NEWS BRIEFS ARCHIVE
April 28, 2021
Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Expands Assistance
In the first quarter of 2021, Orange County Bail/Bond Justice expanded assistance program and issued a special report on citations versus arrests for 2020.
The OCBBJ board voted to donate 20 percent of its Bail Fund to provide other types of assistance to those ordered detained pretrial in Orange County. OCBBJ will help pay court costs and fees, transportation costs to court and some jail-related fees (telephone calls and commissary costs at the detention center) for people unable to afford them.
OCBBJ assessed local law enforcement agency data on citations and arrests for the year 2020. To better focus on enforcement situations in which the officers’ arrest choices are more discretionary, only those arrests not involving a warrant or indictment were assessed. For citations, traffic infractions were excluded. Key findings include the following:
- For cases involving only misdemeanor charges, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough issued citations in most cases (55 percent and 65 percent, respectively). Carrboro issued arrests in 56 percent of misdemeanor cases.
- The overall percentage of citations given in 2020 declined. The most significant change in police practices due to COVID-19 was the drop in police citations and arrests in 2020 compared to 2019, not the proportion of citations given during the COVID lockdown or COVID post-lockdown period in 2020. OCBBJ has called for maintaining the decreased detentions seen in 2020, which means a need to sustain the decreased police citations and arrests. It also shows an opportunity to increase the use of citations over arrests when taking enforcement action.
- Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough had a higher percentage of police cases involving citations and arrests for Black residents compared to their portion of the community. In Carrboro, this was also true for Hispanics. There are aggregate differences between white and Black residents in the total number of citation and arrest cases, and for Hispanics and Asians in the likelihood that a case will result in arrest, suggesting some racial disparity in our criminal justice system.
The assessment did not evaluate causation. More complex study would be needed to show racial bias or discrimination in practice. These findings indicate a need for further study by police and the community into policies, practices and biases that may contribute to inequities in our local criminal justice system.
For more information about Orange County Bail/Bond Justice, visit ocbailbondjustice.org.
Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Updates
The Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Department will reopen the Carrboro Century Center at 100 N. Greensboro St. for limited indoor programming and reservations beginning the week of May 17.
All activities/rooms will operate at 30 percent and follow all state and local health guidelines. Modifications include reduced class sizes, increased social distancing, mask requirements and increased hand sanitizing. More modifications may be made depending on the nature of the activity. Rooms will be sanitized between activities.
Facility access will remain limited to enrolled activity participants and approved reservations. Doors will remain locked, and staff will be on hand to facilitate access to the building. Residents wishing to conduct business in person will need to make an appointment by contacting the department at 919-918-7364 in advance. All participants and visitors to the facility will be required to answer health-screening questions and receive a temperature check.
Outdoor programming will operate in the manner in which it has since last summer/fall, complying with current state and local guidelines as above.
All park facilities, including pavilions and athletic fields/courts, are open and available for reservations. Events and reservations are considered on a case-by-case basis. All state and local guidelines must be followed and may require an approved COVID plan from the Orange County Health Department.
Town-sponsored special events — Carrboro Day (www.carrboroday.com/), Freight Train Blues Concert Series (freighttrainblues.com) and Carrboro July 4th Celebration (www.carrborojuly4th.com) — will be presented virtually. Continue to check the event websites and www.carrbororec.org for COVID-related programming and facility updates.
Comments Sought on Changes to Long-Range Bike/Ped and Transportation Plan
The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking public feedback on a proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The CTP identifies future highway, transit, rail, bicycle, pedestrian and other transportation projects for this region over the next 30 years and beyond. The DCHC MPO is amending the CTP to add a network of bicycle/pedestrian paths along major roadways, identify high-capacity transit (such as bus rapid transit) along the region’s major travel corridors, ensure that the CTP supports local bicycle plans and improve roadways in fast-developing rural areas.
Residents and other stakeholders are asked to provide comments by reviewing the proposed Amendment #3 at the http://www.dchcmpo.org/programs/ctp/default.asp#tabs4 and provide comments directly by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, May 25. Residents and stakeholders may also directly address the DCHC MPO Board on Amendment #3 on Wednesday, May 12, beginning at 9 a.m., during the virtual board meeting (http://www.dchcmpo.org/about/board/agenda/default.asp).
Freight Train Blues Rolls in to Carrboro
The Town of Carrboro, the Carrboro Tourism Development Authority, WUNC, Music Maker Relief Foundation, Soul Bag and Artarie will present a livestream version of the annual Freight Train Blues Music Series each Friday at 6:30 p.m. beginning May 14. Featured concerts include “artist on the rise” (NPR Music) Amythyst Kiah, “enchanting new Appalachian voice [that] sounds like the soul child of Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton”; Alexa Rose; sacred soul guitar master Johnny Ray Daniels; Grammy-nominated trio The Hamiltones; and Harvey Dalton Arnold of Southern rock legends The Outlaws.
The series is hosted by the Hillsborough-based nonprofit Music Maker Relief Foundation, whose mission is to tend the roots of American music. The series, which typically takes place at Carrboro Town Commons, was filmed at The Fruit in Durham and will be broadcasted on Facebook and YouTube. It will also be streamed on Soul Bag (https://www.soulbag.fr/) and Artarie (https://www.artarie.com/).
Each installment of the series will open with a rare archival performance from one of North Carolina’s Piedmont blues masters. These legends have either been showcased at previous Freight Train Blues performances or performed in Carrboro over the years.
For more information, see http://townofcarrboro.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1684.
Black Summit Urges Protecting The Vote
The N.C. Black Alliance held its Annual Black Summit virtually on April 22 and 23, with the theme “Focused on the Fight, Facing the Future.” N.C. Senator Valerie Foushee, president of the NCBA board of directors, served as mistress of ceremonies. Orange County Commissioner Moses Carey Jr. was among the honorees and offered words of wisdom from his career in public service and community engagement.
One major takeaway of the summit was the importance and significance of protecting the vote, particularly for Black women and men, as efforts to disenfranchise specific sectors of Americans are underway. Participants were urged to register to vote; be informed about the candidates and issues; and then make a promise, “I will vote.”
Input Sought on Buckhorn Area Plan
Residents interested in keeping abreast of the Buckhorn Area Plan can offer their input at a community outreach meeting on Monday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., hosted by Orange County Planning Department staff, who will provide the materials and Zoom link. Email Tom Altieri (email@example.com) with questions about the plan.
Information about how to join the meeting will be posted on the Current Interest Projects page of the website (https://www.orangecountync.gov/1722/Current-Interest-Projects) once it is available.
April Marks Financial Literacy Month
At a time when an examination of wealth in the U.S. finds evidence of staggering racial disparities, the NAACP is working to promote economic development.
Gaps in wealth between Black and white households reveal the effects of accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception.
The net worth of a typical white family ($171,000) is nearly 10 times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150), as of 2016. The Black-white wealth gap reflects a society that has not and does not afford equality of opportunity to all its residents.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP branch organized its Economic Development Committee in 2021 in part to address this wealth gap. The committee seeks to explore issues related to these disparities as well as ways to close the gap in line with the programs of the national NAACP. In addition to promoting support of minority businesses and advocating living wages for all workers and reparations, the committee will promote financial literacy and education.
Join an Economic Development Committee meeting (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpdeutpzMuGdW5lyiFgQNNfSbKuD_EvCMM) on the third Monday of every month, or email the co-chairs (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Rides
On May 4, 1961, 13 Black and white civil rights advocates boarded a Greyhound bus in Washington, DC, bound for New Orleans. Riding side by side on interstate highways through the Jim Crow south, they sought to test the 1960 U.S. Supreme Court decision that segregation of interstate transportation facilities was unconstitutional. From May to December 1961, over 400 women and men challenged segregation, despite the danger of refuting white supremacy at the time.
On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, in collaboration with Carolina K-12, will present a free virtual program to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.
The featured speaker will be David J. Dennis, JD, who will recount some of his experiences among the fearless and determined Freedom Riders on the bus and also his work as co-director of Council of Federated Organizations, Mississippi Director of the Congress of Racial Equality, and a coordinator of the Mississippi Freedom Summer.
Also speaking will be Dr. Freddie L. Parker and Dr. William Sturkey, with a facilitated discussion by young leaders Derrick Davis (UNC-CH student) and Joyah Horton (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Council).
In addition to elevating this important history, the program will explore the ways in which the struggle for civil rights continues, via discussion with local activists Braxton Foushee, LaTarndra Strong, Jerdene Alston and Ajamu Dillahunt-Holloway, as well as local “artivists” Cortland Gilliam and Jerry Wilson of Black Out Loud. In addition, Chapel Hill Poet Laureate CJ Suitt will deliver a special tribute to Bayard Rustin.
The event is free and open to the public. Attending K-12 teachers can receive continuing education credits, and lesson plans will be provided. Teachers are encouraged to invite their students to attend as well.
Suggested pre-viewing: https://www.pbs.org/video/american-experience-freedom-riders/.
Carrboro is Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community
Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed the Town of Carrboro to be a 2021 Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community. The local designation supports parents and childcare staff to continue breastfeeding and offering expressed milk when returning to work or school and supports childcare staff with on-site breastfeeding facilities or spaces.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians and other leading health organizations, breastfeeding is the optimal food for infants.
The Carrboro community has attained broad support and direct community actions. The UNC Women’s Hospital and a birthing center, Women’s Birth and Wellness Center, have attained Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative designation; the Orange County Health Department has received the N.C. Breastfeeding Coalition Mother-Baby Clinic Award; and childcare programs in the community have been designated breastfeeding-friendly.
To learn more about how the Town of Carrboro is helping families to thrive by ensuring that they receive community support to develop and sustain healthy lifestyles, see the proclamation at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/9062/2021-Breastfeeding-Friendly-Community-Proclamation.
Centers for Disease Control Updates Guidance for Vaccinated People
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people. Some of the changes include the following:
- Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
- Fully vaccinated workers do not need to stay home from work after exposure, as long as they do not have any symptoms.
- Fully vaccinated people living in a non-healthcare congregate setting no longer need to quarantine after an exposure.
- Fully vaccinated people who have not been exposed to COVID-19 and do not have any symptoms may be exempted from routine screening testing.
The CDC adds that immunocompromised individuals should check with their doctor about these recommendations.
For more information, read the full CDC document at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html.
Housing Advisory Board Seeking Applicants for the Board
The Town of Chapel Hill is currently seeking three members to serve on its Housing Advisory Board. The three open seats are Affordable Housing Advocate, Homeowner/Tenant and Non-market Rate Housing Resident.
Submit an application online at www.townofchapelhill.org/boards or call 919-968-5014 to request a paper application.
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; and one housing, planning or public policy expert.
Housing Advisory Board members are appointed by the Town Council to serve three-year terms. The Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The average time commitment to serve on this board is about 2-4 hours per month. No previous board experience is required—new members will receive training and guidance to support their success.
For questions, call 919-969-5014 or email email@example.com.
April 23, 2021
Town of Carrboro Achieves High Financial Ratings
The Town of Carrboro was recently assigned a credit rating of Aa1, the highest of high quality and only one notch below the highest possible rating of Aaa, by Moody’s. Additionally, the Town of Carrboro is rated AAA, the best rating possible, by Standard & Poor’s.
The ratings are key indicators of the town’s financial strength and allow the town to borrow funds at the best possible interest rates, saving taxpayers money.
For more information about the Town of Carrboro budget and debt management, visit http://townofcarrboro.org/175/Finance.
Cary and Greensboro Playwrights’ Forums Present Radio Play Festival
A collaborative audio play festival co-produced by the Cary Playwrights’ Forum and the Greensboro Playwrights’ Forum will present two plays each week, May 8-29, on CPF’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The plays also will be fully produced on the CPF Radio Hour podcast site, https://cpfradiohour.podbean.com/. In keeping with the season, the theme is “rebirth/renewal.”
Links to the premieres on the CPF Facebook page and YouTube channel will be added on or slightly before each of the four Saturdays. Viewing is free with no required pre-registration; donations are appreciated and can be made by clicking the Donate button at the CPF home page, https://www.caryplaywrightsforum.org/.
The names of directors/editors and cast and information about how to watch the premieres will be available at https://www.caryplaywrightsforum.org/?p=4699.
Orange County Offers Vaccine Walk-In Clinics
The Orange County Health Department has switched to walk-in clinics for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. No appointment or pre-registration is necessary.
Walk-in clinics will be held every week at the Whitted Building, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough, on Mondays and Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The county will host pop-up clinics at other locations throughout the county. For a full schedule of pop-up and walk-in vaccine clinics in Orange County, visit www.orangecountync.gov/getyourshot.
The vaccine is free, and no identification or insurance is required.
If you would like to be notified when clinics are available, you can still register with Orange County at https://redcap.link/OCHDvax or by calling 919-913-8088 seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages are available.
To find out when shots are available with the Orange County Health Department or other providers close to you, visit www.myspot.nc.gov and search for your zip code. You can register for an appointment through the website, or you can just arrive during clinic hours and receive a shot. The website will show you other vaccinators within your area and times they are available.
Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
County Honors Community Partners in Preventing Eviction
The Orange County Housing and Community Development Department has recognized the exceptional contributions, collaboration and partnership from community organizations in administering eviction and homelessness prevention funds through the Emergency Housing Assistance program. The organizations receiving recognition are Community Empowerment Fund, El Centro Hispano, Family Success Alliance, Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness and Refugee Community Partnership.
These agencies work closely with Orange County residents in need of resources and services, support them throughout the process of seeking assistance, and advocate for housing opportunity and racial equity in the community.
In 2020, in partnership and investment from the towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, the EHA and Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) programs assisted 1,245 Orange County households and provided more than $4 million in financial assistance, preventing eviction and homelessness and ensuring that residents had stable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
HOME Consortium Seeks Public Input on Annual Action Plan
The Orange County HOME Consortium is seeking public input on its draft Annual Action Plan for the fiscal year 2021-22 HOME Program. Each year, Orange County receives funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The county creates an annual action plan that lays out how HOME funds will be spent in the upcoming program year to address the county’s affordable housing needs and priorities.
For FY 2021-22, Orange County proposes funding projects carried out by three local nonprofit organizations, Habitat for Humanity of Orange County (assistance to low-income households to purchase affordable homes); Pee Wee Homes (funds to develop three units of affordable rental housing for low-income households experiencing homelessness); and EmPOWERment Inc. (funds to acquire two units to be preserved as affordable rental housing).
To see the full draft plan, visit: http://orangecountync.gov/2336/HOME-Program (under “Plans, Reports and Forms”).
The public comment period is open through April 28. Comments may be submitted by mail (P.O. Box 8181, Hillsborough, N.C. 27278), email (email@example.com) or telephone (919-245-4331).
April 22, 2021
Deadline Monday for Artists to Create Vaccine Posters
The ArtsCenter in Carrboro and Day One Relief will pay a local artist or designer $150 to create original poster art that spreads awareness about and encourages COVID-19 vaccination. Artists and designers residing in North Carolina are invited to apply with their portfolio of past work, especially poster design work, as well as a short, written description of the poster and tagline they would create if selected. One applicant will be selected and paid a $150 artist fee to create the poster design, which will be printed by The ArtsCenter and distributed by Day One Relief as part of vaccine rollout. Posters will be distributed to vaccine clinics and providers and community partners across the state, including Elizabeth City State University, NAACP North Carolina and Sunshine Station for Pasquotank/ECSU. As vaccine rollout continues into the summer and fall, applications will reopen to commission more artists to design more posters for more locations.
The request for proposals is available at https://artscenterlive.org/vaccine-poster-project/ in both English and Spanish. The deadline for the first round of proposals is Monday, April 26. Application materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Artists who are seeking guidance on how to prepare an application or anyone with questions about this project are invited to contact marketing director Patrick Phelps-McKeown at email@example.com.
Feast on Poetry, Virtually
Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources invites you to celebrate National Poetry Month with a menu of local poets reading from their works. Log on to the virtual event and bring your own your water, wine, or coffee and dessert as you feast on poetry. There will be time for discussion and questions.
Featured poets include: Chris Abbate, Bartholomew Barker, Dan Boehl, Marrow Dowdle, Tara Lynn Groth, Maura High, Jonathan Hopkins, JeanMarie Olivieri, Gary Phillips and Anna Weaver.
To access the event via Zoom, go to https://bit.ly/3arHR9h.
Composting Expands to Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market
The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market will begin accepting residential food waste at University Place on Saturday, April 24. Coming on the heels of Earth Day, this new drop-off program will divert organic waste from the landfill to create compost, thereby reducing potent greenhouse gas emissions like methane. Residential food waste that is free of plastics, produce stickers and other non-compostable materials can be dropped off during Saturday market hours from 8 a.m. until noon.
A very wide array of organic materials is acceptable, including all food; food-related uncoated paper products, like paper napkins and paper towels; and certified compostable serving-ware that has been approved by Biodegradable Products Institute or other certification organizations. Be sure to remove all stickers, labels, plastic, rubber bands, twist-ties and other contaminants from the food before tossing it in the bin, the rule of thumb being, “When in doubt, leave it out.” Read more about what is — and isn’t — compostable at https://www.orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/2382/Commercial-Composting-Poster-PDF?bidId=.
Carrboro Day Program Online
The annual Carrboro Day Event is scheduled for Sunday, May 2. This year’s event will be presented in a virtual format with activities via YouTube and Zoom. Content will also be shared via the Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/carrbororec.
Events this year include music with Saludos Company; an open poetry reading in the round; Storytime with Mr. Keith; a historical presentation on schools in the Carrboro area by local historian Richard Ellington; a historic downtown walking tour; and a virtual art exhibition with Carrboro artist Renzo Ortega.
Visit http://www.carrboroday.com/301/Carrboro-Day for the schedule and details of all of these events.
April 18, 2021
Take the Bus to Vaccination Clinics
Chapel Hill Transit provides service to two UNC Health vaccination clinics and the Orange County Health vaccination clinic, at the RR Lot, 1071 Estes Drive Extension, Chapel Hill.
Routes FCX, S and N provide service to the UNC Friday Center on N.C. 54. From Friday Center Drive, customers can walk to the back of the center to access the UNC Health vaccine clinic. GoTriangle’s routes 800, 800S and 805 also stop at the Friday Center.
GoTriangle’s 420 route provides service to the UNC Health vaccine clinic in Hillsborough.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents who are unable to access fixed route service or need to access the RR Lot can use EZ Rider to get to these vaccination points (you don’t need to be an EZ Rider customer). Book your trip by calling 919-969-4979 or completing the online form at https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/transit/ez-rider/online-reservations.
Chapel Hill Transit asks that customers do not ride the bus if they are sick or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. Face coverings are required on Chapel Hill Transit vehicles.
CASA Breaks Ground on Perry Place
CASA (Community Alternatives for Supportive Abodes) has broken ground on its newest affordable housing community in Orange County. The site is located along South Merritt Mill Road and straddles the border of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. When completed, the community will be named Perry Place in memory of Northside leader and activist Velma Perry.
The community will consist of 48 one- and two-bedroom apartment units for individuals and families living at under 60 percent of the Area Median Income. A portion of the apartments will be reserved for people living with disabilities.
CASA was awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency for this community, as well as an interest-free Workforce Housing Loan. Additional funding for the land and predevelopment costs for Perry Place were provided by Orange County, the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and Strowd Roses Inc.
Velma Perry was a community leader and activist who lived in the same home in Chapel Hill for 98 years and was a passionate affordable-housing advocate.
Carrboro Seeks Volunteers for Racial Equity Commission
The Town of Carrboro is recruiting for the newly established Racial Equity Commission, a volunteer board empowered to make short-, mid- and long-term recommendations that will make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism, boosting economic mobility and opportunity and creating generational wealth in the Black community. The commission was established by the Carrboro Town Council on Jan. 19.
Commission members will serve two-year terms. Interested potential volunteers can find and submit an application at townofcarrboro.org/AdvisoryBoards. An informational flyer is accessible at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/8721/Racial-Equity-Commission-Flyer.
The mission of the Racial Equity Commission is to educate, provide leadership and facilitate ongoing equitable engagement with the immediate and greater Carrboro community. The focus is to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment that enhances the overall social, physical, mental and economic well-being of Carrboro. The town seeks to incorporate equitable policies, procedures and practices for real change based on both short- and long-term strategies to address disparities. Necessary resources and budgetary appropriations can start immediately to build greater equity within the community.
The commission will comprise nine members who complete race and equity training provided by the town’s core team. Members will include four representatives from the community (two who have lived in the community for at least 20 years and two for at least 10 years and should have a lived experience based on being a person of color); one youth representative between the ages of 15 and 18 years old who lives in Carrboro and works in or attends public, private or homeschool classes; and one representative each from the Affordable Housing Advisory Commission, the Environmental Advisory Board, the Economic Sustainability Commission and the Farmer’s Market Board. There will also be three non-voting town representatives — two Town Council liaisons and one staff liaison, the Town Race and Equity Officer.
For more information, contact the Town Clerk’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-918-7309.
Grant to Animal Services Aids Kittens
Orange County Animal Services has received a grant of $25,000 from Petco Love to fund its kitten foster program. The grant will be used to provide medications, vaccines and medical care for kittens in the foster program at OCAS. The grant will also be used to increase the amount and quality of care provided in order to help even more kittens in the program grow strong and remain healthy in their foster homes.
For more information about the kitten foster program at OCAS, visit http://www.orangecountync.gov/290/Kitten-Foster-Program.
Orange County Program Supports Sexual Assault Survivors
The Orange County Local Reentry Council will host “Understanding Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence and Trauma” on Tuesday, April 27, at 10 a.m. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center will present on sexual violence and tools to be used by service providers when interacting with survivors. Join the meeting at www.orangecountync.gov/Survivors.
County Fosters Understanding of Reentry Challenges
N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has declared April as Second Chance Month to recognize the hurdles many formerly incarcerated people face as they reacclimate to society. Several virtual events are being held this month to bring greater awareness to the issue and highlight support programs available in the Orange County.
The Orange County Local Reentry Council Stigma & Recovery Support Services is hosting a free virtual event at 10 a.m. on April 21. Troy Manns, the statewide manager of advocacy and education for Recovery Communities of North Carolina, will present on stigma and recovery support services. Join the meeting at www.orangecountync.gov/stigma.
The Coordinated Local Reentry Council for Orange County will host its regular meeting on April 23. The public is invited to participate in this live virtual event hosted by the Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department and the Orange County Health Department. Join the meeting at www.orangecountync.gov/ReentryMeeting. For more information, contact Keith Patterson, local reentry council coordinator, at 919-245-2064.
Carrboro Roundabout Traffic Shifts on April 20
The N.C. Department of Transportation contractors plan to shift traffic between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, onto a new roundabout at the intersection of Greensboro Street and Estes Drive.
Once open, approaching drivers will yield to any vehicles or bicyclists already in the roundabout. Drivers should also use turn signals when exiting and yield to pedestrians using crosswalks at the roundabout.
A short video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6uYbj7Gtyo will show how easy it is to maneuver through a roundabout.
Carrboro Grant Helps Affordable Housing on Cobb Street
The Carrboro Town Council granted $100,000 from its Affordable Housing Special Revenue Fund in support of the construction of four new units (two duplexes) on Cobb Street in the Northside neighborhood. These homes will be energy efficient and affordable to households earning between 30 percent and 80 percent of the Area Median Income. The two ground-floor units will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.
The project is the culmination of a collaboration among the Compass group, Northside Neighborhood Initiative, the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, Self Help Ventures Fund, Habitat for Humanity and the Town of Carrboro.
April 14, 2021
Property Tax Assistance For Elderly and Permanently Disabled Residents
The N.C. General Assembly offers three programs to help low-income elderly and disabled homeowners obtain tax relief: the Elderly and Disabled Exclusion, the Disabled Veteran Exclusion, and the Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment. To obtain any of these, complete the application found at https://www.orangecountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14227/2021-PROPERTY-TAX-RELIEF-APPLICATION-PACKET.
In addition, those totally and permanently disabled need to complete a Certification of Disability (https://files.nc.gov/ncdor/documents/files/av9a.pdf).
The Homestead Exclusion Program assists homeowners 65 and older or who are permanently disabled on Jan. 1 and have income below $31,500. Applicants must have owned the home as of Jan. 1 and use it as their permanent residence in order to receive an exclusion of the taxable value of their residence of either $25,000 or 50%, whichever is greater. Apply with the Assessor’s Office between Jan. 1 and June 1.
People applying for the Homestead Exclusion Program may also qualify for payment assistance with their Solid Waste Programs Fee (https://www.orangecountync.gov/1797/Solid-Waste-Programs-Fee-Financial-Assis). Submit the application with the Homestead Exclusion Application.
The Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment creates a lien on property and is a tax-deferment program that caps the current property tax obligation for eligible taxpayers at a percentage of their income. Taxes, interest, penalties and fees in excess of the circuit breaker tax “ceiling” are deferred and are not payable until a disqualifying event occurs, such as if the owner transfers the residence, dies or ceases to use the property as a permanent residence. Multiple owners of a permanent residence must all qualify for the circuit breaker.
For questions about any of these programs or to schedule an appointment to speak to a staff member, contact the Orange County Tax Office at 919-245-2100, option 2.
Spring Green Home Tour a Hybrid Event
The High Performance Building Council of the Triangle, a joint council of the Home Builders Associations of Durham, Orange and Chatham counties and of Raleigh-Wake County, will hold its 2021 Spring Green Home Tour on April 24-25 and May 1-2.
This year’s tour will have some homes open for in-person touring, and all 18 homes will have their own online tours. A 3D virtual tour will stay live through the end of 2021 (SpringGreenHomeTour.com). The tour will showcase a variety of excellent examples of green home construction at various levels of national certification, with links for the public to reach out to building professionals with questions.
Attendees will be able to interact with the builders and onsite representatives (whether online or in person) to learn more about what’s involved in meeting stringent green building requirements. Homes entered in the tour may be in various stages of construction or owner occupied.
According to Home Innovation Research Labs, North Carolina continues to be ranked first in the country in the number of National Green Building Standard-certified single-family homes.
For more information about the tour, call (919) 493-8899, email email@example.com, or visit the Tour pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Creek Cleanup Ends April 17
The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are inviting residents and businesses to help clean our urban streams this spring (https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/public-works/stormwater-management/public-education-and-participation/annual-cleanup-with-carrboro#ad-image-0).
So far, 60 residents in Chapel Hill and Carrboro have removed over 1,500 pounds of trash from our local watersheds. The goal is to top 2,000 pounds.
Participants can enter to win prizes by completing the Litter Cleanup Data Sheet on Survey123 (https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/3f7db8f6d3df41cc974c86b09ebf6ea8). The data sheet will be open to the public until April 17. Prizes include reusable straws, cloth grocery bags, water bottles and more.
All trash should be bagged and put into your trash can. If you have more trash than will fit in your trash can, take it to one of the Waste and Recycling Centers, 1514 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill or 1616 Ferguson Road in Chapel Hill.
Memorial Day Ceremony Planned at Orange County Veterans Memorial
The Veterans Memorial Planning Committee will hold its annual tribute to the women and men in our armed services who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, beginning at 7:45 a.m. The special ceremony will be held at the site of the future Orange County Veterans Memorial near the Orange County Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road. To learn more about the planned memorial, visit https://ocveteransmemorial.com/.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Paused for Review
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services sent a message to health care providers around the state advising that they follow the federal recommendation to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration review data about an extremely rare type of blood clot that has been reported in six people who received that vaccine in the United States.
As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. The CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving a rare and severe type of blood clot that was reported in six people after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.
People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. For people who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk to them is very low at this time.
There are three vaccines available. These events have not occurred with the other two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna.
Parks and Recreation Releases Summer Recreation Programs and Summer Camp Guide
Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation is releasing its summer recreation program guide titled RECREATE. It will also contain a six-page Summer Camp Guide.
A mix of summer programs and activities for all ages and skill levels will be offered. The numerous indoor, outdoor and virtual programs this summer include Trivia Nights, Glow in the Dark Archery, Art In The Park, virtual Drawing for Comics, and much more.
Chapel Hill residents may register for summer recreation programs and specialty camps beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4, and for summer day camps at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 12. Nonresidents may register for the programs and camps beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 11, and for day camps at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 19.
All summer camps will be running at a limited capacity this year, and everything possible will be done to make sure as many kids as possible still get to go to camp.
Recreation programs and summer camps can be viewed and downloaded at https://www.townofchapelhill.org/home/showpublisheddocument?id=48633. The printed edition will be available at recreation centers and the Chapel Hill Public Library on Monday, April 19.
For more information about Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, visit www.chapelhillparks.org.
Share Your Input on Community Celebrations in Chapel Hill
Over the next two weeks, residents are invited to share their personal thoughts about Chapel Hill celebrations by completing an online survey and/or participating in a virtual open house.
The 5-minute online survey is available in both Spanish and English at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe7ByOIPD0CRCKPAzxuu5lXfrNlLANnA7pLe6ieoKaaDpxOOA/viewform. The survey is open until Sunday, April 25, and is anonymous.
On Thursday, April 15, between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., community members are invited to drop into various Zoom breakout rooms to discuss festivals and events in Chapel Hill. Topics include location and family-focused, adult-centric and uniquely Chapel Hill events. Registration is not required but appreciated. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link or visit chapelhillarts.org/communityinput.
The Community Arts & Culture division of the town is coordinating this project. Project findings will be shared with the community in early summer. To learn more about the project, visit chapelhillarts.org/communityinput.
April 10, 2021
Celebrate Earth Day All Month Long
The Town of Chapel Hill has created a month-long guide of fun (and COVID-friendly) activities, workshops and challenges to inspire love for our local environment. Called April Is for the Earth, the program invites residents to get outside, appreciate natural spaces and learn about local sustainability efforts. Go to chapelhillarts.org/earthday for the full schedule of programming.
Mayor Lavelle Signs Monarch Pledge
Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle has signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, a step aimed at protecting the iconic butterfly, which has experienced a 90 percent decrease in eastern population.
Through the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities and other communities are committing to create habitats for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and to educate community members about how to make a difference at home and in their community.
Actions to increase pollinator habitat throughout Carrboro include a proclamation to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitats; a public communication effort to encourage residents to plant monarch gardens at their homes or in their neighborhoods; native seed or plant sales, giveaways or swaps; monarch neighborhood challenges to engage neighborhoods and homeowners’ associations within the community to increase awareness and create habitats for the monarch butterfly; an invasive-species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators; and educational signage at monarch gardens and pollinator habitats beyond monarch demonstration gardens.
Learn more about the Monarch Pledge at https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Invertebrates/Monarch-Butterfly.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Extended Through May 6
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) has extended its assistance through May 6. Volunteers provide free federal and N.C. state income tax preparation to eligible individuals with low-to-moderate income regardless of age or county of residence. The Internal Revenue Service and N.C. Department of Revenue have extended the tax filing deadline to May 17.
As of April 1, VITA closed its virtual service and now provides only a do-it-yourself program and drop-off services.
Drop-off VITA is by appointment only on Thursdays through May 6 at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill and on Wednesdays at the Passmore Center in Hillsborough.
For DIY VITA, certified volunteers are offering assistance by email through May 7. The DIY service is powered by TaxSlayer, free software to prepare and e-file your own taxes.
Unfortunately, VITA is not able to assist foreign students this year.
Go to http://www.orangecountync.gov/254/Tax-Assistance to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Schools Reopen for Full-Time Option
On April 5, elementary school students throughout Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools entered their school buildings and saw their teachers in person for the first time in more than a year. The welcome back at Frank Porter Graham Bilingue included health screenings and temperature checks in the drop-off lane, traffic backups along Smith Level Road and a creative hello from the PTA.
Some students began in-person classes in mid-March after the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board offered a hybrid model of teaching that opened schools to in-person classes two days a week. Few parents chose that option. Then on March 11, Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law a bill requiring schools to offer optional full-time in-person instruction. Many parents who turned down the part-time model chose to send their children back to school full time.
April 7, 2021
Open House at Chelsea Theater
The Chelsea Theater is hosting a public open house Saturday, April 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Attendees will be able to see the renovated theaters and test the new seats, pick up membership materials or sign up for a membership, and purchase posters and Chelsea Theater T-shirts. There will also be fresh Chelsea popcorn.
The Chelsea is located in Timberlyne Shopping Center, 1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Suite AB, Chapel Hill.
Where to Get Free COVID-19 Test
COVID-19 testing is available in Chapel Hill every weekday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road. Testing will take place in the large conference room inside the front entrance. Preregistration is encouraged and may be done online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting.
In Hillsborough, COVID-19 testing is available every weekday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St. Preregistration is encouraged and may be done online by going to https://unityphm.com/campaigns/starmed; select Orange County.
Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, has been around people outside of their household, or thinks they have been exposed to the virus should get tested.
Everyone 16+ Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
Everyone 16 and older in North Carolina is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
To register with the Orange County Health Department to get your vaccine, complete the Vaccine Interest Form at https://redcap.link/OCHDvax or call 919-913-8088. The phone line is operated daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages are available.
To see a full list of other places to get the vaccine, go to myspot.nc.gov or call 888-892-1162.
Fordham Side Path Public Information Meeting
The public is invited to join a virtual public information meeting on Monday, April 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to review the current plans and next steps for the development of the Fordham Boulevard side path.
The Town of Chapel Hill is in the design phase for a multi-use side path along Fordham Boulevard between Cleland Drive and Willow Drive. At this meeting, team members will share the construction plans, including the layout of the side path, landscaping, traffic calming mechanisms selected for Hickory Drive and two intersections with Fordham Boulevard. There will also be on-site information meetings with the project manager and other team members to review the path’s alignment.
Attendees may register in advance for this live webinar to ask questions and to provide input. For more information, contact Marcia Purvis, project manager, at email@example.com or by phone at 919-968-2750.
PORCH Certified as Living Wage Employer
PORCH (People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Homes) has been certified by Orange County Living Wage as a living wage employer. PORCH strives to “alleviate hunger and promote better nutrition in the community,” according to executive director Sarah Dudzic, who notes: “As an organization whose mission is to provide hunger relief, we don’t want our own employees facing food insecurity.” Find out more about PORCH’s mission and how to get involved at ChapelHill.PorchCommunities.org.
Exhibit Documents Black Women in Local Civil Rights Movements
In partnership with the Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill-area historians launched a new online exhibit on the Chapel Hill Community History website (https://chapelhillhistory.org/) to document the role of Black women in local civil rights movements.
Led by community historian Danita Mason-Hogans, the exhibit, “I Was Still Singing,” presents the perspectives of Black women who have shaped the town’s history, telling previously untold stories in the community. The stories of the exhibit center on policies that impacted the Black community in Chapel Hill, Mason-Hogans said. Black women could not afford to focus on just one issue, she said, because the policy issues were and continue to be so fundamentally interconnected.
Community members may directly engage with the exhibit through a “community journal.” Through June, community members may submit their reflections — written pieces, artwork and more — to the CHPL, which will create the journal. Submissions can be made in person at the CHPL or online at https://chapelhillhistory.org/.
HDC Adopts Revised Design Principles & Standards
On March 18, the Chapel Hill Historic District Commission adopted the final draft of the Principles & Standards. The HDC and town staff apply the Principles & Standards to the Certificate of Appropriateness review process. COAs are required for exterior alterations to buildings, sites and structures in the local historic districts of Franklin-Rosemary, Cameron-McCauley and Gimghoul. The revised document ensures that alterations are compatible with the historic character of these districts.
In summer 2019, North Carolina’s Historic Preservation Office awarded the Town of Chapel Hill a federal Historic Preservation Fund grant of $10,000 to revise the historic district’s design standards. The town allocated another $15,000 to the project.
Police Seek Help in Armed Robbery
The Chapel Hill Police Department needs your help identifying a suspect in connection with an armed robbery that occurred at the PNC Bank located at 841 Willow Drive.
On April 3, at 12:46 p.m., the suspect entered the bank, displayed a weapon and stole cash. The suspect, described as a black male about 5’10” tall, weighing about 150-160 lbs., was last seen leaving the bank and running toward Conner Drive. He was wearing a dark blue UNC hat, sunglasses, a blue shirt, green jacket, dark-colored blue jeans and purple surgical gloves.
If you have information, please call the Chapel Hill Police Department Watch Commander at 919-612-8240, Orange County Communications by calling 911 or 919-732-5063, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.
April 3, 2021
Mayor Hemminger Signs Monarch Pledge
On March 30, Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger joined mayors and other leaders from across the United States, Canada and Mexico in signing the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, a step aimed at protecting the iconic butterfly, which has experienced a 90 percent decrease in eastern population.
Through the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities and other communities are committing to create habitats for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and to educate community members about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.
Information on how to plant a pesticide-free monarch habitat garden can be found at https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Invertebrates/Monarch-Butterfly.
Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will lead the town’s involvement in this new initiative. For more information or to get involved, contact department staff at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 919-968-2784.
All Adults Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Beginning April 7
All adults will become eligible to receive a COVID vaccine on April 7. Orange County Health Department offers online registration at https://redcap.link/OCHDvax. Individuals who cannot access the Internet or need assistance filling out the form can register by calling 919-913-8088 seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages are available. The call center is closed April 2-4 for the Easter weekend.
Economic Development Provides Almost $1M in Assistance to Small Businesses, Farmers During Pandemic
Orange County Economic Development awarded 188 grants totaling almost $1 million to local businesses and farmers from various financial-assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of 509 grant applications received, 188 were awarded, including to 94 women-owned businesses and 27 minority-owned businesses. The value of the grants awarded totaled $954,759.58.
2021 Property Tax Revaluation Complete
Notices of updated property values have been mailed and reflect the value of your property as of Jan. 1, 2021.
A revaluation is required by N.C. statutes at least every eight years, and Orange County follows a four-year schedule. The last revaluation in Orange County was effective Jan. 1, 2017. The purpose is to redistribute the tax burden based on current market data and maintain equitable and uniform property values among property owners throughout the county. As time elapses between revaluations, properties may increase or decrease in market value at different rates.
If you believe that the Jan. 1, 2021, value of your property is not correct, you may file an appeal. An informal appeal form is included with your revaluation notice. Appeals may be mailed, put in the drop box at the front door of the Tax Office in Hillsborough, emailed or submitted online. To appeal online, use the Online Appeals Tool at https://appeals.spatialest.com/nc-orange.
You can contact the Tax Office by phone, email or mail or chat online, https://www.orangecountync.gov/842/Chat. Although the office is restricting entrance due to the pandemic, you can make an appointment for assistance in person as needed by calling 919-245-2100, option 2, or emailing email@example.com. Masks must be worn.
Review property information at the Property Record Card Search at https://property.spatialest.com/nc/orange/#/. Review sales in your area at https://nc-orange-citizen.comper.info/template.aspx.
If you have not yet received your revaluation notice, you may contact the Tax Administration office for a duplicate copy.
March 31, 2021
Public Hearing on Draft UNC Title V Permit Set for May 4
The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality will host a digital public hearing on May 4, at 6 p.m. on a draft renewal permit for UNC’s Title V air permit. The public is invited to attend the hearing online or by phone and provide comments on the proposed permit. DAQ will also accept comments on the draft permit through May 6.
The existing power-generation facility, at 200 E. Cameron Ave. in Chapel Hill, has requested renewal along with consolidated modification requests related to boiler operations and emergency-generator engine conditions in the current Title V air permit.
To access the hearing online, use WebEx Link https://bit.ly/2NSBHHp; event password NCDAQ.
To access the hearing by phone (toll call), call 415-655-0003, access code 185 344 434. To comment by phone, when your name is called, press *3 so the moderator can identify and open your line. Once you have made your comment, press *3 to end your comment.
If you wish to speak at the public hearing, you must register by 4 p.m. on May 4. To register, please visit https://bit.ly/3clFndZ or call 919-618-0968.
Copies of data and the application submitted by UNC are available for public inspection at deq.nc.gov/unc-tv or in person by appointment only at:
Raleigh Regional Office
3800 Barrett Drive, Suite 101
Raleigh, N.C. 27609
For those who are unable to attend or who experience technical difficulties, comments can also be submitted by email to DAQ.firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “UNC.15B.” You may also leave a voicemail comment at 919-707-8726.
NAACP Chapel Hill-Carrboro Branch Scholarship Applications Open
It’s that time of year for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch to give out its annual, renewable scholarships to deserving high school seniors selected from among the four high schools in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on April 23.
The recipient must be entering a four‐year college/university or a two-year community college. The scholarships recognize academic achievement, civic engagement, leadership qualities and strong character. Each initial scholarship is in the amount of $1,000, of which $500 is renewable subject to criteria.
Finalists’ interviews will be scheduled the week of May 3.
For further information, go to https://www.chapelhillcarrboronaacp.com/apply-for-a-scholarship.
Carrboro Seeks OWASA Board Member
The Town of Carrboro is recruiting for a Carrboro representative to serve as a board member of Orange Water and Sewer Authority. The three-year term begins June 30. The Carrboro Town Council will consider applicants for appointment in June.
Interested Carrboro residents may apply at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/FormCenter/Town-Clerks-Office-25/Advisory-Board-Application-97.
For more information, go to https://www.owasa.org/board-of-directors.
OWASA Completes Temporary Change in Disinfection
Although OWASA completed its annual switch to using chlorine to disinfect drinking water and returned to using chloramines at 8 a.m. on April 1, customers may notice continued chlorine taste and odor in early- to-mid-April because some water treated with chlorine remains in the water distribution system.
Dialysis patients and aquarium owners should continue to take special precautions to remove traces of ammonia and chlorine from the water before using.
Throughout the year, OWASA uses a combination of chlorine and ammonia, known as chloramines, to disinfect drinking water. But in March it used only chlorine, a stronger disinfectant, to flush the system, as recommended by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. This change was only for the month of March and has no impact on the safety of the drinking water.
March 30, 2021
FEMA Offers COVID Funeral Expense Assistance
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 designated funds to be distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020.
If you have incurred COVID-19 funeral expenses or incur them in the future, gather and keep all documentation, receipts and invoices.
FEMA is still working out the details, but you can learn more about the program at: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.
Orange County will share information about how to apply for the assistance once the details are finalized.
Apply Now for Carrboro Summer Apprenticeship for the Arts
The Carrboro Arts Committee is offering an award of up to $1,000 to assist emerging young artists in developing their talent through a summer apprenticeship. Three apprenticeships are available for rising high school juniors, seniors and graduating seniors, as well as college students and those who have graduated from college within the past year.
Applicants must live in Carrboro. They must have an interest in the arts (visual arts, performing arts, arts administration, etc.) and have secured an apprenticeship with an Orange County artist or arts organization. The apprenticeship must be for at least 15 hours a week for at least 5 weeks. Students who may need assistance finding a local artist or arts organization may contact email@example.com.
Apprenticeships may be remote or in person. Approved COVID protocols that follow local, state, and national guidelines must be submitted.
Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on May 11.
An online application is available at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/FormCenter/Recreation-Parks-Department-3/Summer-Apprenticeship-Application-166. PDF/Word copies of the application are available upon request.
Applications will also be accepted via email or mail or by dropping off at the Carrboro Century Center. Include two letters of reference with your application to:
Carrboro Arts Committee
c/o Charles Harrington
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC 27510
Lane to Close April 5 for Tree Trunk Removal
The eastbound lane of Franklin Street and the straight/right-turn lane from Merritt Mill Road onto Franklin Street will be closed from 9 a.m. until around noon on April 5 for tree work.
A tree at the corner of West Franklin Street and Merritt Mill Road was partially removed to perform work on a damaged OWASA water line, and its trunk is scheduled to be removed on April 5.
Groups 4 & 5 To Get Shots Sooner
Gov. Roy Cooper accelerated the timeline for Groups 4 and 5 to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. On March 25, he announced that the rest of Group 4 would be eligible on March 31 and all adults eligible beginning April 7.
Beginning on March 31, additional essential workers and people living in other congregate settings such as student dormitories will be eligible for vaccination. Essential workers include frontline workers and those in a range of sectors such as construction, energy, financial services and public works.
The move will allow the state and vaccine providers to get vaccines into more arms quickly and continue to reach underserved and historically marginalized populations. A new public-private partnership, Healthier Together: Health Equity Action Network, will help increase the number of individuals from historically marginalized populations who receive COVID-19 vaccinations and provide a foundation for a longer-term framework for health equity.
Healthier Together will implement strategies to increase access to vaccines to historically marginalized populations by conducting outreach and education efforts, coordinating local vaccine events at trusted and accessible locations, helping people schedule and get to vaccine appointments, providing on-site translation services and helping ensure people get to second-dose appointments.
The partnership will provide grants to community-based organizations to do this work and hire regional health-equity teams to support community-based organizations in their outreach and education efforts. The initiative will help match vaccine providers with community-based organizations and work with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that communities have the vaccine supply, outreach and transportation resources they need to get people vaccinated.
Bolinwood Drive Water Line Replacement Begins
An OWASA contractor began work on a water-line replacement project on Bolinwood Drive around the bridge crossing Bolin Creek on Friday, March 26.
The work is expected to take 30-45 days to complete, depending on the weather, and could involve some Saturday work. Because work will take place in the roadway, some lanes will close, and it’s possible the full road may close in the area immediately surrounding the bridge. There will also be times when pedestrian access to the Bolin Creek Trail will be restricted from Hillsborough Street. The sidewalks near the bridge will be closed during construction hours. Both lanes of Bolinwood Drive and access to foot traffic will be reopened each evening.
Work on weekdays will take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. If Saturday work is needed, it would take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Chapel Hill Seeking Applicants for Library Advisory Board
A vacancy exists on the Chapel Hill Library Advisory Board for an Orange County resident, to be appointed by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners.
If interested, please apply at www.orangecountync.gov/boards.
Orange County strives for diversity on volunteer advisory boards. Minorities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must reside in Orange County.
For questions regarding the position or for additional information, call Tara May at 919-245-2125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orange County Living Wage Certifies 2 More
Living wage certification has been granted to two more local businesses, Cicada Design LLC and VIETRI.
Cicada Design is a women-owned business in Durham creating “intentional, experiential and beautiful gardens for all.” Owner Carley McCready believes that “everyone deserves to earn a living wage. It’s not just about plants, but people, too.”
VIETRI is a women-owned business based in Hillsborough, specializing in handcrafted Italian designs for the table, home and garden. It has committed to paying its 44 employees living wages for the next two years. Owner Laurie Murray believes in living wages because “every person should be paid so that they can feed their family, cover expenses and save for the future. VIETRI’s mission is to spend time around a table with friends and family, which can only be done if there’s food at that table.”
Orange County Living Wage is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that certifies, recognizes and promotes Orange County businesses that pay a living wage and assist workers seeking living wage jobs.
Free Shredding Event
Orange County residents, small businesses and employees of Orange County, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough may bring their confidential documents for shredding and recycling on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to the Park & Ride Lot, 1768 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.
There is a four-bag limit, and it is strongly recommended that clear heavy plastic bags (up to 32 gallons) be used so the program operators can see into the bags for contamination. Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, plastic or metal binders and electronic media cannot be accepted. To ensure the safety of employees and residents, those bringing paper for shredding will have to unload and dump their paper in the carts at the site themselves, with no assistance from county staff, volunteers or Pro Shred staff.
All attendees are required to wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart and maintain all safety protocols to avoid spreading COVID 19 or its variants.
Governor Eases COVID-19 Restrictions
Due to continuing improvement in the state’s key COVID-19 metrics and increases in vaccine distribution, North Carolina will continue to ease some COVID-19 restrictions, beginning March 26 at 5 p.m. and expiring April 30 at 5 p.m., by order of Gov. Roy Cooper. The state’s general mask mandate remains in effect.
Occupancy restrictions will be up to 100, 75 and 50 percent capacity, depending on the type of establishment. Those that will be able to open at 100 percent include childcare, camps, outdoor playgrounds, museums, and retail and personal care businesses. Those that will be able to open at 75 percent capacity indoors include restaurants, breweries, wineries, gyms, pools and amusement parks. Those that will be able to open at 50 percent capacity include arenas, conference and reception spaces, movie theaters, gaming parlors and bars.
All businesses must continue to maintain the 6 feet of distance requirement between patrons and implement other safety protocols as they expand their capacity.
In addition, the order fully lifts the restriction on the late-night sale and service of alcoholic beverages on bars, restaurants and other establishments.
Mass gathering limits will be increased, from 25 to 50 for the number of people who may gather indoors and from 50 to 100 for the number of people who may gather outdoors.
The K-12 schools guidance has also been updated, allowing them to return to in-person instruction to the fullest extent possible while following all public health protocols in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. The updated toolkit no longer requires schools to do daily temperature checks and symptom screenings. Safety protocols such as masks and cleaning of high-traffic areas are still required. Schools are also highly encouraged to conduct free screening testing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Carrboro Town Council Approves New ArtsCenter
The Carrboro Town Council has approved a conditional-use permit application for The ArtsCenter’s new two-story building plan at 315 Jones Ferry Road. The $5.5 million building will replace the nonprofit arts agency’s longtime home at 300 E. Main St. Its future home will be located across from OWASA near the intersection of Jones Ferry Road and Barnes Street.
Among conditions for the project, the developer must provide a detailed stormwater system maintenance plan. The project will include permeable pavers that let water through to the soil, as well as an underground stormwater storage and sand filter systems. Plans call for 41 vehicle and 16 bicycle parking spaces. The council also required the developer to commit to increased neighborhood engagement to ensure that concerns of the local community are heard.
New COVID-19 Online Vaccination Registration System
Orange County Health Department unveiled a new online registration system for residents seeking to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine. The system allows residents to choose how to be notified when an appointment is available — either via text, automated phone call or email — and will help the county manage the process to ensure that all vaccines are distributed efficiently.
The system can be accessed at https://redcap.link/OCHDvax. Residents who have already registered, either via phone or the online form, will not have to reregister. Those who cannot access the Internet or need assistance filling out the form can register by calling 919-913-8088 seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages are available.
New Medline Distribution Center to Open in Mebane
Medline, one of the nation’s leading distributors of medical equipment to hospitals and other providers, is building a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in Mebane that is expected to open in 2021. The facility will initially create 250 full-time jobs that will provide health, educational and retirement benefits. At full capacity, Medline anticipates the new Orange County operation will employ as many as 600 people.
Medline recently donated 5,000 procedural masks to Orange County Emergency Services to help the county respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Orange County Panel to Discuss End-of-Life Choices
The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a virtual panel discuss on Advance Directives: A Medical Professional’s Point of View on March 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. via a virtual platform. Professional panelists will have an honest conversation on how one’s loved ones, medical teams and proxies must support one another to ensure that a person’s end-of-life choices are respected and fulfilled.
Register for this free event at https://orangecountync.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsfu-uqz8sGNJqwi97MUm24NXrjrRzPRNP. If technology assistance is needed, contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 by Monday, March 29.
Orange County to Celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility
The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE LGBTQ+ Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a virtual documentary screening of The Ties That Bind on March 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. via a virtual platform.
The documentary delivers an introspective and honest exploration of acceptance as it details Diana Newton’s journey with her sister Christine, a trans woman, and their family as they navigate the emotional and physical struggles of transitioning. Ms. Newton offers a glimpse into the world of a Southern family as they confront society’s cultural bias and learn to face their own personal journey to live authentically. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Register at https://orangecountync.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0rcOirqjsvGtzLUdwKpBlVgb2qmsE1s4VU. If technology assistance is needed, please contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 by Monday, March 29.
Improving Road Safety in Chapel Hill
The Town of Chapel Hill is working toward eliminating pedestrian road fatalities and serious injuries and improving safety and accessibility for people who are walking, biking or rolling. The town has joined a national initiative called the Road to Zero, a coalition of communities committed to the belief that traffic injuries and deaths are not inevitable accidents, but preventable crashes.
Each month Town Planning and Police will conduct a high-visibility public education campaign around pedestrian safety in high-injury-risk areas, identified as areas with crossings, intersections and other pedestrian-vehicle conflict areas that have resulted or could result in crashes. The first of these campaigns on speed enforcement and pedestrian-crossing enforcement were conducted on March 23 and March 27 and were focused primarily on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
A key component in turning the town’s Road to Zero commitment into a reality is the 2019 Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which lays out strategies to address pedestrian safety concerns through policy, infrastructure and programming. The Road to Zero Task Force advises implementation of the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan with a focus on equity, public engagement, safe routes to school and data analysis.
Piedmont Health Services Attacked by Ransomware
Piedmont Health Services, a North Carolina health care provider, was one of 81 current and former clients affected by a cybersecurity incident at PeakTPA, a St. Louis health care management company. Piedmont Health Services was notified on Jan. 23 about the ransomware attack, in which data of its patients were illegally accessed. PeakTPA learned of the incident on Dec. 31, 2020.
Piedmont Health Services had been using PeakTPA as a vendor for administrative services for claims payment for several years. PeakTPA offers health care management services to health plans, Managed Care Advantage and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.
Upon learning of the incident, PeakTPA thoroughly investigated the situation, contacted federal law enforcement and contracted with specialized third-party agencies, which determined that certain patient information had been revealed. The information accessed by the attack includes name, date of birth, address, Social Security number and diagnosis codes. PeakTPA took steps to rebuild compromised servers and add additional security software. Piedmont Health Services has also adopted additional security software programs to monitor for malware and ransomware attacks in the future. Piedmont Health Services has notified all impacted patients, in conjunction with PeakTPA.
Commission Approves New Standards
At its March 18 meeting, the Chapel Hill Historic District Commission approved the new Chapel Hill Historic Districts Design Principles and Standards.
The commission’s vote capped a year-long process during which the Town Council-appointed commissioners worked with town staff, historic preservation consultant Heather Slane and members of the public to craft a new set of design standards the town will use to preserve the character of Chapel Hill’s three historic districts.
The standards provide direction to 1) property owners in the Franklin-Rosemary, Cameron-McCauley and Gimghoul districts as they plan new construction or changes to the exterior of existing buildings; 2) the HDC as it reviews the appropriateness of proposed changes within the districts; and 3) town staff as they provide administrative approvals for minor projects.
The new standards improve upon the previous version, adopted in 2002, by providing a clear description of the Certificate of Appropriateness application and review process, providing guidance regarding the maintenance of historic building materials, including updated photos and graphics and presenting the design standards in a user-friendly, online/digital format.
For more information about the historic districts design standards rewrite process, see https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/planning/special-protection-areas-and-districts/historic-district-design-guidelines-rewrite-project.
Two Businesses Cited for Living Wage Efforts
Short Winter Soups and Carrboro United Local Food Hub have been designated living wage employers by Orange County Living Wage, a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that certifies, recognizes and promotes Orange County businesses that pay a living wage and assists workers seeking living wage jobs.
Short Winter Soups is a women-owned business that serves soup via subscriptions, contactless delivery and the Carrboro Farmers’ Market.
Carrboro United serves nutritious food and supports local chefs through a program that allows consumers to order and pick up food in one central location from local restaurants, purveyors and farmers three times a week.
For more information about Short Winter Soup and Carrboro United services, check out their websites in the directory at OrangeCountyLivingWage.org.
Orange County Living Wage recognizes local businesses and organizations that pay the 2021 living wage of $15.40 per hour, or $13.90 per hour if the employer pays at least half the cost of health insurance.
Suspect Arrested in December Hit-and-Run
A first appearance has been set for March 22 for a Chatham County woman who Chapel Hill Police have charged with felony hit-and-run involving serious bodily injury.
According to police, the woman was driving on Homestead Road near the Aquatic Center on Dec. 17 at 7:29 p.m. when she hit a bicyclist and then drove away.
The bicyclist is still recovering from injuries sustained in the incident. For more information about the incident, go to townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/News/News/16848/.
Traffic Impact Meetings Set for Estes-MLK Jr. Development
Presentations on a town-wide traffic model for Chapel Hill and the traffic impact of the planned Aura mixed-use development at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Estes Drive are scheduled for the end of March.
On March 29 at 6 p.m., a representative of infrastructure design company HNTB will present the findings of a town-wide traffic model. To attend the presentation, register in advance at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpcu2qrDIiG9V1dMydiUQoSWN713tuAbae.
On March 30 at 6 p.m., representatives from Raleigh-based engineering consultant VHB will discuss the Aura development. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEudOmhpzoqGdVBrsMipkAb4FfcbejGp6A-.
For more information about the Aura development, visit http://chplan.us/AuraCZ
Partnership will Aid News Publishers and Entrepreneurs
The Local Reporter is one of 24 newspapers in North Carolina and one of seven nonprofit news organizations in the state to be selected to partner with Google News Initiative, Lion Publishers and UNC Hussman School of Journalism and media on three resources to support digital news publishers and aspiring news entrepreneurs.
The Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Playbook is a guide to designing and launching an independent, sustainable news business for aspiring news entrepreneurs. The Project Oasis Database is an interactive library of the North American digital news ecosystem with a map and profiles of 711 publishers. The Project Oasis Research Report provides editorial, financial and organizational insights for new publishers.
Information about Project Oasis Database and Project Oasis Research Report is at www.projectnewsoasis.com/sites/default/files/2021-03/project-oasis-report-2021.pdf.
And information about the GNI Startups Playbook can be found at https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/digital-growth/startups-playbook/playbook#playbook
UNC, Duke Open New Care Facilities
UNC Health opened its Eastowne clinic at the beginning of March.
The six-story, 150,000-square-foot office building at 100 Eastowne Drive includes an imaging and radiology outpatient center and laboratory services as well as clinics for heart, lung and kidney patients. Beginning March 15, urology, gastrology and blood study services will be offered. The center plans to open geriatric and internal medicine clinics by the end of the month.
For information call 984-974-2695 or visit https://www.uncmedicalcenter.org/uncmc/hospitals-locations/profile/unc-eastowne/.
Just down the road from the UNC facility, Duke Health’s Primary Care Sage Road Internal Medicine clinic has opened at 201 Sage Road, Suite 300. The facility offers services for adults that include annual physicals, preventive care visits, physical exams and acute illness visits as well as lab work and vaccinations.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 919-822-8960 or go to www.dukehealth.org/locations/duke-primary-care-sage-road-internal-medicine.
Annual CROP Walk Scheduled
The 34th annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro CROP Walk is set for April 25.
The fundraising event, a partnership between the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC) and Church World Service, will again be a virtual event, just as it was in 2020. Walk Week will be April 18-25, with that Sunday being Walk Day.
During Walk Week, participants should walk an established route or a route in their neighborhoods wearing a CROP Walk T-shirt. Walkers are encouraged to send pictures to be shared on IFC’s social media.
In the past 30 years, the local event has raised more than $1 million to support hunger-relief efforts in the community as well as internationally.
For information or to find out about sponsorships, contact Mae McLendon at 919-942-6571 or email@example.com.
Brothers Charged with Stealing Car Parts
Two men remain in custody in Orange County, charged with stealing catalytic converters from automobiles in Orange, Chatham and Stanly counties. The brothers, both of whom live in Albemarle, face six counts of felony larceny of motor vehicle parts, and more charges are expected.
A catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions from automobile exhaust. Thieves sell the stolen parts to metal recyclers, who extract valuable metals such as gold and platinum and sell them for a profit.
Generally, catalytic converters do not have a Vehicle Identification Number stamped on them, making it difficult to trace them back to a specific victim’s vehicle.
Law enforcement officials advise that parking a vehicle in a garage or in a well-lit area within range of a security camera can help prevent catalytic converter theft.
Anyone with additional information should call Investigator Jason Nazworth at 919-245-2960.
Tesoro to Receive Business Loan
Tesoro, a pasta-focused neighborhood restaurant slated to open this spring at 100 E. Weaver St. in Carrboro, has received a $60,000 business loan through Carrboro’s Revolving Loan Fund.
David Peretin, a managing member of Tesoro, applied for the loan through the Economic Sustainability Commission, which recommended that Tesoro receive the funds. The Carrboro Town Council approved the recommendation on March 2.
Information about the Town’s Revolving Loan Fund is at http://townofcarrboro.org/173/Revolving-Loan-Fund
Group 4 Set for COVID Shots
The state has set March 24 as the start date for Group 4, the next group eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. Group 4 includes adults at higher risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness, including essential workers and those in group-living settings. Higher-risk medical conditions for Group 4 include intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome, and neurologic conditions, such as dementia.
UNC Benefactor Joan Gillings Has Died
Joan Gillings, who helped found Quintiles and became a leading Triangle philanthropist, died Feb. 18.
Gillings and her husband at the time, Dennis Gillings, gave $50 million to UNC’s School of Public Health in 2007, and the school now bears their name. In 2017, she gave $12 million to PlayMakers Repertory Company and the department of dramatic art at UNC, the largest single gift by a living individual to benefit the performing arts at Carolina, according to the university. The Center for Dramatic Art was named in her honor.
She also contributed to the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, UNC Children’s Hospital, the N.C. Museum of Art, the N.C. Botanical Garden and the Kenan Institute Asia.
Gillings moved to North Carolina in 1969 and settled in Chapel Hill. She landed a job at UNC’s School of Public Health, working as an assistant to young professor Dennis Gillings. The two married in 1978 and divorced in 2011. She helped Dennis launch Quintiles Transnational in 1982. The clinical research organization became an international giant in the industry and employed thousands around the globe. The company went public in 1994 and was acquired by IQVIA in 2016.
Company Earns Living Wage Designation
Grey Star Woodworks and Design in Chapel Hill has been designated a living wage employer by Orange County Living Wage, a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that certifies, recognizes and promotes Orange County businesses that pay a living wage and assists workers seeking living wage jobs. Grey Star provides woodwork, home repair and maintenance services.
The 2021 living wage in Orange County is $15.40 per hour, or $13.90 per hour if the employer pays at least half the cost of health insurance. A directory of living-wage businesses is at OrangeCountyLivingWage.com.
DTH General Manager to Step Down
Erica Perel plans to step down as general manager of The Daily Tar Heel in April to become director of the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media at UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. The center supports established and emerging local news organizations through applied research on economic sustainability and entrepreneurship as well as innovative news and digital product solutions.
Perel spent 13 years with The DTH, the last three years as general manager.
Local Residents Honored
Several local residents have been honored by the Orange County Human Relations Commission.
Quinton Harper has been chosen as the adult winner of the commission’s annual Pauli Murray Award. Present Day on Main, a Carrboro coffee shop owned by Sophie Suberman and Soteria Shepperson, was named the business winner of the award.
Harper is the team leader for Activate! IFC, a voting and advocacy project with the local Inter-Faith Council for Social Service. He also chairs the Town of Carrboro Affordable Housing Commission and Human Services Board.
Present Day on Main, according to the commission, infuses social justice, equity and hope by diversifying its customer base and being intentional about using art to invite community and justice while making sure coffee and tea are served.
Pauli Murray, who grew up in the area, was a human rights activist, legal scholar, feminist, poet, Episcopal priest, writer and labor organizer.
Society Receives Donation
The family of Chapel Hill native Roland Giduz has donated to the Chapel Hill Historical Society bound copies of the Chapel Hill News Leader, a local newspaper Giduz edited and published from 1954 to 1959.
The News Leader covered local news and events such as high school football games. Giduz worked for many years on the Chapel Hill Weekly, the Durham Herald-Sun and the News of Orange County. He also created and published The Triangle Pointer weekly visitors guide magazine for 16 years, was alumni editor for the UNC General Alumni Association and worked for 15 years as director of public affairs for the Village Companies.
Giduz was one of the founding members of the Historical Society, which is working with the North Carolina Digital Heritage program to have these volumes digitized page-by-page and made available to the general public via the Digital Heritage website.
New Living Wage Business
Green Energy Lawn Care is the newest business to be certified by Orange County Living Wage.
Certification means the business has committed to paying all employees the 2021 living wage of $15.40 an hour. The nonprofit OCLW has certified more than 200 local employers since its creation in 2015.
Green Energy Lawn Care is based in Chapel Hill and provides zero-emission, quiet, organic lawn care services. According to owner Mik Beetham, the company has decided to pay living wages because “It’s time — unquestionably, the right thing to do.”
Stream Buffer to be Restored
The Town of Carrboro has received a 2020 Legacy Tree Fund Grant from the NC Urban Forest Council to restore a stream buffer in Hank Anderson Community Park.
There will be a virtual presentation from 11 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, March 6, for residents to learn more about the stream restoration project and how it will help Carrboro meet ecosystem protection and enhancement goals of the 2017 Community Climate Action Plan. This plan is posted for review at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/4116/Community-Climate-Action-Plan
After the presentation, residents are invited to participate in a live stream restoration question-and-answer session with staff from the Town of Carrboro’s Planning Department and Stormwater Utility.
Contact Laura Janway at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-918-7342 for a link to the virtual meeting.
Police Make Arrest in Fatal Shooting
The Chapel Hill Police Department arrested Jermaine Malik Jahquan Chance, 21, of Mebane and charged him with the first-degree murder of Dearie William Bourne, 21, of Chapel Hill at the Camelot Village Apartments Friday, Feb. 19.
Chance has also been charged with breaking and entering, larceny and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling. He’s being held at the Orange County Jail under no bond and will have his first appearance in court Monday.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
If you have any information, call 911. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515. Information that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.
Kaylie Named to School Board
Lisa Kaylie, a former president of the PTA Council, will be the next member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board.
Kaylie was selected by the board to fill the remainder of the term that became vacant when former member Amy Fowler was elected to the Orange County Commission. The selection was made by coin flip after three consecutive rounds of voting by the current board ended in 3-3 ties between Kaylie and Carmen Huerta-Bapat.
Kaylie, who has two children in district schools, is president of Frucon International, an e-commerce services company. She will be sworn in at the board’s March 4 meeting and her term will expire in December.
Carrboro Hosts Roundtable
The Carrboro Department of Economic Development will host a BIPOC Business Roundtable Discussion Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.
The town seeks to hear the needs and challenges of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and People of Color businesses in Carrboro, and the role the town needs to play to help businesses start and grow. Additionally, the roundtable discussions will serve as an opportunity for BIPOC Business owners to get to know and support each other.
Businesses interested in participating in the roundtable discussions can find more information and pre-register ag http://www.townofcarrboro.org/152/Economic-Development
Pre-trial Detentions Rising
Orange County saw a sharp increase in the number of pre-trial detentions in the last quarter of 2020, according to a nonprofit group monitoring the local criminal justice system. The rise came after what the group called a drastic reduction in people detained pretrial previously during the year.
The Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Court Observation Team found that earlier in the year pre-trial detentions showed a 68 to 75 percent reduction compared to 2019. But from mid-November 2020 to mid-January 2021 the reduction was only around 40 percent.
The change, according to the nonprofit, was likely attributable in part to the county’s COVID-19 lockdown during last March through June, when detentions were at an “artificial low” because fewer people were outside their homes and law enforcement officials were interacting with fewer people. Also, early in the lockdown, the county released people detained pretrial who were deemed at high risk of COVID-19.
New Living Wage Employer
Hoffman Studio, a women-owned, full-service design and build studio in Chapel Hill, has become the latest company certified by Orange County Living Wage.
Certification means the business has committed to paying all employees the 2021 living wage of $15.40 an hour. The nonprofit OCLW has certified more than 200 local employers since its creation in 2015.
Hoffman Studio offers start to finish design/construction of custom homes and large-scale renovations as well as a la carte residential and light commercial design.
Highlighting the History of Black Neighborhoods
A new interactive website just launched tells the stories of “all who have lived, worked, worshipped, played and served in” Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s historically Black neighborhoods.
From the Rock Wall: Living Histories of Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro brings together more than 250 oral history interviews with images, documents, a timeline, maps and digital lesson plans in a call-and-response format. From the Rock Wall, which was produced by the Northside-based Marian Cheek Jackson Center, draws its name from the low rock wall at the corner of Cotton and McDade Streets, in the heart of the Potter’s Field neighborhood.
Built in the 1930s, the wall quickly became a gathering spot for the Black community, eventually the place to connect, to exchange news, sometimes to call out each other’s children and, in the early 1960s, to plan the first salvos in the fight for Black freedom in Chapel Hill. Over the decades, the rock wall became a symbol of community sustenance and struggle.
From the Rock Wall was developed over many years, with the collaboration of neighbors from Northside, Potter’s Field, Sunset, Lloyd/Broad, Tin Top, Pine Knolls, Rangewood and Rogers Road. The project also received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation.
Last Call for Leaf Collection
Chapel Hill’s final collection of loose leaves for this season will begin on Monday, Feb. 22.
The town advises residents to place loose leaves, free of limbs and debris, behind the curb or drainage ditch for collection no later than 6 a.m. on Feb. 22 to ensure the leaves are collected.
Leaves that are left after a route has been completed will not be collected.
To dispose of leaves after leaf collection has ended, residents should place them in a yard waste cart or other rigid container for curbside collection with yard waste. Leaves may also be placed in 30 gallon, 50-pound weight limit brown paper bags. Leaves in plastic bags will not be collected.
For information about other disposal options, visit townofchapelhill.org/leaves or call 919-969-5100.
Parking Lot Closure
The Town of Chapel Hill will close the 25 spaces of the lower portion of the Rosemary-Columbia Parking Lot beginning on Monday, Feb. 22.
The area will be used for a construction lay-down and storage site for several years. This site will support the reconstruction of the 137 East Franklin Street/136 East Rosemary Street (CVS Plaza) building and the construction of the East Rosemary Parking Deck, and potentially serve as a support site for the construction of a new office building where the current Wallace Parking Deck is located once it is authorized by Council
Carrboro Town Manager to Retire
David Andrews has announced plans to retire as Carrboro Town Manager on July 31.
“While I will leave with many enjoyable memories, I am also looking forward to making new ones and spending more time with my family,” said Andrews, who has been Carrboro’s top executive since March 2012. “I will miss the tremendous employee team that is always doing great things for our community with the support and leadership from our elected officials.”
A veteran of more than 30 years of government service, Andrews previously held several executive level positions in Paradise Valley, Oro Valley and the City of South Tucson, all in Arizona. During retirement, he plans to spend more time traveling with his wife to see their grandchildren in Arizona and New Mexico.
“Carrboro is a small organization with only about 160 employees,” he said, “but we’re mighty because of them. Just look at all the amazing things they have been accomplished in our progressive, civically engaged community. So, it’s really the people I will miss the most. The uniqueness of Carrboro is rooted in our people, their values and character.”
Some of Andrews’ key initiatives have included improvements in the areas of employee quality of life, tourism and economic development, affordable housing, communication and transparency, public transportation, and long-term financial sustainability, among others.
The Town of Carrboro is currently inviting executive search firms and consultants to submit a written proposal to conduct a national executive recruitment campaign for the position of town manager. Learn more at http://townofcarrboro.org/bids.aspx?bidID=62
Racial Equity Commission Seeks Members
The Town of Carrboro is recruiting for the newly established Racial Equity Commission.
The commission, established last month, is empowered to make short-, medium- and long-term recommendations that will make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism, boosting economic mobility and opportunity, and creating generational wealth in the Black community.
The commission will be comprised of nine members who complete race and equity training provided by the town. They will include
- 4 representatives from the community, of which two have lived in the community for at least 20 years and two for at least 10 years and should have a lived experience based on being a person of color.
- 1 youth representative between the ages of 15 and 18 years old, who shall reside, work in or attend public, private or homeschool classes in Carrboro.
- 1 representative from the Affordable Housing Advisory Commission
- 1 representative from the Environmental Advisory Board
- 1 representative from the Economic Sustainability Commission
- 1 representative from the Farmer’s Market Board
- 3 non-voting town representatives – two Town Council liaisons and one staff liaison, the Town Race and Equity Officer
Commission members will serve two-year terms.
An infomation flyer is available at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/DocumentCenter/View/8721/Racial-Equity-Commission-Flyer All those interested should apply at townofcarrboro.org/AdvisoryBoards
Health Department to Recognize Local Businesses
The Orange County Health Department wants to recognize local businesses that have been vigilant in ensuring that their staff and customers feel safe, secure and well-served during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Best business that was very careful to keep their customers safe from COVID-19
- Best business that took great care in keeping their employees safe from COVID-19
- MVP: The overall best business that took on the daunting challenge of a global pandemic and knocked it out of the park
Each winner will receive a trophy and $1,000 in advertising support in the form of advertising on Chapel Hill Transit buses.
- To vote for best business who took great care in keeping their customers safe from COVID-19:
- To vote for best business who took great care in keeping their employees safe from COVID-19:
- To vote MVP-the overall best business who took on the daunting challenge of a global pandemic and knocked it out of the park:
Voting is open until Sunday, Feb. 28. For more information, visit http://orangecountync.gov/EnvironmentalHealth
Public Defender Candidate Forum
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Orange County and Chatham County branches of the NAACP, in partnership with the District 18 Bar, are hosting a virtual public defender candidate forum Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m.
The role of the public defender will be summarized by James E. Williams, the former District 18 public defender who served for more than 20 years, followed by candidate introductions and a question-and-answer session, including questions submitted by members of the community.
Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Director Caitlin Fenhagen will moderate the forum.
How to Report a Violation
Want to report a violation of COVID-19 pandemic protocols?
The Chapel Hill Police Department suggests that minor violations that would benefit from a follow up, like single face-covering violations and small gatherings of people not following physical distancing, can be reported through non-emergency channels below.
More serious violations, like large crowd gatherings (more than 25 people outdoors and crowds clearly violating physical distancing guidance), should be directed to 911 for an immediate response.
- Chapel Hill Police non-emergency line: 919-968-2760 – 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
- Orange County Health Department: 919-245-6111 (messages left after hours will be returned the next business day). Reporting form: orangecountync.gov/RegisterComplaint
- UNC-Chapel Hill Student Conduct Referral Form: cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UNCChapelHill&layout_id=23
- 911 after hours
Local Scientist Honored
Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed Tuesday, Jan. 26, as Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett Day in the town to honor the Orange County native who played a key role in developing one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“We recognize her remarkable research and success in creating a vaccination to defeat the pandemic,” Lavelle said. “I urge all of the residents of Carrboro to take time to recognize and honor this outstanding achievement of one of Orange County’s own daughters.”
Corbett is currently a research fellow in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center. A viral immunologist by training, she has focused her work on developing novel coronavirus vaccines, including mRNA-1273, which has become a primary vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Corbett was raised in the Cedar Grove community of Orange County and attended A.L. Stanback Middle School and graduated from Orange High School. She earned her PhD in microbiology and immunology at UNC.
Hargraves Center Receives Award
The Hargraves Community Center received the 2021 Bridge Builder Award during the recent annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Celebration.
Hargraves staff members were recognized for their contributions to the community. In August, for the back-to-school event, Hargraves gave out 215 back packs and clothes to 60 families. Staff packaged 20,000 masks, which were distributed to local nonprofit agencies, churches, town staff, and anyone in the community who needed a mask.
For Thanksgiving, Hargraves partnered with Summit Church to give out 83 turkeys along with fixings for families to prepare their own meals, and then partnered with Al’s Burger Shack, which prepared 100 turkey dinners to give to families in the community. Between May 2020 and late fall, the Hargraves Center provided showers to individuals experiencing homelessness and personal hygiene kits to anyone who needed one.
PORCH Names First Executive Director
PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro has chosen Sarah Dudzic as its first executive director.
Dudzic comes to PORCH with more than 15 years of experience leading nonprofit organizations. Her most recent position was director of philanthropy at The Connection in Middletown, CT. Previously, she led the MoveUp Partnership for Adult Learning in Hartford, CT and the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition in Greenfield, MA.
“Sarah’s extensive experience managing grassroots nonprofit organizations and her passion for lifting up our most vulnerable and marginalized community members make her an ideal fit to lead our organization,” said Susan Romaine, chair of PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s Board of Directors.
PORCH has been a volunteer-run, grassroots organization since its inception in 2010, working to alleviate hunger and promote better nutrition in the community through its non-perishable and fresh food programs. At the core of PORCH’s operations are monthly food drives organized in over 160 neighborhoods in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, generating $3.5 in local hunger relief since PORCH’s founding.
“I am truly humbled and honored to become the first executive director at PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro. Food insecurity is one of the most fundamental issues facing families right now, and PORCH’s grassroots effort to address that issue is nothing short of inspiring. I am beyond excited to see the programs in action and meet all the volunteers, as they are clearly the heart of the organization. We have challenging times and amazing opportunities ahead. I can’t wait to get started!” Dudzic said.
Bailey Receives MLK Award
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP has named Delores Bailey as the recipient of the branch’s 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award.
The award recognizes and celebrates people and organizations in Chapel Hill and Carrboro whose work exemplifies the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by raising awareness and speaking on behalf of social justice, promoting diversity, and being a spark for action to build a better future for everyone.
“There is no one more suited for this award than Delores Bailey,” Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP President Dawna Jones said. “She is a staple in the community, a true servant-leader, and an all-around social justice warrior. Delores’ work is a genuine reflection of Dr. King’s values.”
Bailey is executive director of EmPOWERment Inc.. “Service to others is my life,” Bailey said. “I was thrilled to receive this prestigious award and truly thank the members of the branch for this honor.”
COVID-19 Memorial Day in Carrboro
To pause and reflect on the lives that we have lost to COVID-19, Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed Jan. 19 as COVID-19 Memorial Day in the town.
“Carrboro Town Hall will be lit on this evening, and I urge all churches and clergy to toll their bells and all residents of Carrboro to light a candle at 5:30 p.m. to honor the lives lost to the pandemic, and to reflect upon this challenging period in our nation’s history,” Lavelle said.
Almost 70 people in Orange County have lost their lives to the disease, while COVID-19 has led to the death of more than 350,000 residents of the United States and more than two million people worldwide.
Carrboro is joining the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which is hosting a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 19 to memorialize these lost lives.
“As we remain in the midst of a deadly pandemic where so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends and neighbors, it is important to pause and reflect on the lives that we have lost, as we continue to work to defeat COVID-19,” Lavelle said.
CHPD Welcomes New Canine Partner
The Chapel Hill Police Department is training a new canine officer, Mando, to replace Ace after four years on the job.
K-9 Mando is a German Shepard that will be trained as a dual-purpose canine. Mando will be trained in narcotic detection, tracking, evidence searches, building searches and handler protection. K-9 Ace’s career with Chapel Hill Police began in 2016.
The K-9 program is a lifetime partnership. Ace will retire with his handler for the remainder of his life.
Carrboro to Commemorate George Henry White
The Town of Carrboro will host a virtual program to commemorate the 120th anniversary of George Henry White’s historic farewell address to Congress. The online event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 1.
After serving in the state legislature, White represented North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives for two consecutive terms from 1897 to 1901. White was a leader in the introduction and the fight for anti-lynching legislation.
At the time of his farewell address, White was the only African American congressman, and he would be the last until 1929. It would not be until 1992 that another African American was elected to represent North Carolina in Congress.
The event, which is part of the town’s annual Black History Month celebration, will be emceed by James Williams, Jr., the retired chief public defender for Orange and Chatham counties. Opening remarks will be provided by current U.S. Congressman G. K. Butterfield.
The featured presenter will be White biographer, Benjamin R. Justesen. Justesen will lead a discussion of his new book, “Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality.”
Following the discussion, local oral historian and documentarian Danita Mason-Hogans will introduce three student guest speakers, Malkam Hawkins and Milosh McAdoo, from N.C. A & T, and Ania Hairston, from NCCU. All three are members of the Cheatham-White Scholars program, which honors White and Henry P. Cheatham.
The Zoom event will be simulcast to the Town of Carrboro’s YouTube account at www.youtube.com/CarrboroNC. To register for the Zoom webinar, visit: https://townofcarrboro.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-lorm6uDSauaS23HIFNzvQ. The Zoom call is limited to the first 100 registrants. Those who do not register can view the program via YouTube.
Community Food Distribution Scheduled
A community food distribution event will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at Carrboro High School, 201 Rock Haven Road.
Anyone in need is welcome. The distribution is first-come, first-served. It is free of charge, and there are no eligibility requirements.
Due to COVID-19, distributions are held on a drive-through basis. Boxes are placed inside vehicle trunks. Free masks will be distributed to anyone who needs them.
The event is sponsored by the Town of Carrboro and the Orange County Social Services Department.
Carrboro Police Chief to Retire
After 27 years in law enforcement, Carrboro Police Chief Walter Horton has announced that he plans to retire effective Jan. 31
A native of Carrboro, Horton joined the department in 1993 as a member of the patrol division. He was appointed chief of police, the first African American to hold that position, in 2013.
“My greatest accomplishment has been being true to this department and this community,” Horton said. “I’m thankful to all the officers and the staff of the department, as well as all my Town of Carrboro colleagues. I would not have been successful without them.”
Mayor Lydia Lavelle said Horton has been the perfect fit as police chief for Carrboro, especially during turbulent times across the nation.
“He and his department serve everyone in the community, including our immigrant population, by their proactive practice of community policing,” Lavelle said. “Born in Orange County, Chief Horton chose to spend his adult years and career in his home community, and he has served us well.”
Tree Removal on East Rosemary
East Rosemary Street will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 26 and 27, from North Boundary Street to Hillsborough Street because of the removal of a tree.
Town of Chapel Hill staff have determined a large tree at 507 E. Rosemary St. is in poor health and needs to be removed.
Anyone interested in honoring the tree can stop by a public gathering at the tree at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19. Public health guidelines, including face coverings and physical distance of at least six feet, will be enforced.
The tree has been monitored for several years. Town staff and Bartlett Tree Service agree that the tree’s health will not improve and needs to be removed.
Local traffic will be directed through the closure during the removal process.
Peoples Academy Registration
The Town of Chapel Hill invites residents, students and visitors to register for the 2021 Peoples Academy. People can register for the Academy until Feb. 19 at townofchapelhill.org/peoplesacademy.
The Peoples Academy began in 2018 to give residents and visitors of the town an opportunity to learn about its services and jobs, connect with town leadership and other staff, and build leadership and communication skills.
The 2021 Peoples Academy has been redesigned to provide a similar experience virtually. Participants will participate in a session each Saturday morning in March. Leadership from multiple town departments will engage with participants in discussions of community issues and town functions.
The registration form is available online in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and, for the first time, The Peoples Academy will provide simultaneous interpretation in those languages.
Triangle-area musicians and bands are invited to submit work for consideration in a streaming platform dedicated to local music.
Initiated by Chapel Hill Public Library and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, Tracks Music Library is a commercial-free, curated collection of diverse local music. Interested musicians and bands are encouraged to submit songs by Jan. 31 via the link tracksmusiclibrary.org/submit.
Launched this past summer, Tracks Music Library aims to represent the diverse sounds of the Triangle area and introduce artists to new listeners. The current collection hosts more than 70 albums from bands spanning the entire musical spectrum from indie rock to jazz to hip hop to R&B.
Local musicians and bands interested in submitting should be based in the Triangle area, hold the rights to the music they submit and the music must have been produced in the last two years. Musicians can submit up to three songs for consideration and will need a minimum of five songs or 30 minutes of music if selected.
Selected musicians will receive a $200 honorarium for sharing their music.
Barber to Speak
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP will host a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Virtual Celebration Monday, Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, co-chair of the national Poor People’s Campaign and the former leader of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays efforts.
The theme of the celebration will be “Lift Every Voice for Justice!” Those interested can register for the Zoom event at bit.ly/MLKJr2021
Living Wage Rises
Orange County Living Wage has announced a new annually adjusted living wage of $15.40 an hour, effective with the new year. For living wage employers who provide at least half an employee’s health insurance coverage, the living wage rises to $13.90 an hour.
A living wage is the minimum amount of income a worker needs to cover the most basic necessities without any form of governmental assistance.
OCLW calculates its living wage by using the widely accepted Universal Living Wage Formula based on the standard that no more than 30 percent of a person’s gross income should be devoted to housing. To calculate the wage each year, OCLW considers the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in a four-county area that includes not only Orange but surrounding Alamance, Chatham and Durham counties, home to many who work in Orange County.
Since 2015, the Orange County living wage has increased annually by an average of 3 percent to keep up with the rising cost of housing. More than 250 employers have been certified since the beginning of the program. The most recent business to be certified is Syd’s Hair Shop, a women-owned business and a staple in the Chapel Hill community since 2001.
Carrboro Gets Housing Funding
The Town of Carrboro has been awarded $900,000 in funding for emergency housing assistance, the maximum grant amount awarded by the NC Department of Commerce.
The funds will allow the town to continue to respond to the housing needs of Carrboro families, preventing evictions and homelessness.
Keeping the Wreath Green
The Chapel Hill Fire Department is once again displaying the green wreath on the front of Fire Station One at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. during December as a reminder to the community of the importance of home fire safety over the holidays.
Each time crews respond to a fire, a green bulb will be replaced by a red one to remind people of the dangers posed by fires.
The department is also offering these reminders during the holidays:
- Don’t leave lit unattended candles in your home
- Unplug holiday lights when you are away
- Allow three feet of clearance around portable heaters
- Don’t place live Christmas trees near a fireplace (it dries them out)
- Water live Christmas trees every day
- Don’t build large fires in your fireplace
- Don’t use holiday decorations that are not flame retardant
- Open the damper on your fireplace before use
Carrboro Waives Fees for Park Pavilions
Responding to community needs for social distancing and outdoor gathering spaces, the Town of Carrboro is waiving fees through Jan. 31 for pavilion rentals at public parks.
Pavilions are located at the following parks:
- Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1200 Hillsborough Road
- Wilson Park, 110 Wilson St.
- Baldwin Park, 346 Broad St.
- Henry Anderson III Community Park, 302 N Carolina Hwy 54 W
Park pavilions may be reserved by contacting Wendell C. Rodgers, Town of Carrboro Parks Facilities Administrator, at email@example.com or 919-918-7371.
Triangle Bikeworks Recognized
Orange County Living Wage has certified Triangle Bikeworks in Carrboro as a living wage employer.
Triangle Bikeworks provides organized cycling opportunities for youth, inspiring them to discover who they’re really meant to be. Kevin Hicks, founder and executive director of Triangle Bikeworks, said “Simply put, paying a living wage is the right thing to do. A living wage means that a person can afford to live a productive life free from many mundane concerns [and] ensure[s] that employees can live where they work.”
CHPD Searching for Carjacked Vehicle
The Chapel Hill Police are looking for a green 2004 Toyota Avalon XL with NC license plate HHF-6582. The vehicle was stolen during a carjacking early Friday morning that left one man taken to UNC Hospitals with multiple gunshot wounds.
According to the police’s initial investigation, the victim was a food delivery driver and was robbed of his vehicle while he was in the area of the 300 block of Umstead Drive for a delivery.
Anyone who has seen the vehicle or has information about the incident should call the Chapel Hill Police at 919-968-2760 during normal business days between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., call 911 24/7 or call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.
Calls to Crimestoppers may remain anonymous, and anyone with information that leads to an arrest is eligible for a reward up to $2,000.
Lockers for the Library
Chapel Hill Public Library users can now pick up and return library materials any time of the day or night from lockers at University Place. While the service was originally conceived as a way to offset parking shortages at the library, it is launching during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a contact-free way to get library materials.
Library users can use the service by first placing holds via the library’s online catalog and selecting University Place Lockers as their pick-up location. Once they receive an email that the items are ready, users then go to University Place at 201 South Estes Drive, in the area between Planet Fitness and Alfredo’s Pizza.
Once there, users scan their library card or enter their card number and wait for the locker holding their materials to open. In addition to the 99 lockers, there is also a bin for returning library materials, a shelter to protect from inclement weather and a delivery van to bring items from the library to the lockers.
Town Ranks High for Equality
The Town of Chapel Hill has received the highest score of any North Carolina municipality in the 2020 Equality Index.
Compiled by the Human Rights Campaign, the index rates cities across the United States each year based on their initiatives to support LGBTQ communities. Cities are given points for inclusive programs and policies, such as non-discrimination laws, transgender-inclusive health benefits for employees, inclusive workplaces and LGBTQ+ liaisons in the executive office.
With a score of 86, Chapel Hill was also recognized as an “MEI All Star,” which is reserved for high-scoring municipalities in states without non-discrimination laws that expressly include LGBTQ+ people.
Public Input Needed
The Orange County Long-Term Recovery Group has identified potential strategies for recovering from COVID-19 and needs public input on which strategies best meet the community’s needs.
Community members are asked to take a 10-minute online survey between now and Dec. 11. The survey contains a draft list of recovery strategies and asks the public to evaluate the importance of each.
Survey results will be used to determine the priority order of strategies in a long-term recovery and transformation plan being developed by the group, a partnership of nearly 150 community stakeholders, Orange County and the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough.
Community members are asked to share this survey with their networks ― particularly within communities of color or historically underserved groups ― to help obtain input from all community members.
The work of the Long-Term Recovery Group and the survey can be found on the group’s website, orangencforward.org.
A Guide to Carrboro Gifts
The Carrboro Business Alliance has launched the new Carrboro Cheer Gift Guide showcasing more than 60 curated, uniquely Carrboro gift ideas for the holiday shopping season.
The Carrboro Cheer Gift Guide is designed to encourage more local shopping this holiday season. The six different gift lists in the guide can be found at https://www.carolinachamber.org/carrboro-cheer, including Uniquely Carrboro, One-Click Wonders, and Gifts Around $15.
CHPL Working to Reduce Waste
The Chapel Hill Public Library is launching Reducing Food Waste, a composting and recycling initiative that seeks to divert up to 12 tons of materials from the community’s waste stream each year.
Thanks to a $21,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Quality, matched by $4,000 from the Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library, this project will support the creation of new practices, policies and programs to significantly decrease the waste generated at the library.
Orange County Solid Waste will coordinate with CompostNow to regularly collect compost from CHPL and deliver it to a commercial composting facility. This compost collection model was piloted at the Town of Chapel Hill’s Town Hall in 2019, and realized significant reductions in waste.
Work Begins on BLM Mural
Artist Tyrone Small and a student artist team has begun work this week on a Black Lives Matter mural on the side of the CommunityWorx building facing West Main Street in Carrboro.
The team expects to complete the mural by Dec. 20. Work on the project will take place in the afternoons and weekends, and will be done with mask-wearing and social distancing protocols.
“We are extremely excited for this new public art project,” said Anita Jones-McNair, the town’s race and equity officer. “The Black Lives Matter mural highlights and advocates for values that are important to Carrboro. It expresses our community’s acknowledgment of and opposition to systemic and institutional racism.”
No Waffling: Shop is Finished
One of the oldest restaurants in town, Ye Olde Waffle Shop, is now, definitively, old and gone.
The long-time Franklin Street mainstay has announced on its Facebook page that it is closing permanently. A staple of downtown since 1972, the restaurant said it had been done in by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After much consideration, we have decided to close Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe,” the owners posted. “It is hard to imagine waking up in the morning and not heading over to Ye Olde to prepare breakfast for the town of Chapel Hill, as it has been our norm for over 48 years. However, from a public health perspective and due to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it is the right choice for us.”
The waffle shop joins a growing list of deeply rooted local restaurants that have been forced to close because of COVID, including Elmo’s and K&W cafeteria, among others. Newer places have closed, too, including Lula’s on Franklin Street and City Kitchen and in recent weeks, the 2nd Wind bar, in Carrboro.
Chilton Gets Award
The Chapel Hill Historical Society recently presented its first Community History Award to Mark Chilton, Orange County register of deeds.
The award recognized Chilton’s significant contributions to the acquisition, presentation and conservation of vital records in Orange County. Following the presentation of the award by society vice president Richard Ellington, Chilton talked about some of his work, focusing on his efforts to make records more accessible and searchable. This includes efforts to digitize and provide abstracts of handwritten deeds dating from 1752 to the 1870s.
A You Tube video of the award ceremony presentation is available here.
Small Business Saturday in Carrboro
Two days after Thanksgiving will be Small Business Saturday in Carrboro.
“This year, more than ever, supporting our local businesses is even more necessary to their survival; support is easily accomplished in-person or virtually, and by purchase of items or by gift cards for future use,” Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said in a proclamation. “I urge all Carrboro residents to make an extra effort to support our local businesses in Carrboro on this day, especially during this challenging year.”
Advocacy groups across the country, including the Carrboro Business Alliance, have endorsed Saturday, Nov. 28, as Small Business Saturday.
There are more than 385 small businesses in Carrboro, making up 95 percent of all businesses in the town.
Socks for the Homeless
The East Chapel Hill High School Benevolence Club is holding a sock drive for those who are homeless in Chapel Hill.
The club is collecting new socks which will then be delivered to various facilities, shelters and rehabilitation centers. The drive will run through Dec.18. In the past, the club has donated to a women’s rehabilitation facility and several homeless shelters as well as directly to people living under bridges and overpasses.
New socks in any size (with tags on if possible) can be dropped in the club’s collection boxes. The boxes are located at Cha House, Purple Bowl and Rumors, all on Franklin Street, and Coco Bean Market on Environ Way.
For more information, see @east.benevolence.club on Instagram.
Trail Nearing Completion
The Bolin Creek Trail connector project is finally nearing completion.
Barring any significant rain or inclement weather events, the entire connector projects should be completed later this year, providing direct access to parks, schools, shopping districts, neighborhoods and the UNC campus by foot or bicycle from the community center.
Work on the connector will continue this week, with the contractor replacing the old asphalt section of the greenway with a more resilient concrete path between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Bolinwood Drive. While this work is occurring, segments of the trail will not be accessible. Signs providing alternative routes are located at the greenway entrance on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Bolinwood Drive.
The Chapel Hill Historical Society we’ll present Mark Chilton, Orange County register of deeds, with its first Community History Award. The presentation will be made Sunday at 3 p.m.
Chilton began his political career as a UNC student by serving on the Chapel Hill Town Council. He later served as an alderman in Carrboro and as mayor there. In 2014 he was elected as register, where he is responsible for taking care of Orange County’s historical records and vital records.
Thrift Shop Closing
The longtime thrift shop CommunityWorx will close its Chapel Hill location on South Elliott Road as it makes plans to open a new store online.
The CommunityWorx Online Thrift Shop “will showcase high end and unique merchandise,” starting in December, said officials with the Carrboro-based nonprofit in a news release. The organization formerly known as the PTA Thrift Shop will continue to operate its store on West Main Street. That store will expand its hours to seven days a week.
The Chapel Hill store, located near Whole Foods, will accept donations until Nov. 29, chief operating officer Erik Valera said in the release. CommunityWorx negotiated an end to the Chapel Hill lease with Regency Centers, which owns the Village Plaza shopping center.
The store has operated on South Elliott Road since 1981.
Crafts for Sale
Preservation Chapel Hill will host its annual local craft exhibit and sale from Nov. 29 through Dec. 24.
On display will be fine woodturnings, pottery and more. The exhibit will take place at the Horace Williams House, 610 East Rosemary Street, Thursdays through Sundays, from noon to 4 p.m.
For more information, contact preservationchapelhill.org.
Visitor Center Reopens
The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitor Center has reopened its welcome center at 501 W. Franklin Street following an extended closure because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With new safety measures in place, the center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to welcome visitors, offer information services and provide updates on local attractions, museums, hotels and walking tours.
Visitor Center amenities include a public restroom, complimentary parking in the back (Bentley Building) parking lot and various gift items for sale by cash or check.
Visitors are required to wear masks and maintain six feet of physical distance to provide a safe experience for all visitors. If needed, face coverings will be provided and disposable gloves will be available for brochure browsing.
OWASA Launches Campaign
OWASA’s second-annual Care to Share Day on Thursday will help raise funds for the Care to Share bill-assistance program administered by the water utility and the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.
For this year’s day, OWASA is asking the community to get involved and help spread the message about the program on social media. Between now and Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, the utility is asking community members to imagine a day without water.
No drinking water from the tap. No water for making coffee or cooking. No water for a shower or clean laundry. Residents can post a short video to Facebook or Twitter about what a day without water would mean to them, tag OWASA and two friends, and use the hashtag #CareToShare with a link to the donation page.
More information is available about how to donate to the Care to Share program through an on-bill monthly donation or through a one-time gift.
A Time for Trees
The Town of Chapel Hill will celebrate Arbor Day at 9:45 a.m., Friday.
Students from Glenwood Elementary School have been invited to join Mayor Pam Hemminger, staff members of the parks and recreation department and the N.C. Forest Service to participate in the celebration. Community members can view the presentation virtually through Zoom at Arbor Day Celebration.
Hemminger will read an Arbor Day Proclamation and accept the Tree City USA Award from the forest service. Third-grade students from Glenwood will share poems they have written about trees. Also, a short video of the parks and recreation department planting five Emerald Arborvitae trees near Town Hall at the Stephens Street parking lot will be shared.
BIPOC Business on the Agenda
The Carrboro Department of Economic Development will hold a BIPOC Business Roundtable discussion at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
At the roundtable, the town seeks to hear the needs and challenges of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and People of Color businesses in Carrboro, and the role the town needs to play to help businesses start and grow.
Businesses interested in participating in the roundtable discussions are asked to pre-register. To register and for more information, visit www.townofcarrboro.org/152/Economic-Development
Jones to Take NAACP Helm
Dawna Jones, an assistant dean of students at UNC has been elected as the next branch president, of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP.
Diane Robertson, Joal Broun and Anna Richards were elected to vice-president positions. Paris Miller and Margaret Krome-Lukens were elected secretary and assistant secretary, respectively, while Deborah Stroman will serve as treasurer and Lonnie Merrick as assistant treasurer.
“Dawna Jones’ leadership and creativity were integral to operations during the last several years,” current branch President Richards said. “Those experiences ensure a seamless transition and position the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP for the next level. I congratulate her and all members of the team. I look forward to working together for equality.”
The officers will begin serving two-year terms in 2021
Affordable Housing Gets a Boost
The Chapel Hill Town Council has approved $513,395 in funding to support three affordable housing projects in Chapel Hill.
The approved funding plan will support construction of new affordable rental housing, predevelopment and site improvement activities, and provide rental housing subsidies. These projects should add around 125 affordable homes in Chapel Hill.
The projects receiving funding include the Community Home Trust’s master leasing program; the PEACH Apartments Development being developed by EmPOWERment, Inc.; and the 2200 Homestead Road Development.
Lane Closures on the Boulevard
Fordham Boulevard will have lane closures near the Glen Lennox project site — between Raleigh Road and Brandon Road — through Friday, Nov. 20.
Contractors for the project will reduce lanes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. Weekend hours for the work are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Work also will resume nightly between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Revaluation is Coming
Orange County is getting ready for the next property revaluation.
The effective date of the most recent revaluation was Jan. 1, 2017, and all current tax assessments for real property reflect a market value as of that date. The next planned revaluation will be effective Jan 1, 2021, and tax assessments will be updated to reflect market value as of that specific appraisal date.
State law requires each county to revalue all properties within its borders at least once every eight years. For more information about the county’s revaluation process, visit https://www.orangecountync.gov/878/Revaluation.
Comprehensive Plan Plans
Carrboro is looking for residents to participate in developing the town’s first-ever comprehensive plan.
The drafting of the comprehensive plan is an opportunity for residents to share their long-term vision on issues such as growth and development, race and equity, climate action, and economic sustainability.
A Carrboro Connects task force was appointed by the town council to guide outreach and development of the plan. The next meeting workshop for Carrboro Connects will take place virtually on Thursday, Nov. 19, starting at 7 p.m. To register for the meeting, go to carrboroconnects.org.
Climbing Wall Reopens
Chapel Hill’s Parks and Recreation department has re-opened the climbing wall at the Community Center. Open climb sessions, with limited capacity, will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m.
To maintain limited capacity, as well as provide an equitable opportunity for all to participate, climbing and belaying reservations will be accepted for one 75-minute session per day, no more than seven days in advance. Both climbers and their intended belayer must both reserve a 75-minute session and enter and check in together.
Register online at Activity #110324, or by phone at (919) 968-2790. Walk-up climbing is not permitted. Each 75-minute session is separated by a 30-minute disinfection period, so staff has adequate time to clean.
A handout and web page titled “What to Know Before You Go” gives more information on what the department is doing differently, as well as what patrons are being asked to do differently.
The Town of Carrboro is creating a Carrboro People Photo Album.
If you would like to be included, take a photo of yourself, your pod or your family (pets included), and feel free to add your name.
“Many of us haven’t seen each other in a while, due to the pandemic,” said Mayor Lydia Lavelle. “This is a simple way to catch up by sharing a snapshot to show your community how you’re doing. The faces of our community at this moment in time will surely be interesting to look back on, much like photos in a family album.”
Residents can choose how they’d like to be a part of the photo album:
Post to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and tag the Town of Carrboro and #IamCarrboro, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail or drop off to Attn: Carrboro Connects, Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC 27510.
Photos are due by Monday, Nov. 16.
Celebrating ‘Libba’ Cotten
The UNC university libraries will present an evening of stories and music celebrating the life of legendary North Carolina musician Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten. The free online celebration —”When I’m Gone: Remembering folk icon Elizabeth Cotton” — will be held Nov. 12 from 7-8 p.m.
Born in 1893 in what is now Carrboro, Cotten wrote her signature song, “Freight Train,” about the train she could hear from her childhood home. Cotten recorded several albums and won a Grammy Award and a National Heritage Fellowship before her death in 1987.
The hour-long virtual program will feature guitarist Yasmin Williams, musician and scholar Alice Gerrard and Cotten’s great-grandson John W. Evans Jr.
Anderson Park Improvements
The Town of Carrboro has received a grant from the NC Urban Forest Council’s Legacy Tree Fund Program.
The grant will be used to plant trees and restore a stream buffer in Henry “Hank” Anderson III Community Park. If you’d like to help with the work, come to the park on Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bring your own gloves and water bottle and wear a face mask and closed-toed shoes.
For more information, contact Laura Janway at email@example.com or (919) 918-7342.
Bus Route Change
Chapel Hill Transit will adjust the routing of the S bus starting on Monday to help transport people between the Friday Center Park and Ride lot and UNC Hospitals.
After reaching the Pittsboro Street Credit Union, the bus will turn right onto South Columbia Street, turn left onto Mason Farm Road, turn left on Manning Drive, and then turn left back onto South Columbia Street. This will provide customers with an easier way to access the hospital.
The S route will operate this routing until further notice and the current schedule will remain in effect.
Orange County Commissioner Renee Price will offer remarks and special guest speaker Lt. Col. Daniel Hurd, U.S. Army, will speak about service to and by veterans at a live Veterans Day celebration Wednesday.
The celebration, at the Veterans Memorial site adjacent to the Seymour Center, kicks off at 11 a.m. and online viewing is also available through Orange County Veterans Memorial Facebook site, https://www.facebook.com/orangecountyveteransmemorial. The event is free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events, see https://ocveteransmemorial.com/events
Following the ceremony members of the American Legion Chapel Hill Post 6 will gather at the former site on Legion Road and caravan to the new site, 3700 NC-54, via Rosemary Street, and give small group tours to new members. For details on how to tour the site or arrange a visit, call (919) 537-8703 or email Regina Merritt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Virus Closes Courthouse
Because of a case of COVID-19, the Orange County Courthouse will be closed through Friday, Nov. 6.
“We are following best practices to keep everyone who enters the courthouse safe, said Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour. “We will be ready to resume operations on Monday, Nov. 9, and we ask the public for their patience and understanding until then.”
While the courthouse in Hillsborough will be closed, some operations will continue to occur, including first appearances for in-custody defendants and emergency filings. Emergency domestic violence matters will be heard remotely.
District Court matters in Chapel Hill will occur as previously scheduled, while traffic court and criminal district court will be automatically rescheduled.
Carrboro to Place Another Plaque
The Town of Carrboro will place a “truth plaque” at the site of the former Freedmen’s school by the border of Chapel Hill and Carrboro to recognize its historical importance.
The sign, on the side of St. Paul A.M.E. Church on Main Street, will read: “Green Cordal & Benjamin Craig, freed from bondage, purchased this land for a Freedman School and church. With funds from the Society of Friends, they built a schoolhouse that served hundreds of free Black children and adults.”
The Truth Plaque Community Task Force placed its first truth plaque last year at Carrboro Town Hall to recognize the background of Julian Carr, the white supremacist who is the town’s namesake.
The Town of Carrboro is seeking student artists and a muralist to work together on the creation of a new mural to depict Black Lives Matter/End Racism Now. The mural will be located on the east side of the CommunityWorx building located at 125 West Main St. in downtown Carrboro.
Preference will be given to student(s) that reside in Carrboro and/or members of the Youth Advisory Board, Carrboro Youth Council or NAACP Youth Organization. Compensation will be $500 per student artist up to $1,500 for a team of three artists. The deadline to apply is Nov. 8.
For the coordinating muralist, preference also will be given to applicants residing in Carrboro. Once the mural is selected by the Town Council, the muralist will work with students to create the artwork and help ensure creation and installation of the mural is done in a safe manner and that social distancing is maintained.
Compensation will be $1,500 and the deadline to apply is also Nov. 8.
For questions, contact Anita Jones-McNair at email@example.com or 919-918-7381.
Absentee Ballot Deadline
If you haven’t requested an absentee ballot already, it’s too late. The deadline to request an absentee ballot was Oct. 27 at 5 p.m.
But if you did request your ballot before the deadline, and want to vote by absentee, you must return it or mail it by Nov. 3. Ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 will be counted as long as they are received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 12.
Orange County residents can return their absentee ballots to the Board of Elections office at 208 S. Cameron Street in Hillsborough. The office is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m-5 p.m.
Weather permitting, there will be a tent outside for staff to accept returned absentee ballots. On gloomy and rainy days, residents should come inside where staff will assist them in the hallway.
Voters who requested and received an absentee ballot may still vote in person on Election Day or during early voting as long as the mailed absentee ballot was not returned.
Greenfield Wins Award
The Greenfield Community in Chapel Hill has received North Carolina’s top honor for excellence in affordable housing.
Greenfield was financed with town funding, federal low-income housing tax credits awarded by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, Orange County funding and land donated by the town.
Developed by DHIC, Greenfield Place and Greenfield Commons, which together make up the Greenfield Community, provide 149 apartment homes for seniors and working families. The community serves households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income, and renters can save more than 40 percent compared to market rate apartments in the area.
Leaf Pickup Has Begun
Loose leaf collection in Chapel Hill has begun.
This year’s collection might be slower due to limited staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The town asks residents to consider putting leaves in containers for collection this year.
Loose leaves and pine straw (no limbs or debris) should be placed behind the curb. Do not place leaves in the street, and avoid blocking travel and bike lanes, sidewalks, fire hydrants, mailboxes, storm drains or water meters, and interfering with sight distances at intersections. Don’t pile leaves near streams or storm drains.
Willger Named Planning Director
Chapel Hill’s next planning director will be Colleen Willger. Willger, who will begin her work on Nov. 16, was selected from a national pool of applicants.
“Colleen brings a wide variety of experiences to this position,” said Town Manager Maurice Jones. “She is committed to promoting and protecting vibrant neighborhoods while enhancing economic vitality in commercial and mixed-use districts.”
Willger has served as the acting deputy director for community planning + design for the District of Columbia’s Office of Planning. She played a key role there in advising government leadership concerning the long-term visioning plan called ReOpen DC. She also serves as the associate director for neighborhood planning in D.C.
Her most recent focus has been on developing small area, corridor and neighborhood plans that reflect the policies and actions outlined by the district’s Comprehensive Plan, with the goal of advancing equity, economic vitality and community vibrancy in diverse neighborhoods.
Phi Beta Kappa Inducts Local Students
Thirteen local students are among UNC’s latest class inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.
The students include:
- Collins Knight Alexander, a senior with peace, war and defense and global studies majors and a history minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Taylor Cox, a senior with Arab cultures and peace, war and defense majors and a Middle Eastern languages minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Daniel Fan, a senior with a business administration major and a Spanish for the professions minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Katherine Sijing Fesperman, a senior with psychology and sociology majors and a neuroscience minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Callum James Funk, a junior with a biomedical and health sciences engineering major, of Chapel Hill.
- Angela Wei Guo, a senior with economics and public policy majors and a statistics and analytics minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Marichi Gupta, a senior with mathematics and computer science majors and a music minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Brett Michael Harris, a junior with English and comparative literature and contemporary European studies majors and an urban studies and planning minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Heidi Nicole Kreis, a senior with psychology and exercise and sport science majors and a neuroscience minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Brenna Everly Kuder, a senior with environmental studies and global studies majors and a Hispanic studies minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Joseph Vincent Osti III, a senior with a biology major, of Carrboro.
- Samuel Benjamin Pritchard, a senior with political science and peace, war and defense majors and a philosophy, politics and economics minor, of Chapel Hill.
- Robert Allen Winslow, a senior with a computer science major and a business administration minor, of Chapel Hill.
To gain admittance to Phi Beta Kappa at UNC, a student must have either completed 75 hours of coursework on the liberal arts and sciences with at least a 3.85 GPA or 105 credit hours with at least a 3.75 GPA.
County Gets Funds for Housing
The Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development has received a $797,133 grant from the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency to provide rent and utility assistance to county residents experiencing housing distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This funding will allow us to continue to provide eviction prevention services to the county and continue the work being done through the Emergency Housing Assistance program established by the Board of Commissioners,” said Emila Sutton, Orange County housing and community development director.
With the funding, up to six months of assistance may be provided to allow applicants to remain in safe housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applicants must live in Orange County, in a rental property and earn less than or equal to 80 percent of the area median income and be in urgent need.
Visit https://nc211.org/hope/ for more information and to apply. Eligible callers to 211 will be routed to the Orange County Housing and Community Development Department for application processing.
Carrboro Hopes to Get Grant
The Town of Carrboro plans to apply for $900,000 in Federal Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds, to be used for emergency housing assistance.
If awarded the full $900,000 (the maximum grant amount), at least 90 percent of funds would be used as direct financial assistance for rent, utilities and other housing-related costs to town residents with low incomes and urgent need for housing assistance.
Two public hearings will be held to receive input on the town’s proposal to apply. The first hearing will be held Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., while the second will be on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.
Those interested in more information on the item or watching the meeting can find a link at https://carrboro.legistar.com/. Those interested in speaking at the meeting or submitting a comment for the public hearing should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the Town Clerk, Catherine Dorando at 919-918-7309.
Arts Grants Available
The Orange County Arts Commission will host a virtual information session Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. on how to apply for North Carolina Cares for the Arts grants.
The commission is distributing $166,510 in grants to the local arts community and the application period is currently open but closes Oct. 30.
The primary purpose of the grant program is to assist the nonprofit arts industry that has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Nonprofit arts organizations therefore will receive funding priority.
However, other local organizations and businesses are invited to apply, particularly those whose operations have a high impact in our community through employment, tourism or services offered to county residents or artists.
Visit http://artsorange.org/nccares for more information.
Have you seen Aliane Urujeni?
The Chapel Hill Police Department is seeking help in locating Aliane Urujeni, a 25-year-old black female with black hair and dark eyes who is about 5’6” tall and about 140 pounds.
She was last known to be in the area of Umstead Drive on Oct. 9, 2020, and may have been seen in the same area on Oct. 12. She was wearing a white t-shirt, yellow cardigan, khaki shorts and no shoes.
If you have information concerning her whereabouts, call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or contact Orange County Communications by calling 911 or 919-732-5063 immediately.
Triangle Bikeway Study
Virtual public workshops focusing on the Triangle Bikeway Project will be held at noon and 4 p.m. Oct. 29. The project is studying the idea of a 17-mile bikeway that will link Chapel Hill with Raleigh, RTP and Durham.
Focus groups also will be held the week of Nov. 9-13.
To sign up, text TriBike to 73224 or call 855-925-2801 (code 9843)
Sidepath Meeting Scheduled
A virtual public information meeting to discuss recent survey results and next steps for the development of the Fordham Boulevard Sidepath will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 22.
The Town of Chapel Hill is in the design phase for a multi-use sidepath along Fordham Boulevard between Cleland Drive and Willow Drive. The recent survey outlined two options for traffic calming mechanisms for Hickory Drive as well as two intersections along the boulevard. In addition, the existing sidepath between Cleland Drive and Ridgefield Road will be upgraded, and a new section will be constructed between Ridgefield Road and Willow Drive.
To participate in the live meeting, those interested should register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xyMBw9wmS5aaXbwKjsN4wg. Residents may participate online via the Zoom platform or by telephone. After registering, they will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
For more information, a project summary and copies of the two concept plans are available at Fordham Boulevard Sidepath Project. Contact Marcia Purvis, the project manager at email@example.com or call (919) 968-2750 for questions or comments.
County Looking for Volunteers
The Orange County Board of Commissioners is recruiting for an Elections Advisory Group. This advisory group will study alternative methods/districts to elect commissioners and make a recommendation to the board.
This is a newly formed group and there are currently 15 at large positions to be filled om the group. This will be a temporary group formation and will dissolve once recommendations are delivered to the BOCC.
If interested, apply at http://www.orangecountync.gov/1708/Boards-and-Commissions.
Library Receives Major Grant
The Chapel Hill Public Library has been awarded nearly $150,000 of competitive federal grant funds to bring computers, increased Wi-Fi and multilingual assistance directly to communities of need.
The project, “Whenever, Wherever, Whyever: Expanding Technology Access,” will address the community’s ongoing need for public computing services and the challenges of providing these services during a pandemic.
Over the course of two years, starting now, the funds from the CARES Act grant — which administers this technology grant — will allow the library to reimagine and redesign public computing access. The project will include a laptop lending program, increased Wi-Fi in communities of need and multilingual instruction and assistance.
The project will target historically marginalized populations, including black and immigrant communities in Chapel Hill, who are more negatively impacted by COVID-19 and its associated outcomes. It will also provide people who have lost jobs as a result of the pandemic the tools they need to search for and apply for jobs, or learn new skills.
CHPL’s proposal was one of more than 1,700 submitted by museums and libraries nationwide.
“With this project, we will turn outward to communities most in need during this pandemic, giving them access to technology that is needed now more than ever,” said Library Director Susan Brown.
Vigil Set for Missing Teen
The family of a missing Chapel Hill teen will hold a vigil for her at the green in Southern Village Oct. 15.
The vigil, held by the family of Sydney West, will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com/FindSydneyWest. The vigil is intended to bring together those who know Sydney to celebrate their love for her and talk about the help needed to keep up the momentum to find Sydney and bring her home. The program will begin at 4:30 PM ET.
The 19-year old, who had been a student at UC-Berkeley, was last seen Sept. 30, near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Anyone with any information is urged to call the San Francisco Police Tip Line at 415-575-4444.
The West family is also planning a “Vigil to Find Sydney” in the bay area of California.
New Mural to Honor Cotten
A new downtown mural will celebrate legendary blues musician Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, a native of the Carrboro area.
Located on the Carrboro-Chapel Hill line at 111 N. Merritt Mill Road, the mural is part of a statewide project to honor famous North Carolina musicians in their hometowns. The mural will be painted by Chapel Hill artist Scott Nurkin, who also conceived of the statewide project.
Cotten was a folk-blues singer, songwriter and guitar player. Born in the early 1890s, she taught herself to play music on her brother’s banjo as a child, but only began publicly performing and recording in her 60s. Renowned for her distinctive musical style of playing left-handed on a right-handed guitar, she was best known for the song, “Freight Train.”
Nurkin will begin work on the mural beginning Oct. 12 and is expected to complete it by Oct. 19.
Chapel Hill Teen Still Missing
The parents of a missing Chapel Hill teenager are “asking anyone who has any information about our daughter Sydney to please contact” authorities. “This is a parent’s worst nightmare.”
Nineteen-year-old Sydney West has been missing since Sept. 30, when she was last seen in downtown San Francisco, near the Golden Gate Bridge. Until recently, West was a student at UC Berkeley, but according to authorities had been living with friends in San Francisco since August.
“We are asking anyone who has any information about our daughter Sydney to please contact the investigators,” West’s parents said in the video. “We are anxious to have our daughter found safe and brought home.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone in North Carolina who may have had recent contact with West to call Investigator Ashley Woodlief at 919-245 – 2909.
Aquatics Center Set to Reopen
The Homestead Aquatic Center will reopen for Chapel Hill and Orange County residents on Monday, Oct. 12, at limited capacity. Lap swimming and independent water exercise will be offered seven days a week, while recreation swimming will be offered on weekends only.
To maintain limited capacity, as well as provide an equitable opportunity for all to participate, the center will continue to offer reservable swim times for all swimmers. Each hour-long block is separated by a 30-minute disinfection period, so staff has adequate time to clean.
Reservations can be made online at https://tochaq.getomnify.com, in person or by calling 919- 968-2799 during business hours. Walk-up swimming is not permitted; you must have a reservation in advance. Reservations are limited to three reservations per person per week.
New Reopening Phase
We’re now in Phase 3.
Like the rest of the state, Orange County now has new regulations for reopening during the coronavirus pandemic. As of Friday at 5 p.m., Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order allows bars, movie theaters and outdoor venues, among others, to open with capacity limits.
“Current trends in Orange County allow us to move forward with the state, but should we experience changes in positivity rates, more clusters or outbreaks or an increase in the number of cases, we will not hesitate to reinstate stricter limits on gatherings and other activities,” said Penny Rich, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
“We must remain diligent and continue social distancing and wearing masks while in public until a safe, effective vaccine is readily available.”
By aligning with the state plan, the county’s stricter limit on mass gatherings is lifted. State limits of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors now will be in effect until further notice.
New Bus Routes
Chapel Hill Transit will be adding two new bus routes. The CL and N routes will begin Oct. 5. The addition of the routes was approved by the Public Transit Partners committee, comprised of members of the Chapel Hill Town Council, Carrboro Town Council and UNC Parking and Transportation office.
“Providing safe and reliable service to the residents and visitors of Chapel Hill and Carrboro is our top priority. By adding these two routes we will be able to connect more of our customers to employment and healthcare opportunities,” said Brian Litchfield, Transit director.
The newly designed CL route runs between UNC Hospitals and Eastowne Drive, serving East Franklin Street, Old Sterling Drive, Sage Road, Dobbins Drive, Summerfield Crossing Road and Old Oxford Road. The CL route runs every 20 minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The newly designed N route runs between Estes Park apartments and the Northside neighborhood, UNC Hospitals and Meadowmont, providing service the discontinued V route used to provide. The N route provides hourly service from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Free Weekly Virus Testing
Orange County is now offering free coronavirus testing every Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the R7 Parking Lot at 725 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Chapel Hill.
Registration for the tests will occur on-site. Those wanting to be tested can meet with an on-site provider prior to testing.
The tests will be nasal swabs and results will be available on average in three days. Providers will contact patients via text message with positive or negative results.
Bus Route Change
Beginning Monday, Sept. 21, Chapel Hill Transit will no longer serve the Friday Center South Park and Ride Lot (formerly the NC 54 Park and Ride Lot).
The bus S route will begin and end at the Friday Center Park and Ride Lot and will follow the normal routing and continue to serve all stops along NC Highway 54. There will be no changes to the schedule and the Friday Center South Park and Ride Lot timepoint will be used at the Friday Center Park and Ride Lot.
The Town of Chapel Hill is seeking volunteers to serve on various standing boards and commissions that advise the Town Council on a wide range of issues.
Appointed members to the boards and commissions meet approximately once or twice per month and are eligible for a three-year term.
No experience is necessary to apply. For more information, eligibility requirements or to complete an application, visit www.townofchapelhill.org/boards.
The council will make appointments in October and November.
Animal Services Launches Assistance Program
Orange County Animal Services is now offering a new Veterinary Care Assistance Program.
The program was created to assist county residents who are having difficulties affording veterinary care, especially due to challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and to help keep more pets in their homes with their families.
The veterinary care fund will be available to Orange County residents based on their needs and ability to meet income criteria. Obtaining this assistance would require collaboration with local veterinarians or specialists, and may cover full or partial expenses for treatable, non-emergency care, such as skin and ear conditions (including allergies and flea/tick treatment), dental issues, arthritis and other painful conditions, upper respiratory infections, vomiting and diarrhea, urinary tract infections, minor surgeries, etc.
Due to time constraints, time-sensitive, life-threatening conditions will not be considered (such as emergency surgery for foreign bodies, emergency orthopedic issues, etc.). Currently, these funds are not available for routine, preventative care such as yearly visits to a veterinarian.
Visit https://www.orangecountync.gov/2538/Veterinary-Care-Assistance-Program for more information and to fill out a form to apply for assistance. Animal Services is currently asking for help to fund the program by encouraging donations online at https://gf.me/u/yny6qw. Monetary donations can also be mailed to the Animal Services Center at 1601 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.
Feedback Sought on Corridor Study
The public can give feedback on proposed highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the US 15-501 corridor between Durham and Chapel Hill.
The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking that public feedback through Oct. 15 on the US 15-501 Corridor Study, which integrates land use, public plans and a transportation vision for the corridor. Members of the public can provide a comment via email or speak directly to the DCHC MPO Board at an Oct. 14 public hearing.
Those needing assistance to access documents, or to provide feedback, should request it by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Andy Henry, 919-560-4366, ext. 36419.
The survey for the Corridor Study comments has been withdrawn. The Public Comments to date can be viewed here: http://www.dchcmpo.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=30485
CHPD Reports Vehicle Break-ins Increasing
The Chapel Hill Police Department says it has seen a sharp increase in break-ins to unattended motor vehicles this year, and that three simple steps could help reduce those crimes.
Residents have reported 215 cases of breaking and entering to a motor vehicle since mid-March 2020. That is a 74-percent increase compared to the same time frame last year (123, from March 13 to Sept. 15, 2019).
The CHPD says it has received numerous reports that the vehicles were entered, with the suspects going through the center console, glove box, and other areas looking for valuables. Even spare change is often reported stolen.
“The most concerning larceny from a motor vehicle that we saw was that of two handguns over the weekend,” said Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue. “Firearms should be secured at all times. Period. Leaving a gun in a vehicle, unlocked, is not adequately secured.”
Blue urged local residents to “please lock your doors, roll up your windows and store your valuables out of sight.” These are, he said, “quick, easy steps. In most of these cases, subjects are walking vehicle to vehicle and pulling door handles. If they’re locked — as long as they don’t see something that appears to be valuable — we hope they will move along.”
Task Force Seeking Applicants
Applications are now being accepted from Chapel Hill residents wishing to serve on the town’s Reimagining Community Safety Task Force that is scheduled to be appointed by the Town Council in October.
The council announced its intention to establish this task force on developing new community approaches to improve racial equity and safety in a resolution at its June 24 virtual meeting (townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/17548). The council established two subcommittees at its Sept. 9 virtual meeting (townofchapelhill.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/18008/15), one to finalize the charge of the task force and the other to select 13 members and two alternates to serve on the task force.
For more information about the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force, visit townofchapelhill.org/boards. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 28. Apply at chapelhill.granicus.com/boards/forms/146/apply.
Towns Reopen Some Facilities
As of Sept. 11, a number of Carrboro’s recreation facilities have reopened.
They include: Park pavilions/picnic shelters, playgrounds, the dog park at Hank Anderson Park and the bicycle pump tracks at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.
For facilities like pickleball courts and soccer fields, reservations are now being accepted, but are limited to a maximum of 25 people. All other reservations remain suspended until further notice, including all reservations for the Century Center.
Indoor town facilities remain closed.
In Chapel Hill, also as of Sept. 11, now open are playgrounds, picnic shelter reservations, the bocce court, the sand volleyball courts and tennis and pickleball courts.
Food Drive Volunteers Needed
The Town of Chapel Hill needs volunteers to help with the weekly food bank distributions. As the number of weeks in pandemic continue to grow so does the need for more volunteers.
Community members in need of food assistance can view the weekly food distribution schedule.
If you’re able to volunteer a few hours (up to 4), sign up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904044FA8A922A1FA7-chapel1/. The food bank distribution takes place at the Eubanks Park and Ride lot.
New Phase for County Reopening
Orange County is moving into Gov. Roy Cooper’s Phase 2.5 of the statewide reopening plan — but with a few exceptions.
In the county, the limit on mass gatherings will remain at 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, as opposed to the governor’s new limit of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors. According to county officials, this limit will be reconsidered when the county’s positivity rate for COVID tests decreases to 5 percent. It is currently at almost 10 percent, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services.
“We need the community to partner with us in order to get the positivity rate down to 5 percent for a sustained amount of time,” said Penny Rich, chair of the Orange County Commissioners.
State restrictions under the governor’s executive order will remain in effect in Orange County through Oct. 31 despite the state expiration date of Oct. 2.
Meanwhile, playgrounds in the will open Sept. 11, along with some picnic shelters, dog parks and tennis and pickleball courts.
An Easier Way to Request a Ballot
Not sure about how to request an absentee ballot for the November election?
You can now request one completely online.
You don’t have to print it, scan it in or mail it on to the Orange County Board of Elections. All you have to do now is go to https://votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home where you fill out a simple form to request your ballot. It takes only a few minutes.
The Orange County Board of Elections will begin sending out absentee ballots beginning Friday, Sept. 4. The board is encouraging those who went to vote absentee to send their requests in early.
Voters who receive a mailed absentee ballot may still vote in person on Election Day or during early voting as long as the mailed absentee ballot has not been returned.
10by10 Ready to Stream
Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s OdysseyStage is offering a new approach to the annual NC 10by10 Play Festival.
Odyssey and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum are each producing five ten-minute plays by North Carolina playwrights and then all ten will be presented in a single production. The plays, which will be streaming online Sept. 18-19 and Sept. 25-26, have been adapted for online performance. This year, with a new performance platform, the productions are expected to reach fans of ten-minute plays across the country and around the world.
OdysseyStage, along with the forum, reviewed script submissions from across North Carolina. Playwright Mike Brannon, whose work “The Kindness of Strangers” will be one of the plays presented, said he appreciates the professionalism of Odyssey and the forum from previous festivals. “It’s fantastic to see them fighting to keep theater alive through this presentation of the NC10by10 festival,” Brannon said.
The play festival maintains the summer tradition of the original 10X10 in the Triangle, a staple at the Carrboro ArtsCenter for 15 years. Since 2018, the two theater companies have collaborated to engage more than 100 artists and crew from across the Triangle.
Each ticket provides access to the festival for 24 hours. Suggested donation is $5; see https://www.odysseystage.org/shows/2020-nc-10by10-play-festival/ for more details and tickets.
ArtsCenter Offers In-Person Classes
The Carrboro ArtsCenter is now offering select ArtSchool classes in-person.
These classes are conducted with minimal class size, social distancing, mandatory masking and outdoor settings where possible.
Among the new in-person classes are a ceramics glazing workshop and a continuing watercolor painting class.
For more information about ArtSchool, contact ArtSchool Director Jenks Miller at email@example.com.
Eno River Group Revises Fall Programs
Due to safety concerns stemming from the ongoing global pandemic, the Eno River Association is re-imagining several of its popular in-person fall events and programs. The association will focus its efforts on small group and individual programs that highlight the natural, cultural and historic resources of the Eno River basin in Orange and Durham counties.
The association plans to provide environmental education programs for individuals, small groups and families throughout the fall, and supplemental STEM educational programs for local students and learning pods. Additionally, to offset the cancellation of large group stewardship and trail workdays, the association will be supporting small group service projects for workplaces, families and pandemic pods.
“Having access to safe, outdoor activities has never been more essential to the health of our community,” said Jessica Sheffield, the organization’s executive director. “Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, citizens have flocked to our parks for recreation and respite in record numbers. Never has the need for open spaces and safe, outdoor activities been more apparent.”
On Oct. 3, the association will host an education event at their Confluence Natural Area. The program will feature some of the popular activities from their Eno River Field Station and iWalk the Eno Summer Camp program and will support youth and adults of all ages. Attendance will be limited, and participants will be required to sign-up for specific timeslots.
The association’s education team has also created a catalog of available programming ranging from hands-on STEM activities to local history topics to cultural arts. Learning pods are encouraged to use these resources, as well as online educational videos and other self-serve
content, to create physical or virtual field trips to the Eno River this fall.
For more information, go to www.enoriver.org.