I’ve lived near the triangle my entire life, and the worst snow I’ve ever seen was back in 2000 when I lived in Raleigh. 20 inches in one day according to that thing (although I don’t remember it being that much).
Anyway, now we’re staring down 8 inches overnight. That’s a lot of snow in such a small period of time, maybe even more per hour than the snow in 2000. So it’s pretty much safe to say that schools (which close when the roads are wet) will be closed, like, forever.
For a long time I laughed at how unprepared the state was to deal with snow and how quickly everything shut down. The last couple of weeks, though, have stopped being funny. Let’s hope that spring decides to show up soon.
I think I’m going to order some Heavenly Buffaloes tonight, because god knows when the snow will melt and I’ll get another chance.
As seen on my walk to work this morning (I was too chicken to ride my bike).
… is cold.
Mayor Bell gave his own “State of the City” speech last night, and there isn’t really much for me to discuss from its contents since they’re mostly things I’ve written about before. There was one minor surprise, though: the mayor’s ability to drop thirty year old cultural references.
Accolades that show that Durham’s future is bright…so bright, in fact, that we just might need shades.
Way to keep it hip with the youths, Mister Mayor. Mitt Romney would be impressed.
I just spotted the list of nominees for the prestigious culinary award over at WRAL. I had to double check that I wasn’t looking at last year’s nominees, seeing as how two of the Durham chefs are repeats from last year:
- Best chef in the southeast: Scott Howell of Nana’s
- Best chef in the southeast: Matt Kelly of Mateo
- Best pastry chef: Phoebe Lawless of Scratch
I can personally vouch for the quality of all three of these establishments. Check ’em out.
You might find it odd that the state would shut down after what appears to be about an inch of snow. But this isn’t snow: it’s ice. And ice sucks.
Really, wait for the plows if you can. Yes, some people can drive on ice just fine, but a few people who don’t know what they’re doing can mess things up for everybody else.
I suspect most schools will close again on Wednesday. Enjoy the forced vacation!
Bread? Check. Milk? Check. Car fire? Check. Welcome to winter.
I try to post twice a week, on average, but I’m just going to tell you: I’m phoning it in this week.
I have to read a lot of local news to write this blog, and that means I read about a lot of awful shit that I don’t relay to you guys (like last month when they found three bodies in Durham over a two day period). I try to avoid writing about things like that, because they’re depressingly common and are already omnipresent on local media. I have nothing of value to add.
This particular week, though, there’s only really one news story that anybody can even talk about, and you already know everything about it that there is to know. And I just don’t have any desire to write about it because… well fuck that.
So, for this week, I’m going to just write nothing at all.
You probably saw the news that 53.7% of Durham’s public schools earned a grade of D or F. What do these scores actually measure? Essentially, they’re a proxy for how poor a school’s student body is. My biggest takeaway is from TheDurhamNews.com:
Scores across the state correlated with school poverty rates. Only 13 percent of schools that received an A had at least 50 percent of students in poverty. But every school that received an F had a poverty rate at 50 percent or more.
Throughout the Durham school system, almost 65 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch, a common poverty indication.
That’s not to say that DPS’s schools are perfect, but it’s pretty clear that many of Durham’s public school woes are symptoms of poverty rather than issues that can meaningfully be addressed by school administrators.
OK, winter’s half way done, and what better time for a DNO&E? Here’s all the small (but not too small) stuff that’s happened so far in 2015:
- Durham based health technology firm Parata is downsizing, cutting 110 jobs.
- SkyZone Durham, a “trampoline park,” has opened on Guess Rd.
- Greenfire continues to offload its Durham properties, and it’s sold Roger’s Alley (the home of Bull City Burger and Brewery, et al) to a NY investor for $6.1M.
- Petition sidewalk projects will be no more. The Council is removing a facility which neighborhoods had been able to use to request special sidewalk construction projects; now the city’s priority list is the final word on if and when sidewalk projects will be performed.
- Construction of the East End Connector is about to begin. The freeway will connect 147 and US 70.
- The City is pushing East-West Partners to preserve access to the Foundry in Central Park throughout the construction of their project on the former site of the Liberty Warehouse.
- Offbeat Music, the record store in Brightleaf Square, is closing after eleven years. It’s sad to see them go; there aren’t many places like this left in Durham.
- A City grant will cover $70,932 in renovations of Ninth St. façades.
- Two new bars have opened downtown: Scott Howell of Nana’s has opened Bar Virgile on Mangum near Main, and Kevin Slater of Fullsteam has opened Atomic Fern just around the corner behind the old Monuts location.
- The DPAC is again one of the top five theaters in the country, this year coming in at fourth right behind Radio City Music Hall.
- The Eno River Association office suffered $100,000 in damage due to a sewer blockage.
- RTP has launched The Frontier, a redevelopment project designed to be more “modern.” Good thing, because one of RTP’s biggest tenants is poised for massive layoffs.
- A Durham water and sewer employee has been fired for drunk driving and wrecking a city water truck. Note that he wrecked on his way home from a maintenance call, meaning he was drunk or in the process of getting drunk while actively on the job.
- Veggie Van, a nonprofit program which brings access to healthy local food to low income people, is expanding. They’ll start delivering vegetables to the Library, Duke Family Medicine, and Walltown Park.
- Indy Week has a followup on the now vacant Lincoln Apartments housing projects near NC Central. The surrounding area has seen pretty heavy crime in recent years, and the structures sit unused waiting for a new Durham Housing Authority project to replace them.
- After changing its crime data publishing platform to RAIDS Online, the city is receiving complaints from a competing vendor. The data was previously published on an in-house solution that could be scraped and republished to other sources, but RAIDS does not allow such republication.
- Only 1262 weapons were seized from people attempting to enter the county courthouse while armed in 2014. That number is down from 2154 weapons siezed back in 2013.
- Morgan Imports is now 45 years old, and it’s still run by the same couple who opened it originally.
- The DOT is putting in a roundabout on Barbee Rd.
- Italian joint “The Boot” is now open in the old Local Yogurt location (across from Nanataco). Seems promising according to Carpe Durham.
- The Carolina Theater is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund new seating.
- I guess it’s scandal season for Duke, the latest of which involves rape allegations at an off campus frat house.
- Moogfest, an Asheville based music festival which celebrates the Moog synthesizer, may be coming to Durham.
- Caktus Group (who you may remember from the Eno River mural SNAFU) is starting up a boot camp to train Python developers. Caktus is also working on an HIV management app along with Duke and UNC.
- In other mural news, it looks like the Bulls will have a mural on Willart Street.
- DPS is chipping in $100K for the Made in Durham nonprofit. The program is a public/private partnership designed to educate and find employment for disadvantaged youth.
- The city’s acquisition of the proposed DPD HQ site, which seemed to be a done deal, has been delayed. There are concerns about cleanup costs of the land which the Council wants to investigate further before committing to the deal.
- The Whitted School redevelopment project keeps inching forward, this time with another $800k from DPS, bringing its total contribution to $5.8M. The project is struggling for funding in part due to the loss of historic tax credits. The County and City are on the hook for $3.4M for this project as well.
- Durham has a new master baker. “The French Corner” bakery is open in the strip mall near the former location of Honey’s on North Pointe Drive.
- A pedestrian was injured attempting to cross Riddle Rd. on an ATT spur. I can attest to this being a very dangerous stretch of road, hopefully this prompts some investigation into improving the crosswalk situation here.
- The Carolina Theater continues to reduce its budget deficit with a second straight profitable year.
- It’s well known that Durham is facing a treepocalypse, as most of our Willow Oaks are nearing the end of their natural lifespans and will die off in rapid succession. The city has already been planting replacements, but we apparently need to triple the number planted per year to 1680 to compensate for the losses.
- DPS subcontractors Service Solutions Inc. had sub-subcontracted out janitorial work to Integrity Custodial Services. That sub-subcontractor went bankrupt, leaving the actual workers (who would be…. sub-sub-subcontractors?) unpaid for nearly a month of work. Initially, Service Solutions Inc. didn’t want to pony up, and DPS reluctantly agreed to foot the bill, but now SSI has decided to cover the $100k the workers were owed after all.
- Cree is cutting 319 temporary manufacturing jobs and is outsourcing that production overseas.
- Mayor Bell’s anti-poverty campaign is moving forward with savings accounts for low income kids, as well as a program targeting 14 families to help them with financial management and career assistance.
- One citizen’s appeal of the The Club Blvd. traffic calming plan has been rejected. This ruling doesn’t seem to have any relevance for the future of the project, which is still heading back to the drawing board due to concerns from WHHNA residents and bicycle advocates.
- Indy Week has some photos of the green wall coming down to make way for the new downtown skyscraper.
- DPS schools seem poised to receive poor scores on a new state level report card, the significance of which Superintendent L’Homme is quick to downplay.
- The N&O has published their list of the best restaurants in the Triangle for 2015. A fair number of them are in Durham, including North Durham’s Gocciolina, which got the nod for top pick of the year. One of these days I need to make my way up there…
- There’s an article about female NC chefs in the New York Times. In response, the Indy Week published an article protesting the NYT’s characterization of this as a “sisterhood.”
- The school board is apparently quite concerned about facing competition from new charter schools. Charter schools siphon off children (and their tax moneys) that otherwise would have gone to DPS schools.
- McCrory is pushing to reinstate some historic tax credits, and is using the ATC as a backdrop.
- The first Durham location for regional chain Gonza Tacos y Tequila is now open in West Village.
- For some reason, crowds lined up for the opening of a new Krispy Kreme shop. I think I’ll just stick to Monuts…
- Speaking of Monuts, the Chronicle has an interview with owner Lindsay Moriarty about the shop and its move to Ninth St.
- Dashi, the noodle shop and bar which is joint venture from the owners of Toast and the Cookery, is open for business at 415 E Chapel Hill St.
- An appeals court has held that a Sprint cell tower, which residents have been fighting since back in 2012, can be constructed. Opponents claim that the tall “monopine” isn’t “concealed,” even though such structures are expressly allowed by Durham’s ordinance. This ruling can be appealed one final time, to the state supreme court, and given how far residents have already taken their hatred of good reception I would expect them to do just that.
- A mixed use development at Angier and Driver is scoring another $170k in incentives from the city.
- Duke’s reclamation pond is nearly finished.
- And finally, Basan Bull City Sushi is now open near the DPAC. Indy Week seems to dig it, and special note: they have real wasabi instead of just horseradish.
All right guys, have fun! The next DNO&E probably won’t be here till spring, so hopefully this will tide you over.