North Carolina Newspapers

Council hearing
on utility raises
billing concerns
Questions over billing methods
and University involvement were
the predominant theme of
Monday’s Chapel Hill Town
Council public hearing regarding
the potential establishment of a
storm water utility.
The proposed utility received
generally good comments, but sev
eral citizens and council members
expressed concern over how resi
dents would be billed for it.
AMEC Earth and
Environmental Inc., the town’s
consultant on the project, recom
mended a fee structure that calls
for a fee of $2.92 per month per
2,000 square feet of impervious
surface. That would add up to
$35.04 a year for a unit with
2,000 square feet of impervious
But many residents believed the
fee structure was not well designed
with one resident even going so far
as to call it a “rain tax.”
Resident Don Liner said that he
thought the billing system was
unfair and that the flat rate served
as a burden on members of the
lowest tax bracket.
“It’s an unprincipled, highly
regressive, unnecessary tax bur
den,” he said. “How can anyone
possibly agree with the consul
tant’s statement that this is equi
Virginia Knapp, associate direc
tor of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro
Chamber of Commerce, also ques
tioned the structure, asking if it
was possible to include a credit
program that would grant rebates
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to those already taking efforts to
manage storm water runoff.
She said several businesses in the
town already have taken it upon
themselves to manage runoff and
there was no need to charge them
for something they’re already doing.
Another major concern raised at
the hearing was University involve
ment in the program. So far, UNC
has indicated it will not take part
in the town’s utility, saying that it
already has its own program in
place and that it does not con
tribute to runoff into the town.
Linda Convissor, coordinator of
local relations for UNC, said that
the University already has spent
$lO million in taxpayer money to
that effort and that any money the
University would contribute to the
utility also would have to come
from tax revenues.
“(Taxpayers) should not have to
pay twice,” she said.
Council member Cam Hill said
that despite the University’s suc
cess in runoff management, it still
should have to contribute to the
program. “Just because you’re
doing a good job doesn’t mean you
should be excused.”
Council member Ed Harrison
shared similar sentiments, point
ing out that some parts of the
University sit uphill from residen
tial areas, meaning storm water
runs off into town jurisdictions.
The council will review com
ments on the proposal March 24 at
its public forum on development of
the 2004-05 budget.
Contact the City Editor
Specifics sought in APS case
An Orange County Superior
Court judge ordered both sides
Tuesday to release additional infor
mation for discovery in the ongo
ing legal battle between the Animal
Protection Society and critics Elliot
Cramer and Judith Reitman.
Judge John R. Jolly Jr. gave each
side 20 days to provide the other
with the additional evidence to
prepare for the libel and defama
tion countersuit filed by APS
against Cramer and Reitman.
Specifically, Jolly ordered APS to
release the details of their contract
with former APS director and vet
erinarian Bobby Schopler.
Barry Nakell, attorney for
Cramer and Reitman, said the
Alpine Bagel off to promising start
New shop complements CDS options
Senior Caroline Cogdell said she
didn’t even realize there was anew
place to eat on campus.
But after her first visit to the
Alpine Bagel Cafe, Cogdell said she
would come again.
“The service was fast, and the
food was awesome,” she said. “The
coffee was good, too.”
Like Cogdell, students, faculty
and staff have discovered the new
late-night eatery located in the
heart of campus.
The bagel shop opened Feb. 10
as part of the rededication of the
Frank Porter Graham Student
It offers a variety of items
including bagels, coffee, sandwich
es and salads.
The shop is open until 1 a.m.,
except on Saturdays, when it clos
es at 8 p.m.
Ira Simon, director of Carolina
Dining Services, said he is excited
about the new business.
“We’ve been trying to open it up
for two years,” he said. “I’m glad it’s
finally here.”
He said that so far, the eatery
serves between 1,200 and 1,300
customers per day.
“We’ve had very positive feed
back,” Simon said. “We are meeting
our expectations, and that is very
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information was crucial to their
defense that they did not commit
libel and would allow them to have
the case thrown out.
Jolly also ruled that Nakell must
provide all correspondence
between the two critics to APS
attorney Ron Merritt, as well as
notes on the specific passages of
depositions being used as defense
by Cramer and Reitman.
Jolly made the ruling saying that
both sides needed a “full and fair
opportunity for discovery” before
the case could continue.
Nakell said that despite the rul
ing, the hearing was not a big deal
and was simply a formality in the
ongoing legal battle.
“It was not a significant event,”
he said. “It’s really just putting
encouraging to us.”
Simon said the new bagel shop,
like any other business in
Mainstreet Lenior, has a sub-con
tract with CDS.
“Students and staff can use their
flex dollars and expense account
there, like at Subway, Chick-fil-A
or any other place on campus,” he
Because the new dining addi
tion is open late, officials decided
to close Mainstreet Lenior earlier
in the evening.
The businesses now will close at
8 p.m. Monday through Friday and
7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Simon said new hours have not
affected businesses or employees at
Mainstreet Lenior thus far.
“It’s all a part of CDS,” he said.
“We reallocated employees (who
were affected by the time change)
to other jobs on campus or gave
them earlier work times. Alpine
also offered positions to our
(Mainstreet) employees.”
He added that all of the dining
locations on campus are financial
ly independent from one another,
but they are all under the umbrel
la of CDS.
“Alpine Bagel is here because
CDS asked them to be here,” he said.
Darrell Gaffin, general manager
of Alpine Bagel Cafe, said the shop
is doing better than he initially
things off.”
The hearing was scheduled after
Nakell motioned for summary
judgement on the countersuit in
hopes that it would be thrown out
because of a lack of evidence for
the plaintiff.
“Under the New York Times v.
Sullivan standard, (APS has) the
burden of proving these state
ments are false,” he said. “We can
show a substantial basis that they
have no evidence.”
Nakell said his clients did not
commit libel, as many APS mem
bers made the same statements as
Cramer and Reitman. “These are
all First Amendment issues.”
Merritt argued the case should
not be thrown out because the
motion had been filed before he
Ifeter* —■— _ M
Chris Roberts, a junior from Charlotte, puts out baked goods at the
new Alpine Bagel Cafe that opened last week in the Student Union.
thought it would.
“I’ve heard nothing but positive
feedback from (CDS officials),” he
said. “There were a few issues with
pricing at first, but we got it
worked out”
He cited the location as a key
reason for their success.
Applications available for
editor selection committee
The Daily Tar Heel is now
accepting applications for its edi
tor selection committee.
The committee will select the
DTH editor-in-chief for the 2004-
OS school year.
All students are eligible for the
committee and are encouraged to
Applications are available in the
DTH office, located in room 104 of
the Student Union. The office is
open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday. .
Participants are required to
attend a meeting March 18 from 5
to 6 p.m.
Participants also are required to
attend a meeting March 20 from 9
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at which the edi-
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had a chance to gather evidence for
their case.
He contended that he could not
make a proper case without know
ing what specific passages from the
depositions Nakell referred to in
his case.
Merritt also motioned to compel
Cramer and Reitman to turn over
tax returns, financial statements
and loan applications for punitive
damages claim, but that motion
was denied.
Jolly scheduled another hearing
for March 15 to give both attorneys
one last opportunity to file any
motions before the beginning of
the trial, tentatively set for April 5.
Contact the City Editor
“It’s great that we are in the
Student Union since everyone is
always hanging out here,” he said.
“There is nothing better than
studying with a bagel and coffee.”
Contact the University Editor
tor will be selected.
Those selected for the commit
tee will be notified by March 4.
Please contact DTH Editor
Elyse Ashbum with questions at
eashbum @
She also may be reached at 962-
A page 1 story in Thesday’s paper
should have stated" that the
Carolina Union Activities Board
helps run various jazz festivals, but
that the Carolina Jazz Festival is
organized by the UNC Department
of Music. The article also should
have stated that Women’s Week is
organized by the Women’s Center
of UNC and that CUAB is one
group that helps with the event
Another page 1 story in
Tuesday’s paper should have said
that Justin Guillory is the presi
dent of UNC Young Democrats.
To report an error, contact Managing Editor
Daniel Thigpen at
5Uf? Saily (Bar Hrcl
P.O. Box 3257, Chapel Hill, NC 27515
Elyse Ashbum, Editor, 962-4086
Advertising & Business, 962-1163
News, Features, Sports, 962-0245
One copy per person; additional copies may be
purchased at The Daily Tar Heel for $.25 each.
© 2004 DTH Publishing Corp.
All rights reserved
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