Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Tragedy of Silence -

How many guns do you suppose "we" have in Southern Village and how do we reduce that number, whatever it is?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Le Blog du Vieux-Nice

I still think something like this - that tells the many stories of the people and places of Southern Village would be a real plus for the community.

Monday, December 03, 2012


The fellow in charge of sidewalk repairs is Sheldon BURNETT in Chapel Hill Public Works. 919-969-5124. I called and left a message about the poor job done in replacing a single sidewalk section in front of 147 Graylyn more or less. For so many men working on this, it looks a lot more like a camel than a horse. And the camel is not in very good health.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Park use

I saw - at 2 PM or so - about 6 people today in the park in various places plus about a dozen in the playground and a dozen guys playing basketball. That was almost a record number!
On 29 Nov at 3:45 PM, there were a total of 12 people in the park, 9 of them in in the playground.
On 3 Dec at 3:30 PM, about 6 people in the park, including 3 kids and two people picnicking on a blanket - plus about a dozen under the pavillion for some sort of get together. The rest of the park was empty.
On 4 Dec at 3:45 PM, about 10 people in the park with 3 on the frisbee course in the woods, 2 dogs and maybe 15 or so in the playground, plus young boy and young girl on the basketball court and one lone young sole on the roller skating rink.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Caves Valley

Wilson Creek Trail

I take it that the Town killed the idea of a Wilson Creek Trail that would run through the property known as Obey Creek. If this is true, why, and why not suggest to the owner/developer that building such a trail would be a nice contribution to the Town?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Town of Chapel Hill : News Releases : Chapel Hill Receives Employer Commuting Award

I'd like to know how much of this affected the volume of traffic on 15-501 from Dogwood Acres north.

The Herald-Sun - Window to the past

This talks about placement of various projects vis-a-vis transit lines. Why don't we see that in the description of Obey Creek?

Business Outcomes | iTOPS | Strategic Outsourcing Solutions | IT Services | iGATE

Isn't this the better approach to Obey Creek?

A Vacant Lot in Phoenix Offers Refugees a Taste of Home -

What could we grow in Obey Creek?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Updating the Message to Get Americans Moving -

What could Obey Creek be that would help get more people moving more?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Economist and TFI, France

I've seen two things today that remind me how much we are NOT doing to deal with the evolving life around us in Southern Village. The first is a special section in the Economist from a couple of weeks ago that I only got to look at today. It deals with all of the ways that digital technology is being used to increase astronomically the amount of data we have about ourselves and our lives, especially tied to place. Are we looking at any of that from a Southern Village and environs perspective? And, tonight, a fascinating piece on French national televsion talking about the increasing challenges of making deliveries - 200,000 of them every day - in Paris. Finally, I must add a note about a counter-programed program tonight discussing claims of a huge public health risk posed by diesel-powered vehicles.

When was the last time we read a piece about our neighborhood discussing any one of those issues? | Town Council wants more discussion on Obey Creek

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Obey Creek - Town Council

I watched some of the meeting on 5 Nov. (You will know you have found the right video when you see the shots of speakers from the audience including smirk commentary from developer Roger PERRY in almost every shot.) Jim WARD asked whether the Development Agreement process would yield answers to tough questions about traffic, etc. I think the answer was "it could". My answer is - do it now, apart from any agreement. Gen PEASE asked if doing this was "implicit approval" of something, and I say yes. I next ask, why? Explain the REASONS for the votes. If the cost of a consultant is to be born by the developer, who gets to pick the consultant and who calls the shots. For whom does she/he work? Michael GEARHARDT had superb comments; if you listen to nothing else.....

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Why Geography Matters: More Than Ever: Harm de Blij: 9780199913749: Books

Might this help us in dealing with Obey Creek?

Local businesses

Why don't we start a big local campaign to make our Southern Village businesses successful, help them to change if not doing what we need/want, and generally set some success goals and work to achieve them, measuring them along the way?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Friday, November 02, 2012

South Columbia Street

"S. Columbia Street Widening Project to Begin
Posted Date: 11/2/2012
NCDOT News Release
A section of N.C. 86/Columbia Street in Chapel Hill will be enhanced for general traffic, buses, bicycles and pedestrians, thanks to a $4.56 million contract approved by N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti. Triangle Grading & Paving Inc. of Burlington was awarded the contract.
The project maintains the character of Chapel Hill, adding sidewalks on both sides of the street and bike lanes. The street will remain a single lane in each direction with the addition of a center turn lane and bus pullouts to improve traffic flow. The new 0.8-mile project is expected to begin on Nov. 26, with completion by July 2014.
During nine months of the project, between April and September 2013, traffic will be one-way on Columbia Street, with traffic going northbound from Fordham Boulevard toward Manning Drive. Outbound traffic will be detoured onto Manning Drive.
This is one of 15 contracts totaling $73.6 million awarded by Conti in October for highway and bridge projects across North Carolina. NCDOT awarded the contracts to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The bids received on the projects awarded came in about 9.1 percent, or $7.4 million, below NCDOT estimates.
Since Gov. Bev Perdue took office in January of 2009, NCDOT has awarded 727 highway contracts totaling $5 billion to ensure that all North Carolinians have access to jobs and educational opportunities. Gov. Perdue continues to support immediate jobs in the construction sector and the goal of ensuring that our transportation network facilitates access to jobs, education and healthcare for the future." 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Hotel at Southern Village

I asked them to add an e-mail or form to allow us to pose and for them to answer questions. The fact that they have not done so can only mean they are not interested.

Encourage transparent, data-driven process for Obey Creek - Petition signatures - Page: 1

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cook&Go - les ateliers de cuisine. Apprenez et partagez une cuisine décomplexée !

We had something like this in Southern Village but it is no longer there? What happened?

Communal bread oven in Biot, France

Why don't we consider a communal bread oven in Southern Village or Obey Creek? You can see more here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"The Hotel at Southern Village"

I suggested to Rosemary WALDORF that they add an e-mail contact address here and that they receive comments and questions, along with suggestions, and post them on the website with their responses. We'll see how committed they are to doing this in a transparent and participatory manner.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Southern Village proposal is questionable" - Daily Tar Heel

These all seem like important issues, and some of them are probably best addressed by the Council and some are matters for the developer to address without excessive hindrance by a group of people sitting up front who think they know a lot more than they do.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


What's amazing to me is that whoever "we" are in this text, they never explain themselves.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Morgan Creek map

This ought to be of considerable interest.

"Obey Creek Community Page"

Just released....

Saturday, October 06, 2012

"Morgan Creek Valley Alliance"

I look forward to learning more about this.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

"A Rustic-Looking Respite and a Home for Authors" -

Why can't we create a Southern Village atmosphere akin to something like this? We lost a bookstore? What can replace it other than a tumble gym?

Monday, October 01, 2012

"Sidewalk construction on Culbreth Road has started" - Daily Tar Heel

It sure seems like a lot of money! But it will sure be nice to have an unbroken sidewalk there for those who use it. How much traffic does it get in the course of an average day? I imagine most of it comes from students going to Carrboro High School?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Hotel and apartments


I had thought no one was to keep a boat either in front of their house or in their driveway. If this is the case, I surely hope the homeowner on Graylyn near the end of Aberdeen will put her/his boat somewhere else!


I just sent this to the Chapel Hill Fire Department:

"We live at 143 Graylyn Drive in Chapel Hill. Tel is 919-960-4503.

Across the street from us, and about 3 houses closer to downtown, a neighbor whom we do not know has had one of those white P.O.D.s storage containers deposited on the street in front of the house.

Neighbors across the street – same side as us  - persist in parking on the street even with this unit in place.

I have no idea how long it is to be there, but I am virtually certain that an emergency vehicle could have difficulty passing between the storage P.O.D. and the cars on the other side of the street.

While this may result in no problem for anyone, I feel I should raise this with you because should there be an emergency, this could create a dangerous situation that none of us would like to encounter.

If I can track down the home owner, I will ask how soon it will be moved, and if not on Monday, I will contact the police as well.

We never know when an emergency could arise and they tend not to pay much attention to which day of the week it is!

Thanks for any action you may feel is warranted."

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Contact » Responsible Growth NC

Here is the message I just sent:
"I found your flyer on my mailbox, read it, and decided I would learn more about who you are. Here on your website, I find no names, nothing about who or what supports you, and therefore I have to question what may be a thoughtful, well-intended effort.
Am I missing something here that explains all that? If not, could you please provide this information? One specific question - why is it that I do not see any suggestion that interested people contact the developers - Roger and Ben PERRY - in addition to all of the other action items, etc. that you outline?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Herald-Sun - Perry Obey Creek equals sales tax dollars

I spoke yesterday with Ben PERRY of East-West Partners yesterday about this. He said that they will not break ground for 18 months or so. There will be NO single family homes. The project will be primarily multiple level (up to 6 or 7) condos. More “urban” than Southern Village, he says. Naturally, this all depends on ultimate Chapel Hill Town Council approvale, etc.

My two mile walking circle

Two miles is a good distance for all of us to be walking. It ought to take under 45 minutes to do this. In a two mile walk, I can get most of the way to Chapel Hill or Carrboro and all of the way to the site of the new Walmart. That includes a big stretch of 15-501, Market Street in Southern Village, and a few other points of interest along the way. What strikes me is that we are entirely too focused on cars and going everywhere by that transport medium. The result is that pedestrians - normal people - are taking a nearly literal "back seat" to cars. We are going to see a huge increase in cars and noise and pollution with the evolution of Obey Creek and what is not happening with any of it is a focus on how people living or working within two miles can get there on FOOT. We need a lot more focus on this - a lot of two mile circles and lots of attention on how people can move on their own feet between and among all of the places inside their own two mile circles.
For example, what do we know about the vehicle traffic projections for the Walmart?
Where is the two mile circle around Obey Creek explaining why and how people can get there or leave there to go somewhere on foot?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fan Branch Trail

I asked Bill WEBSTER in Parks and Recreation if there are any plans to extend the Fan Branch Trail to the south....

"Our long range master plan shows an extension to the southern tip of the Southern Community Park, but no further.

Dear Bill,

Just curious – is there any kind of rough plan, discussion document, correspondence, etc over a southern extension of the Fan Branch Trail – toward and into Chatham County?"

Town of Chapel Hill : Fan Branch Trail

The Herald-Sun - Two eateries planned for Westpoint

Note Southern Village connection.

Summer Nights: Baltimore's 'Little Italy' : NPR

How about a Southern Village variation on this theme? Films of the South? Films of France? Something....

The Sampson Independent - The breakfast club

Do we have anything like this going in Southern Village?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Terra Vita

What this still does not do is explain who is behind this, how much money they make each year, etc. It all seems so oriented to the want-to-be-seen-and-seem-impressive-crowd.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Environnement: à Nice, le quartier Saint-Roch se met au compostage | Nice-Matin

Why don't we create a central composting "center" in Southern Village? I'd certainly volunteer to help organize and operate it.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Carolina Performing Arts bus?

Saw one in the bus area behind the church at about 6 PM one day? Where does that go?

Praise For "The Walking Classroom" — North Carolina Public Radio WUNC

First I'd heard of this.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Friend: Dead woman feared for her life - Politics -

What an awful story this is with the two children, so very young.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Now Coveted - A Walkable, Convenient Place -

As good as this is, and as much as Southern Village ought to be Exhibit A in support of this, my own experience indicates that only a very small percentage of peopl ein Southern Village (less than 25%) ever walk anywhere. Why is this?

The Herald-Sun - Woman shot and killed at Scroggs school

An expanded story.....

The Herald-Sun - Victim has died in Mary Scroggs Elementary shooting

Bank Ratings | Banking Grades | Multifunding

It seems odd that Harrington Bank is not listed here. See this story on NPR this AM.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I thought I saw some little minnows, or whatever, in the stream under the bridge along the trail. Are they headed toward becoming fish or frogs?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Microscopic Neighbors, Evolving Together -

I wonder what this might suggest about life in Southern Village?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stevenage: A Place Where You Can't Be From : NPR

And let's compare that place to Southern Village!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Painted walkways

Imagine that your assignment was to lay out how to walk around SV using a paint brush to mark the routes. Which ones would you add and then how to do this permanently in order to tell motorists and truck drivers where to yield, stop, etc. In other words, instead of everything working primarily for cars, let's make sure the place is painted clearly to show that people come ahead of vehicles!

Dog news

I wonder what we can do to stop people from tossing their plastic bags with dog waste on the side of various trails.It is too bad that we cannot trace the stuff. One day I may walk along the path in SV and collect all that I can and then post a blow up of a photo of all them just to remind everyone of this and perhaps encourage or shame the perpetrators to stop.

In New York, Neglected Trees Prove Deadly -

Should we be calling someone if we see a tree somewhere that looks as though it might fall on a public route, from pedestrians to large vehicles? There are a couple of trees along the path near the Southern Community Park that look quite dead and dangerous. Whom do we call? In addition, there are all of the paths through the woods around Southern Village. What are our collective responsibilities for these and any other trees in and around Southern Village?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


What chemicals are used to treat the playing fields at Southern Community Park?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Who Knew? Upcycling the Dog Poo -

How do "we" handle "ours" from the dog zone in Southern Community Park?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chapel Hill council bans cell-phone use while driving - Orange County -

Southern Village drivers should start to follow the new law even before it takes effect!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Greenbridge and Walmart

It sure seems to me that there is a lot to be learned from understanding the differences between these two development projects. One has failed utterly and the other is likely to be a huge success. One lesson is that social engineering costs a lot more than most anyone realizes and is usually a bad idea. The other is that there is so much more around these projects that could and should be done by a careful melding of public and private interests without either of them imposing ridiculous requirements on the other.

Yes, two extremes that ought to matter a lot to people who live in Southern Village.