Sam Bermas-Dawes

Chapel Hill, Carrboro Mayors Looking at Next Steps Amid Craig Tract Clear Cutting

More than 30 acres of trees are being be cut down on the Craig Tract just south of Carolina North Forest near Bolin creek in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The decision to move forward with timbering by the property’s owner, P. H. Craig Jr., spurred community-driven efforts to save the trees. In a June 27 column in the Herald-Sun, Craig said the thick tree growth on his property was a liability because of possible Pine Beetle infestation and forest fires. An online petition linked from the advocacy group Friends of Bolin Creek website garnered 975 signatures, and asked Chapel...

Read More

A Day for Veterans in Orange County, Soon a Memorial Too

A cold drizzle fell on the Southern Human Services Center in Orange County as the Veterans’ Day Memorial Celebration began on Monday. This year’s Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the first World War. Many Orange County veterans were in attendance, including those who had served in Vietnam, Grenada and one veteran from World War II, retired Marine Major Everett “Bud” Hampton, who served in the Pacific Theater. Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs spoke at the memorial. His father was a World War II veteran. To him, the sacrifice of those in the military comes...

Read More

Chapel Hill, Kidzu Continue Work Toward New Children’s Museum

With a letter of intent in hand from the Chapel Hill Town Council, Kidzu Children’s Museum has been busy moving forward with plans for relocating to a new location near Southern Village. Since June, they have sought community feedback and consulted with design and architecture groups. At a recent town council meeting, members of Kidzu’s senior staff gave an update on possible plans for the new site, between Sumac Road and Highway 15-501. Steve Hess, chair of the Building Committee and a Kidzu board member, said a feasibility study with consulting group Gensler will help provide guidance for how...

Read More

Chapel Hill Gauging Future Possibilities for Varsity Theatre

Chapel Hill’s Town Council established a task force in late October to consider the possibility of the Varsity Theatre becoming a community performing art space. The task force, made up of local business owners, members of the local arts community and town council members Rachel Schaevitz and Michael Parker, will report back in six months after considering community feedback and the project’s feasibility. The current tenant and operators of the theater, Paul and Susan Shareshian, will sit on the task force. In a Facebook post on the theater’s page, the Shareshians responded to “rumors” regarding the theater’s future, saying...

Read More

Orange County Commissioners Rescind Support for Marsy’s Law

The Orange County Board of Commissioners voted 5-1 last Thursday to rescind its support of Marsy’s Law, one of the six constitutional amendments on the midterm ballot across the state. Proponents say the constitutional amendment brings equal rights to victims of crimes, protecting them from a criminal justice system that does not have their best interests at heart. On the other hand, opponents say the bill’s vague language leaves room for unjust prosecution of defendants and threatens the core idea of “innocent until proven guilty.” The Orange County Board of Commissioners passed the original resolution supporting Marsy’s Law 7-0...

Read More

$21 Million Gift Supporting New UNC Media School

A $21 million gift from the Curtis Foundation to UNC includes the largest ever contribution to the university’s School of Media and Journalism. From the gift, $8 million will go to the construction of the Curtis Media Center, a “flexible,” learning space that emphasizes collaboration between students and staff while making available the latest technology, according to a release from the university. The building plans are yet to be approved by the UNC – Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, and the site has yet to be finalized, but a UNC press release estimated the project will be completed in...

Read More

Chapel Hill Interfaith Vigil Remembers Victims of Synagogue Shooting

It was a quiet, cold night outside the Kehillah Synagogue on Tuesday as community members filed into seats, packed the aisles and lined the walls for a vigil remembering the victims of the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue last week. The shooting drew nationwide attention to hateful and violent rhetoric shared across the internet, and its real-world consequences. The gunman, Robert Bowers, had a history of white supremacist activity online and posted anti-Semitic comments before entering into the synagogue, killing 11 congregants and wounding six. Bowers targeted the Tree of Life synagogue for its work with refugees...

Read More

Chapel Hill Prepares for 2018 Halloween on Franklin Street

It’s Halloween in Chapel Hill, and tonight Franklin Street might be the best place in the state for people watching. Halloween night ten years ago, 80,000 people showed up to Franklin Street; more than doubling the size of Chapel Hill. And though recent years haven’t brought that level of turnout, don’t underestimate the size of this event. Last year, 15,000 Halloween-goers crammed into downtown Chapel Hill, so expect travel delays if you are in the area. And if you are attending, Police spokesperson Ran Northam advised against bringing glass containers or alcoholic beverages to the festivities. Drunk-driving enforcement will...

Read More

New Zoning Nudges Lloyd Farm Property Toward Development

Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen voted to rezone the Lloyd Farm property last week, setting the stage for future development of the 35.5-acre site that would include a Harris Teeter, office and retail space and a living community for people 55 years and older. It’s a decision some board members called the toughest of their careers. Development of the site has been a bumpy road. The original plan, rejected by the board in December 2016, drew concerns for a lack of density; critics said it fit in more with a suburban model than a downtown location. Nearby residents raised concerns...

Read More

UNC Students Push to ‘Boot the Braids’

A group of around 50 students marched on Thursday to UNC – Chapel Hill’s on-campus Wendy’s to protest the chain’s alleged mistreatment of the farm workers in its supply chain. UNC’s Student-Farmworkers Alliance organized the event as a part of the national “Boot the Braids” campaign. The goal is to pressure Wendy’s for its absence from the Fair Food Program, an agreement between food purchasers and farm workers mandating safer work conditions and better pay. Event organizer Mia Shang, a linguistics and anthropology student, said part of the objective was to raise student awareness of the campaign. “I think...

Read More