National Weather Service Senior Forecaster Scott Sharp says once the cold front moves through the Triangle between 7:00 and 7:30 Monday morning, we should expect rain to switch to sleet at about midday.
WCHL’s Ron Stutts spoke with Sharp during the WCHL Monday Morning News.
***Listen to the Interview***http://chapelboro.com/news/weather/cold-front-bring-frozen-precipitation/
Chapel Hill and Carrboro are on the list of 34 communities across the country that are being considered for Google Fiber, a broadband network of ultra high speed internet.
Regional cities that also made the list include Cary, Charlotte, Durham, Garner, Morrisville, and Raleigh.
“Folks like Google and others see us as an important place to invest in this kind of infrastructure. I am very excited to have that acknowledged,” said Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt.
In 2009, towns interested in becoming Google Fiber communities submitted applications for the project. Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said it speaks well for the area that Carrboro and Chapel Hill are being considered.
“We are already ahead of the game. I think a lot of that kind of forward thinking will pay off for us one day,” Lavelle said.
Kleinschmidt said the good news is that Google could chose to move forward with both Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
“We are not in competition with Carrboro, Durham or Raleigh, or the other cities that are a part of this announcement,” he said. “My understanding is that we are all in this together as a Metro Region.”
Google representatives will work with staff from Carrboro and Chapel Hill to map out a potential Google Fiber network and also assess what challenges might arise. According to Google’s blog, the plan is to provide updates by the end of the year naming the cities that will be getting Google Fiber.
Kleinschmidt said Chapel Hill has various initiatives underway which will make it an attractive candidate for the project. This includes a recently completed fiber optic project that installed about 30 miles of municipal fiber optic cable connecting 15 Town facilities.
“I believe we are the only municipality in North Carolina that actually owns fiber in the ground. It stretches just into Durham and all the way through Carrboro,” Kleinschmidt said.
That network of fiber optic cables in Carrboro, Lavelle said, creates a “backbone” for potential high-speed vendors.
“I would venture to say that we are more in partnership with Chapel Hill in the sense that we are almost seamless in efforts to provide broadband to our residents,” she said.
Lavelle added that this opportunity could also provide high speed broadband internet to residents who might not otherwise be able to afford the service.http://chapelboro.com/news/development/google-fiber-coming-chapel-hillcarrboro/
CARRBORO -An initiative to install at least 50 solar panels on the rooftops of Carrboro homes is moving forward this year.
“In the past, I thought – many of us thought – widespread adoption of solar panels on roofs was something that would occur someday in the future, but never really get there,” said Rob Pinder of Next Climate Inc., a non-profit Carrboro organization.
“But I think that, really, that time is now.”
Next Climate Inc. has been working closely with Town of Carrboro staff as well as NC Solar Center, a technical and research group at NC State.
Together, they created the project Solarize Carrboro. And this year, they’re taking action.
“It’s certainly feasible to get to something like a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by widespread adoption of solar panels,” said Pinder.
Pinder presented a report to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen this past Tueday night. Back in 2009, the Board passed a resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Carrboro.
That was the same year that a group of neighbors in Portland, Oregon banded together to negotiate a group discount from a local solar panel installer.
“The Department of Energy saw this,” Pinder said. “They thought, ‘This is a great idea. Let’s try to replicate this all over the country.”
The DOE provided assistance for expert groups to work with citizens all over the country to solarize their towns.
Right now, the Solarize project managers are reviewing proposals, and will announce a vetted installer on February 21.
Solarize hopes to start home assessments on March 1. The first big kickoff meeting will be April 2.
“The purpose of that will be to explain the program,” said Pinder, “and help people understand every aspect of the solar process so that they can make sure that their installation is a great fit for their home.”
People will also get the opportunity to sign up. It’s a limited time offer. Signups end on May 30, so that installations can be completed in time for homeowners to be eligible for a tax break at the end of the year.
The goal for this year is at least 50 homes in Carrboro. Pinder said there have been 30 inquiries already.
More information is available at www.solarizenc.org/carrborohttp://chapelboro.com/news/non-profit-news/solarize-carrboro-moving-forward-2014/
Duke Energy Spokesperson Megan Musgrave
Chapel Hill Transit Director Brian Litchfield
Orange County Public Affairs Director Carla Banks
Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue
Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle
Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens
Carrboro Police Chief Walter Hortonhttp://chapelboro.com/news/weather/checking-community/
CARRBORO- Folks who enjoy Carrboro’s nightlife, but worry about driving home afterward, may once again leave their vehicles parked in public lots overnight.
Just before Carrboro’s Mayor and Aldermen closed a work session to the public on Tuesday night, Alderman Damon Seils made the evening’s last public motion: “…that we remove the change we made around 3 a.m.-to-5 a.m. parking in public lots.”
It’s been a nagging issue for Seils for several weeks, and voting on it was pre-empted by another threat of inclement weather a few weeks ago.
But Tuesday, he finally got a vote on rescinding the town’s prohibition on parking in public lots between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.
It didn’t take long. There was no need for a staff presentation, and comments, such as this one from Alderman Jacquelyn Gist, were few:
“I second that, because it was a mistake on our part,” admitted Gist. “Because it’s encouraging people to drive cars when they shouldn’t.”
The ban was put in place last year. Speaking to WCHL recently, Seils recapped how parking in public lots during the wee hour became an issue in the first place.
“Some residents, who were beginning to use the public parking lots for long-term parking, because, presumably, they didn’t have enough parking on their property,” he said.
Not long after Aldermen voted for the ban, Seils and others reconsidered. He told WCHL that it wasn’t because of a reported uptick in roadway accidents or DUI arrests.
He said it was based on feedback from local business owners and constituents, who just thought it was a bad idea to make people drive when they shouldn’t just to avoid getting a parking ticket.
Nobody has to worry about that anymore. Alderman have now — unanimously — removed that ban on “wee-hours” parking.http://chapelboro.com/news/local-government/carrboro-lifts-ban-wee-hours-public-parking/
**UPDATE: The OWASA Board meeting scheduled for Thursday night (see below) has been cancelled. The Board will accept public comment on their Draft Strategic Plan at their meeting Thursday, February 27. (To read the plan, again, see below.)
ORANGE COUNTY – UNC will test its emergency sirens today, Tuesday, February 11, between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m.
The test was originally set to take place in late January, but got postponed because of the snow that hit the area.
You’ll hear the sirens if you’re on campus, downtown, or near the Friday Center or Carolina North. The purpose is to test the Alert Carolina system; UNC will also send a text message to about 50,000 cell phones registered by students, faculty and staff.
Carrboro town manager David Andrews has named Carol Anderson Dorsey as the town’s new human resources director. Dorsey has spent the last five years as human resources director for the city of Oxford, NC; her prior jobs included serving as director of human resources for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA.
A total of 85 candidates applied for the position, representing 16 different states.
The Orange Community Players will open their 2014 season in February with “Steel Magnolias,” the acclaimed story of six very different Southern women whose tight friendship carries them through joys and tragedies.
“Steel Magnolias” runs from February 13-16 at the Central Orange Senior Center in Hillsborough. You can purchase tickets at the Senior Center, or online at OCPNC.com.
The OWASA Board is inviting you to come ask questions and comment on their Draft Strategic Plan at a meeting on Thursday, February 13, at 7:00 p.m. in the OWASA Building on Jones Ferry Road.
You can also send your comments and questions via email or by letter or fax. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; send a letter to 400 Jones Ferry Road, Carrboro, NC 27510; or send a fax to 919-968-4464.
Chapel Hill town government is moving out of Town Hall! (Part of it, at least.)
Renovations are about to begin at Town Hall, to repair the damage from last year’s flood and make some other layout changes to improve customer service. In the meantime, the mayor’s office has moved to the Chapel Hill Public Library, along with the office of the town manager and seven other Town staffers.
Everyone will move back into Town Hall when the renovations are finished. Town Council chambers are expected to reopen in September; other building areas will be addressed in phases after that.
Other town officials who are temporarily moving to the library: mayoral aide Mark McCurry, Assistant to the Town Manager Jason Damweber, Policy and Strategic Initiatives director Mary Jane Nirdlinger, Sustainability Officer John Richardson, Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett, Organizational Effectiveness Coordinator Rae Buckley, and Administrative Assistant Peggy Paumer.
This weekend, the campus organization VDAY Carolina is staging a bilingual production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” to benefit the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.
Shows run from Friday, February 14, through Sunday, February 16 at Hanes Auditorium, with two shows each on Friday and Saturday–one in English and one in Spanish.
You can buy tickets at Union Box Office, over the phone or online. For ticket information, visit VDAYCarolina.web.unc.edu.
Thursday, February 13, UNC’s FedEx Global Education Center will host the world premiere of “Ice Music,” a multimedia creation by the artist Brooks de Wetter-Smith. “Ice Music” examines the beauty and the importance of ice in our world, featuring de Wetter-Smith’s videography and photography, a new musical composition by Lowell Liebermann, and dance choreographed by Carey McKinley.
“Ice Music” will premiere at 8:00 p.m. on February 13, in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium at the FedEx Center as part of UNC’s Process Series. On Friday the 14th, there will be a workshop presentation and discussion at 4:00 p.m., also in the Mandela Auditorium.
You’re invited to a public information meeting on Thursday, February 13, to discuss Orange County’s “Agricultural Support Enterprises” program.
The program is designed to help farmers generate additional income by expanding the types of activities they may pursue on their farms. It’s been in development since 2001; Orange County is currently considering amending the Unified Development Ordinance to adopt it.
The meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the Food Lab of the Environmental and Agricultural Center, located at 306 Revere Road in Hillsborough.
Protect your cats and dogs by coming to a Microchip Clinic on Thursday, February 13, from 3-5 p.m. at the Orange County Animal Services Department on Eubanks Road.
Microchips will cost $25 per pet, which includes registration with 24PetWatch’s national database. The Department will also offer one-year rabies vaccinations as well, for $10 per pet.
For more information, visit OrangeCountyNC.gov/AnimalServices.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/week-orange-county-weather-permitting/
RALEIGH – Another winter storm is heading for the Triangle, but its severity is still unknown.
WCHL’s Aaron Keck spoke with National Weather Service Meteorologist Barrett Smith about when the winter weather will start and how long it will last.
***Listen to the Interview***
A hazardous weather outlook is in place for the area through mid-week. Click here for more details.http://chapelboro.com/news/weather/another-dose-winter-weather-aiming-triangle/
CARRBORO – You’re invited to 300 East Main Street in Carrboro this Monday, February 10, to help celebrate the grand opening of WomanCraft at its new location.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” says WomanCraft member Brenda Baldwin Scott, “and we hope that everybody who’s been a longtime fan of WomanCraft–and everybody who’s new and wants to see what we have to offer–(will) come and join us.”
WomanCraft is an artists’ cooperative, run entirely by volunteers, that’s been in the area for nearly 40 years, most recently at Eastgate in Chapel Hill. It’s moving to Carrboro after losing its lease at Eastgate, just a few months after last June’s floods forced the store to close for an entire month.
But WomanCraft member Dale Morgan says the co-op’s 70-plus artists are all excited about the new location—which will put WomanCraft in a center of arts and entertainment that also includes Cameron’s, the ArtsCenter and Cat’s Cradle.
“We’re really happy to be a part of that community,” says Morgan. “They’ve been so welcoming to us, and we feel like we’ve finally landed where we should have been all along.”
Listen to Aaron Keck’s conversation with Scott and Morgan.
The grand opening will take place on Monday from 6:00-8:00 p.m., featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:00 with Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/womancraft-marks-grand-opening-mon-carrboro/
CARRBORO- Once again, a group of Chapel Hill middle schoolers looks like a sure bet to bring home the gold in a national science challenge. No matter that, we’re all winners, thanks to the work they do.
“We’re the Trash Terminators 2.0,” Rohan Deshpande announced to aldermen and spectators at Carrboro Town Hall. ”We’re working towards the Lexus Eco Challenge.”
Rohan, a student at Phillips Middle School, is the mainstay member of Trash Terminators, a group of science-minded Chapel Hill kids with a mission to protect the planet from greenhouse gas and methane emissions.
Last year, Rohan and two other students won first place in Siemens’ national “We Can Change the World” challenge. This past Tuesday night, Rohan told Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen how they did it.
“We diverted 25 percent of our trash from going to a landfill,” he reported.
This year’s team of Rohan, Vincent Chen, Elizabeth Farmer, Quentin Sieredzki and Graeme Zimmermann is keeping it going. They’ve entered into the Lexus Eco Challenge, where they’ve made it to the national section. The money they won from that so far has gone back into green initiatives at their school.
The challenge gives teams the opportunity to win up to $30,000 in grants and scholarships for the best ideas about protecting the environment.
During this school year, the Terminators have been addressing a situation created by the closing of the Orange County Landfill last summer.
“This means that trash is being transported to a location that is more than a hundred miles away,” Rohan observed. “This is also adding costs, and creates more pollution.”
The Terminators used a carbon footprint calculator to determine that for every ton of trash the city ships to the new landfill, 57 pounds of carbon dioxide will be emitted, and $55 of taxpayer money will be spent.
The kids also figured out that 55 percent of Phillips’ cafeteria trash is compostable waste. So they started a composting program at the school.
Terminator Quentin told aldermen how they did it.
“We set up composting bins in our school cafeteria,” he said, “in which students and staff dump all their compostable food items, which include food waste, food trays and napkins.”
Brooks Contractor in Goldston collects the compost twice a week. Liquid waste has been diverted from the trash, and recycling efforts have been ramped up.
“Our goal is to send only pure trash to the landfill, which will reduce carbon emission and cost,” said Quentin.
The students managed to reduce trash pickups as well, which saved Phillips School money.
Terminator Vincent Chen said it’s been a schoolwide effort, with students, teachers, administrators, staff and parents involved.
“In the lunchroom, we had parents, students and volunteers to help students with composting during lunch.”
There was a charitable component as well.
“We also started a ‘giving table’ where we keep all the uneaten and unopened food,” said Vincent.
The food is distributed to families on meal plans, and it’s available to students and staff as well.
“We diverted more than 80 percent of the trash going to a landfill by recycling and composting,” said Vincent. “We will divert 20,500 pounds of trash over 180 state days of school at Phillips.”
The plan saves about $550 in gas by reducing shipping. And it will prevent about 574 pounds of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. The kids figure that if all area middle schools adopted this initiative, there would be 41 tons less of trash in landfills over the next school year.
The Terminators spread the word with public information tables, a Time Warner infomercial, and social media outreach.
And they conducted a survey that showed how most citizens would like to see municipal composting.
Alderman Sammy Slade, like all his colleagues, was impressed.
“I would like to partner with y’all to find out how we could do this in Carrboro,” he said. “Because you have so much knowledge.”
Slade recommended that the kids approach the school board about using some of the savings on even more green initiatives.
Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell suggested that the kids look to the State Department of Environmental Resources Division of Solid Waste for a grant.
“Now more than ever, not only municipally, but in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, but in the county, we need this,” she said, “because of the landfill.”
Alderman Damon Seils had the last word, by stating what must have been on everyone’s mind.
“I was just going to make the observation that Chapel Hill and Carrboro just got schooled by the Trash Terminators,” said Seils.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/trash-terminators-2-0-take-carrboro-composting-school/
CARRBORO- The Carrboro bicycling community was out in force at Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting, and those in attendance got what they came for: The same rights of the road enjoyed by drivers of all other roadway vehicles.
“Carrboro is a bicycling destination,” said John Rees, president of the Carolina Tarwheels bicycle club. “And having legislation or ordinances, such as this, is discouraging to that.”
Rees, along with members of the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition, spoke Tuesday night to Aldermen about striking what they called discriminatory language in the town code, regarding the rules of the road.
They wanted the local rules to be consistent with state laws that say nothing about bicyclists being restricted to the farthest right of the lane.
But a subsection of a Carrboro ordinance did mandate that, along with a subsection that prohibited cyclists from riding more than two abreast.
Bicycle Coalition Chair Charlie Hileman spoke at length about unfairness.
“What we’re trying to say is, overall, to not enact any laws that specifically target cyclists over other users of public roadways,” he said.
Hileman pointed out that there were no mentions in the Carrboro law regarding lane position of trucks, tractors and mopeds, even though they, too, may be traveling slower than other traffic at times.
He said the Carrboro rules made cyclists legally vulnerable in the case of an accident. And because the boundaries between Chapel Hill and Carrboro are blurry in the minds of many people, cyclists were often unaware they were breaking any law.
There was sympathetic talk among aldermen about the hazards of riding a bike downhill on some of Carrboro’s narrow streets.
But there were also concerns about the ramifications of change. Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell asked cycling representatives to educate others about the possible dangers of riding two-or-three abreast.
“If cyclists are riding two abreast, and they’re on the far side of that curve on the blind side, it could be really dangerous,” she said.
Bicycle Coalition board member Ginger Guidry had an answer for that.
“It’s the responsibility of the car driving on the road, to not encroach on the vehicle that they’re passing,” said Guidry. “In this case, perhaps a bicycle. And it’s their responsibility also to be driving at a safe speed.”
Plus, she argued, riding too far to the right can actually make a cyclist less visible to traffic coming up from behind.
In the end, Alderman Damon Seils moved to cut those two subsections from the ordinance entirely.
That motion passed unanimously, to applause. More then a dozen cycle enthusiasts then got up and left, some of them holding biking helmets.http://chapelboro.com/news/local-government/carrboro-cyclists-win-battle-share-road/