Carrboro Commons

Carrboro CROP walks for hunger

Posted on April 28th, 2008 in Features,Lifestyles by campbellc


Photos By Eve Greene

Carrboro Commons Photo Editor
Story By Morgan Siem
Carrboro Commons Writer

Scroll down for a slideshow of the photos.

About 550 walkers came with their dogs, friends and families to the Carrboro Town Commons, the start and finish line of the 22nd annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro CROP Hunger Walk on Sunday, April 13. “CROP” stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty. The CROP Walk supports the Church World Service, which works in about 80 countries to feed the hungry. The Church World Service receives 75 percent of the money raised, while the community keeps 25 percent to help with local efforts to fight hunger. This year, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro CROP Walk’s goal is to raise $53,000, which will mean that the walk will have raised a total of $1 million over the course of 22 years. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro CROP Walk is organized by and supports the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC) on 110 W. Main St., Chapel Hill. Charles Williams, the administrative assistant at the IFC, took on the role of 2008 CROP Hunger Walk coordinator. So far the IFC has received $35,000 this year and expects more, since it takes about a month for the money to come in, he said. “We are on track, so we’re really excited about it.”

As gas prices rise, Carrboro looks for alternatives

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in Carrboro Connections by jamiew1023

By Allison McNeill
Carrboro Commons Writer

mcneill_gasbest3.jpg Cyclists can travel to the heart of Carrboro by the easily accessible bike route. The bike route helps individuals avoid traffic and stop lights, and even better, a bicycle is gasoline-free.
Staff photo by Allison McNeill

With prices soaring to $3.49 for a gallon of regular gas, Carrboro residents and business owners are feeling the pinch in their wallets. The high gas prices have people thinking about their driving habits and considering alternate forms of transportation.

Ben Johnson, who has lived in Carrboro since August, said, “When I have to drive home to the mountains I try to carpool more than ever before. I’m even going to change my voter registration to Orange County so that I don’t have to drive home for that. It’s made me conscious about when and where I’m driving.”

Local business owners are also feeling the effects. David Parker, manager of Amante Gourmet Pizza, has had to deal with gas price related cost increases.

“We now have surcharges on deliveries that come to us,” he said, a sign that other businesses, as well, are trying to find ways to cope.

Although the number of pizzas they deliver has not changed, Parker does foresee some problems occurring if the prices stay at this rate.

“Some drivers don’t want to drive as much,” he said. “When a driver spends $15 to $20 on gas and only makes $15 to $20 on the night, it just isn’t worth it.”

Spiritual group empowers Carrboro youth

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in Features,Lifestyles by mlnewton

By Alexandra Mansbach
Carrboro Commons Writer

mansbach_bahai-003_small.jpg Mookho Paw, Mark Perry, Varqa Kalantar, Omid Akhavan, Azadeh Perry, Elizabeth Tun, and Alejandro Sanchez sit down to dinner on Saturday. Each week, the group does an activity based on the theme of the day. Saturday’s story was about a family sitting down to dinner together, so the group planned and cooked a meal to enjoy together.
Staff photo by Alexandra Mansbach

The Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program aims to create “champions of justice and builders of unity.”

In Carrboro, they are doing just that.

“One of the main goals is to help [youths] understand that their community extends past their ethnicity,” said Mark Perry, a drama professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and founder of The Drama Circle, a Bahai-inspired theater group. “Another main goal is to enable the children with a sense of their own spiritual potential.”

Perry is also a group leader, or “animator,” of a Junior Youth group in Carrboro. He and his wife, Azadeh, work with neighborhood kids on personal growth and empowerment.

The group meets regularly to promote spiritual development and self-expression.

“That really needs to be encouraged because the forces of materialism are so strong,” Perry said. “And by materialism I mean anything that dampens the light of the human spirit.”

During weekly gatherings, the group participates in games, sports, reading, prayer, and artistic activities such as singing and playing instruments.

Voters to decide on land transfer tax May 6

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in Town government by jock

By Ann Ansley
Carrboro Commons Writer

Dorothy had it right. There really is no place like home.

Especially if you’re required to pay a significant tax if you ever decide to sell your home.

ansley_tax1.jpg Bronwyn Merritt, a broker with Community Realty, finishes up some work on her laptop before meeting with clients. Merritt opposes the land transfer tax, which will be on the May 6 ballot in Orange County, because she believes it is bad timing to increase taxes for those selling their homes, given the poor state of the real estate market.
Staff photo by Ann Ansley

On the May 6 ballot, Orange County residents will vote in a referendum on whether or not to approve a land transfer tax of 0.4 percent. If passed, residents selling their homes will be required to pay 0.4 percent of the total sale price of their home to the county.

The Orange County Board of Commissions voted Feb. 19 to put the transfer tax on a referendum for the May 6 ballot. The General Assembly voted in 2007 to transfer the burden of acquiring revenue sources from the state level to the county level, so that the counties will now be more responsible for coming up with their own spending money for use within the county, according to the board’s Feb. 19 agenda abstract.

As a result, county boards are required to hold a referendum within their county to see if the public wishes to raise taxes through an increase in the sales tax or an increase in the land transfer tax.

Carrboro residents are hardly at a consensus on the issue.

“I do oppose it, the main reason being that now is the worst sales market and a lot of people are close to foreclosure,” said Bronwyn Merritt, a real estate broker with Community Realty, who lives on Creekview Circle. “Just because you have a nice house doesn’t mean you can afford this tax.”

Merritt says that if people aren’t forced to pay property taxes, they can find better uses for the money they save.

Carrboro ‘hooping’ conference draws enthusiasts

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in Lifestyles by rldecker

By Lindsay Ash
Carrboro Commons Writer

The equipment may look the same, but this is not your childhood Hula Hoop. A new trend of movement and dance, called “hooping,” is reaching communities around the nation.

Hooping in Carrboro At the last workshop of the Hoop Convergence, held in Carrboro and Efland, hoopers combined movement and dance to act out different emotions or objects. Led by Kari “Revolva” Jones, these hoopers are dancing out “bubbles.”
Staff photo by Lindsay Ash

Hoop Convergence”, called the first national hooping conference by its organizers, was held from April 11 to 16 in areas of Carrboro and at Chestnut Ridge Camp and Retreat Center in Efland.

Hoopers spiraled at venues all over Carrboro, including Weaver Street Market, the Town Commons, the Century Center, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Tae Kwon Do Center, Carrboro Yoga Company, Carolina Fitness and Balance Movement Studio.

“Carrboro has become a hooping Mecca,” said Ariana Shelton, who traveled from Massachusetts to attend “Hoop Convergence.”

“It’s a place on the map that hoopers all over the world recognize as a unique hooping scene.”

In the past few years, there has been a re-emergence of Hula Hooping, which is now referred to as “hooping” to distinguish it from the children’s play activity. Hooping can be used for both exercise and expression.

“Hooping is a form of creative movement and dance that uses a much bigger and heavier hoop that moves slower as it rotates around the body,” said Julia “Jewels” Hartsell from Carrboro.

Maple View Challenge runners race to end hunger

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in Lifestyles,Sports by ERafferty

By Katie Spencer
Carrboro Commons Writer

Just prior to the torrential downpour Sunday, a storm of runners descended on Carrboro for a pint of Maple View ice cream.

I was among the 250 willing to fill up on dairy halfway through a five kilometer run, all for a good cause.

spencer_icecream1.jpg Nick Hutchins and Matt Hamrick perform for the crowd’s applause. The duo barely beat out the “dancing cow” to win best costume.
Staff photo by Katie Spencer

The event was called the Maple View Challenge, a local version of North Carolina State University’s Krispy Kreme Challenge, where runners eat a dozen doughnuts in the middle of a four mile race.

We started at the Morehead Planetarium and went down Cameron Avenue to the Roberson bike path. At the end of the path we found a well organized ice cream eating station. Anyone competing had to finish off a pint of strawberry sorbet or vanilla, chocolate-chip or double-chocolate ice cream before heading back the same way, full of dairy.

I have never seen the bike path so crowded. The returning runners had one thing on their minds: keeping the ice cream down.

The idea came from UNC-Chapel Hill students David Campbell, a senior environmental studies major, and João Toste, a junior economics major, who were training for a triathlon at the time. The two stopped at Maple View Farm just north of Carrboro, where they joked about an event that combined physical exercise with eating ice cream.

Carrboro High committee promotes academic honor

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in School news by kwin

By Stephanie Kane
Carrboro Commons Writer

Carrboro High School is in the initial stages of developing the Carrboro High School Academic Integrity Committee (AIC), which will be composed of faculty, students and parents who are concerned with promoting honor at Carrboro High.

kane_chs-academic1.jpg Marc Millard, a Carrboro High science teacher, is primarily responsible for the organization of the Academic Honor Committee.
Staff photo by Stephanie Kane

The creation of the committee comes in response to the discovery of an elaborate cheating scheme at Chapel Hill High School this February.

Carrboro High Principal Jeff Thomas said the incident at Chapel Hill High has “put the microscope on our whole school district. We have a high performing school district and high schools from which many students are accepted into Ivy Leagues, so the media attention has been heavy. But I think some good can come of this, and we can learn and grow from a negative situation.”

The Carrboro High AIC will be modeled after the East Chapel Hill High School AIC, which has been in operation for several years and is firmly established in the school’s system.

Marc Millard, a Carrboro High chemistry teacher who previously taught at East Chapel Hill High, is organizing the committee and says the AIC will be up and running for the 2008-2009 school year.

Millard plans to have at least one faculty member from each department present at AIC meetings and is currently gathering teacher recommendations for students who “embody personal integrity and honor.” These students will be extended an offer to join Student Academic Integrity and Leadership (SAIL) next year.

Millard also hopes to have parents in attendance who can voice valuable input and serve as a support unit for faculty, but they will have more limited involvement when confidentiality is at risk.

Local boy band has sights set on recording contract

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in A&E,Features by rmitch3

By Kate Searcy
Carrboro Commons Writer

Move over, Jonas Brothers. There’s a new boy band in town – literally.

searcy_boyband1.jpg Lord Destiny, far left, dances as members of Miah and the Girl Toyz treat the crowd to their vocal and guitar-playing talents. The group of brothers, including Christopher and Jeremiah, far right, hopes to make their band a household name in the music world with continued daily practice..
Staff photo by Kate Searcy

Miah and the Girl Toyz, a high-energy quartet of young musicians from Carrboro, put on a lively show at McDougle Elementary School on April 20.

The group consists of Christopher, 15, who plays bass guitar; Jeremiah, 14, who sings lead vocals and plays lead guitar; Stori, 11, who plays the keyboards and sings backup vocals; and Vincent James, 10, the drummer.

The “Miah” in the band’s name is a shortened form of “Jeremiah,” according to Jacob Jacobs, the group’s manager and adopted father of the boys.

The performance was part of an entertainment series called Entertainment Adventures that is sponsored and coordinated by the town of Carrboro and the Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department. There is a different performance on the third Sunday of each month, said Robin Jones, the coordinator of the event. Jones is also a recreation specialist for the town of Carrboro.

Jones saw the group perform at the Carrboro Music Festival and asked them to join the series.

“We don’t usually have musical acts,” Jones said. “But I heard a few of their songs, and we decided they would be good for our program.”

Carrboro High School prepares for its first prom

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in School news by kayre

By Shannon David
Carrboro Commons Writer

“Get pumped CHS juniors because the first ever Carrboro High School prom is here! Get ready to turn the lights down and turn the music up,” read weekly announcements at Carrboro High School.

david_chs-prom1.jpg Students at Carrboro High School lined up on April 21, 2008 to buy tickets to Carrboro High School’s first prom. The prom will be held at the Carrboro Century Center on May 10, 2008 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Staff photo by Shannon David

On May 10, Carrboro High School will hold its first prom from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Carrboro Century Center.

The student body has been working hard all year to put on this event. “We have pretty much done everything,” said Erin Harrington, student body co-president. “We have been in charge of finding a DJ, finding a venue, picking out a theme. We are doing most of the grunt work really.”

According to Harrington, the theme for the prom is “Glow in the Dark,” and the catch phrase for event is, “turn the lights down and turn the music up.”

Harrington has worked closely with fellow student Andrew Morin in planning the prom, and Harrington and Morin believe that students overall are excited about the upcoming event.

“We had problems promoting spirit at first,” said Morin. “Some kids said they would rather go to prom at Chapel Hill High.”

“And originally we were disappointed that we couldn’t afford a nice venue like a hotel,” continued Harrington, “but we are really happy with how everything turned out.”

Century Center to host third Carrboro Film Festival

Posted on April 25th, 2008 in A&E by rburk

By Shera Everette
Carrboro Commons Writer

If the Carrboro Film Festival were a plant, in a few months it would be getting ready to sprout legs and leap.

“There’s a plant metaphor for plant growth and development that says the first year, ‘steep;’ the second year, ‘creep;’ and the third year, ‘leap,’” said Selena Lauterer, chair of the Carrboro Film Festival. “For plants, their third year is when they’re most robust. In relationships and organizations, you’ll see that in the third year, things just magically grow.”

cff07committee1.jpg Committee members of the 2007 Carrboro Film Festival display the event’s fun spirit.
Photo courtesy of Carrboro Film Festival

The Carrboro Film Festival, which began showcasing local artists’ narratives and documentaries in November 2006, will have its third annual competition on Nov. 23, at the Carrboro Century Center.

“Can you believe the growth that we’ve seen?” asked Jackie Helvey, one of the festival’s founders. “Last year was a standing-room-only event and it was incredible. I can’t wait to see what happens this year.”

The deadline for submissions is Aug. 29, with late submissions being accepted until Sept. 22. Films can be no longer than 20 minutes, and the filmmaker has to have had a brush with Orange County at one time in life. They will be competing for one of the Kay Kyser Awards, which is named in honor of the 1940s Chapel Hill big band leader known as the “ol’ professor of swing.”

Lauterer said it is imperative to get the word out now, before students leave for summer vacations.

“We want as many student filmmakers as possible to be participants,” Lauterer said. “Who knows, maybe you will see the next big director.”

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