Durham to be the first stop in upcoming Google Glass PR tour

Good news, would-be cyborgs! Google’s taking its very fancy and very expensive toys on tour, and for the first time the general public can catch a glimpse of the dystopian nightmare that awaits us all. AND HECK YEAH WE’RE NUMBER ONE! The first demo is slated for October 5th at Bay 7 of the American Tobacco Campus, between 10:00 and 18:00.

So, now you can look like a dork, have ads shoved directly into your eye sockets, and send every moment of your life straight to the NSA. Yawn. Wake me up in 20 years when I can get a sweet machine gun arm or something.

Durham news odds and ends

Another pretty full deck this week! Hang on to your hats:

CenterFest Arts Festival is this weekend!

Heads up, in case you forgot / missed it: CenterFest 2013 is kicking off tomorrow at 10 a.m.

The festival, now in its thirty ninth year, features two days of arts (performing, visual, otherwise) and sprawls across the city center.  Admission is free, but a donation of five bucks is recommended. The numbers are pretty impressive: according to the press release, the festival will sport 140 “juried” artists selling their stuffs, and 72 groups will perform across six stages.

The main event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, but some events will be going on outside of the main hours. Roads downtown will be closed to through traffic, and parking may be a challenge, so you might want to bike to the festival and take advantage of the bike valet parking service.

If you’re not convinced yet, head on over to the CenterFest web site, peruse the Herald-Sun’s not one but two articles about the festival, or check out an editorial in The Chronicle which commands you to go. It should be pretty sweet, you guys!

Early voting begins in Durham municipal primary

As you may know, Durham’s council and mayoral elections have two phases: one, the primaries, where the slate for each seat is whittled down to two candidates. And two, the general election, where the top two primary winners for each seat face off.

Take note: early voting for the primaries starts today. I have a horrible pattern of forgetting and/or ignoring these elections, but they can be significant in races where the endorsements are mixed. Note that only the seats with more than two candidates must face primaries; in this case, that means mayor (where Bell faces two challengers) and Ward 2 (which is a four way free-for-all to replace Clement, who is retiring after thirty years on the Council). Cole-McFadden is unopposed in Ward 1, and Moffitt has only one opponent, so they won’t be on this ballot.

This is a sample ballot, with information on early voting times and locations (PDF, sorry…). Below is the rundown of endorsements thus far (the seats involved in this primary are italicized):

Group Mayor Ward 1 Ward 2 Ward 3
Durham People’s Alliance Bell Cole-McFadden Davis Moffitt
Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People Bell Cole-McFadden Beasley Karriker
Friends of Durham Bell Cole-McFadden Beasley Karriker
Indy Week Bell Davis

I can’t actually find an official announcement from the Committee, so that’s a link to an H-S article which mentions their picks. Indy Week hasn’t (as far as I can tell) endorsed anybody in Ward 1 or Ward 3 yet (but Cole-McFadden is kind of a shoe-in, seeing as how she’s running unopposed).

It’s also worth mentioning that despite there being geographically distinct “Wards” in Durham, and despite the fact that three council members are nominally representatives of their respective wards, the distinction doesn’t actually determine who you can vote for. All residents can vote in all of the council races.

If you know of any other groups who have endorsed people in this race, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

Breaking: police confronting armed man near Parrish and Market St.

I saw on a neighborhood mailing list that some areas of downtown have been closed off as the DPD brings in negotiators to deal with an armed suspect. You might want to avoid downtown until you get the all clear.

WRAL has an image but doesn’t add much context.

Edit: WRAL now says that police shot the man to end the standoff. He appeared to be alive and left in an ambulance. No reports of any other injuries.

Editedit: the h-s has more. The man, who was apparently mentally unstable, pointed his weapon at an officer, which prompted a DPD officer to shoot him. The suspect was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Editeditetid: WRAL has more information, including the name of the man. It sounds like a case of suicide by cop. Tragic.

Bulls claim International League title, face Omaha in AAA championship game tonight

This weekend, the Bulls won the “Governor’s Cup” by besting the Pawtucket Red Sox three games to one.

Tonight, they face off against Pacific Coast League’s Omaha Storm Chasers in the AAA title game. The game will be televised on the NBC Sports Network starting at 7:00 tonight.

Not much to add – I’m not normally a big baseball fan, but it’s always nice to see the home team do well. Go Bulls!


Here’s a link to somebody’s blog post about the Bulls’ season. I’ll leave this one to somebody who seems to know what he’s talking about 🙂

Man hospitalized following attack on the American Tobacco Trail

I try not to post much petty crime here (well, unless it’s ridiculous and/or humorous), but this is really getting out of hand. I actually had to look through the archives to verify that I hadn’t used the exact same title before.

Details are scarce, but according to WRAL the victim “was attacked with a stick or rod-like object.” There’s no mention of motive, or whether the victim knew his attacker. Of particular note: this happened in the middle of the day on Saturday, normally a high traffic time for the trail.

Bell and Lopez are quick to tell us how much safer the Trail is these days, and how the ATT doesn’t deserve any special attention, but I’ve already written about how I disagree with them. It’s (still) time to fix the crime problem on the ATT.

Durham news odds and ends, special Morrisville edition

After last week’s marathon, I thought I’d get ahead of things this week. But first, we have a special segment I’d like to call:

Morrisville news odds and ends

That’s right, it’s time to turn our attention to our little neighbor to the southeast, known mostly for having stuff around the airport. There’s stuff happening in Morrisville, you guys, and we should pay attention!

  • One of Morrisville’s most prominent features is “Prime Outlets Mall,” which you may know as “that mall with no stores in it.” Usually malls require tenants, but this one has managed to limp along mostly empty for the past decade, until finally collapsing down to just being a food court with a vacant mall on the side. Well, all that is about to change, as some big investors from China are planning to re-open the mall as a “Chinatown,” bringing various Chinese and other Asian businesses to a central location.
  • Next up in Morrisville news… um… OK, I guess that’s it?

So, this concludes today’s edition of Morrisville news odds and ends! You can look forward to the return of this semi-regular feature whenever something interesting happens in Morrisville. Until then, remember:

“Morrisville: ’cause we’re not just that Hooter’s next to the airport, you jerks.”

Back on track:

Proposed beltline trail derailed by Norfolk Southern’s $7.1M asking price

Get it? Derailed? Because… trains?


The Durham News is reporting that Norfolk Southern is demanding a cool $7.1M for the 2.25 mile abandoned rail corridor that encompasses downtown Durham, a sum that dwarfs the $2M in “use it or lose it” Federal funding Durham has available for the project.

You may recognize this as the abandoned railroad corridor which is visible throughout downtown, and you can certainly imagine how cool it would be if this route was actually available for use as a ped / bike trail.

Although it now seems unlikely that the city will be able to purchase the corridor, Bonfield mentions that a lease is still a possibility.