Salsa Night With DJ Juan Pachanga

Cafe Symmetry Presents Salsa Night With DJ Juan Pachanga on Friday, September 25.

Come to Cafe Symmetry in Carrboro for their first Salsa Lesson Latin Dance Party.  Salsa lessons from 9:30 to 10:30 PM.  Latin dancing from 10:30 PM till 1:00 AM or last call.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education Approve Interim Assistant Superintendent

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools has named an interim assistant superintendent of instructional services for the 2016-17 school year.

Dr. Rydell Harrison was approved at a meeting by the Board of Education on Wednesday to be the assistant superintendent.

The replacement was in response to Dr. Magda Parvey accepting a new position with the City School District of New Rochelle in New York.

CHCCS Board chair James Barrett said in a release that Dr. Harrison is the best person for the job.

“He is a skilled leader with proven results in the area of instruction, has great relationships with the principals and teachers, and brings a clear understanding of the challenges we will face in the coming year,” said Barrett.

Harrison is a graduate from Rutgers with a Master’s Degree from Duke and UNC-Greensboro as well as a Doctorate from UNC-Greensboro. Harrison started his education career as a music teacher in New Jersey.

He has 19 years of education experience, including serving as principal at both elementary and middle schools for Guilford County Schools. He also was the principal of Philips Middle School.

He currently serves as the Executive Director of Professional Development and Project ADVANCE.

In June, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools named Dr. Jim Causby to be their interim superintendent.

Construction Beginning on Homestead – Chapel Hill High Greenway

Construction is set to begin on a path that has caused a lot of frustration with Chapel Hill High School’s cross-country team earlier this year.

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen approved the path, but members of the cross country team began voicing concern regarding the path as the date of construction was nearing.

Construction on the Homestead – Chapel Hill High School Multi-Use Path is scheduled to begin on Monday. The path is planned to be 10 feet wide and aims to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to Chapel Hill High School and Homestead Road.

The project also aims to provide an off-road alternative for bicycling or walking to improve connectivity from the Claremont neighborhood to Seawell Elementary School, according to a release.

The area of construction will be off limits during the process. And the construction will begin at seven o’clock in the morning and last until sunset.

The Town is also working with Chapel Hill High School to mitigate the impact to sport activities.

The construction is estimated to be completed by February 6, 2017.

Public Input Open for CHCCS Superintendent Search

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education began its search for a new superintendent and is seeking input from the community.

Current superintendent Tom Forcella is retiring on August 1 after five years with the district. Jim Causby has been selected as the interim superintendent.

The North Carolina School Boards Association is working alongside the Board of Education to assist with the search for a candidate by conducting a short community survey and holding public hearings.

The survey will assist board members shape and get a sense of what qualities and characteristics in a superintendent are most important to the school system.

The board is encouraging parents and interested community members to complete the survey available online in English or Spanish.

Along with completing the survey, the board is asking residents to sign up to comment publicly at the public forums which will be held August 30 at seven o’clock in the evening at Chapel Hill High School and September 10 at 1:30 in the afternoon at Northside Elementary School.

Interested community members can also submit written statements to Allison Schafer via mail, at NCSBA, P.O. Box 97877, Raleigh, NC 27624, email, at, or fax, at 919-841-4020.

All surveys and comments must be completed by Thursday, September 1. The NCSBA will then compile, summarize and present their findings at a board meeting on September 15.

Anyone interested in applying for the superintendent must complete an application and meet requirements detailed on the NCSBA website by September 1.

Discussions Continuing Through Summer for Carrboro Lloyd Farm Project

The request to rezone the Lloyd Farm property was taken to a public hearing last week at the Carrboro Board of Alderman’s final meeting before the summer. The neighboring community brought much concern to the discussion.

This request has been in place since 2011. The proposal went through a mediation process in an attempt to answer some of the initial questions before coming back to the board.

Those who live on the streets nearby expressed the concern of more traffic within their neighborhood. Carrboro resident James Emory said he would be concerned for the pedestrians walking in that area.

“What I’m much more disturbed about is the traffic, especially with counts of 3,000-plus cars – vehicle trips – per day. Because those cars are basically going to be exiting and maybe if we only take half of them as returning to Carrboro they will more than likely cut right through Carol Street,” Emory said. “That is a small, unsidewalked road; it is fairly close; it gets a heavy pedestrian traffic – children, small dogs, etc. It’s very alarming to me.”

Another concern that was brought up by many residents was the issue with storm water draining around the property.

“It’s what backs up when everything coming out of a parcel like this and from these vicinities around here through a lot of streams that empty into Toms Creek and others trying to work their way down to lower elevations,” Emory said. “When the water backs up, it backs up into a lot of houses and all the houses along here on James Street, along Lorraine Street, we’ve had bad flooding on Carol Street. I don’t believe that this storm water control is enough.”

Some positive comments from those who support this project included former Carrboro Mayor and State Senator Ellie Kinnaird.

“The development of this property is especially important to all who live in Carrboro. Carrboro taxes are high, forcing many to leave and many to abandon any hope of living here. The reason for our higher taxes is that there is very little commercial property to help carry the tax burden, 80 percent of which falls on home owners,” Kinnaird said. “Revenue is needed to provide the services required and that residents want to share our tax burden.”

The Board of Alderman members said they will continue to approach this project with the understanding of all positive and negative concerns. Board member Jacquelyn Gist said she understands both sides.

“We are a community, and I do not want to see our community divided over this. I believe in people’s rights to develop their property. I think we need more commercial growth,” Gist said. “I also believe that people who live in existing neighborhoods deserve not to have their lives unduly disrupted by new development.”

The public hearing for the Lloyd Farm rezoning request has been continued until the fall meetings begin. The Board of Alderman has directed staff to continue considering all concerns and discuss changes that can be made with developers.

Chapel Hill Food for the Summer Program Passes 10,000 Meals

Food for the Summer partnership celebrated its success in providing 10,237 meals for children so far this summer with a Jumpstart Festival at Hargraves Community Center on Thursday.

The partnership, brought together by Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, is a group of 12 local organizations whose goal is to feed the 30 percent of Chapel Hill and Carrboro children who are food insecure.

Around 60 children were present at the carnival and met Hemminger’s question about their favorite meal so far with enthusiastic chants of “Nachos!” and “Pizza!”

“We are so excited to see what they’ve done here at the Chapel Hill – Carrboro School system,” said Tamara Baker from No Kid Hungry NC, addressing the children sitting on the floor in front of her. “They have worked really hard to make sure you have access to summer meals all summer long because when school is out, what do you do if you have been depending on the meals during the school year?”

The partnership now has 40 different sites around Chapel Hill and Carrboro until August 12 that will provide a free meal for anyone under 18, double the amount of sites as last year.

In previous years, all sites were closed registration meaning that minors had to register before getting meals, but Baker says that 12 sites are now open to any minor who shows up looking for a meal.

“Those are open to, as I said, anyone 18 or younger who stops by for a meal, no ID, no registration required,” Baker said.

Hemminger also congratulated the community effort involved, pointing out that almost all of the 1,500 volunteer slots have already been filled, although volunteers can still sign up to help.

A representative from USDA-funded Food Nutrition Services, Madge McNaboe, also spoke and called the program a “shining example” to other communities of what can be done when organizations work together.

“It was a brand new program pulling everyone together and figuring it all out, and we have learned and will continue to learn and modify,” said Hemminger. “We will be back next summer stronger, and knowing better how to do it.”

The Jumpstart Carnival provided many activities for the children, including visits from the Bouncing Bulldogs team, Kidzu, Book Harvest, No Kid Hungry and cool treats provided by Kona Ice.

More information on site locations and meal schedules can be found on the Food for the Summer website.

Local Fourth of July Celebrations

It’s 4th of July weekend and it’s time to celebrate our country’s independence. If you are looking to celebrate 4th of July in a fun way the Towns of Carrboro, Hillsborough, Caldwell and Chapel Hill are putting on events for you to enjoy.

You can start your celebration early with the Town of Carrboro’s July 4th celebration at the Carrboro Town Hall. The event will start at 9:30 a.m at Weaver Street Market Lawn with music by Tim Stambaugh and end at 4:00 p.m.

The event will include a parade going from Weaver Street Market to Town Hall, starting at 10:50 a.m. Kids will have access to the fun zone and the fun zone stage.

In the event of inclement weather, a message will be posted here under the news flash section and on the Carrboro Recreation & Parks Department’s Weather Information Line at 919-918-7373.

The Third Annual Community Reading of Frederick Douglass’ essay “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” will be held rain or shine at the Carrboro Century Center from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Residents of Caldwell can celebrate their Independence Day starting at ten o’clock in the morning as the town marches from Caldwell Fire House to the NC 57 and Guest Road Intersection. The parade will start moving at 10:50 a.m.

If you are a resident of Hillsborugh celebrate the Third Annual Picnic in the Park at the River Park on East Margret Lane from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Festivities begin with a community reading of the Declaration of independence, followed by live music from several local bands. Families can enjoy lunch from one of many food trucks.

There will also be a ton of fun activities for kids, according to the town, including colonial-style games and crafts with the Daughters of the American Revolution.

And the Old Fashioned 4th of July is back with the celebration from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. on the lawn at The Horace Williams House. There will be free Ice Cream, flags, lemonade and patriotic music performed by the village band. Be sure to bring lawn chairs, blankets, family and friends.

Once you’re done with your town’s daily activities head over to UNC’s Kenan Memorial Stadium for the celebration of 4th of July this Monday. The gates open at 7:00 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

The event starts off with a watermelon eating contest hosted by DSI comedy.

If watermelons and comedy isn’t really your thing, enjoy The Soul Psychedelique Orchestra. The TSP has a wide variety of music ranging from Rock to Reggae.

Stadium Gates five, six and Blue Zone North will be open for entry at 7:00 p.m..

Amanda Fletcher and Jim Orr with the Town of Chapel Hill spoke with Ron Stutts about the fireworks celebration at Kenan Stadium:

Bill Targeting Sanctuary Cities and Faith ID’s Approved by Senate

A bill that would withhold some state funding for local governments that have sanctuary city policies has cleared one chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly.

“Altogether, this bill represents one of the harshest pieces of immigration legislation in the nation,” said Sarah Rawleigh, Immigrant Assistance Center Manager at Faith Action, which is a Greenbsoro-based non-profit that started a wave of action across the state to get identification cards to residents not eligible for standard state-issued ID’s.

Rawleigh added, “For us, this program has always been about public safety and building bridges between law enforcement in our diverse community.”

What started in Greensboro has now spread to about a dozen municipalities across the state – including Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

These identification cards – or Faith ID’s – would now be banned under a proposed bill in the state legislature – House Bill 100.

Rawleigh and other advocates for the identification cards were speaking at the General Assembly just hours before the Senate gave its approval to the legislation, sending it on to the House of Representatives.

Kate Woomer-Deters, staff attorney with the North Carolina Justice Center, said there were many occasions where these locally recognized identification cards were valuable public safety tools.

“We could have a person who is missing, a person who is disoriented, a person who is a suspect of a crime,” Woomer-Deters explained, “and law enforcement needs every tool in its toolbook to figure out who this person is.”

But Republican Senator Bill Rabon, who represents three counties in southeastern North Carolina, said these identification cards legitimized residents who may not be in the state legally.

“I think it must be crystal clear to everyone – not only in this chamber but outside and all around our nation – that we have to do something to get immigration under control,” Rabon said.

“There are several reasons for it, not the least of which – if we don’t control it, we lose our sovereignty and our ability to function as a nation. I think this bill goes a long ways towards helping get the kind of control we need until the federal government can finally act along those lines also.”

Another concern voiced by supporters of the bill was that the documentation used to receive a Faith ID was not reliable. Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle disputed that claim. Lavelle and several other local representatives received the identification cards last weekend.

Lavelle said the process included showing original proof of identification – which could include a passport or national ID card, among other options – and a proof of a current address by way of a bill or other document with a date within the last three months. Lavelle said the remaining steps included paying $10 and going through a dialogue and orientation with local law enforcement. Lavelle noted representatives from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Chapel Hill and Carrboro Police Department’s have attended all four of the Faith ID drives in Orange County so far this year.

“As I went from one area to first give my information, then to the next area to pay my fee, then around the corner to get my picture taken, the process was as orderly as one can imagine.

“In fact, perhaps even more orderly than getting a driver’s license at your local DMV.”

In addition to banning these identification cards, the proposed bill would withhold state money for school construction and local road projects from any local government body that is found to be in violation of immigration laws. The initial suspension of funding would be for the upcoming fiscal year. If the locality is still in violation after 60 days, it would lose a second year’s worth of funding.

Opponents to the bill said it gave too much power to the state attorney general to be the “judge, jury and executioner” in the cases. Supporters blamed opponents for spreading fear to immigrants who may be living in North Carolina illegally while opposing the bill, saying the bill would target the government body and not individuals.

After passing through the Senate, the bill will still need to be approved by the House before going to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools Meeting to Name Interim Superintendent

The Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools Board of Education has called a special meeting for Wednesday night to name an interim superintendent for the district.

Dr. Tom Forcella announced in late May that he would be retiring after five years leading the district as its superintendent.

The school board then met with officials from the North Carolina School Board Association to craft an application for the next superintendent at its subsequent meetings.

Meanwhile, the school board and state agency have been jointly reviewing applications for the interim superintendent position. School district spokesperson Jeff Nash said that five applications were being considered.

The school board put forward a hopeful timeline of having Forcella’s replacement in place to begin working in January 2017.

Forcella’s retirement is effective August 1.

The meeting announcing the interim superintendent is scheduled for six o’clock Wednesday night at Lincoln Center. The meeting is open to the public.

Carrboro Police Searching for Missing Teen

Carrboro Police are searching for a missing teenager.

Officials are trying to locate 17-year-old Cristina Louise Harrison, who was last seen at Talullas on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill Sunday night. She was last seen wearing green Vans tennis shoes, jean shorts, a black t-shirt with pink writing on the front and an LA Kings baseball cap, according to police.

Police say Harrison is 4′ 9″ tall and estimated to weigh 115 pounds.

There is no further information available at this time.

Carrboro Police are asking anyone that has seen her or has other information to call 911.