Published: Feb 19, 2013 07:00 PM
Modified: Feb 18, 2013 01:16 PM
Roses to Town Council member Sally Greene
for defending the public’s right to speak.
At a recent meeting, council members discussed how long their sessions can go. It’s not a new concern; call it one of the pitfalls of participatory democracy.
Council member Matt Czajkowski said citizen petitions can be part of the problem. He cited the lengthy public comments after the Police Department’s raid on the Yates Motor Co. building in 2011 as an example, suggesting speakers abused the process.
Council member Sally Greene quickly spoke up. She said the decision to send a heavily armed tactical squad onto Franklin Street outraged many local residents and they deserved to be heard.
The Yates raid was an unusual event, and there were people who spoke both against the police show of force and in the department’s defense. Emotions ran high, but the months of discussion in council meetings and before a citizens advisory panel needed to happen. Over time, a more full understanding of what happened emerged, and policies were put in place to be better prepared next time.
Council meetings may run long, and citizen participation may be part of that. But if the council wants to save time it can look at other ways to streamline the process, starting with its development review process, surely a bigger time suck than the debate that ensued after Yates.
Roses to The Produce Box
for support of the Veggie Van program in 2012.
The Produce Box is a Raleigh-based company that sources North Carolina grown produce from small- to medium-size farmers and delivers boxes of fresh produce to families across the state. This past year, it partnered with the Chapel Hill-based Community Nutrition Partnership to help bring affordable locally grown fruits and vegetables to families in lower-income communities. The Produce Box’s owner, Courtney Tellefsen, donated 25 cents from every box sold to CNP’s Veggie Van program (over $20,000 total).
CNP is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing healthier communities. Its Veggie Van sells reduced-cost boxes of fruits and vegetables (prices are less than half of retail cost for similar boxes) and offers nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, seasonal recipes and free taste tests to community members.
The Veggie Van is also made possible through partnerships with the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Farmer Foodshare, Eastern Carolina Organics and through support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and the Strowd Roses Foundation. If you know a community that could benefit from the van, please contact email@example.com.
Roses to the N.C. Highway Historical Marker Advisory Committee
for approving a marker to be erected in Carrboro by the railroad where pioneering folk singer Libba Cotton could see the train from the front porch of her house. State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird announced the marker in a recent newsletter to constituents:
The marker will read:
“Libba” Cotton composed, recorded “Freight Train” (1958)
Key figure, 1960s folk revival. Born and raised ¼ mi. northeast
As mayor of Carrboro, Kinnaird organized a Libba Cotton Music Festival with music from black traditions from jazz to gospel to spoons. Etta Baker gave one of her last performances at the ArtCenter at that festival.
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