Carrboro Commons

Winners announced from Carrboro Film Festival

Posted on November 24th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

Contributed by Carrboro Film Festival

With a packed house and a full day of films – the Carrboro Film Fest was a tremendous success. The energy in the room was electric and even moved one audience member to spontaneously plunk down $270.00 to give the winners.

They are as follows:

Kay Keyser Best of Show awards:

First Place: Running Down the Man by Ben Knight (Colorado)

Second Place: Bottlecap Assassins by Joe Schenkenberg (Chapel Hill)

Third Place: The Last Breakfast by Aravind Ragupathi (Durham)

Category Awards:
K-12: Afraid of World – by Movie Makers and Melissa Lozoff (Durham)
College: Learning from Andy by Kat Keene Hogue (Carrboro)

Audience: The Last Breakfast by Aravind Ragupathi (Durham)

Craft Awards:
Best Actor: Last Breakfast (son) JC Guzman, made by Aravind Ragupathi (Durham)
Editing: Boy with Wet Thumb by Nic Beery (Carrboro)
Cinematography: Running Down the Man by Ben Knight (Grew up in Chapel Hill, lives in Colorado)
Writing: The Dual by Christian A. Palacious (Fresh Meadows, NC)
Animation: Illuminati by Tobias Stretch (Philadelphia, PA)
Technical Achievement: Still Life by Stephen van Vuuren (Greensboro, NC)

For more information, please visit:

A Carrboro story about the Paris of the Piedmont

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Jasmina Nogo
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

A children’s book about a weekend of playing tourist in your own hometown paints a picture of Carrboro that takes the reader on a two-day journey to the places that make Carrboro the town that it is.


Writer Irma Tejada shows off her children’s book, “A Weekend in the Paris of the Piedmont” in front of Miel Bon Bons Patisserie and Confiserie, a French bakery and chocolate shop at Carr Mill Mall, where she may hold the book signing of her new book in the beginning of 2009.
Staff photo by Jasmina Nogo

“One might say that it is a state of mind more than anything else that makes Carrboro the Paris of the Piedmont,” writes Irma Tejada in the closing pages of her book “A Weekend in the Paris of the Piedmont,” which was published in April 2008.

Tejada, originally from the Phillipines, now lives in Chapel Hill but says she spends more time in Carrboro. She teamed up with illustrator Chris Kanoy, from Henderson, to create the Carrboro story — and the two are currently working on their second and third children’s book projects.

The story is about a little girl named Lizzie who yearns to travel to Paris because her best friend goes there on vacation. So to cheer up, Lizzie’s mom takes her on a weekend journey of a different Paris: her hometown of Carrboro, nicknamed “the Paris of the Piedmont.”

Lizzie and her mom spend the weekend enjoying places in Carrboro – Sunday brunch and jazz music at Weaver Street Market, a contemporary art exhibit at the ArtsCenter, coffee at Open Eye Café, and even a fancy French meal at Carrboro’s own French restaurant, Provence.

“I was so impressed with Carrboro and I thought, ‘I’ve read a lot of children’s books about places,’ and I realized there wasn’t one for Carrboro,” Tejada said. She said she was inspired to write a story about Carrboro when residents protested the war against Iraq.

“It was so proud and brave that this little town stood up for itself and said, ‘We oppose this war,’” Tejada said. “And then I thought, ‘I want to do something for Carrboro.’”

The King of the Paris of the Piedmont himself
So how did Carrboro come by such a monicker?

Former UNC student and then Carrboro resident Nyle Frank, 63, told the Carrboro Commons how the name came about. Frank, who now lives again in his native California, said he published an article in the fall of 1970 headlined, “Carrboro to become Paris of the Piedmont,” in his bi-weekly Carrboro newsletter, The Centipede. He said the name came to him in a conversation with John Martin, then a Chapel Hill Newspaper reporter, who said to Frank upon his move to Carrboro – “I can just see it now, ‘Carrboro: The Paris of the Piedmont’!” Frank published it and the name has stuck ever since.

From the farm to the table: Thanksgiving in Carrboro

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Hannah Sharpe
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Wondering where to find ingredients for your family’s traditional Thanksgiving meal? Or are you looking for an alternative meal sans turkey and the usual dishes? Look no further than to your local farmer and grocer.


A customer at Weaver Street Market looks over the variety of produce available. Weaver Street has been stocking produce, such as sweet potatoes, squash and cranberries, which will be in higher demand for Thanksgiving next week.
Staff photo by Hannah Sharpe

Area farms and local grocery stores in Carrboro provide the ingredients for traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but also include fresh-from-the-earth options for diet-conscious customers seeking an alternative to shopping at chain grocery stores during the remaining days of the Thanksgiving rush.

Giving thanks for local harvest

The Carrboro Farmer’s Market, which is usually open on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings at the Carrboro Town Commons, will hold a Pre-Thanksgiving market on Nov. 25. The annual market was moved up a day early from its usual date (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving) to give customers more time to manage their busy holiday schedules, according to Carrboro Farmer’s Market manager Sarah Blacklin.

“We try to make the market as convenient as possible for customers,” Blacklin said. “We encourage people to shop at the market first and then go to the grocery store for the rest of the things they need.”

Every year, the Pre-Thanksgiving market offers specialty items to cater to customers looking for the freshest produce. Items such as celery and Brussels sprouts are available despite being out of season and difficult to grow in N.C. Free range holiday meats, such as turkey and ham, are also pre-ordered and sold at the market.

Two journalism programs unite for common cause

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Lindsay Britt and Danielle Verrilli
Carrboro Commons Co-Editor and Photo Editor


During the UNC journalism students’ first exchange visit to NCCU on Sept. 19, Earl Phillips, Northeast Central Durham Executive Director, discusses the history of Northeast Central Durham with both sets of students.
Photo by Jock Lauterer

They are separated by less than 15 miles, yet it seems they have only just met. The recent alliance between the journalism programs at North Carolina Central University and UNC-Chapel Hill has brought together students who share the mission of bringing a community newspaper to Northeast Central Durham.

Jock Lauterer, lecturer and director of the Carolina Community Media Project at UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, went to Durham with the Faculty Engaged Scholars Program last spring to study how marginalized communities respond to social justice issues.

That visit to Durham was the seed of the exchange program, Lauterer said. From there, Lauterer contacted Bruce dePyssler, associate professor in the department of English and mass communications and faculty advisor for NCCU’s newspaper Campus Echo, who has been key in the program’s efforts.

“Everybody’s cooperating and everybody wants it to happen,” dePyssler said. “Jock and I are both really enthusiastic about it.”

Lauterer said, “The ultimate goal of course is a creation of a newspaper of Northeast Central Durham. Before that could even happen, the two journalism classes of NCCU and our class representing the School needed to collaborate, and even before we could do anything productive, we had to get to know each other.”

Quality works headline Carrboro Film Festival

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Hillary Vandewart
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Though it is Selena Lauterer’s first year as chair of the Carrboro Film Festival, she is not a bit worried about the outcome. Her confidence, she said, is a result of the quality of the 23 films selected for this year’s festival.

“I have no worries as far as content,” she said. “The content is superb.”


(From left to right) Don Webb, George Bryant, Jim Sander and Maggie De Pano film environmental and farming activist Gary Grant on the set of “Environmental Heroes.” “It’s really thrilling to be accepted into the festival,” executive producer Tom Linden said.

Photo courtesy of Tom Linden

Lauterer agreed to chair the Third Annual Carrboro Film Festival after Nic Beery, the founder and chair of the first two festivals, stepped down, and “urged her along” to take his place.

“I wanted to get back into making short films,” Beery said.

So far this year, he has made 10 short films (in addition to assisting on a few others), one of which will be shown at the festival.

Beery’s film is titled “Boy With The Wet Thumb,” and it is an experimental piece about “a guy who is perpetually getting his thumb wet,” he said.

While it has a narrative element, according to Beery, it “means something different to everyone.”

This year’s films are just as diverse as the filmmakers who created them. Joining Beery on the roster for the festival is his good friend and filmmaking partner, Todd Tinkham, as well as a variety of local filmmakers who have created everything from environmental documentaries to music videos.

Dr. Tom Linden, director of the medical journalism program at UNC-Chapel Hill, entered a film that was a semester-long project for his Science Documentary Television course last fall. The film is called “Environmental Heroes,” and it is the first film Linden has ever entered into a festival.

Farmers’ market vendors gearing up for winter

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Heather Mandelkehr
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Though the last remnants of balmy North Carolina weather seem to passing for good, Carrboro residents won’t lack one of the most popular warm-weather venues – the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. For the second year in a row, the farmers’ market will be open year-round on Saturdays and more farmers are experimenting with cold-weather production.


Daryl Walker, of Ayrshire Farm in Pittsboro, sells the last of the sunflower crop at the November 15 farmers’ market. According to Walker, Ayrshire Farm did not sell throughout the entire winter market last year but will continue to sell to local restaurants this year.

Staff photo by Heather Mandelkehr

Daryl Walker, who works at Ayrshire Farm in Pittsboro, said that they did not sell at the farmers’ market past the end of December last year. Walker said that they mainly grow greens and herbs to sell to restaurants and markets, and while it is the end of the season for their pepper crop and flowers, herbs such as cilantro and rapini will continue to grow.

“We have a lot of herbs,” said Walker, noting the possibilities of an extended season. “They’re very hardy and they’re perennials. Sometimes, we don’t have frost until December.”

Carrboro Farmers’ Market Manager Sarah Blacklin said that the variety of options in the winter, including meats, root vegetables and baked goods help continue the market’s popularity after the regular season.

“It’s a great market, because it’s not just a meat and cheese market,” Blacklin said. “They can provide a good amount of greens all year round.”

In May, the busiest month, the Carrboro Farmers’ Market usually has around 80 vendors, while the winter market only has about 25. The market’s guidelines of distance from Carrboro, attendance for a number of weeks and the presence of the farmer (no resale) limit the number of markets that the Carrboro Farmers’ Market can offer to the public, according to Blacklin.

However, in addition to the winter market, the Carrboro Farmers’ Market is offering a pre-Thanksgiving Tuesday market and on Nov. 25 and a special craft market on Dec. 6.

Blacklin said that the possibility of inclement weather hasn’t been a deterrent for shoppers in the past and shouldn’t be for the winter months.

Area high school seniors look to Canadian universities

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Caroline McMillan
Carrboro Commons Co-Editor

Next year, Carrboro High School senior Keith Dell hopes to be nearly 800 miles from where he currently resides in Carrboro. He’d be off U.S. soil and joining a throng of unfamiliar faces.


Sitting outside Weaver Street Market during his lunch break, Carrboro High School senior Keith Dell reads up on universities in Ontario, Canada. Next year, Dell hopes to attend either the University of Western Ontario in London or Queen’s University in Kingston.

Staff photo by Caroline McMillan

Dell, 17, is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States and is one of several students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools pursuing a college education across the northern border.

“My friend from Canada told me about it, and I’d never really thought about it before,” Dell said. “Then I was like, ‘Hey, mom, I wanna go.’”

School counselors must stay hands-off

Mary Gratch, the academic counselor for the junior and senior classes at CHS, was a counselor at Chapel Hill High School for 16 years before CHS opened. She said that about two of her students apply to Canadian universities every year.

“It’s a small number, but it kind of consistently happens,” she said. “In terms of people selecting schools, it’s the United States or Canada typically.”

But Gratch said her role in the admissions process for universities in Canada is more hands-off than it normally is.

“It’s kind of more straight-forward, what they do,” she said. “They look at specific courses and they don’t ask for a letter of recommendation.”

Establishing a winning XC tradition at CHS

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Kelsey Hamilton
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Becoming a successful team in any sport takes time, patience and persistence. But for Carrboro High School’s cross country team in its second year since the opening of the school, defining a winning tradition did not take long.


Laura Hamon and Kristina Witcher receive awards for their finish in the 2-A State Meet in Clemmons, N.C. on Nov. 1. Witcher and Hamon placed seventh and eighth individually at the state meet, respectively to earn spots on the Division 2-A All State Team.

Photo courtesy of Carrboro High School Athletic Department

The girls cross country team at Carrboro High placed third and the boys cross country team placed sixth at the 2008 NCHSAA Cross Country 2-A State Championships in Clemmons on Saturday Nov. 1.

“Our season this year was amazing,” said Kristina Witcher, senior and member of the girls cross country team at Carrboro High. “It is only our second year as a team and our first year with a senior class. We have made incredible progress since last year.”

Witcher placed seventh individually at the state meet. Teammate Laura Hamon placed eighth individually to help Carrboro High finish third place for the girls team in Division 2-A. Hamon and Witcher were both named to the Division 2-A All-State Team.

Jay Crooker, head coach of the girls and boys cross country team at Carrboro High, said that the team had a successful season, which is sign for great things to come.

“We had huge jumps in performance for many of our runners,” said Crooker.

Witcher said that it is not just the accomplishments of the runners but also of the coaches who helped develop a strong program in the school’s short history.

“It was a really big task for them to build our team from scratch, and they have done an incredible job,” Witcher said.

Hard times hitting IFC at the holidays

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Brittany Jackson
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

With the economic downturn forcing people out of jobs and straining their financial resources, the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service in Carrboro is feeling the pressure of helping more families in need this holiday season.


Paul Schwenke, center, poses with two of his fellow University United Methodist volunteers a couple of days before Christmas in 2007. The volunteers packed and handed out bags of Christmas meals for IFC, and will volunteer this Christmas as well.

Photo Courtesy of IFC

The Holiday Meals program at IFC, which has been in existence for about seven years, provides households with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals each year supported by donations from the public.

Partly because of the economic downturn this year, however, the organization made changes to the program. A limit of 350 households was allowed to sign up to receive meals – and a significant change this year is that each of those households must also be an IFC client.
“We want to
support the people that have needed our services at other times during this last year since we started doing the membership system in January 2007,” said Kristin Lavergne, IFC Community Services Director. “If someone has had to come for food pantry assistance, then we know that there’s a need there.”

The IFC food pantry is also seeing a higher demand in the community for the monthly groceries service. From July through October 2007, the IFC gave away 3,383 bags of groceries while since July this year, the number has increased to more than 4,000. Though the need for holiday meals has risen this year, Lavergne said IFC has had to turn people away because donations are down this year.

“The amount of people we’re signing up is a little less this year than previous years, because what we were finding is that the donations weren’t coming in as quickly,” Lavergne said. “We didn’t want to sign up a bunch of people and then have to turn people away. But there’s definitely more demand than that – we’re still getting questions about it.”

Dine Out Day helps with hunger relief again this year

Posted on November 20th, 2008 in Uncategorized by jock

By Stefani Price
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

RSVVP Day, a Triangle tradition of giving and sharing, encourages residents to contribute to families in need with the help of local hunger relief organizations by dining out in participating restaurants.


Kristin Lavergne, the community services director at the Food Pantry in Carrboro, stacks canned goods in their packed food storage space.
Staff photo by Stefani Price

This year’s RSVVP Day, which stands for Restaurants Sharing V/5 + V/5 Percent, was Nov. 11. That Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary for the local event. Restaurants from around the Triangle participated by placing an RSVVP flyer in their windows, signifying their willingness to donate 10 percent of their day’s profits to their local hunger relief organization.

Three social service organizations—the IFC (Inter-Faith Council) in Carrboro, Urban Ministries in Durham, and Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in Raleigh—link the participating restaurants to the recipient families.

Chris Moran, the executive director of the IFC, says that RSVVP Day is a tremendous event that “impacts literally hundreds if not thousands of lives.”

Those in need of food are impacted most noticeably by this fundraiser. Kristin Lavergne, the community services director of the Food Pantry in Carrboro, says that RSVVP Day makes the IFC more noticeable by giving it more exposure to the community, and thus can result in increased donations around the event date.

The exact amount donated to the Carrboro branch from participants takes weeks and sometimes longer to collect, according to Moran. However, last year, the IFC achieved their goal of $23,000, and they expect it to continue to grow for this year’s count as well. Moran hopes that the IFC will be able to reach its current goal of $25,000, which will be an all-time high.

Moran says, “The contributions that the IFC receives go toward [the organization’s] different food programs, mainly the Food Kitchen in Chapel Hill and the Food Pantry in Carrboro.”

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