All posts tagged: blog post

Blog post: A look back at Bush-Gore

It’s hard to say who Americans wanted in the White House in the year 2000, Bush or Gore? On the morning of Nov. 8, when everyone woke up to the news the presidential race had not been called, there was an air of chagrin, shock, a little humor. But then everyone went about their business. Over the following month, the nation would be treated to the spectacle of the Florida recount, “hanging chads,” court decisions at every level, teams of lawyers and a complete media frenzy. In the end, on Dec. 13, Gore, clearly disappointed but not defeated, conceded to George W. Bush. The race had been won by just 537 votes in Florida. In 2020, the situation is much more desperate. The nation is more divided. Both sides are more angry. There is more at stake. Here are some ways 2000 differed from 2020: Florida did a statewide machine recount immediately the day after the election and it was completed Nov. 10. Apparently this can be done. So why hasn’t it been done in …

Blog post: Did Chapel Hill just change the definition of retail for the entire town?

Local government wonks, where are you? Among Chapel Hill Town Council’s recent votes on covid, police brutality and climate change was the kind of small local government change that could have huge ramifications down the road. In February, Mayor Pam Hemminger petitioned to allow flex office and “experiential retail” to help 140 West sign an escape room. (What are escape rooms? I haven’t been to one, but they look like those mobile games that are kind of boring but creep me out, and I stop playing.) Hemminger petitioned to make this change in downtown. But by June, when the new ordinance was approved, the change was much bigger and seemed to apply to the entire town. Wait, the entire town? Is that true? I checked in with Anya Grahn, the planner who drafted the new ordinance. The answer was: Yes. “We amended our definition of Business, General to include all commercial establishments that provide retail sales and services,” Grahn said over e-mail. “This allows experiential retail to be permitted in all areas where Business, General …

Led Zeppelin in August

A few years ago, I found I liked listening to Led Zeppelin in August. Today, I caught this feeling of listening to Led Zeppelin again as I drove around in the late afternoon after work. North Carolina’s August. That time when it’s like summer can’t take any more of itself. The active, joyful months of June and July are done, and the heat and humidity builds while the sunlight starts to slant. There is a feeling of falling and growing darkness. And rot and decay. For me, the work of summer is often not done by August, but I don’t have the natural impetus for it anymore. But from the best years that I remember, I wonder if August is when the beauty of summer, if you have risen up to it and worked for it, rewards you. Listening to Led Zeppelin’s lyricism in the heat of August is amazing. But that’s not really fair to a band, is it? Who says that a band can only be listened to during one month out of …