Erik Myers didn’t expect to win.
The CEO of Mystery Brewing, whose company was one of three competing during a recent episode of CNBC Prime’s “Crowd Rules,” thought another company would win the hearts of the show’s panelists.
And, along with their hearts, $50,000 for capital investment.
Apparently, we were wrong.
Not so long ago, we surmised in this space that Chapel Hill’s Town Council didn’t want to see popular food trucks trundling around the community.
But last week, as The Chapel Hill Herald’s Gregory Childress reported, council members sent an entirely different message.
They voted to cut an exorbitant vendor regulatory fee from $600 to $200, starting in July.
Tasty decision, we think.
“It really tied the room together.”
That’s how The Dude lamented his missing rug in the Coen Brothers’ cult classic movie “The Big Lebowski.”
But it’s also what one could say about the artsy new gathering spot introduced recently on Franklin Street.
The open space at 140 West is called The Plaza. It includes a high-tech stainless steel sculpture with computer-programmed LED lights and roiling fog, called “Exhale,” by artist Mikyoung Kim that curves along the lines of the concrete plaza.
Chapel Hill just doesn’t seem hungry for food trucks.
If you’ve ever tried parking downtown, it also seems like they’re not necessarily keen on drawing people to the brick-and-mortar shops on Franklin Street unless you’re on foot, arriving by bus or riding a bicycle.
But the topic of conversation at Wednesday night’s Town Council meeting was the outrageous $600 permit fee that Chapel Hill wants food truck operators to pay to sell burgers, dumplings, pizza-by-the-slice and pie – among so many other things – inside the town limits.
The good news reported by The Chapel Hill Herald’s Gregory Childress is that it sounds like the Town Council might be willing to reduce the fee.
The bad news? There’s no telling how significant the reduction might be or when it would take effect.
Don’t North Carolina senators have better things to do?
Aren’t our lawmakers busy enough trying to kill criminals, drag out divorce proceedings and establish a state religion (personally, we recommend the Jedi Church)?
A fiscal triple-whammy lurks ahead on the calendar for the UNC system.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s first budget proposal has called for cuts in state appropriations by $138.5 million, would only partially fund the Board of Governors’ five-year strategic plan projects and would saddle out-of-state students with yet another tuition hike.
Those cuts in state money come after $400 million in previous reductions during the past two years.
And, as The Chapel Hill Herald’s Gregory Childress reported last week, revenues from the tuition increase that would normally go back to campuses to provide financial aid instead would be destined for the state’s General Fund.
On May 6, Michelle Brown officially takes on the unenviable task of repairing the tarnished reputation of UNC’s Academic Support Program for Student Athletes.
Last week, university officials announced the hire via email. Brown, who currently holds a similar job at Florida Atlantic University, succeeds the interim director, Harold Woodard.
The ASPSA program came under scrutiny thanks to athletic and academic scandals at UNC. The university earned sanctions from the NCAA after tutor Jennifer Wiley provided improper benefits to football players. Then came the strife over “no meet” classes, improper grade changes and fraudulently run independent study courses - courses disproportionately populated by athletes, some steered there by academic counselors - in UNC’s African and Afro-American Studies Department.
It’s a sad statement when, within days of each other, we announce in these pages the opening of a popular chain pizza restaurant in Chapel Hill and the closing of an iconic local pizza place.
But that’s exactly what happened. On Monday night, as Mellow Mushroom celebrated its opening, David Pepper Harvey closed the doors at Pepper’s Pizza on Franklin Street.
We would rather see more choices, not fewer, when it comes to dining options in Chapel Hill. However, realities of the business climate ultimately took their toll on Pepper’s, a mainstay on Franklin for more than 25 years.
Voters supported $16.2 million in bonds to build Chapel Hill's new expanded library. And now some of them might not get to conveniently use it.
The 63,000 square foot library off Estes Drive is supposed to open in April, but patrons are now faced with the prospect of reduced hours to save $433,000 in personnel and facility costs.
Big shiny new library plus heightened expenses plus belt-tightening time for governments equals frustration for many. Nearly 500 people already have signed an online petition against the Town Council’s cutting the library's operating hours from 68 to 54. The suggestion for this change came from Town Manager Roger Stancil.
It’s a time for artistic growth for the Hillsborough Arts Council.
Oh, and maybe a little elbow room.
They’re getting closer and closer to completing a move from the space they occupied for about two years.
The news from Carrboro this week felt like a peek at the end of a novel: Nice Price Books is closing its doors.
Blame it on the economy. Blame it on digital books, movies and music on demand. Blame it on busted sidewalks and construction delays.
No matter the culprit, a third of the modest used-book empire of Cindy Kamoroff and Barry Blanchette will be gone in March after 26 years in business.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus is awash in serious discussions over sexual assault.
It is a vital discussion.
For most people reading this, we suspect, books and reading are simply a normal part of life, something we grew up with and take for granted.
Later this year, Carolyn Hutchinson won’t be helping to protect and serve the town of Carrboro for the first time in almost three decades.