Nothing but LOVE for our Tar Heels!
Our fingernails were chewed down to the nubs this past Saturday night when the University of North Carolina Men's Basketball team beat Duke to advance to the NCAA Finals. More than 35,000 people joyfully spilled out to the streets from OCSC and all the way down to the intersection of Franklin and Columbia. All together now -- let's get another banner!
If you're interested in any others news besides our Tar Heels, please browse the highlights of what else is happening in Carrboro.
Mayor Seils signs onto Monarch Butterfly Pledge
On March 29, Mayor Damon Seils joined mayors and leaders from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico in signing the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayor’s Monarch Pledge https://www.nwf.org/mayorsmonarchpledge a step aimed at protecting the iconic butterfly, which has experienced a 90-percent decrease in eastern population in recent years.
Through the Mayors' Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities, and other communities commit to creating a habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators, and to educating community members about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.
In 2021, the Town Code was updated to allow residents to maintain native prairie and plant habitats, called managed natural landscapes.
"Carrboro recently changed its ordinances to ensure that residents who wish to use native plants to create a pollinator or prairie patch can do so,” Mayor Seils said. “We want to support residents in taking steps to help disappearing monarch butterflies, bees, songbirds, and other wildlife to reconnect with the local ecosystem.”
The town's actions to increase pollinator habitat throughout Carrboro in the next year include:
- Engaging with community garden groups and encouraging them to plant native milkweeds and nectar-producing plants
- Working with Town departmental staff to plant and maintain monarch and pollinator-friendly species, including milkweed, throughout the Town in prominent community locations
- Continuing to expand the volunteer-led invasive species removal program in local parks that supports the re-establishment of native habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators
Information on how to plant a pesticide-free monarch habitat garden can be found on the National Wildlife Foundations’ Monarch Butterfly webpage https://www.nwf.org/Our-Work/Wildlife-Conservation/Monarch-Butterfly
Laura Janway, the Town of Carrboro Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, is leading the initiative. For more information or to get involved, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 918-7342.
Open Streets Carrboro a 'wheel' success!
Beautiful weather and lots of hard-working people teamed up on Sunday to kick Open Streets 2022 into a whole new gear. After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the event drew more than 1,000 people. From noon to 4 p.m., motor vehicles were banished from Weaver Street and cyclists, yogis, children, musicians, Tai Kwan Do practitioners, tennis players, hula hoopers, rock climbers, artists and vendors were invited to take over.
A big thank you to our wonderful partners at Chapel Hill Transit and PNC Bank for their generosity, as well as The Animal Hospital of Carrboro, Dwell Real Estate, and the Clean Machine for their sponsorship. Congratulations to the Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department for pulling off a 'spoke-tacular' good time.
Preparing for April Showers
April showers in Carrboro can sometimes result in more than just May flowers. Wet weather can also bring flooding, streambank erosion and property damage. In Carrboro, Stormwater management is always top of mind. We have an entire Stormwater team dedicated to helping residents mitigate its effects, managing stormwater and identifying future restoration projects to improve the health of our watersheds.
If you are experiencing issues you can reach the Stormwater staff via our reporting tools.
April is Poetry Month in Carrboro
There’s a poem in this place—
in the footfalls in the halls
in the quiet beat of the seats.
It is here, at the curtain of day,
where America writes a lyric
you must whisper to say.
Amanda Gorman from “In This Place" (An American Lyric)
CARRBORO, N.C. – Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils has declared April as Poetry Month in Carrboro.
“I encourage all residents to celebrate poetry and poets by reading, listening to, and sharing poems,” Mayor Seils said. “Moreover, I invite all residents to hear Poet Laureate Fred Joiner and his guests read poems at the beginning of upcoming meetings of the Town Council.”
Activities coming up include:
Carrboro Poet Laureate Fred Joiner will invite special guests to read poems at the beginning of upcoming meetings of the Town Council for April 5, 12, 19, and 26. Access the poems read at previous Council meetings at https://www.carrboronc.gov/2593/Poetry-Readings-During-Town-Council-Meet
“Poem in Your Pocket Day,” which will take place this year on Friday, April 29, encourages people to select a poem and carry it with them to share with others.
The Town of Carrboro established the position of poet laureate in 2002 to enhance the presence of poetry in the social and civic life of Carrboro. Poet Laureate Fred Joiner was selected as a Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets in 2019, one of 13 poets of literary merit chosen from across the United States to “enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities, as well as create new work.”
The Town’s signature poetry event, the West End Poetry Festival, is held over one weekend every October to bring together poets of diverse styles, backgrounds, and stages of development to share poems and their love of poetry. Learn more at https://westendpoetryfestival.org/
The Academy of American Poets established the month of April as National Poetry Month in 1996 to celebrate the legacy and ongoing achievements of poets in the United States, introduce the pleasures and benefits of reading poetry, bring poets and poetry to the public in immediate and innovative ways, and make poetry an important part of children’s education.
Read this proclamation at https://www.carrboronc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10966/Poetry-Month-Proclamation-April-2022_Mayor-Seils
Celebrate Earth Day in Carrboro
CARRBORO, N.C. -- Earth Day will be celebrated from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, at the Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St., with a wide array of food vendors; information tables, displays and demonstrations; and a children’s parade at 6 p.m. Join us!
Organizers with the Orange County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project have partnered with the Town of Carrboro to line up an amazing group of Orange County's finest to share information to attendees, from food-waste composting, native plants, electric vehicles, edible gardens on the UNC campus and many others, along with kid-friendly activities of Earth Day crafts, seed-planting and a Children's Parade at 6 p.m. Children (and any brave adults) are invited to come in costume of a favorite animal or plant. There will be small costume add-ons to make at the event, and loaned items from Paperhand Puppets will bring a festive spirit to the parade.
Message from Climate Reality: “Please join Climate Reality on Earth Day. The group's overriding goal is to make sure than no one feels they are alone in the climate movement. Together, we can create a strong sense of community as we work to better our Earth. So come get inspired. The Earth is in our hands.”
Organizations and vendors that wish to participate in this event may apply at https://www.carrboronc.gov/FormCenter/Communication-and-Engagement-Department-31/EARTH-DAY-and-PRIDE-Events-at-Carrboro-T-201
Learn more about Carrboro’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution and fight climate change at https://www.townofcarrboro.org/781/Community-Sustainability
Slow down! New speed table on James Street installed
Carrboro Public Works has installed a temporary speed table on the 100 block of James Street.
The speed table, installed on Wednesday, March 30, is the remaining element of the interim traffic calming measures for the Barred Owl Creek Neighborhood, discussed at a November 2021 Town information meeting with the neighborhood.
Town staff plans to conduct traffic counts this spring to evaluate the effectiveness of the four measures: curb extensions at the intersection of Lorraine and Carol streets, two sets of neckdowns on Carol Street (100 and 300 blocks) and the speed table on the 100 block of James Street.
For questions or more information, please contact Tina Moon at email@example.com or 919-918-7325.
Meeting agendas and updates are issued from the Town Clerk’s Office. To receive these by email or text, sign up for Carrboro Town News at carrboronc.gov/signup
Civic involvement is a valued tradition in our community. Reach the Town Council with your ideas, views, and questions at Council@carrboronc.gov
The Town Council will meet virtually at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, to consider an agenda that will be posted at carrboro.legistar.com (Please note that the Council did not meet on the fifth Tuesday of March.)
The Carrboro Town Council met virtually Tuesday, March 22, and took the following actions on the agenda posted at https://bit.ly/3N1uyOJ
- The Council set a public hearing for 7 p.m. April 5 to consider debt financing of the Town's share of design and construction costs for the 203 S. Greensboro Street Capital Improvement Project.
- The Council set a public hearing for 7 p.m. April 26 to consider a Commercial Building Special Use Permit-A (SUP-A) located at 201 North Greensboro Street and 100 Center Street.
- The Council held a work session to continue its discussion of Carrboro Connects 2022-2042 Comprehensive Plan. Since posting a draft plan on Nov. 12, 2021, the current draft plan has been reviewed by the Town’s advisory boards, commissions, organizations and residents. Access the plan in detail at https://www.carrboroconnects.org/public-hearing-draft
About the Town Council
The Town Council is the legislative and policy-making body for Carrboro, consisting of the following: Mayor Damon Seils, Mayor Pro Tempore Susan Romaine, Council Member Barbara Foushee, Council Member Randee Haven-O’Donnell, Council Member Danny Nowell and Council Member Sammy Slade. More information is available at http://carrboronc.gov/248/Town-Council
One of Carrboro's own selected for President's Advisory Committee on the Arts
From a report by Caroline Wills in The Daily Tar Heel March 30, 2022
Over the course of her life, Diane Robertson has always felt strong ties to the arts and humanities.
Born in Jamaica, she immigrated to New York as a young child. Living in New York afforded her some of the best public education that the country could offer at the time — with many opportunities for engaging experiences, Robertson said. “I don’t remember a time, even from elementary school, that every month we didn’t get on a yellow school bus and go to a museum, cultural event, play, concert or to the planetarium,” she said. Robertson's creativity and background in the arts have led her to a new appointment to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts, which was announced on March 11. President Joe Biden appointed Robertson, along with 13 others, to the PACA.
The appointees provide input on artistic programming for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The PACA was established in 1958 to help sustain the center.
Robertson is the only appointee from North Carolina.
Read the full story here https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2022/03/city-diane-robertson-advisory-board
American Rescue Plan has increased tax benefits for low, moderate income families
From a news release issued by the Orange County Government.
Under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, more money is available to families and/or individuals with low to moderate incomes. Filing your taxes is how you can claim benefits like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Families can now receive an increased Child Tax Credit ($3,000 or $3,600, depending on child/dependents age), and more people with low incomes are eligible for a larger EITC.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit benefits families and communities by providing economic support and security for eligible workers with children,” said Orange County Vice Chair Jamezetta Bedford, who is a CPA and works at a local firm doing tax work for small businesses, trusts and estates, nonprofits and individuals. “These EITC dollars are returned to the local economy as residents use their tax credit to pay for necessities like food, rent, utilities, medical expenses, etc. The EITC especially benefits children and is aligned with higher educational and better health outcomes. Many of those eligible do not know to claim this benefit. This tax credit along with the child tax credit are important anti-poverty tools for families.”
Claiming the credit can reduce the tax you owe or give you a larger refund, and the amount of your credit may change if you have children or other dependents, are disabled or meet other criteria.
“The EITC is a great resource for these families,” said Orange County Department of Social Services Director Nancy Coston. “We encourage everyone who is eligible to claim the credit on their tax returns.”
Receiving these benefits will not impact eligibility for other federal benefits (UI, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, SDI, TANF, WIC, Section 8 or Public Housing). Even if you did not earn enough to file taxes, you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit and potentially thousands of additional dollars in benefits.
Orange County Department of Social Services can offer access to computers and help taxpayers with navigating to the sites to file taxes online, but staff are prohibited from helping residents file taxes or providing tax advice. The Orange County Skills Development/Career Center (100 Europa Drive, Suite 101, Chapel Hill) and the Orange Works Employment and Training Center (113 Mayo Street, Hillsborough) have public computers available Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The deadline to file 2021 income taxes is Monday, April 18. For more information and to learn how to get free assistance with filing your taxes, visit www.ChildTaxCredit.gov