Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Three People Charged With Armed Robbery - Chapel Hill" -

This alleged crime occurred within 3 miles of Southern Village.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Pedestrian killed on N.C. 54 Bypass" -

This is both very sad and very close to Southern Village. Given the number of pedestrians killed here in traffic accidents, we all need to be more careful, much more careful whether walking or behind the wheel. Anyone who drives around here while talking on a cellphone, for example, ought to stop. It's a stupid thing to do that endangers yourself and all those around you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Your house is worth more. How does it feel?" -

"Campaign Spotlight - Use the Muscles Between Your Ears, Gym Urges" -

This comes from an advertising agency in Durham. It's a message that O2 Fitness might want to consider using in reaching out to prospective members in and around Southern Village.

"New Model For Sprawling Malls: Cut Down On Cars" - NPR

Even Southern Village is far too focused on cars. I cringed when I heard and saw comments relating to the hotel issue that focused on Southern Village resident concerns over lost parking. Autos here ought to be for people who have physical impairments that limit their walking ability. All others should walk everywhere. If that happened, I bet we'd be talking about adding park benches instead of parking spaces.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Solar Tech South

It appears that the building opposite the southern entrance to Southern Village is finally occupied. Solar Tech South is the name on the front, and I just called their number - 919-960-6015.

Ed WITKIN, who answered the phone, said they are moving here from Main St in Carrboro.

Website is in process.

They hope to open in Feb.

We talked about opportunities for Ed to introduce Solar Tech to Southern Village. I mentioned the annual Southern Village HOA meeting in February, and he said they hoped to do some educational programs in their building once they are fully up and running.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lowes Foods

For those who shop at Lowes, I see that they say they are now open 24/7.

County Line Plaza

This is what has been proposed for the land that has been cleared at Smith Level and 15-501 by the owner, Lee-Moore Oil Company. As far as I know, no drug store or bank - or other retail - has been identified.

"Denser zoning coming" -

"Holly Springs development steams ahead in rocky economy" -

This story and this earlier one may be worth considering as we consider how best to improve the economic health of the community that includes Southern Village. DR BRYAN has been a major force in that community as well.

Where do they take the leaves and what does Chapel Hill do with them?

How does Chapel Hill dispose of the leaves that it collects from gutters, as it is doing in Southern Village this morning? Are they composted? Reused how?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Holiday Hours at places to eat at UNC

Tar Heal Café

Another within easy walking distance of Southern Village.

Friends Cafe : Health Sciences Library - UNC-Chapel Hill

A reasonable walk from Southern Village.....

Pazzo and other eating places -

It's interesting to see the feedback that appears here for the eating places in Chapel Hill. Starting with Pazzo!, here are the ratings (% positive):

Pazzo! 77%
Merlion 74%
Town Hall Grill 73%
Merritt's 72% (on South Columbia)
La Vita Dolce 72%
Weaver Street Market 66%

Jaluka is at 100% with only 3 people voting.

The new Subway does not pop up, and they either never had or deleted Citrus.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Trail by soccer field

Isn't getting to the point where we can accept the need for a paved trail around the soccer field so as to stop the erosion of the hill over which some number of people continue to walk?


It looks like two electric-powered aerators have been added to the pond across from the soccer field and another in the pond in front of Scroggs. Is that right? Did "we" consider solar power for them?

Daily Tar Heel box and other publications

We have only one Daily Tar Heel box in Southern Village, as far as I know. It is at the bus stop next to the Park and Ride lot beyond the church. Why don't they put one on Market Street, too? It's a very good newspaper serving a big part of our extended community.

"dufus" - whoever he or she may be - pointed out in the comment that there is a box with the others across from Weaver Street Market. Thanks to her/him for pointing that out.

I'll finish this list another time......

At the old Citrus, one may still be able to pick up the Independent.

At the bus stop for the Park and Ride lot, there is the Daily Tar Heel and the Carrboro Citizen, plus a couple of others.

Across from Weaver Street Market are these:

Daily Tar Heel
Carrboro Citizen
The New York Times
News & Observer
Southern Neighbor
[Will add the others]

Inside O2 Fitness are the Independent and I think Southern Neighbor as well.

Plum Spring Clinic building

The for lease sign seems to be gone at the building formerly occupied by the Plum Spring Clinic. Does that mean the space has been leased/sold? The Plum Spring Clinic signs have been taken down as well in the last couple of days.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

At the Ackland - Ackland Art Museum

The Ackland is less than an hour's walk, or a short bus ride, or if you must, a short drive. Clearly a part of the larger community close at hand around Southern Village.

Friday, November 28, 2008


A very big part of Southern Village's attractiveness to me is its walkability.

I got thinking about what I could walk to "do" here.......

+ Walk up anytime to Market Street or the Park and Ride lot and pick up a free copy of the Daily Tar Heel, the Independent and or the Carrboro Citizen.

+ Walk up to Market Street and buy anytime from a vending machine a copy of The New York Times, the News & Observer or the Herald-Sun (especially when they fail to deliver these to our driveway).

+ Walk to UNC campus.

+ Walk to the Ackland Art Museum!

+ Walk to O2 Fitness.

+ Walk to see flowers, a friend, a game on one of the fields.

+ Walk to the Lumina and watch a movie.

+ Walk to La Vita Dolce or Weaver Street Market and have a coffee whenever they are open.

+ Walk to La Vita Dolce, Weaver Street Market, Pazzo!, Merlion, Jaluka or Town Hall Grill and have lunch, and in several of those, dinner as well.

+ Walk to Merritt's out on South Columbia and have a meal or buy some of their food and other offerings.

+ Walk to church if you are of that faith and choose to do so.

+ Walk to the bank if you are a customer or choose to use any of its services.

+ Walk in the hope of saying hello to a neighbor, and if very lucky, with his or her dog in tow .... or being towed by

What else to add?

Notes on the new park

When I walked around the new Southern Community Park Wednesday, I made a couple of notes....

+ Why is the grass all brown? Is that normal for playing fields of this sort in the winter? Will that happen each year?

+ Why are there so few bleachers for the fields?

+ Why do those OWASA manhole covers have to be so far above the grass level? They sure are ugly. In addition to them, there are some other pipes of some sort sticking out of the ground along the path; they seem to be "finished" and I fear they wil be sticking out as they do for many years to come.

+ What are the preliminary plans for extending the trail further south? It simply goes from asphalt to straw right now. Is something on a map somewhere showing what planners hope we'll have one day?

+ What is the hoped for use of the dog area on the other side of Dogwood Acres Drive? It is such a large space; is the vision that it will be overflowing with dogs at certain times? Why has it not atrracted more already?

+ Do we have a master schedule somewhere of all the games that are scheduled for 2009 on the Southern Community Park fields and the soccer field by the tennis and swim club?

Rest rooms in the park

What will the rules be on using the new restrooms that are part of Southern Community Park? Perhaps they will be posted along with some indication of which door is which!

I guess the park has not officially opened yet.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Keats's "Poems" is Library's 6-millionth volume"

What a phenomenal resource for us who live here!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Morgan Creek trail

"- Easement to OWASA for Morgan Creek Trail: The Council authorized an easement to OWASA in order to relocate the sewer line to benefit the Morgan Trail Project. The project is proposed to be a 10 foot wide concrete trail that would be an extension of the existing Fan Branch Trail. The first phase is intended to begin at the Fan Branch Trail near Culbreth Road and end just east of Kingswood Apartments. A natural surface trail would extend from the main paved trail on the north side of Morgan Creek and provide pedestrian access to Merritt Pasture. A bridge over a small tributary on the east side of Highway 15-501 would provide direct access to the pasture. "

Speed tables - Dogwood Acres Drive

"7. Dogwood Acres Drive to Receive Speed Tables
Speed tables and related warning signs will be installed on Dogwood Acres Drive on Monday, Oct. 20, at Southern Community Park, which is under construction and nearly completed.
The traffic tables will be installed beginning at 9 a.m. in the section of the road within the park boundaries. There may be some travel delays as the crew installs the tables. Work should be completed in one day. When the speed tables are installed, people who drive on Dogwood Acres Drive should adjust their travel speeds.
The Council authorized the speed tables in order to slow traffic and maximize pedestrian safety as part of the park development plan. Located south of Southern Village and west of Highway 15-501, Southern Community Park is scheduled to open later this fall.
The park will become the 11th and second largest park (after Cedar Falls Park), covering 72 acres with more half the land remaining in a natural state. The $4.7 million park project features three athletic/soccer fields, two basketball courts, an inline hockey court, a two-acre dog park, a meadow area, trails, a play area, and a disk golf course. The project was funded by Orange County, Chapel Hill, and a North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant.
For more information, call the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department at 968-2784."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

"Mac McCorkle, Political Consultant for Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue, to speak at Town Hall Grill’s “Village Voice”"

"Chapel Hill, NC – October 1, 2008 – Mac McCorkle, Political Consultant for Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue and 2008 Democratic Nominee for Governor, will be speaking on behalf of the Lt. Governor on October 6, 2008 at Town Hall Grill in Chapel Hill as part of the Village Voice political forum.

Town Hall Grill, located in Southern Village in Chapel Hill, N.C., launched the bipartisan community issues forum, “The Village Voice,” in June and has featured political candidates William (BJ) Lawson, Republican candidate for U.S. House District 4 and Ellie Kinnaird, six-term NC State Senator, District 23.

Mac McCorkle will be speaking at 5:30pm on October 6th at Town Hall Grill on the covered patio. Individuals interested in attending are encouraged to reserve a seat using the online reservations form at

The Village Voice is sponsored by The North Carolina Center for Voter Education, NBC TV-17 and

For more information, please visit or contact Sandy Andrews of Hummingbird Creative Group at or (919) 854-9100, ext 307.

About Mac McCorkle
Pope “Mac” McCorkle has worked as a policy and research consultant to political candidates, state governments, and various organizations for the past decade. He is now the Principal of McCorkle Policy Consulting in Durham, North Carolina. In his prior capacity as a lawyer with the Raleigh firm founded by former U.S. Senator Terry Sanford, McCorkle served as outside counsel to the North Carolina Association of Educators and also specialized in election law and other administrative legal matters.

In 1992, McCorkle joined the Raleigh law firm of Everett, Gaskins, Hancock & Stevens. There he served as a legal and legislative counsel to the Low-Wealth Schools Consortium and continued his litigation and administrative law practice. As a campaign issues consultant, McCorkle most recently worked with the 2000 U.S. Senate campaign of Mel Carnahan, as well as the campaigns of North Carolina Governor Mike Easley and Missouri Governor Bob Holden.

McCorkle’s clients include the campaigns of Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Governor Mike Easley, Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue, and Congressman David Price.

About the Village Voice - A New Kind of Old Political Forum

Town Hall Grill, located in Southern Village in Chapel Hill, N.C., launched a bipartisan community issues forum, called “The Village Voice.” The purpose of the forum is to provide people with the opportunity to engage with political leaders in a comfortable, thought provoking dialogue regarding current issues in a “town hall” style format.

About Town Hall Grill

Town Hall Grill is a bar and grill offering an eclectic menu that infuses Southwestern flavors. With 14 different types of beers on tap and an array of liquor available, Town Hall Grill is the best full bar just outside of Chatham County.Located in Southern Village, Town Hall Grill is a place where sports fans, friends and family can meet to enjoy a delicious meal, watch the big game on one of many HDTV's and have a great time. The consistently fantastic food, diverse menu, unique drinks and friendly, professional staff make frequenting Town Hall Grill a pleasure every time."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"300 E. Main project OK’d" - Daily Tar Heel

The role of the potential hotel in Carrboro, and the debate surrounding that issue, ought to be very instructive for Southern Village as we think about the best use of the parking lot on Market Street.

"Three arrested for Chapel Hill and Durham robberies" - Daily Tar Heel

Avery Hall is only a little over 2 miles from Market Street in Southern Village.

Friday, September 26, 2008

2.5 mile radius circle around Market Street

This is what 2.5 miles looks like when drawn as the radius of a circle around the center of Market Street in Southern Village.

"Singers showcase banned music" - Daily Tar Heel

Events like this one are well within 2 miles (i.e., 45 minute maximum walk) of Southern Village.

We don't think about that often enough in Southern Village, I believe.

I attended. Anyone else from Southern Village in the 50 or so people who were there?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"UNC Chapel Hill Police"

This page from UNC Public Safety includes "Breaking News" when there is some related to UNC, and of likely interest to people living or working in or around Southern Village.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Community Design Commission Agenda" - Town of Chapel Hill

Here is the agenda for the Commission's review of the Market Street parking lot concept plan.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Trop de pharmacies ?" - France 3 Méditerranée

This is an article in French talking about complaints that in southeastern France the area known there as the PACA region, there are simply too many pharmacies. This is not a problem from which we suffer in Southern Village, or is it? Our closest pharmacies - other than a few homeopathic/natural items at Weaver Street Market (anything I am missing?) - are CVS at Cole Park Plaza, Rite Aid in Glen Lennox, CVS in Carrboro and the independent pharmacies in Chapel Hill. Am I missing anything else in the area? Here is the list from a Google Maps search:

Categories: Pharmacies, Photo Finishing Retail

CVS/pharmacy‎ - more info »
11314 Us 15-501 North, Chapel Hill, NC - (919) 929-5664‎
2 reviews - Write a review
"I can actually say say that thier pharmacist saved my husband's life. I went ..."
CVS Pharmacy: Carrboro‎ - more info »
100 N Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC - (919) 929-0329‎
Write a review
Rite Aid‎ - more info »
602 Jones Ferry Rd # G, Carrboro, NC - (919) 942-0933‎
1 review - Write a review
CVS/pharmacy‎ - more info »
200 North Greensboro Street, Carrboro, NC - (919) 929-2181‎
1 review - Write a review
CVS Pharmacy: Front Store‎ - more info »
300 N Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC - (919) 929-7306‎
Write a review
Sutton's Drug Store‎ - more info »
159 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC - (919) 942-5161‎
6 reviews - Write a review
"You can eat here, too! Sutton's is a great old-fashioned drug store on Franklin Street--the kind ..."
Institute of Pharmacy: Pharmaceutical Association‎ - more info »
109 Church St, Chapel Hill, NC - (919) 967-2237‎
Write a review
Eckerd‎ - more info »
1218 Raleigh Rd, Chapel Hill, NC - (919) 968-3777‎
Write a review
UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy‎ - more info »
CB#7360Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7360
Write a review
Carrboro Family Pharmacy‎ - more info »
104 Nc Highway 54 # J, Carrboro, NC - (919) 933-7629‎
Write a review

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Tucson Man Harvests Rainwater" - NPR

Can we do better in Southern Village collecting rainwater instead of relying entirely on OWASA? I am sure we can.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Builders of Hope" moving offices to Southern Village

This organization is about to move its offices into the building where John EDWARDS campaign headquarters had been housed. It looks to me that they do some really interesting things, and I am anxious to learn more about what they do. There is a good deal of information on the website for those of us who want to know more of the story!

Subway on the verge of opening

I stopped in today to meet the owner of the new Subway on Market Street. He is Abdul ALMASRI and he has been working with Subway for about 10 years, previously in Raleigh and now he and his partner have a second Subway on Jones Ferry Rd in Carrboro. The place looks nearly finished and he may open for business as early as tomorrow; if not, in coming days!

Today - 18 Sep - I see that the Subway has an OPEN sign out front.

New stage structure coming....

If you are on Market Street, you will see that the aluminum structure that supported the movie screen at the end of the Green is no longer there. According t John FUGO, it is about to be replaced with a more permanent steel version that will solve some of the production problems encountered with the aluminum version. The music and movies will continue!

"8 charged in Orange slaying, kidnapping" -

This is a very sad story no matter how you look at it.

The reason I have added it here is that it has a connection to the alleged rape of a woman in Southern Village in 2006, as explained in the story. I had not focused on the name of the accused at the time.

I feel like I have a small connection to the story as we have been customers at Minton's garage on Rte 54 for many years.

Let's hope that justice in this tragedy is meted out fairly.

See also this story in the Daily Tar Heel.

"The Platform: First Run Movies"

How will this impact The Lumina?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The environment

How are we doing as a community in respecting the environment? What grade would Southern Village get, both the commercial area, and all the other components of the community, perhaps even including the new Southern Community Park? When I saw some lights on, unnecessarily, in one of the buildings on Market Street, it made me wonder. When I see people putting out for garbage that which can and should be recycled, it disappoints me. When I see all of the big cars riding about our roads with only one person in them, I am outraged. How do we pressure all of us to do better?

"Google Maps"

The link here is set to Google Maps at Market Street in Southern Village. One of the features there that I only discovered today is the ability to seek directions by walking. In checking a couple of destinations, I see that the routing is quite different for the trip by car than for the walking route. For those who value the walking accessibilty of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, this could be a useful tool.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Social networks

With so many social, internet-based, networks operating today, is any one of them tying Southern Village residents together better than the others?

"Performance Artist Writes 'Mother on Fire'" - NPR

This is interesting for someone like me without kids at Scroggs. It ought to be interesting to those who do as well.

It prompts me to wonder about the number of kids who live in Southern Village, or within a mile or two of Scroggs who go to a non-public school instead.

Just what is it that prompts their parents to leave the public school system and enroll their kids in a private instituion?

Is it a matter of religion?


Dissatisfaction with Scroggs?

Every kid is exceptional in the eyes of her or his parents. That's not sufficient reason for me to comprehend why public schools are good enough for most, but not good enough for some who can afford to send their kids elsewhere.

Our trail

When the trail opens to the new Southern Community Park, we will be privileged to have a wonderful stretch of path for walking, running, bike riding, etc. What are the plans to continue the trail south? To the north, with the Morgan Creek project, it is a little more clear where it may go, including the planned work on South Columbia Street. Plans to the east? To the west?


Where did the mushrooms come from that seem to be sprouting all over Southern Village? All the rain? Any health concerns? Any dangers to children or pets?

"Shopzilla - Comparison shopping online"

How do we bring a tool like down to the level of Market Street in Southern Village? How do we make the power of the web work harder for the merchants and businesses of Southern Village?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"Miles of Aisles for a Gallon of Milk? Not Here" -

Opportunity or threat for Southern Village?

Fordham Boulevard

Here is Town Council Member Sally GREENE's report on discussions last night at the Town Council meeting. The potential work to be done on Fordham Boulevard will affect all of us in Southern Village - as drivers on the that road, as walkers and bikers in the area, and - most important - as people concerned about our making wise and environmentally supportive choices about our transportation infrastructure.

"2. The 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan. Federal regulations require the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC MPO) to update the Urban Area Long Range Transportation Plan every three years. The plan includes all roadway, transit, bicycle and sidewalk improvements that are anticipated for a minimum period of 20 years. Our plan for 2035 is approaching a completion date in December of this year. For the staff report, see are now in the public comment period. Please see the following write-up by George Cianciolo, chair of our Planning Board, for details of upcoming opportunities to make your opinions known. way the plan works, there are several options proposed for ways to respond to the projected growth in population and traffic: (1) intensive highway, (2) intensive fixed guideway, (3) intensive multimodal, and (4) moderate multimodal. A topic of last night's Council discussion focused on Fordham Boulevard, which, as we all know, is terribly congested at the moment; and as development continues in Chatham County, this road is tending to become even more of a freeway. Please, note that the "intensive highway" option anticipates a widening of Fordham Boulevard, all the way down to the 15-501 exit toward Pittsboro, to six lanes. In my view, this is not a desired outcome! Already we know that Fordham Boulevard has the effect of splitting parts of our community in two. Thanks to the efforts of the Fordham Boulevard Safety Committee, we have identified a need for a pedestrian bridge near the Manning Drive intersection, and that project remains a priority for the Council.If this is an issue that's important to you, please make your opinion known through one of the venues identified in George's posting above. The earliest opportunity is today at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 4-7 p.m."

"Maintenance Activities at Merritt Pasture"

This is an agenda item from yesterday's Town Council meeting regarding Merritt Pasture, one of the places that makes Southern Village and its environs so attractive. We should all be familiar with what is happening there. Thanks to Council Member Sally GREENE for calling attention to this.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Cars on the street

I've noticed a lot of people in Southern Village parking their cars in front of their houses instead of in their driveways or garages.

There is, of course, nothing "illegal" about this, but I think it takes a lot away from the neighborhood. That said, D.R. BRYAN often parks his truck in front of his house, so I can hardly argue that the designers intended to keep all cars off the street....but I hope everyone will think about how much nicer the street looks without cars parked on it, at least those drivers who seem to have adopted the street as the default parking place.

Friday, September 05, 2008

"All posts tagged 'newspapers at the belted goat'" - Fearrington Village Chatter

Can't we say the same thing about several places in Southern Village?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

"1 Bag at a Time"

This site was on the tag that came with the new Weaver Street Market shopping bags that have been given to members and sold to others. There is a lot of good information here, and I certainly hope that other businesses in Chapel Hill will follow Weaver Street Market's wonderful example. Next move for WSM is to eliminate all plastic bags unless the customer pays, let's say, $.50/each.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dog drops

As I walked our lovely trail today up toward Culbreth, I passed mound after plastic mound of dog dumps that some owner or owners had collected in plastic bags and left at the markers intended to tell people not to leave their dog drops behind them. That's about as disrespectful as anything I can imagine; if I encounter anyone dropping off a bag, I'll follow them home and deposit their dog's doo at their home in the manner earned by their disregard for others. That's a promise.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Weaver Street and Farmers' Market

It sure was nice to see as many people in Weaver Street Market as I found last evening about 5:30! I hope the Market is doing as well as all those people would suggest.

It was not so nice to see so many fewer farmers and customers at the last Farmers' Market out on the Green. We need to all work a lot harder to make that more of a success next summer!

"Citrus is bright spot in neighborhood" -

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pazzo! "Corks for Kids" - 11 Sep

From an e-mail from Pazzo!:

"Corks for Kids Fundraising Dinner
Join Pazzo! for Corks for Kids
Corks for Kids is a two-day dinner and wine-tasting event featuring nineteen Australian winemakers to raise money for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill. Last year, the event raised over $50,000. We hope you will join us this year to help raise even more.
Pazzo's dinner will take place on Thursday, September 11 at 7pm. The cost is $100per person not including tax and gratuity with the proceeds going to theNorth Carolina Children's Hospital. Each table will have its own winemaker to discuss the wines with guests. You can peek at the menu by clicking here. And you can find more information at (You will notice that our date is different from the one shown on the Corks for Kids website, and that we are charging less than the listed price.)
Seating is limited, so please call the restaurant and reserve your place now!"

Parking lot plans - 9 September event

D.R. BRYAN and others are supposed to share with us their current plans for the parking lot in front of Weaver Street Market. This provides a little background, but it is poorly written and does not make clear that the filing with the Town will include both options - an hotel and condos. Rosemary WALDORF, the former Chapel Hill mayor who now does public relations for D.R. and company, told me this in response to an e-mail question. They seem to be preserving most all of their options.

Although I doubt I will be there, here are a few things I would like to see discussed and posted afterwards for those who cannot attend:

+ What is the current economic health of the businesses in Southern Village? How does their current situation compare with the past, and what are the projections for the future? What have "we" learned from those businesses that have closed? What are "we" learning from those who continue?

+ Why is the building out on the other side of 15-501 at the south entrance to Southern Village still vacant? Does that tell "us" something that we need to know in reaction to the BRYAN et al proposal?

+ What specific businesses have said they will consider locating in the new structure - hotels and other businesses? If unable to do that with specificity, then what are the data that would convince businesses - by type of business - that they ought to consider locating in Southern Village.

Unless we know this, our uninformed advice on hot topic issues like security and convenience -- as was the case at the last meeting on this subject - is of limited value to us or to the developers.

I urge BRYAN & company to share answers to these questions in advance of the meeting. If for some unimaginable reason, that cannot be done - even superficially - then do it at the 9 September meeting and post it on the site.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Funny Thing Happened at the Dog Run" -

What a great opportunity for Southern Village now that the new dog romping area is about to open in the Southern Community Park. Imagine the meetups that will occur there!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Welcome to

This - the Village Voice program - appears to be mostly a joke. My efforts to clarify the program plan have been unsuccessful, both to the Grill and their agency. Although the Independent continues to make this an "IndyPick", it just does not seem to be happening. It's a real shame, because with some creative effort, it could be very successful for all.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Southern Park" - Town of Chapel Hill Official Website

The town uses this page to collect most of the documents and links related to the development of the Park.

"Southern Community Park" - YouTube

This makes for a good historical record.

"Proposal to Install Wells at the Southern Community Park"

Further research is needed - at least for me! - to know if this was adopted. The answer, surprisingly, does not seem to appear here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address"

Type in your address and see the results..... This is really very interesting. From my home in Southern Village, I got a 51 out of 100 walkability rating. I still need to study more about how they do the rankings.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"A night to remember" - Chapel Hill News

Wouldn't it be a good idea to think creatively about some joint Southern Village and Northside projects? Maybe it is just arranging transportation for thoese in Northside who might want to come to one of our free concerts on the Green? What other ideas? We live in the same town separated by a huge distance. It reminds me of a classic book about US-Mexico relations; it is titled "Distant Neighbors". So, too, we are when it comes to Northside.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Walking routes....

Google has just added a new functionality in its Google Maps application. Once on that page, use the drop down menu that is higlighted to the left in blue with the word "walking". Once you've done that, simply type in where you want to start walking and where you want to go. The results that I have tested are not perfect - they leave out our long trail in Southern Village, for example - but they are not bad.

In an effort to get everyone walking as much as possible, this is a nice addition.

Now they need to do one for the bus as well, although the Triangle Transit site does a pretty good job of this already for Chapel Hill and the rest of the Triangle. Here's what that query looks like on their site:

In response to the good comment added here by someone calling himself "Jack", I am adding a little picture of how you get to that Google Maps function for all of the Chapel Hill Transit routes. Go to this page and when you get there, simply enter the route that's of interest and then click on the right where there is the little icon for "Google Map". In this case, I have entered the NS route that also serves Southern Village:

Friday, August 08, 2008

"Park prep continues" - Carrboro Citizen

Full service bus schedules in Southern Village

"Full service schedule", which affects some of the buses serving Southern Village, goes into effect 18 August and continues until some point in December, I was just told on the phone. I suggested that Chapel Hill Transit add those dates to their website.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Southern Community Park

I took a walk around the Park this morning. It struck me that it would be very interesting to get a tour organized soon for all of us in the area. I bet there are lots of construction stories to tell plus some explanation of how the various segments of the Park are going to function. Anyone interested?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Path/trail around Scroggs

For anyone interested, the path/trail that now runs from Aberdeen around the back of the playing fields at Scroggs to the new Southern Community Park will be reopened in Sep or Oct whenever the Park itself opens. I checked with Bill WEBSTER at the Town of Chapel Hill, who oversees this project, and he explained that the path will remain closed for contractor liability reasons until the entire project is turned over to the Town.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Subway to Southern Village

Isn't this exciting? Southern Village - and ZIP 27516 - will get its very own Subway in coming weeks/months. It will be the 29,610th Subway in its 87 countries, according to its website. Or maybe it is the 29,611th. That's not clear. Sandwiches offer up to 750 calories! Read before eating.

Meet D.R. Bryan — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Utility poles on 15-501

I was struck today, as I have been often in the past, by just how ugly the utility poles are out on 15-501 generally, and especially the stretch between the two Southern Village entrances.

At one point, I called Duke Power to ask about this and was told the economics did not justify burying them and that outages would occur more frequently and be more difficult to repair if they buried the lines. That's their view in any case, or was.....

Monday, June 02, 2008

Weaver Street senior discount

I don't recall at what age senior discounts at Weaver Street Market begin, but I know it is at least 60 and "better"!

At some point, I recall learning how the discount works, but I had forgotten. It is 10% - for members - but only on Tuesday and Wednesday each week.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Safe bike and pedestrian routes

Do we - does anyone - have a master plan that will generate safe walking and pedaling routes from Southern Village to a) downtown Chapel Hill, b) the Eastgate area of Chapel Hill, c) Carrboro, and d) the Cole Park Plaza area in Chatham County on 15-501?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Edsel 500: Rockabilly Band: 50's and 60's Rock 'n Roll (Chapel Hill, NC)

The band that is to perform on the Green tomorrow, Sunday at 7 PM.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sidewalks in Southern Village

It struck me yesterday as I walked to Market Street that many of the sidewalks in Southern Village require you to make what might otherwise seem to be an unnecessary square turn at an intersection. In other words, why were the sidewalks not laid out to anticipate how people were likely to walk if they go down one side of the street and intend to cross over to the other side at a crosswalk or intersection? I guess the answer is simply that the designers did not put themselves in walker shoes when they laid it out. That's too bad and I hope other developers have learned from this and so many other similar places.

We all seem to tolerate this so much more than we do something that takes our cars where we don't want them to go. Imagine if you were a small car instead of a person on our sidewalks!

"Merlion Restaurant Supports Public Schools" - Southern Village HOA

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bicycles and stop signs...

I watched two young girls ride their bicycles down Brookgreen today and race through the intersection with Edgewater without stopping.

What traffic rules apply to bicycles in that situation? This appears to be pretty clear that bicyclists most obey all traffic rules.

In any case, if I were the parent, I'd take away the bicycles until the girls really understood the importance of stopping where there is a stop sign.

A day later, I saw a couple of young kids on bicycles cross a street at a crosswalk --- but mounted on their bicycles and without stopping before crossing. Didn't there used to be rules that children should cross streets walking their bikes? Riding them without stopping strikes me as unacceptably dangerous.

Sidewalk grinding service

I understand that the Town of Chapel Hill will come out and grind down any sidewalks that have popped up due to the tree roots.

Benches on the trail?

There are some nice new benches freshly installed on the trail extension that runs behind Scroggs. What are the chances of getting more of them on the existing trail?

The Magnolia Klezmer Band - Home

Tonight's music on the Green.....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Market Street Books at Arts & Letters Community Center

This is the link to the events page for Market Street Books. There are many of them - the events!

The Lumina Theatre

This is a link to the outdoor movie schedule, starting 23 May.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Concerts on the Green

I think the merchants association for Southern Village pays for all of the concerts on the Green. We should know more about that, and do a better job of thanking them!

Jaluka Juice

They have reopened on Market Street. Owners appear to have Brazilian roots!

Only open during the week, for now.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Doc Branch Band

The band performing tomorrow - 18 May - on the Green at 7 PM.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"It's boom times for bus service" - News & Observer

Over 600,000 people riding Chapel Hill Transit in April! Look at the increase and think about how much higher we can push that number?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Farmers' Market

I made my third trip up the hill today to the Southern Village Farmers' Market this season. It is disappointing to see so few vendors; we can only hope the number - and the business for them - increases as the summer approaches.

In order to help those who may not have gone up on a Thursday late afternoon, here is what I wound up buying today:

Basil - $2/bag
Arugala - 2.50/bag
Eggs - $4/dozen
Strawberries - $4/quart (I think that's one of those little containers?)
Peas - $2/pound(don't hold me to that)

This is a great resource to have here in Southern Village and whether you go up to complain about prices or tell them what you don't see, it's in everyone's interest for us all to go.

You may find, like me, that there are always at least a few good things well worth buying!

"Woman, hit by bus in Chapel Hill, dies" - WRAL

Orange County Master Plan

Here is the the text of some brief comments on the proposed Orange County Master Plan that I have submitted:

"I have reviewed the updated version of the Orange County master plan andoffer these brief comments in making three recommendations.

The first is that I do not believe that transportation other thanautomobilies ought to be considered "alternative". Rather, I think thatalltransportation modes ought to be considered on the same basis. Anautomobile is one, a bus another, trains, feet, bicycles, etc. None ismore"equal" than any other.

The second is that I believe we should commit ourselves to having asfullyfunctional a sidewalk network in Orange County as we do one forautomobiles. In other words, if we are going to consider comprehensiveplans for how our automobiles and other vehicles get around the county,weshould do the same for people who choose to walk. The current sidewalkroute throughout the county is abysmal and demands and deserve the samelevel of attention as that given to the road system.

The third is that I do not recall seeing in the document a comprehensivediscussion of energy production and use in the county. Perhaps I justmissed it, but I think any master plan today ought to containinformationon energy consumption and on local energy production. Again, I would notuse the term "alternative". Solar energy production, for example,deservesto be treated in exactly the same way as any other energy we producehere.

Thanks for considering these views."

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Town of Chapel Hill Official Website - 2007 Crime Statistics

This is interesting because it shows crimes committed in Southern Village rental apartments compare to other apartment complexes in Chapel Hill.

1360 WCHL - Chapel Hill-Carrboro's News, Talk, and Tar Heels Station

Sunday, May 04, 2008

V bus in Southern Village

I stood at Edgwater and Brookgreen the other day waiting for the V bus to stop about 2 PM. I looked up Brookgreen at about that time and saw it turning up toward Market St. I walked very fast up to the Park and Ride lot next to the church and the bus was just leaving. He stopped and let me on.

When I asked if the route had changed, he said, no, that he goes all the way to Highgrove every hour and middle of the day there is never anyone there. So he skipped it for once and sure enough, I appeared!

The NextBus function on the Chapel Hill Transit website worked pretty well; it, of course, is not responsible for the driver! I wonder if I had been at the stop whether the GPS system they use to track buses would have detected that the bus indeed was not coming where I was waiting?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Weekend America: Klezmer Funk Hip-Hop? Abraham Inc.

See 25 May on the Green at Southern Village for another Klezmer group....Magnolia Klezmer Band.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Children and screens

When I was walking to the Farmer's Market yesterday, I passed a window in which a young girl was sitting on the window sill inside, seemingly resting against the screen on that window.

On morning television, I saw a piece about a woman whose very young child had fallen out of such a window, and fortunately was unharmed.

None of the screens of which I am aware on Southern Village dwellings is designed to support any weight whatsoever and it sure seems prudent to remind young kids of this!

Woods next to soccer field

I've noticed at least one scooter/motorcycle on the path that runs from the corner of the soccer field through the woods to Dogwood Acres.

No motorized vehicles are allowed on the path through Southern Village and I don't think any ought to be permitted on this more "rustic" path.

It also would be a good idea for more adults to walk back there regularly to make sure nothing is happening there that should not....

Trail from Aberdeen to new park....

I walked down the trail today from Aberdeen hoping to check on progress at the end of it - for the new park. Two things caught my attention.

One was the fact that they have redone the drain for the overflow from the pond in front of Scroggs, but there is still a lot of standing water there. I could imagine a lot of mosquitoes coveting that as home in a short time. It looks to me as though they will have to redo it again, or deal with whatever problem prevented them from getting it right the first time.

Second was the barrier, once again in place, that shuts off the path at the bottom of the Scroggs walkway. Why couldn't they let people walk up the path to the point of the construction instead of closing off the whole thing?

Anxious to get a feel for how the new park is shaping up.....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Southern Village "Club"

This is the site, apparently, for the Southern Village pool and tennis club, now under new ownership. The site was not working when I tried to access it on 27 April 2008.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

OWASA - Supply and Demand Graphs

It is really impressive to see how much we have reduced water consumption. What is not clear is how this was accomplished. Who reduced use and by how much? Across the board? Key players?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Saturday, March 08, 2008

"Police release photo of suspect in ...." - Herald-Sun

The linked story includes a photo of a suspect in the death of Eve CARSON, the UNC student body president. Police contact information is also included.

"Grow a business" -

"If your love for plants has ever left you dreaming of owning a plant shop, this could be your opportunity to turn pleasure into a business. Bloom -- Where You Are Planted, a garden, gift and home shop in Southern Village in Chapel Hill, is for sale. After five years in business, owner Rena Earnhardt is looking for someone to take over Bloom. Said Earnhardt in an e-mail: 'My lease is up and they wanted me to renew but I don't have the energy for five more years. I have one little girl and she is 12, and I feel like it is an important time to be around.' For more information, contact Earnhardt at 708 Market St. in Southern Village. Or call 942-9880. To visit Bloom online, mosey over to"

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

6.976 million gallons yesterday

This is only at the average level of the last 30 days. We must do a lot better than that!

Monday, March 03, 2008

More water numbers....

Here are the latest numbers:

(March 02, 2008):
6.459 million gallons

(March 01, 2008):
6.439 million gallons

(February 29, 2008):
6.673 million gallons

These last two numbers are especially encouraging. I guess we really do not know if this is the result of the Stage 3 rules or just the result of people focusing more on water usage as a result of the added publicity given to the subject in connection with imposing those new restrictions.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

6.969 million gallons yesterday

We need to understand what the different demands were between yesterday and the day before.

Another big picture item is to understand what are the largest pieces of the "pie" that make up about 7 million gallons/day. How much does UNC use? How much at UNC Hospitals? In what other ways, can the use be broken down into smaller pieces and how can we all watch their day-by-day consumption?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

6.912 million gallons yesterday

Who used so much more water two days ago than yesterday (7.203 million gallons two days ago)?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight

Interesting statistics released today that view overall North Carolina real estate values and trends from a national perspective. See pages 25-26.

Comparing us with Raleigh.....

This from Dale Crisp, DirectorPublic Utilities Department, One Exchange Plaza, Suite 620Raleigh, NC 27602 919-857-4540 today, by e-mail:"We do not publish these numbers, rather we utilize the media to get this information to the public. Since going to mandatory restrictions that totally eliminated lawn irrigation in October, the demand has averaged 40.3 MGD. This past weekend (Fri, Sat and Sun) the average customer demand was 37.3 .MGD - 3 MGD less."

Last weekend, we were above our average demand for the same period. Why? What explains this?

7.203 million gallons

Surely, there must be an explanation from which we can learn a lot as to why this number was so much higher yesterday? Is the consumption being measured accurately?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Last three days, starting yesterday 7.061, 6.833, 6.689 million gallons

That's not the right trendline. Why does this seem to rise each Sunday? What happens in the OWASA service areas on Sunday?

Cannot we mount a concerted effort to reduce this number, starting with Southern Village?

Downtown Chapel Hill

Above is a map of what the Downtown Chapel Hill business organization says is "downtown".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Town Hall Grill

Is this all there is to the Town Hall Grill website? Perhaps with this announcement something more will emerge? Here are two more earlier announcements - ownership change and new manager.

7.015 million gallons on Thursday

Why are we going up?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

6.902 million gallons yesterday

There is a need to make this go in the other direction. We used more yesterday than the previous day.....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

6.830 million gallons yesterday

I hope OWASA can explain why it thinks there are these daily fluctuations. Who used so much more water two days ago than yesterday?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

7.294 million gallons yesterday

That's about 1,000,000 gallons more than 14 February. WHY??????? What was different about 14 Feb than 18 Feb?

Monday, February 18, 2008

SV ponds.....

Our largest Southern Village pond - the one opposite the soccer field - shows the signs of the drought. It is down a considerable distance from its normal level.

The pond in front of Scroggs School, however, seems to be at its normal level.

Why is this so in the midst of th drought? From where does the Scroggs pond water come?

6.733 million gallons

That's yesterday's number. On 14 February - note below - the number was 6.342 million gallons. Yes, yesterday was a Sunday, but surely, we need to be heading down, not up.....!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Water reduction success stories?

Are there not some stories in Southern Village of individuals, families, businesses......who have significantly reduced water consumption in the last few weeks, months or years? Wouldn't relating those stories help inspire others to do more?

Would this be worth raising among students at Scroggs? Get them monitoring water consumption at home every day? Start first with the school itself?

Friday, February 15, 2008

6.342 million gallons

That's how much water we OWASA customers consumed yesterday. Why can't we consume even less today?

Conserving water

Why cannot we reduce our water consumption voluntarily even more than we have already? Each of us can do something to use less water in the course of our day.

If we could reduce consumption by 15-20%, we may be able to avoid more restrictive rules at the end of the month. That, it seems to me, is in everyone's best interest.

We should be working as family units, within our workplaces, and between and among neighbors to gently, but firmly, force all of us to use less.

Surely, we can do this!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"SVHOA Annual General Meeting Summary"

Here are the results from the Annual General Meeting last night.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

OWASA may move to Stage Three on 1 March

Here is the latest from OWASA regarging probable imposition of Stage Three water rules on 1 March.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Citrus to open for dinner

This is good news; another business expanding in Southern Village. Bravo!

Regional Transit Infrastructure Blueprint

Here is where you can call the recomendation for a light rail service that would allow us to walk or take the bus from Southern Village to UNC Hospitals and from there be able to take the rail service to Durham, RTP, the airport, Cary and Raleigh. Wouldn't that be amazing?

Southern Community Park

Here is the latest from the Town on the Southern Community Park:

Current Status: Under Construction
Design Firm: OBS Landscape Architects
Construction Firm: Hy Tech Construction
Contract Price: $4,708,000
Anticipated Completion: July 2008
Anticipated Completion Athletic/Soccer Fields: August 2009
The Southern Community Park will be a 72 acre park located south of Southern Village and west of 15-501. The concept plan indicates that the site will be over 50% natural. Most of the developed portions of the site are anticipated to be located adjacent to highway 15-501.

The following has occurred or is ongoing:

The Town Council approved bids for the park that includes the following first phase:
Ø All season Restrooms
Ø 3 complete athletic/soccer fields including fencing and irrigation (but without lights)
Ø Trails, including the extension of the paved Fan Branch Greenway to Dogwood Acres Drive and natural surface trails
Ø 2 picnic shelters
Ø 2 basketball courts
Ø 1 inline hockey court
Ø Play area
Ø Dog park
Ø Site furnishings
Ø Sidewalks
Ø 2 parking lots (162 total spaces)

Construction started in June 2007.
Plant rescue was held the week of July 2-8, 2007.
Clearing and grading complete except for selective areas.
Inline hockey and basketball courts are poured and fenced.
Slabs for picnic shelters poured.
Footings for restroom are under construction
Athletic fields are graded and irrigation systems installed.
Utilities installed.
Installation of curb and gutter 90% complete.
Parking lots 90% paved
Sidewalks 70% complete
Art project is underway
Landscape installation is underway
Fan Branch greenway trail extended past Scroggs School into park site. Trail access to school has been restored. All other trails still closed until construction is complete.

A major issue is how and when to sod or sprig athletic fields during a major drought. We are exploring options for finishing the fields.

Plans for the project can be reviewed in my office. Please make an appointment (919) 968-2787 ext. 214) or email at and I will be happy to show you the plans."

Morgan Creek Trail

Here is the latest from the Town of Chapel Hill on this project adjoining Southern Village:

Current Status: Detailed design
Design Firm: Coulter Jewell Thames
The Morgan Creek Trail will be an extension of the existing Fan Branch Trail that currently serves Southern Village. The trail will continue from the intersection of Culbreth Road and Highway 15-501 to Smith Level Road at the Carrboro Town line near Frank Porter Graham School. This trail will likely require several bridges and underpasses. The project will also include access to the Merritt Pasture.

The following has occurred or is ongoing:
· The Council adopted a concept plan on October 9, 2006.
· Hillsong Church has decided not to lease its parking lot to the Town. This will require that we design a stand-alone parking lot for the project.
· A .2 acre parcel of property was purchased from Duke Energy in September 2007. This will allow us to build a bridge for access to Merritt Pasture.
· Work on detailed design is almost complete."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

OWASA manhole covers

Why do so many of these stick so far up in the air? Whatever happened to the idea of building them flush to the ground? The new ones next to the path from Aberdeen past Scroggs to the new Southern Community Park have several prime examples of this. Why?

Holding pond?

Why is there a "holding pond" next to the trail between Aberdeen and Scroggs? It is filled with blue/green muck at this stage as well as many mosquito larvae awaiting warmer weather. Who is responsible for fixing this?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Town Hall Grill Hires Mike Monaco as New General Manager" -

We'll all want to watch for changes in food, service and offerings. There is a big OBAMA event tonight at Tyler's in Carrboro to follow returns of Super Tuesday. Why not - on a day such as this - organize a non-partisan event at the Town Hall Grill to follow results of both parties and all candidates? That would really take us back to the neighborhood bar idea, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

CVS by bus

There is no easy way to use the Chapel Hill Transit bus system to get to a CVS in the area. Each of the nearest either has no bus (15-501) or one or more transfers - Carrboro and Ram's Plaza.