Main St. to be detoured from Duke to Ramseur for 45 days due to streetscape work
In Durham, sidewalks are required – except when they aren’t

BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for March 30, 2009

One of the more interesting matters in the H-S over the past few days has been its welcome look at Southern High, a secondary school that's ranked at the bad end of the state's list of troubled high schools. As the H-S' Laura Collins has noted in her series, the picture is complex, and challenging -- and kudos to the H-S for devoting a three-day series to delve into the matter. Many of the issues of socio-economics raised in the series are among the same ones we've been beating the drums about at BCR for some time; more on this in the days to come here at BCR.

In other news:

  • UNC's School of Government has weighed in as an outside commenter on the matter of a developer's requested Jordan Lake boundary changes in South Durham. County attorney Chuck Kitchen has interpreted the memo as having supported his position that public hearings and action by elected officials is necessary; attorneys for the developer, on the other hand, note that the parcel in question has always been more than one mile from Jordan Lake, and that the County's maps were erroneous. Despite the Easter holiday, April 13 remains the date for a public hearing by the BOCC on the matter. (Interested readers will want to review the memo for themselves: Download Memo-UNC-LakeBoundaries) (H-S)
  • Tom Bonfield is holding off on filling the third leg of his direct reports, a deputy city manager over community-oriented departments to be a peer to Wanda Page and Ted Voorhees, due to budgetary constraints. However, he's moving forward with a replacement for Alan DeLisle at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, with interviews starting in April. (H-S)
  • As expected by some pols, billboard supporters are framing the lack of a unanimous vote at INC last week against changes in Durham's billboard ordinances as a positive sign -- although, according to our tally last week, Old North Durham was the only neighborhood to abstain for any reason except (presumably) conflict of interest. Meantime, the matter will next go before Durham Businesses Against Crime on Tuesday morning. (H-S)
  • How many Durhamites want to be extras in the movie "Main Street?" According to the H-S, 400 souls showed up at a South Durham hotel on Saturday to get their chance at a glimpse on the silver screen. A casting director for the movie noted that filming should wrap by May. (H-S)
  • Not a fan of plastic grocery bags? Wake Co. state Rep. Josh Stein isn't, having seen them litter the sides of roads. He's introduced a bill to ban their use at major retailers except for limited uses for meats, fish and produce. (N&O)

Comments

JobRetrainingforAllDevelopers

I think it is very sad that the INC has been taken over by developers and real estate interests -- now it will be the exact opposite of what it was supposed to be. It has now become one of those misleadingly named (or perhaps ironically) named groups the rightwing is so fond of christening.

Visconti

According to what I read, Southern High School has around 1500 students. I would break up the school into two or even three smaller high schools. Smaller classrooms and an emphasis on academics.

LessPlastic

Wow, that is fabulous about the plastic bags! Not only are they ugly, but they break down into smaller and smaller particles, becoming mini-collecting basins in the environment for all kinds of nasty hydrophobic stuff (pesticides, for instance). Less of them would be a real good thing.

tina

Kevin, thanks for posting the UNC memo on Jordan Lake. I was perplexed when when the BOCC set the survey hearing for Jordan Lake on Easter Monday, especially when Durham County clearly recognizes Easter as a holiday in that it gives Easter Friday off to it's employees, and when our own County Commissioner Chairperson himself is a minister. Spring Break for Durham Public Schools, which falls under the umbrella of Durham County, is from April 10-April 18th. Given the fact that many of the people who are interested in the Jordan Lake issue live in South Durham and many folks in So. Durham have children there is a good chance a whole lot of people will be out of town. If you take into consideration how many people transplanted here from somewhere else, it compounds the liklihood that families in South Durham will be out of town for Spring/ Easter Break. When this was brought to the attention of the County Commissioners, Page, Bowser, & Howerton voted to keep the meeting scheduled for April 13, Easter Monday. This makes me seriously question whose interest Page, Bowser, & Howerton are representing.

Thomas

Isn't it clear whose interest Page, Bowser, and Howerton are representing?????

To think the so-called "progressives" threw their support behind Howerton. Bet they're regretting that now.

As a former Soil and Water commissioner, she should know better.

VirgilCane'sMissingBreakfast

The sad thing is, they will get away with it. That kind of blatant political manipulation -- scheduling a public hearing on a day when the fewest possible opponents are likely to be there -- is standard operating procedures in Durham politics. No one will stop it. Everyone will be too busy or too concerned about something else and will let it go. They'll get away with it and they'll just keep steamrolling along.

Todd P

Looks like the owner of Southpoint Mall, General Growth Properties:

http://www.ggp.com/Properties/MallDirectory.aspx

could be headed for bankruptcy:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/30/news/companies/general_growth.reut/index.htm?postversion=2009033012

Todd P

I would really like to see some coordination between the city and DATA to get sidewalks built near the busiest bus stops.

It would not be that hard to figure out - just look at the places where there is so much foot traffic that there is a dirt path worn down thru the weeds.

The importance that Durham places on transit users is obvious based on the complete lack of facilities - bus shelters and sidewalks - along major transit routes.

As much as I would like to see neighborhood sidewalks, there is a real public safety issue when people push baby strollers in the street on major thoroughfares like N Duke St, N Roxboro St, and Hillsborough Rd because of the lack of sidewalks.

Durham spent a lot of time and effort putting together the DurhamWalks plan. It sure would be nice to see some money going toward implementation.

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