By The Commentators
  • Excited About the Orange County Portion of the Mountains to Sea Trail

    September 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    In 1977, while Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, I proposed the idea of a hiking trail stretching from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Thus, the Mountains to Sea Trail. Almost 40 years later, more than 680 miles of trail are now complete and people are hiking […]

  • Driving With Cell Phones Still a Big Chapel Hill Problem

    September 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Driving while talking on the phone, handheld or hands free, is as dangerous as drunk driving.  Here in Chapel Hill we have 28,000 students who grew up with cell phones and take for granted communications with their friends and families. This expectation remains when they get behind the wheel, a prescription for tragedy.  This problem […]

  • North Carolina Must Rise to Climate Change Challenge

    September 27, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Climate change has become a planetary emergency.  If humanity doesn’t begin cutting global admissions, this crisis will pass a point of no return. North Carolina has a unique duty to help avert climate and economic chaos, because the world’s second largest power company is based in Charlotte.  The sheer size of Duke Energy means that its […]

  • We Must Do Something About Student Debt

    September 26, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Something is totally out of kilter in academia. The University of North Carolina has raised a record $447 million in alumni gifts, donations, and endowments. “I’d say we had a pretty loud year,” boasted Chancellor Carol Folt to a throng of faculty and staff. Student debt has reached a staggering $1.2 trillion, even outpacing credit card […]

  • Support Local Foundations Who Support Local People

    September 23, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I always prefer to read and write about positive things. Nowadays, in all the media, there is too much negativity, and so little about good things that can change people’s lives. Just the other day was happy news about WCHL’s going ”local” again. Since coming to Chapel Hill in the 70s, it was our anchor, […]

  • Why Young Professionals Aren’t at Chapel Hill Town Council Meetings

    September 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Originally published on August 14, 2014. Whenever a rezoning proposal is on the agenda, you can bet on hearing from passionate residents at the Chapel Hill town council meeting. However, have you ever noticed who doesn’t comment at those public hearings? Young single professionals. You might write off their absence as a sign of political […]

  • Making Life Easier for Your Waste Collector and Everybody

    September 21, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    You know, there’s a lot of people who make a community function and contribute to its appeal.  I believe my neighborhood has been very fortunate because the crews that collect our trash and recyclables do great work. One day I asked the crew that came on trash morning how things were going. It was one […]

  • Why Do They Devalue our Teachers and Schools?

    September 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Originally Published on March 7, 2016 Before Betsy and I moved from Florida to Chapel Hill years ago, we studied several potential destinations. Where would be the best place for us to raise our three daughters? We wanted to live in a community that offered good public schools and access to the arts. Chapel Hill […]

  • Breaks for Big Business and Higher Taxes for Us

    September 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Originally Published on May 2, 2016 Are North Carolina tax incentives a new profit motive? Pat McCrory has been handing out millions of taxpayer dollars to draw new businesses to North Carolina and pay his top staffers. Now, before I get bombarded with all of the GOP talking points on how we just can’t afford […]

  • You Can Help With Orange County’s Literacy Problem

    September 16, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I’m on the board of the Orange County Literacy Council.  Essential in our modern society is the ability to read, write, and communicate electronically.  In Orange County, there are over 15,000 adults who can’t read or write. Illiteracy is a social disability.  It’s often not the fault of those who fall into this category.  It’s […]

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