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June 30, 2008

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Comments

jay

You just will not report on the Joy Johnson rape case will you?

Sean Wilson

Jay, seems like that kind of comment is better expressed in email form.

Related to the topic at-hand: congrats to the Crossmans! They've worked really hard with the neighborhood and the city to put this together. It's exciting to envision how the King's Daughters will be transformed and brought back to life.

I keep hearing about this big mural in the lobby...wonder if it will stay?

barry

Jay - why don't you start a blog (blogger.com lets you do it for free) and organize a cacerolazo in front of their house?

jclately

Jay - Why don't you contact a newspaper or start your own reporting. This is a blog and it is the bloggers choice as to what he/she will discuss. If you want the same privilege, show some initiate and go do it. Perhaps if you did a good job on the topic it would get a mention here and in other places. Assuming you can represent a fair and unbiased opinion on the topic which I suspect is beyond your ability.

barry

i swear this will be my last comment on the subject here. i just wanted to point out that being "fair and unbiased" is not a necessity when writing a blog.

if anyone is interested my initial take on the case is here:
http://dependableerection.blogspot.com/2008/06/ruh-roh_30.html

anon

My guess is that the renovation will cost more than the purchase price in order to be eligible for historic tax credits.

Myers Sugg

Anon:

Please share with the readers why you think that historic tax credits wouldn't apply unless (based on Kevin's comments about the sales price) the owners spend $2.5M on rehab work? I have a pretty good understanding of the tax credit program, and like to take any opportunity to clear up misperceptions about the State & Federal historic tax credits.

Thanks,

Myers Sugg

Kevin Davis

"Jay"--

You're welcome to post your thoughts on what is and isn't covered here, though I'd appreciate your limiting the comment to a single post so as not to spam the blog.

Why isn't the case covered here? For a few reasons:

First, as others have said, I'm not a reporter and this isn't a newspaper. I'm glad BCR helps keep people informed, but this blog isn't designed to be a comprehensive source of daily news.

Second, to be honest, I don't think the Joy Johnson thing is newsworthy. And that's not a political bias: I'd feel the same way if this was a Republican or Libertarian official accused of such acts. Frankly, I think most of the news coverage coming out on this right now is sensationalized due to the titillating nature of the allegations, and appeals to prurient interests.

If these allegations were against an elected official, it'd be a very newsworthy thing. But a third-tier unknown party member, who's not an elected official? Doesn't rate as newsworthy to me.

For that matter, you'd note that crime acts in general are not covered at BCR. Why? Because those stories are very well covered by TV and newspapers... whereas BCR tries to cover community-oriented news that usually escapes the public eye.

We'll cover meta-analysis of crime in terms of trends, socioeconomic factors, etc. -- but everyday crime stories are far too well-watched by the media hype machine to need the attention of yet another blogger.

(And on a purely practical level, being out of town for 48 hours followed by a much-earlier-than-usual Monday morning meeting schedule at the paying job tends to crowd out blogging of all sorts, which is why the site has been quiet today.)

Coop

Wow, Kevin -- such restraint and patience in that reply!

I salute you.

chris

Kevin - I agree with your general sentiment about the mainstream media sensationalizing crime, but some of the allegations do seem to be truly sensational. If a a satanic cult carrying out rape and torture in Watts-Hillandale doesn't qualify as sensational to you, I'd like to hear some of your examples.

This thing has Dateline NBC written all over it, and I wouldn't be surprised if CNN, and the other major news outlets, are covering this story by the end of the week.

When people comment that crazy stuff like this seems to happen more often in Durham than other places, I'm not sure that I can put up much of an argument anymore. The Court TV folks must know every hotel in the area by now.

Bull City Rising

Chris: I'm not denying that it's a "sensational" story. But I mean sensational as in, to use my earlier term, appealing to interests of morbid curiosity, not sensational as in "great."

I mean, a kidnapping and sexual assault generally barely makes its way into the "Crime Log" in the H-S. Add in an alleged perpetrator who has a very minor non-elected role in a political party, and a tony neighborhood whose idea of forcible restraint usually means sitting through a bad concert, and sure, it's "sensational."

My question is, is something newsworthy only because it's sensational?

I would not be shocked at all to see Dateline NBC here for the story. Which says something about what's wrong with the American media.

Hell, if I could dredge up something fascinating about the case and throw it on the blog along with some quick advertising, I could probably pull a couple of G's off of a link from Drudge. Again, where the heck are our priorities about what's important, and what's not?

What really gets me about the story, as I was telling Barry and Mike before the show the other night, is seeing a case that allegedly caused significant emotional trauma to a couple of folks make the headlines more due to the sensational aspects. What happens when the media come sniffing around looking for the victims, people who should be afforded privacy? Isn't everyone going to want to hunt down the "I-was-assaulted-by-the-satanist" victims for an in-the-shadows interview?

So I don't deny it's sensational. I just don't think there's anything great about it.

chris

Kevin - I completely agree, but I'll admit that I'm guilty of "morbid curiosity" in this case. I have always believed that the people who get really carried away with religion, politics, and money always have the most screwed-up and immoral personal lives.

I don't know these people, but I'm sure that lots of their acquaintances will express surprise and disbelief that they were involved in these crimes. But take a look at this article on their website:

http://www.theindigodawn.com/Indigo_Dawn/Indigo_Children.html

I try to be open-minded, but that's just some crazy sh*t. Somebody should have seen something coming.

David Rollins

For what it's worth, Kevin's coverage of the lacrosse frameup was very similar (and to be commended). With nothing new to contribute, he focused on the "meta" or larger aspects of the scandal as it related to politics in Durham. I would expect similar treatment of the Johnson case here.

anon

From NC SHPO:

The rehabilitation of the historic structure must be substantial. For income-producing properties, the rehabilitation expense must exceed the greater of the "adjusted basis" of the building or $5,000 within a 24 month period or a 60 month period for phased projects. For non income-producing properties, the rehabilitation expense must exceed $25,000 within a 24 month period.

The adjusted basis of the building is defined as the (original cost minus land value, minus previous
depreciation, plus previous capital improvements).

I may very well be incorrect, so please let me know if I'm missing something. Perhaps after adding previous capital improvements (which I suspect there are none)and then netting out the land value and depreciation, the renovation costs exceed the adjusted basis. I think a lot would depend on the depreciation, but I am not an expert on these matters admittedly and I may be missing some other key piece of information.

KeepDurhamDifferent!

I don't think you're missing anything. List price: $2.5M. Final sale price: who knows, maybe $2M? Assume previous depreciation as zero since they just closed on the sale (unless they are counting previous owner depreciation, which I doubt). Land value: is $1M per acre unreasonable for this section of Trinity Park? Probably not for residential, but I could see it going that high for light commercial such as a B&B. Depends on the assessor. Lots for 1/8 of an acre and bare-minimum frontage are listed for $80K where I live on the north side of TP, but of course that's a whole different ballgame.

So yeah, $1M in repairs is about right. Thank god I went the $25K route in my tax credit application.

crc32

Anon- You're not incorrect. As this is classified as an income-producing structure, we have to pass the adjusted basis in qualified rehabilitation expenses. In our case, the adjusted basis is the purchase price minus land.

Myers is correct for non-income producing property, but that isn't what we're doing. I can state, however, that the purchase price was not $2.5 million. Though it was listed at $2.5m, the parties to the transaction agreed on a significantly lower price in order to make the Bed and Breakfast numbers work, as both agreed that the B&B use was the best to preserve the character of the building.

We will be doing a tax-credit project, and the tax credits are being syndicated as part of the equity structure of the deal. Without all of these pieces, it would have been nearly impossible to preserve this building.

Also, Deanna and I aren't sure what mural Sean is referring to, as there isn't one in the building... we will be preserving all of the plaques, however!

Myers Sugg

I've made no comments about the specifics of the historic tax credits, income producing or otherwise. I admit that I am much more informed about the non-income producing credits, but I do have some good understanding of the income producing ones as well. The reason I commented in the first place to anon's inital posting was to make certain the tax credits don't get a bad rap. They are incredibly valuable as Colin states, and folks in National Register Historic Districts ought to explore them more.

Myers

Ellen Ciompi

I'm glad the papers have been signed so that renovations can commence. I met the owners during the "Hard Hat Home Tour" in TP back in April, and they were enthusiastic, welcoming, and full of good energy for the huge project ahead of them. Renovations are miserable things to live through, and I can't imagine the stresses involved in a project this large. Good luck to them! I hope they have another public tour after the project is finished and before the B&B starts hosting guests. The best free advertisement they will ever get will be word-of-mouth--and neighbors directing visitng friends & family to the Inn, rather than pulling out the sleeper sofa.

Deanna

Ellen - thank you for the kind wishes! It will be a long project, but we're so excited to be at last Doing Something tangible to the building - it feels great!

We will definitely have a grand opening bash, as well as tours before we open for guests. Aside from the fact that we love to show off the building, we completely agree that it is the neighbors who will be responsible for our success in the future. In return, we want to do everything we can to be a fantastic asset to the neighborhood!

We will post updates when we get a free minute on our website (www.TheKingsDaughtersInn.com) as well as pictures as we make progress.

Belstaff Coat

HHH Yes, the design of national policy is important, how our economic development plans for the next five years, how the implementation, how to make our economy even faster. Are designed to advance our focus to invest money in what ways it should be carefully arranged.

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