By Mark Marcoplos
  • Post-election Orange County Needs You

    November 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    The dust is beginning to settle after the election. It was a time where national and state races took precedence over local issues, except for the transit tax referendum. Unfortunately, many local issues were not debated or discussed in any meaningful way because the County Commissioners were essentially elected in last spring’s primary. We again […]

  • High Time for Some Transition

    October 25, 2012 at 10:10 am

    If money were no object, I’d be hard-pressed to oppose a mass transit system on any of the major thoroughfares around here. But in these days of misplaced priorities, there’s not much money left after the corporate welfare kings and the war machine get done with our taxes. So we have to make choices about […]

  • Local Economic Health Equals Authentic Local Business Support

    October 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    It’s no surprise that these challenging times for funding local government have caused many progressive leaders to change their mind about the type of economic development that we want in Orange County. Over the last decade, federal and state funding has been gradually pulled back from municipal governments for many of the programs that have […]

  • I'm Taking Bets on the County Commissioner Election

    October 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    It’s another fall election season, and the Commissioner election is not only irrelevant, but a huge number of voters won’t even know who is running until they go to the polls. I’ve been waiting for the first winner of the Democratic primary for Commissioner to finally break through the reality barrier and admit that they […]

  • Holden Thorp's Leadership on the Airport Issue

    September 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    In 2008, a covert plan to site an airport in rural Orange County came to light. In the back rooms of the State Legislature, at gatherings of wealthy UNC alumni, and even in former Chancellor Moeser’s office, a plan had been hatched to locate an airport outside of Chapel Hill that would replace the Horace […]

  • Orange County Needs to Prepare to Combat Election Theft Activity

    September 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Karl Rove has stated that the Republicans can win swing states like North Carolina by “reducing black turnout by one-quarter of one. In a column he wrote in the Wall Street Journal in June of 2011, he said, “even a small drop in the share of black voters would wipe out [Obama’s] winning margin in […]

  • BOCC Imposes New Zoning Over Community Opposition

    September 8, 2012 at 10:59 am

    In the biggest reflection of how business will be done in this new era of dedication to economic development as the County’s number one priority, the Count Commissioners voted 5-2 to rezone the Eno Economic Development District (EDD) for commercial use. This EDD was created about twenty years ago and has existed only in the […]

  • Blind Groping the Economic Development Elephant

    September 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Since the phrase “economic development” has become the primary mantra of local political discourse, I’ve been trying to understand exactly what we think we mean. It is like the proverbial tale of the three blind men groping an elephant and perceiving three completely different animals. I’ve been particularly intrigued since the behind-the-scenes secret formation of […]

  • Is Resiliency an Economic Priority?

    August 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    A few weeks ago, I was in Iowa and South Dakota and saw first-hand the fields of stunted, parched corn that are the result of the worst U.S. drought in 56 years. Sioux Falls had .01 inches of rain in July. It was on everyone’s mind. I spent some time with my brother-in-law who farms […]

  • The County Needs an Alternative Energy Task Force

    August 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    The growth of alternative energy is accelerating. Here and there across Orange County, photovoltaic systems are being installed, solar water heaters are appearing on rooftops, and geothermal systems are on the rise. A large solar electric generating system will soon be installed on White Cross Rd. As the science fiction writer Bruce Sterling said, “The […]