Community Notices

COMMUNITY NOTICES

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


Posted February 4, 2023

New Shopping Center Coming Soon to Chapel Hill

A new shopping center, 501 Landing, is underway and on target to open for business this summer on 15-501 across from the Harris Teeter Chatham Downs Shopping Center. The center consists of two buildings, each 7,200 square feet. The end units have a shared, partially-covered outdoor patio area. The property is intended for retail, office and/or medical use.

As construction wraps up on the building shell, 501 Landing is already halfway leased. Seeds of Wonder Spanish Immersion Daycare, Mi’s Nail Spa, and Ignite Wellness Chiropractic Center are working on their fit-ups and expect to open later this year. There are still leasing options available for businesses looking to join this new development. 


Britany Waddell Named Chapel Hill Planning Director

Interim Town Manager Chris Blue has selected Britany Waddell as the Town of Chapel Hill’s next planning director. Her first day will be February 13.

Britany previously served the City of Raleigh as the assistant director of planning and development. In that role, she oversaw zoning administration, code enforcement and land development review.

Britany has almost 20 years of planning experience in North Carolina, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and she has an extensive background in community engagement and participatory planning, with a focus on town/gown relationships.

Britany is a proud Carolina alumna and said she is thrilled to be coming back to “Blue Heaven.” She currently lives in Wake County with her miniature schnauzer, Luca.


Celebrating Black America: The Black Resistance

The Town of Carrboro will host “The Black Resistance,” a history lecture for Black History Month, from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St.

Led by Dr. Freddie Parker, professor emeritus of history at N.C. Central University; and James Williams Jr., an attorney and former chief public defender, their discussion will focus on the Freedmen’s Conventions.

This program will also be available via the Town of Carrboro YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/CarrboroNC. Part of an ongoing event series titled, Celebrating Black America, past programs are available at the same address.

Read more about the program here.


Tree Planting Underway at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park

The Town of Carrboro is planting more than 50 trees and shrubs this month at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1120 Hillsborough Road. 

The project will replace declining trees and enhance the natural habitat of the park. The plantings consist of 22 different native species that are pollinator- and bird-friendly, including fringetree, blackgum, and paw paw. A variety of sizes and species will be planted to ensure diversity in tree species and age. 

To honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a southern live oak will be planted at the entrance to the park pathway. The southern live oak was chosen because it is the state tree of Georgia, the birthplace of Dr. King.

Plantings are scheduled through Feb. 10. Carrboro Public Works reports that impact to park visitors should be minimal, and all facilities will remain open. 

Contact Carrboro Public Works at 919-918-7425 or PWorks@CarrboroNC.gov with questions.


Applicants Needed for Orange County Volunteer Boards and Commissions 

Many positions are now open on Orange County volunteer boards and commissions for residents interested in having a positive impact on the future of Orange County. The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently recruiting applicants for the following:

Affordable Housing Advisory Board (5 at-large vacancies)—prioritizes affordable housing needs and assesses project proposals, publicizes the County’s housing objectives, monitors the progress of local housing programs, explores new funding opportunities and works to increase the community’s awareness of, understanding of, commitment to and involvement in producing attractive affordable housing; typically meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. 

Animal Services Advisory Board (one position for a county resident whose experience demonstrates a commitment to education around animal issues, legislative advocacy and/or animal welfare [e.g., rescue work, support for residents with animals, efforts to work with free-roaming cats, volunteering at animal shelters], one position for an individual who resides within the town limits of Hillsborough, one position for an individual who resides within the town limits of Carrboro, one position for an individual who resides in a non-municipal area of the county, and one at-large vacancy)—advises the Board of County Commissioners on matters of concern regarding animal issues and animal services in Orange County; works with the animal services director to ensure quality animal services and maintains contact with the stakeholder groups from which its members are appointed; provides a venue in which stakeholder concerns about animals, animal policies and issues, and animal services programming may be voiced, considered and referred as appropriate; typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

Animal Services Hearing Panel Pool (one seat for a resident living in the Town of Carrboro, one seat for a resident living in the Town of Chapel Hill, one at-large seat, and two seats for residents living within the unincorporated areas of the county)—hears appeals concerning violations of the Orange County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 4 (“Animal Control Ordinance”), as provided in the Orange County Code of Ordinances, Section 4-53 Appeals and also potentially dangerous dog appeals as prescribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. §67-4.1(c); responsible for conducting fair and impartial hearings for these appeals; will receive training in both law and proper procedure before participating in a hearing; convened on an as-needed basis for hearings.  

Arts Commission (two at-large vacancies)—recommends strategies to promote the artistic and cultural growth of Orange County, advises the Board of Commissioners on matters involving the arts, and acts as the granting panel for funding programs available to individual artists and non-profit groups sponsoring arts projects in Orange County; typically meets on the second Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

Board of Equalization and Review (five alternate positions)—hears appeals from residents concerning various property tax issues, including valuation and exemption appeals; charged with ensuring that all taxable property is appraised and assessed according to the standards required by the N.C. General Statutes; meets up to three days per week, for approximately three to four hours per meeting, for up to three consecutive months (typically April-June); additional meetings may occur as needed during the year; members compensated for all meetings attended; Orange County residents with knowledge of real estate are specifically encouraged to apply (others will also be given consideration). 

Board of Health (one dental representative vacancy for Orange County resident who is a licensed dentist)—primary policy-making, rule-making and adjudicatory body for the Health Department; charged with protecting and promoting the public health of Orange County; typically meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m., occasional ad-hoc meetings that average fewer than two hours per month.

Carrboro Board of Adjustment (applicants who reside in the Carrboro Extraterritorial Jurisdiction [ETJ])—hears and decides citizen appeals from any order, decision, requirement or interpretation made by the Zoning Administrator; hears and decides on applications; typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.; please review the map at http://orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16597/Chapel-Hill-and-Carrboro-Boundaries-Map to see the boundaries of the Carrboro ETJ; you may also confirm the zoning information of your address by visiting http://aries.orangecountync.gov/Aries/ZoningInformation.aspx

Carrboro Planning Board (applicants who reside in the Carrboro Extraterritorial Jurisdiction [ETJ] and Carrboro Transition Area)—studies and makes recommendations to the Carrboro Town Council for proposed and actual developments in Carrboro; develops and recommends policies, ordinances and administrative procedures; performs any other duties assigned by the Carrboro Town Council; typically meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 7:30 p.m.; please review the map at http://orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16597/Chapel-Hill-and-Carrboro-Boundaries-Map to see the boundaries of the Carrboro ETJ and Transition Area; you may also confirm the zoning information of your address by visiting http://aries.orangecountync.gov/Aries/ZoningInformation.aspx.

Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment (one vacancy for a resident of the Chapel Hill Extraterritorial Jurisdiction [ETJ] and one vacancy for a resident of the ETJ or Joint Planning Area [JPA])— hears variance cases regarding the provisions of the Chapel Hill Land Use Management Ordinance and appeal cases regarding decisions made by Town staff; meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in the Council Chamber on the first floor; please review the map at http://orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16597/Chapel-Hill-and-Carrboro-Boundaries-Map to see the boundaries of the Carrboro ETJ and JPA; you may also confirm the zoning information of your address by visiting http://aries.orangecountync.gov/Aries/ZoningInformation.aspx.

Chapel Hill Planning Commission (one vacancy for a resident of the Chapel Hill Extraterritorial Jurisdiction [ETJ] and one vacancy for a resident of the ETJ or Joint Planning Area [JPA])—assists the council in achieving the town’s comprehensive plan for orderly growth and development by analyzing, evaluating and recommending responsible town policies, ordinances and planning standards that manage land use and involving the community in long-range planning; meets at 7:00 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of every month except July at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in the Council Chamber on the first floor; please review the map at http://orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16597/Chapel-Hill-and-Carrboro-Boundaries-Map to see the boundaries of the Carrboro ETJ and JPA; you may also confirm the zoning information of your address by visiting http://aries.orangecountync.gov/Aries/ZoningInformation.aspx.

Hillsborough Planning Board (one position for an applicant residing in the Hillsborough Extraterritorial Jurisdiction [ETJ], as well as an upcoming vacancy for an applicant residing in the Hillsborough ETJ)—acquires and maintains information in order to understand past trends, prepare and amend the comprehensive plan for the development of the area, and prepare and recommend ordinances promoting orderly development; typically meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Please review the map at http://orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16598/Hillsborough-Boundaries-Map to see the boundaries of the Hillsborough ETJ; you may also confirm the zoning information of your address by visiting http://aries.orangecountync.gov/Aries/ZoningInformation.aspx. 

Historic Preservation Commission (three at-large vacancies)— undertakes an inventory of properties of historical, pre-historical, architectural and/or cultural significance; recommends areas to be designated or removed as “historic districts” and reviews and acts upon proposals for alterations, demolition, new construction, etc.; applicants must demonstrate special interest, experience or education in history, architecture, landscape architecture, archaeology or related fields; typically meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. 

Human Relations Commission (three at-large vacancies and one vacancy for a person residing in the Town of Carrboro)—advises the Board of County Commissioners on solutions to problems in the field of human relationships; makes recommendations designed to promote goodwill and harmony among groups in the County irrespective of their race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status or status with regard to public assistance; typically meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
 
Orange County Housing Authority Board (one at-large vacancy and two vacancies for Housing Choice Voucher Program participants)—to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for low- and moderate-income families in Orange County; applicants with experience and/or interest in real estate, development, affordable housing, municipal law or banking encouraged to apply; typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
 
Orange Unified Transportation Board (four at-large vacancies and one vacancy for a resident of Cedar Grove Township)—advises the Orange County Board of County Commissioners and provides information and comments on major transportation issues; provides the Board of County Commissioners with recommendations regarding the overall planning and programming of transportation improvements in the County, including identification and prioritization of the County’s roadway and transit needs, along with associated costs and specific sources of funding; provides recommendations to the Board regarding federal and state legislation affecting transportation in Orange County; explores and suggests recommendations on innovative techniques and methods to improve the efficiency and capacity of existing and future transportation systems; typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

If interested in any of these vacancies, apply at www.orangecountync.gov/Apply

Orange County strives for authentically diverse representation on volunteer boards and commissions. Residents of all demographic backgrounds, identities and perspectives are encouraged to apply. Applicants must reside in Orange County. Volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners have the opportunity to directly influence local decisions, policies, and priorities.
 
For additional information, contact Tara May at 919-245-2125 or tmay@orangecountync.gov.


Homestead Aquatic Center Closed for Maintenance Feb. 20-March 5

The Homestead Aquatic Center is scheduled to close for maintenance and repairs from Monday, Feb. 20, to Sunday, March 5.

During the shut-down, the Community Center Pool hours of operation will be expanded to Monday-Friday 5:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m.-7 p.m. to accommodate a variety of drop-in times for lap swim, recreation swim and independent water fitness. 


Grand Opening for Chapel Hill Traffic Garden

Chapel Hill’s new Traffic Garden will have a grand opening from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. Bring your own bike and learn how to ride on small, safe streets in the parking lot at Homestead Aquatic Center (300 Aquatic Drive). 

Traffic gardens are smaller versions of real street networks and include realistic road signs, situations and street markings designed to help teach new bicyclists and pedestrians how to safely use roads in a space that is protected from vehicular traffic. The Traffic Garden is open to the public year-round during park hours, from dawn until dusk.


Chapel Hill Housing Choices for a Complete Community

Chapel Hill Town staff will be available to talk about the Housing Choices for a Complete Community text amendment at a virtual Community Open House from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The project proposes allowing small-scale missing middle housing types into the existing fabric of most residential zoning districts. This strategy, referred to as “gentle density,” will allow for the construction of missing middle housing—duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and cottage courts—that encourages home ownership and fosters inclusiveness by providing for the diverse needs of current and future residents.  


Living Wage Jobs

Check out the living-wage employment opportunities posted at orangecountylivingwage.org/jobs. Among those currently hiring are Big Spoon Roasters, Orange and Water Sewer Authority, Carrboro Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, The Community Empowerment Fund, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, and more. The job board is free and easy to use.

Orange County Living Wage’s 2023 living wage for hourly workers is $16.60 an hour, or $15.10 an hour for employers who offer to pay at least half of employees’ health insurance costs.


Experience Downtown Chapel Hill

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and downtown Chapel Hill has many small businesses to help you celebrate. Here’s a quick rundown of how to spoil your valentine in downtown Chapel Hill. 

Flowers—Chapel Hill Florist (919-929-2903) and University Florist (919-929-1119) have beautiful blooms for this Valentine’s Day staple; you can also order online and in person at both locations.

Clothing & Jewelry—Find earrings, necklaces and more at Creative Metalsmiths or Light Years (you can shop online at Light Years; stop by Creative Metalsmiths at 117 E. Franklin Street to see their inventory in person). For a Valentine’s Day outfit and accessories, try Uniquities, Julian’s, and Rumors.

Talullas Bar on Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

Reservations, local restaurants—Lantern offers a three-course prix fixe dinner for $75 for Valentine’s weekend–call 919-969-8846 to make reservations Find French and Italian cuisine with American twists at La Residence or 411 West. Crossroads Chapel Hill at the Carolina Inn offers a creative, comforting menu designed by Executive Chef Jeremy Blankenship. Talulla’s serves authentic Turkish food with belly-dancing performances on select nights. For Indian cuisine, try Chimney, Cholanad, or Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe. Que Chula offers creative Mexican dishes in a fun, colorful atmosphere. Rougarou (Imbibe) has an ever-changing menu of Cajun specialties.

Cocktails—The Crunkleton features award-winning mixologists and a vast, library-style “liquor wall.” TRU offers a selection of wine and beer, while BaseCamp has a fun atmosphere with colorful and even “community” cocktails. If you want bar food, The Northside District, Franklin Motors and Dead Mule Club are great gastropubs offering drinks, drafts and pub fare. If you’d rather enjoy a nightcap at home, stock up bottles, cans and growlers at Beer Study, Carolina Brewery, DB Sutton & Co. Wine Shop, Gizmo Brew Works and TOPO Distillery.

For the kids—Grab a book and a sweet treat from Epilogue. Get fresh cookies from Insomnia Cookies or Le Macaron. Take them out for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery, The Yogurt Pump, or Ben & Jerry’s. Let them see the stars at Morehead Planetarium and view beautiful art at Ackland Art Museum.

Staycation—To get out of your house but stay local, consider a staycation at AC Hotel, The Graduate, or The Carolina Inn. Treat yourself to a day of pampering at a downtown salon such as DB Sutton & Co., Moshi Moshi, Grace Hair, to the woods, Le Cheveu, and Syd’s Hair Shop. Get a mani/pedi at Bella Nail Bar. If in need of a barber, try Who’s Next, In the Cut, Chapel Hill Barbershop, and Arrow.

This Valentine’s Day (and every day), show love to Chapel Hill small businesses.


Economic Development Offers Suite of Tools for Small-Business Owners

Orange County Economic Development and SizeUp have partnered to provide local businesses and entrepreneurs in Orange County the tools they need to expand an existing company or open a new business.

SizeUp’s suite of tools provides small businesses in the county with market research typically available only to large corporations that can afford to hire expensive consultants. SizeUp delivers this similar analysis using big data, algorithms, supercomputing and the Internet. Small and medium businesses can use SizeUp to make data-driven decisions.

“SizeUp is big data for small businesses,” said Orange County Economic Development Director Steve Brantley. “It provides business intelligence and market research to companies so they can make smarter decisions through data. Their Shop Local feature enables residents and visitors to easily find small businesses within the county that offer the services and products they need. Keeping spending local provides more resources for schools and public safety while creating jobs for Orange County residents.”

SizeUp’s Local Business Intelligence tool utilizes millions of pieces of data to provide businesses in the community with customized data for their unique businesses, in their specific industry and in their exact location:

  • Competitive benchmarks—compare your business performance to your industry competitors across multiple performance indicators.
  • Find customers, suppliers, and competitors—geographically discover and identify potential customers, suppliers and competitors to grow your business.
  • Best locations to advertise—identify the best geographic locations to advertise based on industry and demographic characteristics.
  • Demographic analysis—quantify and visualize the demographic, consumer spending and labor force characteristics.

The Small Business Advisor provides information on 50 topics (and many more subtopics) related to planning, starting, managing and growing a business. It has an easy-to-understand interface that enables users to explore business topics of their interest. It provides a roadmap of tasks and processes an entrepreneur can take to be successful. The content is a mix of text information, graphics and interactive research tools:

  • Plan Your Business—turn dreams into a plan for success by learning about the relevant topics for business planning, as well as analyzing data to validate or reject initial assumptions. 
  • Start Your Business—take correct steps to open a business by learning about the relevant matters and analyzing data related to beginning company operations. 
  • Manage Your Business—run a business like a professional by learning about the subjects related to operating a business and evaluating data to measure industry performance. 
  • Grow Your Business—expand a business for greater success through knowledge about the many ways to extend business success and use of data tools to discover opportunities.

In addition, SizeUp also provides a Shop Local database that promotes local companies. Local business spending creates a higher economic impact for the community and local governments. Through the client’s website, visitors are empowered to search for and explore local businesses by industry or name so customers can discover and shop at these businesses.

SizeUp provides a text list and geospatial mapping of businesses by industry. Website visitor clicking on a business name will display additional information about the company, depending on the data available, which can include the address, phone number, characteristics and links to the website and social media for the business.


Urgent Adoptions Needed at OCAS

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) has almost reached capacity for housing dogs at their facility in Chapel Hill. They are asking for assistance from anyone currently able to adopt a dog. 

“Unfortunately, dog adoptions at OCAS were slower in January and dog intake has spiked over the past few weeks,” said Dr. Sandra Strong, director of Orange County Animal Services. “This causes us concern because we need to balance dog intake with placing dogs in homes or we quickly become overcrowded. We have a variety of amazing dogs looking to be adopted by loving families. Sadly, this is an issue happening nationally. So, it is not isolated to our shelter. We are hopeful that reaching out to our community will have a positive impact on the dog population at our shelter.”

During the month of February, adoption fees for all available cats and dogs have been reduced as part of an adoption special. Adoption fees for some dogs are often fully or partially sponsored.

Anyone interested in adopting may stop by the shelter during operating hours. No appointment is needed to view available pets. The shelter opens at 12 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and is located at 1601 Eubanks Road. For more information about available pets, visiting the facility and adopting pets, please visit http://www.orangecountync.gov/287/Available-Pets, or call the Adoption Desk at 919-942-7387, option 3.


Orange County Ag Summit

As world leaders address the challenge of feeding the earth’s growing population, Orange County is providing entrepreneurs with both the inspiration and the resources to find solutions.

Each year, Orange County and its North Carolina Cooperative Extension department host a one-day seminar bringing together farmers and suppliers, government officials and other specialists to explore the state of farming in Orange County and contiguous counties, discussing topics and trends that are impacting our agricultural industry.

This year the Orange County Agricultural Summit will be held on Monday, Feb. 20, beginning at 8 a.m. at the Cedar Grove Community Center. The conference will conclude at 2 p.m. after a complimentary lunch—locally sourced, of course.

Keynotes will be presented by N.C. Farm Bureau President Shawn Harding and USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Bob Etheridge.

If you have questions, contact Interim N.C. Cooperative Extension, Orange County Center Director Jonathon Smith at 919-245-2057 or jonathon_smith@ncsu.edu.

Register at Orange County NC Ag Summit Website.


Public Hearing for FY24 Community Transportation Program Application

A public hearing will be held on the proposed FY2024 Community Transportation Program Application to be submitted to the N.C. Department of Transportation no later than Feb. 8. The public hearing will be held on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. before the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, at 300 W. Tryon St., Whitted Bldg., Room 230, Hillsborough.

Those interested in attending the public hearing and needing either auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a language translator should contact Nishith Trivedi on or before Feb. 7 at 919-245-2007 or via email at ntrivedi@orangecountync.gov.

The Community Transportation Program provides assistance to coordinate existing transportation programs operating in Orange County as well as transportation options and services for the communities within this service area. These services are currently provided using fixed, demand response, deviated fixed and subscription routes. Services are rendered by Orange County Transportation Services. Click here for more information.


Posted February 2, 2023

February is Black History Month in Carrboro

Mayor Damon Seils has proclaimed February 2023 as Black History Month in Carrboro. The proclamation recognizes that black people have played and continue to play significant roles in Carrboro’s economic, cultural, spiritual and political development.

It further recognizes the Town of Carrboro’s commitment to advancing racial equity. The Town joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity in 2018 and in 2019 established a Racial Equity Core Team of employees who are leading the way toward an equitable systems change across the organization.

In 2020, the Town adopted a resolution to advance racial equity in law enforcement and public safety and adopted a resolution in support of reparation for Black Carrboro. In 2021, the Racial Equity Commission and Community Safety Task Force were established.

The Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan was adopted with race and equity as a foundational theme. The fiscal year 2023 budget includes funds to conduct a disparity study that will inform changes to the Town’s procurement policies to increase opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

Local celebrations of Black History Month this year will include a Black History Month Concert Series; performance of the one-woman stage play, “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman”; a history lecture, “Black Resistance,” focusing on the Freedmen’s conventions, part of an ongoing event series titled Celebrating Black People in America; and a poets’ open mic held via Zoom.

In addition to the scheduled events, the Town will host a month-long youth art exhibit on the Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Department’s website, 28 days of Black history trivia, and inspiring quotes, all shared via the Town’s social media channels.

In May and June of this year, the Town will again partner with the Music Maker Foundation to host the Freight Train Blues concert series in celebration of local music legend and Grammy Award recipient Elizabeth Cotten.


Hal Studholme: Recent Photographs Exhibit

Photographs by Hal Studholme will be on exhibit at the Open Eye Café, February 1-March 15.

Hal’s gallery is a deep dive into Americana scenes, brought through everyday life, with a spark of eccentricities. His photographs challenge viewers to take in their surroundings a little bit longer.


February Traffic-Safety Initiatives

Chapel Hill Police Department is planning speed and pedestrian-safety enforcement operations in February, in addition to normal patrols. Scheduled special operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 7, 7–9 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6 –10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 14, 9–11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 12–2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7–11 a.m.

 *Dates and times are subject to change.

Each effort will focus on heavily traveled areas. This includes areas with pedestrian and bicycle traffic (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors). Everyone traveling, regardless of mode of transportation, is encouraged to remember that community safety is a shared responsibility.


Celebrate Black History Month Locally

As Black History Month kicks off, local events include the following:

  • Kimberly Latrice Jones, author of How We Can Win, Feb. 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 2023 Black History Month keynote lecture, at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture. RSVP here.
  • Celebrating Black America: The Black Resistance, with Dr. Freddie Parker and James Williams, Jr., at the Carrboro Century Center – Century Hall, 100 N. Greensboro St., 6, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Register here.

Posted January 28, 2023

Chapel Hill Recognized for Climate Leadership

The Town of Chapel Hill is one of 122 cities and towns worldwide to earn the 2022 CDP A-List ranking for bold climate action and transparency. This is Chapel Hill’s second year receiving an “A” rating, which is the highest score awarded by the environmental nonprofit CDP.

Only 12 percent of the more than 1,000 cities assessed by CDP in 2022 received an “A” rating, and Chapel Hill is recognized among other global sustainability leaders like San Francisco, California; and Kyoto, Japan. Cities on the A List have demonstrated their climate leadership through concerted and effective action and are taking three times as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A-List cities. The requirements for this top ranking include: 

  • Conducting climate risk and vulnerability assessments 
  • Completing community-wide emissions inventories and disclosing emissions information publicly through CDP-ICLEI Track 
  • Setting aggressive renewable energy targets 
  • Publishing plans for climate action and adaptation 

“The Town is committed to bold climate action,” said John Richardson, Chapel Hill’s Community Sustainability and Resilience Manager. “We will continue our efforts to create a vibrant, resilient, and sustainable community that prioritizes environmental justice, decarbonization, and good stewardship of the natural world. We are proud to be counted among those setting a positive example for other cities and towns around the county and around the world.”  

Learn more about the Town of Chapel Hill’s Climate Action and Response Plan here.  


Chapel Hill Black Film Festival

The second annual Chapel Hill Black Film Festival will take place February 10-11 at Varsity Theatre. This year’s two-day event celebrates Black culture and storytellers with genre-bending film experiences and one-of-a-kind panels with filmmakers and experts. Opening night will include a VIP dinner, a showing of Panda Bear It followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew, and a concert. The second day will feature documentary screenings, panel discussions, and more.


Posted January 25, 2023

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Spring, Summer Camp Programs

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will release its spring and summer camp recreation programs Monday, Jan. 30, in the spring RECREATE activities guide. Registration for spring recreation activities begins Tuesday, Feb. 7, for residents and Thursday, Feb. 9, for non-residents. Summer camp registration begins Mar. 21 for residents and Mar. 23 for non-residents.

Printed copies of the guide will be available at any of the Parks and Recreation centers or administrative office, the Chapel Hill Public Library, Town Hall, and the Housing department. Visit chapelhillparks.org to browse all recreation programs and register online.

Featured activities this spring include a Dive for Gold swim event, a fun-filled afternoon for the whole family where participants will dive for gold coins at the Homestead Aquatic Center. At the end of the event, trade those gold coins in for a special St. Patrick’s Day-themed prize.

Coming in March are youth and adult baseball and softball leagues. Baseball and softball leagues are a great way for kids and adults to have fun and learn the basics of America’s pastimes. The baseball and softball leagues are “coach pitch” for ages 8 and under, and “player pitch” for the older kids.

And finally, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation is celebrating the Year of the Trail in 2023. On Aug. 18, the N.C. legislature declared 2023 North Carolina Year of the Trail, highlighting an opportunity to showcase, promote, and celebrate state and local community trail systems. Watch for Year of the Trail events being announced soon.

As we prepare for summer camp in 2023, watch for a number of job openings with parks and recreation, such as lifeguards, camp counselors, and camp coordinators. You can apply online at townofchapelhill.org/jobs.

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


Posted January 20, 2023

Chapel Hill Historical Society Announces Upcoming Winter/Spring Programs

The Chapel Hill Historical Society has announced the following upcoming programs. Programs are at the Chapel Hill Public Library and are free and open to the public.

January 29 at 3:00pm – James Cates Scholars Presentation – The James Cates Scholars are local young people who are dedicated to exploring and understanding history on local, national and international levels. They will share why understanding local history is important to them and will talk about what they have learned about historical curation, documentation and archival work through the lens of young activists and scholars. They will also share their work with the James Cates archives, working on national Civil Rights curriculum and connecting history with K-12 education. The Historical Society provided grant money to support their scholarship.

March 5 at 3:00pm – Hearts Torn Asunder – Ernest Dollar will discuss his latest book, “Hearts Torn Asunder: Trauma in the Civil War’s Final Campaign in NC,” that explores the psychological experience of soldiers and civilians during the chaotic closing weeks of the war that ended with the surrender at nearby Bennett Place in Durham. Their letters, diaries, and accounts reveal just how deeply the killing, suffering, and loss had hurt and impacted these people by the spring of 1865. Mr. Dollar is a North Carolina native who graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1993 with a BFA in Design and a BA in History. In 2006, he graduated from North Carolina State University with a MA in Public History. He has worked in historic sites in both North and South Carolina and currently serves as the Executive Director of the City of Raleigh Museum.

March 19 at 3:00pm – WCHL – Celebrating 70 Years of Broadcasting – Aaron Keck, award-winning radio journalist and host of “This Morning with Aaron Keck,” will discuss WCHL’s history and contributions to the community as it celebrates its 70th anniversary. Aaron has been a strong supporter of the Historical Society and our programs.

April 23rd at 3:00pm – History of the Carrboro Farmers’ Market – Maggie Funkhouser, manager of the Carrboro Farmers Market, will discuss the history of this beloved, farmer-run local institution, now in its 45th year of operation.


Ackland Film Forum Series: Beasts of the Southern Wild

The Ackland Film Forum’s Spring 2023 series, “Do Something: Responding to Climate Change,” begins on Tuesday, Jan. 23, with screenings at 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. at the Varsity Theatre. The program is presented by the UNC Film Studies Program and the Ackland Art Museum. Admission is free, but advance RSVPs are required.


Applicants Needed for Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment and Chapel Hill Planning Commission 

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently accepting applications from Orange County residents living within the Chapel Hill Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and Joint Planning Area (JPA) to fill positions on the Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment and Chapel Hill Planning Commission.

Please review the map at the following link to see the boundaries of the ETJ and JPA areas: http://orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16597/Chapel-Hill-and-Carrboro-Boundaries-Map. You can also confirm the zoning information of your address by visiting: http://aries.orangecountync.gov/Aries/ZoningInformation.aspx

On the Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment, there is currently one vacancy for a resident of the ETJ and one upcoming vacancy for a resident of the ETJ or JPA.

On the Chapel Hill Planning Commission, there is currently one vacancy for a resident of the ETJ and one vacancy for a resident of the ETJ or JPA.

The Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment meets on the 1st Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The Chapel Hill Planning Commission meets at 7:00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month except July. Both meet at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, in the Council Chamber on the first floor.

If interested, apply at www.orangecountync.gov/Apply

Orange County strives for diverse representation on volunteer boards and commissions. Residents of all demographic backgrounds, identities and perspectives are encouraged to apply. Volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners have the opportunity to directly influence local decisions, policies and priorities.

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


Coffee with a Cop at Gray Squirrel Coffee Co. This Month

Carrboro Police will be at Gray Squirrel Coffee Co., located at 360 E. Main St., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. to host this year’s first Coffee with a Cop. 

The simple act of having a cup of coffee with community members can be the first step in increasing trust and cooperation between police and the people they serve. These events are unscripted and unstructured. Officers are present to talk to community members about whatever they want to talk about.

Come with questions, for casual conversation, or to simply enjoy some of Gray Squirrel’s delicious coffee on us. 

Coffee with a Cop is a national program that promotes creating and building relationships with community members “one cup of coffee at a time.” The Carrboro Police Department hosts a Coffee with a Cop event at local coffee shops once a month. 

To schedule a Coffee with a Cop event at your business, contact the Community Services Division at 919-918-7402.

To learn more about the Coffee with a Cop program, visit https://townofcarrboro.org/2433/Coffee-with-a-Cop.


Carrboro Town Council Passes a Resolution in Support of Medicaid Expansion

On Jan. 10, the Carrboro Town Council passed a resolution in support of closing North Carolina’s health insurance coverage gap through Medicaid expansion.

Closing the health insurance coverage gap through expansion of Medicaid would extend affordable health insurance coverage to 7,254 people in Orange County and more than 600,000 people across the state who cannot access the healthcare they need.

Healthy people and access to affordable healthcare are key to the Orange County and Carrboro economy. Closing the health insurance coverage gap would create 629 new jobs in Orange County, drive $141,300,000 in new business activity in Orange County, and generate $3,724,200 in new county revenue, according to an analysis by the Cone Health Foundation, the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

Read the full resolution of the Carrboro Town Council at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12315/Resolution-Supporting-NC-Medicaid-Expansion-2023.


Update: Chapel Hill Police Make Arrests in South Estes Drive Extension Homicide

In follow-up to a homicide committed on Jan. 10 on South Estes Drive Extension, an adult and two juveniles are now in custody in connection with this case.

The investigation led investigators to Sarod Folly, 20, of Carrboro. Folly is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Homicide, and Accessory – After Fact Homicide.

Folly is being held at the Orange County Detention Center without bond.

State law prohibits the public release of information about the juveniles.

The investigation is ongoing, and no additional information is available at this time.


Posted January 19, 2023

Poetry Events This Month in Carrboro

Two special events to dig deeper into poetry and connect with community are scheduled this month in Carrboro. All are invited to come celebrate Carrboro’s rich arts history and meet community members at these free and open events. 

Unearthing Ourselves! is a one-hour poetry workshop led by Carrboro Poet Laureate Liza Wolff-Francis. The workshop will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in Room 110 at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St. 

Poets’ Party: An Evening of Community Poetry is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. The Town of Carrboro and the Poets’ Council will recognize the longstanding Carrboro Poet Laureate program with former poets laureate reading, as well as a few guest poets; a special thanks to Fred Joiner, Carrboro’s outgoing poet laureate, and a welcome to Liza Wolff-Francis, Carrboro’s newest poet laureate. 


Youth Artists Call

The Town of Carrboro is seeking youth artists to submit original artwork that expresses what “Black History Month” means to them, for the Virtual Youth Art Exhibit. Select artwork will be displayed on Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department’s website through the month of February.

For information on how to submit artwork, contact Dana Hughes at dhughes@carrboronc.gov.

Artwork must be submitted by Jan. 25, and there is no submission fee.


OWASA Celebrating Cane Creek Reservoir Solar Array

The fourth and largest of Orange Water and Sewer Authority’s (OWASA) solar arrays is officially online and producing clean energy at Cane Creek Reservoir. To celebrate the occasion, OWASA and other local officials will be hosting an event at Cane Creek Reservoir featuring past and present members of the OWASA Board of Directors, Orange County Commissioners, and representatives from private-sector partners Eagle Solar and Light, SunWealth, and Duke Energy.

The event will take place at Cane Creek Reservoir, 6205 NC 54 West, Chapel Hill, at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 (weather-dependent, with a rain date of Thursday, Jan. 26; updates will be posted on OWASA’s website if the rain date is used).

The Cane Creek Reservoir solar array project was the recipient of a $75,000 grant from the Orange County Climate Action Grant Program. This 350 kW solar array on over 1 acre of land will reduce electricity purchased, along with the associated greenhouse gas emissions, to run pumps that send raw water from the reservoir to the Jones Ferry Road Water Treatment Plant.

Other solar arrays on OWASA property include panels that help power biosolids mixing tanks as well as roof-top arrays on two facilities at OWASA’s main campus at 400 Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro.

For more information, contact OWASA Communications Specialist Blake Hodge at bhodge@owasa.org or 919-537-4236.


Black History Month in Carrboro

Black History Month in Carrboro is coming up in February, and a series of events is being organized by the Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Department. From music and dramatic performances to history lectures, there will be an array of programs. There’s something of interest to all, so everyone can get involved in learning about and celebrating the lives, history and contributions of black people. 

Black History Month in Carrboro will feature the following: 

  • Diane Faison in “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” will be performed at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Carrboro Century Center. This one-woman stage play will be performed by Faison, a retired teacher, actress, artist, speaker and writer. 
  • Charles (alt/indie R&B/soul) will perform 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Carrboro Century Center. This program is part of the Black History Month Concert Series. Free. 
  • History Lecture: Black Resistance is scheduled 6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, at the Carrboro Century Center. Led by Dr. Freddie Parker, professor emeritus of history at NC Central University; and James Williams Jr., an attorney and former chief public defender, their discussion will focus on The Freedmen’s Conventions. Part of an ongoing event series titled Celebrating Black People in America.
  • Poet’s Open Mic (Zoom) will be held 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, via Zoom for people aged 16 and older. For this month’s event, attendees are encouraged to share poetry and history related to black America. For information, call 919-918-7372.
  • Finesse (rhythm and blues) will perform 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Carrboro Century Center. This program is part of the Black History Month Concert Series. Free. Presented in partnership with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
  • Gospel Winds (gospel) will perform 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Carrboro Century Center. This program is part of the Black History Month Concert Series. Free. Presented in partnership with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

In addition to the scheduled events, there will be a Virtual Youth Art Exhibit, 28 days of Black History Trivia, and Inspiring Quotes to Remember, all shared out via social media channels. There’s still time to submit artwork for the Virtual Youth Art Exhibit. Inquire at the email below. 

For more information, contact programsdivision@carrboronc.gov or 919-918-7364. 


One-Way Eastbound Traffic on Estes Temporarily Extends to MLK

The week of January 30, contractors will begin work on the south side of Estes Drive as part of the Estes Dr. Connectivity Project. This phase of the work requires extending the one-way eastbound traffic pattern between Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and the Caswell Road traffic light. The main impact is that residents who use Somerset Drive and driveways between Somerset and MLK will not be able to turn towards Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.  

Motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians should follow any detours and posted road signs. The official detour directs vehicles to use Weaver Dairy Road or Franklin Street. For the most up-to-date traffic conditions, check Waze or Google Maps. Both applications recognize lane closures and traffic automatically.   

Many of the improvements in the Estes Dr. Connectivity Project will enhance the Town of Chapel Hill’s efforts to increase safety on local roads for those who walk, ride or roll. This project includes raised bike lanes, a sidewalk on the south side of Estes Drive, and a 10-foot multiuse path on the north side. The intersection at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive will see improvements for turning traffic and crosswalks on all four legs, and bike lanes will extend onto Estes Drive Extension. The Town recently installed a rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) at Estes Drive and Caswell Road. Another RRFB will be installed at Estes Drive at Somerset Drive. 

For more information, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/estes.


Posted January 13, 2023

New Exhibit from CHPL Shares Immigrant Food Stories in Chapel Hill

Through “Old Dishes, New Dreams: Immigrant Food Stories from Chapel Hill,” a new year-long digital exhibit of videos, recipes and audio stories, Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) celebrates home cooking and community building.  

This exhibit was developed with 14 home chefs from seven different language communities in and around Chapel Hill. Each chef shared a special dish from their home culture while also sharing stories of food, family and home. “By eating different foods, we can taste the delicacies made by other hands. Flavors we didn’t grow up with. Those which we do not cook,” said project interviewee, Sharon. “So try, try, try again. It’s all delicious!” 

There has been a 40% increase in Chapel Hill residents born outside the U.S. since 2000. Since 2005 many of those new residents are refugees, primarily from Burma/Myanmar, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Project participants also included families from Mexico, Syria, El Salvador and Colombia. 

This January, visitors to the digital exhibit can learn how to make four mouth-watering dishes from the following home chefs:   

  • Sharon, from Colombia, demonstrates how to cook cazuela antioqueña, a delicious bean stew, while sharing memories of coffee and Columbian arepas. 
  • Yu Wah Thien, from Myanmar, practices her English while preparing Yangon mohinga, an elaborate and celebratory fish stew that contains more than 20 ingredients.
  • Genoveva, whose home country is Mexico, cooks up a beautiful mole verde with arroz rojo and homemade tortillas.
  • Zekiye, from Syria, prepares a vegetable and rice dish with her daughter, Maha.

The digital exhibit is available at www.chapelhillhistory.org, and visitors can view photographs from the project on display on the ground floor of CHPL. 

The home chefs at the heart of this project have left their home countries and first languages. They carry with them cultural memories, practices and gifts that make Chapel Hill a more diverse—and delicious—community.    

“Language justice was really important to us in this project,” said staff member Mandella Younge, “so the entire exhibit is multilingual. The recipes and videos are all in English as well as the participant’s primary language.”  

New content will be released in the coming months and will feature home chefs sharing their food and memories in their primary languages, which include Burmese, Chin, Karen, Swahili, Kurmanji, French, and Spanish.

“Old Dishes, New Dreams” is a collaboration between CHPL and Refugee Community Partnership. Project staff recorded audio and video interviews and cooking demonstrations with 14 home chefs and their families. 

To explore the exhibit, visit chapelhillhistory.org. For more information or interview requests, contact: Molly Luby, Chapel Hill community history coordinator, at mluby@townofchapelhill.org or Hannah Olson, CHPL marketing and communications coordinator, at holson@chapelhillpubliclibrary.org.


New Businesses Coming to Downtown Chapel Hill

Bul Box, which crafts Asian-inspired, customizable boxes using fresh ingredients is opening at 200 W. Franklin St., Suite 130 (previously occupied by Lime & Basil).

Capriotti’s, which specializes in cheesesteaks and subs, will also open soon. Construction is currently underway on the new location at 127 E. Franklin St. Hiring is also underway; call 919-909-7652 for more information.


National Mentoring Month in Carrboro

The Carrboro Town Council passed a resolution on Tuesday, Jan. 10, recognizing National Mentoring Month in Carrboro and encouraging residents to encourage and celebrate mentoring throughout the community.

Mentoring programs like the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program, Volunteers for Youth, Musical Empowerment, the Reintegration Support Network, Triangle Bikeworks, the Refugee Community Partnership and capacity-building agencies like the Youth Mentoring Collaborative make communities and the state stronger by driving impactful relationships that increase social capital for young people and provide invaluable support networks.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mentoring programs across the state stepped up to fill gaps for young people and families, connecting them with resources, despite physical distancing.

Trauma-informed, alternative approaches to mentoring that target mental health challenges provide a pathway to promote mental wellness, increase access to evidence-based mental wellness skills training and reduce structural barriers to mental health services.

Mentoring plays a pivotal role in career exploration and supports workforce development by helping young people set career goals, equipping mentors with the skills needed to support the professional growth of young people and driving positive outcomes for communities across the state.

The Town honors volunteer mentors who support young people by showing up for them every day and demonstrating their commitment to helping them thrive.

Read the complete proclamation at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12253/National-Mentoring-Month-Resolution-2023.

Local mentoring resources and opportunities:


Carrboro to Observe National Day of Racial Healing

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils has proclaimed Jan. 17, the Tuesday following Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as “National Day of Racial Healing” in Carrboro and encourages all residents to share ideas, knowledge and points of view related to truth, racial healing, transformation and racial equity.

“National Day of Racial Healing” is an annual observance initiated as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation program and promoted by the program’s many community partners across the U.S. It is a way to promote relationship-building, truth telling and racial equity; healing and solidarity; and transformative action. 

The Carrboro proclamation states: “We understand and recognize that we all must work earnestly and intentionally to heal the wounds created by racial, ethnic and religious bias and build an equitable and just society in which all people can thrive and in which children have the opportunity to learn and grow in nurturing environments that safeguard their safety, dignity and humanity.” 

Access Mayor Seils’ proclamation at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2630/Proclamations-and-Resolutions. The proclamation lists several actions that the Town of Carrboro has taken in its commitment to advancing racial equity.


Chapel Hill Police Investigate Homicide on North Heritage Circle

At around 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, the Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) responded to a report of a shooting in the 600 block of North Heritage Circle. Officers discovered a man, identified as Marcus Anthony Smith, 24, of Durham, deceased at the scene. The investigation is ongoing.

Investigators have no reason to believe that there is an immediate threat in the area. No further information is available at this time.

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


Lumos Releases Phase I Map of Broadband Project

Orange County entered into a partnership with Lumos in 2022 to bring high-speed broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of the county. County staff meet regularly with Lumos to receive updates and provide assistance on the project. At this week’s meeting, Lumos reported they have completed much of the preliminary engineering work and identified the area of the county that will be the first to receive the service (see map below).

For current information on the project, visit the Orange County website.
Proposed boundaries of each phase, along with the timing, are subject to change.

In the coming months, you’ll begin seeing Lumos crews in neighborhoods around the area. As construction nears in your neighborhood, you’ll receive additional communications on the build process and what to expect. These will come in the form of direct mail notices, door hangers, etc. In the meantime, see www.lumosfiber.com/builtforthefuture to learn more and sign up to find out when service is available in your area.


DSS Toy Drive Brightens Holidays for More Than 2,400 Children and Adults

Orange County Department of Social Services (DSS) helped make the 2022 holidays brighter for more than 2,400 children and adults through its Toy Chest and sponsorship programs, DSS Director Nancy Coston said.

The sponsorship program pairs donors with families being served by the agency, including foster children, vulnerable adults and seniors and young parents. Total individual adults and children served was 338.
“Sponsors did an incredible job of shopping for perfect gifts and making the holidays special,” Coston said. “Children received toys, games and clothing, and adults received clothing, personal care items and household items, all based on lists developed for each person.”

The Toy Chest program provided toys to more than 2,000 children ages 0-12 years. This program is for low-income families not in the sponsorship program. Because financial donations were down this year, Coston said a decision was made to focus on toys for younger children, although families could shop for books for all children.

“We also want to give a big shout out to Pat Garavaglia and Sharon Collins,” said Sharron Hinton, human service manager with Orange County DSS. “For decades these awesome supporters have helped secure sponsors and gifts for all DSS clients and programs. In this year alone, they recruited over half of the sponsors and also provided gifts for the Toy Chest. They and their circle of friends and supporters never fail to deliver and bring joy to our families.”

DSS also used American Rescue Plan Act funds and donations to provide additional food during the holidays and the break from school. Many children served by DSS depend on free and reduced lunches through the school systems, so filling this gap was extremely important, Coston said. The department provided more than $68,000 worth of food and food cards to all families with children, regardless of the age of the children.

Orange County residents have always been generous of their support for families in need, and the donations to these programs brought joy to many. One parent observed: “As I was going through the gifts, there were some moments of tears of joy because I realize that there are people out there with such a beautiful heart.”


January 11, 2023

Chapel Hill Police Investigate Shooting on Highway 54

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is investigating a report of a shooting in the 1100 block of Highway 54.

A preliminary investigation found that at around 5 p.m. on Jan. 9, one driver fired shots at another driver’s vehicle, leaving one passenger with a non-life-threatening injury.

Investigators are working to identify a suspect. No additional information is available at this time. 

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


Second Chapel Hill Public Information Meeting: Inclusive Playground and Splash Pad Feasibility Project

The community is invited to a second public information meeting on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL), 100 Library Drive, to learn more and share ideas on an inclusive playground and splash pad feasibility assessment project. The meeting will be held Saturday, Jan. 21, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at CHPL, Meeting Room C.

The Town is interested in options for developing a splash pad facility and an inclusive playground that are unique, sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, safe and accessible for all. The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department desires to enhance and expand recreational opportunities available to Chapel Hill residents. They also recognize the opportunity to attract visitors to the community with distinctive aquatic attractions and inclusive playgrounds.

Parks and Recreation staff is working with representatives from Coulter Jewell Thames, now an affiliate of Thomas & Hutton, to prepare a feasibility assessment to help guide the decision-making for considering an inclusive playground and a splash pad at one or more of the following locations: Chapel Hill Community Center Park, Hargraves Park, Homestead Park and Southern Community Park.

For more information, visit the Splash Pad and Inclusive Playground Planning Project web page or contact Marcia Purvis, project manager for Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, at mpurvis@townofchapelhill.org.


Get to Know Chapel Hill’s New Poet Laureate, Cortland Gilliam

The Town of Chapel Hill is ringing in the new year with a new poet laureate – educator, scholar and cultural organizer Cortland Gilliam.

In 2019, Chapel Hill Town Council appointed artist and activist CJ Suitt to fill the inaugural position. Since then, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Suitt worked together to develop the program and a framework for selecting future poets laureate. Community Arts & Culture issued an open call this fall that included an application and interview process. The selection team unanimously chose Cortland Gilliam for the position for his powerful writing, performance skills and commitment to the community.

Gilliam’s identity as a poet has grown out of his political activism and cultural organizing. Currently, Gilliam serves as the co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History. He regularly performs at open-mic nights and protest rallies in service of the local anti-racist movement. “Poetry is an active and political practice as much as it is a literary exercise,” says Gilliam. “It’s the parting of perspective, the sharing of knowledge, the transmission of feeling, the disruption of power and the cultivation of community.”

Gilliam was interested in becoming poet laureate because of his love for poetry and deep interest in the community, cultivated while studying at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2010, Gilliam graduated with a B.A. in economics and is currently a doctoral candidate in education focused on cultures of school discipline, political education and histories of Black youth contributions to political struggles and liberation movements of the late twentieth century.

The fusion of the creative and political extends to art forms beyond poetry for Gilliam. Following a protest effort in response to the refusal to remove a Confederate monument on UNC’s campus, Gilliam and graduate colleague Jerry Wilson co-curated a collaborative art exhibit, #BlackOutLoudUNC. The exhibit featured a screening of a short film, produced and shot by Gilliam and Wilson, which explored black undergraduate experiences belonging at a historically white university in the American South.

While poet laureate, Gilliam hopes to initiate youth programming, host local writer meet-ups and activate voices of both young and old. Over his tenure, the community can expect to see new works produced by Gilliam as well as performances at Town-sponsored events. To learn more about Cortland Gilliam and the poet laureate program, visit chapelhillarts.org/poetlaureate.

Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture is the Town department that coordinates the poet laureate program, and staff will work closely with Gilliam to realize the deliverables. Community Arts & Culture has a mission of inspiring creativity and celebrating community for a better Chapel Hill. Together with local artists and community organizations, Community Arts & Culture focuses on bringing public art and arts experiences to Chapel Hill and planning and producing local festivals and events. To learn more, visit chapelhillarts.org.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Playground Area Closure

The playground at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park at 1120 Hillsborough Road will be closed on Thursday, Jan. 12, and will re-open the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 13, while the Public Works Department conducts maintenance.

Due to degradation of some of the natural wood material, two of the play features pose a safety hazard and will be removed. The Town is working with vendors to identify replacement options that are comparable to the existing amenities, but that will have a longer lifespan to be enjoyed for many years to come. Once these replacements are ready to be installed, an update on the installation schedule will be provided.

If you have any questions, please contact the Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Facilities Supervisor at 919-918-7384.


Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Releases 2021-22 Annual Report

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau has published its 2021-22 annual report, highlighting the bureau’s activities and accomplishments for the fiscal year.

This report to stakeholders looks at the economic impact of tourism on Orange County and highlights the bureau’s financials for 2021-22. It includes information on boards and staff, meetings and events sales, communications and ways the Visitors Bureau markets the destination through advertising, social media and public relations. The cover and a special page feature the new Chapel Hill/Orange County Welcome Center at 308 West Franklin St., which opened to the public in March 2022. The new Chapel Hill diversity website is also mentioned.

A letter from Chairman Mark Bell, who serves on the Town of Hillsborough Board of Commissioners, calls attention to the $194 million in domestic and visitor spending to Orange County in 2021, a 51% increase over 2020. Occupancy tax collected in 2021-22 totaled over $1.66 million, up from $822,000 in 2020-21, noting progress in travel and tourism returning to Orange County since the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020.

This year’s report is again an online publication and can be viewed and shared at CHOCVB 2021-22 Annual Report. The Bureau’s Annual Reports can be found on VisitChapelHill.org on the About Us page.


January 9, 2023

Chapel Hill Connected Roads Plan

The Town of Chapel Hill is pursuing a Connected Roads Plan to implement a consistent approach to local street connections that uses planning best practices of connecting communities and dispersing traffic. By connecting local streets instead of allowing cul-de-sacs, the Town aims to improve connectivity and local trips in a safe manner.

The plan will account for road safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, accessibility, and convenience and mitigating strategies to reduce resident concerns about increased local traffic. 

The first public meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 19, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

Take the survey on the Connected Roads Plan through the months of January and February.

Provide feedback on specific locations in Chapel Hill.

There will be plenty of upcoming opportunities to provide feedback, discuss potential connections, and influence the plan.


Housing Choices for a Complete Community

Chapel Hill Town staff will share information and answer questions related to the Housing Choices for a Complete Community text amendment that is scheduled for Council consideration on Wednesday, Jan. 25. A virtual session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, and a hybrid in-person and Zoom session will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12.

Anyone wishing to submit feedback on the proposed text amendment before the Jan. 25 Council meeting is encouraged to do so. For more information on the proposed text amendments, visit https://publicinput.com/W12678


Multi-Use Artificial Turf Field Renovations Underway for Cedar Falls Park

The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department is replacing the artificial turf on the multi-use athletic fields at Cedar Falls Park. The existing turf fields, installed in 2012-13, have reached the end of their useful lifespan, given the extended use over the years. The renovation project is currently underway and is expected to be completed in six to eight weeks.

This project addresses health, safety and demand for use of the fields and will replace the synthetic turf with a 2-inch fiber turf with padding. The crumb-rubber infill will be replaced with a similar natural organic cork material used at the new Homestead Park synthetic-turf fields. This infill blend is made from natural cork and premier-grade elastomers, which are environmentally friendly and engineered using all recycled materials. 

Cedar Falls Park was constructed in the mid-1970s and is one of Chapel Hill’s oldest and largest parks. It provides both active recreational facilities and public open space. A 66-acre community park, Cedar Falls Park is best known for its soccer and baseball fields, tennis courts and playground, all of which have undergone renovation and improvements recently. There are two well-marked loop trails, a 1.1-mile loop, and a 0.6-mile loop with multiple entrances to the trails and a posted map to help guide your trail experiences.

For more info about the renovation project, contact Kevin Robinson at krobinson@townofchapelhill.org, or visit chapelhillparks.org.


Applicants Needed for Orange County Volunteer Boards and Commissions 

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

Affordable Housing Advisory Board (five at-large vacancies) Prioritizes affordable housing needs and assesses project proposals; publicizes the County’s housing objectives, monitors the progress of local housing programs, explores new funding opportunities and works to increase the community’s awareness of, understanding of, commitment to and involvement in producing attractive affordable housing; meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
 
Animal Services Advisory Board (one position for a county resident whose experience demonstrates a commitment to education around animal issues, legislative advocacy and/or animal welfare [e.g., rescue work, support for residents with animals, efforts to work with free-roaming cats, volunteering at animal shelters], one position for an individual who resides within the Town limits of Hillsborough, one position for an individual who resides within the Town limits of Carrboro, one position for an individual who resides in a non-municipal area of the county, one at-large vacancy) – Advises the Board of County Commissioners on matters of concern regarding animal issues and animal services in Orange County; meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. 
 
Board of Equalization and Review (five alternate positions open) – Hears appeals from residents concerning various property tax issues, including valuation and exemption appeals; charged with ensuring that all taxable property is appraised and assessed according to the standards required by the N.C. General Statutes; meets up to three days per week, for approximately three to four hours per meeting, for up to three consecutive months (typically April-June); members compensated for all meetings attended.
 
Commission for the Environment (one position for an applicant with expertise in water resources) – Advises the Board of Commissioners on matters affecting the environment, with particular emphasis on protection; educates public and local officials on environmental issues and performs special studies and projects; recommends environmental initiatives and studies changes in environmental science and local and federal regulations; meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
 
Hillsborough Planning Board (one position for an applicant residing in the Hillsborough Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Acquires and maintains information in order to understand past trends, prepare and amend the comprehensive plan for the development of the area, and prepare and recommend ordinances promoting orderly development; meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Human Relations Commission (three at-large vacancies and one vacancy for a person residing in the Town of Carrboro) – Advises the Board of County Commissioners on solutions to problems in the field of human relationships; makes recommendations designed to promote goodwill and harmony among groups in the County irrespective of their race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status or status with regard to public assistance; meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

Orange County Housing Authority Board (one at-large vacancy) – To provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for low and moderate-income families in Orange County; applicants with experience and/or interest in real estate, development, affordable housing, municipal law, banking and Housing Choice Voucher program participants encouraged to apply; meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
 
Orange Unified Transportation Board (four at-large vacancies and one vacancy for a resident of Cedar Grove Township) – Advises the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and provides information and comments on major transportation issues; provides the BOCC with recommendations regarding the overall planning and programming of transportation improvements in the County, including identification and prioritization of the County’s roadway and transit needs, along with associated costs and specific sources of funding; provides recommendations to the Board regarding federal and state legislation affecting transportation in Orange County; explores and suggests recommendations on innovative techniques and methods to improve the efficiency and capacity of existing and future transportation systems; meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

If interested in any of the above positions, apply at www.orangecountync.gov/Apply

Orange County strives for authentically diverse representation on volunteer boards and commissions. Residents of all demographic backgrounds, identities and perspectives are encouraged to apply. Applicants must reside in Orange County. Volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners 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.


Carrboro Event Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

A youth-led event planned by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council, Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, and the Carrboro Youth Council celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, starting at 1 p.m., in Century Hall of the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 1 p.m. – Art Gallery & Meet and Greet & Catering; community fellowship and student artwork for viewing in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
  • 1:45 p.m. – Welcome and introduction remarks from the Carrboro Youth Advisory Board, Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Youth Council and Carrboro Youth Council 
  • 1:50 p.m. – KAHOOT!, Dr. MLK Jr. trivia
  • 2 p.m. – Speaker Keith Knight, gentleman cartoonist
  • 2:30 p.m. – Speaker Danita Mason-Hogans, civil rights historian
  • 2:40 p.m. – Speaker Barbara Foushee, Carrboro Town Council
  • 2:50 p.m. – Speaker Nevaeh Hodge, Carrboro Youth Council and Chapel Hill- Carrboro NAACP Youth Council member
  • 2:55 p.m. – Student Videos, “What is your dream?” when thinking about the legacy of Dr. MLK Jr.

Carrboro to Observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

The Town of Carrboro will observe the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 16. Town Hall and other administrative offices will be closed.

Yard waste collection will be delayed until Tuesday. 


One Killed, Four Injured in Hillsborough Structure Fire

Orange County 9-1-1 received a call for a reported structure fire at 818 Faucette Mill Road shortly before 1 a.m. on Jan. 9. The Orange Rural Fire Department responded along with Efland, Caldwell and Cedar Grove fire departments and Orange County EMS units. 

Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived on scene and found a portion of the two-story duplex heavily involved in fire. Deputies took quick action to remove as many occupants as possible and rendered aid until the arrival of EMS units.

The fire resulted in one fatality and four injuries. Three of the injured were transported by EMS to the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

The fourth injury was sustained by a first responder who was evaluated and released from UNC Medical Center earlier this morning. The deceased victim was transported to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Orange County Fire Marshal with support from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.


MLK Jr. Murals in Carrboro

One of two murals displayed on the eastern and western sides of the main building at Dr. Martin Luther King Park, 1120 Hillsborough Road, contains an interactive component allowing patrons to share via a QR code an answer to, “What are you doing for others?” The engagement is intended to foster a sense of community and share how people are each helping to realize Dr. King’s dream.

The murals were imagined and completed by student residents Kathy Bolanos-Villanueva, Hannah Ingham and Lily Reeves under the guidance of local artists Michael Brown and Livian Kennedy.


January 6, 2023

OCLW Announces New Orange County Living Wage

The Orange County Living Wage (OCLW) board has announced that Orange County’s newly updated 2023 living wage for hourly workers is $16.60 an hour, or $15.10 for employers who pay at least half of employees’ health insurance costs; this is an increase of $.75/hour. Orange County Living Wage (OCLW) adjusts the living wage annually to keep pace with rising rents.

Orange County Living Wage determines its living wage by using the widely accepted universal living-wage formula based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standard that no more than 30% of a person’s gross income should be devoted to housing. To calculate the wage, OCLW uses the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in a four-county area including Alamance, Chatham, Durham and Orange counties.

Since OCLW’s last newsletter in November 2022, these local employers have joined the roster of living-wage employers: 

  • Breakaway Carrboro
  • Club Nova 
  • Elysian Fields Farm
  • Golden Fig Books 
  • Law Offices of Amos Tyndall, PLLC
  • Sonark Media
  • Thomas More Catholic School 
  • Swim for Charlie 
  • The Ballet School of Chapel Hill
  • Transplanting Traditions Community Farm

In addition to these new certifications, 15 employers have recertified, which means they’ve committed to paying a living wage for at least four years.

In 2022, OCLW added 48 Orange County employers to their roster of living-wage employers, compared to 34 in 2021. See the OCLW directory of all 265+ Orange County living-wage employers. 

Orange County Living Wage is looking to add members to their board and committees, plus new volunteers. If interested in getting involved, go to https://orangecountylivingwage.org/get-involved/.


Orange Co. Dept. on Aging to Host Presentation on Geriatric Care Management

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE Mental Wellness Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a presentation, Geriatric Care Management 101, on Jan. 25.

Care planning for an aging loved one can be overwhelming and often leads to caregiver burnout. Caregiver burnout describes the emotional and physical stress that caregiving can take on the body, especially when the caregiver is not receiving the support they need. 

One way to alleviate this burden is to ask for a help from a geriatric care manager. The Project EngAGE Mental Wellness Senior Resource Team welcomes you to join Geriatric Care Manager Sharon Kilpatrick as she walks you through what a geriatric care manager is and how they can help. Learn as she guides you through the hiring process, how she supports the families she works with, the costs and more. Educational session followed by Q&A.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 25, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill and simultaneously via a virtual platform.

Please register for in-person attendance by Monday, Jan. 23, with the Seymour Center front desk at 919-968-2070. You may register for the virtual option using the following link: www.orangecountync.gov/GCM101.


January 4, 2023

January Traffic-Safety Initiatives in Chapel Hill

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

  • Tuesday, Jan. 10, 1 to 11 a.m. 
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17, 6 to 10 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Monday, Jan. 30, 7 to 11 a.m. 

*Dates and times are subject to change. 

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

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

  • Tuesday, Jan. 3, 9 to 11 a.m. 
  • Tuesday, Jan. 10, 7 to 9 a.m. 
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17, 12 to 2 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2 to 4 p.m. 

*Dates and times are subject to change. 

According to the National Safety Council, 96% of people think texting while driving is dangerous, yet 44% do it. If your phone supports it, consider using a “do not disturb” feature while driving. 

Cell phone apps and devices can help drivers stay focused on driving. They prevent drivers from making or accepting calls and texting or accessing the internet, but do not block access to 911. Learn more here.


Apply to Join the Chapel Hill Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board

If you interested in an opportunity to help the Town of Chapel Hill create an inclusive, connected community, you are needed to help recommend, advocate and plan for comprehensive, safe, effective and sustainable multi-modal transportation and connectivity. Consider serving on the Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board.   

While advisory board applications are always open and ongoing, submit your application by Sunday, Jan. 15, for consideration this month. 

The Town is currently seeking Chapel Hill residents to fill three vacancies on this board. One of these seats is specifically for bicycle advocate. 

 
The Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board is made up of nine members appointed by Town Council, including: 

  • Four residents of the Town 
  • One bicycle advocate 
  • One greenways advocate 
  • Two residents from Orange, Durham, Alamance or Chatham county
  • One appointed by the UNC-Chapel Hill Student Body President  

Members serve staggered three-year terms. The UNC student member serves a two-year term and may be reappointed to additional terms. They meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the first-floor conference room at Town Hall, located at 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. No previous board experience is required—new members will receive training and guidance.
Submit your application at townofchapelhill.org/boards

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


Carrboro Celebrates Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten on Her Birthday

Legendary North Carolina musician Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten is being feted by her hometown with her very own day on this birthday anniversary. 

Mayor Damon Seils is officially proclaiming Thursday, Jan. 5, as “Libba Cotten Day” in Carrboro. Read the complete proclamation at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12228/Libba-Cotten-Day-2023.

Born on Jan. 5, 1893, Cotten wrote her signature song, “Freight Train,” about the train she could hear from her childhood home on Lloyd Street in Carrboro. Cotten’s talents as guitarist and songwriter came to light while she was working in the home of the Seeger family, who encouraged her career as a professional musician. Cotten toured across the country, recording several albums and winning a Grammy Award and a National Heritage Fellowship before her death in 1987.

Libba Cotten Day celebrations will include a reading at the N.C. Historical MarkerMayor Damon Seils will read the proclamation declaring Libba Cotten Day in the Town of Carrboro at the site of the N.C. Historical Marker on East Main Street in Carrboro. The reading will occur just after 9 a.m. Attending the reading will be N.C. Representatives Allen Buansi and Renée Price, as well as Liza Wolff-Francis, the new poet laureate for Carrboro. Convenient public parking is located at 200 E. Main St. Learn more about the marker at http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?MarkerId=G-129

The Libba Cotten Bikeway will be decorated for her birthday. Also, drop by the Elizabeth Cotten mural located at 111 N. Merritt Mill Road at the gateway to Carrboro between E. Main and Rosemary streets. 


Carrboro Stormwater Division Rolls Out New Residential Assessment Pilot Project

The Carrboro Stormwater Division is rolling out a new Residential Assessment Pilot Project to perform assessments and provide technical advice to homeowners regarding possible solutions to flooding, drainage, erosion and other stormwater and stream-related concerns. Applications from homeowners are now being accepted and will be screened and scheduled for assessments as they are received and as capacity allows. 

You can apply online at http://townofcarrboro.org/FormCenter/Public-Works-Department-23/Application-for-Stormwater-Residential-A-214, obtain an application from Town Hall or contact Stormwater Staff at stormwater@carrboronc.gov or 919-913-2999. For more information on the pilot project, visit www.carrboronc.gov/2752/Residential-Assessment or contact Stormwater staff.


December 30, 2022

Town of Chapel Hill Wants to Talk with Residents

Town staff will be all over Chapel Hill and on Zoom to talk with as many community members as possible about the following: 

  • Registering for the Peoples Academy
  • How to spend remaining American Rescue Plan Act funding
  • Applying for Boards and Commissions
  • Parks improvements
  • …and more

All events are posted online at townofchapelhill.org/letstalktown and will be updated with the upcoming week’s events every Thursday afternoon. Staff will be in the Chapel Hill Public Library lobby (100 Library Dr.) on Friday, Jan. 6, from 9:45 to 11 a.m.

If you would like for Town staff to speak with your group or organization, or want to talk with staff one-on-one about any of the above, email talktown@townofchapelhill.org or call 919-969-5009.


CHDP Fully Staffed

At the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership (CHDP), Matt Gladdek will continue his role as executive director, and spring brought two new faces: Stephanie Cobert came on as director of marketing, and Jeri Lynn Schulke transitioned to full-time director of arts & culture.

Samantha Luu was hired over the summer as the campus & community coalition director. Her role, while housed in the CHDP, works in collaboration across the community to reduce the harms associated with high-risk drinking.


Increased Visitation in Downtown Chapel Hill in 2022

Chapel Hill had over 9 million visitors in the downtown area in 2022—an increase of over 1.6 million from the previous year. 2022 visitation data reached and exceeded pre-COVID years. The highest single-day visitation occurred on April 5—for the UNC/Duke Final Four game.


New Business, Expansions and Moves, and Anniversaries in Downtown Chapel Hill in 2022

2022 was a busy year for the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, with the advent of new business, business expansions and moves, and anniversaries of long-time businesses.

New businesses included:

  • 1922 Coffee Shop
  • BaseCamp
  • Buena Vibra
  • Le Macaron
  • Map Dot
  • Marshall Goods
  • Quantum Soul
  • StillLife
  • The Gathering Place Games

Businesses that expanded or moved included the following:

  • Beer Study moved to 504 W. Franklin Street, formerly occupied by Mint.
  • Spicy 9 expanded earlier this year on the left side of the original location, creating more seating and bar space.
  • New addition to local favorite Epilogue opened in the summer; Prologue offers used books and programming space.
  • The Purple Bowl created a larger space with more seating in the spring.
  • Brandwein’s Bagels expanded operations at 505 W. Rosemary Street, taking over the former location and parking lot of Bread & Butter Baking Company.

Julian’s, a Franklin Street fixture, celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2022. It began as a men’s store operated by Mary and Maurice Julian. Today, their son, acclaimed designer Alexander Julian, continues the boutique with men’s and women’s apparel and accessories.

And the Carolina Coffee Shop turned 100 in 2022. Currently owned and operated by a group of UNC alumni, it began as a soda shop before transitioning into a restaurant in the 1950s.


VSED, Dementia and Advance Directives Discussion

On Thursday, Jan. 12, from 4 to 6 p.m., join the Orange County Dept. on Aging for a free discussion with Judith Schwarz, Ph.D., about voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, dementia and advance directives. Register by Jan. 9 at 919-968-2070. One in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. A “good death” is more likely when those supporting the dying person are more informed about the options.


Nominations for Pauli Murray Awards Now Open

Established in 1990, the Pauli Murray Award commemorates the life of the late Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray (1910-1985), a distinguished and remarkable person who confronted discrimination, racism and sexism in her own life.

The Pauli Murray Award is presented annually by the Orange County Human Relations Commission to an Orange County youth, an Orange County adult and an Orange County business that have served the community with distinction in the pursuit of equality, justice and human rights for all residents. Nominations may be made online and must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023.

This year’s Pauli Murray Awards will be presented at the Whitted Building, 300 West Tryon St., Room 230, Hillsborough, on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, at 3 p.m.


Book Discussion in Honor of Black History Month

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 12 to 1:30 p.m., the Orange County Office of Equity & Inclusion and the Orange County Library are hosting a book discussion of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. A light lunch will be served, and the event is free and open to the public. No registration required. 


Orange County Property Taxes Due by Jan. 5, 2023

Orange County tax bills were mailed in early August and were due Sept. 1.

The grace period to pay before interest is added ends on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. Interest in the amount of 2% will be added immediately, and 0.75% interest will be added on the first of each month thereafter until the taxes are paid. Unpaid bills are considered delinquent after Jan. 5, 2023, and subject to collection methods.


Call for Participants in Orange County Government Academy

All Orange County residents are invited to apply to participate in the Orange County Government Academy, which begins on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, and meets every other Tuesday for 8 sessions. Fill out this form by Feb. 24 to participate. 

Click on the following for more information:


Chapel Hill Police Seek Assistance Locating Missing Person

The Chapel Hill Police Department (CHPD) is seeking the community’s assistance locating a missing person. Russell Grant Corvey, 71, of Chapel Hill, was last seen on December 21, around 9 a.m., in the area of 800 Pritchard Ave. Extension.

Corvey is 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, burgundy shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers.

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


December 28, 2022

Chapel Hill Tree Collection

Town crews will pick up holiday trees and wreaths for mulching on the regular yard-trimmings-collection schedule. Yard trimmings are collected on Thursdays from single-family residences on a Monday trash collection schedule and on Fridays from those with Tuesday trash collection.

Remove all decorations, tinsel and wire before leaving trees and wreaths at the curbside, along with other yard trimmings. Residents of apartment complexes should place trees in the area designated by property managers.

Christmas lights can be recycled at the electronics trailers at any of Orange County’s Waste & Recycling Centers.

For more information, call 919-969-5100 or go to townofchapelhill.org/trash.


New Year’s Holiday Hours in Chapel Hill

Monday, Jan. 2, is a Town holiday. Some services will be affected, as follows:

  • Residential trash—not collected Monday, Jan. 2 (make-up day Wednesday, Jan. 4); yard- trimmings collection not affected
  • Curbside recycling—not collected Monday, Jan. 2; recycling collections delayed by one day the entire week of Jan. 1–7
  • Orange County landfill and waste & recycling centers—closed Monday, Jan. 2
  • Commercial trash—not collected Monday, Jan. 2; collections completed by the end of the week
  • Chapel Hill Transit—not operating New Year’s Day; Saturday, Dec. 31, and Monday, Jan. 2, operating on a Sunday schedule (no U or NU routes); Safe Rides not operating
  • Chapel Hill Public Library—closed Sunday, Jan. 1
  • Housing—Office and Maintenance Division closed; for emergency maintenance services, call 919-968-2855.
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Parks, greenways, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters and outdoor park amenities open
  • Administrative offices, Chapel Hill Community Center Pool, Hargraves Center and The Teen Center closed Saturday, Dec. 31; Homestead Aquatic Center, Chapel Hill Community Center and Northside Gym open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Administrative offices, Chapel Hill Community Center and Pool, Hargraves Center and Northside Gym, Homestead Aquatic Center and The Teen Center closed Sunday, Jan. 1  
  • Administrative offices, Chapel Hill Community Center Pool, Hargraves Center and The Teen Center closed Monday, Jan. 2; Homestead Aquatic Center, Chapel Hill Community Center and Northside Gym open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

For more information see www.chapelhillparks.org.


Carrboro Fire-Rescue Responds to Apartment Fire

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 5:50 p.m., members of the Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department responded to 112 NC 54 Bypass for a reported structure fire at Berkshire 54 Apartments. 

Responding crews arrived in just over three minutes and found an apartment building with flames visible from one unit and smoke visible throughout the building. Fire crews extinguished the fire in approximately 10 minutes. Fire damage was contained to one apartment. There was smoke and water damage to two adjacent apartments. Initial damage estimates are approximately $50,000. 

There were no injuries reported at the fire. Three apartments in the building were deemed uninhabitable. Six residents were displaced. The property management group and American Red Cross are assisting with temporary housing and other needs of the displaced residents. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Carrboro Fire-Rescue received assistance from the Chapel Hill Fire Department, White Cross Fire Department, Orange County Emergency Medical Services, and the Carrboro Police Department. 


December 26, 2022

Chapel Hill Named Bicycle-Friendly Community

The League of American Bicyclists named Chapel Hill a silver-level bicycle-friendly community for its fall 2022 application period. This award keeps Chapel Hill at the silver level, which the community first won in 2018.

Chapel Hill joins 501 communities across the country in the movement for safer streets and better bicycling for everyone. The award recognizes Chapel Hill for its commitment to creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit its residents of all ages and abilities while encouraging healthier and more sustainable transportation choices.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro are the only two communities in North Carolina to reach the silver level for a bike-friendly community.

The Town of Chapel Hill is also a silver-level bike-friendly business for its employees and customers.


Poetry Events in January in Carrboro

Two special events to dig deeper into poetry and connect with community are scheduled this January in Carrboro. All are invited to come celebrate Carrboro’s rich arts history and meet community members at these free and open events. 

Unearthing Ourselves! is a one-hour poetry workshop led by Carrboro Poet Laureate Liza Wolff-Francis. The workshop will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in Room 110 at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St. 

Poets’ Party: An Evening of Community Poetry is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. The Town of Carrboro and the Poets’ Council will recognize the longstanding Carrboro Poet Laureate program with former poet laureates reading, as well as a few guest poets. A special thanks to Fred Joiner, Carrboro’s outgoing poet laureate, and a welcome to Liza Wolff-Francis, Carrboro’s newest poet laureate. 


Apply to Join the Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board

The Town of Chapel Hill is seeking applicants for the Housing Advisory Board who are interested in an opportunity to help shape Town’s housing policies and have experience, knowledge or expertise in affordable housing.

Applications should be submitted by Monday, January 9, to ensure consideration.

The Town is currently seeking a non-profit housing provider/professional and a non-market-rate-housing resident to fill two vacant seats on the Housing Advisory Board. The non-profit housing provider/professional can be a resident or non-resident of Chapel Hill. The non-market-rate resident must reside in the Town of Chapel Hill.

The Housing Advisory Board is made up of nine members appointed by Town Council, including:

  • Three homeowners or tenants
  • One non-market-rate-housing resident
  • One affordable-housing advocate
  • One non-profit-housing provider/professional
  • One for-profit developer
  • One real estate broker
  • One housing, planning or public-policy expert

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

Visit townofchapelhill.org/boards to submit an application. If you have questions, email advisoryboards@townofchapelhill.org or call 919-968-2844.


Orange County Property Listing Forms for 2023 to Arrive in Early January

Property owners should receive their 2023 listing forms by mail in early January. If you do not receive a Property Tax Listing form and need to list, call 919-245-2100, email tax@orangecountync.gov or print a blank listing form found on this website

All taxable personal property and certain real property must be listed for county property tax purposes each January. The deadline to submit your 2023 listing form is Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023; forms submitted by mail must be received or postmarked by that date.

For individual listings, you must list:

  • Manufactured homes
  • Boats, motors, jet skis, airplanes, and unlicensed vehicles; do not list licensed vehicles with a current license plate
  • Permanent and multi-year tagged trailers  
  • Appliances or other property provided in rental real estate for tenants
  • Changes in real property (new construction, additions, renovations or demolition) that have occurred since Jan. 1, 2022; you are required by North Carolina law to report these changes even if a building permit was obtained for the work.

Business personal property must be listed on a separate Business Personal Property Listing Form. If you did not receive a Business Personal Property Tax Listing Form for your business and need to list, call 919-245-2100 or email tax@orangecountync.gov, or you can print a blank listing form at tax@orangecountync.gov.

The deadline to submit the 2023 business listing form is Jan. 31, 2023. An extension of time to list may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Tax Office or electronically at https://www.orangecountync.gov/1783/Business-Personal-Property by that date. Extension requests submitted by mail must be received or postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service by Jan. 31, 2023.


New Retail Shops in Chapel Hill

New retail shops are open and ready to serve customers. Quantum Soul recently opened at 104 N. Graham St. This “metaphysical gift shop” is owned by a husband-wife duo and features crystals, sage, candles, jewelry, essential oils, books, art and more! 

Marshall Goods sells men’s clothing and accessories both in-store at 422 W. Franklin St. and through their online shop. This small, family-owned business comes to downtown Chapel Hill from Boise, Idaho, by way of Los Angeles.

On the east side of downtown, Map Dot is a speakeasy shopping experience at 157 E. Franklin St. filled with fun accessories and home goods. The shop, which opened earlier this year, started out as a mobile boutique by two sisters (and UNC alumni) who seek to curate the perfect items for their customers.


Orange County Government Announces Holiday Closing and Tax-Payment Options

Orange County government offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 2, in observance of New Year’s Day and will resume normal operations on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
The last day to make in-person payments to the tax office so they will be displayed as paid in the 2022 calendar year is Friday, Dec. 30.

For drop box payments to reflect as paid in the 2022 calendar year, payment must be put in the drop box before 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30. The drop box is located outside the tax office door at Gateway Center, 228 S. Churton Street, Hillsborough.

The tax office also offers online payment options. Visit www.orangecountync.gov/paytaxes for more information on other payment options, or call 919-245-2100 for additional assistance.


December 17, 2022

Holiday Service Adjustments for CHT

Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) will make the following service adjustments through the December holidays, New Year’s Day, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Safe Rides will not operate between Dec. 12, 2022, and Jan. 2, 2023. EZ-Rider hours and CHT Administration closures are listed below:

Friday, Dec. 23                                    Sunday service; no U, NU, or Safe Rides

Saturday, Dec. 24                               No U, NU, or Safe Rides

Sunday, Dec. 25                                  No service

Monday, Dec. 26                                Sunday service; no U, NU

Tuesday-Friday, Dec. 27-30            No express service (No CCX, FCX, JFX, NU)            

Saturday, Dec. 31                               No U, NU, or Safe Rides

Sunday, Jan. 1                                    No service

Monday, Jan. 2                                  Sunday service; no U, NU

Monday, Jan. 16                                Sunday service; no U, NU

EZ-Rider hours:

Friday, Dec. 23                                   8:15 a.m.-6:52 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 26                                No service

Monday, Jan. 2                                   8:15 a.m.-6:52 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 16                                 8:15 a.m.-6:52 p.m.

Chapel Hill Transit Administration will be closed Friday, Dec. 23; Monday, Dec. 26; Monday, Jan. 2; and Monday, Jan. 16

Information for all Town closures can be found at CHT on Twitter and Facebook. For assistance with the schedule, contact chtransit@townofchapelhill.org or call 919-969-4900.


Four Injured in Single-Vehicle Crash

Four people were injured Friday, Dec. 16, in a single-motor-vehicle crash on Seawell School Road near Smith Middle School.

The Chapel Hill Police and Fire departments responded at 9:36 p.m. to reports that a vehicle hit a tree, fell down an embankment, and caught fire. Officers closed Seawell School Road from High School Road to Hanover Place until 11:20 p.m.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and extricated the occupants of the vehicle. Orange County Emergency Services transported all four to UNC Hospitals.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. No further information is available at this time.


December 14, 2022

Chapel Hill Town Manager Resigns

Maurice Jones, Chapel Hill Town Manager, has announced his resignation from the Town. He will be leaving his post effective Dec. 31.

“After an assessment of my personal priorities, I have made the difficult decision to resign from my position as town manager,” Jones shared with the Town Council.

During his time as manager, the Town created Chapel Hill’s first Climate Action and Response Plan; launched the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; conducted and implemented the first phases of a comprehensive Compensation and Classification Study for its employees; and developed an expedited entitlement review process for affordable-housing projects.

The Town is also working with UNC-Chapel Hill and private partners to create an innovation hub downtown, with the goal of attracting hundreds of new jobs to support small businesses along the corridor. Chapel Hill has also made a strong commitment to improved placemaking through its focus on urban design and through the recently approved Complete Community framework.

Mayor Pam Hemminger notes that Jones leaves the Town on strong footing and is confident that, with the help of the dedicated Town staff, Chapel Hill will continue to provide excellent community services and meet their strategic goals.

“We are grateful to Maurice for his commitment to Chapel Hill,” said Mayor Hemminger. “He has provided a steady hand through the pandemic and other critical moments while also helping to promote equity and inclusion throughout our organization and the community.”

Council has identified someone to serve as the interim town manager and was to formalize its decision during a special meeting on Dec. 14.

A search for a new manager will begin in January and is expected to take about six to eight months.


203 Project Update

Construction is underway on the 203 Project, to complete a new library and civic building at 203 S. Greensboro St., Carrboro. Currently, the site is being graded and excavated for the concrete foundations and floor slab.

Other updates:

  • A new traffic pattern has been in effect since November 1 and will remain in place for the duration of the project.
  • Aggregate piers have been installed to prepare for the building foundation.
  • Expect a significant amount of concrete to be poured over the next several months as the structure gets built.
  • Entrance and exit gates are being fabricated and will be installed at the east and west corners on Roberson Street. 

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


Renée Price Honored for Service on Orange Co. Board of County Commissioners

After 10 years as a member of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), Commissioner Renée Price attended her last business meeting on Dec. 13. She is stepping down from her position on Dec. 31 to serve in the N.C. General Assembly representing N.C. House District 50. During her tenure on the BOCC, Commissioner Price supported the needs of underserved and neglected neighborhoods, building affordable housing, improving school facilities, and preserving farms and agriculture and took special interest in social and racial justice and the arts. At the Dec. 13 business meeting, the Orange County BOCC approved a resolution commending Commissioner Price for her hard work, dedication and exemplary service to the residents of Orange County and wished her well in her future position in the N.C. House of Representatives. 


December 12, 2022

Carrboro December Holiday Service Schedule

The Town of Carrboro will observe the holidays from Dec. 22 through Dec. 26. Town Hall and other administrative offices will be closed.

Residential trash will be collected two days before your regular collection day for the week of Dec. 19-Dec. 23.

  • If your regular collection day is Wednesday, your trash will be collected on Monday, Dec. 19.
  • If your regular collection day is Thursday, your trash will be collected on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
  • If your regular collection day is Friday, your trash will be collected on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Recycling pick-up will be collected as normal throughout the week. While the Solid Waste administrative offices will be closed Friday, Dec. 23, the landfill and waste & recycling centers will be open regular hours throughout the week of Dec. 19-Dec. 23. More at https://www.orangecountync.gov/795/Solid-Waste-Management.

Yard waste and bulk waste will not be collected Dec. 19-Dec. 23.


Tree Plantings Coming to E. Main Street, Carrboro

Main Street in Carrboro is about to become even more charming with this week’s planting of red maple trees. Public Works crews are scheduled to plant the trees in four spots from Armadillo Grill to the Speakeasy in downtown Carrboro.

The tree plantings are among a series of recent recommendations from the Town of Carrboro’s Appearance Commission, which is working with the Town’s Public Works Department, the Economic Sustainability Commission, the Tourism Development Commission, the Arts Council and local businesses to enhance the attractiveness of downtown. This includes landscaping, tree canopy, public art, wayfinding, store front refurbishment, trash receptacles and sidewalks.


 

Holiday Celebration at Carrboro Century Center

A holiday celebration will be held at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St., Thursday, Dec. 15, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. This free celebration, for all ages, will feature cookies, crafts and a children’s show. 
 
Registration website: https://register1.vermontsystems.com/…/ncca…/splash.html. 


2022 Carrboro Police Officer of the Year

Sgt. Brent Hobby has been selected the 2022 Carrboro Police Officer of the Year. Sgt. Hobby assists with many different roles within the Police Department, and the honor is well deserved.


December 9, 2022

Registration Open for 5th Annual Chapel Hill Peoples Academy

Chapel Hill residents and anyone with connections to the community can register for the Peoples Academy by February 6.  

The Peoples Academy is a five-week, 10-session opportunity for Chapel Hill community members to learn, connect and lead. Participants will learn about Town services and jobs, connect with Town leadership and neighbors, tour Town facilities and lead in the community. The 2023 Peoples Academy begins Feb. 16 and is held every Thursday and Saturday through March 18. 

Food will be provided at all sessions. Assistance with childcare and transportation may also be provided. Registration is available in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and interpretation can be provided. 

All participants who complete at least six sessions will get a graduation certificate and Town gifts. 

Register now by visiting www.townofchapelhill.org/peoplesacademy, or contact peoplesacademy@townofchapelhill.org. Paper registration forms are available upon request by emailing peoplesacademy@townofchapelhill.org, or call 919-969-5009 to register over the phone.


Application for Orange County Board of Commissioners Vacancy

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will have a vacancy on the board after Dec. 31. Individuals interested in serving can apply through the Clerk to the Board. Applicants must be registered Democrats and live in District 2 in Orange County. Applications are due to the Clerk to the Board by January 6, 2023, at 5 pm. 

The application may be downloaded at the following link: https://www.orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16261/Orange-County-Board-of-Commissioners—Vacancy-Application. Interested individuals can also obtain a copy of the application by contacting the Clerk to the Board at 919-245-2130 or by emailing clerk@orangecountync.gov.

For further information on the process to fill the vacancy, please visit https://www.orangecountync.gov/2738/Commissioner-Vacancy-Information-Applica or contact the Clerk to the Board at 919-245-2130 or by email at clerk@orangecountync.gov.  


Public Information Meeting: Inclusive Playground and Splash Pad Feasibility Project

The community is invited to a public information meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Hargraves Community Center (216 Roberson St.) to learn more and share ideas on an inclusive playground and splash pad feasibility assessment project.

The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department desires to enhance and expand recreational opportunities available to Chapel Hill residents and to attract visitors to the community with distinctive aquatic attractions and inclusive playgrounds. The Town is interested in options for developing a splash pad facility and an inclusive playground that are unique, sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, safe and accessible for all.

Parks and Recreation staff are working with representatives from Coulter Jewell Thames, now an affiliate of Thomas & Hutton, to prepare a feasibility assessment to help guide the decision- making for considering an inclusive playground and a splash pad at one or more of the following locations: Chapel Hill Community Center Park, Hargraves Park, Homestead Park and Southern Community Park.

For more information, visit the Splash Pad and Inclusive Playground Planning Project web page.

Contact Marcia Purvis, project manager for Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, at mpurvis@townofchapelhill.org.


LWVODC Winter 2023 Lecture

The League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham counties (LWVODC) will present the next in LWVODC’s State of our Democracy lecture series, “Our Democracy:  The Electoral College and Your Vote.” The lecture will take place online on Jan. 5, 2023, at 7:00 p.m., to discuss the electoral college (our current process for conducting presidential elections) and explore how using the popular vote would affect presidential elections.   

Distinguished speaker, president of the Asheville-Buncombe County League of Women Voters and leader of the National Popular Vote Action Team, Suzanne Fisher, Ph.D., will explore the merits of the Electoral College compared to direct election through popular vote for the president of the U.S. The presentation is free and open to the public, but registration is required (or register via the online calendar at https://my.lwv.org/north-carolina/orange-durham-and-chatham-counties-inc/calendar).

The position of the LWV is that the Electoral College is complicated, rooted in the country’s history of slavery, and it over-represents some states and under-represents others. This program will inform citizens about the system’s shortcomings and compare it to a process where the popular vote plays a prominent role.

Dr. Fisher will examine:

  •  History and purpose of the Electoral College
  •  Interactions of our Electoral College system
  •  Effects of battleground-state campaigning
  •  Changes in our voting process over time
  •  National popular vote effort

Chapel Hill Winter Wanderland

Come in out of the cold and sign up for the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership’s Winter Wanderland Pass, a mobile passport that will guide you to warm drinks, great food, unique shops and more. You can earn prizes by checking in at various cafes, restaurants, shops, and fitness centers on Chapel Hill’s renowned Franklin and Rosemary streets. It’s completely free to sign up.


CHFD Urges Care While Cooking

The Chapel Hill Fire Department (CHFD) is urging you and your family to be careful while cooking. Cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires and related injuries in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association. In the last week, Chapel Hill firefighters have responded to three cooking-related fires.

In two cases, hot material was placed in trash cans and caught fire; no one was hurt. In the third case, a grease fire started in a pan on a stovetop. The grease fire burned two people who tried to move the pan outside; their injuries were not life-threatening.

If a small grease fire starts, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. Leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool. Never put water on a grease fire.

If a fire starts in the oven, turn off the oven and leave the door closed. The oven should be serviced before being used again.

When in doubt, leave your home and call 911.

Cooking-safety tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking.
  • Let burned food or hot materials cool before placing them in the trash.
  • Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge, and use back burners when possible.
  • Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves.
  • Keep the stovetop, burners and oven clean.
  • Keep a three-foot kid-free zone around your cooking area.

If you have questions about fire safety, email firemarshals@townofchapelhill.org or call the CHFD at 919-968-2781.


Happy Holiday Pet-Adoption Special

The Orange County Animal Shelter Happy Holiday Adoption Special runs through Dec. 22. There are many wonderful pets for adoption, available on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is needed. Stop by 1601 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill to view available pets and, while visiting, you may request to meet with an available pet. If you have questions about available pets or about visiting our facility, please call 919-942-7387, option 3, to speak with a staff member at the adoption desk.


The Longest Night

Morehead Planetarium is presenting The Longest Night: A Winter’s Tale this season. This show, produced in collaboration with the Paperhand Puppet Intervention, is a timeless fable of courage, generosity and renewal. Its story explores the concept that winter is a time for Earth to rest, waiting for new growth in the spring. For the schedule of shows, go to https://live-planetarium.pantheonsite.io/calendar/list/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=list&tribe-bar-search=the+longest+night&mc_cid=bce209f9fc&mc_eid=6304f8fe43.


 

 

2nd Friday Artists Call

Local artists and artisans can apply for their information to be included in the 2nd Fridays database for participation in 2nd Fridays in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The database is shared with venues, businesses, restaurants, stores and more who want to showcase the work of local artists. 

Participating businesses will showcase an artist for a month-long show; on the 2nd Friday of that month from 6 to 9 p.m. they hold receptions, events and other happenings to celebrate their artist.

Representatives from Chapel Hill/Carrboro businesses will make their selections from the database and will reach out to artists separately from Downtown Chapel Hill staff. 

Complete this application to be included in the 2nd Friday Artist database. There is no fee to apply. 


Chapel Hill Public Information Meeting: St. Paul Village

Chapel Hill Town staff will hold a virtual public information meeting for a conditional zoning district application for St. Paul Village from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12. The application is to construct 350 multifamily residential units, including 100 independent senior housing units and 93 affordable units. The proposal also includes construction of a multi-purpose center for educational, social/cultural and business/office uses.  

Register in advance for the meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86885393864?pwd=RkFlbVZjNzBaNEhnaVdUTDVvS2t5dz09. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For more information, visit the Town’s webpage or contact Charnika Harrell at 919-968-2711 or charrell@townofchapelhill.org or Jacob Hunt at 919-969-5033 or jhunt@townofchapelhill.org. 


Artist Calls Open Now

Community Arts & Culture is seeking muralists and painters to create storm drain murals and paint bike racks around town. Local musicians are also encouraged to apply for Tracks Music Library, a local music-streaming platform. Learn more about the artist opportunities at chapelhillarts.org/applications. Sign up for the Arts & Culture newsletter to hear about future artists calls first.


Consider the CHPD House Check Program if Going Away

The Chapel Hill Police Department’s (CHPD) House Check program, which is available to residential locations within the Town of Chapel Hill jurisdiction, allows officers to drive by your home when you are away and look at doors and windows to ensure all entries appear secured and untouched.

Officers may look for other irregularities on your property (examples include damage to property, leaky pipes), but cannot guarantee all irregularities are found. Officers will not enter your home without signs that your home is unsecured. Officers will not water your lawn, cut your grass or feed your animals. To request a house check, please complete this form and return by email to Records-Police@townofchapelhill.org by fax or to the CHPD. This form requires a witness signature. There is no fee for this service.  


Tracks Music Library Deadline Extended

Tracks Music Library has extended the submission deadline until Sunday, Dec. 18, at 11:59 p.m. That means you have 10 more days to submit songs for consideration into Chapel Hill’s very own music-streaming platform. Up to three songs may submitted for consideration. You’ll get paid $200 to license your music if selected. Learn more about Tracks Music Library and submit your tracks at https://tracksmusiclibrary.org/.


Apply Now for Human Services Funding

The Town of Chapel Hill will accept applications for Human Services funding until 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. The Town supports nonprofit organizations that deliver vital community programs and services. The program supports initiatives that improve education, livelihood security and health outcomes for Chapel Hill residents.

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

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


December 7, 2022

NAACP Local Branch Holding Holiday Gift Drive for UNC Horizons Program

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is collecting items for a holiday gift drive for the UNC Horizons program, which is a substance-use-disorder treatment program for women, including those who are pregnant, parenting, and/or whose lives have been touched by abuse and violence, to help them get their lives and those of their families on track.

The deadline for the gift drive is Dec. 14 (see the attached graphic for gift ideas). Contact Nancy Garson-Angert to schedule pick-up of your items—garsonangert@gmail.com.

Following the gift drive, they will also be collecting kitchen items, which UNC Horizons will use to set up new households for families they are helping.


Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Carrboro

The Town of Carrboro will present a program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Century Hall of the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St.

The event is planned by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Council, Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, and the Carrboro Youth Council.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year.

More information is forthcoming.


December 5, 2022

Chapel Hill Police and Fire Departments Name Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year

The Chapel Hill Police and Fire departments are celebrating their respective Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year award recipients – K9 Officer Jacob Clark and Fire Inspector Roland Falana.

The respected first responders are being recognized for their thoughtful teamwork. Each serves as a role model within their department and within the Chapel Hill community. Selection committees within each department reviewed employee-submitted nominations before reaching their decisions.

K9 Officer Jacob Clark joined the Chapel Hill Police Department five years ago. His colleagues praise him for his strong work ethic and willingness to help community members and the officers he serves alongside. Many of his peers see him as a leader.

“Newer officers come to me and share how much they enjoyed Jacob as a field training officer,” said Officer German Barcenas, who nominated Clark for Officer of the Year. “He’s an asset to my shift, but more importantly, he’s valuable to our entire department.”

Patrol Captain Johnnie Britt said Clark represents what it means to be a Guardian of the Hill.

Clark, who serves with K9 Rocky, called the recognition an honor. “Having a chance to make a positive impact on our community members and my fellow officers is what keeps me going every day,” said Clark. “It’s all about helping.”

Most recently, Clark was one of several officers selected to join the Police Department’s Honor Guard. He is looking forward to pursuing positions in leadership within the department.

Firefighter Roland Falana, an inspector in the Fire and Life Safety Division of the Chapel Hill Fire Department, is being recognized for his caring nature and his commitment to teamwork. Falana joined the Fire Department just more than one year ago.

“Roland demonstrates our Town values of RESPECT,” said Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal Chris Wells. “He quickly and effectively completes tasks, all while supporting his peers and our community members. Roland makes us better.”

Fire Inspector Chris Covington called Falana the epitome of responsibility. “He is always the first to step up and take on a new role within our division. It is truly a pleasure to work alongside him,” said Covington.

Each fire station feels Falana’s positive impact. Firefighters often praise his attention to detail as he follows up on fires and asks about needs among the stations. Sometimes, he simply offers a helping hand.

Falana is grateful for the recognition but notes he can’t do his work alone. “My success is truly a team effort,” said Falana. “I collaborate with hard-working firefighters and my fellow inspectors to solve life-safety issues. Our goal is to keep our community safe.”

The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro will recognize Officer Clark and Firefighter Falana during its 2022 Salute to Community Heroes on December 13 at the Dean Dome. Clark and Falana will be among first responders at center court during a UNC basketball game, where family, friends and supporters will cheer them on.


Two UNC-CH Students Among JEOPARDY! High School Reunion Tournament Contestants

The quiz show JEOPARDY! has announced a new competition—the JEOPARDY! High School Reunion Tournament, set to air February 20 to March 9, 2023. Among the 27 contestants are two students at UNC-CH—Rotimi Kukoyi, a freshman from Hoover, Ala.; and Stephanie Pierson, a junior from Macon, Ga.

Four seasons ago, JEOPARDY! had so many excellent teen contestants that the show hosted two Teen Tournaments. Now 27 former teen contestants, currently undergraduates or recent college graduates, will reunite to face off in a 14-day special event with a $100,000 grand prize and a spot in the Tournament of Champions.  

The format consists of nine quarterfinal games, three semifinals, and a two-day, total-point affair final. The broadcast schedule is as follows:

Monday, Feb. 20-Friday, Feb. 24: quarterfinal games 1-5

Monday, Feb. 27-Friday, March 3: quarterfinal games 6-9; semifinal game 1

Monday, March 6-Thursday, March 9: semifinal games 2-3; finals games 1-2

Inside Jeopardy! is available on all podcast platforms. To listen and subscribe, please visit linktr.ee/insidejeopardy.


December 2, 2022

Chapel Hill and Carrboro Receive Score of 100 from Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released its 2022 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) scores, and the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro each received a score of 100. This is the second year in a row that Chapel Hill has received the top score.

The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are of LGBTQ+ people who live and work there. Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality. This year, Chapel Hill received additional points for passing legislation prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“It is critically important that municipalities like Chapel Hill continue to be strong advocates and allies to the LGBTQ+ community,” said Chapel Hill Town Manager Maurice Jones. “We are proud to do everything we can to advance equality by making our community a safe and welcoming place for all.”

“I’m thrilled that Carrboro will close out 2022 with a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index” said Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils. “Through our policies and services, we will continue working to ensure that LGBTQ+ people are safe, welcomed and respected in Carrboro.”

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 here.


Chapel Hill December Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Department is planning at least four speed and pedestrian-safety enforcement operations in December, in addition to normal patrols. Scheduled special operations include – but are not limited to – the following dates:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 6, 1-3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13, 6:30-8:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 27, 1-3 p.m.

Dates and times are subject to change.

Each effort will focus on heavily-traveled areas. This includes areas with pedestrian and bicycle traffic (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Estes Drive corridors).


New Fence Installation for Strowd Rose Garden

Beginning in mid-December, Strowd Roses, the charitable foundation that maintains the Gene Strowd Community Rose Garden, in partnership with the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department, will install a new fence, a custom entryway and new gates at the garden.

The work to deconstruct the existing split-rail fence, make some landscape modifications and install the new fence is expected to take 1-2 weeks. The main garden entry will be closed for a short period of time; however, the garden will remain open and accessible through the second entry close to the gazebo. Safety signage and wayfinding directions will indicate these temporary changes.

Over the past several years, the rose bushes have sustained damage caused by deer feeding on the foliage, buds and blooms. The rose-care professionals at Witherspoon Rose Culture estimate that up to 30% of rose blooms are being consumed by the deer each season.

Landscape architect David Swanson has designed a new fence consisting of two new elements: an aluminum fence in satin-bronze color, designed to complement the wooded setting and copper fountain sculpture in the garden; and a custom metal entryway arbor and double gates. The fence is being constructed by Seegars Fence Company.

For the entryway, Strowd Roses relied on the Town’s Community Arts and Culture team to lead a call for artists, resulting in the selection of David Wehrenberg as the metalsmith for the entryway design and fabrication. The entryway and gates will be Americans with Disabilities Act accessible, allowing easy access for pedestrians, individuals with strollers and wheelchair users.

Key goals, considerations, and benefits of project include:

  • Protect the rose bushes from damage caused by deer, allowing for full growth of foliage and blooms on the 460 rose bushes.
  • Situate the new fencing, which will be taller than current fencing, along the existing fence lines. Taller and more substantial materials will provide more surface area for the climbing roses to grow along and bloom.
  • Create an artistic focal point entryway arbor and gates that will complement the copper fountain sculpture and enhance the entry experience.  
  • Install gates at both entrances that will protect the roses and provide an enclosed space where visitors with children can enjoy the roses and supervise entry and exit from the garden.
  • Maintain the rustic beauty and character of the garden.

Contact Caroline Pence, program officer at Strowd Roses, for additional information, at caroline@strowdroses.org or 984-664-5465. 

For more background and history about the Strowd Rose Garden and Strowd Rose Foundation, visit www.strowdroses.org.


Volunteer Coach Needed for Youth Sports

At Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, the success of athletics leagues depends largely on the efforts of their team of volunteer coaches. Those with an interest and passion for youth sports are asked to submit your application to be their next volunteer coach.

Sports-minded individuals can find a place as head coach or an assistant coach. Local business people, students and retired professionals can devote their passion to positively impact the youth in the community. At the end of the day, all volunteers have one thing in common, pride in knowing they are making a difference in the lives of young Chapel Hill athletes.

When you volunteer you give your time and your skills, you gain so much more. All it takes is the love of the game, your enthusiasm and two to three hours a week to be a coach with youth sports. 

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


Free Weekend Parking in December in Chapel Hill

Parking is free in all Chapel Hill town-owned lots every Saturday and Sunday in December. 


Downtown Tree Lighting

The downtown Chapel Hill tree lighting will take place at University Baptist Church on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. The event will feature music by The Tarpeggios and community caroling.


Chief Chris Blue Retirement Celebration

The community is invited to a retirement celebration for Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue, who will retire Dec. 31 after 25 years with the department.

A brief program will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, at Hargraves Community Center. Remarks and remembrances will be shared by colleagues and members of the community. Cake and light refreshments will be served.


Town of Carrboro ARPA Pre-Application Workshops

The Town of Carrboro invites agencies and individuals who are interested in applying for funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)/Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) program to attend a pre-application workshop on Thursday, Dec. 15, at Bim Street Facility (Old Carrboro Civic Club – 108 Bim Street, behind Carrboro Town Hall), from 9 to 11 a.m. or from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The workshop will provide an overview of the ARPA and outline the requirements for requesting these funds. Following the workshop, the Town will accept applications through Jan. 23, 2023. 

If you plan to attend the workshop, please visit www.carrboronc.gov/ARP to access the Town of Carrboro Adopted Policies for the Expenditure of ARPA, CSLFRF, as well as related documents and information. 

Registration is required for attendance by completing the online form (https://www.carrboronc.gov/FormCenter/Town-Managers-Office-20/Town-of-Carrboro-ARPA-Pre-Application-Wo-213) or by calling Chandra Edwards at 919-918-7300. 

If registering is by phone, please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Which workshop session you plan to attend
  • Name
  • Phone
  • Email 
  • Agency name (if applicable)
  • Address 
  • Number of people attending 
  • Additional names of persons attending 

The Town of Carrboro has received $6.7 million in funding under the ARPA/CSLFRF. On Oct. 11, the Carrboro Town Council adopted required policies to govern the expenditure of ARPA/CSLFRF funds and a spending plan for the various ARPA program categories.

Learn more about the ARPA/CSLFRF program for the Town of Carrboro at www.carrboronc.gov/ARP.  

If you have questions, e-mail arpa@carrboronc.gov or call Chandra Edwards at 919-918-7300.


Animal Services Reminds Residents to Protect Pets from Cold Weather

Orange County Animal Services reminds citizens to consider the safety of pets as the winter season approaches. The most important thing that pet owners can do to keep their pets safe is to keep them indoors as temperatures drop. Freezing temperatures can be dangerous for pets and people alike.

Like people, pets have various levels of tolerance to cold weather, but even long- and thick-haired pets are at risk of developing frostbite or hypothermia. Very young and old pets and those with medical conditions may have a harder time regulating body temperatures and be more susceptible to problems in extreme weather. No matter what the temperature is, wind chill is a serious threat to pets that spend time outdoors. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and cause permanent damage to a pet.

For livestock and other animals that cannot be taken indoors during cold temperatures, protection from wind, rain and cold must be provided. Cats and dogs should have dry, draft-free shelters that are large enough to allow them to sit and lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in their body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with insulating material such as straw. Doorways should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Horses and livestock should have access to a barn or shelter that protects from cold and wind. Blankets may help keep horses dry and warm, especially if rain or snow is present. All animals spending any amount of time outdoors should be given extra food during colder temperatures. Water should be checked frequently for freezing and changed regularly. Heated buckets or water heaters may be used for horses and livestock to ensure water does not freeze.

More information can be found by clicking here.


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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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