Royal Ice Cream marker unveiling brings history, recognition, closure to Roxboro St.
Glimmers of hope for Duke Park progress on bathhouse, parking

BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for November 30, 2009

You think it's hard to digest day after day of turkey leftover? Try several days of local papers, ingested and crafted into a single wrap-up of the Durham news you may have missed over the holiday:

Beer Fest Gone from Newly-Renovated DAP?: The City will have to absorb $63k in unexpected costs on the World Beer Festival and almost $28k on the Bull Durham Blues Festival to cover damages to the historic Durham Athletic Park's just-finished field. Seems the expensive tile floor purchased to be used in such events isn't working as expected -- and isn't designed to stay in place as long as the WBF needed. The City has canceled the WBF's next two years of contractual use for the facility, but is pledging to find a new home downtown for the event. (Herald-Sun)

Public Works Gets "F" on Pothole Goals: Public Works' three-day promised repair time for pothole repair gets met only 44% of the time, the City Council learned in November from a routine audit report that drew criticism. Among the groanworthy findings: when asked, a number of Public Works staff had different ideas about what the repair target was, something department head Katie Kalb chalked up to persistent turnover. (Herald-Sun)

Parkwood No Closer to Rec Center: A steep decline in development and the associated Parks & Rec impact fees has kiboshed the City's hope of funding a purchase of the Parkwood neighborhood's decaying shopping center to become a rec center. The owner, ex-mayor Jim Hawkins, is rumored by the H-S to be close to a third-party sale of the center, which will lose its last tenant (the Parkwood branch library) when the South regional library opens in 2010. (Herald-Sun)

Higher Municipal Pension Obligations: A state panel seems like to force municipalities to sock away a higher percentage of employee salaries for future pensions, after years when funds have relied on strong returns in the market while spending less on principal contributions. In Durham's case, city manager Tom Bonfield tells the Herald-Sun that the impact will be in the six-figures. (Herald-Sun)

Racial Gap in H1N1 Vaccine: Durham public health officials are fretting that while many African-Americans in Durham fall into higher-risk categories for H1N1 infection, blacks in the Bull City seem more wary of stepping forward to get vaccinated, which health department director chalked up to fear over what's perceived as a "new" vaccine but which is really just a new strain in a tried-and-true vaccination. (Herald-Sun)

Duke Off-Campus Issues Drop... or Move? Data from Duke's student affairs department finds that off-campus troubles dropped almost 20% year over year, including a big decrease in alcohol-based complaints. Wary Trinity Heights neighbors seem happier, but note they think some of the problem-houses may have just scooted over to other 'hoods. (Herald-Sun)

Smartphones/Texting While Driving Illegal on Tues.: Used to texting from behind the wheel? Or navigating that smartphone while you drive? Come Tuesday 12/1, it's illegal to do so in North Carolina. (Herald-Sun)

Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway: Among many food giveaways this recession-tinged holiday season, the Herald-Sun's John McCann has a half-heartwarming, half-depressing retelling of a 145 turkey giveaway in east Durham last week that saw the generously-donated supply still fall well short of demand. (Herald-Sun)

Social Security Adding 200 Durham Jobs: The Social Security Administration is leasing 68,000 sq. ft. of space at a Highwoods RTP office site, and looking to bring in 200 FTEs for "information and administrative services." (N&O)

Duke Football Looks to Next Year: Despite a disappointing loss to Wake Forest to end the season, Duke football players and coaches note continued improvement of the once-woeful team in David Cutliffe's second ACC season, which came one win away from seeing the former conference doormat reach .500 for the season. (N&O)

DPAC Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary: It's been twelve months since the DPAC opened its doors, and local dignitaries celebrate the mark today at an 11am one-year birthday party, complete with cake. (Herald-Sun)

Santa Train Sold Out As Usual: Take one Santa Train at a certain Museum of Life & Science. Plan 8,000 tickets at $12 a head. Wait 72 hours. See tickets sell out. Slow to the party? Try next year. (Herald-Sun)


Rob Gillespie

I really hope that the city can find another home for the WBF. It really does bring people from out of town (and even out of state) to Durham, often for the first time. When I was there this year, I fielded numerous questions from out-of-towners about the best places to go after the festival.

Even though folks didn't like it as much at the DBAP, it is better there than nowhere.

Kevin Davis

@Rob: I wouldnt fret too much; it sounds like the City is committed to finding a home for the event here.  The better question, and Im sure one Ray and the Herald-Sunners are going to follow up on, has to do with this issue of the click-tile floor put down apparently not being rated to be down as long as WBF needed, or to protect the sod adequately.  A year or so back one of the responders to the RFP for the floor complained about the procurement process.  I wonder if thats of any newsworthy relevance?


Parkwood Shopping Center was purchased by the Ibad Ar-Rahman mosque.

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