It can create nearly impenetrable mats of stems and leaves in lakes, rivers and other waterways, impeding recreational use. It also affects native vegetation and can harm fish and other aquatic and bird species.
The treatment area is located just below the Lake Ben Johnson dam along the river to U.S. Highway 501 crossing in Durham. The herbicide is applied using a two-injection system to meter the appropriate amount of herbicide throughout the treatment area. It is used at a concentration well within limits approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—determined safe for swimmers and boaters and non-toxic to fish and wildlife. For additional information on water quality safety during the treatment period, contact the Dept. of Health and Human Services at 919-707-5900.
The Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force first introduced the herbicide fluridone in 2015 to a 16-mile treatment zone largely within Eno River State Park in Orange and Durham counties. It was the first time the herbicide was used successfully in a river in North Carolina to combat hydrilla, although it has been used for many years elsewhere in large lakes.
The Eno River Hydrilla Management Task Force comprises federal, state and local government representatives, including staff from North Carolina state parks, the N.C. Division of Water Resources Aquatic Weed Control Program and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The group has been working since 2007 to evaluate and address the hydrilla threat in the Eno River.
For more information, visit the DEQ website’s Eno River Hydrilla Management Project page, or contact Drew Gay, Aquatic Weed Specialist, Division of Water Resources, at 919-707-9020 or email email@example.com.
Notice of Public Meeting ADA Paratransit Plan
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires Orange Public Transportation Services (OCTS) provide complementary ADA-accessible paratransit service to eligible persons within three-quarters of a mile of its fixed-route service at concurrent times and dates to the routes and hours of fixed-route operation.
Presentation of the OCTS ADA Paratransit Plan and associated policies will be provided at a public meeting held by OCTS staff Thursday, June 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Orange County North Campus, Bonnie B Davis EAC Building, located at 1020 US-70 West, Hillsborough. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the current adopted 2015 ADA Paratransit Plan.
The revised plan will be available for review on the OCTS website (https://www.orangecountync.gov/transportation) and in the administrative office located at 600 Highway 86 N, Hillsborough, during the 30-day public comment period starting Thursday, July 21, and ending Friday, Aug. 19.
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners will conduct a public hearing on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Whitted Building, located at 300 W. Tryon St, Hillsborough, at which time a presentation of the Updated ADA Paratransit Plan will be provided and the public will be given an opportunity to comment.
For further information on the plan or to submit comments, please contact Nishith Trivedi, Orange County Transportation Services interim director, at 919-245-2007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department on Aging Accepting Nominations for 2022 Direct-Care-Worker Awards
Orange County Dept. on Aging and the community group Senior Health Advocacy and Resource Partners of Orange County (SHARP), will host the eighth annual SHARP Direct-Care-Worker Awards.
Nominations will be accepted from June 15 through Sept. 15. A recognition ceremony will be held for award winners on Thursday, Nov. 3.
This event is in honor of direct-care workers (nurse aides, personal care aides, companion caregivers, etc.) who affect their clients’ lives on a daily basis and make a difference in the Orange County community.
In recognition of the outstanding service provided by direct-care workers, the Dept. on Aging and SHARP will present awards in the following categories: client impact, longevity, leadership, going the extra mile and rising star. One person will be chosen as the “Direct Care Worker of the Year.”
To be eligible, direct-care workers must have served clients in Orange County within the past year. Each person may be nominated in two categories. Nominees must have provided direct care to clients and have at least six consecutive months of service in the past year.
For more information about the awards and to nominate a direct-care worker, complete the online or downloadable nomination form at: www.orangecountync.gov/SHARPAwards.
June 18, 2022
Town of Chapel Hill Awards $546,500 to Nonprofit Organizations
The Town of Chapel Hill’s Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) budget includes $546,500 to support 40 nonprofit organizations that provide vital community programs and services. This funding cycle was exceptionally competitive, with the Town receiving a record $1.3 million in requests from nonprofit organizations.
The Town’s Human Services Program’s overarching goal is to achieve economic and social well-being and opportunities to thrive for all Chapel Hill residents, particularly those who are low-income or otherwise disenfranchised. The program funds programs that improve education, livelihood security and health outcomes for Chapel Hill residents.
The Town awarded three Community Impact Awards, large awards between $30,000 and $50,000 for particularly impactful programs and projects that demonstrate an evidence-based approach and scale of impact. Recipients of the Community Impact Award are El Centro Hispano, Inc.; EmPOWERment Inc.; and Meals on Wheels.
The Human Services Program was established in the 1970s and has supported hundreds of community programs and services. In total, over the past almost 50 years, the Town has invested more than $7 million in the Human Services Program. Last year alone, 50+ agencies were funded, and more than 32,000 individuals were served through funded programs and services.
In 2018, the Town Council adopted a new Results Framework for the Human Services Program. Adoption of the Results Framework reflects the Town’s interest in further focusing the Human Services Program on results and deepening the program’s impact to address the community’s greatest challenges.
OWASA 2021 Water-Quality Report Card Now Available
Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) met all state and federal drinking water regulations during the 2021 calendar year. The annual water-quality report card is now available in English and Spanish. Customers will also be receiving a packet in the mail with highlights from the full report card.
The report card provides details on where your water comes from, how OWASA treats your drinking water to meet regulatory standards, and more about how we can all work together to protect our vital natural resources. The annual water-quality report card shows how OWASA measures up against regulatory standards to ensure that customers continue to receive high-quality drinking water.
You can also learn through this year’s report card more about the OWASA team working to serve customers every day and different water-based activities to enjoy – whether that’s taking a kayak onto Cane Creek Reservoir or University Lake or learning more about how high-quality water is the first and most important ingredient for homebrewing, your morning coffee, and so much more.
Roughly half of every dollar that OWASA receives from customers is put back into the community’s water and sewer infrastructure. The report card also takes time to highlight one of these projects that saw significant work during 2021 at the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant. This project was focused on increasing the reliability and resiliency of OWASA’s services for residents.
OWASA’s affordability program is also highlighted in the report card. OWASA is working with customers who have bills that are past due to help connect them with funding assistance associated with COVID-19. OWASA also has the Care to Share bill-assistance program, and customers are able to sign up to donate funds as part of their monthly bill to help those in our community who are in need.
For more information, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, 919-537-4236 or email@example.com.
Chapel Hill Firefighters Respond to North Columbia Street House Fire
Just before 7 p.m. on June 16, the Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to a fire at a home in the 300 block of North Columbia Street. The fire displaced one person, and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The Carrboro Fire Department and Orange County Emergency Services assisted 14 Chapel Hill firefighters at the scene.