Carrboro Commons

Carrboro High School suits up for first season

Posted on April 26th, 2007 in Growth and development by megcooke

By Meghan Cooke
Staff Writer

Carrboro High’s fields are empty now, but the athletics department faces a busy off-season. The school board has approved three coaches so far.
Commons Photos by Meghan Cooke

In a few months, athletes will don purple, black and white jerseys and take the field for the first time at Carrboro High School.

But in the meantime, there is plenty of work left to be done.

Steven Reinhardt, who assumed duties as athletic director of Carrboro High School in February, has his work cut out for him.

When it comes to building up a new athletic program, Reinhardt said his first responsibility is to hire coaches before the school opens in August. He said that finding the right coach for the future Jaguar teams is the biggest challenge.

“My first thought when we hire a coach is always, ‘Would I want that person to spend two hours a day with my son or daughter?’” Reinhardt said.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board has already approved three coaches. Jason Tudryn, a former defensive coordinator at Curry College in Milton, M.A. and high school head coach from Florida, will take the reigns as the first football coach at Carrboro High School. Tudryn will also work as an exceptional education teacher at the school.

12th Carrboro Day full of food, fun and frivolity

Posted on April 25th, 2007 in Carrboro Connections by Graham Russell
Click here for a printable PDF map of Carrboro Day festivities.
Graphic by Graham Russell

By Graham Russell
Deputy Design Editor

Carrboro is a town rich in tradition, and the first Sunday in May is no exception. For the 12th year in a row, residents will gather at the Commons on West Main Street for Carrboro Day, a day of music, food and entertainment.

This year’s festivities fall on Sunday, May 6 and will kick off at 12:30 p.m. with a performance by The Village Band, a 50-member ensemble of musicians from throughout the Triangle.

Music continues throughout the day until the end of the event at 7:00 p.m. Hip-hop artist Peter Joe-L Daye, known as L in Japanese, will make an appearance, followed by former members of Brown Mountain Lights under the name Great Big Gone.

Also performing are singers Bo Lozoff and Shannon O’Connor; oldies artists Lo-K-Shun Band; swing band Too Much Fun; and Saludos Compay, a group that specializes in Latin music. Storm Front brings the day to a close with blues music about and inspired by Carrboro.

Violence hits home

Posted on April 25th, 2007 in Editorials/columns by Robert Matteson

By Robert Matteson

America was beginning to lose its innocence at the same time as my generation lost its own.

I remember playing with toy soldiers the day that the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed in Oklahoma City. Four years later, I remember my teacher crying as she walked into class, undoubtedly looking for the words to explain to 7th graders what had happened at Columbine.

On September 11th, 2001, I was sitting in my physics classroom watching news coverage about the plane that had collided with one of the World Trade Center towers when the second one hit.

It seemed up until that day, the national mentality was that terrorism was something that happened in the Middle East. Even afterward, I felt completely safe knowing that Chapel Hill would probably not rank high on any terrorist target list.

And after a Jeep was driven through the Pit last year, injuring nine, we were unsure how to react. Was that terrorism?

And on Monday, another sad chapter was written in our coming-of-age story when 32 people were killed at Virginia Tech by a fellow student.

The events mentioned have very little to do with one another except the magnitude of their effect on me. Each of us can claim a different set. I’ve grown up watching the world through the evening news. I remember Peter Jennings’ voice reporting the Gulf War, and then that in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The violence seemed far away and artificial.

But no longer can I fool myself by saying “That could never happen here.”

Festival celebrates motherhood

Posted on April 25th, 2007 in Features by gsara

By Sara Gregory
Staff writer

Earth Day celebrants usually invoke the image of nature and Mother Earth.

At Saturday’s annual Rock the Baby family festival, though, the emphasis was on the bounty of mothers’ milk.

“We’re here to celebrate the greatness, the coolness, just all that is wonderful about breast-feeding,” said Pam Freedman, an event organizer.

“There’s nothing more green than breast-feeding,” Freedman said.

The event, planned by the La Leche League of Chapel Hill and held at the Carrboro Town Commons, featured live music and vendors to help families learn more about breast-feeding.

“It’s a good way to raise awareness and money to support the cause,” said Sadie Bauer, a mom who joined the group of mothers when she became pregnant with her first child. “The goal is fun.”

The fundraiser started five years ago.

“We started thinking, ‘What do we like to do?’ And we started with listening to music with our families and went from there,” Freedman said.

Morris, Only Female Firefighter in Carrboro

Posted on April 25th, 2007 in Features by Elsa

By Elsa Hasenzahl
Staff Writer

“This shift is really good about camaraderie. It’s nice having that group right there. and it really is like a family,” said Morris. Shift B fire fighters, left to right, Josh Hughes,
Brian Sykes, Larry Mann, and Stephanie Morris.
Commons Photo by Elsa Hasenzahl

Even though women have made strides in the fight for gender equality, there are still professions that currently lack female representation. One of these is firefighting.

Stephanie Morris, 27, is the only female firefighter at the Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department and has been there for almost seven years.

Morris said that her dad was in law enforcement while she was growing up in Durham, so she has seen the gender changes in the field. In the 1970s the situation for females was much worse, with women having to deal with things like sexual comments.

Nowadays, Morris said that the situation has improved, but females still have to prove themselves more than males.

“You don’t want to come across like you’re here to be with the guys, but that you’re here to actually be here,” Morris said on working in a male-dominated profession. “It’s about how you prove yourself from the get-go.”

Larry Mann, a fire driver at the Carrboro department, said that it is not any different working with a female firefighter.

“We treat her like any other one,” Mann said.

Sparrow and Sons clogged with business

Posted on April 25th, 2007 in Features by knpope

By Kristen Pope
Staff Writer

Anyone driving down Weaver Street easily could miss Sparrow and Sons Plumbing.
With just a small white sign in front of a historic yellow house, only the trucks with the company’s name and logo in the back give away the fact that there is a thriving business operating out of the old mill home.

But maybe an old home is the perfect setting for Sparrow and Sons. Owned by several members of the Sparrow family in a sort of co-op, the company is just as much a slice of down-home as it is a business.

Michael Sparrow is in the fourth generation of Sparrows to own the plumbing company. His great-grandfather started the business in 1952 after working for another local plumbing company.

“(It’s) probably one of the oldest local businesses around,” he said.

His father, Jerry Sparrow, who owned the business before Michael Sparrow, retired at the first of the year. Now Michael Sparrow owns part of the store in a sort of co-op with four other family members, including his brother, Jonathan.

The business was located on Rosemary Street but has been in its Carrboro location for more than 40 years, Michael Sparrow said.

Basement craftsman makes guitars

Posted on April 25th, 2007 in A&E by lzjordan

By Jordan Lawrence
Staff Writer

Wes Lambe restores an antique guitar from the mid-1800s in his basement workshop. Lambe builds and repairs guitars for The Music Loft.
Commons Photo by Jordan Lawrence

While many people use their basements as recreation rooms or areas to store their aged possessions, Wes Lambe chooses to use his in a different fashion.

He builds guitars.

While this is not a traditional way to use one’s basement, Lambe is not your average homeowner. He is a luthier, or someone who crafts stringed instruments.

The Durham native makes guitars and bass guitars, both in acoustic and electric varieties, in addition to cellos, mandolins, and amplifiers, in the garage and basement of his Chapel Hill home. He sells the majority of his creations through the Music Loft in Carrboro, where he holds the post of head luthier.

Lambe said that the space is an upgrade over previous working arrangements.

“When I first had my smallest shop, I started making mandolins,” he said of the small shed behind his first house that became his shop in 1998. “I didn’t have enough room to make a guitar fit.”

Lambe slowly worked his way up to the basement arrangement that he now uses, taking up residence five years ago.

“I had a little shed at the first house and a bigger shed at the next house and a bigger shed next house,” he said.


Posted on April 25th, 2007 in Editorials/columns by jock

By Jock Lauterer

Earth Day number one, I remember like it was yesterday. 1970. As a young upstart editor at a start-up weekly in rural western North Carolina, I was called the “hippie editor” by some locals.

But that’s OK. There was this “hippie teacher” at the local high school, too, a gifted young visionary who, when he heard about the outrageous notion of holding a day to focus on the environment all across the nation, latched on to it with all fours. So we did it. And between the two of us — Mike, the hippie teacher and Jock, the hippie editor — dang if we didn’t launch Earth Day in li’l ol’ Rutherford County.

All these years later, 37 to be exact (I can always remember because my first kid, Selena, was one year old at the time), Earth Day has evolved into a more than just a single day; for many it has become a way of life.
My years in the mountains of North Carolina as a 24/7/365 small-town newspaper editor left me with what has become now a sacred legacy: a cabin on 50 acres not far from Lake Lure. And it was the building of that cabin during those “back-to-the-land” days of the ‘70s that really schooled me in ecology.

I built the cabin in a wide, lush hollow to be close to water — a creek that meanders affectionately around the house, so that sitting on the deck, you can see Silver Creek for 180 degrees and hear her gentle chuckling as she trips and falls and laughs over mossy rocks.

Locals celebrate Earth Day at Farm Tour

Posted on April 25th, 2007 in Features by knpope

By Kristen Pope
Staff Writer

Bron Skinner holds 2-year-old Ellie Sawin as she yells, “wake up pig” while touring Chapel Hill Creamery during the Piedmont Farm Tour Sunday.
Commons Photos by Justin Smith

Warm weather and sunshine made for the perfect Earth Day weekend, and many Carrboro and Chapel Hill residents celebrated by spending a day out on the farm.

The 12th annual Piedmont Farm Tour gave local residents a chance to enjoy the beautiful weekend by getting out in the country and getting a hands-on look at the beauty and power of nature.

Thirty-four local farms opened their gates on April 21 and 22 to teach visitors about sustainable farming and where their food comes from.

Sponsored by Weaver Street Market and the nonprofit organization Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, the Farm Tour has become an Earth Day tradition for many and is one of the CFSA’s biggest fundraisers.

Visitors could pay admission at each farm or buy a “Support Local Farmers” button that served as admission for the entire tour. Farm Tour maps, which were available at many locations in Carrboro and surrounding areas, guided visitors in planning their routes during the tour.

Amy Eller, director of communications for the CFSA, said the tour typically draws about 2,000 visitors.

The Carrboro Commons also went on the tour, visiting two of the farms closest to Carrboro.

Carrboro isn’t commerical; it’s community

Posted on April 25th, 2007 in Editorials/columns by Liz

By Liz Thomas

Joining the staff of the Commons in January, all I knew about Carrboro was that it was a town of hippies. But of all the times I passed through, I had never seen any barefooted flower-power children that matched my pre-conceived notion of a hippie. I was aware of Carrboro’s love for organic, locally grown vegetables, and I worried I would be limited to writing about produce.
Paris of the Piedmont?
What if this small town would not have enough to offer a staff of journalists? Carrboro had never had a newspaper when the Commons started last fall, and maybe that was for good reason. To me, Carrboro was just a destination of the J Bus that I rarely visited because I was stuck in the university bubble of Chapel Hill.
I thought Chapel Hill was a stronger community because, even abroad, I can find someone wearing a Tar Heel baseball cap. This instant bond with Tar Heel fans is the same as my bond with ATLantians. Growing up in a famous city made me think that I had a strong community — a community that drank Coca-Cola, held Olympic Games and discussed the Braves when conversations went dry.
How could Carrboro-ites have a strong community? There is no easily recognizable, unifying symbol that defines Carrboro.
Maybe it is the advertising major in me, but I wanted to brand Carrboro. The Paris of the Piedmont did not suffice. Unless there were a breathtaking tower or a world-renowned museum that I somehow overlooked, Carrboro could not hold a candle to Paris.
Talent without the fame
When attending The Second Friday Art Walk for my first story, I discovered that Carrboro is an infinite creative outlet. Its impressive arts and music scene was enough to have me in awe. I had never noticed it before because Carrboro promoted local artists without the need of bringing in famous speakers or talents. Atlanta and UNC had conditioned me into thinking that towns had to be commercialized in order to be great. Without bragging rights of impressive enhancements, Atlanta and UNC would lose creditability
and hype; they would lose money.
But something besides money compels Carrboro to provide a rich array of opportunities and events.That was the difference between Carrboro and the communities I once considered more enriched.
Bigger isn’t always better
Community means something different in Carrboro. Bigger isn’t better for this small town. The people have a close-knit community with fairs and markets that enhance Carrboro. They don’t rely on commercializing themselves to entice visitors to become tourists.
Carrboro is captivating because new residents and visitors truly discover that the congeniality is pure. Carrboro is entirely genuine.
I get the hippie description now.
Love for a town like Carrboro is not measured in fame. Carrboro-ites keep their priority on the community – locally owned and organically grown.

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