Chapel Hill: Opinion

April 15, 2014

Roses and raspberries, April 16

Roses to the town of Carrboro for creating a new town tradition.

Roses to the town of Carrboro for creating a new town tradition.

The second annual Open Streets Carrboro event Saturday brought hundreds downtown, echoing other open-air gatherings like the Carrboro Music Festival, the Fourth of July Parade and Carrboro Day. Truth is the town doesn’t need much excuse to celebrate itself.

But this year more folks seemed to get into the spirit. The morning yoga class seemed bigger, the vendors more diverse (kettle bells, anyone?), and several businesses along Weaver Street opening early or moved sales outside.

The goal, of course is active living. So no food vendors (save for the pedal-powered smoothies).

Instead, the emphasis was on strolling (on foot or with baby carriage), stretching, biking, breaking boards (courtesy of one of the local taekwondo clubs), and dancing (with hoop or without).

Some day, organizers say, they’d like to partner with Chapel Hill to create a really long car-less avenue, to more closely resemble the ciclovias in Latin America they are modeling Open Streets on. There is precedent for that, of course, with the two towns’ holiday parade.

In the meantime, we’ll just enjoy the one-town version. A perfect addition to the Saturday morning trip to the farmers market or The Weave.

Roses to the American Rivers advocacy group for coming to the rescue of the Haw River before it’s too late.

Unlike a lot of groups’ endangered lists, American Rivers put out a warning last week that the 110-mile Haw remains threatened by future development-related run off and pollution. The river, which feeds Jordan Lake, is healthier than it was years ago, but that health requires ongoing attention.

The decision by Republican state lawmakers to shelve tough development standards in favor of untested Solarbees put the river at risk. The lawmakers didn’t want to slow development in the lake watershed so they decided to try out these machines which aerate the water to keep algae down, not unlike a home fish tank.

Or so they hoped. As the N&O reported last week, SolarBees were employed in Cabarrus County’s Lake Howell in 2007, but monitoring and testing by the UNC-Charlotte Environmental Assistance Office led to a less than enthusiastic review.

The devices had a “subtle” performance record, according to the university’s final recommendation in 2010. The recommendation: Stop using SolarBees because they had “minimal improvements” on water quality, or else modify the devices.

Jordan Lake provides drinking water for 300,000 people. The best way to keep that water clean is to keep the water flowing to it in tributaries like the Haw clean by holding upstream developers to high standards.

Roses to Ruby Sinreich, the founder of the online progressive forum, who recently stepped away from day-to-day running of the site and moved to Durham (gasp!).

“OrangePolitics was never just me, even though some people like to see it that way,” Sinreich said in a recent post. But it often does take an energetic individual to turn a vision into reality. While not everyone may have always agreed with Sinreich’s vision, few could dispute that the online forum has been an important discussion group for those who care and follow local politics from left of center.

Sinreich, who served on town advisory boards and committees, has put in the hands of trusted editorial board members to continue both the online discussions and the live Tweeting, candidate forums and various meet and greets the group added along the way. We wish them well.

Related content



Editor's Choice Videos