Published: Nov 16, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Mar 05, 2012 06:45 PM
Roses to those few of you who voted last week.
The Orange County Board of Elections reports 102, 224 registered voters. Of that total, 17,848 people cast ballots: 17.46 percent.
That handful took the opportunity to decide who will take seats on the Chapel Hill Town Council, Carrboro Board of Aldermen and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education, and whether to approve a quarter-cent increase in the sales tax.
These are important decisions. They will determine the course of growth, the priorities in our kids' classrooms, the programs and services that do and don't survive budget negotiations and much more. It's discouraging that so few local residents considered those matters worth the minimal effort it takes to vote.
The county's precinct results Web page isn't exactly likely to go viral on YouTube, but it does make for an interesting peek. There amid the ranks of turnouts in the teens - and a few that don't even reach that (What's up, Mason Farm and Country Club? 2.7 percent?) - one precinct leaps off the screen: Weaver Dairy Satellite.
That precinct, located at Carol Woods Retirement Center, regularly takes the prize for highest turnout of any local precinct. The residents there did it again: 70 percent of registered voters there cast ballots.
A special bouquet for you folks.
Raspberries, at the suggestion of a local bicyclist, to residents who rake or blow piles of fallen leaves into the roadway.
This time of year, of course, leaves are everywhere, and homeowners have every right to gather them up for disposal.
But please keep the pile on your side of the curb and out of the road. It's illegal to place litter in the road, and it's dangerous.
Big piles of leaves - or branches, or anything else - in the road are obstacles. They have the practical effect of narrowing the right-of-way; in some cases they can reduce the thoroughfare by a whole lane.
Cyclists faced with a big pile of debris in the road have to move off the edge of the pavement into the middle, where they are at far more risk of being hit. Cars likewise are forced away from the edge, narrowing the gap between them and oncoming traffic. Both effects increase the likelihood of accidents.
Roses to the Gravesite Guardians program.
The program, the most recent venture by Extraordinary Ventures, trains and employs young adults with developmental disabilities to spruce up local cemeteries.
Like the other programs run by Extraordinary Ventures, this one offers the opportunity for meaningful work to residents who often have few such options.
The crew members of Gravesite Guardians rake leaves, scrub mold and dirt off headstones and otherwise brighten up the area. It's a service families with the graves of loved ones in the cemeteries appreciate, and it's a chance for the crew members to earn a paycheck, work in the open air and build confidence that comes with being of service to the community.
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