Ken Larsen's website - Speeches that I've given 


I used to be apathetic about local politics and had never spoke in public about any issues.  That all changed on October 20, 2013 when I attended a presentation by Chapel Hill's Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett to me and a few of my neighbors about a proposed development called Ephesus-Fordham (E-F) ... which would be a mile from where I live.  I saw E-F as horrid, and that shock awoke me from my apathetic slumber. 


Since my awakening, I've given 18 speeches:


# Date To Speech (click on to view/hear) Length Subject Comments
1 2014-Feb-4 PB not video recorded  [text version] [video of flooding that I showed]   E-F Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt was in attendance.   He was the ring leader behind E-F.
2 2014-Feb-18 PB not video recorded [text version]   E-F  
3 2014-Apr-23 TC I debunk some false information that has been told about the Ephesus-Fordham plan 3:49 E-F  
4 2014-May-6 WCHL Grading the Ephesus-Fordham plan 1:45 E-F My first ever radio commentary.  Each is limited to under two minutes, so I had to talk fast.
5 2015-Sept-28 WCHL Vote in the 2015 election 2:18 E-F  
6 2015-Oct-6 WCHL FBC parking issue 2:03 E-F  
7 2016-Jan-21 CHCCS Use Kepner-Tregoe Decision Analysis to decide how best to address the achievement gap 3:04 AG Only one member, Margaret Samuel, takes me up on my offer; however, later they choose a new superindendent (Pam Baldwin) who is a proponent of decision analysis.  Cheers to that!
8 2016-Aug-25 OWASA My support for the Mountains to the sea trail 4:20 Trails Unrehearsed.  I attended this meeting at the last minute request of my track club.  I arrived early and signed what I thought was an attendance sheet.  
9 2016-Dec-5 BOCC Don't listen to the "urban growth machine" 3:18 DOLRT  
10 2017-Feb-13 WCHL  DOLRT speech [text version] 2:04 DOLRT
11 2017-Mar-1 WCHL At-grade crossings  [text version] 1:58 DOLRT
12 2017-Mar-7 BOCC At-grade crossings 3:11 DOLRT I used a prop.
13 2017-Apr-7 BOCC Probability of DOLRT success is very low 3:18 DOLRT  
14 2017-Apr-18 BOCC Summary of previous public speeches 3:07 DOLRT  
15 2017-Apr-24 TC Yellow golf balls matter 2:16 DOLRT I used 2 props.
16 2017-Nov-27 School DOLRT = Kick in the groin to Orange County schools 1:59 DOLRT Shows nexus between DOLRT and the school budget.
17 2018-Nov-28 TC Be leery about signing any agreement with GoTriangle - I don't trust them 3:20 DOLRT I used two props.

I was pretty angry as I gave this speech.  I've strongly opposed DOLRT and all the money GoTriangle has wasted on it.
18 2019-Mar-7 BOA Why variance request should be denied  [slide that I showed] 6:45 817 Tinkerbell I regard this as my best speech ever.  I didn't read from a script + I spoke clearly into the microphone + I was relaxed (not being constrained to 3 minutes helps a lot!) + I showed how a simple matrix can be used to analyze a complicated problem [I'm strong advocate of using decision analysis tools.] + I presented my views in a balanced manner ... uttering the phrase "in my opinion" six times + I "reached across the aisle" ... verbally during my speech and then actually ... giving the variance applicant my card after my speech was over.

Lastly, I used my video editing skills to show my slide on my website.  The Town's video doesn't show each speaker's slide(s).

In the end, the variance request was denied by a vote of 8-1.  Cheers.  I was glad to help my neighbors. 


BOA -Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment

BOCC -Board of Orange County Commissioners

CHCCS -Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board

OWASA - OWASA board meeting

PB -Chapel Hill Planning Board

TC -Chapel Hill Town Council

WCHL -Radio commentary


AG -Achievement gap

DOLRT -Durham-Orange County Light Rail Transit project

E-F -Ephesus-Fordham project (now called Blue Hill)





I've gone from apathetic to cynic.  I've learned that most of our political leaders ignore the public and bow to the wishes of developers.  That's where the money is.  The E-F and DOLRT projects prove my assertion.  Neither should have been approved.  E-F will exacerbate flooding and traffic; DOLRT is an extraordinary waste of taxpayer money that will benefit few people.  For both, considerable amounts of money were spent to brainwash the public into believing that the projects were best for the community.  Sadly, that's what U.S. democracy has become.




Ken Larsen's home page