[Durham INC] Fw: News From Durham People's Alliance
mmr121570 at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 8 23:05:34 EST 2009
Totally understand Bill. But considering the contention surrounding my last INC resolution, you can see my reservations about presenting another one that deals with an environmental issue to the INC. That said, how about I present the following as a statement from INC to their neighborhoods -- it is essentially a watered down version of the online petition that has now been signed by 820 citizens. One would think this is reason enough for the INC to consider it. Perhaps INC members can take this back to their neighborhoods, discuss it, and be prepared to vote on it -- or an even more watered down version -- at the Feb meeting, which unfortunately I cannot attend (will be out of town again). Of course, if discussion at the Feb meeting is such that it needs to go back to committee, then so be it.
This is clearly a time-sensitive matter, so it will not do much good to schedule discussion for the March meeting, presentation of both sides at the March and/or April meeting, presentation of the resolution at the May meeting, and voting on the resolution at the June meeting, if you know what I mean...
To: The NC Division of Water Quality and Durham elected officials (Board of County Commissioners and City Council)
With regard to the Neal Hunter's private survey of Jordan Lake, which
was accepted by the NC Division of Water Quality (DWQ) on Feb 6, 2009:
Though from a licensed surveyor, this survey was paid for and provided
by a private development team which hopes to develop the land in
question. Thus, this developer-provided survey is clearly a conflict of
In addition, this survey contains grossly inadequate sampling points (as evidenced by the thousands of feet between them).
Furthermore, there is a precedent set by Durham county in the Falls
Lake watershed whereby a developer privately surveyed Falls Lake, and
the county ruled that they should hire an independent surveyor to
survey the entire shoreline that fell within Durham County. Jordan Lake
should receive no worse treatment.
The Engineering Department, The County Manager, the County Planning
Director and the County Attorney recommended that Durham provide its
own, independent survey of the Jordan Lake normal pool boundary, and
two county commissioners voted to do so (agenda item = Budget Ordinance
Amendment No. 09BCC000034).
Jordan Lake is already critically impaired and has been in
violation of the Federal Clean Water Act for years. It is estimated
that Durham will already spend $320 million just to begin cleaning up
Jordan Lake (Jim Wise, News and Observer). In addition, Durham is
currently spending $100 thousand to fight requirements to clean up
Jordan Lake. So it is not unreasonable to spend $90,000 for an independent Jordan Lake Survey to ensure that we don't
further damage this important water resource.
We, the citizens of Durham and NC, petition the 2009 Board of
County Commissioners, the DWQ, and all Durham elected officials to act
in the interest of ALL their constituents by ensuring an independent
and thorough survey for the protection of Jordan Lake.
--- On Sun, 2/8/09, TheOcean1 at aol.com <TheOcean1 at aol.com> wrote:
From: TheOcean1 at aol.com <TheOcean1 at aol.com>
Subject: Re: [Durham INC] Fw: News From Durham People's Alliance
To: inc-list at durhaminc.org
Date: Sunday, February 8, 2009, 2:16 PM
To the question: "Shouldn't the INC make a statement
on this issue at our Feb meeting?"
I guess this bears repeating, that INC CAN'T have an opinion until the
neighborhoods have had a chance to weigh in, and even then, only when there's a
This listserv is a forum where lots of individuals can express their
opinions, questions can be posed and answered, and the community can begin to
flesh out it's collective opinion.
The process is simple, albeit slow.
For the purpose of illustration, look at the new law concerning the
chaining of dogs ~ an issue already resolved.
It was talked about in this forum, eventually forming into a resolution
which was sent back to each neighborhood. Each of the neighborhoods then
discussed it at their individual meetings, and a collective vote was then taken
at the following INC meeting. In this way, INC "statement" was reflective of the
community's collective opinion.
If a number of dog breeders who were opposed to the new law, had jammed
this listserv or attended INC meetings in an effort to make their opinion appear
to be the common thought, that would become obvious when the tally of the
neighborhood's votes were counted.
It's not a perfect system, but it's the best we have and a lot more than
other cities can claim. And I can already hear someone thinking "meals tax" as
an example. Well, compare Durham to Raleigh, where no vote by the people was
ever required. Raleigh just added it, and eventually built a $120 million civic
center with it's proceeds. A strong case in point of why Durham should have
stomached the nickel tax along with our $5 meals.
The reason the election results didn't match the INC's (in this one case)
is a lengthy discussion in itself. In my opinion, it reflected the fact that
neighborhoods that participate in INC are, for the most part, better
informed than neighborhoods that don't. That particular issue was rushed through
with little time to offset the misinformation that opponents spewed, resulting
in many believing the tax was to be levied on all food products, instead of just
the prepared foods.
Enough misinformed voters made it to the polls (focused mostly on the
presidential election) and pulled the wrong lever due to lack of accurate
Before anyone assumes this rare occurrence means the INC's system is
flawed, we would have to look at the individual poll results for each district.
Those will comprise the neighborhoods who voiced their opinion and the district
results will likely reflect what the neighborhoods (inside each district)
Again, it's not perfect, but Durham at least had a say, where Raleigh did
not. And more often than not, thanks to INC's system, we already know the
results before the polls report in the Bull City.
Lastly, it makes little difference who presents the original resolution,
Melissa or anyone else. We can hash it out here, eventually hash it out at our
individual neighborhood's meetings, and eventually express the community's
collective opinion, all thanks to an organization that appears rare or unique in
the state of NC, except for Durham. And if you don't think that makes Durham
different, just ask the billboard industry.
In a message dated 2/7/2009 11:38:02 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
mmr121570 at yahoo.com writes:
Please see the
People's Alliance's Statement-- against the Developer-paid Jordan Lake
Survey -- posted in their Feb 5 newsletter (attached below).
Shouldn't the INC
make a statement on this issue at our Feb meeting? It would be best if
someone other than me brought this forward, since I've already been at
the helm of the resolution for responsible development as well as the
petition for an Independent Jordan Lake Survey (
Thanks in advance
for your concern and help in this very serious matter!
Feb 5 Statement in
the PA newsletter:
Durham County Commission voted, 3-2, to support a survey of the boundary
of Jordan Lake paid for by a developer who stands to benefit from a
change in the lake's official boundaries. PA responded in a
letter to the County Commission:
People's Alliance opposes modifications of
the Critical Watershed Boundary of Jordan Lake based on a survey paid
for by a private developer with obvious self-interest.
We are disappointed that a
majority of CountyCommissioners voted to send to the state
Water Supply Watershed Protection Program for approval, a survey that a
developer has paid for that coincidentally shifts the normal pool
boundary away from the developer's property, thereby increasing its
value many times over. No matter the accuracy or
inaccuracy of the survey, this is a dangerous precedent and does not
serve the best interests of the citizens of Durham. Any
adjustments to the normal pool boundary and critical watershed boundary
should be made only on the basis of an impartial and independent survey
by a firm hired by the Durham County Commissioners."
full PA statement can be seen on the PA website:
--- On Fri, 2/6/09, Durham
People's Alliance <durhampa at mindspring.com> wrote:
Durham People's Alliance <durhampa at mindspring.com>
News From Durham People's Alliance
To: mmr121570 at yahoo.com
Friday, February 6, 2009, 11:05 AM
In This Issue
New Beginnings: Dave Austin selected for
PA Coordinator role
PA Office -- Space to
PA Website & Database
PA Advocates Against Electronic
Jordan Lake Survey -- Unbiased?
Immigrant Solidarity Committee of Durham
Third Annual NAACP HK on J
"Gotta Go: Ethics in Exile" Film
Hunger No More -- A hunger Crisis
Campaign for Decent Housing in Durham Feb
Best Recent Read: "Whatever Happened to
Dear PA members, friends,
The PA Activist Agenda will normally focus
on upcoming events sponsored by progressive
organizations in the community and
state. But in this issue we want to
start with news from PA itself.
Thanks for hanging in there with us through the
last few months while we dealt with some
interesting issues. We're
New Beginnings: Dave
Austin selected for coordinator
Dave Austin, who
was recently selected to fill the Coordinator
position, is a long-time PA member - a
Coordinating Committee member for 3-4 years in
the early 90s, and PA-PAC coordinator for 4-5
years in the late 90s.
An ex-Peace Corps volunteer
- '72), Dave worked in worker advocacy
organizations - the Carolina Brown Lung
Association and the NC Occupational Safety &
Health Project (NCOSH) for 10
years after graduating from the UNC SPH in
1976. He then worked at the
UNC Environmental Resource Project for a year,
next created and directed the workplace-giving
United Way alternative, N.C. Community Shares
(still going strong), and then worked for 17
years at RTI, before leaving 2 years
ago. He and his wife Pam
George have recently moved "downtown" (behind
Duke East), and have one daughter, Kemen.
He's happy to have a
closer connection to PA members, happy to see so
many friends still on PA membership lists, happy
to see lots of people he doesn't know on those
lists (!) and happy to provide his youthful
(??!!) energy and exuberance to
PA Office -- Space to
working out of the PA office in
the NC Democracy South building at the corner of
Broad and Iredell streets in Durham.
PA was sharing this small office, and its
cost, with one other tenant, who has now,
Sharing the cost was financially advantageous
to PA, so we'd like to find another
co-tenant. If you know
someone or some organization who would be content to
share our small space for a small cost, let Dave
know (682-7777 or
durhampa at mindspring.com).
PA Website and Database
The PA CC has hired Andy Edmonds to give the PA
website a much needed overhaul, and to analyze
database needs and capabilities.
grew up in Pennsylvania and
moved to Durham in 2005
after earning a Masters in Geography from the
He and his wife, Jenny, were married in January of
2006 and held their wedding reception in Bay 7 of
the American Tobacco Historic District. Andy
is currently a stay-at-home dad with their first
child, Robbie. Andy's
interests in theater, kayaking, and hiking have led
him to hold volunteer positions with the Carolina
Theatre and the Durham Open Space and Trails
Commission. He also sits on the Preservation
Durham Board of Directors and has coordinated, for
the last three years, the Saturday morning,
historic downtown Durham walking
tours. Andy has led over 20 tours and
developed the organization's first
Ghost [building] Tour, held this past
Halloween. AND he knows websites and
abrupt loss of the previous PA staff person in June,
2008, together with many demands on PA Coordinating
Committee volunteers, created a problem for PA's
cash flow. Because appeals were
not regularly sent out, money was not regularly
One high priority is improving the system for
reminding you what good work PA does, how important
your donations are, and how pleased we are to see
them on a regular basis. Not the
least reason of which would be to increase staff
hours from 10 to a more reasonable 12
hours/week. Look for more in the
newsletter, and in your personal mail or email for
our appeal for your help to get back on
PA Advocates Against
At a recent membership meeting, Durham
People's Alliance voted to oppose a billboard
industry initiative that would allow electronic
billboards to be installed along Durham area
highways. These bills boards
waste energy, pose safety challenges, and reduce the
quality of life for neighborhoods that already put
up with traffic noise. IN
addition, federal law requires that, if future
Durham citizens ever want. to remove billboards they
would have to reimburse the company for the costs of
the billboard AND the future revenue the billboard
would generate. The revenue
generated by electronic billboards would make such
action cost prohibitive.
Electronic billboards would be here
full text of the PA resolution can be seen at
and the issue will be covered in more depth in the
upcoming PA newsletter.
takes (some) County Commissioners to task for Jordan
Lake survey vote
the Durham County Commission voted, 3-2, to support
a survey of the boundary of Jordan Lake paid for by
a developer who stands to benefit from a change in
the lake's official boundaries. PA
responded in a letter to the County
Durham People's Alliance opposes
modifications of the Critical Watershed Boundary of
Jordan Lake based on a survey paid for by a private
developer with obvious self-interest.
disappointed that a majority of CountyCommissioners voted
to send to the state Water Supply Watershed
Protection Program for approval, a survey that a
developer has paid for that coincidentally shifts
the normal pool boundary away from the developer's
property, thereby increasing its value many times
over. No matter the accuracy or
inaccuracy of the survey, this is a dangerous
precedent and does not serve the best interests of
the citizens of Durham.
Any adjustments to the normal pool boundary
and critical watershed boundary should be made only
on the basis of an impartial and independent survey
by a firm hired by the Durham County
The full PA statement
can be seen on the PA website:
Immigrant Solidarity Committee of Durham
Committee of Durham being organized -- volunteers
needed. Inaugural meeting: 2/18/09.
Committee of Durham --
a project of the American
Friends Service Committee. The
objective: Triangle residents working
together to promote welcoming and compassionate
attitudes towards our immigrant
Inaugural meeting: Wed. Feb.
18 from 6:30-8:30pm
(6:30 Meal provided;
7:00 meeting begins) Place:
Durham Friends Meeting -- 404 Alexander Drive,
336-413-8905, LKhamala at afsc.org
Please let me know if you are coming, so we
can plan for food. Call also if you have
questions or need child
Workplace raids creating a
culture of fear. Routine traffic stops leading to
detention for months. Deportations tearing apart
families. Cities passing discriminatory ordinances.
Media pundits dehumanizing members of our
People of good will throughout the state are fed up
with the hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric filling our
airwaves and the mean-spirited actions being taken
against immigrant neighbors. Now is the time to
unite in support of our immigrant brothers and
sisters and work together to change the discourse
into one that acknowledges the humanity of all
members of our community.
Third Annual NAACP HK on J
March in Downtown
February 14, 2009 - 3rd
Annual NAACP HK on J March in Downtown
HK on J: Historic
Thousands on Jones Street
So far, more than 75
organizations have joined together and thousands of
North Carolinians have marched and rallied in
support of HK on J's 14-point civil rights agenda.
In 2009, the HK on J coalition will commit even more
vigorously to this agenda, as well as reform of the
criminal justice system to prevent prosecutorial
misconduct against any person, regardless of race.
See the entire agenda at http://www.hkonj.com/.
"Gotta Go: Ethics in
Exile" Film Series
2009 Ethics Film Series at Duke
University: "Gotta Go: Ethics in Exile"
continues TUE 2/24. 7pm.
Griffith Film Theater, Bryan Center, West
Campus, Duke University, Durham.
series features four documentaries about people
forced into exile, whether by political, economic,
or natural causes. They find themselves questioning
what constitutes home, who constitutes authority,
and where a sense of meaning and truth resides. The
films encourage us to consider the ideas of place
and displacement. Free and open to the public.
Free parking available in the BryanCenter parking deck. Refreshments provided.
**TUE 2/24 -- THE AXE IN THE ATTIC
-- THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON)
**TUE 4/24 -- PRIMO
For more detailed information:
919-660-3033 or kie at duke.edu
Hunger No More -- A Hunger
Hunger No More - A Hunger
Community of St. Francis of Assisi, 11401 Leesville
The Franciscan Coalition for Justice
and Peace invites you to join us as we host a hunger
crisis conference on Feb. 27 & 28, 2009.
Entitled "Hunger No More," this conference will
assemble individuals from all over the country to
address ways people of faith and good will can
respond to hunger at home and abroad.
For more info or to register see - http://www.franciscancoalition.org/HungerConference.php
or contact 919-847-8205 ext 267, joseph.wolyniak at stfrancisraleigh.org
Registration - Regular ($40.00);
Student ($20.00); Hardship
Campaign for Decent Housing
in Durham -- February meeting
Decent Housing in Durham.
Tuesday, February 17, 5:00-6:00pm
City Neighborhood Improvement Services; Golden Belt
Building 2, 3rd floor; 807 E.
Main St. on
our 2009 Goals: - Foreclosure prevention
- Vacant house reuse -
Neighborhood planning - Energy efficient
homes - Housing for people who are
Affordable Housing Coalition:
Best Recent Read:
"Whatever Happened to the Jobs" -- NC Justice
Best Recent Read: "Whatever Happened to the
Jobs -- A Tale of Two Economic Cycles" by
John Quinterno at the NC Budget and Tax Center of
the NC Justice Center. Go to
www.ncjustice.org for the full
Durham People's Alliance
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