Nocturnal Barred Owl Music

Strix Varia
A few nights last week we slept with our windows open. Sometime after midnight but before dawn a LOUD chorus of birds starts making a serious racket. The sound that woke me up first was “hoo, hoo, too-HOO; hoo, hoo, too-HOO, ooo”. Last year at our old house I remember hearing something similar. (I didn’t see the birds but I guess it might have looked like the animal in the picture above.)

What made this spooky night time show by some Barred Owls (aka Hoot Owls) different was the sheer number of calls. I swear there must have been at least three or four of them. Just when one set of Hoo Hoos would start another would chime in. Like a round of row row your boat. It is spring here in North Carolina so maybe those where matting calls.

Once I woke up enough not to think I was dreaming I thoroughly enjoyed their music. Before I had only heard one or two calls at a time. This was a full on symphony performance! Over and Over again. Each time with a short gap in between the calls. I waited annciously for each new set of Hoo hoos. We are so luck to have all the trees near us that birds love. Cardinals, Red Headed Woodpeckers, morning doves, finches, etc.

Gota set up some recording gear in the future and make it easy to start when asleep. 🙂 Until then this webpage titled Barred Owl Vocalizations has a ton of great recordings. I think I must have heard some Simultaneous Calling.

Barred Owl – Strix varia

Graffiti IS Art

Mark Schultz over at the N&O’s Orange Chat blog writes:

Graffiti or Art?
So we sent staff photog Leslie Barbour to shoot a town worker painting over some gang symbols at the Chapel Hill Community Center this morning.

I was talking to Leslie about the story later this afternoon, and she said we shouldn’t call the gang symbols “graffiti.” Graffiti is art, she said, and added that we should call it what it is: “tagging.”

I got where she was coming from. But I don’t think the average person on the street makes the distinction or is up on the word “tagging.” Was I wrong? Is it inaccurate or worse to label the “LBU” tags showing up on more than a dozen locations in Chapel Hill and Carrboro this past week “graffiti”?

Leslie is right. That bit of paint is tagging. It has a very different purpose than graffiti. Graffiti is “mainstream” art now. Some people put graffiti in the category of Street Art. Check out all the wonderful photos of street art on Flickr.

From today’s Chapel Hill News article Gang signs on the rise:

Graffiti — how gangs mark territory and send messages to rival gangs — is a growing problem. McKinney called it a newspaper of the streets.

This is incorrect. I would use Tagging instead of Graffiti. I hope the Chapel Hill News writes a correction. This could seriously misinform people. Ignorance of the details isn’t going to help a community come to terms with its growing pains. Informing people about the seriousness of gang violence is important. But using graffiti as a visual shorthand for gangs isn’t going to help. It will only narrow people’s fear and cause them to “know it when they see it”. The whole issue is much much more complicated.

The article did later include,

Not all graffiti is gang-related, Cousins said. Three young men were charged with defacing the bridge on Umstead Drive with graffiti. Someone also defaced the new Army recruiting station. Neither incident had anything to do with gangs, she said.

I’d like to see the Chapel Hill News do a story on the artfulness of graffiti. Its culture is diverse and does have its dark parts. Many forms of art have similar issues. But this doesn’t diminish the importance of this form of expression.

I’m really concerned that the newspapers misrepresentation of Graffiti as solely a criminal act will cause locals to become prejudice against this art form. Many large cities with wonderful artists working in the streets have very aggressive scrubbing campaigns that destroy public beauty. A balanced story must be told.

(Comments are broken on Orange Chat: I tried to leave a comment on the N&O site but had no luck. Even attempted to register. Once I was supposedly logged in I still got an error. So I gave up and posted my comment on my blog.)

Chapel Hill Town Council Resolution on Immigration

Tonight the Chapel Hill Town Council has on its agenda a petition from the Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee proposing A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A POLICY ON ARREST FOR CIVIL IMMIGRATION VIOLATION and A RESOLUTION TO REDRESS SOME OF THE HARM CAUSED BY THE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT OF SIMA FALLAHI. See the pdf of the resolutions and full text bellow the fold. Tonights full agenda is located here. Learn more about what happened to Sima in the OP posts Free Sima and Sima Update.
(Text is subject to change)

A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A POLICY ON ARREST FOR CIVIL IMMIGRATION VIOLATION AGENDA #3a(3)

A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A POLICY THAT THE CHAPEL HILL POLICE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT SEEK TO ARREST PERSONS WHEN THE SOLE BASIS FOR ARRESTING SUCH PERSONS IS THAT SUCH PERSONS HAVE OR MAY HAVE COMMITTED A CIVIL IMMIGRATION VIOLATION

WHEREAS, in Section 15A-401 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the General Assembly has specified the circumstances under which law enforcement officers may arrest persons, with or without an arrest warrant;

and

WHEREAS, the list of circumstances under which a person may be arrested does not include an arrest of persons whose only known violation of law is or may be a civil violation of federal immigration statutes;

NOW THEREFORE, the Chapel Hill Town Council resolves:

Section 1. It shall be the policy of the Town of Chapel Hill not to arrest or take into custody persons when the sole basis for arresting or taking such persons into custody is that they have or may have committed a civil immigration violation.

Section 2. This resolution shall become effective upon adoption.

This the 26th day of February 2007.

A RESOLUTION TO REDRESS SOME OF THE HARM CAUSED BY THE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT OF SIMA FALLAHI

WHEREAS, the Town of Chapel Hill is committed to the human and civil rights of its residents and to actions that preserve and protect those rights, demonstrated by its stand on October 8, 2003, in voting to protect its residents against unconstitutional actions (2003-10-08/R-5.1);

and

WHEREAS, enforcement of civil immigration laws has historically been a federal obligation considered off-limits to state and local law enforcement;

and

WHEREAS, serious concerns have been raised regarding the ability of state and local police to prevent and solve crimes when non-citizens fear that state and local enforcement officers will enforce immigration laws against them;
and

WHEREAS, the Chapel Hill Town Council regrets the tragic consequences of the detention of Sima Fallahi for a civil violation of a federal immigration statute, resulting in her subsequent imprisonment, separation from her eleven-year-old daughter Leila, and the threat of deportation leading to probable imprisonment in her native Iran;

and

WHEREAS, members of the community have come forward to support Sima and Leila Fallahi, including incurring legal costs which will be at least $10,000 to $1 5,000;

and

WHEREAS, the Chapel Hill Town Council seeks to redress some of the harm that has been done in this instance;

NOW THEREFORE, the Chapel Hill Town Council resolves:

Section 1. To make a significant contribution to the legal costs incurred in providing effective legal counsel to Sima Fallahi in her effort to reopen her case and seek political asylum in the United States.

Section 2. This resolution shall be effective upon adoption.
This the 26th day of February, 2007

Cross posted from Orange Politics.

N&O adds blog about Orange County

Orange Chat

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Welcome to Orange Chat

Did you ever read a story and say, “I wish the reporter had asked …”

Well, the truth is sometimes we did but there wasn’t space to put it in the paper.

Welcome to Orange Chat, where we hope to expand on the Orange and Chatham County coverage we provide in The News and Observer and The Chapel Hill News, and where we hope you’ll tell us how we’re doing.

Send us your questions, criticisms and suggestions.

And thanks for reading.

Mark Schultz
Editor

Hat tip to Andy at The Editor’s Desk