Joey DeVito

Chapel Hill Continuing Planning for Potential Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Stations

The Chapel Hill Town Council discussed possibilities surround light rail in Orange County. The town council received an update from GoTriangle on the community workshops the organization had been holding. The meetings were meant to give GoTriangle and elected officials a better idea of how the public felt about the Durham-Orange Light Rail plan. Gateway Planning founder Scott Polikov said the meetings focused on four main aspects. “We focused on the concepts of neighborhoods around the stations,” Polikov said. “And I think the word neighborhood is what our work is about and, obviously, that is what Chapel Hill is...

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Orange County Facing April 30 Deadline for Light Rail Funding

After Orange County committed in December to consider spending an additional $40 million over a 10-year period on the Durham-Orange Light Rail project, the commissioners once again have a major decision to make. The Federal Transit Administration is looking for additional documentation to ensure the project can continue as planned. GoTriangle general manager Jeff Mann told commissioners at Tuesday night’s meeting the organization has until the end of April to deliver this documentation. “Acknowledging the updated cost estimate and funding strategy for the project and to confirm that at least 30 percent of the non-federal funds remain committed in...

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CHCCS Evaluates Sexual Misconduct Training

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education received an update on how the district educates students about how to handle issues of sexual misconduct in a meeting March 2. Director of healthful living and athletics Scarlett Steinert said training and education around these issues should start early. “Research on sexual assault has really shown a strong connection between bullying that goes on in younger years without consequences and in the later years sexual harassment,” she said. CHCCS does a number of things to help educate students and provide a safe environment, officials said. It works with a number...

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CHCCS To Take Teacher Workday For Nation Women’s Strike

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools has canceled school for students Wednesday, March 8 due to a lack of staff. The expected shortage is a result of a large number of faculty and staff participating in the National Women’s Strike. “We began to get requests, probably well over a week ago of folks who wanted to be out for (the strike),” interim superintendent Jim Causby said. “We began to get the idea that it would be a significant event in terms of people not working.” The National Women’s Strike is an international event in which participants will strike for a day,...

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Light Rail Station Planning Workshops Begin Wednesday in Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill is moving further along in the process towards brining light rail to the Triangle. In a joint effort with GoTriangle, the Town of Chapel Hill is bringing in experts to help create new land-use plans for areas surrounding future light-rail stations. These experts would help the town in a series of workshops set between Wednesday, February 22 and Monday, February 27. Between Durham and Chapel Hill there are seven areas that are currently being evaluated. Gateway Planning’s Scott Polikov said it would ultimately be up to the council whether they wanted to accept any...

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Orange County Commissioners Mapping Plan for Affordable Housing Bond Funds

After an overwhelming majority of Orange County voters approved a bond referendum to help fund affordable housing projects, the county is moving forward to distribute the first portion of those dollars After receiving permission from the public to seek up to $5 million in bond funding for affordable housing, the commissioners unanimously approved a rating system at a meeting last week for how that money would be distributed. According to the rating system created by the board, the top priority is to provide more affordable rental units for low-income and very-low-income county residents. Board chairman Mark Dorosin said the...

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Booker Creek Study Proposes $30 Million in Varying Improvement Projects

The Chapel Hill Town Council took an important step to help protect local watersheds after unanimously adopting a study on Lower Booker Creek last Wednesday. Mayor Pam Hemminger said it was the job of local governments to manage and maintain their watersheds. “We currently have citizens and homes and roads and businesses flooding out,” Hemminger said. “I see this as a real take-some-action, get-some-things-done to help that situation. “But it also improves the water quality that we’re responsible and charged with improving.” The study was commissioned by the council in 2014 and was completed by W.K. Dickson, a consulting firm...

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CHCCS Discusses Equity For All Students

The Board of Education chose not to vote on an equity plan designed to help close the achievement gap for students of color in the district. Although no members of the board were against the creation of the plan, some said they thought the plan wasn’t ready to be approved. The plan was initially created to tackle issues of race, but board member Rani Dasi said she thought it should be more inclusive. “There are gaps in gender, there are gaps in LGBT treatment, there are gaps in our English-language learners,” she said. “I’m not prepared to leave this...

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Orange County Commissioners Vote to Move Forward with Light Rail Project

After a long night of discussion and debate, the Board of Orange County Commissioners passed a memorandum of understanding that says the county will look into the possibility of paying an additional 40 million dollars over a 10-year period towards the Durham-Orange Light Rail Project. County attorney John Roberts said the memorandum does not require the county to commit any funding at the moment. “It’s non-binding for the time being,” Roberts said. “If the board agrees to look for additional funding, you’re creating, potentially, an expectation that you will implement that funding. But you are not obligated to implement...

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Chapel Hill Approves Sancar Turkish Cultural Center

The Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously approved a plan brought forward by Aziz and Gwen Sancar to create a Turkish Cultural Center at 1609 E. Franklin Street. The building would offer a place to celebrate Turkish culture and house scholars visiting from Turkey. Gwen Sancar said the center would be available for anyone in the community on dates when there are not Turkish events. “We want to build this to a human scale,” she said. “Not a huge palace, but instead a cultural center that is accessible to the community.” Aziz Sancar is a native of Turkey and is...

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