The CHN reports that OWASA has spent $300,000 since 1988 for the opportunity to get water from Jordan Lake (CHN, Jan. 9, bit.ly/ZC5HRP
). OWASA’s planning director, Ed Holland, has recommended that OWASA spend an additional $225,000 for a level 1 allocation for water that OWASA has never needed and never will need.
Previously Holland predicted that OWASA water demand would grow exponentially; he continued to claim this even after Ed Kerwin, OWASA’s executive director, publicly agreed that growth was linear. Holland based his absurd claim on fitting an exponential curve to what was clearly a straight line. Current usage is what it was over 20 years ago, and OWASA says it has enough water to last 580 days, assuming no rain at all
. Meanwhile water rates have skyrocketed due to reduced water usage based on OWASA’s foolish demands for unneeded conservation. Obviously OWASA has sufficient capacity to withstand any previous drought and any foreseeable drought.
But for a sweetheart deal with the American Stone Co. allowing them to use OWASA’s quarry until 2035, OWASA would NOW have a hole in the ground that would hold at least 1.5 billion gallons in water that frequently goes over the dam at University Lake This would have provided an extra and probably unneeded margin of safety. This would be the case if OWASA followed the recommendation that Erwin Danziger and I presented to OWASA 12 years ago. An OWASA-sponsored study by UNC professor Don Lauria showed that there was not enough water available to fill such a large hole. What incompetence!Elliot M. Cramer Chapel HillImportant seat
I am a 25-year resident of Chapel Hill and have been active for all those years on finding methods and locations for the town to provide affordable housing ownership and rental housing opportunities. I am one of many who are disappointed the Town Council has not been able to establish policy and program choices to address the many issues of rental housing within Chapel Hill.
The currently vacant seat on the Central West Steering Committee that was identified for a “Public Housing resident or representative” was included for the very reason that the town has yet to develop goals, policies, plans or ideas about the potential location of rental housing opportunities for low-income families, especially locations that can be served effectively by Chapel Hill Transit such as exist in the MLK Jr. Boulevard corridor for its entire length from downtown Chapel Hill to Interstate 40.
I strongly urge that instead of seating a seventh homeowner member of a study area neighborhood, that the town actively (rather than passively) solicit applicants of public housing and/or affordable housing experience in Chapel Hill for the seat that was identified as important to the understanding of how to include consideration for affordable rental housing in the Central West Study Area. After all, the process is going to take at least a year to get a final recommendation to the council and probably another six months (until June 2014) for the council to act.
Expanding the time frame and energy spent to find a good representative from public housing or the affordable housing community is more important than adding another neighborhood home owner just to be expedient.Scott Radway The writer is a former Planning Board chairman. Editor’s note: Central West is an area the town has identified along the MLK corridor from Homestead Road to Estes Drive. The Town Council has asked the steering committee to recommend how the area should grow as part of the Chapel Hill 2020 process. For more information, including a map, please see bit.ly/P85yUGFree ‘Sam’ talk
The Chapel Hill Historical Society and UNC University Library present “Silent Sam in History and Memory,” a talk by Dr. Fitz Brundage and Adam Domby at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at Wilson Library on the UNC campus. The event is free and open to the public, and parking is free on campus after 5 p.m.
To trace the history of Silent Sam, the memorial to UNC students who fought for the Confederacy, is to chart the shifting course of the historical memory of the Civil War in North Carolina and the broader nation.
When dedicated a century ago, the monument was a testament to the triumph of the heroic white southern “Lost Cause” narrative over competing memories of the Civil War. The controversy surrounding Silent Sam during the past quarter century testifies to the profound changes not only in the meaning assigned to the Civil War but to the public culture of the contemporary South. Brundage and Domby, of the History Department, will discuss the original impulse behind the monument, the role of the university community in its erection, and its evolution as an icon.
The Chapel Hill Historical Society was founded in 1966 to research and document the history of the Chapel Hill area, to encourage and assist in the study of local history, and to provide public programs and publications related to the heritage and traditions of the community.Bob Schreiner Chapel Hill Historical SocietyHispanic Health
El Futuro, a Latino behavioral health clinic, will be hosting a conference on Friday, Feb. 1, from 3:30 to 8:30 pm and Saturday, Feb. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the UNC School of Social Work Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building, 325 Pittsboro St.
¿Y Ahora Qué? 2013 - Sueños, Retos, y Oportunidades: Reflections on Latino Behavioral Health,” will help mental health providers learn new evidence-based methods and discuss ways to enhance the delivery of mental health to the Latino community. Attendees will also engage in discussions with the local legal community to address specific issues related to serving the immigrant population in North Carolina.
El Futuro opened in 2005 to fill a gap. Its mission is to strengthen the whole community by providing and advancing bilingual and culturally informed behavioral health treatment for underserved Spanish-speaking individuals and families. Now, as a trusted resource in the Latino community, El Futuro, with locations in Durham, Carrboro and Siler City, has served over 1,600 clients in the past year. The experience in serving the Latino community led to the vision of El Futuro’s executive director, Luke Smith, M.D., to host a behavioral health conference to provide education to other providers involved in treating this population. Yolonda Williams El Futuro
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