It was nice to get back in one piece from Nashville late Sunday, on a day when the east coast's snow event made travel a little difficult, to say the least. Well-earned kudos to the road crews around here; we were amazed by how good the conditions were on interstates and major thoroughfares alike around twilight on Sunday -- especially compared to Nashville, which got much less snow but whose DOT seemed wholly unprepared for even that, given the number of accident scenes we passed on the way to the airport.
The only raw spot Mrs. BCR and I came across was in RTP, some of whose interior roads looked more like kid-worn sledding paths than actual conveyances for automobiles.
It's been a largely slow last week in news, but there are a few stories worth watching:
Convention Center Debate Continues: The last few weeks have seen some lobbying in the public sphere by Shaner Hotels over their deal to run the Durham Convention Center, from an op-ed in the Herald-Sun and the Durham Magazine blog to missives on local listservs. But city and county officials seem poised to deny Shaner -- which operates the downtown Marriott as well as the 80s-vintage convention space -- a renewal of the contract, looking instead to the Comcast subsidiary (Global Spectrum) that operates pro sports stadiums and convention centers around the country. Global Spectrum estimates a $700k annual subsidy from local governments for the loss-leader facility, vs. a $1 million guaranteed subsidy to Shaner. The H-S' Ray Gronberg recounts the politics of the matter, including a to-be-expected lobbying effort by Shaner to keep the contract -- lobbying that has included, weirdly, Durham GM Dick Brezinski smacking Global Spectrum for their colorful web site. (Herald-Sun)
LabourLove Shifts: LabourLove's blog last week noted a change in the Golden Belt art gallery's operating model given the ongoing recession, which has left them operating in the red nine-tenths of the months they've been opened, the Herald-Sun's Monica Chen notes. Artists will now submit applications to be showcased in the space, with the gallery renting out shelf space and taking a ten percent cut on sales -- versus the older, traditional model in which the gallery would front all the marketing costs around Third Fridays and other events and hope to recoup through sales. Seems to make sense, especially since the per-sale cut is small, and the change allows LabourLove to address some of their fixed costs. (Herald-Sun)
6am Start for BCC: Starting on Monday, the Bull City Connector expands its hours of operation, with westbound service at Golden Belt kicking off at 6:22am with a 6:31am stop at Durham Station. The N&O notes commuters are the target market for the change -- and given that 7am is a logical shift change time around places like the Duke and VA hospitals, this makes a lot of sense. (N&O)