Friday, November 8, 2013
The Daily Tar Heel
Launch Chapel Hill to host information session on its newest startup program
Business incubator Launch Chapel Hill will hold an information session about a new accel-erator program Nov. 12 in its 321 W. Rosemary St. office.The program is designed to help people build sustainable startup companies and will run 22 weeks from January to June. Applications are being accepted until Nov. 22.
UNC receives $54.6 million award from the National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health recently awarded UNC a new five-year $54.6 million Clinical and Translational Science Award.In partnership with RTI International and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, UNC will use the money to acceler-ate the benefits of clinical research for patients and communities in North Carolina.
— From staff and wire reports
By Paul Best
A bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on Thursday, a move that could change the employ-ment climate for the LGBT commu-nity in North Carolina.Though it appears unlikely, if the bill is passed by the House of Representatives, it will be illegal for employers with 15 or more employees to fire someone on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill exempts religious organizations. President Barack Obama has said he would sign ENDA into law. A version of the bill has been introduced in every congressional session since 1994 except one — but it has only been approved by a legis-lative chamber once, in 2007.North Carolina is one of 29 states without employment equality laws covering sexual orientation.“The irony is that 15 states now have marriage equality, yet in some of those states you can’t bring a picture of your spouse to work for fear of being fired,” said Jen Jones, spokeswoman for Equality N.C.She said a recent poll showed that 73 percent of North Carolina resi-dents believe employers should not be allowed to discriminate against gay and transgender employees.But Jones said state legislators might not share those sentiments.“The unfortunate reality is we have an incredibly conservative General Assembly right now,” she said. All 17 UNC-system schools already have employment policies that pro-hibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gen-der expression, said Jayne Grandes, associate director for investigations and compliance reporting in UNC’s Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act Office.Jeff Hirsch, a law professor at UNC, said many Fortune 500 com-panies and other large businesses have already implemented policies that prevent this type of discrimina-tion. Mostly middle-sized companies would be affected, he said.He said the bill’s future in the Republican-led House looks bleak, but he is optimistic that it will be passed in the near future, citing a generational shift in perspective about sexual orientation.Jones said national momentum surrounding same-sex marriage will bolster efforts to implement federal employment nondiscrimi-nation.“The majority of national LGBT organizations as well as state equal-ity groups like our own have been lobbying hard to make this a reality,” she said.In a statement on Thursday, Obama called for House Republican leaders to bring the bill to a vote.“One party in one house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do.”
Senate OKs LGBT employment bill
The workplace discrimination ban gained bipartisan support.
IN NEED OF GOOD LUCK
Champ, a 4-year-old male cat, rests at the Orange County Animal Shelter on Thursday. Black cats are often overlooked for potential adoption.
ASG fate decided today
By Graves Ganzert
Though many people avoid crossing black cats’ paths, Siglinda Scarpa wants prospec-tive pet owners to realize their potential as loving companions. While black cats’ ominous reputation has withstood the test of time, a movement is gaining momentum in the greater Chapel Hill area to reverse this perception.Scarpa is the executive director of the Goathouse Refuge, a no-kill sanctuary for cats in Pittsboro.But she said despite how many cats are adopted, black cats are often overlooked.“I think that somehow it is a historical problem,” she said. “I feel somehow people have developed a prejudice towards them.”Scarpa said she hopes to put an end to the stereotype.“I feel people feel that they are malicious,” she said. “There are so many rumors and stories of black cats causing bad omens or bad luck. Black cats should be seen as they are — a beautiful, sleek animal.”Scarpa said a cat’s personality is not unique simply to its color but to its breed.“Black cats are absolutely like any other cat,” she said.“Different breeds do have different per-sonalities and characteristics but it does not depend on the color.”Scarpa said last year, less than one-third of black cats were adopted at the refuge.To change this trend, Goathouse Refuge has planned a “Back in Black” promotion in November.To encourage adoption, the refuge has lowered its adoption fee by $25, from $100 to $75, for the first 75 black cats adopted. And on Sunday Goathouse Refuge will host a Second Sunday Cat Cafe, featuring various black cats and kittens available for adoption.Robert Marotto, director of the Orange County Animal Shelter, said he does not track any trends in adoption based simply on color. He said the overall rate of cat adoption is low in Orange County. About 45 percent of cats that entered Orange County Animal Shelter were euthanized in 2011, according to data from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Overall, the rate for North Carolina was 78 percent.“Cats are a challenge today,” he said. “We have not had any significant improvement in the rate of cat adoption.”Ginny Larkin-Thorsen, co-chairwoman for UNC Helping Paws, said this is a trend that should be reversed.“Much like people have stereotypes about particular breeds, there is also a subcon-scious association people have with black animals,” she said.Larkin-Thorsen said she works to advo-cate the importance of adopting for an ani-mal’s companionship, not color.“It’s about the personality, not the color or breed, and that is something that we in Helping Paws like to emphasize because we want people to adopt based on the dog or cat, not specifically on their breed or look,” she said.
By Lindsay Carbonell
UNC students will once again make a deci-sion about the University’s place in the long-criticized UNC-system Association of Student Governments.From midnight to 5 p.m. today, students can go to studentlife.unc.edu and vote on whether they want the University to stay in the student advocacy organization, which is composed of delegates from all 17 system schools and funded by a $1 annual student fee. UNC students con-tributed $27,069 to ASG this year.Robert Windsor, chairman of the UNC Board of Elections, said ASG will be the first item on the ballot, followed by Homecoming elections and Student Congress special elections.In 2012, the last time students voted on ASG membership, the ballot had the referendum listed last. Students voted to stay in the asso-ciation. This time, Windsor said he put the referendum on the top of the ballot due to its importance.Speaker of Student Congress Connor Brady said he is proud of the advocacy efforts sur-rounding the vote — like the official email sent to all students Thursday.Still, in an online Daily Tar Heel survey of 34 random students, 14 were unaware of the vote, and several in that group did not know what the association was. In the survey, four students said they wanted to leave ASG and 15 wanted to stay in.“If we leave ASG, we will have no say in what goes on and what could be changed,” said sopho-more Taylor Pulley in the survey. “It’s only a $1 student fee that will not make or break any of us.”Members of UNC Student Congress were also surveyed — of the 15 representatives who answered, four said they will vote to stay in ASG, while the other 11 said they will vote to leave it. ASG President Robert Nunnery said UNC would lose a voice if it pulls out of the associa-tion, especially because it advocates for student issues, like gender-neutral housing, which was banned by the system Board of Governors. The association is currently discussing alternatives.“While (these issues) might not have had the intended outcome, imagine having no voice,” he said. At 6 p.m., the UNC Board of Elections will announce the results of the election. If students decide they want to leave ASG, delegates of UNC student government will petition to the UNC Board of Trustees. The system Board of Governors will have to approve the University’s departure before the fee can be canceled.If students decide to stay in ASG, Brady said the University will continue to attempt to reform the organization from within.He said student government representatives will stand in the Pit today to encourage stu-dents to vote “yes” to leave the association.“If there’s a vending machine that’s broken down, you’re not going to keep putting a dollar in it until it works — you find someone to fix it.”
Students last voted on UNC’s ASG membership in 2012.
Hairston, McDonald to miss opener
Team spokesman said the NCAA compliance issue is “ongoing.”
By Brooke Pryor
With season openers comes excitement, hope for the future, a chance at a title run.But for the North Carolina basketball team, the season opener against Oakland is considerably dulled with a cloud of uncer-tainty hanging over the Smith Center.The Tar Heels’ top 3-point threats, P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald, will both sit on the sideline, wearing suits and ties rather than jerseys and tennis shoes Friday night.Though coach Roy Williams hoped to announce Hairston and McDonald’s final fate before the season, team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Thursday that the compliance issue with the NCAA is “ongoing.”“It is frustrating but it’s also a long pro-cess and we’re trying to do what we can do,” Williams said. “The NCAA is trying to do what they can do. But it’s what it is. I’m sure they would like to settle all of their cases in five minutes, too. We’ve just got to try to con-tinue to work with them and working with our student athletes and doing the best job we can do and just seeing what happens.” At the ACC’s Operation Basketball on Oct. 16, Williams maintained that there would be a decision before the opener.“I said it will be announced before the sea-son starts and it will,” Williams said then.But less than a month later, a decision hasn’t been made, and Williams’ role has been reduced to “waiting for somebody to tell me what’s going on.”Though the circumstances are drastically different, uncertainty isn’t anything new to
DTH FILE/KATIE WILLIAMS
Leslie McDonald (right) will not play in North Carolina’s basketball season opener Friday night.
UNC leading into the season opener. This time last year, the starting lineup wasn’t set and the team’s identity was unclear after four starters departed for the NBA and graduation.“Last year just not knowing what the team was going to look like, especially after los-ing all of those guys that went pro,” junior forward James Michael McAdoo said. “As opposed to this year where we’re really com-fortable and confident with who we have.“But knowing that we won’t have P.J. and Leslie out there is definitely something that’s going to change our team and the way we look.” With the absence of Hairston and McDonald, the team will shift its lineup to adjust for the loss of the two wing players.“Right now, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise and all that kind of stuff, Nate (Britt), Marcus (Paige), J.P. (Tokoto), James Michael (McAdoo) and depends on who brings me the best piece of dessert tonight,” Williams said of his starting lineup. A summer of controversy surrounding two of his players — Hairston’s traffic transgres-sions and McDonald’s involvement with a designer mouthguard company — made for the most difficult offseason and preseason Williams said he’s experienced.But with the regular season finally upon him, Williams is prepared to make the neces-sary adjustments while two of his top players are relegated to street clothes at game time.“It has been a very erratic planning and preseason time, it really has,” he said. “Because things aren’t as smooth and as settled as we would like for them to be. But it’s what it is.”
Animal advocates work to get black cats adopted