BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for February 26, 2009
A shout-out to the good folks at the Sears Auto Center

BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for February 27, 2009

  • Still Stimulatin': Add another $1.9 million in Federal stimulus funds to the Durham coffers. A half-mil goes to CDBG programs, a similar amount for youth initiatives -- half of which will support the summer jobs program for youth -- while almost $800k will go to emergency shelter grants for housing. No word yet on the use for the CDGB grant, which represents a more than 25% increase in the city's annual allocation. (H-S)
  • Ray Gronberg has more on the wafting controversy. New developments: City Councilman Eugene Brown has asked city officials why Dave Owen couldn't "piggyback" on city insurance, with city manager Tom Bonfield chalking it up as essential that contractors provide insurance (or, presumably, use the waiver form method.) DPR officials also forwarded emails to the H-S noting that the City's plans to convert the blacksmith's shop to other uses dates back to 2002 were mentioned to the contractor back in '02, and that the renovations were mentioned again in a 2007 contract. (H-S)
  • DPS last night approved a new policy on school volunteering that relaxes rules requiring background checks on persons assisting with school functions; events that have minimal or fully-supervised student contact won't require such checks, a move meant to broaden the rank of community members (such as, the H-S notes, undocumented immigrants or international college students) who can volunteer in schools. Meantime, the district's 2009-10 budget hearing has been rescheduled until May to allow time for the stimulus dollars' effects to be fully understood before planning cuts. (H-S)
  • Durham's cultural master plan advisory board meeting yesterday focused on efforts to connect local college students to art programs in the community and to create more arts-related engagement with the campus. Co-chair Josh Parker noted that, as the H-S' Matt Milliken put it, "NCCU has become much more amenable to working with the board than it was in the recent past" -- a good sign for the CMP, since DCABP stakeholders lashed out at county funding for the master plan at a recent session, leading BOCC members to press Parker to try harder to connect with his alma mater. (H-S)
  • Always a good guest, hizonner sent a thank you note to the White House for his visit; we expect Bell may have thanked Pres. Obama for the "stimulating" conversation. Har, har. Jim Wise has the details. (N&O)

Comments

TrinityRez

Some people just cannot breath without the governments help. Summer youth jobs? I found summer jobs when I was young without any help from the government. Is the government going to start teaching kids how to dress and tie their shoes (oh that has been discussed regarding the school system)? Some people just should not be allowed to procreate.

Reality is there should be a license to have kids. We require a license to drive.

Rob

It looks like this morning's warm weather has brought the trolls out of hibernation.

TrinityRez

Ok Rob, based on your lack of an intelligent response you seem to not understand my comparison. I will make it a little easier for you to understand....I hope.

What do you think requires more skills or which is more important to an advancing society....driving or properly managing a child into adulthood? I feel that they both are important but only one requires a test before proceeding. If some Americans had a little more nerve to state the obvious we may not find the government wasting our tax dollars on educating clueless parents kids. Seeing that we are overflowing with tax revenues at the moment I guess it does not matter.

GreenLantern

So which is cheaper? Educating and helping youth get summer jobs, or interning them into prison cells? Would you support expanding birth control services for these clueless parents to reduce the population of future gang members and criminals?

Since we're probably not going to have the funds to expand the city jail soon, or build a new courthouse with more judges and prosecutors, we're left with programs like these to mitigate society's problem with keeping future criminals off the streets.

bb

Trinity Rez,

And it's probably safe to say that it's not a fair comparison to brag about how easy it was for you to find work when you were a teenager, considering the lack of job opportunities during this historic recession. Or were you a teenager during the Great Depression?

JDC

awesome, let's debate the effectiveness of eugenics in the bull city comments. not.

DefinitelyNotATrinityRez

Good heavens, how can you be against jobs for youth? Yes, they should have had the guidance to teach them how to find jobs on their own, but let's have a reality check here. Many of these kids have absent parents, period, and the only thing keeping them in school and giving them a chance at a brighter future is... the kid him- or herself. That's a lot to ask of a kid on top of them having to scrounge for food and clothes themselves -- which legions of young people in Durham have to do -- and stay in school. Now you want them to be able to locate a place that will hire kids in the first place, get their own transportation to this mythical place, and instantly have the skills and know how to behave on a job?

Are you sure you live on the Planet Earth?

If we can help these kids become self-sufficient, keep our system from having to pay for them if they drift into the alternative (selling drugs or themselves) AND get some needed job done in the city while we're at it, probably for a wage lower than an adult's -- why in the world would you be against that?

I am a realist -- if an adult can't pull their own weight after being given one boost or one second chance, cut them loose. They're hopeless and never going to change. But a kid? Come on -- we could make a real difference with them. Ands save lots of government money down the line.

TrinityRez

I will tell what is cheaper GreenLantern...holding parents responsible for the kids they create. I understand that at this point (teenagers) it is too late to hold the parents responsible but we have to start some where.

Wouldn't that stimulus money be better spend on helping adults find jobs?

bb are you saying the current unemployment rate is 23.6%? Surely you are not. If so I think we need to worry more about adults finding employment.

Michael Bacon

Hey, everyone, let's play a fun game...

TrinityRez! NIFONG!

(Now watch his head explode.)

bb

TrinityRez - No, that was a "metaphor". I was trying to point out that the economic environment accompanying your pleasant memories of chasing down summertime employment might not necessarily be the same environment today's teenagers are faced with jumping into. What exactly do you do (other than place blame on ineffective parenting) to give kids opportunities to stay off street corners in Trinity Park? I'm guessing very little - and that's exactly why I don't have any problem with my tax dollars going to programs like these.


fullsteam

Kevin,

And to think you were considering 86ing the Fishwrap! This is kind of fun.

Kathi Beratan

Does anyone know anything about the "floating wetland" project listed by Stimulus watch as one of the "shovel-ready" projects Durham listed in a 2008 U.S. Conference of Mayors report?

http://www.stimuluswatch.org/project/by_city/Durham/NC

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