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In My Opinion

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Chatham Democrats: Get those capitalists out of government!
[Jul. 23, 2014] For a long time, Chatham County has been an overflow containment area for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro crowd. Apparently, they were so satisfied with the job they did in ruining neighboring Orange County that they were looking for new victims to subject to their loony-left hippie drum circle nut-jobbery. By Brant Clifton
 
Chatham leads way by getting out of way
[Jul. 16, 2014] As our local government budget sessions ended, there was a lot of hand wringing in Orange County and Chapel Hill about our fiscal future. Savings are being depleted. Education needs more funding. Capital improvements to government buildings and schools are being deferred. Property taxes are being increased with the prospect of higher rates to come. It’s beginning to look like past policies put us on an unsustainable path. We need more revenues. To that end Orange County is finally adding infrastructure to some of its economic development districts and Chapel Hill has approved redevelopment plans for Glen Lennox and the commercial areas around Eastgate. By Mark Zimmerman
 
What newspapers won’t say about anti-election reform lawyers
[Jul. 5, 2014] Much has been written about the attorneys the Governor and the legislative leaders have hired to defend the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA) against lawsuits brought by the NC-NAACP, the ACLU and the U.S. Justice Department. In contrast, to date, there have been no stories spotlighting the army of attorneys involved for the plaintiffs. Many of the attorneys are associated with the groups suing North Carolina, such as the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, League of Women Voters, ACLU, NAACP, Common Cause, and Unifour Onestop Collaborative, not to mention Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.
 
Why the State should sell Jennette's pierWhy the State should sell Jennette's pier
[Jun. 21, 2014] The NC House budget included a provision for the state to sell the controversial Jennette’s pier located in Nags Head. The pier opened three years ago after the 2009 legislature approved $25 million to fund its construction. House legislators say this move could generate revenue for the state to help other priorities – including the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Selling the pier is a good idea, and Civitas applauds efforts for the state government to sell off its non-essential assets. By Brian Balfour
 
Fracking isn't newFracking isn't new
[Jun. 4, 2014] One problem with the Monday protests is what lies between the lines. Listening to speakers today on Halifax Mall, for instance, you'd think fracking is something new and experimental and, therefore, dangerous. But fracking isn't something new and untested. Fracking was pioneered in 1947. By Jim Tynen
 
Civitas poll: North Carolina voters vastly overestimate NC ethnic diversityCivitas poll: North Carolina voters vastly overestimate NC ethnic diversity
[Jun. 1, 2014] The latest Civitas Institute Poll shows North Carolina voters overestimate the diversity of the state’s ethnic makeup. Voters’ average view is that the state’s population is 51.4 percent white, 33.5 percent black and 23.8 percent Latino. According to estimates* from the U.S. Census Bureau, 69.8 percent of North Carolinians are white 21.4 percent are black, and 8.3 percent are Latino or Hispanic.
 
Chatham County subdivision and zoning regulations continue to grow
[Apr. 30, 2014] This review of zoning, subdivision addresses zoning in general, local setback rules, the major corridor ordinance, conservation pressure on planning and governance, the river corridor setback and how they effect landowner rights. By Tom Glendinning
 
Chatham county's "waste not, want not" policy makes room for expansionChatham county's "waste not, want not" policy makes room for expansion
[Apr. 29, 2014] Chatham County population growth has been well documented and accommodations for it well planned. 1990-2013 growth was 72.4%, from 38,759 to 66,817, or 3.15% per year. 2010-2013 growth was 5.2%, or 3323 increase. (US Census Bureau) By Tom Glendinning
 
To measure the effect of how a growing county benefits jobs and citizensTo measure the effect of how a growing county benefits jobs and citizens
[Apr. 19, 2014] Thank you, sir, for your suggestion of retiring to Chatham Park. I have considered it. I do like my life in the country though, as hard as it is sometimes. To qualify and answer some of your points: "quality of development" may not be in your wheelhouse. It is in mine. I have been a contractor for over forty years and have seen different levels of quality. Visit the Governor's Club, Fearrington, or even Randy Voller's subdivision in Pittsboro. Then, compare to the public housing development in southeast Durham built forty years ago. The difference should become obvious. By Tom Glendinning
 
The gaffs of Pittsboro Matters fall to name callingThe gaffs of Pittsboro Matters fall to name calling
[Mar. 19, 2014] I think we should issue Parking tickets for those who rehash the same arguments. But in the words of our iconic folk hero, Pete Seegar, "This Land Is Your Land." Some take that to mean their land and no one else's. But I am sure that Mr. Seegar's meaning was more universal than that. He was a fine man and a true democrat. By Tom Glendinning
 
Pittsboro Matters claim to be "experts" and forecast doom and gloom for usPittsboro Matters claim to be "experts" and forecast doom and gloom for us
[Feb. 23, 2014] The census department forecasts that the population of the county will grow by more than 55,000 to 60,000 people in the next 30 years. If these families buy individual lots of seven acres spread throughout the county, 154,000 acres of land will be developed. By Tom Glendinning
 
Effects of planning and zoning rules and ordinances can be restrictive and costlyEffects of planning and zoning rules and ordinances can be restrictive and costly
[Jan. 30, 2014] The planning tools of subdivision and zoning ordinances are complex, detailed and usually of such volume that most people will not try to read or understand them. Their weight and impact are assumed to be proper and necessary, whatever the effect on the territory involved. By Tom Glendinning
 
The knives come out for Carol FoltThe knives come out for Carol Folt
[Jan. 25, 2014] A letter to the editor on Tuesday in the Daily Tar Heel does not pull its punches in describing Chancellor Folt’s disseminating: Carol Folt’s message addressed to the Carolina community is dangerously misleading. The first paragraph belittles the scandal by using past investigations and changes to placate critics. The second paragraph shows the University’s commitment to denial and half-truths. By Joe Asch
Also: Dartblog.com
Also: How Carol Folt works
 
The Carol Folt playbookThe Carol Folt playbook
[Jan. 21, 2014] In the UNC’s Mary Willingham student-athlete-literacy scandal, people at Dartmouth recognize that Chancellor Carol Folt is working from her usual playbook. Rather than facing serious revelations head on, she is yet again just running a PR damage control effort. Here's how it works: first the administration ignores the problem; then it denies that the problem even exists, a denial that is wrapped in laudatory remarks about the institution; and then a full-on offensive aims to discredit and punish the whistleblower. By Joe Asch
Also: Dartblog.com
Also: How Carol Folt works
 
Academics’ call for secrecy would undermine democracy in North CarolinaAcademics’ call for secrecy would undermine democracy in North Carolina
[Dec. 17, 2013] Civitas Institute President Francis X. De Luca has released the following statement in response to the “open letter” sent to Gov. Pat McCrory and state budget director Art Pope. The letter is signed by nearly 300 academics and criticizes a basic public records request made by the Civitas Institute of a public employee.

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