Bull City Vegan Challenge enters last week
Community meeting in the works for Erwin Square residential project

BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for October 26, 2010

Lakewood Montessori Middle +$1m: That Lakewood YMCA the County bought to turn into a new Montessori magnet middle school and leased-back Y facility? In worse shape than expected, to the tune of another $1 million towards its renovation; the uptick represented a one-eighth increase in the project cost. Unneeded contingency dollars from a Creekside Elementary expansion will fund the overrun, the Herald-Sun reports. (Herald-Sun)

It's a Dog Eat Dog World: The H-S has a colorful story on a licensed mobile food vendor who thought a competitor was being a wiener, operating without a license. The dispute led to a slight contretemps between the streetsters on Erwin Rd. near Duke Hospital, with a war of words taking place until the police -- who probably never sausage a thing like this before -- came in to settle the matter. The H-S piece is a story for our time, with the unlicensed vendor taking the stance that his unalienable rights are alienated by being forced to have a food license. Maybe he should throw a tea party instead? (Herald-Sun)

Early Voting Up: Early voting at the three sites (downtown's BOE offices and the north and south regional libraries) is running at a pace nearly 50% ahead of 2006's mark, another sign of intensive interest in this mid-year election. (Herald-Sun)

Biotech Bash: The new $10 million addition to the NC Biotechnology Center in RTP gets its debut today; it's named for former Gov. Jim Hunt, whose initial support led to the center's founding in '84. (Herald-Sun)

It's Not a Misprint: The Durham Police Department has been cracking down on speeders -- speeders! -- in Durham, along with drug activities and other miscreant creations. Holloway St. and Shannon Rd. were targeted. In other news, pigs have been spotted flying down E. Trinity Ave., where their altitude was just high enough to miss setting off the electronic speed limit signs. (Herald-Sun)

Try, Try Again: After missing the chance to set a world record for food drive collections last year, NCSSM will give it another shot this coming March. (Herald-Sun)

Comments

Laura

Re: "It's Not a Misprint"

I almost choked on my bagel when I got to the flying pigs part! Your editorial comments are spot on and hysterical, but I'm glad the DPD is finally doing something.

Steve Graff

The DPD has a thankless job, trying to please all citizens with a limited, and shrinking, budget. I'm very thankful to hear of any new initiatives to crack down on the insane speeding, and general poor driving, that occurs throughout Durham. Good job DPD! Keep it up!

Natalie

I read that and thought...wow...thank you for...like...doing your job...

Steve Graff

Again, the DPD can only do what they have the resources (i.e. staff and money) to do. If we want them to be able to really go after all the crappy drivers the city needs to kick down the fundings to support it. Sounds like a good topic for an email to the city manager and council.

Ray Gronberg

DPD's budget is not shrinking.

For FY09, it was $45.9M.
For FY10, it was $46.9M.
For FY11, it's $48.9M.

Ray Gronberg

Oops, that should be $45.5M for FY09.

Ray Gronberg

Further oops, the above figures are just for local money. Inclusive of grants (a big part of police budgets these days), the numbers are:

$46.8M for FY09.
$49.8M for FY10.
$50.2M for FY11.

Michael Bacon

Questions I'd love to have answers to regarding the traffic patrols:

- How many officer hours were dedicated to the two week operation, specifically patrol hours?

- How many officer hours does the department normally commit to traffic patrols in a given week?

- How many officer hours does the department spend on all patrols in a typical week?

- How many misdemeanor and felony citations does the department issue in a given week?

- Given these, did the rate of citations during the traffic stops represent a higher-than-average citation rate versus typical patrol time?

Rob Gillespie

@Ray, Steve-
And it is worth noting that we have less crime per capita and more officers per capita than the NC average.

http://www.ci.durham.nc.us/departments/bms/GPRbenchmarkingDocs/fy10_police_services.pdf

I'm glad to see DPD enforcing speeding laws, but operations like these should occur all the time, not just once every few years when the pot of community outcry boils over.

chloe

@ Michael-- I got the impression from the article that they were really reporting statistics from checkpoints more than from a true speeding stakeout. Checkpoints do slow traffic down, but I don't think it really catches speeders.

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