Monthly Archives: July 2014

How big a burden is registering to vote?

The left has been howling about how the new voter reform law will discriminate against minority and young voters. Being a politically active college student myself, I decided to find out how hard it is to register to vote. Dreading what I had come to believe was the horrible strain of registering, I decided to go ahead and register to vote in the county where my school is located. I went online to the State Board of Elections site and went to its voter registration page. On that page, I found the Board keeps the voter registration form readily available along with steps of how to submit it. Keep in mind, due to all the horror stories on the news I was expecting a 20-page document that made me detail every inch of my life. But that’s not what I encountered. Instead, I found a one-page document that required the most minimal information: my name, my address, my birthday, my signature, and my driver’s license number or last four digits of my Social Security number – and actually both numbers are optional.

What is the white fluffy stuff on my shrubs?

I get lots of gardening questions from visitors when I am working in my pollinator garden at Chatham Mills. Several people have asked me what is the white fluffy stuff they are seeing on the stems of shrubs. I have also seen quite a bit of this “problem” at the pollinator garden. At first I thought they were mealybugs but upon closer inspection I discovered they were nymphs of the flatid planthopper.

Chatham leads way by getting out of way

As our local government budget sessions ended, there was a lot of hand wringing in Orange County and Chapel Hill about our fiscal future. Savings are being depleted. Education needs more funding. Capital improvements to government buildings and schools are being deferred. Property taxes are being increased with the prospect of higher rates to come. It’s beginning to look like past policies put us on an unsustainable path. We need more revenues. To that end Orange County is finally adding infrastructure to some of its economic development districts and Chapel Hill has approved redevelopment plans for Glen Lennox and the commercial areas around Eastgate.

Toyota, Ford, Honda & Chevrolet dominate Consumer Reports 2014 car-brand perception survey

Consumers continue to distinguish Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Chevrolet as the leading brands overall, but several others, including Tesla and Subaru, are moving up the rankings, according to Consumer Reports’ annual Car-Brand Perception Survey. Toyota has a 25-point advantage over second-place Ford, reflecting a five-point gain over the year prior for Toyota and a three-point improvement for Ford. It could be interpreted that the safety concerns that saw the Toyota score stumble a few years ago have faded, returning the brand to its position as the perceived industry leader.