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Friday, February 24, 2017

Democracy in Crisis: Stoned Reflections on a Day at CPAC

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 3:17 PM

I am stoned at CPAC. I am in hell. Here’s how it happened: Shortly after Steve Bannon laid out his vision of nationalism and the deconstruction of government on the first day of CPAC, I was writing a story over a beer at the National Press Club. On the television was Sean Spicer, who said the regime would likely start enforcing federal anti-pot laws in states that had voted for recreational marijuana. Never mind that he had just invoked “states’ rights” as a rationale for refusing to protect trans students. Never mind, that world-class racist Jeff Sessions would be the...

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Michael Peterson, a Convicted Killer, Is a Free Man

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 1:37 PM

Michael Peterson walked out of the Durham County Courthouse on Friday a free man after entering an Alford plea to the charge of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of his wife, Kathleen Peterson, in 2001. The Alford plea allows Peterson, a novelist and former Herald Sun columnist, to accept a guilty verdict without admitting guilt. Convicted of first degree-murder in 2003, Peterson served eight years in prison before that conviction was overturned by a judge in 2011. He has already served ninety-eight months in prison, not including house arrest, more than the eighty-six-month maximum sentence his plea agreement carries. After...

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Democracy in Crisis Podcast: What Can the Classic Political Film The Battle of Algiers Teach Us About Resistance Today?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:09 PM

In the latest episode of Democracy in Crisis, we hear a conversation between Sohail Daulatzai and Brandon Soderberg about Daulatzai's book, Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past As Prologue. They discuss the lasting legacy of the classic film, its different uses and interpretations through history, and what it can teach us today about resistance, neocolonialism, and counterinsurgency. Sohail Daulatzai is associate professor of film and media studies and associate professor in the African American Studies School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Brandon Soderberg is chief adviser and editor at large for Democracy in Crisis and...

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Durham PD’s Five-Day Report on Kenneth Bailey’s Shooting Is Basically What You’d Expect

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 4:04 PM

Earlier today, the Durham Police Department released its five-day report on the officer-involved shooting that killed a twenty-four-year-old man last week. Kenneth "Simba" Bailey was shot at about 2:20 p.m. on February 15 on Glenbrook Drive, after officers attempted to apprehend him for violating his pre-trial release terms. That night, police chief CJ Davis said Bailey ran from officers and pointed a gun at them, prompting them to fire. Several residents of the Club Boulevard neighborhood, however, told the INDY that Bailey was shot from behind. According to the five-day report, three Selective Enforcement Team officers wearing tactical vests knocked...

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Raleigh Raises Fees on Developers

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:11 PM

Representatives of developers maintained at a Tuesday Raleigh City Council meeting that they are already paying plenty in fees to Raleigh, just before council members agreed to proceed with a planned $6 million hike in development services charges that will go into effect in July. Developer Michael Kaney, who served on a committee that advised the city on the new rules, pointed out that new buildings in Raleigh require a number of other payments in addition to those considered as the new fees were being devised. They cover the impact of everything thoroughfares to stormwater, Kaney said. However, the developers'...

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Updated: Jewish Day School Evacuated Amid Bomb Threat. Police Clear Scene.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:29 AM

A concerned parent who received an automated message from Lerner Community Jewish Day School told the INDY moments ago that the Durham school was being evacuated amid a bomb threat. The auto-call went out at 10:58 this morning. The incident comes amid a wave of similar threats made against American Jews since Donald Trump was sworn in as the nation's forty-fifth president. From NPR: Several Jewish community centers across the U.S. were targeted by bomb threats on Monday, according to the JCC Association of North America, in the fourth wave of such threats in the past two months. In total,...

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Durham Releases Five-Day Report on the Kenneth Bailey Shooting

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:15 AM

Twenty seconds after a Durham police officer radioed that he was engaged in a foot chase, the officer told dispatch, "I've got shots fired. I've got a man down." According to the five-day report just released by city manager Tom Bonfield, there was, over the communication system, no mention of a gun in the hands of Kenneth "Simba" Bailey. Nor was there any mention of police being fired upon. Instead, the initial police report on the incident reported that “The man that was running pulled a gun and was shot by a police officer.” He died at the scene....

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Durham Projects $4.7M Budget Shortfall, May Hike Property Taxes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 1:32 PM

The city of Durham is looking at a projected shortfall of $4.7 million as it gets ready to craft a budget for the next fiscal year. The projection is based on expected costs, so depending on what projects are green-lighted before the city officially adopts a budget in June, that figure could change. At a preliminary budget meeting Friday, budget and management services director Bertha Johnson said it would take a property tax increase of 2.47 cents per $100 of property value to fully close that gap, provided no other sources of additional revenue are found. The city's current property...

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Democracy in Crisis: Trump’s Press Conference Shows Reality Is His Real Opponent

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 12:49 PM

For a moment earlier this week, it seemed that the regime might have to come to terms with the reality the rest of us share. But Trump’s Thursday press conference reaffirmed the notion that objective reality is his real enemy. As the story of Mike Flynn’s ignominious resignation broke, the far right immediately said it was an establishment coup initiated by chief of staff Reince Priebus. They felt like KellyAnne Conway and the Steves (Bannon and Miller) would be next. They understood that if Trump conceded anything to reality, the entire edifice would crumble. He won the campaign on a...

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Durham Police Shooting Update: Cops Were After Kenneth Bailey Because He Missed Curfew; Stepmom Says “He Was Not a Fighter”

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 9:58 AM

If it weren't for the wind, Gloria Bailey might not have caught a final glimpse of her stepson. "You could see his chest and his feet," she says, recalling how the cold air lifted a sheet covering twenty-four-year old Kenneth Bailey's body, briefly revealing the quiet man she’d known since he was four. Bailey, better known as Simba, was shot dead by Durham police Wednesday afternoon while visiting with his family in their home on Glenbrook Drive, in a Durham Housing Authority neighborhood off Club Boulevard. According to the Durham Police Department, officers were looking for Bailey because he had...

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Democracy in Crisis Podcast: Donald Trump’s Immigration Crackdown

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 12:01 PM

On this week’s episode, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner talk with reporter Aura Bogado about a powerful profile she wrote in Teen Vogue about fourteen-year-old Jackie Rayos-Garcia, whose mother, Guadalupe García de Rayos, was detained while talking to immigration officials and deported—perhaps the first deportation under the Trump administration. In the second segment, they hear from The Wire creator David Simon, Marielena Hincapié from the National Immigration Law Center, historian Taylor Branch, activist DeRay Mckesson, Sonia Kumar of the ACLU, and musician Steve Earle, all of whom spoke at City of Immigrants, a fundraising event sponsored by Simon’s production...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Durham Police Fatally Shoot Black Man in Durham Housing Authority Neighborhood near Club Boulevard

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 7:54 PM

Durham police shot and killed a man Tuesday afternoon on Glenbrook Drive. Few details have been released about the shooting, which drew a crowd of neighbors and others who heard about the shooting on social media. The shooting occurred at about two thirty p.m. in the Durham Housing Authority's Club Boulevard neighborhood. Although police have not yet released the name of the man killed, residents of the neighborhood identified him as Kenny "Simba" Bailey. One resident, who asked only to be identified as Linda, says she was watching television when her boyfriend came in the room and said "the police just...

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Go to Court, Stay Out of Jail

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 4:35 PM

Durham County is testing whether reminding people about their upcoming court dates will reduce overcrowding at the county jail. The new notification system will be funded by a $50,000 Safety and Justice Challenge Network Innovation Fund Grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It will be the only system of its kind in the state, says Gudrun Parmer, director for the Criminal Justice Resource Center, the lead agency on the project. With the grant in, Parmer says Criminal Justice Resource Center staff decided to "do something very different and focus on our court system rather than the jail...

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Democracy in Crisis: In Which the Far Right Freaks Out Over Michael Flynn

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 4:07 PM

The far far right started freaking late last night when “lock-her-up” chanting former general Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Adviser in the wake of revelations that he discussed loosening sanctions with a Russian ambassador while Barack Obama was still president. Mike Cernovich, one of those DeploraBallers whom others on the far right sometimes like to call a cuck, started the hysteria almost immediately after the announcement, tweeting: “The coup is on, Flynn resigned. Bannon, Kellyanne, and Miller next on the chopping block.” A few minutes later, far-right cop-worshipper John Cardillo also used the C word. “Flynn was the...

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Cooper Offers HB 2 Compromise. It's a Bad Deal.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 12:01 PM

We supported Roy Cooper during his gubernatorial run. Sure, the INDY endorsing Pat McCrory was never a viable option, but we believed as much in the man running against him as we did in the notion that even one more day of McCrory in the Executive Mansion would spell more disaster for our state. With that said, the governor made a misstep when he released his "compromise" on HB 2—a three-step plan that would, hooray, bring basketball games back to North Carolina (as if that's really the point)—this morning. The truth is, nothing short of a clean repeal makes sense. Equality...

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Democracy in Crisis: Trump’s Tough-on-Crime Week

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 6:30 PM

President Trump met with law enforcement leaders twice this week, saw Jeff Sessions confirmed as top cop, and signed three tough-on-crime executive orders, which were then condemned by an organization composed of some of the nation’s top law enforcement officers. Here’s how Trump’s tough-on-crime week went down: Trump met with law enforcement brass from major cities on Wednesday and said there would be a "zero-tolerance policy for acts of violence against law enforcement," adding that we need “national action” to deal with crime in Chicago and declaring that since drugs are "afflicting our nation like never, ever before," we need...

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions Takes Aim at Transgender Rights

Posted By on Sat, Feb 11, 2017 at 7:14 PM

On the second day of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s tenure, the Justice Department filed a legal brief Friday that represents a beginning to the rollback of protections granted by the Obama administration to the transgender community. The Washington Post published the brief, which seeks to strip people of the right to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. The Obama administration had argued that right was covered by Title IX. The Trump administration is now arguing that it doesn’t. From The Huffington Post: In a legal brief filed on Friday, the Justice Department rolled back an Obama administration move to...

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Friday, February 10, 2017

No More Free Rides, Kids: Parking Meters Coming to Downtown Durham

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 5:26 PM

We told you last year that it was coming—that metered parking would replace Durham's current follow-the-sign-and-hope-you-don't-get-a-ticket system. And in a few weeks, the Bull City will, indeed, be home to hundreds of meters, as officials look to alleviate the problem of having too many vehicles downtown at once. Here's a map of just where you'll find meters beginning February 27: And here are the answers to some questions one might have as he/she looks ahead to the prospect of having to feed a meter: So there you have it. And while the $1.50/hour rate seems a bit high for our...

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Durham City Council Rejects Mayor Bell’s HB 2 Compromise

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 3:40 PM

An attempt by Durham Mayor William Bell to compromise with legislators in an effort to get HB 2 repealed died during a city council work session today. The suggestion came after the council heard comments from members of the advocacy group Open for All NC calling on the city to take action. Bell suggested that Durham partner with other cities to again urge legislators to repeal HB 2 but also promise not to pass its own antidiscrimination ordinance—that cities other than Charlotte could still pass their own antidiscrimination ordinances was a cited by lawmakers as a reason for not repealing...

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The Democracy in Crisis Podcast: How Should the Media Handle Trump

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 10:56 AM

On this week’s edition of the podcast, hosts Baynard Woods and Marc Steiner speak with Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil, which includes a chapter on the Munich Post, a German newspaper that criticized Adolf Hitler during his rise to power, until it was shut down by the Nazis in 1933 and its journalists thrown in concentration camps. (In this week’s Democracy in Crisis column, Baynard tackles the relationship between the adulterous, thrice-married President Trump and the religious right, which was once very concerned about public officials’ morality.) ...

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Burr, Tillis Vote to Gag Elizabeth Warren for Reading a Letter from MLK’s Widow About Trump’s Allegedly Racist Attorney General Nominee

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 12:15 PM

Last night, during a debate over President Trump’s nomination of U.S. Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of Alabama—a man deemed, in a bipartisan vote of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to be too racist for the federal bench in 1986—to be attorney general, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren read a letter from Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, written in objection to Sessions’s elevation to the bench. Here is the entire letter, plus the ten-page statement King submitted in 1986, that Warren thought was relevant to Sessions’s nomination to the top law enforcement position in the country, in which...

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Durham Council Considers Ending Primaries, Citywide Elections for Ward Representatives

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 4:58 PM

The Durham City Council has again revived talks of eliminating primary elections for council seats and instead holding a runoff if the general election doesn't produce a clear winner. But residents who spoke during a public hearing on the issue Monday seem more interested in overhauling the city's ward system.  According to city attorney Patrick Baker, state law mandates that ward representatives should be elected only by voters in their ward. Durham's system, in which ward members are elected citywide, was approved as an exception to the law. Baker said the city would need to amend its charter to...

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After Eight Years, Durham Cops and Firefighters Finally Get a Raise

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 7:48 AM

Durham’s boys in blue are about to get some more green. The Durham City Council on Monday night approved a pay increase for Durham officers and firefighters boost recruitment and retention. It’s the first pay adjustment in eight years for the city’s first responders. The change shifts the city’s salary schedule to be more competitive with other cities. Police recruits will see their pay rise from $33,000 to $37,029 and fire recruits from $33,000 to $34,388. With 482 police officers and 298 firefighters, the increase will cost the city about $3.6 million annually. The city began looking at raising police...

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Safe Water Being Distributed Today at Sites in Chapel Hill, Carrboro

Posted By on Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 10:04 AM

OWASA customers who have been unable to use their water since a line breakage forced officials to shut down a Chapel Hill water treatment plant Friday are being urged to visit one of the many public water distribution sites that opened this morning at 10 a.m. The sites are: CHAPEL HILL: Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson Street Southern Community Park, 1000 Sumack Road CARRBORO: McDougal Elementary School, 890 Old Fayetteville Road Carrboro High School, 201 Rock Haven Road In addition to the declaration of the water being unsafe for use, customers have been asked to use bottled water to flush...

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Developing Story: Businesses Closed, Water Not Safe

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 12:24 PM

OWASA is urging its customers not to use its water following a water main break and the shutdown of a Chapel Hill water treatment plant—and said residents should consider the water unsafe for at least the next twenty four hours. Customers are being asked to use bottled water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and even flushing toilets. So, stock up. The strain on the water supply prompted Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools to dismiss students early today. Elementary students were dismissed at 1:30 p.m., middle school students at 2:10 p.m., and high school students at 2:55 p.m. In addition, UNC announced...

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The fees may cover the cost of administering permits etc, but what about the cost of building and improving roads …

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WakeUP Wake County spoke at the public hearing in support of raising the development fees because with rapid growth, there …

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The fees may cover the cost of administering permits etc, but what about the cost of building and improving roads …

by Elliot Nelson on Raleigh Raises Fees on Developers (News)

WakeUP Wake County spoke at the public hearing in support of raising the development fees because with rapid growth, there …

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