Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Mon, 03 Aug 2015 05:26:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Chatham Journal Newspaper no Experience the World of Chatham County, NC Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://chathamjournal.com TV-G http://i1.wp.com/chathamjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/10888465-four-newspaper-pile-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-Vector-newspaper-icon-headline-5580d7a0v1_site_icon.png?fit=32%2C32 Chatham Journal Newspaper http://chathamjournal.com 32 32 Chapel Hill Transit wants $144,000 from Chatham for Pittsboro Express bus that only serves 75 riders a day http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/chapel-hill-transit-wants-144000-from-chatham-for-pittsboro-express-bus-that-only-serves-75-riders-a-day/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/chapel-hill-transit-wants-144000-from-chatham-for-pittsboro-express-bus-that-only-serves-75-riders-a-day/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:42:28 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4954 Pittsboro, NC – During the May 18 Chatham County commissioners’ meeting Brian Litchfield of Chapel Hill Transit, submitted the following comments: He believes the Chairman received a letter from Mayor Kleinschmidt of Chapel Hill and Mayor Lavelle of Carrboro related…

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Pittsboro, NC – During the May 18 Chatham County commissioners’ meeting Brian Litchfield of Chapel Hill Transit, submitted the following comments:

He believes the Chairman received a letter from Mayor Kleinschmidt of Chapel Hill and Mayor Lavelle of Carrboro related to the funding of the Pittsboro Express route, which is a service we started in partnership with the Town of Pittsboro and the County in 2009. It was funded and worked very well as a regional partnership through 2011 utilizing some grant funding. From 2011 to the current fiscal year it has been funded through the Town of Pittsboro and the Chapel Hill Transit funding partners which are the Town of Chapel Hill, the Town of Carrboro and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fifty percent of that funding is not available past this fiscal year.

They are asking the Town of Pittsboro and the County if there is an interest in increasing the funding of this service. They have provided what the numbers look like for continuing the service and Mayor Terry is present from the Town of Pittsboro and it is his understanding the Town wants to work with Chapel Hill Transit to continue the funding. Mr. Litchfield stated he would be happy to answer any questions.

Chairman Jim Crawford asked if Mr. Litchfield found there was a lot of political opposition to the bus system in his part of North Carolina. Mr. Litchfield stated Chapel Hill-Carrboro has the second largest transportation system in North Carolina. They operate about two and half million miles a year carrying around seven million people. It is supported by the towns and heavily invested in by the towns. The Town of Carrboro invests more in the transit than they do in any other entity in the town.

Chairman Crawford stated public transit is a bit of a political football in this county.

Mr. Litchfield stated he understands having worked with previous commissioners and the County Manager in the past and they are willing to work with the Board however they can move forward.

Commissioner Diana Hales asked if this route runs only between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill. Mr. Litchfield stated that is correct. There are three trips in the morning and three trips at night beginning at the Lowe’s in Pittsboro, going down 15-501 and to the university campus, and then making the return trip. They also contract with the Chatham Transit Network to provide two of the trips.

Commissioner Hales asked what he is looking for. Mr. Litchfield stated the estimated annual cost is $144,000. The Town of Pittsboro has committed to about $12,000 each year and they are interested in doubling that to about $24,000. That would leave about $120,000 for the County or others to cover. The University has expressed interest in covering some of the cost of their employees passes. In the past that money has been reduced from the Town and the County’s portion of the cost. If the county is interested he believes that this can be worked out by the three parties.

Commissioner Howard stated she thinks there is interest and the demand is going to continue to grow.

Chairman Crawford asked if the $144,000 is half the cost of running the line because he had mentioned that half of the cost that they had been getting from the state was going to be gone. Therefore the total cost of running the line must be higher. Mr. Litchfield stated the grant funding will no longer be available at the end of the fiscal year. The costs that he is quoting are the labor costs and the cost of consumables. It does not include overhead or capital costs. This recommendation covers our basic costs of the service. This assumes that the Town of Chapel Hill, the Town of Carrboro and the University put no money into it at this time. If the University helps subsidize the pass it will help reduce that cost.

Crawford stated consumables being the fuel and cleaning the buses, labor being the drivers and maintenance, the buses themselves are essentially what the transit is providing to keep the route going.

Mr. Litchfield stated that was correct. Any staff time associated with any marketing or promotion and any day to day work that keeps the service going was also not included in the cost.

Chairman Crawford stated he wanted to make it clear that the total cost was not being pushed on Chatham County, that it is being split.

Mr. Litchfield stated there still is cost sharing.

Commissioner Walter Petty asked what the ridership is currently compared to 2011 from Lowe’s to the UNC Campus just for the citizens for Chatham County. Mr. Litchfield stated the route as a whole has gone up quite a bit, about 3,168 riders a month. That does include some trips on campus but the majority of those riders are people getting on at Lowe’s and getting off at campus. Back in 2011 they had about 1,600 riders a month.

The County Manager stated this is on the budget work session as an item and they could have Mr. Litchfield come back with more details.

Commissioner Petty asked of the 3,168 riders, how many of those are making a round trip. More specifically, does that mean there were really only 1,500 riders making two trips. Mr. Litchfield stated it would be 1,500 riders. Commissioner Petty stated he believes saying 3,100 riders is a misrepresentation. He believes there should be a better way to clarify the number of people served. Mr. Litchfield stated they refer to it as the number of trips. He stated he can get the exact number of people boarding at the Park and Ride.

Vice Chair Cross stated it would also be helpful to know if the University is going to contribute. Mr. Litchfield stated the University has expressed an interest in subsidizing the passes, which cost $65 per month. That amount depends on the number of riders. The amount would be reduced from the amount spent by the County and the Town.

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Chatham commissioners appoint George Lucier to CCCC Board of Trustees http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/chatham-commissioners-appoint-george-lucier-to-cccc-board-of-trustees/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/chatham-commissioners-appoint-george-lucier-to-cccc-board-of-trustees/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:08:01 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4951 Pittsboro, NC – In the May 18 Chatham County commissioners’ meeting chairman Jim Crawford stated that there was another opening on the CCCC Board of Trustees. Two people have put their names into consideration; Larry Hicks and George Lucier. Commissioner…

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Pittsboro, NC – In the May 18 Chatham County commissioners’ meeting chairman Jim Crawford stated that there was another opening on the CCCC Board of Trustees. Two people have put their names into consideration; Larry Hicks and George Lucier.

Commissioner Karen Howard made a motion to appoint George Lucier. Vice Chairman Mike Cross made a motion to appoint Larry Hicks.

A motion was made by Commissioner Karen Howard, seconded by Commissioner Diana Hales, that George Lucier be appointed to the CCCC Board of Trustees. The
motion carried by the following vote: Aye: 3 – Chairman Crawford, Commissioner Hales and Commissioner Howard No: 2 – Vice Chair Cross and Commissioner Petty

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Pittsboro town board candidate, Casey Mann wants to raise Chatham County property taxes http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/pittsboro-town-board-candidate-casey-mann-wants-to-raise-chatham-county-property-taxes/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/pittsboro-town-board-candidate-casey-mann-wants-to-raise-chatham-county-property-taxes/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 20:26:26 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4946 by Casey Mann Pittsboro, NC – My name is Casey Mann, Maryland native, former Executive Director of the NCDP and a proud resident of Chatham County. I am a single mother of two children, with a son attending Northwood High…

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by Casey Mann

Pittsboro, NC – My name is Casey Mann, Maryland native, former Executive Director of the NCDP and a proud resident of Chatham County. I am a single mother of two children, with a son attending Northwood High School and my daughter attending Horton Middle. We live on Toomer Loop in Pittsboro, NC.

Property tax increaseI am here because the communities I have lived in for most of my life have made investments in education, housing, transit, food and quality of life. I would not be speaking to you if not for those community investments. I would not have brought my children here if I believed Chatham County lacked the same compassion and long term vision for its residents.

While my mother was going back to school we lived in public housing. It wasn’t wicked or scary, it was a safe haven and shelter that allowed my family to get on a corrected course. Without the safety net of shelter and basic needs, my mother, myself – and by extension my kids would not have been able to get ahead. I would not have been able to work in Raleigh and my family would not have been able to move to Pittsboro. As a mother of two, I have spent time sleeping on the couch because the fair market rent was just too much for us to afford three bedrooms.

Chatham County will need a vigorous program to address the current and future growth that we will experience as the county and this part of the state continue to grow and prosper. We need to have an active and staff supported affordable housing committee, not to create some sort of haven for the unrighteous or unwilling, as many would have you believe. We need a strong affordable housing committee because we want to be a righteous and willing community.

We need to have a strategy to ensure that affordable energy and transit are available to all citizens, because without homes that are energy efficient and smartly planned, we fail to have affordable living options for all of our citizens. Our neighbors. There may be jobs and health care, but without transit options, those are not reachable to many. And without energy efficient places to live, the securities of a warm home in the winter or a cool place to sleep in the summer may also be unattainable. We need to invest directly every year in affordable/workforce housing.

I strongly request that you fully fund transit in Chatham County and create a budget line to fund annually affordable housing either directly, via grants, public/private partnerships and/or rental assistance programs in Chatham County. One penny of tax revenue a year would make a good start.

A new resident of Pittsboro and candidate for the Pittsboro town board Casey Mann spoke during the public input session of the Chatham County commissioners’ meeting on May 18. She was the former Executive Director of the NCDP under the failed administration of NCDP chairman Randy Voller.

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It’s time we had a gun range ordinance for Chatham County http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/its-time-we-had-a-gun-range-ordinance-for-chatham-county/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/its-time-we-had-a-gun-range-ordinance-for-chatham-county/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 19:50:59 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4943 by Anthony Gaeta Pittsboro, NC – I am speaking on behalf of our neighborhood which is located in the triangle formed on the West by Silk Hope Gum Springs Road a number of miles to the Emmaus Baptist Church &…

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by Anthony Gaeta

Pittsboro, NC – I am speaking on behalf of our neighborhood which is located in the triangle formed on the West by Silk Hope Gum Springs Road a number of miles to the Emmaus Baptist Church & School and North Carolina 87 on the East up to Chapel Ridge. We are the rural community adversely affected in the past by the operations of the military styled gun range called Range 2-A.

Gun Range signThe range has ceased operations as a commercial enterprise, due, we understand to its inability to meet the county’s noise ordinance restrictions as well as its multiple
violations of the county’s soil erosion and sedimentation regulations. However, shooting continues on the 70 acres owned by the range and numerous times members of our neighborhood have called upon the sheriff’s department to enforce the county’s noise ordinance. We understand that the sheriff is proposing amendments to the noise ordinance which would make enforcement of the ordinance difficult to administer.

We oppose any amendment that would create a disincentive for the sheriff to enforce the existing noise ordinance as we firmly believe this would adversely affect the entire county and the peaceful enjoyment of its citizens due to noxious noise from neighbors. We question the motives of the Sheriff in proposing any amendment. Is it because the sheriff is tired of our complaints to enforce the existing noise ordinance and believes that amending and possibly neutralizing the ordinance would alleviate his need to enforce it? If the county makes the noise ordinance ineffective to enforce you will virtually eliminate any ability of peaceful citizens to have lawful recourse either through the civil justice system or the sheriff’s department against intruding neighbors and their noise activities. This is a matter of our citizens ability to peacefully enjoy their property rights. It is not a matter of opposing gun rights. Many of us own guns. Many of us shoot periodically on our land. We do not oppose occasional shooting of guns on one’s property.

Secondly, we believe it is time for the county to request the county attorney to draft a gun range ordinance for the entire county. Many counties have such ordinances to
protect the rights of its peaceful citizens to enjoy their property. A gun range ordinance with setbacks from existing residences, businesses, schools and churches as well as busy thoroughfares is vital to the protection and safety of its citizens. The ordinance should have minimum acreage requirements based upon the caliber of the weapons being fired.

For example a skeet shooting range where only shotguns are being fired should not require the same acreage that Range 2-A would require where high powered, military style guns were being fired. These types of weapons can carry bullets for many miles if shot at a particular angle. The ordinance should apply to businesses and clubs organized for the predominate purpose of gun shooting. It need not apply to neighbors shooting on their own property where no commercial enterprise is involved. It should require qualified supervision during hours of operation and it should have lower decibel limitations than the county’s current noise ordinance because the sound of multiple gunshots is an excruciatingly painful sound, nothing like a loud guitar strum from Shakori Hills or some other outdoor cultural event.

We know this is a sensitive topic. I stress again this is not a matter of being opposed to the 2nd Amendment or opposed to the ownership of guns. It is a matter of peaceful enjoyment of one’s property rights. As Chatham county grows it is important that ordinances such as this be carefully crafted for the benefit and the protection of all its residents.

Mr. Anthony Gaeta spoke during the public input session of the Chatham County commissioners’ meeting on May 18.

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Bynum park desperately needs some law and order http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/bynum-park-desperately-needs-some-law-and-order/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/08/02/bynum-park-desperately-needs-some-law-and-order/#comments Sun, 02 Aug 2015 17:03:19 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4936 by Karen Dalton Bynum, NC – I live in Bynum on Bynum Road. My husband and I own a piece of property on the corner of Bynum Road and Bynum Beach Road. Our property adjoins the one acre county park…

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by Karen Dalton

Bynum, NC – I live in Bynum on Bynum Road. My husband and I own a piece of property on the corner of Bynum Road and Bynum Beach Road. Our property adjoins the one acre county park underneath the Bynum pedestrian bridge. We have two rental houses down on riverside. On the whole riverside of Bynum Beach Road there are approximately eight residential homes.

Bynum Beach RoadI am here today because we are in desperate need of some laws and some ordinances to go along with the county park rules that they have kindly put up down there by the water and at the entrance. They have made a sign for us at our property saying “County Property Ends Here, Private Property Begins”. Everyone has been really helpful. The sheriff’s department has been great and so patient. I call them constantly. They come down and try to make a little bit of peace and give us some education about what we can do and we have been have been told to come here. I should have been here years ago.

But what pushed me to come here this very time, at this moment, was the accident on 15-501 last week where two people were killed. We have a major issue down at the county park with drinking, excessive drinking. People are allowed to bring their coolers into the water, hang out all day, and drink until they are drunk. Nine out of ten times there may be a fight before they get back to their cars. They get in their cars, they are drunk, they drive up the hill and they drive out on 15-501. Law enforcement, as I understand, cannot actually do anything unless they are caught driving drunk or there is an accident. I have spoken to the Wildlife people and they can’t do anything if they are drinking in the water unless they are in a vessel. They can drink in the water all day if they are floating.

We are in desperate need of something here to help us with what goes on down there. It is just incredible; this little tiny space creates so many problems.

No parking. No trespassingAnother problem for us is the trespassing. We have had people come that are going to the county property and they take the kayaks out from under our rental houses and take them down to the riverside to use and leave them there. Kayaks have been put out to the front lawn of the little rental house at the base of the pedestrian bridge. I have had my neighbor, Jake, who is rarely home, he had patio furniture out in front of his home so people know that somebody lives there and last summer somebody took his chairs out from the front of his house and brought them down to the county property so they had a place to sit. One chair was left in a ditch and the other was left in the path. It has gotten out of hand.

The county is growing, it is more than we can handle. I have tried for years; I have talked to a bunch of people.

Another issue is the dogs. People come to the property, they go to the park, they want to swim, their doors are open to their cars and their dogs are gone. It is amazing to me how many people don’t call their dogs if they are gone for an hour or two. They come up to my house. Two years ago my husband and I were in the yard; we have a dog pen and we have leashes, my husband and I are in the yard and we hear our Jack Russell screaming. A dog had come up the path and taken her by the neck and shaken her like a ragdoll. If we were not outside she would be dead today. So now our dogs can’t be let loose on our property because of the fact people are just coming onto the property, county land, and it is a free for all. Everything belongs to them, there is nothing private.

I’ve spoken to Michael Yarborough with animal control and Michael said he is just overwhelmed with work and this is not something he can deal with and that I needed to come and speak to the commissioners.

Another issue is parking. We need a few signs down there; there is really no designated place for these people to park off the road. They are parking in the road.

We would really like some laws here and some backup. Everybody has been great, Parks and Recreation, the Sheriff’s Department, total support.

Karen Dalton spoke in the public input portion of the Chatham County commissioners’ meeting on June 15.

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Meet the Wolfpack Day scheduled for August 9 http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/31/meet-the-wolfpack-day-scheduled-for-august-9/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/31/meet-the-wolfpack-day-scheduled-for-august-9/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:22:00 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4931 Raleigh, NC – Wolfpack Nation will have a chance to meet the 2015 NC State football squad on Sunday, August 9th at the 2015 Meet the Pack Day. This highly-anticipated annual event will take place from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.…

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Raleigh, NC – Wolfpack Nation will have a chance to meet the 2015 NC State football squad on Sunday, August 9th at the 2015 Meet the Pack Day. This highly-anticipated annual event will take place from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium, with gates opening at 4:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

Fans can meet and receive autographs from their favorite players and head football coach Dave Doeren. Plus they can take photos with the cheerleaders and Mr. and Ms. WUF. The official 2015 football poster will be given away (while supplies last) and fans will be allowed one personal item and one poster to be autographed.

Additions to this year’s event will be a Tuffy’s Fanzone located at Gate 6, which will include games and fun activities for families, as well as “selfie stations” for photos with select members of the team around the concourse. Cornerback Jack Tocho of “You Don’t Know Jack” fame will be roaming the crowd looking for potential interview subjects for his popular web series.

For a Meet the Pack day location map, click here.

NC State ticket office representatives will be on hand to assist fans looking to purchase tickets for the upcoming season or to answer any ticket related questions, and merchandise and concessions will be available. All fans attending Meet the Pack Day are asked to please enter Carter-Finley Stadium parking lots from Trinity Road at either Gate B or Gate C. Parking lots will open at 11:30 a.m. Stadium gates 8 and 9 on the east side and gates 2, 3, 4 on the west side will open at 4:30 p.m.

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North Carolina charter school update: a mixed bag http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/30/north-carolina-charter-school-update-a-mixed-bag/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/30/north-carolina-charter-school-update-a-mixed-bag/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:46:40 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4928 by Bob Luebke Raleigh, NC – While charter schools continue to attract students and expand in record numbers, the current legislative session can best be described as a mixed bag for the 148 charter schools and 64,000 students who attend…

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by Bob Luebke

Raleigh, NC – While charter schools continue to attract students and expand in record numbers, the current legislative session can best be described as a mixed bag for the 148 charter schools and 64,000 students who attend them. One bill nearing approval makes some seemingly small changes that might nevertheless be helpful to charter schools. Another measure that would bolster charter schools seems stalled in committee this year.

HB 334 was approved by the House earlier this session, then was approved with new language by the Senate last week. The bill now goes to conference committee and then hopefully to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk. In general the bill shifts control of charter schools away from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). HB 334 transfers the Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB) – an 11-member body that makes recommendations to the State Board of Education (SBE) regarding all aspects of charter school operation – to the supervision of the board itself. Previously CSAB had been under the supervision of the DPI.

For some, the move might seem insignificant. Still, it’s a change that charter advocates hope will help to remedy what many believe to be a tense and uneasy relationship with the traditional public schools.

That tension is rooted in conflicting views about charters. Many traditional public school advocates view charters as enemies since they stake a claim on public dollars and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. These same advocates view success as a zero-sum game. Hence in their view the only way for public schools to win is for charters to lose.

Likewise, more often than not, charter school advocates are skeptical of the real intent of their public school “friends.” Once charter schools were folded into the existing public school structure and required to submit applications to the SBE, the animosity was institutionalized. Charter schools saw the playing field as not level. Hence there is the need for action and the proposal to place the Office of Charter Schools under the supervision of the state board and away from DPI.

Should the bill become law, CSAB’s transfer would be more than symbolic. It would significantly lessen DPI’s influence on charter school issues. That’s a change many charter school advocates have been seeking for years.

It might also mean that charter school proponents may be able to get more pro-charter advocates appointed to CSAB. The appointment of neutral or skeptical members to CSAB has hurt the charter school movement and slowed growth.

The bill also changes the structure of CSAB, which has the responsibility of reviewing charter school applications and making recommendations to the State Board of Education. Under the legislation, the governor no longer appoints the chair of the advisory board. In addition, the CSAB member appointed by the SBE can no longer be a member of that body and must be an advocate of charter schools. The last provision is particularly needed since history has shown that appointments to the board don’t necessarily mean a person is truly supportive of charter schools. The legislation is rightly concerned with correcting that problem.

HB 334 has other relevant provisions for charter school advocates, including: allowing a minority of school board members to be non-residents of North Carolina; requiring local charter boards to adopt anti-nepotism policies; raising the minimum number of students that charters must serve from 65 to 80; and requiring charter schools to be in financial compliance before allowing them to expand.

HB 334 allows charter schools the chance to navigate many of the problems contained in the current statute. Proponents say it creates a more level playing field while opponents think the bill will reduce oversight at a time when charters are expanding at a rapid rate.

The bottom line is the measure passed the House earlier this year and the Senate in late July. The bill now goes to the governor for signature.

Lastly, one other bill that deserves our attention is SB 456. The bill, introduced by Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph), was largely designed to correct an imbalance in how charter schools were funded at the local level.

An analysis of data from the North Carolina Treasurer’s Office and DPI found charter schools receive about 27 percent less than the statewide average of local current expense funding received by district students. Annually that amounts to about $33 million in lost revenue for charter schools. To remedy the problem, HB 456 restores that state’s original 1996 funding law so public charter schools receive the same funding levels as traditional public schools.

Other provisions in the bill relate to conflict of interest, how charter schools can expand, and anti-nepotism policies.

SB 456 passed the Senate but is still in committee in the House. It’s unlikely to pass this session but will likely be reintroduced.

Bob Luebke is Senior Policy Analyst for the Civitas Institute.

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Consumer Reports shines light on car insurance pricing inequities and unfair practices http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/30/consumer-reports-shines-light-on-car-insurance-pricing-inequities-and-unfair-practices/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/30/consumer-reports-shines-light-on-car-insurance-pricing-inequities-and-unfair-practices/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:11:38 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4925 Poor Credit May Raise Premiums Higher Than a Drunk Driving Conviction Yonkers, NY – The amounts drivers pay for their car insurance premiums are based on confounding algorithms that increasingly have more to do with socioeconomic factors than driving habits,…

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Poor Credit May Raise Premiums Higher Than a Drunk Driving Conviction

Yonkers, NY – The amounts drivers pay for their car insurance premiums are based on confounding algorithms that increasingly have more to do with socioeconomic factors than driving habits, according to extensive research conducted by Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports September 2015 issueThe organization, w­hich believes that knowledge about the going rate of any product or service is a fundamental consumer right, has released the findings of a two-year, in-depth car insurance investigation. The report analyzed more than 2 billion price quotes for sample drivers that were obtained in August and November 2014 from more than 700 companies across all 33,419 general U.S. ZIP codes. The report includes Amica and USAA, which have been consistently top-rated for claims satisfaction by tens of thousands of Consumer Reports’ subscribers since the late 1990s, and the largest insurers operating in each state, which usually included Allstate, Geico, Progressive, and State Farm. For companies that had more than one subsidiary in a state, Consumer Reports used whichever company had the largest in-state market share.

Consumer Reports’ analysis of rates for eight hypothetical single drivers of varying ages found that those individuals who had merely “good” scores paid $68 to $526 more than similar drivers with the best credit scores, depending on which state they called home. In one example, Consumer Reports found that its single drivers in New York with a good credit score and clean driving record would pay an average of $255 more in annual premiums than if they had an excellent credit scores. In another example, in Florida, CR’s group of adult single drivers with a clean driving record and poor credit paid $1,552 more on average than if the exact same drivers had excellent credit and a drunk driving conviction.

“Consumers have a right to expect that their car insurance premiums are based on meaningful behavior such as their driving record, and not on such factors as how they shop, pay their bills or how likely they are to tolerate that their rates have been hiked up,” said Consumer Reports Editor in Chief Diane Salvatore. “ The insurance industry spends over $6 billion on advertising that only confuses the issue and makes light of the significant expense. We hope that our enterprising journalism will spur consumers to join forces with us and demand reforms and transparency in pricing.”

Car insurance companies often boast about some of the different ways that customers can save money. But Consumer Reports’ study revealed that some of the most advertised discounts—such as the ones for bundling home and car insurance, or installing anti-theft equipment—actually don’t save people much money. Bundling home and car insurance would save a typical policyholder just $97 a year; adding anti-theft equipment would save just $2 annually, when looking at national averages.

Consumer Reports’ investigation also found that the promise of significant savings for student-driver training turned out to be little more than a mirage. In fact, the student-driver training discount was worth very little—a piddling $63 in annual savings nationally for CR’s sample family. The discounts were worth more, however, in Louisiana ($155), California ($334), and Massachusetts ($386).

For more findings from Consumer Reports car insurance investigation, including a state-by-state look at how credit scores impact car insurance premiums and a guide to help consumers shop for the best deal where they live, go to: ConsumerReports.org/FixCarinsurance.

Consumer Reports used the mathematical pricing formulas that insurers must file with almost all regulators in almost every state to help evaluate and compare premiums across the United States. Under the state laws that regulate automobile insurance, carriers are required to adhere to the prices generated by their public rate filings.

Consumer Reports found that most car insurance companies cherry-pick about 30 of the almost 130 elements in a credit report to create their own score for each policyholder that’s very different than a FICO score—and secret. If a car insurance company calculates that a consumer’s credit score isn’t up to its highest standard, it often charges a higher premium—even if the customer had never had an accident. California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are the only states that prohibit insurers from using credit scores to set prices.

Consumer Reports’ investigation illuminates some of the worst practices and demonstrates the real cost to consumers in dollars and cents, and the organization is asking consumers to join forces with them in demanding that insurers—and the regulators charged with monitoring them—adopt price-setting practices that are more meaningfully tethered to how consumers drive.

The organization is encouraging consumers to tweet the National Association of Insurance Commissioners @NAIC_News to “Price me by how I drive, not by who you think I am! #FixCarInsurance.”

Consumer Reports September Issue has also included a special cut-out petition that drivers can sign and return to the organization—which it will collect and deliver directly to their state insurance commissioner.  You can also pick up the phone; dialing 855-384-6331 will connect you directly to your state insurance commissioner.

In its analysis, Consumer Reports created driver profiles for a cross section of hypothetical policyholders. There were 20 profiles in all, for individuals ranging in age from 16 through 75, men, women, some married, some with a teenage driver. The policyholders were assigned the same “base” profile, including a perfect driving record and excellent credit. They were assigned popular vehicles, in most cases the Toyota Camry LE, and Honda Accord LX. Each profile bought standard liability coverage, and also bought uninsured/underinsured motorist protection for the same amounts, and collision, comprehensive, and Med Pay or personal injury protection.

Consumer Reports’ complete special investigation “The Truth About Car Insurance,” is featured in the September issue of Consumer Reports, on sale starting August 4th.  The 10-page feature includes more insurance rate analysis from Consumer Reports, a comprehensive guide to smart shopping for insurance rates, and tips on how to fight unfair pricing.  More information is also available at www.ConsumerReports.org.

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How ACC football teams stack up in the preseason coaches poll http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/30/how-acc-football-teams-stack-up-in-the-preseason-coaches-poll/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/30/how-acc-football-teams-stack-up-in-the-preseason-coaches-poll/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:58:16 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4917 The preseason USA Today coaches poll was released on Thursday morning, and here is how the ACC football teams stacked up. 8. FSU – 1057 points 12. Clemson – 838 points 17. Georgia Tech – 573 points 29. Virginia Tech…

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The preseason USA Today coaches poll was released on Thursday morning, and here is how the ACC football teams stacked up.

FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher

8. FSU – 1057 points

12. Clemson – 838 points

17. Georgia Tech – 573 points

29. Virginia Tech – 70 points

32. Louisville – 27 points

37. Miami – 16 points

40. Duke – 6 points

46. NC State – 3 points

50. UNC – 2 points

The Amway Coaches Poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at FBS schools. The panel is chosen by random draw, conference by conference plus independents, from a pool of coaches who have indicated to the American Football Coaches Association their willingness to participate. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.

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Pittsboro First Sunday is on August 2 http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/29/pittsboro-first-sunday-is-on-august-2/ http://chathamjournal.com/2015/07/29/pittsboro-first-sunday-is-on-august-2/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:27:00 +0000 http://chathamjournal.com/?p=4915 by *protected email* Pittsboro, NC – It’s that time again for your Pittsboro First Sunday Artisan Fair & Market. Please come down and join the activities. The Pittsboro Business Association has another great day planned for you! We’ll start at…

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by *protected email*

Pittsboro, NC – It’s that time again for your Pittsboro First Sunday Artisan Fair & Market. Please come down and join the activities. The Pittsboro Business Association has another great day planned for you! We’ll start at noon so make your plans now, and we’ll see this Sunday, August 2. Activities run from 12 pm to 5 pm.

Pittsboro 1st SundayDetails of events:

NEW:
1)TEEN MUSIC SERIES on outside stage from 3pm-4pm (Music from our area’s performing teens),
2) KIDS PLAY AREA now in Pittsboro Roadhouse Parking Lot
3) PONY RIDES in Pittsboro Roadhouse Parking Lot
4) A visit from Cinderella on our outdoor stage from 4:00-4:30
5) CHATHAM COUNTY HISTORY MUSEUM TOURS (in the Historic Courthouse)

A fun day of food trucks, in-store events, live music, micro beer, wine tasting, art vendors, kid activities and play area will be located in the historic downtown Pittsboro.

MUSIC:
1) THE GLEANERS 1pm-3pm on the outside stage
2) THE LANG SISTERS (Wakefield High School)  3pm-4pm on the outside stage (Teen Series)
3) AVIS AUTRY 2pm – 4pm at Liquidambar Gallery and Gifts
4) GREGORY BLAINE 12pm-2pm at The Roadhouse and General Store
5) TOO MUCH FUN 3pm-5pm at The City Tap

KIDS ACTIVITIES:
1) FREE TABLE SPACE for kids! (Art has to be their own creation, and they have to man their booths!)
2) SIDE WALK CHALK art drawing on Salisbury Street. Chalk will be provided by Pittsboro Toys
3) KIDS PLAY AREA: Hosted by Pittsboro United Methodist Church
4) PONY RIDES: Moore Equine Events

SPECIAL IN STORE EVENTS FOR AUGUST:
1) THE JOYFUL JEWEL: 1pm-3pm Featured Artist Reception: STACY LEWIS (Water Media) 4pm-5pm Poet RALPH EARLE reads from his book The Way Rain Works
2) LIQUIDAMBAR GALLERY AND GIFTS: 2pm-4pm Featured Artist Reception: KITTY MECHAM (Painting) TANYA CASTEEL (Pottery)
3) STARRLIGHT MEAD: MEADERY TOURS at 2pm and 4pm; TASTINGS from 1pm – 5pm
4) VINO! WINE SHOP: TASTING 12-5
5) CIRCLE CITY BOOKS AND MUSIC: Serving up HOMEMADE COOKIES while you browse their books
6) CHATHAM COUNTY HISTORY MUSEUM: Tours of the Historic Courthouse 12-4pm

STORES OPEN FOR 1ST SUNDAY OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN:
1) The French Connection (eclectic art)
2) The Chatham Market Place (breakfast and lunch)
3) Starrlight Mead (tours and tasting)
4) Carolina Brewery (Restaurant and Craft Beers)

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