Carrboro Commons

One-Stop No Excuse Voting opens for Carrboro

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

by Hannah Sharpe
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Carrboro voters and North Carolinians have the chance to mark their ballots before the polls open on Nov. 4, Election Day.


Local Obama campaign volunteer Laura Tovolewsky sells shirts and hands out information about Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign to patrons at the Carrboro Music Festival Oct. 4. Tovolewsky is one of many volunteers working to generate support for Sen. Obama in the area.
Staff photo by Hannah Sharpe

On Thursday, Oct. 16, a One-Stop No Excuse voting station will be set up at Carrboro Town Hall until Nov. 1. There are similar locations across North Carolina.

Though North Carolina’s Board of Elections has offered early voting since 2004, the board anticipates an increase in participation for this year’s election due to the heated race between presidential candidates, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama.

“We anticipate a record turn-out for this upcoming election,” Tracy Reams, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, said in a telephone interview.

Reams said that the rise in number of newly registered voters over the past year has prompted the Board of Elections to increase the number of one-stop voting sites and double its staff in order to make voting more accessible. Before 2008, Orange County had three one-stop voting sites, including the site at Carrboro Town Hall. On Thursday, there will be five sites open in Orange County.

The Orange County Board of Elections has also seen increased interest in voting times and locations. The board advocates early voting so that voters can avoid the long lines and crowded polls on Election Day.
Reams and the Board of Elections have also urged the local Republican and Democratic parties to spread this information to their respective supporters.

First art walk stop: Jesse Kalisher Gallery

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Lindsay Britt
Carrboro Commons Co-Editor


Meet the Jesse Kalisher Gallery family: (from left to right) David Winton, gallery associate; Lisa Mays, sales managers; Helen Kalisher, vice president and design; Jesse Kalisher, photographer and owner. Not pictured is Sarah Elder, gallery manager.
Staff photo by Lindsay Britt

The monthly 2ndFriday Artwalk brought in visitors and families to Carrboro art galleries and restaurants on Friday, Oct. 10.

The Jesse Kalisher Gallery, located at 209 E. Main St., was one of the stops on the art walk for the third time since the gallery opened two months ago.

“We are an art gallery, and we are in Carrboro,” local photographer Jesse Kalisher said. It (participating in the art walk) seemed like a logical extension of the gallery.”

With the presidential elections around the corner, Kalisher chose to feature his political photographs that he has been collecting since 2002. Black and white photographs of Barack Obama, John Edwards and an anti-war protest in San Francisco lined the front walls of the gallery.

“Politics is one of my favorite areas,” Kalisher said. “It is drama that is important and real.”

Kalisher’s political photography exhibit makes strong statements that he hopes sparks serious conversations. Kalisher’s photographs of the anti-war protest in San Francisco include images of people carrying signs with bold statements such as “Stop Mad Cowboy Disease.”

“There is some controversy just in putting up some of the photographs,” Kalisher said. “You can’t be afraid to offend people.”

Dropping into Carrboro and crashing on your couch

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Jasmina Nogo
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

A mutual love for travel and an immense trust in the kindness of strangers are what connect people from all over the world and bring them crashing on each other’s couches.


CouchSurfing traveler and host Logan Halley-Winsett (far right) enjoys both sides of CouchSurfing. He hosts travelers on his couch and shows them around town. In turn, he also travels frugally by using the CouchSurfing network to find free places to stay as well as cool people to show him around.
Staff photo by Jasmina Nogo

Even Carrboro has a spot on the globe for CouchSurfing enthusiasts.

CouchSurfing is an international non-profit organization that connects travelers through a members-only interactive Web site. It provides travelers free places to stay and personal tour guides to show them parts of the community that tour books often miss.

“I don’t understand why we have to know people in order to trust them” said Leilani Trowell, a senior nursing major at UNC. She has lived in Carrboro for three years and began CouchSurfing more than a year ago.

Trowell had eight CouchSurfers stay with her in the last year, three of whom came all the way from the Netherlands.

According to the official Web site,, there are 230 participating countries and more than 770,000 CouchSurfers across the world.

Thirty-year-old New Hampshire native Casey Fenton founded in 2003 as a network run and administered solely by members and volunteers, according to the Web site.

“Trust is the key to the CouchSurfing mission. You have to believe that people are good and that you can trust them,” said Zeke Krautwurst, a senior anthropology major at UNC.

Krautwurst signed on to the network more than a year ago and has hosted several CouchSurfers at his house in Carrboro.

Community gathers to celebrate poetic diversity

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Danielle Verrilli
Carrboro Commons Photo Editor

Writers and performers brought poetry to life through interaction, readings, music and rap for more than 250 people who gathered in Carrboro to celebrate poetic diversity on Saturday, Oct. 11.


Carrboro’s poet laureate Neal McTighe reads his poems aloud to an audience in DSI Comedy Theater during the Laureate block of the West End Poets Weekend. McTighe serves on the Carrboro Arts Committee and also started a Youth Poetry Contest in Carrboro.
Staff photo by Danielle Verrilli

The third West End Poets Weekend showcased nationally acclaimed and local poets during nine themed free blocks held at Carrboro Century Center and DSI Comedy Theater.

“The goal is to bring together all ages to read and talk about the art of poetry,” said Kim Andrews, the coordinator at Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department who primarily organized the event. “I hope that the youth take advantage of this opportunity to learn different art forms.”

Morning events in Carrboro Century Hall primarily addressed the youth audience, featuring Poetry Alive!, an interactive poetry performance grouped based in Asheville, N.C. In the next block, five local youth read aloud their poems to the audience.

“Here in Carrboro, we try to target our youth group,” said Andrews. “We try to incorporate the universities that surround us.”

James Seay, a UNC-Chapel Hill professor of English and comparative literature, read in the Tarheel Poets block with students from the university, followed by a group of North Carolina published poets.

After a break, the festival moved to the DSI Comedy Theater across the street for readings with both serious and humorous themes in the Laureate and published poets blocks.

“This feels very comedy club – except for I’m not that funny,” Carrboro’s poet laureate Neal McTighe said jokingly, sitting on the darkened stage at DSI. McTighe, who serves on the Carrboro Arts Committee and started the Youth Poetry Contest in Carrboro, was very impressed with the festival this year.

“It’s been great all day, not only to hear all the poetry, but to see a wonderful turnout,” McTighe said. “I look forward to seeing it grow next year.”

Andrews, who said her goal is to try to double the attendance each year, was also pleased with the participation and locations.

“The new venue at DSI was a nice change,” Andrews said. “People seemed to really like the more intimate space.”

Local tennis associations offer tennis to Latinos

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Dioni L. Wise
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Carrboro has the largest number of Latino residents of any municipality in Orange County, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. The town boasts 2,062 Latino residents, nearly 13 percent of its total population.


Angela Sofia Royo of Carrboro (left), a 10-year-old Phillips Middle School student, swats at a tennis ball while Jorge Marin, of the Chapel Hill Tennis Club, coaches her at the Hispanic Tennis Carnival at Wilson Park on Sunday. Angela and her family moved to Carrboro from Colombia two months ago and attended the carnival to learn more about tennis and their new community.

Staff photo by Dioni L. Wise

Dana Hughes, the event coordinator and a recreation supervisor with the Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department, and Patti Fox, the community tennis coordinator for the Durham-Orange County Tennis Association (DOCTA), decided to create an event for the growing community.

That’s when the “Hispanic Tennis Carnival” was conceived.

“Patti Fox and I got together and we were trying to do an outreach for the Latino community,” Hughes said. “And both of us know Carrboro has a growing population, so we decided to do a tennis carnival, and it was modeled after the one in Greensboro. So USTA started the program, and we just took the program and modified it for our needs.”

On Sunday, Oct. 12, Carrboro Recreation and Parks, DOCTA, and the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) North Carolina hosted the free “Hispanic Tennis Carnival” at Wilson Park.

Carrboro Recreation and Parks will offer follow-up lessons the next three Sundays, Oct. 19, Oct. 26, and Nov. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the park for $3 per person per lesson.

The carnival, or ““Carnaval de tenis hispano” in Spanish, started four years ago on the two courts at the Hank Anderson III Community Park. It has been hosted the past three years on the four courts of Wilson Park, where more than 50 participants performed drills and played games Sunday.

Community Cinema screens “LIONESS”

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Hillary Vandewart
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

The second film of the Community Cinema screening series, “LIONESS,” brought the issue of women in the military to light on Thursday, Oct. 9, at Open Eye Café.


Daria Sommers, co-director and co-producer of LIONESS, leads a panel discussion following the Carrboro screening of the film. She said that she hopes the film will “ignite a dialogue that is good for everybody.”

Staff photo by Hillary Vandewart

“The Community Cinema program is a way for the broader community to see films in a public setting,” said Selena Lauterer, co-owner of Pogo Promotions (a public relations company that promotes independent films to public television stations).

About 20 people attended the local screening, which was sponsored by Lauterer and Scott Conary, co-owner of Open Eye Café. The national program is presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and offers monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens.

“LIONESS” focuses on an issue that has not yet been recognized to a large extent, according to filmmaker Daria Sommers.

“The film puts names and faces on a group of military women in a historical context,” she said.

Sommers, who attended the Carrboro screening, co-directed and co-produced the film with Megan McLagan. Both New York writers, the women came up with the idea for the film during lunchtime discussions they had about the war in Iraq.

The women noticed a lack of recognition that “women soldiers were doing something that they had never done before—firing back,” she said.

According to U.S. law, female soldiers are legally banned from direct ground combat missions. But in 2003, a group of women were used as female support soldiers in Iraq. The group was referred to as Team Lioness, and its members assisted the U.S. Marine Corps on various missions on the front lines of the war.

The film focuses on a small group of these women, and on the disconnect between the law and reality for the women in Team Lioness.

Carrboro Halloween Carnival: a place for family fun

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Lyndal Wilson
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

The annual Carrboro Halloween Carnival is back for another year of fun and games.


Tyler Ritter, dressed as Anne Boelyn, at the Carrboro Halloween Carnival last year, is joined by King Henry VIII, aka, Tyler’s husband, Alex Ritter.
Photo courtesy of

This free event is held at the Farmers’ Market, and runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. the night of Halloween, Friday, Oct. 31.

Recreation Supervisor Dana Hughes, of Carrboro Recreation and Parks, the event planner for the past three years, said it’s a great event for families, and there are about 20 to 30 games for children, such as Go Fishing, beanbag toss, and tic-tac-toe.

“It’s a very family-oriented event,” Hughes said. “Lots of families come out and people look forward to it”
She said it is a big event and estimated that approx. 500 people come out. “At first you will think, ‘Oh, there’s not that many people here’ and then as the time goes it’s, ‘Wow, where’d all the people come from?’” Hughes said.

She said she really enjoys planning the carnival, and it is a good excuse to be a kid again. “It’s fun going shopping for the prizes. It’s fun seeing people have fun, too.”

Respected Carrboro civic leader and Carrboro booster Jackie Helvey is a long-time supporter of the Carnival, having attended it for about 20 years. “It’s just a lot of fun,” she said. “And my kids loved it, they just loved it. We all look forward to it, you know.”

“Athletes to Athletes” helps Greensboro youth

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Kelsey Hamilton
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer


Carrboro athletes, left to right, Brandon Hunter, Evan Arant, Simon Stiffler and Clay Pinney worked this summer to raise awareness for the needs of Peeler Recreation Center in Greensboro. With their help, Peeler Recreation Center was awarded a $500,000 grant to bring athletic opportunities for local youth.

Staff photo by Kelsey Hamilton

For many high school students, summer means spending time with friends, relaxing at the community pool and sleeping in until lunch. But for four Carrboro High students, their summer vacation meant a whole lot more.

Carrboro High seniors Evan Arant, Brandon Hunter, Simon Stiffler and Clay Pinney decided to help Joe Kelly, a Rotary Club member from Greensboro, raise money for a local youth athletic program at Peeler Recreation Center in Greensboro.

“We just wanted to help the community,” Stiffler said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to play sports.”

The four students are football players for Carrboro High. Arant said that the project, dubbed “Athletes to Athletes,” was something they could relate to because he knows the value of what it means to be on a team.

Kelly said that the previous grant for Peeler had expired, and they really wanted to continue to hold a basketball league at no cost for local youth in the area. In addition, the students at Carrboro High said that they wanted to provide the kids with snacks because they were at the recreation center from after school until late in the evening, with some having not eaten anything since lunch.

Football success helps sports bars in Carrboro

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Stefani Price
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

UNC’s football team is winning more games than ever in recent years, and that success can be reflected in Carrboro bars as they are experiencing an increase in business on game days.


Kris Byrnes of Carrboro, manager at Spotted Dog, talks to Don Mercz of Pittsboro while at work with employee Dustin Pantham of Tarboro.
Staff photo by Stefani Price

For the first time in years, the University of North Carolina football team is having a banner season.
Carolina students flock to the football games in anticipation of a great game ending in a victory for the Tar Heels. Alumni travel from their homes to attend the games, sitting in long lines of traffic in anticipation of witnessing a triumph for their alma mater. People are excited about going to the games.

But what about those who are not one of the fortunate holders of a UNC football ticket? Watching the game at home on TV may be fun, but what about the communal feeling shared when cheering together on a first down or the all-around high fives after a touchdown?

The next best thing to actually being at the game is being in one of the local bars, surrounded by dozens of other people who share your enthusiasm for the game. So it seems that people are hitting the bars more during game time and that increased business is not only seen in Chapel Hill bars, but also in Carrboro.

Hillsborough gets its own Weaver Street Market

Posted on October 15th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Heather Mandelkehr
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

When Orange County residents want to go grocery shopping, spend time with friends or enjoy a pleasant morning on the lawn, they know exactly where to go – Weaver Street Market.


Maurice, Lisa and Eli Werness enjoy Sunday breakfast on the lawn from Weaver Street Hillsborough’s hot bar. Musician Charles Pettee, who played at the “Sunday Brunch” event, says that while the Carrboro lawn is larger, the Hillsborough store’s lawn has more grass.

Staff photo by Heather Mandelkehr

Now many customers from northern Orange have the opportunity to experience this same environment for the first time closer to home – at Weaver Street Hillsborough.

Weaver Street Market, which opened the new store on South Churton Street in downtown Hillsborough this June, is a natural fit for the historic Orange County town. James Watts, Weaver Street’s operating manager, said that Hillsborough’s inclusive, affordable nature led to a development of a store much like the Carrboro store of 20 years ago.

“Hillsborough’s going to be the great thing,” Watts said. “I think it’s going to be Orange County’s Renaissance community.”

When talking about the original development of the Carrboro store, he cites Carrboro’s proximity to the University and cultural activities through the ArtsCenter as opportunities to integrate Weaver Street into the community.

“When [the Carrboro store] opened, there was already the beginning of a vibrant community,” Watts said.

Watts has worked for Weaver Street for 16 years, as a department manager and the Carrboro store manager before being operations manager for the co-op. He compares the “synergy” of the towns and the ability of Weaver Street Hillsborough to act as the “southern anchor” for Churton Street and to guide Hillsborough’s development as a walkable community.

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