Community Notices

COMMUNITY NOTICES

For previous community notices, click here to read the Community Notices Archive page.


 November 29, 2021

Carrboro Holiday Tree Lighting

The Carrboro community, along with local schoolchildren and the Find Your Own Voice community singing group, officially kick off the season with music and the lighting of the community tree. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, in front of Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St. Free for all ages.


Carrboro Cheer Gift Guide

The Carrboro Business Alliance (CBA) launched the new Carrboro Cheer Gift Guide (CarrboroCheer.com), which showcases more than 70 curated, local Carrboro gift ideas for the holiday shopping season. The Gift Guide is part of Carrboro Cheer, an annual #BuyLocal holiday initiative coordinated by the CBA and presented by Carr Mill Mall with additional support from the Carrboro Tourism Development Authority.


Chris Wells Selected to Become New Chapel Hill Fire Marshal

Effective Nov. 29, Chris Wells is Assistant Chief of Life Safety and serves as the Town’s fire marshal. Assistant Chief Wells was most recently the Chapel Hill Fire Department’s assistant fire marshal. His promotion comes as Assistant Chief Tommy Gregory transitions from leading the Life Safety Division to a role overseeing Fire Department operations.

Among many duties in his new position, Assistant Chief Wells will manage fire code enforcement and fire investigations. He will help develop and implement community risk-reduction programs and will be a key part of fire and life safety educational outreach in the Chapel Hill community.

In his previous role with the department, Assistant Chief Wells helped create new work and on-call schedules to improve work-life balance for fire inspectors. He said making the department a great place to work remains a top priority in his new position.

Assistant Chief Wells joined the Chapel Hill Fire Department in February 2019. Before that, he served as fire marshal for the Town of Morrisville. His experience also includes two years as deputy fire marshal in Alamance County and 10 years with Guilford County Emergency Services’ Fire Operations and Fire Prevention Divisions.

Assistant Chief Wells is a Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War. He transitioned out of the military and into firefighting in late 2003, first joining the Burlington Fire Department.


November 24, 2021

Carrboro People Photo Album

The Town of Carrboro is bringing back the Carrboro People Photo Album for the holidays. Send photos of yourself or your pod and family (including pets) to be included. 

The 2020 album — posted at https://youtu.be/yw3S7a65nLs — debuted in November 2020 at the kickoff of Carrboro Connects, the comprehensive planning effort for our town. Over the past year, Carrboro has asked for ideas, visions and input for the community plan. The question asked of people of every age, race and background was, “What can WE create, together?” 

Review the Draft 2022-2042 Carrboro Connects Comprehensive Plan at https://www.carrboroconnects.org/public-hearing-draft.

Post your photos via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram via a tag @CarrboroTownGov or email them to communications@townofcarrboro.org. Music, books, poems, movies or other creative products that show what Carrboro means to you or the Carrboro you would like to see in the future are also welcome.  

The 2021 Carrboro People Photo Album will be posted this winter holiday season, as long as photos are received. 


COVID-19 Booster Shot Eligibility Expanded to Anyone Age 18 or Older

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized and the Centers for Disease Control has recommended booster vaccine shots (https://bit.ly/3HXM3Nd) for all adults 18 and older to help strengthen and extend protections against COVID-19.  

If you received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you can get your booster six months after your second shot. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can get your booster two months after your shot. Anyone over 50 or at high risk, as well as those 18 or older who were vaccinated more than two months ago with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should get a booster dose now.  

Additionally, fully vaccinated people who received their first COVID-19 vaccine outside of the United States or in clinical trials with a brand not currently authorized can now receive a Pfizer booster shot when they are eligible. 

To find a COVID-19 booster, visit MySpot.nc.gov to search for vaccine locations near you. Not all vaccines may be available at every vaccine location. Booster shots are available anywhere COVID-19 vaccines are available. Individuals who want to receive a booster shot will need to know the dates of any past COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as the vaccine brand they originally received. Paper vaccination cards are helpful but may not be necessary. At-home vaccination and free transportation may be available.

Individuals can receive any brand of COVID-19 vaccine for their booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. Limited preliminary evidence suggests that booster doses of one of the two mRNA vaccines — Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech — more effectively raise antibody levels than a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


Chapel Hill Police Welcome New K9 Partner

Rocky, a 15-month-old Belgian Malinois originally from Poland, is the newest K9 Guardian of the Hill, joining Mando, Perrin and Raiden. Rocky will work with his human partner, Officer Jacob Clark. 

Rocky and Officer Clark have bonded quickly and are ready to start training together. At K9 school, Rocky is learning how to help officers search for missing people or fleeing crime suspects, as well as to search for and find dangerous narcotics. He is also learning how to search buildings and protect his new partner.


Small Business Saturday in Carrboro

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed Saturday, Nov. 27 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), as Small Business Saturday in Carrboro. 

The Town of Carrboro supports local businesses that create jobs, boost our local economy and preserve our communities. There are more than 387 small businesses in Carrboro, making up 96% of all business in town. Small businesses in Carrboro employ over 2,500 people and provide over $93 million in payroll.

Carrboro Cheer 2021, to support local Carrboro businesses, will have a table at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market featuring the distribution of complimentary local swag bags and the launch of the buy local Carrboro Cheer Gift Guide.


Town of Carrboro Establishes Community Safety Task Force

In the interest of advancing racial equity in law enforcement and public safety, the Town of Carrboro has established a Community Safety Task Force. On Tuesday, Nov. 16, the Carrboro Town Council appointed the following members to the task force: George Barrett, Barbara Fedders, Benjamin Gear, Madison Hayes, Frances Henderson and Mariela Hernandez. The task force is expected to begin its work in early 2022, following appointments of council liaisons and establishing a meeting schedule. 

Task force members have professional expertise and/or lived experience in the criminal justice, legal system, human services delivery, social work, public health and harm reduction, community building in marginalized populations or related content areas. 

The task force will provide recommendations to the town council on additional services to enhance community safety and well-being that rely on prevention and intervention strategies as alternatives to policing and the criminal justice legal system — including but not limited to community nonviolence and de-escalation training programs; domestic violence intervention and prevention; youth-oriented programs; on-call crisis response that would allow certain calls for police assistance to be handled by other trained professionals, such as social workers or crisis counselors; and other related approaches.


Donate to the Emergency Housing Assistance Program

In order to help others this holiday season, consider making a contribution to assist Chapel Hill residents in housing crisis by making a tax-deductible donation to the county-wide Emergency Housing Assistance Program.   

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the town has seen a tremendous increase in requests for assistance, as many residents continue to struggle to make ends meet. Amid the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic, in collaboration with Orange County, the towns of Carrboro,

Hillsborough and Chapel Hill expanded the eligibility criteria and funding available through the Emergency Housing Assistance Program. The program provides low-income residents in urgent need of rent and utility assistance with a one-time payment. 

All donations received will be used to directly assist Chapel Hill residents. Donations of any amount may be made by check payable to the Town of Chapel Hill. Send to Business Management Department, 405 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Please indicate in the memo “Emergency Housing Assistance Program.”  The town will provide a receipt for each tax-deductible donation. 

For residents in need of assistance, please call or email the Housing Helpline to get an application: 919-245-2655 or HousingHelp@orangecountync.gov.

For more information about the Emergency Housing Assistance Program, see https://bit.ly/30Vkfby.


SHARP Direct Care Worker Awards

The Department on Aging and the Senior Health Advocacy and Resource Partners (SHARP) of Orange County honored 29 individuals for their outstanding service in long-term care Thursday, Nov. 4, during a virtual Direct Care Worker Award ceremony.

This event recognizes direct care workers (nurse aides, personal care aides, companion caregivers, etc.) who served clients in Orange County within the past year, making a difference in their clients’ lives on a daily basis and in the community. 

Bonnie Hammersley, Orange County Manager, recognized all 29 nominees, including six individuals who received the following 2021 SHARP Direct Care Worker awards:

  • Longevity: Jean Knight – Home Instead Senior Care
  • Rising Star: Genmy Escamilla – Homewatch Caregivers of the Triangle
  • Client Impact: Christina Rich-Parrish – Homewatch Caregivers of the Triangle  
  • Going the Extra Mile: Gloria Borbor – Homewatch Caregivers of the Triangle
  • Leadership: Crystal Perry – Carol Woods Retirement Community 
  • Direct Care Worker of the Year: Lucy Williams – independent care provider (pictured)

Employers of the award winners were also honored at the virtual awards ceremony. 
2021 SHARP Direct Care Worker awardee employers are ARC of the Triangle, Carol Woods Retirement Community, Charles House Association, Homewatch Caregivers of the Triangle, Home Instead Senior Care, LiveWell Assisted Living, Piedmont Health, Premier Home Health Care Services, Right at Home of the Triangle, UNC Home Health and six individual family caregivers.

See https://bit.ly/3cMaRcS, or call 919-245-4253 to learn more and to view this year’s awards ceremony.


Orange County Public Library Goes Fine-Free

The Orange County Public Library no longer collects fines for overdue materials. County commissioners approved the fine-free policy during their Nov. 16 business meeting as part of an effort to remove barriers to library use. 

See https://bit.ly/3xjdtrT for more information.


Partnership to End Homelessness Seeking Board Members

The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness (OCPEH) invites community members, service providers, people with lived experience of housing instability and other stakeholders to join their board, the OCPEH Leadership Team. Members serve two-year terms and direct the work to end homelessness in Orange County, including making community funding decisions and working to fill homeless system gaps (https://www.ocpehnc.com/gaps-analysis).

Apply online  at https://bit.ly/3nOgP34 by Friday, Dec. 10, to be considered for the 2022 slate of members.
 
To learn more about ending homelessness, see https://www.ocpehnc.com/, or contact Rachel Waltz at rwaltz@orangecountync.gov or 919-245-2496.


Bus Stop Improvements Scheduled at Stops in Hillsborough, Chapel Hill

As a function of the Orange County Transit Plan, improvements are being made at various Orange County Public Transportation (OCPT) bus stops in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill. These improvements are funded through the half-cent public transit sales tax.

By early fall, construction will begin at the following sites:

  1. Faucette Mill Rd. at Cornelius Street (US 70), Hillsborough;
  2. North Churton Street (NC-86) at Hillsborough Police Station, Hillsborough;
  3. New NC 86 at Home Depot, Hillsborough;
  4. MLK Jr Boulevard at Homestead Road, Chapel Hill.

These bus stops service multiple routes shared among OCPT, GoTriangle and Chapel Hill Transit. The improvements will bring a more comfortable experience to high-ridership areas.

The shelters are made in the USA and will be fitted with solar lighting, USB charging ports, spacious seating and bicycle racks. 


Town Accepting Funding Applications for Community Development Projects

Organizations that operate programs or provide housing to benefit low- to moderate-income residents of the community may be eligible to apply for funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.  Individual households are not eligible to apply directly for funding.

The CDBG Program, operated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides communities with resources to address a wide range of community needs to serve low- to moderate-income residents. Last year, the town focused the funds received on COVID-19 relief and recovery by providing emergency housing assistance to 416 households at risk of homelessness due to COVID-19, support for remote learning and childcare for 131 children, and distribution of more than 18,500 food boxes to households in need.

Applications are due by noon Jan. 14, 2022.  Programs awarded funding will likely be eligible to begin next summer.

For more information, contact Megan Culp at cdbg@townofchapelhill.org to schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss your project proposal and application. More information and the 2022-2023 application can be found on the website at townofchapelhill.org/cdbg.


Chapel Hill Recognized Globally Among New Climate Leaders

Chapel Hill is one of 95 cities to receive top score on climate action from environmental impact non-profit, CDP. CDP is a global non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions.

A-list cities build climate momentum, taking twice as many climate-mitigation and adaptation measures as cities receiving lower scores. Only 9.8% of cities that were scored in 2021 received an “A” score.

To score an “A,” a city must disclose publicly and have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions-reduction target and a renewable-energy target for the future, and have published a climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards.

The Town Council has a goal to reduce carbon emissions and make Chapel Hill a 100%-clean-energy community by the year 2050. The Town Council adopted a Climate Action and Response Plan in June. It can be viewed at townofchapelhill.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=48581.

The full 2021 A-List of cities can be found at cdp.net/en/cities/cities-scores.  


Chapel Hill Mayor, Busy Bees Partner to Install Little Free Libraries in Public Housing Communities

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger is partnering with the Busy Bees Volunteer Service Corps, Inc. — a statewide organization that supports nonprofits and social causes through volunteerism and advocacy — to install Little Free Libraries in Chapel Hill public housing communities. The first library will be installed at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 22, in the Pritchard Park public housing community located on Pritchard Avenue Extension. Gil Mandell (pictured) and his mom, Rachel, of Carrboro, built the library that will be installed at Pritchard Park public housing.

Chapel Hill Police Chief and Executive Director for Community Safety Chris Blue has committed his staff to partner in the installation of the second Little Free Library, which will be installed in the Eastwood community, located at the corner of Piney Mountain Road and Louis Armstrong Court. The installation date will be announced soon.

For more information or to find out how you can join The Busy Bees Volunteer Service Corps., email busybeesvscnc@gmail.com.


Marion Cheek Jackson Center and the Community Empowerment Fund Awarded $25,000

The Marion Cheek Jackson Center and the Community Empowerment Fund have been awarded $25,000 by Duke Energy for training and policy reforms. Duke Energy is providing over $1 million to organizations working for social justice and racial equity across North Carolina.


Google Fiber Work on Multiple Roads

Contractors will install infrastructure for Google Fiber on several roads near downtown one-segment-at-a-time. Each segment is expected to take one-to-two days to complete. This project impacts portions of W. Rosemary Street, W. Franklin Street, N. Graham Street, S. Graham Street, S. Roberson Street, Kenan Street, Ransom Street and Cameron Avenue. The work includes boring, street coring and open trenching of affected roads. 

During the work, commuters can expect to see flaggers, traffic shifts and pedestrian detours to allow vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic to travel around the work zones.  None of the impacted roads will be completely closed at any point.   

This work is expected to begin Monday, Nov. 29.  It will take approximately four work weeks to complete.  Workers will be on site weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  When they are not working, workers will place steel plates over any open trenches.   

Contractor for Google fiber installation: 877-454-6959. Town of Chapel Hill: utilityissues@townofchapelhill.org 


Town of Chapel Hill Receives a Score of 100 in 2021 Municipal Equality Index Report

The Town of Chapel Hill, a leader in advancing LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, allies, asexual and pansexual) equality in North Carolina, has received a score of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2021 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) scores.

The HRC rates cities across the United States each year based on their initiatives to support LGBTQ communities. The findings are compiled on the MEI scorecard. Cities are given points for inclusive programs and policies, such as non-discrimination laws, transgender-inclusive health benefits for employees, inclusive workplaces and LGBTQ+ liaisons in the executive office.

This year, Chapel Hill received additional points for enacting an ordinance that prohibits discrimination in employment and places of accommodation.

Many Fortune 500 companies rely on the HRC report as a guide for relocation and expansion because the inclusion of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, helps support a more diverse workforce and provides a high quality of life for all employees. The full report can be found at https://bit.ly/3DJGkbn.


Indoor Mask Mandate Continues for Orange County

With several key COVID metrics increasing, Orange County will continue its indoor countywide mask mandate. The mandate applies to anyone 2 years and older, regardless of vaccination status.

Orange County is experiencing a surge in new cases, mostly among the unvaccinated, despite having one of the highest rates of vaccination in the state, with 71% of the population fully vaccinated. Face coverings will still be required in all indoor public places, including public transportation facilities and vehicles. The mandate will be reevaluated mid-January.

The mask mandate does not apply to the following individuals:

  • Anyone with a diagnosed medical or behavioral condition or disability, including difficulty breathing;
  • Children under age 2;
  • Children under 5 if a parent, guardian or responsible person has been unable to place and maintain a face covering safely on the child’s face;
  • Anyone who is actively eating or drinking;
  • Anyone who is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  • Anyone who is giving a speech or performance for a broadcast or to an audience where a distance of at least 20 feet is maintained from the audience;
  • Anyone who is working alone in an individual office setting. Face coverings must be applied when in common areas such as breakrooms, hallways, restrooms or other areas where additional persons may be encountered;
  • Anyone who has determined the face covering is impeding the person’s visibility in the operation of equipment or a vehicle.

November 17, 2021

Orange County Recreation Offers Pre-school Academies in December

The Orange County Recreation Division is offering preschool academies for children ages 3-5 to help them prepare for the transition to a school environment. The month-long academies meet twice a week and are offered in virtual and in-person formats.

They will feature curriculum-based learning, using age-appropriate activities to teach students numbers, letters, colors, rhythm and science. Based on the weekly theme, students will partake in a wide variety of activities each day.

For more information on the virtual format, see http://www.orangecountync.gov/2491/Preschool-Academy-Virtual. For more information on the in-person format, see http://www.orangecountync.gov/2764/Preschool-Academy-In-Person.


Orange County Thanksgiving Holiday Schedules

Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26, are Town holidays. Some services may be affected, as follows:

Residential trash collection: Not affected; yard waste not collected the week of Nov. 21-27.

Curbside recycling: Not collected Thursday, Nov. 25 (make-up day Saturday, Nov. 27).

Orange County landfill and waste and recycling centers: Closed Thursday, Nov. 25.

Commercial trash: Not collected Nov. 25-26. Thursday’s and Friday’s trash collected before the end of the week.

Chapel Hill Transit: Will not operate Thursday, Nov. 25, and will provide Sunday service (no U route service) on Friday, Nov. 26; EZ Rider closed Thursday and will operate from 8:15 a.m. to 6:52 p.m. Friday.

Housing: Office and maintenance division closed; for emergency maintenance services, call (919) 968-2855.

Chapel Hill Public Library: Closed Nov. 24-26.

Parks and recreation:

  • Parks, greenways, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters and outdoor park amenities open.
  • Administrative offices closed Thursday, Nov. 25, and Friday, Nov. 26.
  • Chapel Hill Community Center, Hargraves Center, Northside Gym, Homestead Aquatics Center and the Teen Center closed Thursday, Nov. 25.
  • Homestead Aquatics Center and Chapel Hill Community Center open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. (pool closed); reservations required—schedule a time online at https://bit.ly/3Cqmpgd.

New Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Carrboro

Piedmont Electric Cooperative has unveiled a new electric vehicle (EV) DC fast-charging station at the Carrboro Plaza, 104 NC Highway 54. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, including Piedmont Electric, are working to create a statewide network of EV charging stations, enabling the increased adoption of EV technology. DC fast-chargers provide the quickest charge available and can charge a depleted electric vehicle’s battery to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes.

Cooperatives primarily serve members in rural locations, and their expanding charging network fills gaps in charging infrastructure in rural and tourist-visited areas, creating environmental and economic benefits for communities.  

Piedmont Electric applied for and was awarded a grant to fund the chargers as part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settlement with Volkswagen (VW). The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality awarded eight North Carolina electric cooperatives, including Piedmont Electric, approximately $700,000 in VW settlement funding to install high-speed EV charging stations in rural and suburban communities throughout the state. Additional funding and support were provided by the Town of Carrboro to ensure this project’s success.

The NC electric co-ops’ charging network has now expanded to nearly 70 charging stations, with more than 100 charging ports across the state. To learn more about their EV charging network and how Piedmont Electric supports members in accessing the benefits of EVs, including rebates and special rates, visit NCDriveElectric.com/piedmont-electric.

A level 2 charging station is currently located at Carrboro Town Hall, and two stations, which will be operational by Spring 2022, are being installed in the new East Rosemary Street Parking Lot and at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park.


Chapel Hill Celebrates Arbor Day on Friday, November 19

The Town of Chapel Hill will celebrate Arbor Day virtually on Friday, Nov. 19, at noon, as part of Arbor Week in Chapel Hill. Second-grade students and teachers from Northside Elementary School have been invited to join Mayor Pam Hemminger, staff members of the parks and recreation department, and the N.C. Forest Service to commemorate the occasion. 

During the virtual event, Mayor Hemminger will read an Arbor Day proclamation and accept the Tree City USA Award from the N.C. Forest Service. The students, from Northside Elementary School, will share artwork and poems about the trees they have studied.  

A short video will be shown of the Parks and Recreation department planting a small urban forest along the Bolin Creek Trail connector (https://bit.ly/31ZooLN), made up of fifteen trees, including oaks, magnolias, dogwood, cedar and others.

To help celebrate the town’s tree canopy, the community tree committee and Mayor Pam Hemminger have also announced the second annual “Mayor’s Tree of the Year” contest. Learn more, and nominate your favorite tree at https://bit.ly/3HwooDf

Learn more ways Chapel Hill celebrates trees during Arbor Week at https://bit.ly/32bn6xv.


Carrboro Film Fest Is Back!

Carrboro Film Fest is bringing the movies back to Carrboro this November.  Now in its 16th year, Carrboro Film Festival will run from Friday, Nov. 19, to Sunday, Nov. 21, at The ArtsCenter, and includes 6 feature films and 4 blocks of short films. 

Features include Theirs Is the Kingdom documentary (pictured) on Saturday, Nov. 12.  

Attendees will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, and masks will be required. 

For the full film schedule, see https://www.carrborofilm.org/events

For ticket information, see

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/carrboro-film-fest-2021-tickets-195950732917


Major Thermo Fisher Facility in Orange County

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., a world leader in serving science, announced Nov. 12 it will build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Mebane. The site is part of a recently announced co-investment with the U.S. government — a $192.5 million contract in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure domestic supply of critically needed laboratory pipette tips.

Thermo Fisher currently employs approximately 4,000 colleagues across 7 sites in North Carolina, including a center of excellence for laboratory equipment in Asheville, 3 life sciences and chemical manufacturing sites in Durham, pharmaceutical manufacturing sites in Greenville and High Point, and a Raleigh distribution center. The Mebane site is expected to create 150-200 new jobs in manufacturing, engineering and business operations.


Gallop & Gorge 8K Scheduled for Thanksgiving Day in Carrboro

The Gallop & Gorge 8K race is scheduled for 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 25, in Carrboro. Expect traffic delays around this time on W. Weaver Street and Main Street.

There are two ways you can participate in the run:

  • The in-person race starts at 8 a.m.; the course starts and finishes on Weaver Street in downtown Carrboro.
  • A virtual option is also available; you can run when and where you want, and submit your virtual results by Dec. 5.

The Gallop & Gorge 8K race is the final race in the 17th annual Le Tour de Carrboro race series, sponsored by the Cardinal Track Club.

For more information, see https://www.cardinaltrackclub.com/.


OWASA Holding Public Information Session Ahead of East Main Street Sewer Project

Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) will hold a public information session from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, ahead of a sewer line rehabilitation and replacement project on East Main Street in downtown Carrboro.

The upcoming project will invest in upgrades for the community’s sewer infrastructure on East Main Street in Carrboro from the intersection with Rosemary Street to the intersection with Greensboro Street. The project will include replacing approximately 2,000 feet of sewer line, replacing 8 manholes, installing 2 new manholes, and point repairs at 2 locations in the project area.

Construction on this project is expected to begin in January 2022 and be completed by June 2022. That timeline could be extended by weather or other factors. Normal work hours during the project will be Sunday through Friday 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Traffic will be impacted during the construction hours, with a signed detour established. All travel lanes will be open at the end of each work period, with no lingering impacts to vehicle traffic expected.

If you are unable to attend the public information session, you can contact OWASA Utilities Engineer Deepthi Kalyanam via email at dkalyanam@owasa.org or (919) 537-4215 and sign up for future email updates as the project progresses.


OWASA Holding Third-Annual Care-to-Share Day Fundraiser for Bill-Assistance Program

Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) will hold its third-annual Care to Share Day Nov. 18, 2021. Care-to-Share Day is focused on raising awareness of and funds for the bill-assistance program that is administered in partnership with OWASA and the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC).

Those who are able are asked to consider donating to help neighbors who might be having a hard time paying their water bill. OWASA temporarily suspended service disconnections due to non-payment in March 2020 in response to the emerging pandemic. While that moratorium remains in place, there are a growing number of customers who are behind on their bill and would otherwise be subject to service disconnection.

Donations can be made as part of a customer’s monthly OWASA bill or through a one-time donation to the IFC. 100% of donations will go toward helping pay down debts for those neighbors who are behind on their OWASA bill.

More information about the Care-to-Share program is available at owasa.org. Also, for more information, contact Blake Hodge, communications specialist, bhodge@owasa.org/(919) 537-4236.


November 10, 2021

First Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo and Non-Profit Showcase in Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation are hosting the first Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo and Non-Profit Showcase Sunday, Nov. 21 from noon to 4 p.m. at Legion Road Open Space. Food vendors will offer a variety of cuisines, and local nonprofits will provide activities for all ages. Two organizations, TABLE and the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, will anchor the event and will collect canned food, winter clothing items and toiletries.

Susan Brown, executive director of Community Arts & Culture, says the event will have the feeling of a community picnic and attendees should bring blankets and folding chairs to spread out on the large green space at Legion Road. A local DJ will provide a family-friendly soundtrack and lawn games will be available.

The event will feature approximately 15 nonprofits focused on a range of causes, from mental health to art therapy to sustainability and more. The current collection of charities includes EmPOWERMENT, Porch, B3 Coffee, Hope Renovations, Musical Empowerment, Institute of Art Therapy, TABLE, Chapel Hill Service League, Orange Literacy, Kidzu Children’s Museum, Friends of Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation, Orange County Rape Crisis Center, Triangle Bikeworks, Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary and Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.

Approximately 12 food trucks will offer a variety of menu items and culinary styles. The current line-up of food trucks includes The Naked Empanada, Baton Rouge Cuisine, The Corner Venezuelan, The Paddy Wagon, Poblanos Tacos, Buffolina’s, Brusters Ice Cream, Cilantro Mexican Cuisine, Drizzle D’s, and Buoy Bowls.

Plenty of parking will be available, and alternative modes of transportation are always encouraged. Consider biking to the event or using Chapel Hill Transit. Route D will stop every hour at the Europa Center, located close to the event. 

To learn more about the event, see https://bit.ly/3C4IQay.


Ending School Racism Program

The Campaign for Racial Equity in Our Schools will present Barbie Garayua Tudryn as the next speaker in their Ending School Racism: What Can White Parents Do? series. Her topic will be “Social-Emotional Learning, Race, and the Mindsets of Young Children.”

Ms. Tudryn has years of experience as a school counselor, tutor and founder of Mariposas, a community of Latinx youth and families in Chapel Hill. She is a LatinxEd fellow and is on the Learning for Justice Advisory Board.

The Zoom program will be Monday evening, Nov. 15, at 6:30. It is free, but registration is required.


Concert Singers of Cary Presents Holiday Pops

Concert Singers of Cary Holiday Pops will be back in-person  Dec. 11, 2021, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for this one-hour show can be purchased at the Cary Arts Center theater (101 Dry Ave., Cary). Tickets (including tax) are $20 for adults and $5 for persons 17-and-younger. Singers will be masked, and COVID safety protocol requirements are outlined on the eTix ticketing page (https://bit.ly/3kqSHBx).

An array of holiday tunes will be performed. The concert follows the Cary Christmas Parade, a celebration that includes bands, mascots, local businesses, community groups and churches.

For more information, see https://bit.ly/3ktjVYl.


Webinar to Discuss Historical Content and Importance of the James Cates Critical Oral History Initiative

James Cates was a 22-year-old man who was murdered on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in 1970. A webinar will be presented Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. by community historian Danita Mason-Hogans. Ms. Mason-Hogans will introduce and contextualize Mr. Cates, the history of the
university and community, what happened that evening and its future implications and share a dossier of information that has been researched and archived.

Sponsored by The James Cates Remembrance Coalition, it will highlight ongoing efforts to collect history, share future project goals and provide an update of the UNC Cates memorial and building name. The coalition is a collective that includes family members, community leaders, scholars, activists and students who are commemorating Mr. Cates’s life and death through a multi-phase community history project.

Zoom registration for this program is at https://bit.ly/3wy3YEQ. For more information, see https://south.unc.edu/. Listen to the podcast at https://chapelhillhistory.org/podcast/.


November 8

Deer Hunting with Dogs

Orange County Animal Services is preparing for deer-hunting season by promoting awareness of the legal requirements and responsibilities of using dogs and guns to hunt deer. The season opens Saturday, Nov. 13, and ends Jan. 1, 2022.

An Orange County brochure (https://bit.ly/3FaZCXD) is available that provides general information about using dogs to hunt deer. This is lawful in northern Orange County — specifically, the portion of the county north of Interstate 85. The brochure also describes the process for reporting concerns or issuing complaints about unlawful hunting practices.

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

For more information about deer hunting with dogs in Orange County, see https://bit.ly/3n3Kx3P.

More information, including a sample written permission form, is also provided by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at https://bit.ly/3D9b2u4. Wildlife Dispatch may also be reached at 1-800-662-7137 for any hunting-related conflicts.


Orange County, Carrboro and Chapel Hill Outside Agencies Funding Process Opens

Each year, Orange County, the Town of Carrboro and the Town of Chapel Hill invite program funding requests from nonprofit providers (outside agencies) to support delivery of vital community services. The county and towns administer a common application with separate evaluation processes.

The total outside agency budget for FY2021-22 is $1.72 million. Each quarter, agencies must report their performance objectives and provide financial receipts in order to receive funding disbursements, as outlined in funding applications and the Scope of Services Performance Agreement.

For more detailed information, see the Funding Process page (https://www.orangecountync.gov/738/Funding-Process). The application deadline is Jan. 13, 2022. 


Animal Services Needs Homes for Working Barn Cats

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) needs to find homes for cats that are part of their working barn cat initiative. These cats are currently housed at the Animal Services Center in Chapel Hill, and they are not quite social enough to be adopted through the regular adoption program. However, these cats would likely make great working cats if you have a barn, stable or other structure that could use hard-working felines.

Adopting a working cat may be an effective way of controlling the rodent population in a structure or area while providing a safe home for a cat that is not social enough to be adopted to an indoor household. Working cats will be sterilized and fully vaccinated before going to their new homes. They will also come with general-care instructions and recommendations for helping them to adapt to their new space on an adopter’s property. For more information on what adopters need to provide for these cats, see the document at https://bit.ly/3qodgSY.

If you are interested in adopting a working cat, please call the OCAS adoption desk at 919-942-7387, menu option 3.


Native American Heritage Month

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners will consider a proclamation declaring November as Native American Heritage Month at the Nov. 16 meeting. On Aug. 3, 1990, President George H. W. Bush declared November as National Native American Heritage Month with a bill honoring the tribal people of America. North Carolina currently is home to eight state-recognized tribes, including the Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony and Waccamaw-Siouan. Locally, the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation dwelt in this region now known as Orange County; they had their own social, economic and governance systems.

American Indian peoples have struggled and persevered to maintain their identity and their civilization, despite inhumane and unjust federal policies focused on genocide, removal and compulsory assimilation ever since the United States of America was founded. National Native American Heritage Month has become a platform for American Indians to share their culture, traditions, arts and concepts of life. It also is a time for others to celebrate the myriad contributions by native peoples past and present and to honor their influence on the advancement of the United States.

The theme this year is “Strong Roots in Changing Times,” to reflect the resilience of American Indians throughout the pandemic and the continued preservation of their culture and traditions.


November 3

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for Children Ages 5 to 11

Children ages 5 to 11 can now receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a lower dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age group, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all children 5–11 get the vaccine to protect against serious illness and help keep them healthy.

“Children are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus just like everyone else,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “The authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides a safe, tested way to protect them from serious illness and provide healthier, happier experiences in and outside of the classroom.”

During the most recent surge, pediatric cases of COVID-19 rose by about 240% in the United States, demonstrating a need to protect children from the disease. Results from clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective to protect children ages 5–11 from COVID-19.

Children are given two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Each dose is one-third the amount given to people ages 12 and older. The dose for 5–11 year olds is different from the dose authorized for people ages 12 and older, and children in this age group should not receive the 12 and older dose.

The vaccine is effective and produced a similar immune response in children 5–11 as in older kids and adults ages 16–25. As with other routine vaccinations for children, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine underwent a thorough testing and review process by the FDA and an independent scientific committee to ensure it is safe and effective for children.

Everyone ages 5 and older can receive a free Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, even if they don’t have health insurance and regardless of their immigration status. 

In Orange County there are multiple places that your 5–11-year-old can be vaccinated, including pediatric clinics, K-12 Schools, and local pharmacies and “pop-up events.” For more information visit http://www.townofcarrboro.org/civicalerts.aspx?AID=1909.


2021 Municipal Election Results

On Nov. 2, the Orange County Board of Elections announced the following winners of the Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and CHCCS School Board races:

Carrboro

Mayor: Damon Seils

Town Council: Barbara Foushee, Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Dany Nowell

Chapel Hill

Mayor:  Pam Hemminger

Town Council: Camille Berry, Paris Miller-Foushee, Adam Searing, Karen Stegman

CHCCS Board of Education

George Griffin, Riza Jenkins, Mike Sharp


Carrboro CD and Record Show

The 29th Biannual Carrboro CD and Record Show will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7. in the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. in downtown Carrboro. Admission is free. Masks are required during the event.

The event will feature 42 tables of new and used CDs, vinyl records, and music memorabilia. Although the items for sale will mostly be vinyl records, there will also be a large number of CDs, cassettes, and 45 RPM records.

For more information, contact organizer Gerry Williams at 919-260-0661 or gerrycw51@gmail.com or visit www.musicalroots.net


Orange County Department on Aging to honor veterans with appreciation breakfast on Veterans Day

The Orange County Department on Aging invites veterans and their families to a Veterans Day Celebration Breakfast Thursday, Nov. 11. 

Join us for a FREE tailgate/drive-thru breakfast and patriotic music in honor of your contribution and service to the United States of America. Park your car and listen to patriotic music while you enjoy a delicious breakfast from Chick-fil-A, or drive by to receive your breakfast and our appreciation on the go. Participants will also receive a Veteran’s Day discount booklet.

The event will take place at the Passmore Center (back parking lot) located at 103 Meadowlands Dr., Hillsborough, Thursday, Nov. 11 from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. 

Space is limited. Please register on or before Tuesday, Nov. 9 to reserve your breakfast. To register, please call 919.245.2015.

Co-sponsored by Chick-fil-A, Orange County Department of Social Services and the Friends of the Jerry M. Passmore Center. 


One-Way Road: Country Club Road

Country Club Road will be reconstructed from Raleigh Street to Raleigh Road. 

This work is expected to begin Monday, Nov. 1st, and last 10 to 14 days, depending on favorable weather. Workers will be on site 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Restriping is scheduled for the week of Nov. 8th.

During the work, one-way westbound traffic will be allowed in the direction of Raleigh Road to Raleigh Street. All other traffic will be detoured to Raleigh Street.

Pedestrians can continue to use the sidewalks. Bicycle traffic should use the sidewalks or follow the detour.


Orange County Department on Aging to Host Session on Advance Directives

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a virtual/in-person discussion, Advance Directives Made Easy Nov. 9.

Advance directives can be overwhelming and confusing; this umbrella term encompasses a variety of forms from which to choose. Join our Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team members for an honest discussion about the types of advance directives and how to find the one that suits your needs.  

Presenters:

  • Betty Myers, Project EngAGE, Duke Equal ACP-trained community health worker;
  • Ina Stern, Project EngAGE, Duke Equal ACP-trained community health worker;
  • Anne Weston, Green Burial Project, Duke Equal ACP-trained community health worker.

The event will take place Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 4 – 5:30 p.m. via a virtual platform with limited seated for in-person viewing.

Please register for in-person attendance by Thursday, Nov. 3 with the Seymour Center front desk at 919-968-2070. Maximum in-person attendance: 26.

You may register for the virtual event until Tuesday, Nov. 9 using the link www.orangecountync.gov/AdvancedDirectives.


Parks and Recreation takes a step forward with Open Play at our Gymnasiums

The Chapel Hill Community Center Gymnasium, the Northside Gymnasium at Hargraves Park and Rashkis Elementary School Gymnasium are now available for open play basketball and volleyball with a limited capacity. To participate, patrons can reserve up to three open play times a week, no more than seven days in advance. Open play is a combination of dedicated days and times for all individuals and skill levels to play, practice or enjoy a pick-up game at our indoor gymnasiums. Private instruction, personal training, team practices, and group lessons are not permitted during open play.

To reserve a day and time visit https://bit.ly/3BCCzTj. Patrons can also “drop-in” to reserve a space at the Chapel Hill Community Center Gym and Northside Gym at Hargraves Park; however, availability is on a first come first serve basis until the maximum occupancy is reached. Drop-ins are not available at Rashkis Elementary School Gym.

The daily visit fee for individuals 18 years and older is $2 for residents and $3 for non-residents. Patrons 17 and under, or 18 with a current high school ID, play for free, but must register for a Youth Annual Basketball Pass.


Weigh in on the region’s transportation future

The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization is updating the region’s long-range plan, the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP).  The agency will use the public input received on the draft plan, called the  Preferred Option, to identify where roadway, public transportation, bicycle, pedestrian, and other transportation investments will be needed in the coming decades.

The Preferred Option for the 2050 MTP deemphasizes highway widenings and provides greater support for public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian, and highway modernization investments to meet the region’s climate and equity goals.

Residents and other stakeholders are asked to review the Preferred Option on the DCHC MPO website and provide comments by email no later than Tuesday, Dec. 7. Residents can also speak directly to the DCHC MPO Board at an online public hearing on November 10 at 9 a.m.


Local Disabled American Veterans chapter coming to Chapel Hill

A chapter of Disabled American Veterans is coming to Chapel Hill and will hold its first meeting Thursday, Nov. 18, at 101 Edgar St. The meeting is scheduled for 6-7 p.m.

Topics of discussion include: 

  • Demographics, Diversity, Membership and Inclusiveness;
  • How can you help your local DAV;
  • Helping those in need with their Veteran’s Benefits;
  • How can your local DAV help you and your family.

Masks required for all attendees.


OCAC sponsors Fifth Annual Paint It Orange Plein Air Pain-Out

The Orange County Arts Commission presents the 5th Annual Paint It Orange Plein Air Paint-Out and Wet Paint Sale Nov. 3-5, 2021.

Artists are invited to Orange County to capture the landscapes and landmarks signature to the Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Carrboro communities. Participating artists will paint at sites of their choosing throughout Orange County from Nov. 3-5, and will submit up to three of their favorite paintings for jurying on Friday, Nov. 5 at the Eno Arts Mill Gallery in Hillsborough.

An awards reception and preview party will take place at 6 p.m., followed by a reception and Wet Paint Sale at 7 p.m., in which the submitted paintings will be available for sale.


Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7

Medicare plans change each calendar year.  Your medication costs can increase significantly if your plan changes its drug list and pricing as of Jan 1.  Many people save hundreds and even thousands of dollars by switching plans, but most can only change during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period. The Orange County Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) provides free and unbiased assistance.

Meet with a certified counselor for an Annual Medicare Review. Orange County will be offering in-person appointments at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill and the Passmore Center in Hillsborough as well as online using Zoom Video Chat. Schedule online at www.orangecountync.gov/Medicare or call 919-245-4274.


November Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Department will perform three speed enforcement operations in November – in addition to normal patrols – with the main goal of improving safety for everyone who shares roads.

  • Tuesday, November 2, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, November 9, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, November 23, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

*Dates and times are subject to change

Chapel Hill Police will also perform four pedestrian safety enforcement operations this month:

  • Friday, November 5,  8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 18, 1 p.m. to 5 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 (ex. along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor). We encourage everyone traveling, regardless of your mode of transportation, to remember that community safety is a shared responsibility.

The Town will utilize its variable message sign (VMS) 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.


COVID Business Grant Application Period Now Open

The Town of Carrboro Economic Development Department announces the opening of the application period for the much-anticipated COVID-19 Mitigation Business Grants. The grants are provided through additional funding the Town has received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The grant program provides businesses that are located in Carrboro and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 the opportunity to apply for up to $10,000 in mitigation assistance. The funds can be used for back rent and utilities, COVID-19 loan repayment, training for upskilling employees, capital projects to make businesses safer for customers and employees, and marketing and advertising.

The program also places a priority on business organizations employing or serving persons who are low to moderate income, women- and BIPOC-owned businesses, tourism-sector business, certified living-wage businesses, and small and locally-owned businesses.

The application period will remain open through 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. Applications and more information are available at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/ED or can be obtained at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC 27510. 


Veterans Day Ceremonies

Town of Carrboro employees who are veterans will be recognized for their service and sacrifice by Mayor Lydia Lavelle and the Town Council on Veterans Day. This special recognition will take place at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, on the steps in front of Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St. Carrboro, N.C.   

An Orange County Veterans Day Celebration will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at Southern Human Services Campus, 2501 Homestead Drive, Chapel Hill, NC. This event is free and open to the public. Masks and social distancing are required. If you can’t be there in person, you can watch live on Orange County Veterans Memorial’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/orangecountyveteransmemorial. Learn more at http://www.orangecountyveteransmemorial.com/.

Veterans Day is marked each year on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice (cease-fire) that ended WWI. The armistice was signed in 1918 and President Woodrow Wilson first began the tradition of it as a day of American national remembrance in November 1919. In 1938, it became an official national holiday. In 1954, it became known as Veterans Day instead of Armistice Day.


October 27

Carrboro Film Fest Scheduled Nov. 19-21

Carrboro Film Fest is bringing the movies back to Carrboro this November!  Now in its 16th year, Carrboro Film Fest begins with a special Early Fest Screening of the local documentary We Are Here at the Varsity Theatre Nov. 5. The film documents the 20th season of the acclaimed, Chapel Hill-based theater troupe Paperhand Puppet Intervention.

The main festival will run Nov. 19-21 at The ArtsCenter and includes six feature films and four blocks of short films. Features include the heartwarming drama Drought, the beautiful road-trip film Landlocked, and the world premiere of the local documentary Captain Scott B and the Great Adventure

Join us in November! 

Attendees will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, and masks will be required. 


 

Orange County Board of Commissioners 2022 Meeting Calendar

Pursuant to NCGS § 153A-40, the Orange County Board of Commissioners provides notice of its 2022 meeting calendar. 
 
On Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 the Orange County Board of Commissioners approved the calendar of BOCC meetings scheduled for 2022.  The meeting dates are provided at https://bit.ly/3w4S9WN.
 
There are two different calendar formats available. There is a text schedule of meetings and also a one page “meetings at a glance” color calendar. 


Chapel Hill Seeks Input on How to Spend American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) includes money for local, county, and state governments to address difficulties caused by COVID-19. While governments are still waiting for more information about how funds can be spent, the Town has begun soliciting community input and evaluating proposed projects. 

ARPA funds can be used to: 

  1. Support public health. Fund medical expenses, behavioral health care and certain public health and safety staff;
  2. Address negative economic impacts. Relieve economic harm to workers, households, small businesses, affected industries and the public sector;
  3. Replace lost town revenue. Provide government services to the extent of the loss in revenue because of the pandemic; 
  4. Provide premium pay for essential workers. Offer additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors;
  5. Invest in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. Make necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and expand access to broadband internet; 

ARPA funds cannot be used to:

  • Build a town’s savings reserves or repay loans;
  • Pay litigation costs;
  • Fund a town’s pension debts;
  • Offset loss in tax revenue as a result of a law, regulation or administrative interpretation;
  • Lower tax rates;
  • Pay for general growth or economic development purposes.

If you have ideas about how ARPA money can be spent in Chapel Hill, visit https://bit.ly/3pO5jGj and complete the online survey or email us at arpa@townofchapelhill.org.


Oct. 31 in Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill encourages everyone to find safe ways to celebrate Halloween and keep Franklin Street – and the surrounding area – open to vehicle traffic. Our emergency management team, with years of experience handling Halloween, is prepared to respond to any need. 

The Town’s goal in recent years has been to make Oct. 31 even safer for people, and this remains our focus while COVID-19 is a factor. The Town, along with its partners at UNC-Chapel Hill, is discussing how to ensure everyone is keeping safety top of mind. Instead of gathering in large crowds — regardless of vaccination status — there safer ways you can celebrate Halloween.

The Town encourages our community to avoid celebrating in large crowds, even outside, and to find other ways to enjoy Halloween. The Orange County Health Department has developed a guide of safer alternatives for this year. It can be viewed at orangecountync.gov/Halloween.

What to expect downtown Sunday, Oct. 31

Should crowd sizes become large enough that keeping Franklin Street, Columbia Street, or any other downtown roads open to motor-vehicle traffic becomes unsafe, the roads will be closed. That closure will not begin before 8 p.m., and it will conclude no later than 9:30 p.m.

Prohibited items

You will notice officers from the Chapel Hill, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Carrboro police departments and Orange County Sheriff Deputies downtown the evening of Sunday, Oct. 31.

Law enforcement officers will be looking for prohibited items, such as open containers of alcohol, weapons, or items that look like or could be used as weapons. If you bring any of these items, you will be asked to dispose of them or remove them from the downtown area.

“Our goal this year is to encourage our community to find safe ways to celebrate Halloween that don’t include gathering in our downtown,“ said Chapel Hill Police Chief and Executive Director for Community Safety Chris Blue.


Town of Chapel Hill Accepting Applications for Human Services Funding

The Town of Chapel Hill is now accepting applications for Human Services funding for FY23 (Fiscal Year 2022-2023). The application submission deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13 2022.

Performance Measures Workshop (Virtual):

  • 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3

Application Orientation Session (Virtual):

  • 9-11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 18
    • Registration will open one week before the event.  Please register here.

Q&A Sessions (Virtual):

  • 9-11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 (Optional)
    • Registration will open one week before the event.  Please register here.
  • 9-11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 6 (Optional)
    • Registration will open one week before the event.  Please register here.

Human Services

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

The Human Services Funding application is available online at townofchapelhill.org/humanservices.

For more information about human services funding, contact Jackie Thompson at 919-969-5081 or jthompson@townofchapelhill.org


Boosters for All Vaccines Available Now

To strengthen and extend protections against severe illness, North Carolinians who have been fully vaccinated with the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines you may now be eligible to receive a booster dose. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have authorized and recommended ”booster” vaccine shots to provide continued protection (see https://bit.ly/318Ow6F).   

Moderna: If you were vaccinated more than six months ago with the Moderna COVID-19 shot, boosters are now available for people: 

  • 65 years or older,    
  • 18 years or older who:  
    • live or work in a nursing home or long-term care facility;    
    • have underlying medical conditions;    
    • who work in high-risk settings like health care workers, teachers and child care providers or food workers;   
    • live or work in a place where many people live together (for example, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, migrant farm housing, dormitories or other group living settings in colleges or universities).

The Moderna booster is a smaller dose than what is given in the first two shots. Be sure to let your provider know you want the booster. 

Johnson & Johnson: It is recommended that anyone 18 or older who was vaccinated more than two months ago with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should get a booster dose. 

Pfizer: Pfizer-BioNTech (COMIRNATY) booster shots continue to be available to anyone at high risk for serious illness or exposure, and who received their second dose at least six months ago.  

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has now authorized the distribution of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters in addition to Pfizer COVID-19 boosters. Not all vaccines may be available at every vaccine location.   

To find a COVID-19 booster visit MySpot.nc.gov to search vaccine locations near you. 

Additionally, individuals are now able to receive any brand of COVID-19 vaccine for their booster shot. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. Limited preliminary evidence suggests that booster doses of one of the two mRNA vaccines — Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech — more effectively raise antibody levels than a booster dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. NCDHHS encourages you to speak with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you have questions about what booster is right for you. 

Have questions about whether your personal medical conditions or job might make you eligible?  Talk to a doctor, pharmacist or nurse about whether you should get a booster. Booster shots are available anywhere COVID-19 vaccines are available. People do not need a doctor’s note to get a booster shot and may self-attest to eligibility. Individuals who want to receive a booster shot will need to know the dates of any past COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as the vaccine brand they originally received. Paper vaccination cards are helpful but may not be necessary. At-home vaccination (https://bit.ly/3Gr8bPj) and free transportation may be available. To learn more, visit https://bit.ly/3Bhc99j).

Related Links


Greene Tract Community Open House

A Community Open House on the future of the Greene Tract will be held Nov. 7-8. Two opportunities to participate are scheduled:

  • First meeting: In-person Sunday, Nov. 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the RENA Community Center located at 101 Edgar Street.(rain date Sunday, Nov. 14th)
  • Second meeting: Virtual meeting online Monday, Nov. 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Participants must register for the session in advance. For those individuals who may not have internet access, there are phone options available to join. Participants may register at https://bit.ly/3jIUhyo.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Topics will include:

  • Background and history of the Greene Tract
  • Environmental Assessment
  • Connectivity
  • Future development and land uses
  • Next steps

Orange County, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill have been collaboratively planning for the future of the jointly owned 104-acre Greene Tract and permanent preservation of the Orange County owned 60-acre Headwaters Preserve. 

The Greene Tract is a place of immense historical, cultural and natural resources, and all three governmental entities are committed to a thoughtful and inclusive site planning process that respects the people and resources of the area, while reflecting the shared goal of increasing affordable housing for our community. Additional information on the Greene Tract can be found here: https://www.orangecountync.gov/2127/Greene-Tract.

For questions, contact Ashley Moncado, Orange County Planning and Inspections Department, by email (amoncado@orangecountync.gov) or by phone (919-245-2589).


Orange County, Carrboro and Chapel Hill Outside Agencies Funding Process Opens

Each year, Orange County, the Town of Carrboro and the Town of Chapel Hill invite program funding requests from nonprofit providers (outside agencies) to support delivery of vital community services. The County and Towns administer a common application with separate evaluation processes.

“Outside agencies play a crucial role in providing services to county residents,” said Renee Price, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. “We rely on nonprofit organizations to help fill the gaps and deliver life-enhancing programs for our families and communities to assure safe, healthy and nurturing living environments.”

The FY 2020-21 Commissioner-Approved Budget included funding for 50 agencies totaling $1,561,974, an increase of $71,793 from the prior year. This included funding for one new or previously unfunded agency, in the amount of $20,000.

The total Outside Agency budget for FY2021-22 is $1.72 million, which is consistent with the goal established by the Board of County Commissioners to allocate 1.2% of general fund expenses, not including education, to outside agencies.

Each quarter, agencies must report their performance objectives and provide financial receipts in order to receive funding disbursements, as outlined in funding applications and Scope of Services Performance Agreement.

For more detailed information, please visit the Funding Process page. The application deadline is Jan. 13 2022. 

Points of Contact


Orange County Living Wage New Certification

Orange County Living Wage is excited to announce that The Lupine School has recently certified as a living wage employer! The Lupine School is a community preschool located at the 1870 Farm in Chapel Hill. Director and teacher Amy Magrinat pays a living wage because it’s important to “cultivat[e]compassion and teach [students] what it means to live in a democratic society where their voices matter. That needs to extend not just to the children in our care and their families, but to our employees!”


Community Bike Ride Set for Friday Oct. 29

The Town of Carrboro will participate in a community bike ride starting from Carrboro Town Hall (301 W. Main St.) at 4:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. 

The purpose of the ride – organized by the Carrboro Bike Coalition/Bike Carrboro – is to help publicize the pilot protected bike lane installed along the eastbound lane of Jones Ferry Road in August. Protected bike lanes generally have a separation element between the bike lane and the vehicular travel lane. On Jones Ferry Road, this element is a row of flex posts. The flex posts serve to identify the bike lane as a space for people on bikes.  

The route of the bike ride runs from Carrboro Town Hall and down Jones Ferry Road to the Willow Creek shopping center, where the group will turn around and then cruise back up the new protected bike lane and return to Town Hall. 

The protected bike lane in Carrboro was approved by the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) as a pilot project and installed by the Town’s Public Works Department. It begins just south of the N.C. 54 eastbound ramps and extends north to the point near Barnes Street where the street narrows and the buffered bike lane end. The pilot project is expected to be in place through August 2022, and during this period, Town staff will collect data and will assess maintenance procedures during the winter months.  

To reinforce road safety, Town staff will offer free safety gear (such as front lights and rear lights) to participants. The lights are a reminder for local cyclists to get ready for shorter days, in anticipation of daylight saving time which starts Nov. 7.

Anyone who wishes to join the Community Bike Ride Oct. 29 and needs a bike, or would like to try out an electric bike, is welcome to borrow one from The Clean Machine Bike Shop just before the ride.  Contact tamara@thecleanmachine.com to make arrangements for borrowing a bicycle.


October 21, 2021

Chapel Hill, Carrboro Bring Racial Equity Focus to Human Services Program

Consistent with their commitment to equity and inclusion, the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are taking steps together to center racial equity in the Human Services Program. The Human Services Program provides funding to nonprofit agencies that offer vital services to residents.

Over the course of the next year, the towns will conduct a comprehensive racial equity analysis of the program by:

  • Training staff, human services advisory board members and agency partners on racial equity, drawing on resources from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (https://www.racialequityalliance.org/), nonprofit partners and other sources;
  • Conducting a racial equity assessment of the Human Services Program, which will include engagement with nonprofit partners and the people they serve;
  • Based on what is learned through the racial equity assessment, updating the program’s strategic results framework (https://bit.ly/3ncbnFy) and funding application.

The towns will release the application for fiscal year 2023 Oct. 22; applications are due no later than Jan. 13, 2022.

To learn more about the Human Services Program:

Town of Chapel Hill – https://bit.ly/3b3DYqY

Town of Carrboro – townofcarrboro.org/2378/Human-Services-Funding


New Loose-Leaf Program Aims to Help Environment

The Town of Chapel Hill’s annual loose-leaf collection has begun. This year’s collection might be slower due to limited staffing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some things to know about leaf collection this year:

  1. Leave the Leaves: In partnership with the New Hope Audubon Society, the town has launched a new voluntary Leave the Leaves program to promote environmental sustainability and to ease the strain on collection services. Leaving leaves where they fall saves time and money and benefits our environment. This process reduces flooding and land erosion; supports bees, fireflies, birds and wildlife; improves tree and soil health; and reduces air, water and noise pollution. For more on Leave the Leaves, see townofchapelhill.org/leaves.
  2. Compost your leaves: Leaves and other brown materials (like pine straw and twigs) can provide valuable nutrients for your yard and garden. To learn more about composting properly from Orange County Solid Waste Management, see orangecountync.gov/1150/Compost-at-Home.
  3. Containerize your leaves: To reduce the amount for the vacuum trucks to collect, place your leaves in containers when possible. Yard materials are collected weekly in town-issued yard-waste carts, other rigid containers and paper yard-waste bags (no plastic bags) year-round. To order a yard-waste cart, see townofchapelhill.org/yardwaste.
  4. Place your leaves behind the curb: Make sure loose leaves and pine straw are free of limbs and other debris. Do not place in the street, and avoid blocking travel and bike lanes, sidewalks, fire hydrants, mailboxes, storm drains, or water meters; and interfering with sight distances at intersections. Loose-leaf collection takes place from mid-October through mid-February in the Town of Chapel Hill.

Carrboro Farmers’ Market Hours Changing Soon

The Carrboro Farmers’ Market hours are changing as follows: 

  • Last day of Saturday main-season hours, 7 a.m. to noon, will be Saturday, Oct. 30; 
  • Saturday winter hours, 9 a.m. to noon, begin Saturday, Nov. 6 and run through next spring;
  • Last Wednesday afternoon market of the year is Nov. 17;
  • Special pre-Thanksgiving market will be Tuesday, Nov. 23, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) benefits may be used at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. The market offers unlimited double bucks to SNAP/EBT customers: for example, $20 from your EBT card = $40 to spend at the market. Stop by the welcome booth for more information; se habla Español.

See http://www.carrborofarmersmarket.com for more information.


October 19, 2021

ReVive Recovery Grants for Entrepreneurs, Start-Ups and Small Businesses in Chapel Hill

As a part of its comprehensive economic recovery strategy (https://www.open2.biz/revive), the Town of Chapel Hill has instituted the ReVive Recovery Grants program for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

In June 2021, the town council voted to appropriate $200,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to create and market this program, which will award grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 to support new entrepreneur ideation, existing startups, and local small businesses.

ReVive Recovery Grants will be available in three categories:

  • Micro Grants: up to $1,000 to support business ideas that lead to enterprise creation and growth;
  • Entrepreneur Grants: up to $1,500 to support entrepreneurs who are on a path toward creating a successful enterprise;
  • Small Business Grants: up to $5,000 to support existing Chapel Hill enterprises and help them continue to grow through the pandemic;

Staff will accept applications Oct. 15-Nov. 7 and distribute grants before the end of November. 
Staff will consider applications and award grants based on the likelihood of success and the strength of idea and proposal. Priority will be given to women-owned, minority-owned and locally owned enterprises.

For more information, including qualifications, detailed grant summaries, and links to applications, see https://bit.ly/3lXhXAp.


2020 Visitor Spending in Orange County Tops $128 Million

Domestic and international visitors to and within Orange County spent $128.4 million in 2020, a decrease of 47.7% from 2019. The data come from an annual study commissioned and recently released by Visit North Carolina (https://www.visitnc.com/), a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

The 2020 study includes both domestic and international tourism spending to and within Orange County. The $128.4 million in visitor spending represents a tax savings of $78.88 per county resident. Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Orange County was $44.6 million.

Statewide, visitor spending was down 32% to $19.96 billion, compared to 2019. Tourism employment fell 26% to 178,685. The losses were felt most acutely in urban areas.


Chapel Hill Police Offer Safe Way to Discard Prescription Medications

The Chapel Hill Police Department is partnering with Wegmans grocery store to offer you a safe way to get rid of unused, expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications. On Saturday, Oct. 23, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, you can drop off those medications at Wegmans (1810 Fordham Blvd), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Medications are the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths among children, according to Operation Medicine Drop, a statewide campaign that aims to eliminate the problem. They also report that an average of four people each day die of overdose in North Carolina, and 79% of those deaths involve some type of opioid.

Properly disposing medications helps protect the environment and our community’s health, according to Orange Water and Sewer Authority. The agency asks you not to flush medication or put it down drains because it can contaminate our local water system.

Since the first drug take-back event in North Carolina in 2010, Operation Medicine Drop has collected more than 246 million pills, supported more than 4,284 events and assisted in the placement of more than 490 drop-box locations.


Film/Discussion About Racial Disparities Within the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System

A Zoom meeting and discussion on “The Past Remains Present in Our Schools” will be presented Sunday, Oct. 17, at 3 p.m. by the Chapel Hill Historical Society. Kim Talikoff will share the locally produced documentary, I’m Smart, Too: Integrated Schools, Segregated Students. The film uses a historical framework to explore dynamics that amplify racial disparities within the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools system today. The audience will be invited to participate in a discussion about the film and the issues it asks us to confront.

Join the Zoom meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9091129297. Meeting ID: 909 112 9297.


Upcoming Local NAACP Banquet Focuses on Voting Rights

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will focus on voting rights and voter suppression at its annual Freedom Fund Banquet to be held Oct. 17. This hybrid virtual and in-person event will feature keynote speaker Nsé Ufot, chief executive officer of the New Georgia Project (NGP) and its affiliate, NGP Action Fund. 

Ms. Ufot leads both organizations with a data-informed approach and a commitment to developing tools that use technology to make it easier for every voter to engage in every election. She and her team are also developing Georgia’s home-grown talent by training and organizing local activists across the state to strengthen Georgia’s democracy. Under her leadership, NGP has registered more than 500,000 eligible Georgians to vote.

The banquet will be held virtually and also safely distanced in person at the drive-in theater at Carraway Village in Chapel Hill. In-person attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a meal catered by Mama Dip’s. Longtime local and national community advocate Creighton Blackwell will serve as master of ceremonies for the banquet. 

The Freedom Fund Banquet is the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP’s primary fundraiser, supporting programming, activism and outreach, as well as branch scholarships; its social-justice internship program; economic development efforts serving local Black and indigenous residents and other people of color; and voter education and advocacy. The funds allow the branch to fulfill the NAACP’s mission to ensure the equal political, educational, social and economic rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

At the event, the branch also recognizes the recipients of its annual scholarships and awards honors to outstanding members of the branch and the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities.


Campaign for Racial Equity Announces Endorsements for CHCCS Board of Education

The Campaign for Racial Equity in Our Schools (CFRE) announces its endorsement of George Griffin, Riza Jenkins and Mike Sharp to serve on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) Board of Education.

CFRE is a community-based organization that promotes education and advocacy to ensure that race no longer a determines access and outcomes in our public schools. CFRE notes that CHCCS has long been recognized by many as an excellent district, yet also has the second-highest achievement gap in the country and among the highest discipline disparities in the state.

For more information about CFRE and its endorsements, visit https://www.facebook.com/campaignforracialequity/.


October 8, 2021

East Rosemary Street Temporary Reduction to One Lane

A contractor for the Town of Chapel Hill will reduce East Rosemary Street to one lane between North Columbia and Henderson streets weekdays Oct. 11 through Oct. 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., for utility work. This schedule is dependent on favorable weather. Sidewalk users should detour around this closure.

For more information about the East Rosemary Redevelopment Project, visit townofchapelhill.org/rosemary-project.


Early Voting in Orange County

Orange County offers early voting to all registered Orange County voters who wish to vote early, in-person rather than voting absentee by mail or voting on Election Day, Nov. 2.

For a list of early-voting sites and their schedules, see https://bit.ly/2YwGVNQ.

Same-day voter registration is available during the early-voting period at all early-voting sites. If completing same-day registration, one must bring a valid form of government ID (does not need to be a photo ID, but must show residence in Orange County) and one must vote during early voting rather than on Election Day.

The voter registration deadline is 25 days before an election, on a Friday, at 5:00 p.m. Applications must be delivered to the board of elections by 5:00 p.m. or must be postmarked by 5:00 p.m.

Orange County also offers absentee voting by mail to all Orange County registered voters who wish to vote by mail rather than in person at a one-stop early-voting site or on Election Day. Absentee ballot requests may be submitted using the required absentee ballot request form, either in person (at 208 S. Cameron St., Hillsborough), by mail (P.O. Box 220, Hillsborough, NC 27278) or online through the absentee ballot portal (https://votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home). For information on receiving an absentee ballot by mail, rather than voting in person, see https://bit.ly/3lpxwRm.


October 7, 2021

Farnan Promoted to Orange County Fire Marshal

After an extensive search and recruitment process, Orange County named Elizabeth Farnan as the new fire marshal for Orange County. She officially began her duties Sept. 25.

Farnan, who was appointed acting fire marshal in July, began her career in 1994 as a telecommunicator for Orange County before moving on to various firefighting roles with the Town of Carrboro, Orange County and Chapel Hill fire departments. She has served as assistant fire marshal with Orange County Emergency Services since October 2009 and holds numerous certifications. She was recently nominated to serve on the N.C. Fire Code Revision Committee through the N.C. Office of the State Fire Marshal.

As the fire marshal for Orange County, Farnan plans to advocate for every home having working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, implement more fire and life safety educational programs and work to build a solid community risk-reduction dashboard.


 

October Proclaimed Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Carrboro, encouraging residents to “show support for victims and survivors of domestic violence, and to work toward a future when all people can feel safe in their relationships and their homes.”


Longtime Homeowner Assistance Program Launched

Orange County launched a new Longtime Homeowner Assistance (LHA) program Oct. 8 to provide property tax bill assistance to help people stay in their homes. To qualify, homeowners must live in Orange County, have lived in their home for at least 10 years, have experienced an increase in property taxes due to the 2021 tax revaluation and earn no more than 80% of the area median income (see income chart at https://bit.ly/3oIijwH).

Applicants can apply in the following ways:

  1. Online at https://orangecountynchousing.submittable.com/submit
  2. By phone (919-245-2655) or by email (HousingHelp@orangecountync.gov.)
  3. By paper application available at the Orange County housing and community development department offices:
  • Hillsborough office: 300 West Tryon Street, 3rd Floor, Hillsborough, NC 27278
  • Chapel Hill office: 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Completed paper applications can be dropped in the drop boxes outside of the housing and community development offices or mailed to Orange County Housing and Community Development, P.O. Box 8181, Hillsborough, NC 27278

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Dec. 15 to allow time for processing.

For more information about the LHA Program, visit: https://bit.ly/3oHgGzj.


Club Nova Receives $350,000 Grant from SECU Foundation

Club Nova, a 30-year-old nonprofit in Carrboro that serves adults with severe and persistent mental illness, has been awarded a $350,000 grant from the State Employees Credit Union Foundation. Proclaimed a “godsend” by Executive Director Karen Dunn, it brings the foundation to within $440,000 of what is needed to complete construction and furnish and equip the new clubhouse.
The building is now framed in and is expected to be finished by next spring. 


Carrboro Celebrates Marriage Equality Day

Carrboro is celebrating Sunday, Oct. 10, as Marriage Equality Day, to commemorate that date in 2014, when federal Judge Max Cogburn struck down North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.


October 5, 2021

NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund Endorses Candidates for Local Office in Chapel Hill and Carrboro

The NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund, a local, community-based 501(c)(4) focused on affordable housing, transportation alternatives and economic development, has made the following endorsements in Chapel Hill and Carrboro for the 2021 municipal elections.
 
Chapel Hill Mayor—Pam Hemminger
Chapel Hill Town Council—Camille Berry, Paris Miller-Foushee, Karen Stegman
Carrboro Mayor—Damon Seils
Carrboro Town Council—Barbara Foushee, Danny Nowell
 
Our endorsements were based on the answers given at candidate forums, on candidate questionnaires and the voting records of incumbents running for re-election. The NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund evaluated the candidates on their relevant experience and depth of knowledge of critical issues facing our community. NEXT believes that growth should support affordable housing that is inclusive of both renting and homeownership, multi-modal transportation infrastructure, climate responses that reduce the carbon footprint of our towns and a diverse and equitable community. 

For more information, visit https://nextnc.org/2021-elections/.


October 3, 2021

Who Should Get a COVID-19 Booster?

North Carolinians at high risk for serious illness or exposure who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for six months or more can now receive a booster shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following groups should get a COVID-19 booster if they have previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary shots;
  • People 50 to 64 years with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary shots;
  • People 18 to 49 years who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary shots, based on their individual benefits and risks;
  • People 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary shots, based on their individual benefits and risks;

Those eligible can find booster shots at their health care provider, pharmacies and other locations where COVID-19 vaccines are available. There is no need for people to go back to the location where they received their original vaccines — most COVID-19 vaccination locations can provide Pfizer boosters. Visit MySpot.nc.gov and check “Pfizer-BioNTech (age 12+)” to search locations and ensure Pfizer is available. The Orange County Health Department offers booster shots at both the Hillsborough and Chapel Hill walk-in clinics. Learn more at www.orangecountync.gov/getyourshot.

If you have questions about whether to get a Pfizer booster, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services encourages you to talk to a medical professional to get their opinion.

If you received the Moderna or J & J (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine, a booster shot is not recommended at this time.


Friends of the CHPL Pop-up Book Sales Pop Up Again!

The final Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library weekend book sales this fall (the others have already taken place) are the non-fiction sale on Friday, Oct. 8, 2:00 – 7:00 pm (Friends members only); and the Big Bag sale Sat., Oct. 16. They will be conducted in the library’s largest meeting room, with COVID protocols (https://friendschpl.org/#safety) in place.

The non-fiction sale will include everything from history and biographies to cooking and gardening to sports and travel. The Big Bag sale will include everything that’s left from the previous three sales, all for just $10 per bag.

Capacity will be limited to a maximum of 30 shoppers at any time. NO book stacking and storing will be allowed. NO large rolling carts or wagons will be permitted. 


CHALT Announces 2021 Endorsements for Chapel Hill Mayor and Town Council

The Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town (CHALT) announces its endorsement of Hongbin Gu for Chapel Hill Mayor and Adam Searing and Vimala Rajendran for Chapel Hill Town Council.

The interview and selection process comprised the following:

  • All candidates were invited to participate;
  • Interview questions, developed by the group, were given to the candidates in advance;
  • The questions and videorecorded interviews were made publicly available online;
  • We invited over 100 town residents to participate in the two-day selection event, of whom approximately 25 participated and several others sent in written comments;
  • A trained facilitator was recruited to run the meeting;
  • We established the rule that, to receive CHALT’s endorsement, a candidate needed to have support from at least 2/3 of those participating in the selection process. As it turned out, each of our three endorsees received support from more than 90% of the participants.

We encourage voters to view the videorecorded interviews at https://bit.ly/3oq1433 and to read CHALT’s full endorsement statement, which can be found at https://www.chalt.org/chalt-endorsements-2021/.

CHALT is a diverse group of residents who bring neighborhood concerns and constituent issues to the attention of elected officials for evaluation and resolution. CHALT advocates for responsible land-use planning and promotes equity, inclusion and data-based decision-making in all facets of Town government.

For more information, please contact: Julie McClintock  mcclintock.julie@gmail.com, Linda Brown  lkbrown9478392@gmail.com or Virginia Gray  vagray@email.unc.edu

Editor’s Note: Victory Fund and Equality North Carolina have also announced endorsements for the 2021 Chapel Hill and Carrboro municipal elections.


October 2, 2021

Carrboro Recognizes Diaper Need Awareness Week

The week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 is “Diaper Need Awareness Week” in the Town of Carrboro, as proclaimed by Mayor Lydia Lavelle. Diaper Bank of North Carolina recognizes the importance of diapers for ensuring health and providing economic stability for families and distributes diapers to families through various channels. 

Mayor Lavelle encourages residents of Carrboro to donate generously to diaper banks, diaper drives and those organizations that collect and distribute diapers to those struggling with diaper need. 


Carrboro Advisory Board Recruitment

The Town of Carrboro is recruiting for many positions on town advisory boards and commissions. To see the list of current vacancies and to apply, go to townofcarrboro.org/advisoryboards.

 The Town Council is making it a priority to put Black/African American voices on all advisory boards and commissions that address aspects of Carrboro’s quality of life.


Carrboro 10K Scheduled Saturday, Oct. 2

A Carrboro 10K road race is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2.

Expect traffic delays around this time on N. Greensboro Street and Hillsborough Road. The race begins in front of McDougle Middle School, winds through downtown Carrboro and its neighborhoods and finishes on the McDougle track.

To learn more, visit https://www.cardinaltrackclub.com/


Carrboro Connects Preliminary Draft Plan Released 

The Carrboro Connects Comprehensive Plan team met for discussion and feedback on the recently released preliminary draft plan that lays out a vision and a set of goals, strategies and projects for the next 20 years in Carrboro. 

The plan is centered on an overarching foundational framework of racial equity and climate action. It outlines plans for affordable housing; climate action & environment; transportation; green infrastructure; energy & water; economic sustainability; recreation, parks & cultural resources; land use; and public services. 

The Town is seeking input on the plan from the entire community; visit carrboroconnects.org/prelim-draft-plan and offer feedback. The plan will undergo a round of revisions in October and has a town council public hearing set for Nov. 16.


New Electric-Vehicle Charging Stations Coming Soon 

This fall the Town of Carrboro is installing two Level 2 electric-vehicle charging stations in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 1120 Hillsborough Road and in the municipal lot at 604 W. Rosemary St. 

Each station has two charging ports (and each port has a corresponding parking spot). There will be two spots for charging at MLK Park and two spots in the Rosemary lot. They will be free for the public to use. Project work is scheduled to be completed this fall. There are also existing charging stations located at Carrboro Town Hall. 

National Drive Electric Week, a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles and more is Sep. 25-Oct. 3, 2021.


New Mural Honors African American Community Leaders

A new mural honoring Black civic leaders from Carrboro and Chapel Hill has been completed and can be viewed at 111 S. Merritt Mill Road. Painted by artist Kiara Sanders, the African American Trailblazers mural celebrates 12 people who were vital to Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s history.

Honorees include:

  • Valerie Paige Foushee, North Carolina State Senator;
  • Addie Robinson, director and founder of Holmes Day Care at Hargraves Community Center;
  • Nurse Adelia Compton, the first Black employee for the Town of Chapel Hill;
  • Barbara Booth Powell, Chapel Hill Town Council, educator and politician;
  • Bynum & Susie Weaver, artists, musicians and entrepreneurs;
  • Howard Lee, the only Black mayor of Chapel Hill and the first Black mayor in the South;
  • William D. Peerman, championship-winning coach, mentor and educator and the first Black head football coach at Chapel Hill High School;
  • Rev. Dr. J.R. Manley, former pastor of the Rock Hill-First Baptist and Hickory Grove Baptist Church and community leader;
  • Walter Riggsbee, HVAC builder and entrepreneur;
  • Dr. L.H. Hackney, pastor and founder of the first Black high school;
  • Thurman Atkins, developer and entrepreneur.

To watch a video (by Miriam McSpadden/Fly Squirrel Films) about Kiara Sanders and her work on the African American Trailblazers project, visit https://youtu.be/y_UoZFpnEGI. The video is also available in the Town of Carrboro’s Celebrating Black America playlist. 

To learn more about each individual leader honored, visit chapelhillhistory.org/aatrailblazers.


Jones Ferry Road Water Line Resiliency Improvements Project

Continuing construction of the Jones Ferry Road Water Line Resiliency Improvements Project, Orange Water and Sewer Authority construction crews were to begin work in the roadway on Jones Ferry Road Wednesday, Sept. 29.

During October, periodic lane closures of Jones Ferry Road will be required in front of the water treatment plant. Work in the roadway will occur between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Customers in the area may be affected by noise, dust and mud; traffic and parking impacts; and interruption of water service during construction.

For more information about the project, visit https://bit.ly/3l2M0GI.

To receive email updates about the project, visit https://bit.ly/3tDb7Rs.


Applicants Needed for Orange County Housing Authority Board

The Orange County Housing Authority Board is currently seeking applications, particularly from Orange County residents residing outside Chapel Hill town limits. There is currently one at-large position open.

Orange County Housing Authority Board members are appointed by the board of county commissioners to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for low- and moderate-income families in the county. At least one member of the board must be a housing choice voucher holder. Other board members may represent the following areas of interest: real estate, development, affordable housing, municipal law and banking.

If interested, 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 have the opportunity to directly influence the county’s decisions, policies and priorities.

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


September 24, 2021

OCLW New Certifications and Recertifications

Orange County Living Wage has recently added several local businesses and employers committed to living wages to their roster. They include:

Orange County Living Wage supports the business-driven movement to dignify employees’ labor by paying adequate, fair wages.

In addition to the new certifications, more than 80 employers have recertified since earlier this summer. For a directory of all Orange County living wage employers, see https://orangecountylivingwage.org/directory/.


Chapel Hill Public Library

Chapel Hill Public Library Announces Plans for Community History Lab

Chapel Hill Public Library is planning a new, innovative space dedicated to exploring and sharing the rich history of Chapel Hill’s people, places and moments. The Community History Lab will be located in the lower level and house a variety of resources. For more information, see https://www.townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/17353/.


County Receives Application for Development of Efland Industrial Park

On Sept. 15, Orange County staff accepted for review a non-residential zoning compliance permit application and site plan proposing the development of the Efland Industrial Park. The development at 304 Mount Willing Road in Efland involves two parcels totaling approximately 100 acres in the Cheeks Township.

The parcels are located within the Commercial-Industrial Transition Activity Node (CITAN) as defined by the adopted 2030 Orange County Comprehensive Plan. As part of the CITAN, the parcels are also zoned for non-residential activity, so the current proposal constitutes a permitted use of property. The project does not require approval from an advisory board or the board of county commissioners as long as the use is permitted and the project conforms to the established development, environmental and building standards.


Eno Arts Mill to Host Grand Opening on Oct. 1

The Orange County Arts Commission announced the grand opening of the Eno Arts Mill Friday, Oct. 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will feature the work of resident artist Kennedi Carter (https://www.ken-carter.com/), music by XOXOK (https://www.xoxokmusic.com/), and the opportunity to visit the working studios of the Mill’s additional resident studio artists (https://artsorange.org/enomill/eno-mill-studio-artists/). Masks and social distancing will be required.

The Arts Mill is a 7,000-square-foot multi-purpose arts space located within the historic Eno River Mill in Hillsborough. The space adjoins the 3,000-square-foot Eno Mill Studios, which opened in Feb. 2020, offering affordable work space for 11 artists. The new addition provides teaching space for classes in the visual, performing and literary arts; a gallery; four artist studios; and a new Hillsborough office for the Carrboro-based Art Therapy Institute (http://www.ncati.org/).


Orange County to Host 2022-27 MAP Community Engagement Events

The Orange County Department on Aging and its advisory board will hold community-engagement drop-in events during October at key locations around the county to engage residents in the process of creating a new Master Aging Plan (MAP).

July 1 marked the beginning of the planning year for the 2022-27 MAP with a survey to determine the issues that Orange County residents are most concerned about for the next five years. The knowledge gained from the survey will be shared during the drop-in events, which will also provide another opportunity for community members to share their thoughts and to engage with the MAP workgroup leaders.

There are seven MAP workgroups (social participation, community supports and health services, transportation, housing, civic participation and employment, outdoor spaces and communication), and interested community members are invited to help formalize the goals and strategies for the 2022-27 MAP by joining one of these workgroups. Visit https://bit.ly/3i3RLBJ for dates and sign-up information.


Gun “Give Back” Event to be Held in Chapel Hill

People in possession of unwanted firearms will be able to safely remove them from their homes at the Community Church of Chapel Hill (106 Purefoy Road) Oct. 9 from 2 to 3 p.m. At the give-back event, proper possession permits will be available for the sponsors to receive the weapons, which will be chopped and rendered useless. The gun scraps will then be taken to the metal recyclery the following week. Security personnel will be on hand to ensure a safe event for all participants.

Those participating should make sure that the gun is not loaded and does not have any bullets in any chamber or magazine; ammunition cannot be taken at the event. Place all guns in the trunk or rear storage area of your vehicle and when you arrive at the parking lot, release the trunk or rear storage area to open it up; do not exit your vehicle. Trained security personnel will take the gun out of the trunk, check its serial number, and take the gun.


Festifall 2021

Chapel Hill’s annual Festifall for 2021 will feature arts-focused block parties at different locations in downtown Chapel Hill from 4 to 8 p.m. on three evenings in October—Oct. 15 on Henderson Street, Oct. 23 at 140 West Plaza and Oct. 30 at the West Franklin Parking Lot.

Festifall Arts Markets & More will feature 20-30 unique artists, artisans and craftspeople; 2-3 gourmet food and drink vendors; and dance groups, poetry and buskers.


Calling Triangle Area Artists

Chapel Hill Transit is looking for a Triangle-based artist or artist team to create an original 2-D design to adorn the ceilings of three Chapel Hill Transit buses, as part of the Art + Transit project (https://bit.ly/3i7gpl2). A $400 stipend will be given for the final design.

The final design will be printed on adhesive vinyl and installed on the bus ceilings by a town contractor. The installed artwork will be displayed on the buses for approximately 12 months. If selected, you must have the ability to deliver the final design as an .AI or .EPS file using the specification in the template.

Artists and designers must reside within a 40-mile radius of Chapel Hill and submit application materials following the instructions found at https://bit.ly/3m0Bwa0. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11.


September 17, 2021

Chapel Hill Police Make Arrest in Homicide

The Chapel Hill Police Department, in coordination with the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), arrested Miguel Enrique Salguero-Olivares, 28, of Durham, Thursday, Sept. 16, in connection with the murder of Faith Danielle Hedgepeth. 

Hedgepeth was found dead in her off-campus apartment the morning of Sept. 7, 2012. The Police Department has been actively investigating the case, working closely with the SBI and other agencies. 

The homicide investigation will remain an active and ongoing case until the Durham County district attorney tries the case in court. At this time, no additional information is available. 


Town of Chapel Hill Receives Two National Communications Awards

The Town of Chapel Hill was recognized with two national awards for local government communications at the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA) Annual Conference Sept. 8-10 in St. Louis.

The Town won a Silver Circle Award in the COVID PR Campaign category for the Spread Kindness, Not Illness campaign; the Chapel Hill Fire, Now Hiring video won an Award of Excellence in the Video – Promo category.

The Savvy Awards were judged by a group of national 3CMA-member communicators. This year, 870 entries were submitted and winners hailed from 25 states. North Carolina local governments received 10 awards.

In response to concern about a particular population in the community being blamed for the coronavirus, the Joint Information Center was prompted to create a simple, easily translated message as part of the campaign Spread Kindness, Not Illness. That campaign was translated into Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Burmese and Karen and has been featured on the Town website, social media channels and Chapel Hill Transit buses.

The Chapel Hill Fire Department created a video, shared on social media, that targeted young recruits for several upcoming vacancies at a time when recruitment and retention were down and a strong pool of applicants was needed to find people who were the right fit for these slots and would remain on the job long term. The fire department received 28 applications from NC-certified firefighters and 318 applications from non-certified individuals and was able to fill at least 8 vacancies.


Life Science Startup Company First to Claim Space in New Downtown Innovation District

UNC-Chapel Hill and Town of Chapel Hill leaders announced a new university partnership with startup coworking pioneer BioLabs and next steps for an innovation hub and downtown revitalization this week.

BioLabs, a premier coworking space for life-science startups, is the first company to claim space in the downtown innovation district that is currently under construction. In 2022, BioLabs plans to open the new site in downtown Chapel Hill, featuring shared wet-lab space and office facilities for new research-based startups.


2020-2021 Community Development Block Grant Annual Performance Report

Residents are invited to review and comment on the FY 2020-2021 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report. This report details the progress in carrying out the FY 2020-2021 Community Development Block Grant Annual Plan as well as the performance in meeting the overall priorities and objectives. All comments received will be recorded in the final document submitted to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. The official 15-day comment period is Sept. 13, 2021, through Sept. 27, 2021. Written comments may be addressed to: Megan Culp, Community Development Program Manager, Office for Housing and Community, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514; or may be emailed to cdbg@townofchapelhill.org.

A copy of the draft document is available for public review and comment at https://townofchapelhill.org/cdbg.


Northside Challenge to Property Tax Valuation Pays Off

More than 600 community members joined neighbors to challenge Orange County’s valuations of Northside properties. The county listened, revaluing long-term neighbors’ property values and extending the deadline for appeals. The resulting reductions have saved long-term Northside neighbors an average of $1,355 per year. Northside residents are also advising Orange County as it establishes a new $250,000 fund to assist long-term residents across the county with the impacts of rising property taxes.


Applicants Needed for Orange County Advisory Boards and Commissions

 The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently recruiting applicants for the following advisory boards and commissions:

Affordable Housing Advisory Board – Prioritizes affordable housing needs and assesses project proposals. Currently two at-large vacancies.

Agricultural Preservation Board – Promotes the economic and cultural importance of agriculture in the county and encourages voluntary preservation and protection of farmland for future production. Currently one position open for a representative of the Cedar Grove Voluntary Agricultural District.

Animal Services Advisory Board – Charged to advise the Board of County Commissioners on matters of concern regarding animal issues and animal services in Orange County. Currently one position open for an individual who resides within the town limits of Chapel Hill and one position open for an individual who resides within the town limits of Carrboro.

Board of Equalization and Review – Hears appeals from residents concerning various property tax issues, including valuation and exemption appeals. Currently five alternate positions open. 

Orange Unified Transportation Board – Advises the Orange County Board of County Commissioners and provides information and comments on major transportation issues. Currently one vacancy for a resident of Little River Township and one vacancy for a resident of Cedar Grove Township.
 
If interested, apply at www.orangecountync.gov/Apply.

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


Orange County Emergency Food Assistance Distribution Set for Sept. 22

Residents receiving Food and Nutrition Service/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits or who meet income guidelines may be eligible for Orange County’s Emergency Food Assistance Program. The program is available for individuals/students, couples or families.

Distributions occur on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Pick-ups are available at Orange Works in Hillsborough (113-B Mayo St.) and Southern Human Services Center in Chapel Hill (2501 Homestead Road).

Due to social distancing requirements and limited supplies, appointments are required. Appointments will be issued the day before the distribution, on a first-call, first-served basis. Applicants should call (919) 245-4354 to request an appointment and for more information.


September 14, 2021

2021 Carrboro Music Festival Canceled

The Town of Carrboro has canceled the 2021 Carrboro Music Festival, which was scheduled to be held Sept. 25-26 at venues throughout downtown Carrboro.

Organizers had hoped that the Covid-19 vaccines would allow this traditional event to take place, but all of the surrounding counties are now classified as posing either “Very High Risk” or “Extremely High Risk” of transmission to unvaccinated community members.

Next year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 2 2022.


Durham Tech Celebrates 60 Years

On Thursday, Sept. 9, Durham Technical Community College (DTCC) kicked off a yearlong celebration of “60 Years of Impact” with the dedication of the William G. Ingram Center for Applied Learning and Technology.

Board of Trustees members — past and present — elected officials, students, staff, faculty and friends gathered under a tent on the lawn. Speakers recalled the visionary people who founded the institution, their visions and the success of current programs, such as the Durham Tech Promise. They also discussed plans to meet the needs of 21st-century industries, such as life sciences.

In 1961, DTCC opened its doors to all people regardless of race or color. The late Phail Wynn Jr., DTCC president from 1980-2007, was the first Black community college president in North Carolina and DTCC started North Carolina’s first office of equity and inclusion. 


Harm Reduction and Cultural Humility

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) continues to seek alternatives that offer more effective ways to assist and support individuals yearning to get their lives back on track, such as with a recent presentation to the Orange County Justice Advisory Council (JAC) on the importance of harm reduction and cultural humility. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition “is a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to the implementation of harm reduction interventions, public health strategies, drug policy transformation, and justice reform in North Carolina and throughout the American South.”

The presentation at the JAC meeting provided more awareness of the scope of work in progress by the OCSO and local law enforcement agencies to improve the well-being of community members and the community as a whole.

This critical work includes providing medication-assisted treatment (suboxone) and peer support to individuals with substance-use disorders who are incarcerated at the detention center, as well as law enforcement-assisted diversion from the criminal justice system where treatment and harm reduction interventions are more appropriate. Law enforcement and criminal justice stakeholders recognize that these efforts will increase healthier outcomes and improve public safety for Orange County.


One Orange Countywide Racial Equity Plan Invites Input

The One Orange Countywide Racial Equity Plan: A Framework for Moving Forward seeks to identify and address implicit biases in our institutions to ensure that race no longer predict life outcomes in our community.

The community is invited to share their opinions about the plan via a meeting to take place 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, via Zoom. Register to participate at www.orangecountync.gov/BOHMeeting

Organizers would like to know:

  • What three results would you like this plan to produce?
  • What sections of this plan will help us achieve those results?
  • Who should be involved in future community engagement?
  • Who is negatively affected by using this framework/plan?
  • What do you consider the most critical outcomes?

View the plan at www.orangecountync.gov/RacialEquityPlan


September 10, 2021

Chapel Hill Transit Reduces Service to Improve Reliability

In the face of continuing staffing shortages, Chapel Hill Transit will make temporary schedule adjustments to increase the reliability of the bus system, starting Monday, Sept. 20.

The last trip on most routes will run until 8 p.m., with the following adjustments:

  • On weekdays, the NS route will run less frequently until 10 p.m.
  • On weekends, the J and NS routes will run every hour and 20 minutes.
  • The schedule for FCX and NU routes will not change.

There will be no midday service on F, G, HS & T routes.

The F, G, HS, and T routes will only run between 6:30 and 9 a.m. and 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. to provide options for students and employees commuting to Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Hospitals, with the following schedule:

  • F route trips (from Jones Ferry Road): 6:30 & 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 & 3:30 p.m.
  • G route trips (from Booker Creek): 7 & 8 a.m. and 3 & 4 p.m.
  • HS route trips (from Morris Grove): 7:15, 7:50 & 8:25 a.m. and 3:25, 4:00 & 4:35 p.m.
  • T route trips (from East Chapel Hill High School): 7:05 & 8:05 a.m. and 4:10 & 5:15 p.m.

420, CL, NU, weekend J and weekend NS customers will have fewer trips, with the following adjustments:

  • NU route will run every 30 minutes.
  • CL route will run about every 40 minutes.
  • Route 420 will run at the following times:
    • 6:00, 6:55, 8:00 & 8:30 a.m. from Hillsborough
    • 3:40, 4:40, 5:45 & 6:15 p.m. from UNC Hospitals
  • Weekend J will run every hour and 20 minutes.
  • Weekend NS will run every hour and 20 minutes.

Friday Center South Park and Ride Lot users will need to use the Friday Center Park and Ride Lot, with the following adjustments:

  • Friday Center South Park and Ride Lot (formerly the NC-54 Park and Ride Lot) will be closed.
  • S route will serve the Friday Center Park and Ride Lot.
  • FCX route will serve stops on NC-54 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and after 8 p.m.

These reductions will remain in effect until Chapel Hill Transit is able to hire more operators.
Chapel Hill Transit is actively recruiting operators. Chapel Hill Transit offers wages starting at $16+ an hour and paid training and benefits. People interested can apply at chtransit.org.


Breaking Ground on the East Rosemary Redevelopment Project

The Town of Chapel Hill and project partners will ceremoniously break ground on the East Rosemary Redevelopment Project next week before the foundation of a new 1,100-space parking deck begins taking shape in the coming weeks.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the project site (125 E. Rosemary St.). Parking is available in the Wallace Parking Deck (150 E. Rosemary St.) or the Rosemary/Columbia Parking Lot (100 E. Rosemary St.).

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger and members of the Town Council will be in attendance, in addition to UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz.

Masks will be required at the ceremony, and everyone will be encouraged to practice physical distancing. The ceremony will be brief, and refreshments will not be provided due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the project, and to see a live video feed, visit townofchapelhill.org/rosemary-project.


Proposals to Manage Flooding in Lower Booker Creek Watershed to be Discussed at Sept. 13 Meeting

Chapel Hill residents will have an opportunity Monday, Sept. 13 to hear presentations about and to comment on the Town’s plans to address flooding in the Lower Booker Creek subwatershed. An informational community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. via Zoom and is open to the public.

In 2016, Chapel Hill hired an engineering firm to analyze the Booker Creek watershed and make recommendations to reduce flooding. The firm, WK Dickson, published its final report in 2018.
The firm’s study evaluated how stormwater is currently managed within the subwatershed and the impact future development is likely to have on the capacity of existing infrastructure to adequately convey stormwater. The report recommended various stormwater management improvements, including construction of several new stormwater retention facilities.

There will be time during the meeting for attendees to ask questions about the watershed studies and the proposed stormwater management projects. Questions and responses will be compiled and posted to the project website.

The agenda for the meeting includes opening remarks from Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, presentation of WK Dickson’s watershed study, a presentation by the Booker Creek Neighborhoods Preservation Alliance and a question-and-answer period. To register for the meeting, visit https://bit.ly/3A8MtMr.

Public input and comments regarding the project may also be submitted to: stormwater@townofchapelhill.org. A summary of public comments will be presented at the Town Council work session Oct. 20, 2021.


September 8, 2021

NAACP PAC Needs Volunteers for Upcoming Local Elections

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), with funding from Blueprint NC, is mounting a Get Out the Vote campaign for the fall local elections, with the goal of increasing participation of minority voters. Blueprint NC is a nonprofit organization that works with partner organizations across the state to “address the complex issues of racial injustice, the massive and growing gap between the richest and poorest and the privatization of public resources for private financial gain.”

The NAACP’s Political Action Committee has decided that more emphasis should be put on sending out handwritten individualized postcards and that some time also should be spent knocking on doors. These postcards and door knocks will be focused on a handful of precincts inside Orange County with the lowest turnouts and highest diversity. The goal is to invite residents to participate in local elections by reminding them what local offices are up for election and how those elected can have a personal impact on their lives. Door hangers and postcards are especially effective in reminding voters about the who, where and when for elections.

If you are able to help with this effort, please send your contact information to Nicole (politicalaction5689@gmail.com) with a message of whether you can help writing postcards, leaving door hangers or both.


OCDP Donation Drive for Afghan Refugees

The Orange County Democratic Party (OCDP) is hosting a donation drive for Afghan refugees coming to North Carolina as part of a wider regional effort. The Triangle region has been identified as one of 19 “Welcoming Communities” for Afghan refugees by the U.S. State Department.
You may drop off your donations to assist newly arriving families at the OCDP Office at 209 Lloyd St., Suite 310, Carrboro, Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. OCDP wants to officially thank everyone for their support and donations thus far.

High-priority donation items include winter clothing, cleaning supplies, paper products, cookware, cooking utensils, dishes, cutlery, towels, blankets, sheets, educational toys, school supplies and men’s and women’s hygiene items. For a fuller listing, visit: https://www.facebook.com/orangedemsnc. Please place items in a clean box with an itemized list taped on the box. (Please do not bring large items, furniture, food items, old used plastic containers, old and/or stained or ripped clothes or anything partially broken.)

Contact Marilyn Carter via FB messenger or at marilyn.carter@orangedems.com for questions and more information.


September 5, 2021

Chapel Hill Historical Society Fall Virtual Program Series

The Chapel Hill Historical Society has announced its fall program line up:

  • Sept. 19, 3 p.m. – Listening for Community: An Oral History Workshop with the Southern Oral History Project (SOHP). This workshop, led by Anna Hamilton, Ph.D. candidate and SOHP field scholar, will provide a primer on the basics of oral history — the hows, whats, and whys of recording community stories for posterity. She will discuss oral history process, equipment and best practices.
  • Oct. 17, 3 p.m. – I’m Smart, Too — Integrated Schools, Segregated Students. Kim Talikoff will present this documentary film that explores the racial disparity within the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system and moderate a discussion.
  • Nov. 21, 3 p.m. – Historic Chapel Hill Mapping Project. Dr. John Sweet, UNC Associate Professor of History, will discuss and share his project using census and other records to map the history of Chapel Hill. A link to his website is available at https://historicchapelhill.org.

All programs will be conducted via Zoom and are free and open to the public. Links for each Zoom session will be posted to the Historical Society’s website (https://chapelhillhistoricalsociety.org/) two days before each program. In addition, each session will be recorded and available via YouTube. Recordings of the Historical Society’s spring 2021 programs are available at (https://bit.ly/3n4WGFT).


Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign Aims to Close Health Disparity in N.C.

This year’s “Booze It & Lose It” anti-drunk driving campaign, now underway, is focusing on informing and protecting minority college students and reducing the number of traffic crashes and deaths in N.C. during what is a busy travel period.

So far in 2021, Black people have the second-highest rate of total traffic deaths, pedestrian traffic deaths and bicyclist traffic deaths, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows Black North Carolinians made up 26% of all deadly crashes between 2015 and 2018.

The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NCGHSP) and its partners are asking fraternities, sororities and other students to use their social media accounts to promote the importance of driving sober.

The Booze It and Lose It campaign is one of several initiatives NCGHSP leads. It increases awareness of the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving through education and enforcement. The campaign is used as a model for other agencies across the country.


Richards Chosen Unanimously to Replace Dorosin

Social justice and community activist Anna Richards was chosen unanimously on Sept. 2 to fill a vacancy on the Orange County Board of Commissioners. Richards was chosen from among four candidates forwarded by the Orange County Democratic Party.

Richards has long been active in social justice issues in Orange County through her work with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She served on the Orange County Complete Count Committee that encouraged residents to complete the 2020 census.

The seat became open when Commissioner Dorosin resigned effective July 31 to take a teaching job in Florida. Although Dorosin’s term was through 2024, Richards will serve only through November 2022. A special election will be held next year to fill the remaining two years of Dorosin’s term. The special election will be open to candidates from all parties.


Orange County Government Closed for Labor Day

Orange County Government will be closed Monday, Sept. 6, in honor of Labor Day. Closings include the COVID testing sites at the Whitted Building and Southern Human Services Center in Chapel Hill. If you need a COVID-19 test, visit https://bit.ly/3h3tR94.

Exceptions to the Labor Day closings include: Recycling pickup will run as normal on Sept. 6 (have carts curbside by 7 a.m.); Transportation Services will run the in-county dialysis route only (Carolina Dialysis); and 9-1-1 services will be available (call only to report emergencies).

Regular services will resume Tuesday, Sept. 7.


Orange County Department on Aging Handy Helper Program Nominated for 2021 RISE Award

The Orange County Department on Aging’s Handy Helper Program has been nominated for a 2021 RISE Community award for the work it is doing to build a stronger and safer community. Community voting has begun, and help is needed to spread the word.

You can read and vote for the Orange County Department on Aging’s Handy Helper Program nomination once per day through Sept. 17 by visiting https://bit.ly/3jHwVcJ. In addition to being recognized, the Handy Helper Program is also in the running to win $7,500 in prize money that the program will put toward building a better community.

The RISE Awards celebrate those who rise to serve and protect their communities through heroism and dedication. The RISE Community award honors a community program that is working hand in hand with local law enforcement.


Orange County Mobile Vaccine Team Available for Home Vaccinations

In an effort to ensure that all community members have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, the Orange County Mobile Vaccine Team is ready to vaccinate people who are homebound or are otherwise unable to travel to a vaccine clinic.

The most challenging part of this program is identifying those in need. Community members may make referrals by visiting www.orangecountync.gov/MobileVax or by calling 919-245-6127. Visit https://bit.ly/3toXOp5 for more information.



For previous community notices, click here to read the Community Notices Archive page.

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4 Comments on "Community Notices"

  1. Thank you for local news. I didn’t realize I was hungry for local news until I found you. I come from a small college town in Ohio and I was accustomed to having local news available in our weekly town newspaper. Now I see what I’ve been missing since moving here. Thank you!!

  2. Could you please do an article on the occupancy rate at the new apartment buildings around town—on Legion Rd, on Fordham Blvd, on Estes? They don’t appear to have many residents. Thanks.

  3. Appreciate the effort to connect us through this online newspaper. Knowing what is going on around town brings us together to help each other, to learn about significant proposals in our local governments, and share our lives in general. Thank you.

  4. Regarding your August 14 news brief, the missing woman was found several days ago.

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