A letter distributed by 61 members of the historically black Northside Neighborhood in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, adjacent to the under-construction 10-story mixed-use condominium complex dubbed Greenbridge, urges residents to avoid giving money or support to any Greenbridge Developments venture.
The letter, placed as an ad in Sunday's edition of the Chapel Hill News, claims the development will ruin the neighborhood.
"Greenbridge is being promoted as a new frontier in environmental sustainability, but the vast majority of the energy used by these condominiums will come from coal and other outside sources. A building that destroys the historic community around it is not sustainable by any measure," it reads.
The project at 601 W. Rosemary Street has received national attention for its environmentally friendly concept, but has been controversial from the get-go, with posters distributed around town claiming, "Greenbridge is racist," and assertions that the expensive units will create gentrification.
Earlier this month someone called in a bomb threat to the project, and graffiti has also been prevalent. Tim Toben, a managing partner in Greenbridge Developments, wrote a column just after the bomb threat for both the Chapel Hill News and Chapel Hill Herald defending the project. He argues that the environmental benefits and the low-cost of some units are signs of progress.
Here's the full text of Sunday' s ad:
To prospective buyers of Greenbridge condominiums:
For many months, the shadows of two cranes have hung over the historically African-American Northside neighborhood in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. These cranes are part of the Greenbridge Condominium development at 601 W. Rosemary St., a luxury housing project of unprecedented size for our small town.
Greenbridge condominiums will fundamentally change the character of our neighborhood. We are concerned that luxury condominiums such as these will raise property taxes and rent for neighbors already stretched thin by the economic recession. In addition to keeping older residents awake at night, the development has already displaced one beloved African-American-owned enterprise and has cost businesses like Knott’s Funeral Home thousands of dollars in destroyed property and lost sales. A slick PR campaign has glossed over Northside residents’ concerns, and Greenbridge has refused to meet neighbors’ demands that might mitigate the effects of the development.
Greenbridge is being promoted as a new frontier in environmental sustainability, but the vast majority of the energy used by these condominiums will come from coal and other outside sources. A building that destroys the historic community around it is not sustainable by any measure. Ultimately, it is less resource- and energy-intensive to buy and make changes to an older house than to build an entire new one, particularly when that new housing involves a $1,459,000 price tag.
Future condominium owners will be moving into a building unwanted and unwelcomed by Northside residents, some of whom are already facing threats of foreclosure or eviction. We feel it is irresponsible to construct luxury housing in the midst of a recession, with the possibility that such housing will increase the economic pressures of rent and property taxes on Northside families.
For these reasons, as Northside residents, with the goal of preventing similar developments from being built in the future, we ask that you do not give your money to any present or future Greenbridge Developments project.
the following concerned residents of Northside:
Maura Burnett, Shannon Saunders, Dorcas Saunders, Cassandra Cainer, Megan Somerday, Alex Henderson, Angela Vargas, Amanda Jenkins, Heath Britiar, Jamellena Riggsbee, Nicole Garland, Ellen Harton, Vickie Weaver, Ellen Weaver, Shannon Weaver, Sheryl Weaver, Randel Riggsbee, Debra Griffin, India Minor, Gayle Baldwin, Chelsea Flowers, Wanda Halman, Elizabeth Albiston, Davin Burnette, Steven Davidson, Mike Swofford, Jr., Michael Scott, Trude Mclaren, Kim Fearrington, Linda Fearrington, Lena Paylor, H.J. Edwards, Max Bushell, Sarah Myers, Brenda Jackson, Steven Purefoy, Wayne Purefoy, Carol P. Brooks, Doris H. Cotton, Jennette L. Farrington, Jewel Francis, Louise Felix, Jessica Willis, Coretta Sharpless, Joey Baldwin, Valenda Baldwin, Timmeshia Arrington, Nancy Fearrington, Kevin Wilson, Deneara E. Worthy, Vilita Worthy, Joanna Bledsoe, Lakia Taylor, Antonika Edwards, Devon Paylor, Krystal Neal, Tyqwan Alston Shantina Alston, Kevin Noel, Montez Edwards, Carlos Gould
At-large incumbent Julie Robison and District A challenger Lori Bush have received the endorsement of DavisandHighhouse.org, a Cary citizens group.
Robison is running unopposed; Bush faces incumbent Republican Jennifer Robinson.
The organization formed in 2007 to oppose the a dense development proposed for the intersection of Davis Drive and High House Road.
DavisandHighhouse.org did not endorse in District C, which pits incumbent Jack Smith, a Republican, against Catherine Evangelista, a Democrat.
Robison and Smith both were endorsed last week by the Sierra Club's Capital Area chapter. However, that group did not endorse in District A.
Leaders will gather at the Franklin Street Post Office in Chapel Hill today to recognize nine local human rights activists.
Sponsored jointly by the town and the local NAACP chapter, the event, set for 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., is the first of two honoring Charlotte Adams, Hank Anderson, James Brittian, Joe Herzenberg, Mildred Ringwalt, Hubert Robinson, Joe Straley, Lucy Straley and Gloria Williams.
The second comes Sept. 20 when a marker honoring them will be unveiled at the newly named Peace and Justice Plaza in front of the post office.
Today's rally will feature a photo display and refreshments. You can find more information here.
The Carrboro Board of Alderman agreed to leave the John Herrera seat open and to appoint Randee Haven-O'Donnell as mayor pro tem Tuesday at its regular business meeting
The board moved swiftly while convening for the first time since Herrera, the previous mayor pro tem, announced he would move to Holly Springs and give up his seat with five months left in his term.
Mayor Mark Chilton said he gathered from colleagues that they supported leaving the seat open, given the short window before it will be filled by election. He also suggested immediately appointing the November winner, rather than waiting until the official swearing in. The board put off that discussion.
Alderman Dan Coleman then suggested that Haven-O'Donnell, serving in her first term and running for re-election, be given the second-in-command post.
"I do think we should have a mayor pro tem," he said. "We usually go in terms of seniority as far as who hasn't done it yet."
O'Donnell fit the bill. After Joal Hall Broun said she didn't want the responsibility and a few minutes of hemming and hawing, O'Donnell was unanimously approved. She's now empowered to act as mayor in Chilton's absence.
"Only three years and nine months into your service, and you get to be mayor pro tem," Chilton remarked after. "It's a very democratic type of town. Both big 'd' and little 'd.'"
Herrera, who recently remarried and is moving to be with his family, did not file to run in the 2009 election, so the board has known for months that at least one new alderman would be on the board.
In addition to Haven-O'Donnell, incumbent Jacquelyn Gist and challengers Sharon Cook, Tim Peck and Sammy Slade are vying for three seats.
This post was updated at 11:27 a.m.
There is no joy in Mudville, Jerry Goldberg has struck out. The N.C. Board of Elections Monday upheld a recent ruling by the Wake County Board of Elections that stated Goldberg did not meet the residency requirements to run for Raleigh City Council District D.
Goldberg's attorney, former N.C. Democratic Party chairman Jerry Meek, had asked Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan to issue a temporary injunction against the Wake Board's ruling on the grounds that the requirement is unconstitutional. Morgan did not grant the injunction, pending the state board's review. Meek told the Indy that he would go back to the court for a decision on the constitutionality of the requirement.
Read the entire saga at the previous Triangulator post.
Chapel Hill lawyer Lunsford Long has been appointed as judge of District 15B, which covers Orange and Chatham Counties. Gov. Beverly Perdue announced her appointment today. He is filling the vacancy left by Alonzo Coleman, who, by law was required to retire June 30, at age 72.
"Lunsford Long’s experience as a private practitioner and his expertise as a board certified family law lawyer has prepared him well to serve on the District Court bench,” said Perdue in a press release. “He has earned the respect of his peers as a thoughtful, able advocate and he has the set of qualities that will best serve the citizens of Chatham and Orange counties.”
Long, began his legal career as a research assistant to North Carolina Supreme Court, Associate Justice J. Frank Huskins. He was an assistant District Attorney in the 15th Judicial District from 1973-1976. Since 1976, Long has been in private practice in Chapel Hill, first as a partner in the firm of Epting, Hackney and Long and later as a partner in the firm of Long and Long. Long is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law by the N.C. State Bar, is a certified mediator and is a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Long earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also served in the Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1974.
Long, a Democrat, contributed $1,000 to U.S. Rep. Brad Miller's successful 2008 campaign and $500 to U.S. Senate hopeful Jim Neal the same year. Neal lost in the Democratic primary to Kay Hagan, who defeated Elizabeth Dole in the general election.
This weekend's Chapel Hill police bulletin looks like a guest list for a welcome back party. It is, kind of.
The return of UNC students lead to an expected spike in alcohol related arrests in Chapel Hill this weekend with 28 incidents reported.
It breaks down to 17 underage possession arrests, four charges of consuming alcoholic beverage at less than 21 years of age, three counts of open container violations, two driving while intoxicated, one possession of fraudulent ID, one arrest for aiding and abetting a DWI and one charge of transporting spirituous liquor.
Chapel Hill Police Lt. Kevin Gunter says that's about what he'd expect for the weekend leading up to the first day of class.
"I think it's what we normally see for first weekends," he said. "We notice an increase in those types of incidences when the students are in town."
Among those charged 24 were UNC students, according to the campus directory. Nine of them were freshman, with five sophomores, eight juniors and one senior also experiencing a rough first weekend.
Gunter says additional officers will patrol in and around downtown through next weekend and Alcohol Law Enforcement agents may also work with local police.
"We want to make sure that information gets out to students about rules and laws and ordinances that relate to possession of alcohol," he said. "When they have drinks out on public sidewalks, they are in violation, and we're going to pursue those types of situations."
Update: The State Bureau of Investigation says 29-year-old Jeremy Paul Flinchum is the Archdale police officer who shot and killed UNC student Courtland Smith.
Spokewoman Jennifer Canada declined to give specifics, but said the SBI is completing an investigation to be delivered to a local district attorney for guidance.
"Most departments, if there's an incident where an officer fires a service weapon, they'll ask the SBI to come in and investigate," she said.
The UNC's community is waiting for answers after Smith, president of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, was shot to death early Sunday morning.
Smith, a junior biology major from Texas, called police to indicate he was suicidal, according to a statement from Archdale police, which identifies him only as "a white male in his early twenty's."
He was pronounced dead at High Point Regional Hospital at 6 a.m. Sunday.
"Once the vehicle came to a stop, a confrontation ensued and an Archdale Police Officer shot the subject," the statement reads.
Archdale police have declined comment beyond the statement.
UNC officials also are mum save for a letter to students from Chancellor Holden Thorp:
August 24, 2009
Dear Carolina students,
We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of our student Courtland
Smith, a junior from Houston, Texas. There is nothing worse than losing
a young person. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends
as they grieve and cope with such a great loss.
For anyone who wants to talk about this, we have counselors available
for you. Today, counselors are in the Upendo Lounge in the Student
Academic Services Building through 4 p.m. We also have walk-in hours in
Counseling and Wellness Services every day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You
can also feel free at any time to contact the Office of the Dean of
Students at 919-966-4042.
If you need help, please know that our counselors are here for you.
This could be fun. As reported by the indispensable William Greider in The Nation magazine (h/t to Jim Senter, inveterate reader) --
A congressional inquiry is underway -- via the newly created Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission -- to finger the bankers who stole grandma's $3 trillion retirement fund. (Talk about somebody pulling the plug on her :)
Jerry Goldberg will have to wait until Monday to know whether he is considered a legitimate candidate for Raleigh City Council. Goldberg is running for the District D seat against incumbent Thomas Crowder and Ted Van Dyk.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan rejected Goldberg's request for a temporary injunction against the Wake Board of Elections' recent ruling that Goldberg did not meet the residency requirements to run in D. Goldberg's attorney, Jerry Meek, told the Indy that the judge reasoned that there was no "immediate or irreparable harm" in waiting for the N.C. Board of Elections to consider Goldberg's case on Monday. "The judge was clear he was not ruling on the merits of the case," Meek said.
Goldberg is charging that the residency requirements for nonpartisan, municipal races is unconstitutional. Candidates must live at the address they list on the day they file for office; in congressional races, for example, candidates only have to declare that they will move into the district where they are running.
According to the Elections Board, when Goldberg filed, he listed his address as a home in District D on Avent Ferry Road, one of many properties Goldberg, a city inspector, owns. However, the official Election Board document shows Goldberg as living at 8901 O’Neal Road, which does not lie in any council district, according to Wake County maps.
Goldberg told the Indy that he lived on Avent Ferry when he filed but since moved to 1114 Kent Road, also in D. Goldberg said his wife lives on O'Neal Road and plans to move in with him when fixes up the Kent Road home.