Roses and raspberries, June 5

June 4, 2013 

Roses from reader Bob Schrock of Chapel Hill to Patrick at Governors Village Food Lion.

“After my second day of cancer chemotherapy, I stopped at the Governors Village Food Lion to do several errands. When I came to the checkout counter my wallet was not in my pocket.

“After a fruitless search and deeply distressed, I drove the eight minutes to my home. There was Patrick at my door.

“‘I found it in the parking lot. I would want someone to do the same thing for me,’ he said.

“I was speechless. I hope that my response was thanks enough. I will do my best to follow Patrick in the lead of the good people of Chapel Hill and North Chatham County.”

Raspberries to state Senate Republicans for undoing years of careful rulemaking to begin improving water quality to Jordan Lake, a major supply of drinking water to the Triangle area.

The bill's sponsors say efforts to improve water quality in the lake, which have been in effect since 2009, have not worked and put an unfair regulatory burden on business. Unspecified new technologies are more promising, they say, than continuing to try to clean up the lake by placing restrictions on the entire watershed.

But as the N&O’s Craig Jarvis reported, the Division of Water Quality in the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has worked for a long time on Jordan Lake, drafting the original rules after a year and a half of stakeholder meetings. Asked for its position on the bill, DENR released a statement saying it would be "disappointed to see the existing Jordan Lake rules repealed entirely before their full effect is realized."

"This is the first time that the legislature has proposed repealing measures to clean up a troubled major drinking water source, with nothing to put in its place other than a commission of legislators to come up with a new plan, " said Molly Diggins, state director of the Sierra Club.

Normally, once environmental laws are passed, the state Environmental Management Commission develops rules to implement them. Under this bill, a subcommittee of lawmakers would oversee a study with input from all interests, said Senate Bill 515 so-sponsor Rick Gunn (R-Alamance). Recommended rules will be presented to the General Assembly next year.

“The current Jordan Lake Rules create an unfair, unattainable and expensive regulatory burden on North Carolinians,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “We must stop wasting taxpayer dollars on a failed strategy and instead develop one that works.”

Every senator of both parties who represents an area which drinks, or could drink, Jordan Lake water, voted against the bill.

Roses to East West Partners and residents of the U.S. 15-501 South area for brokering an agreement to work together on a vision for the Obey Creek site across from Southern Village.

It may not have been the lion lying down the lamb – or maybe it was, when developer Roger Perry and Obey Creek neighbor Jeanne Brown spoke to the Chapel Hill Town Council last week. The council endorsed their proposed Compass Committee to explore how the 140-acre site might be developed.

The developers set aside plans to develop a 40-acre commercial and retail project for the site in order to get more public input leading to a development agreement that could spell out what they get to build.

The town is accepting applications through Monday for 17 seats on the Obey Creek Compass Committee. The group will be appointed Jun 24. For more information go to townof

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