Thanks for the shout out! Cullum, JP and I just finished installing the show.
We will be having a reception this Friday from 6-9pm. should be a fun time. Everyone is invited.
Dave / H&B
"The shame of it however is that it should not be the defining statement that unless you own the place, you will not survive."
I'd lay bets this will be the case for small business service and retail shops that are not associated with tech culture, alcohol, or businesses supported by capital venture dollars from outside the area (or Duke).
I wish it weren't the case but I don't see downtown moving forward being much other than condos, parking decks, tech startups and tech culture and a healthy smattering of bars and restaurants and tourists.
I hope I'm wrong and the area will bounce back quickly when all the tech carpetbaggers move on to the next mecca.
"...it's a variation of the grass is always greener, or the expert is from out of town.... What is homegrown or grassroots is often underappreciated by community leadership and taken for granted. There is a tendency to go for the new and shiny." (from the article)
I think this is a key point and we often see how it plays out time and time again. (hiring out of town expensive consultants to study our situation and formulate plans rather than hiring locals to solve the problems)
It would be nice if DDI, the Chamber of Commerce, The Visitors and Convention Bureau, and city management gave some serious thought and committed focus to addressing the above issue. No doubt, it's a difficult task but it is much needed.
Unless Durham's booster organizations, local government, and the citizens that make up the town, figure out how to support (in more than a token way) the people and organizations that have been here and working hard to "make great things happen in Durham," then a lot of these people and organizations are going to give up the ghost and move on, drop out, move away, or stick to the safe bets in life, and then downtown and it's culture may become not much than a bunch of luxury condos (with no commercial or retail spaces on the ground floor) and high-priced restaurants and an increasing dependence on seducing those that are elsewhere instead of celebrating what is already here.
Then in 10-15 years when some new region is the sexy tech town du'jour as promoted by the New York Times, Better Condos and Parking Decks, and CarpetBagger Money Magazine, all these new buildings will start having massive vacancies, the startups and the venture capital will be out the door, and we'll wonder what the hell happened to Durham's previously diversified culture and workforce.
"Why is a vote for Hillary such a hateful action to many Bernie supporters?"
I don't think anyone is saying that.
But there are plenty of people, myself included, who think that this was a lame and ill-timed editorial.
How clever the way "lofty, unrealistic promises" was used in both the opening and closing paragraphs.
I see the new guy at the helm of The Independent (can we lose the "Indy Week" thing, please?!? That phrase is horrible) buys in to the corporate style of media journalism. Say something often enough while you are holding a megaphone and it becomes the truth of the land, right?
Good point about the trickle down and important galvanizing and accumulating effect of smaller and local races. But that playbook will succeed substantially more often with Sanders nominated and not Clinton. Her people and the Democratic party company men/women largely don't want needed, radical change at those levels for the most part. They want self-rewarding people who fall in line to keep themselves and their friends in play/power without offending the money that supports keeping them there.
The phrase "Bernie's people" is rather chafing.
People who are supporting Bernie Sanders are excited about his approach and focus, not because they think he is some sort of Santa Claus style figure that many in the media often portray him as, while implying his followers think its all about getting free gifts. As soon as journalists realize the excitement and passion comes from a desire across many bands of the spectrum to see broke shit fixed up and down and across the board, then maybe some of the megaphones the media have can focus on exploring— in critical depth and in exhausting detail—the issues he is bringing to light. We are still waiting on that.
This type of journalistic approach in March would be far better and I would argue more in line of what independent media should be doing instead of the patronizing "isn't that nice what the romantic, naive idealist brought to the table for a few months" vibe displayed here. This type of article seems to be trying to shoo him off the stage when the primary season is nowhere near concluded, and then the editorial tries to wrap things up in a tidy feel good bow. That ain't cutting it anymore.
Please restore longer articles to the paper. It seems the feature articles are about half the length they used to be. (and there are less of them than readers used to be treated to).
I'd also suggest restoring the original name Independent Weekly (or moving it to something more professional sounding). Indy Week sounds like a cliffnotes cutesy version of a newspaper lite which it doesn't seem like is the mission of this paper as you laid out in the letter. (plus grammatically it doesn't seem to make sense).
I'm hoping to see substantial improvements in the months and years ahead. Thanks.
"and they were like, 'It's coming, [retail]' but all that came were bars and restaurants, nothing else."
And condos of course, condos on every corner to line the pockets of out of town developers.
Right now a narrow perspective and short-term thinking seem to be the only (main) things driving/regulating development and this is how we end up with our current cash crop of of condos (arguably with the majority of them as ugly as a suburban Mcmansion) with no ground floor retail or commercial space in them. As this article illustrates, locals who are trying to do varied or interesting things get shunted, shut down, pushed out, or just flat out discouraged and they give up or move out of town. The net result is downtown areas moving towards becoming boring monocultures. How to make this situation better is clearly not an easy question to answer, but for sure it is not predicated on a laissez-faire economic approach and letting the real estate market and large developers dominate the conversation and dictate the terms.
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