Carrboro Commons

Katrina survivor’s photo project captures art, hope

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in A&E,Features by jock

By Carly Brantmeyer
Carrboro Commons Photo Editor

“I have lived through hell,” said documentary photojournalist Donn Young, while recounting his experiences as a survivor of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the storm that has been deemed one of the nation’s worst natural disasters.

brantmeyer_donnfinal.jpg Donn Young, the director and curator of “40 Days & 40 Nights,” holds the project’s signature print, as he sits in his in-home office. Young made the photo after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.
Staff photo by Carly Brantmeyer

Young moved to Carrboro in August 2008 and recently moved to Chapel Hill last month, after living in New Orleans since the early 1980s.

Last month, he shared with UNC-Chapel Hill lecturer Jock Lauterer’s introductory photojournalism class his journey and mission to archive, restore and preserve his photography and the artwork of other New Orleans artists, for the state of Louisiana and for future generations.

The storm hit on Aug. 29, 2005. Young and his family evacuated on Aug. 27. Despite a sense of hopelessness and destruction after the storm hit, Young said he felt called back to New Orleans.

For years, Young documented human rights, housing projects and jazz musicians.

After Katrina struck, he proposed to the state of Louisiana a vision for a project that would document the face of Hurricane Katrina and the destruction that flooded the city. Young, who became the director and curator for the project, called it “40 Days and 40 Nights.”

Chancellor to speak at church for men’s weekend

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in Features by jock

By Katie Reich
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Chancellor Charlie Nelms of North Carolina Central University will be speaking at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill this weekend for its fifth annual Men of Destiny conference.

“I’m going to deliver a message about what we must do as men to raise, nurture and mentor a generation of character-centered, service-oriented boys and girls to become leaders in our communities, our state and in our nation,” Nelms said.

The 11 a.m. worship service titled “100 Men in Black” will be held Sunday, April 19, at the church, which is located on the corner of Merritt Mill Road and Franklin Street.

Aldermen see final plans for second fire station

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in Carrboro Connections,Growth and development,Town government by jock

By Elisabeth Arriero
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Carrboro residents can soon feel twice as safe when it comes to fires.


Only one fire station, located at 301 W. Main St., serves all of Carrboro. But by next year, Carrboro should have a second fire station at 1411 Homestead Road.
Staff photo by Elisabeth Arriero

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen accepted the final plans for a second fire station in town at its Tuesday night meeting.

Kenneth Newell of Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects, the company that created the design, updated the board on some minor changes to the new station, which will be located at 1411 Homestead Road.

“This is just a stunning plan,” said Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell after the board heard Newell’s update.

The Board of Aldermen plans to budget $3 million for the new station during the 2009-10 fiscal year. That figure does not include funding for the estimated 12 new staff positions that the station would create.

Carrboro town manager Steve Stewart said that due to the recent economic downturn, now is the best time to plan for such a construction project.

Midweek farmers’ market opens with tomato author

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in Features,Lifestyles by jock

By Kelsey Kusterer
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

At the spring opening of the Wednesday Carrboro Farmers’ Market on April 8, a sizable crowd turned out for free seedlings and advice from Tim Stark, author of Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer.


Tim Stark, farmer and author of Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer, signs a copy of his book for Allison Hayes, a Chapel Hill resident and volunteer at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. Stark discussed his book and gave advice on gardening to farmers’ market visitors Wednesday.
Staff photo by Kelsey Kusterer

Sarah Blacklin, the farmers’ market manager and a Carrboro resident, said the midweek market starts
each year on the second Wednesday in April when the danger of the last frost passes. The first Wednesday market, located at 301 W. Main St. in Carrboro, was stocked mostly with herbs and baked goods.

“It’s a nice way to break up the week,” said Blacklin of the midweek market.

Blacklin knew that Stark would be attending a public dinner in Chapel Hill at Lantern Restaurant the evening of April 8. When Blacklin approached Stark about hosting a discussion of his book at the farmers’ market, he agreed.

Along with having the chance to speak with Stark, market-goers also had the opportunity to get a free seedling at the market entrance. Local farmers donated a variety of seedlings like bok choy and sun gold tomatoes.

Jane Saiers, a medical writer from Chapel Hill, and Anne Jackson, a portrait artist from Carrboro, came to the Wednesday market for the seedlings and a chance to talk to Stark. They have tried growing tomatoes in the Northside Community Garden, located at 400 Caldwell St. in Chapel Hill.

Blacklin hoped the free seedlings would encourage visitors to plant their own gardens and give visitors the opportunity to ask Stark and other farmers for gardening advice.

New shop features alternative bikes

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in Lifestyles by jock

By Kelly Esposito
Spanish-Language Coverage Team

Leave it to two scientists to shake up the bicycle business in Carrboro.


Cycle 9 bike shop employee Kristen Scheckelhoff demonstrates one of the many possible uses of a cargo bike. Some bikes can carry up to 400 pounds of cargo, including people, groceries and luggage. “A cargo bike can work as a car replacement,” Scheckelhoff said.
Staff photo by Kelly Esposito

Co-owners Morgan and Elise Giddings opened Cycle 9 bike shop, located at 601 W. Main St., in December. The store sells electric, cargo and folding bikes that are intended for practical uses instead of just recreation.

Elise Giddings is trained in environmental science and is a former biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. And Morgan Giddings is a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she teaches microbiology and immunology, biomedical engineering and computer science.

Morgan Giddings said she has always been a bike aficionado, and she first started using an electric bike in 1994. She said she was disappointed that the idea never seemed to take off.

“I realized a few years ago that one of the biggest barriers is that the standard bike shops just don’t promote them,” she said. “They’re mostly interested in the recreational market.”

But the need for a different type of bike shop was not the only impetus for starting the business. Both Elise and Morgan Giddings have concerns about oil dependency and want to promote greener forms of transportation.

“We can take the bike beyond what it is now,” Elise Giddings said. “People could use it more readily for shorter trips and use their cars less.”

Cycle 9 was originally an online store that began last spring. The pair opened a retail location in May 2008 in nearby White Cross, west of Carrboro. Elise Giddings said they thought Carrboro was a good place to move the store because of the town’s bike-friendly reputation.

“There are a lot of bikers here, and the town itself is encouraging of biking,” she said. “We thought it was a really good fit with the theme of the business.”

Chefs join forces to raise money for Hidden Voices

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in Uncategorized by jock

By Corey Inscoe
Carrboro Commons Co-Editor

Think chocolate éclair cake, strawberry balsamic tiramisu, New-Orleans bread pudding, Mama’s coconut pie and Cinnamon-Toast-Crunch cupcakes. Is your mouth watering yet?


Katrina Ryan, owner and executive chef of Sugarland on Franklin Street, is making a wild-berry crostata with buttermilk gelato for the “A Taste of Home,” event at The ArtsCenter Friday. All the proceeds from the event help fund Hidden Voices latest project “Home is Not One Story.”
Staff photo by Corey Inscoe

Then satisfy your sweet tooth Friday at the ArtsCenter’s latest benefit, “A Taste of Home.” Starting at 8 p.m., the event will feature wine, appetizers, live music, a silent auction and tasty treats courtesy of 30 area chefs. The benefit supports Hidden Voices, a group created in 2003 and based in Cedar, N.C., that aims to “challenge, strengthen, and connect our diverse communities through the transformative power of the individual voice,” as stated on the group’s Web site.

Proceeds from “A Taste of Home” will go directly to Hidden Voices’ latest project, ”Home is Not One Story,” which focuses on homelessness.

“We have been working with folks around North Carolina who are dealing with or have dealt with homelessness,” said Lynden Harris, director of Hidden Voices. For months, Hidden Voices has worked with local shelters and organizations to raise awareness and work to overcome the stereotypes and shame associated with homelessness.

For example, Harris said that most people think of an older white male when they think of a homeless person. But in reality, white males only make up a minority of the population, she said.

The average homeless person is nine years old.

For the event, “A Taste of Home,” Harris asked 30 area chefs — her “dream team” — to create desserts that remind them of home. The team includes Mark Day, the 2007 National Association Catering Executives’ “Caterer of the Year,” Karen Barker from Magnolia Grill in Durham, Chris Holloway from A Southern Season as well as Dorette Snover, the owner of Chapel Hill cooking school C’est Si Bon.

Katrina Ryan, the executive chef and owner of Sugarland on Franklin Street plans to make a wild-berry crostata with buttermilk gelato for the event.

People with disabilities find work in Carrboro

By Sarah Shah
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer
Every Wednesday morning, Luke Glatz collects raffle tickets from people attending a business leaders meeting. Later, he reads out ticket numbers to announce the lucky winners.

shah_evfinal.jpg Luke Glatz, 20, collects a raffle ticket from Margaret Cannell, executive director of the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce, at Extraordinary Ventures. Luke is just one of 18 people with disabilities employed by Extraordinary Ventures, located at 200 S. Elliot Road in Chapel Hill.
Staff photo by Sarah Shah.

Despite having a developmental disability, the 20-year-old Glatz is one of the young adults who are employed at Extraordinary Ventures.

The Arc, the world’s largest community based organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, estimates that the unemployment rate for people with developmental disabilities is nearly 75 percent.

Extraordinary Adventures is a Chapel Hill non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities ages 15 years and up.

“It’s important for them to have a sense of accomplishment, and know that they are worth something,” director of Extraordinary Ventures, Marc Roth said.

Roth said he rents out a 3,000 square feet conference center in Chapel Hill at which businesses and organizations can conduct meetings. The proceeds go directly to the employment of young adults with disabilities, who work at the center by helping to set up and clean up for events.

Antique store still making sales after 13 years

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in Antiques,Economy,Features by jock

By Becky Wessels
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

There is no big sign on the street marking its location. The front entrance is actually on the side of the building and can be driven past without notice. However, Oddities and Such, an antique store owned and operated by Richard Watts, is about to celebrate its 13th anniversary on July 4.


Richard Watts enjoys collecting odd and unusual things to sell in his store, Oddities and Such, like this singing toy rabbit. Watts’ collection includes five singing Billy Bass fish, some discontinued laserdiscs and a flag portraying Elvis, among other objects.
Staff photo by Becky Wessels

At Oddities and Such, located at 501 W. Main St., Watts has been selling all sorts of antiques, used furniture and unusual items for the past 13 years in the store that his father built in 1948. The other half of the building is occupied by Ink Spot Copy Shop.

“I’ve been doing this about 18 years,” Watts said. For five years, he would sell antiques at a flea market where Carolina Fitness is located. He decided to move into the store property since his family owned the space.

Watts said he prefers to sell “items from the 1950s, lamps and waterfall furniture.”

Watts does not stock the store with extremely expensive items but with things he thinks are reasonably priced.

“I have fair prices on fair things. I look for different, unusual things,” Watts said.

Watts, who has lived in Carrboro his entire life, can’t believe he has been operating Oddities and Such for so long. “I’m just surprised that I’ve been here 13 years,” Watts said. “My life revolved around three years, and then things would change.”

Exhibit hopes to inspire respect for animal habitats

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in A&E,School news by jock

The Carrboro Branch Library unveiled its second art exhibition in the “Global Perspectives” series on April 4 with more than 60 pieces of artwork that portray animals from all seven continents.

“Animals Without Borders” will be on display until June 9 at the Carrboro Branch Library at McDougle Middle School on Old Fayetteville Road. The show is presented and funded by the Friends of the Carrboro Branch Library and the Orange County Arts Commission.


Carrboro Branch Library Art Committee chairwoman Nerys Levy paints at Infinity Farm in Cedar Grove. Levy works primarily with mixed-media watercolor and is one of the artists featured in “Animals Without Borders.”

Photo by Frank Twitty, Courtesy of Nerys Levy

Featuring work from 23 local artists, the exhibit displays a wide variety of styles that use different artistic media, like oil and acrylic paintings, sketches, photography, mixed-media watercolors and textile collages. Through its display of different animals in their natural habitats, the exhibit strives to encourage respect for animals’ habitats and increase awareness that those habitats are shrinking, according to Carrboro Branch Art Committee chairwoman Nerys Levy, who is also an artist in the show.

“Animals have no borders,” Levy said. “We really wanted to give a sense of animals being pretty expansive and needing space.”

Originally from Wales, Levy said she understood this concept at an early age. When she was 3 years old, she saw a polar bear for the first time and was fascinated by it, she said. One of Levy’s paintings in the exhibition prominently displays a polar bear. It is titled “Polar Bear on Sea Ice, Arctic Region” and is a work of mixed-media watercolor.

In particular, polar bears illustrate that animals’ habitats are spread across political boundaries, Levy said. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are about 22,000 to 25,000 wild polar bears across the globe, but these bears are not confined to any specific territory. As a species, polar bears live in eight different countries on two continents.

Graduation project’s fate undecided for CHCCS juniors

Posted on April 17th, 2009 in School news by jock

By Virginia McIlwain
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools high school juniors who had thought they had won a reprieve from the upcoming high school graduation project requirement might want to think twice before tossing away their project proposals.


Peggy Haythorn, Carrboro High School’s Graduation Project coordinator, serves as a resource and advocate for students as they work to fulfill new state graduation requirements. She believes the statewide project, which was supposed to take effect this year but has since been delayed, is a valuable opportunity for students to gain the real-world skills they need to be successful after high school.

Staff photo by Virginia McIlwain

Despite voting earlier this month to delay implementation of the North Carolina Graduation Project requirement by one year, the North Carolina State Board of Education agreed to let individual school districts decide whether to leave the plans in place for the class of 2010.

“Many schools and districts across North Carolina have had a graduation project in some form or fashion for a decade or more,” State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison said in a statement. “By giving the entire state more time to implement the North Carolina Graduation Project, we can ensure its success in every school and community.”

As of now, the school district requires next year’s senior class to successfully complete the project. At the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools school board’s next meeting on Thursday, April 23, the board could vote to maintain the statewide project as a local requirement for the class of 2010, or delay the project until it is required by the state in 2011.

The change caught local teachers and administrators by surprise, at a time when many were moving forward with plans to get students’ projects off the ground in order to meet swiftly approaching project proposal deadlines.

“I didn’t know of the delay until I heard about it on the news,” said Peggy Haythorn, Carrboro High School’s Graduation Project coordinator. “It came as quite a surprise.”

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