At this writing, it's 7am on the last day of August. The skies are darker than they were a couple of months ago at this time, and a chill's in the air as the rain comes down on the tin roof of our screened back porch. Can there be any doubt that September starts tomorrow?
In the headlines:
- The H-S' latest reporting on the transit-tax referendum finds Triangle Transit's David King and the executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, Joe Milazzo, both skeptical that a transit tax referendum would be held sooner than fall 2011. Complicating matters: the September 1 start of the statewide temporary 1 cent sales tax increase, which doesn't sunset until July 2011 -- and the possibility of high conservative turnout in the fall 2010 election cycle. (H-S)
- Having problems here and there with your recycling pickup? Durham solid waste director Donald Long tells the H-S that's because 89% of households are taking their recycling roll-cart to the curb on their pickup day, versus 55% under the old system -- and 65-70% projected by city staff when planning the routes. Meanwhile, all four companies at play for a shared-risk, shared-return contract to market the city's recyclables have indicated they're interested in the mayor's proposed two-year deal that would essentially give recycling collections to one vendor for free to process, with the city getting no revenue share but also no risk of losses at a time of recycling market upheaval. (H-S)
- The H-S also digs deeper into the Hermitage Court sidewalk issues that got some attention here on Saturday. Among the new findings: the City's ramps, which have seemed excessive to local residents and City Councilman Eugene Brown, are actually designed in accordance with a 1973 state statute that's stricter than the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, and which does seem -- by city staff's interpretation -- to lead to what seems, on a quiet oval street, to be an oddly persistent set of curb cuts. (H-S)
- Howard Clement tells the H-S that he's not dropping out of the race -- "Not by a long shot," he tells the H-S' Ray Gronberg -- despite the suggestion by challenger Darius Little that he withdraw and pass the mantle of endorsement to the 29 year-old challenger. (H-S)
- Durham's unemployment rate remained steady at 8.4% from June to July; coastal counties Currituck and Hyde saw the lowest unemployment thanks to seasonal summer jobs. A Wells Fargo economist tells the press that major layoffs seem to have slowed and that the recession looks over, but job recovery will be a long time coming. (H-S)