Chapel Hill eNews

Post Date:09/29/2017 4:05 PM
Chapel Hill eNews


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Up Front


See you at Festifall! 


Chapel Hill's arts festival, Festifall, brings art, music, dance, and interactive fun to Franklin Street on Sunday, Oct. 1. Read more.


From Town Hall



Town-Sponsored Events


Town Services




Public Safety








Up Front



TOWNweek has been posted!








Things to do in Chapel Hill

Feature from the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau


Fall Plant Sale
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 

NC Botanical Garden, 100 Old Mason Farm Road Chapel Hill (919) 962-0522 

Fall Plant Sale Fall is for planting! Choose from a wide variety of southeastern native wildflowers, shrubs, trees, vines and ferns at our annual sale, in addition to used books and native wildflower seeds. All of the more than 100 species of southeastern native plants offered for sale have been propagated in our own nursery. Plant sale proceeds support our continuing research in plant propagation and our 'conservation through propagation' philosophy.  




Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

Town In News

Town in News – TIN Report – is a sampling of news media coverage about the Town of Chapel Hill compiled by the Communications and Public Affairs Department. This listing includes articles and columns that are available on the web, and may not necessarily contain all stories in the print edition of the papers or on televised broadcasts.

Links access online stories that are posted for a limited time. Some media organizations require registration or a subscription.

For information, contact us at


DOLRT Station Info Meeting Thursday Night in Chapel Hill (

The Durham-Orange Light Rail Project has been approved by the Federal Transit Administration to enter the engineering phase. Read more:

Chapel Hill's Stream Team keeping local streams clean (The Daily Tar Heel)

The Town of Chapel Hill’s water quality monitoring volunteer group, Stream Team, aims to connect residents to the environment and promote an environmentally conscious community. Read more:

Free Legal Clinic For DACA Recipients Up for Renewal (WUNC)

President Trump announced earlier this month that he's rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but some recipients are still eligible for renewal. The program offers work visas to undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children. Read more:

Chapel Hill and Carrboro hold free legal clinic for DACA recipients (The Daily Tar Heel)

The Town of Chapel Hill and the Town of Carrboro have partnered with El Centro Hispano, a community building nonprofit that assists the Triangle’s Latinx population, to sponsor a free legal clinic for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who may be eligible to renew their status. Read more

Barefoot Chapel Hill kidnapper forced victim give him a ride to Raleigh, police say. (WNCN)

A barefoot man pulled a gun on someone in Chapel Hill on Wednesday, then forced his victim to drive him to Raleigh, according to Chapel Hill officialsRead more:

Chapel Hill Police Searching for Kidnapping Suspect (

Chapel Hill Police are looking for a suspect in connection with an armed robbery and kidnapping. Read more:

University debates closing Horace Williams Airport (The Daily Tar Heel)

The UNC Board of Trustees meets this week to discuss closing Horace Williams Airport because of reduced use and much needed repairs that will cost UNC approximately $1 million. Read more:

Eubanks Road Speed Limit Decreased (

A portion of Eubanks Road stretching from Millhouse Road to Martin Luther King Boulevard near the I-40 interchange has had its speed limit reduced from 45 MPH to 35 MPH. Read more:




From Town Hall




DACA Renewal Session and Clinic Scheduled


The Town of Carrboro and the Town of Chapel Hill in collaboration with El Centro Hispano are sponsoring a DACA renewal information session and a free DACA renewal clinic.

Carrboro/Chapel Hill: Oct. 5, 2017 is the last day to submit DACA renewal applications to USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for DACA recipients with EADs, employment authorization documents that expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.

El Centro Hispano with the support of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and in alliance with various community organizations invites DACA recipients to an information session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, at Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main Street, Carrboro NC.

We will review the documents that should be brought to the free DACA Renewal Clinic from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at Carrboro Town Hall. The information session this Thursday will have representatives from Carrboro and Chapel Hill, Immigration lawyers as well as various representatives from community organizations.

The objectives of the session are the following:

  1. Identify the documents that must be brought to the free clinic Saturday, Sept. 30, and provide the forms that must be filled out prior to the clinic. We will answer any questions about the process.
  2. We will provide information about DACA scholarships that are available to pay the DACA renewal fee of $495.
  3. DACA recipients will have the opportunity to sign up for the DACA renewal clinic Saturday, Sept. 30, in Carrboro at the information session.

For more information about the information session and DACA Renewal Clinic please call El Centro Hispano 919-687- 4635.

Pilar Rocha-Goldberg

President /CEO
919-687-4635 X43.

Francisco Duque
Director of Development& Human Resources
2000 Chapel Hill Road. Suite 26A. Durham, NC 27707

Sarah Viñas
Assistant Director Office of Housing and Community
Town of Chapel Hill
919-969-5079 or




Pilar Rocha-Goldberg Presidenta /CEO
2000 Chapel Hill Road. Suite 26A. Durham.NC.27707
919- 687-4635 X43.

Francisco Duque
Director de Desarrollo y Recursos Humanos
(919) 687-4635 X 34

Sarah Viñas
Assistant Director Office of Housing and Community
Town of Chapel Hill
919-969-5079 or



Las Ciudades de Carrboro y de  Chapel Hill  en colaboración con El Centro Hispano invitan a la sesión informativa y a la Clínica gratuita de Renovación de DACA

Carrboro/Chapel Hill: Dado que el 5 de octubre vence el plazo para que la oficina de Servicios de Inmigración y Ciudadanía (USCIS) reciba el paquete de renovación de los amparados con la Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA) cuyo estatus y permisos de trabajo venzan entre el 5 de septiembre, 2017 y  el 5 de marzo del 2018,  El Centro Hispano, con el apoyo de la ciudades de Carrboro, Chapel Hill y en alianza con varias organizaciones, invita a la comunidad a una sesión informativa este Jueves 28 de Septiembre de 6:30 PM a 8:30 PM en el Town Hall localizado en 301 W. Main Street, Carrboro, NC donde se les dará toda la información que deben reunir y traer a la Clínica gratis de renovación de DACA que se llevara a cabo el Sábado 30 de Septiembre de 1:30 PM a  6 PM también en el Town Hall de Carrboro.

La sesión informativa de este jueves contara con la presencia de representantes de Carrboro y Chapel Hill, de  Abogados de Inmigración y de representantes de varias organizaciones de la comunidad. Los objetivos de la session informativa serán los siguientes:

  1. Informar sobre los documentos que debe reunir los jóvenes para la Clínica gratis de renovación de DACA del sábado 30 de septiembre y proveerles  los formularios que  deben pre-diligenciar. Igualmente se brindara respuestas a las dudas que tengan los asistentes.
  2. Informar sobre las ayudas financieras que están disponibles para pagar  la tarifa oficial de aplicación de  renovación de DACA de $495
  3. Brindarle a los jóvenes  la oportunidad de Inscribirse para la Clínica de Renovación DACA del sábado 30 de Septiembre en Carrboro.

Para una mayor información acerca de la sesión informativa y de la Clínica de Renovación favor llamar a El Centro Hispano 919-687-4635






Town Manager Announces New Vision for Parks and Recreation

Town Manager Roger Stancil has introduced a new vision for the Parks and Recreation Department to support a broader vision of community wellbeing and connectivity.

To strengthen the Town’s focus on these issues, Parks and Recreation Director Jim Orr will expand his leadership of the department as the acknowledged champions and stewards of open space.

“We are excited to have an opportunity to look at open space in a new way that will engage the entire community and many Town departments,” Orr said. “We will work toward a shared vision of designing and implementing new places even as we continue to develop and maintain our parks, greenways, cemeteries and urban spaces.”

This includes place making strategies, sustainability principles, and connectivity – including bicycle and pedestrian connections. Because beauty and function are integral parts of a well-built urban environment, Orr will bring together teams to identify opportunities to incorporate both in the landscape.

 “Our Parks and Recreation Department enlivens our community by providing exceptional service, creating opportunities for inclusive experiences by nurturing beautiful, sustainable spaces,” Stancil added. “Providing active and natural public spaces will encourage connections in our community and showcase our natural and cultural resources.”

Orr will work with other department heads to support the broad vision of community well-being and connectivity, focusing on:


  • Caring for parks and green spaces
  • Supporting community-wellness
  • Providing inviting spaces
  • Developing connections with natural resources
  • Enhancing connectivity to neighborhoods and other destinations


“The Town of Chapel Hill has always provided excellent core service to our community,” Stancil said. “We strive to become more strategic and collaborative in our thinking about how we provide that service consistent with the community’s Vision as expressed in Chapel Hill 2020 and the Council’s Goals.”

Orr has worked as the Parks and Recreation Director for the Town of Chapel Hill since 2014, and previously served as Assistant Director since 2010.

Orr has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the State University of New York at Brockport and an associate’s degree in math science from Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, N.Y. Prior to coming to the Town of Chapel Hill, he worked in parks and recreation leadership positions in North Carolina at the Town of Black Mountain and the City of Asheville, and in Florida at the City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton.






Have Your Say about the Future of Mobile Phone Service in Chapel Hill

Do you have ideas about the future of mobile phone service in Chapel Hill? Please share your input via this poll -- -- which will take only 5-10 minutes. The poll will be active until Oct. 12.

Your participation will provide input toward a Chapel Hill’s Telecomm Master Planning and Ordinance process. This will address anticipated changes in wireless technology and the need for regulatory improvements.

Wireless communications and the associated infrastructure is essential to our community as regards basic day-to-day services, educational, public safety, entertainment, and business needs.

For more information:




Town Wins National Communications Award from 3CMA

The Town of Chapel Hill was honored with a national award recognizing excellence in communications by the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA).

The award of excellence was presented at 3CMA's Savvy Awards event on Sept. 7, which was held in conjunction with its national annual conference in Anaheim, Calif. The awards recognize the communications and outreach efforts of local governments throughout the United States.

The award was given in the Most Innovative category for the “Communications Dashboard,” which provides a mix of analytics on the performance of Town communication channels. It was created by the Communications and Public Affairs Department’s Ran Northam, a communications specialist for community safety.

3CMA received 698 awards entries this year across 38 categories. 3CMA is the nation's premiere network of local government communicators. The organization was founded in 1988 on the philosophy that communications and marketing are essential to helping governments engage and build stronger relationships with their residents.

For more information, contact Communications Manager Catherine Lazorko at 919-969-5055 or






Town-Sponsored Events




Chapel Hill’s Festifall Arts Festival 2017


On Sunday, Oct. 1, immerse yourself in the arts at Chapel Hill’s premier arts event of the year, the Festifall Arts Festival.

Spend the day and allow your senses to be stirred by the music, dance and performance art events along West Franklin Street. Stroll through the Handmade Artist Market and find your muse or your next perfect gift.

This year's event will feature over 100 artisans from all over the South representing the finest in painting, photography, jewelry, glass, ceramics, wood, metal, fiber and mixed media artworks. You might even find yourself dancing to an incredible line up of musical performances from noon to 6 p.m.

Bring the whole family and discover the many interactive activities for the young and young-at-heart. The Interactive Zone hosts activities and performances designed especially for young and young-at-heart festival-goers.  Make a kid’s craft with Kidzu or the Scrap Exchange. Also try your hand at Spin Art or drawing at the new Mega Mural in the festival center. The air will be filled with the melodies and sounds of more than 25 music, dance and comedy performances at three stages along West Franklin Street.

You will hear just about anything at Festifall: music ranging from blue grass to hip hop, laughter, dancing feet, and the cheers of gymnasts. Spend the day and take your time to savor all that Festifall has to offer. With over 15,000 attendees expected, there is no doubt that this is one of the biggest festivals of the year. Come to historic West Franklin Street on Oct. 1 for a day of artful discovery!

Thank you to our Official Sponsors: 97.9 The Hill, Local 506, Chapel Hill Magazine, our Festival Sponsors INDY Week, WUNC, News & Observer, Berkshire Chapel Hill, and finally our Event Sponsors Champion Windows, Passanantes Home Foods, LulaRoeAlley, All American Gutter, and Mr. Roof.

This is a free event for all ages and free Sunday parking is available throughout downtown in municipal lots and street side spots. As always the Town of Chapel Hill promotes a Bike & Pedestrian-Friendly Community and encourages everyone to cycle or walk whenever attending these great events!

Park & Ride: A new dedicated Festifall shuttle will operate continuously every 15 minutes between the park and ride lot at 725 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Rosemary Street (stops at Breadmans and Mama Dips).

For more details about Festifall, visit our event website at




Books Sandwiched In Meets Oct. 4

Books Sandwiched In will meet at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive, to discuss A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman.

This is the heart-warming story of Ove.  He’s a curmudgeon, sometimes called the “bitter neighbor from hell,” one who points his finger at anyone he dislikes.  Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.  So when a chatty young couple with two chatty children move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it leads to a tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the art of backing up a U-Haul.  All of this will change this cranky old man and the local residents’ association.  Backman’s novel explores the profound impact one’s life has on other.

Books Sandwiched In is free and open to the public.  You may bring a sandwich and share your thoughts on the book scheduled for discussion.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library, this group provides copies of current titles, available at the circulation desk on a first come, first served basis.  Selections for the year are chosen by the members and can be found on the Friends' web site at  We hope you will join us. 



Who:        Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library

What:      Books Sandwiched In Book Club - Free and Open to the Public

Where:    Chapel Hill Public Library Meeting Room C

When:  11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4

Book:  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman



Town Services


Faith Thompson and Alex Lombardi at Chapel Hill Department of Housing

Housing Partners with UNC School of Social Work Assisting residents in developing life skills, connecting students

UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Alex Lombardi had an aha moment shortly after she began working as an intern for the Housing Department.

Public housing neighborhoods in Chapel Hill are surrounded by student housing. But the communities and residents don’t really mix.

“In Chapel Hill, public housing is so well integrated, that many students are unaware,” she said. “When you’re a student you’re in a sort of bubble.”

Now Lombardi wants to get to know her neighbors – and it’s because of where she works. She is the first student from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work in a new field instruction course based at the Town of Chapel Hill Housing Department.

The program aims to educate social workers for advanced practice through a field education. The student learns through delivering a social work service in a practice setting under the tutelage of a task supervisor as well as a field instructor. Lombardi’s onsite mentor is Housing Director Faith Thompson, who initiated the partnership with the School of Social Work for the benefit of public housing residents.   Karon Johnson from the Chapel Hill Police Department, who holds a master’s degree in social work from UNC-Chapel Hill, serves as the field supervisor.

“There are 937 residents who represent diverse backgrounds and cultures; in fact a significant number are immigrants,” Thompson said. “Many are looking for a life and career path.”

This is where Lombardi is contributing. She is tasked with developing a skills assessment for public housing residents. The assessment will aid the Housing Department in developing programs to assist residents in developing life skills and achieve economic independence.

Lombardi has become a college student who is good at making connections. She is out and about getting to know many who live in the 336 public housing apartments in 13 neighborhoods throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro – including some neighbors who are right around her corner.




Trees in Chapel Hill 


Tree Replacement: 313 E. Franklin St.

A large tree in front of the Chi Omega sorority house at 313 E. Franklin St. between Pickard Lane and Hillsborough Street is in poor health and is scheduled to be replaced.

The Town’s arborist has been closely monitoring the tree over the past year and has found that the tree’s health will not improve, posing a potential hazard to people in the area if it is not removed.

Town crews are scheduled to remove the tree the week of Oct. 23. During the removal of the tree, the right lane of westbound East Franklin Street (traveling toward downtown Chapel Hill) will be closed. The sidewalk along the north side of East Franklin Street will also be impacted. Crosswalks at Pickard Lane and Hillsborough Street will be available to detour around the work.

The replacement tree will be a species native to North Carolina. It will be planted in the fall, giving it the greatest chance to thrive. 

Tree City
The Town of Chapel Hill, which has a strong commitment to sustainability and interest in decreasing the urban “heat-island” effect, regrets when trees must be replaced. Our Tree Protection Ordinance identifies tree canopy as an important community value. We are proud that this year marks our 18th year as a Tree City, a designation from the national Arbor Day Foundation. Visit our Trees webpage at

More Information
For more information, contact Park Maintenance Superintendent Kevin Robinson at 919-969-5104 or









Cycle North Carolina Bringing 1,000 People to Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill was selected as one of eight stops along the 19th Annual Cycle North Carolina Mountains to Coast Ride this year, which will bring more than 1,000 people to Chapel Hill Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 3 and 4.

The Mountains to Coast Ride is the highlight of the year for many people who ride bicycles. People representing 39 states, the District of Columbia and three countries ranging from ages eight to 86 will ride at least one leg, including Town staff.

The route begins in Jefferson and concludes in Swansboro, with Chapel Hill serving as the finish line of the third leg of the journey.

Safety along the Route
The Chapel Hill Police Department will be staged at strategic points along the route within Town limits to allow people riding bicycles and people driving motor vehicles the safest opportunities to share the road at busy intersections and areas with low visibility.

If you can avoid the inbound route from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, and the outbound route from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, it will increase the safety of the people riding as well as limiting any travel delays you may experience. If you plan to travel along those routes, please plan ahead, use caution and watch out for abnormally heavy traffic at times.

Inbound Route | Tuesday, Oct. 3
Participants will travel along Dairyland Road through Orange County with a stop at Maple View Farms. The route will continue on Homestead Road in unincorporated Calvander with the final stop for the day at Homestead Park where participants will be greeted by Special Olympics participants.

Outbound Route | Wednesday, Oct. 4
The route will begin on the Chapel Hill Greenway that connects to Homestead Park. Participants will enter the road on Vintage Drive in the Vinyard Square and Parkside neighborhoods. The route will continue on Weaver Dairy Road Extension onto Old Larkspur Way through the Larkspur and Chapel Watch neighborhoods, once again utilizing a Chapel Hill Greenway which connects to Eubanks Road. Participants will use Eubanks Road to travel into Durham County on their way to the final destination for day four, Knightdale.

Getting Around
Participants and guests will be using Chapel Hill Transit to get to downtown Chapel Hill for dinner and entertainment, and some will be staying in one of four hotels in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Extra buses will be added to the NS route to accommodate the additional people riding the bus.

Homestead Park as well as the Seymour Senior Center will serve as base camp for the Chapel Hill stop on the Mountains to Coast Ride. The Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department will reserve the first bay of parking spaces at the Aquatics Center for people who are swimming. The remaining parking spaces will be used for the event.

More Information
Registration for the Mountains to Coast Ride is closed. For more information about the ride, visit

For information about Town services in connection with this event, contact Linda Smith at or 919-968-2849.






Public Input Invited on Future Transportation Analysis for Blue Hill (Ephesus-Fordham) District

The public is invited to provide input on a multi-modal transportation impact analysis for the Blue Hill (Ephesus-Fordham) District for 2030 future year conditions. The study is part of the Town of Chapel Hill’s focus to mitigate traffic and create greater opportunities for walkability and connectivity in the area.


The public input session is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in meeting room A of the Chapel Hill Public Library. The session will provide an overview of the study, and opportunity for public input and questions.

The four corridors involved in the analysis are:

  • US 15-501 (Fordham Boulevard) from Estes Drive to Erwin Road/Europa Drive
  • Ephesus Church Road/Eastgate Crossing from E. Franklin Street to Frances Street
  • Elliott Road from Old Oxford Road/Velma Street to US 15-501 (Fordham Boulevard)
  • E. Franklin Street from Estes Drive to US 15-501 (Fordham Boulevard) interchange

The Ephesus Fordham Area – newly named Blue Hill -- became a new zoning district in July 2014. The Town of Chapel Hill’s goal is to renew and transform an area characterized by strip malls, parking lots, confusing roadways and traffic congestion. The area includes some of Chapel Hill’s older, suburban style shopping centers -- including Eastgate Shopping Center, built in 1958; Village Plaza, built in 1974; and Rams Plaza, built in 1982.

2011 TIA – A Traffic Impact Analysis was completed for the Ephesus-Fordham District in 2011.  The community expressed an interest in a revised analysis that expands the study area and includes an assessment of all modes of transportation (transit, cycling, walking and driving).

Revised TIA 2016 – In fall 2016, the Town retained services of a qualified consulting firm for the preparation of a Multi-Modal Transportation Impact Analysis (TIA) for the EF Area. At the first public information meeting held on Oct. 12, 2016, Town staff presented an overview of the project, study area, timeline and TIA scope (E-F TIA Scope).

A second public information meeting was held on Feb. 14, 2017, when staff presented study results and methodology for 2016 existing conditions analyses to include data collection processes, traffic model development, vehicular operations, transit, and pedestrian/bicycle networks.


More Information


Traffic Engineering Manager Kumar Neppalli at or 919-969-5093



Public Safety



Chapel Hill Police Investigate Armed Robbery, Kidnapping

Update (6:25 p.m., 9/27/17): Upon further discussion with the victim, the suspect is described as an Hispanic male with long, wavy hair.

Previously released: The Chapel Hill Police Department are seeking information about a suspect in an armed robbery and kidnapping that originated in the Wendy’s parking lot at 100 Scarlett Drive, Chapel Hill, at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.

The victim described the suspect as a tall and thin, light-skinned black male with blonde or light-colored, shoulder-length dreads. He was reported as wearing black, skinny sweatpants, a black sweat top, a dirty orange shirt, and no shoes. He had a leaf tattoo on his left hand and another tattoo on one of his two middle fingers on his left hand.

The suspect displayed a small, silver handgun and forced the victim to get in the victim’s vehicle and drive him to Raleigh. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of cash from the victim and released the victim unharmed in Raleigh.

If anyone has information about these incidents, please call either the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.  Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest. You can also leave tips for Crime Stoppers at


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