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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Triangle Transit breaks the million mark

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Triangle Transit buses carried 1.1 million riders in the fiscal year that ended June 30, up 19%. It's the first year TT's been over the million mark. Is it worth it? The reported farebox recovery rate (money in versus operating costs out) was up slightly, from 11% to 13%, despite the fact -- the agency  (they're trying to bury their old TTA=Authority identity) said -- that over half their passengers ride free or on reduced fares. It's socialized transportation, but so is driving a car on a public thoroughfare. More from the agency below:...

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dubai, Raleigh -- peas in a pod

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 3:34 PM

You're looking for glamorous places to sell your high-end goods -- furniture, for example. When Ethan Allen went looking, according to Furniture Today, its corporate eye fell on Dubai, perfect for a new "flagship store in the Middle East," and on Raleigh, N.C., also perfect for, well, pretty such the same store. (It opened last week at North Hills.) Just struck me as funny. But was the N.C. really necessary? -- surely they know us in Dubai. Or they would've known us if that Soleil Center thing had gone up at Crabtree Valley....

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Friday, August 21, 2009

LBGT Center of Raleigh plans for its "coming out party" in October

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 1:29 PM

It's a party/fundraiser to get an LGBT Center for Raleigh off the ground. More on this as we get closer to the date, hopefully; for now, we have this "Save the Date" note from the organizers: Saturday, October 17, 2009 is the day RALEIGH COMES OUT! That's right. The LGBT Center of Raleigh is having a coming out party and you are invited. It will take place at Moore Square in downtown Raleigh from 5 PM to 9 PM. Entry is free. There will be food, wine and beer to purchase, and free live entertainment to enjoy, along with the...

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

In Raleigh: Hitler used ovens, Obama will use hospice to kill people like me.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Here's a question: Should we keep our focus on the actual details of the health care reform debate (public plan vs. coops, etcetera) and ignore the protesters, who insist that Obama is Hitler and out to kill grannie? Or, alternatively, should we give air time to folks like this? H/t to Facing South, the online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies, which put up the video and told us about it. It's from the anti-reform rally at Congressman Brad Miller's office last Friday....

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Athens Drive community library survives Wake's budget ax, GOP-Brown coalition

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 4:13 PM

The good news out of yesterday's Wake Commissioners meeting: The Athens Drive community library, unique for its location in Athens Drive High School, will survive as the county's only shared community-school library. Amazing that this good idea, which I extolled in the Indy last week, has never been replicated. The bad news: The 4-3 vote in favor of restoring the county's contribution to the library (it would've reverted to a traditional high school library otherwise) came instead of Commissioner Stan Norwalk's effort to add the library funds ($212,000 for Athens Drive) plus an extra $5.6 million for social services programs...

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Time for some zip (cars) in Raleigh?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 11:06 AM

If they've got them at UNC and Duke, can N.C. State be far behind? (OK -- stop it.) Better question: Is the Triangle's big city big enough for car-sharing a la zipcars? (Update: Per the comment below, there's more than one car-sharing vendor in the land, not just the zippy one.) Topic's on tap June 18, 1 pm, at the Urban Design Center. (h/t: Urban Planet.) Downtown Raleigh Alliance and Triangle Transit also involved: Details below....

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Moore Square: A chance to get it right

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 12:54 PM

We've had bad plans for Moore Square before that, mercifully, came to naught. So when the city announced yet another Moore Square renewal effort, suspicious minds went immediately to Defcon Uh-O. But let's approach this from the other direction: If the participatory, juried & competitive process described by the Planning Department (first meetings June 17 and June 27; details below) works the way they tell us it will, it could produce a very good plan for Moore Square. And a good plan, if executed, would block all the bad plans from ever again rearing their ugly adornments. (Excepting, of course,...

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fetzer shows: Haven't lost my GOP

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 4:16 PM

 If you like a good attack ad, Tom Fetzer learned at the foot of the master. In other words, it'll be like old times not forgotten if the GOP will just choose our former mayor, the so-not-gay alternative, as state Republican party chair....

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fetzer II: Will fight liberals; still not gay.

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2009 at 4:08 PM

(6/2 Update: Fetzer wants his day in court.) From TomFetzer.com, the latest on former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer's campaign for state Republican party chair: Members of the Fetzer for NCGOP Chairman Steering Committee fought back against the baseless smear campaign which alleges that Tom Fetzer is gay.  “The dirty tricksters are out in full force to run down a good man’s reputation,” said former Congressman Bill Cobey.  “It offends me that people would spread lies about Tom.  I have known Tom for over 25 years and I know him to be an honest, moral person.” Former State Senator Fred Smith...

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tom Fetzer is not gay.

Posted By on Sat, May 23, 2009 at 9:27 AM

The N&O reports on the ex-Raleigh mayor's outburst. He wants to be state GOP chair. Pam's House Blend asks all the questions you're asking....

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Friday, May 22, 2009

"There are no bad schools in Raleigh" -- and no debate about it last night.

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2009 at 4:13 PM

I'm not sure why I expected the other side to come last night to challenge Syracuse University's Gerald Grant, whose new book posits that urban schools are a disaster in America with few very exceptions ... and posits that the one great exception, the "hope" in his title, is the Raleigh/Wake County school system. (Subtitle: "Why there are no bad schools in Raleigh.") Anyway, it didn't happen. Speaking at Quail Ridge Books & Music, Grant asked the 100 folks in attendance how many were teachers? (Some.) How many principals? (Some.) How many other school administrators? (Superintendent Del Burns' hand went...

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Tuesday, April 28: Turn on to Hillsborough Street re-do

Posted By on Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Groundbreaking on the Hillsborough Street revamp (phase 1) is in three weeks. There's an open house tomorrow, from 4 to 7 p.m., for folks to catch up on what's planned, when, the effect of construction on traffic, etcetera. It's in the Hillsborough Street Partnership's new headquarters, which is in the office space attached to the back of the Mini Mart strip mall -- across from the Bell Tower and a few doors east of Sadlack's. (Office address is 2 Maiden Lane). Drop in when you can. Bring fond memories ... or put them here, if you like. ...

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bill Bell: Can't have regional transit without Durham

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM

When last heard from (or about), the 1/2-cent sales tax for transit bill was breezing through the friendly confines of the House Transportation Committee, headed for the tougher terrain of the House Finance Committee. With the latter committee scheduled to take up the bill next Wednesday, April 15 (8:30 a.m. in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building), Durham Mayor Bill Bell yesterday tossed a little grenade into the debate. As reported by the Herald Sun, Bell told a meeting of the DCHC (the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro transportation planning organization) that the bill should be amended to require that all three...

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Comp plan hearing tonight; what's next?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:42 PM

      The official public hearing on the draft comprehensive plan (revised) is tonight --  Thursday, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. It's previewed in the Indy this week, mainly on the question of whether the plan is too promiscuous with its "growth centers" to actually produce any that will amount to the "walkable urban places" everybody says we need. Mitch Silver, Raleigh's planning director, says it's not -- too promiscuous, that is -- and that the metastasizing Brier Creeks and North Hills's of the world will not undermine Raleigh's urban future. Silver recognizes, though, that creating "walkable urban" locales...

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hillsborough, street of dreams

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 12:38 PM

The City Council yesterday approved a $9.9 million contract for the reconstruction of Hillsborough Street (Phase I) between Oberlin Road and Gardner Street. It only took ... how many years? (A: Here's a story from 2002, three years after the first plan was hatched and the Hillsborough Street Partnership created.) The big idea has always been to preserve the street's historic place and purpose while modernizing its function so businesses there can thrive and some new housing can be introduced -- no easy task. Hillsborough Street connects just about everything that's important in Raleigh's history, from the State Capitol to...

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Put your transit $$ down on rail stations, not on bus stops: Leinberger

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Chris Leinberger, urban developer and Brookings Institution wonk, is the latest guy with a suitcase (the latest expert, in other words) to visit Raleigh and tell us to get with it transit-wise or else be left in the 21 Century-Knowledge Economy dust. He added one new note not heard so clearly before, at least in my recollection: Rail transit, yes; bus transit, no, because nobody will ride a bus in America unless they have no other choice. "I've never seen a dollar of real estate investment generated by a bus stop," he added....

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Hillsborough Street Renaissance II: It's rain or shine; fashion show's indoors

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 2:25 PM

In the interest of plugging this thing, the first Hillsborough Street Renaissance Festival is tomorrow -- Saturday, 12 noon to 10 pm -- the information is here. It's rain or shine, organizers say, which means rain, apparently ... but the Redress Raleigh Eco-fashion Show is executing its Plan B and moving indoors to Aurora, the 2nd-story nightclub just below (to the west of) the Western Lanes bowling alley. It'll start at 5:30....

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Hillsborough Street Renaissance I: It's a Lulu

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 2:05 PM

I didn't do a Dun & Bradstreet, but isn't Lulu the first new business on Hillsborough Street in a very long time where people are employed in  a capacity other than serving food, serving drinks or serving the instructional needs of struggling students? (I'm assuming there's a tutoring business tucked away there somewhere.) Lulu is in the business of publishing your books with you, one book or two or 200 at a time -- your call. They'll also do your e-books, your online music, your CDs or DVDs ... very cool; very tech-savvy. They relocated in January from a...

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chris Leinberger's in the house -- Wednesday, 6:30 pm at Fletcher Theater

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Not to put too much pressure on the guy, but at least three people have told me that Chris Leinberger, a planning geek at the Brookings Institute who's also a developer, is brilliant. He's speaking in Raleigh Wednesday evening, 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Progress Energy Center (Fletcher Theater); check-in starts at 6. It's free, courtesy of your city gummint. Pre-registrations online, s'il vous plait. Leinberger's thing is that the age of suburban development is giving way to the age of suburban as well as urban redevelopment. Nothing novel there, except perhaps the notion that "walkable places" can be hewn from...

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