(Update, 9:03 p.m.: The Indy independently confirmed Lozoff's death through a musician and friend of his in Hawaii.)
Bo Lozoff, who ran Kindness House, an intentional community near Durham for ex-offenders and spiritual seekers, was killed yesterday in a motorcycle crash in Hawai'i, where he lived, according to news reports.
Lozoff, 65, died after his 2003 Suzuki motorcycle was struck by a 1999 Lexus SUV whose driver failed to yield the right of way and pulled in front of him. Neither the driver of the car nor the passenger were seriously hurt. News reports quoted police as saying Lozoff was not wearing a helmet.
In 2008, the Indy published a story critical of Lozoff after several female volunteers and one female parolee at the Kindness House came forward and alleged that Lozoff had sexual encounters with them during one-on-one counseling sessions, in which he initiated kissing, touching, and oral and manual sex as a method of spiritual healing.
A prison minister and author, Lozoff moved to Hawai'i around the time the story was published. He gave tours of lava fields and performed in a country band. He recently released his fourth CD, Bo Goes Country.
In 2004, Lozoff was the subject of an Indy story about his efforts to raise $1.5 million for a bio-diesel initiative in Hillsborough that would employ ex-offenders.
The private water company Aqua North Carolina has asked to buy water from Chatham County that could be used for the 751 South project.
Chatham County Commissioners voted 4-1 to direct staff to draft a contract that would allow Aqua North Carolina to buy 850,000 gallons per day from the county. Sally Kost was the lone no vote at the Nov. 19 meeting—the Monday before Thanksgiving.
Kost told the Indy tonight that she specifically asked an Aqua representative if the the water allocation had anything to do with 751. Kost said the Aqua representative responded, "We've talked with them," adding that the company would take a "regional approach," including Durham, to reselling the water.
Here's another twist: Chatham County buys its water allocation from Durham. So in effect, Aqua would sell Durham water to not only Chatham customers, but it could also sell the water back to Durham customers, possibly to those in the proposed 751 development. The water allocation comes from Jordan Lake.
Durham has not finalized an agreement with Chatham County on water allocations.
Kost also blogged about the meeting on her website.
The controversial 751 South development would include 1,300 homes and as much as 600,000 square feet of retail development on 167 acres in the sensitive Jordan Lake watershed. In February, the City of Durham rejected a request from SDD to provide water to the development.
In June SDD and its lobbyist approached a state lawmaker, Tim Moore of Cleveland County, to sponsor a bill forbidding a city from denying water and sewer service to a project in its designated “urban growth area” outside municipal limits.
751 South lies in such an area in southern Durham County. The bill failed.
In July, Durham County Commissioners agreed to provide sewer to 751 South.
Kost told the Indy that she advised her fellow commissioners that "before we do anything we need to talk to Durham."
The Indy has confirmed with a Durham official that Chatham County contacted Durham's utilities department about the issue today.
It's notable that such a significant request was put on the agenda for a meeting just days before Thanksgiving. In addition, Kost noted, the title of the agenda item was vague: "A discussion and vote on Aqua North Carolina's request to purchase capacity in the county's water facility."
This post originally stated that Cal Cunningham, an attorney for SDD, approached Tim Moore. The story has been corrected.
Check back for updates.
Update: After this story was originally published, Jennifer Martin of The Greater Raleigh Merchants Association returned Indy Week’s request for comment. According to Martin, the GRMA, which organizes the parade, did not know about the plan to hang “Tyrone the Black Christmas Fairy” from a tow truck Saturday.
“We were told it would be the ghost of Christmas Present Angel, and he would be floating over the air and not hanging from the back,” Martin said. “I can tell you we are going to have a sit-down with G105 with and their producers.”
Martin could not confirm the date of the meeting.
The annual WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade brought the customary string of high school marching bands, oversized floats and jump-roping children through the downtown streets of the Capital City Saturday morning. But one entry into the parade—a tow truck featuring a black man hanging from the extended tow arm, sponsored by radio station WDCG 105.1-FM G105—has raised questions of racial insensitivity.
"A lot of your fans won't come back to the show after this," one commenter wrote Monday on the Facebook page for Bob & the Showgram, the station's popular morning program. "This is my last post."
As the truck slowly rolled down Fayetteville Street, several station employees, including morning show host Bob Dumas, stood on its bed, cavorting with the crowd and telling jokes about the man attached to the truck, "Tyrone the Black Christmas Fairy."
According to Chris Edge, the station's operations manager, Tyrone isn't an employee of the station but a fan of the show. As of Monday afternoon, neither Edge nor Dumas knew Tyrone's last name or how to contact him.
A Bob & the Showgram post early Monday morning read, "Here is our black Christmas fairy Tyrone...at the Raleigh Christmas parade. We prob wont be allowed back!"
Edge didn't apologize for the display, saying that no one at the station had received many complaints about it.
In fact, while some onlookers were offended by the stunt, some fans showed their support on the show's Facebook page.
"Saw it, liked it, and wish I had a bat to get the candy too. LOL." wrote a man identifying himself as John Keyser.
"ppl r making it sound like he had a nuse around his neck," wrote another. "he was a christmas fairy!! if he had all his skin covered ppl wouldnt have made a deal out of it at all! b/c they wouldnt have known a difference!"
"I don't know that [racism] struck anybody. It's 2012," Edge explained Monday afternoon. "We need to be respectful to the past, but I think people see things in a more positive way now. There was a guy hanging on the back of a truck dressed as a Christmas fairy."
Edge said the float had been approved by the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association. Edge didn't see the float until Saturday morning, when he rode in the parade; it was funny, he says.
The Greater Raleigh Merchants Association has not returned a request for comment.
Art Pope, already one of the most influential and wealthy political operatives in North Carolina, has further cemented his influence in the highest ranks of power.
Hat tip to WRAL, which reported that Art Pope is on Gov.-elect Pat McCrory's transition team.
Pope, a critic of public education who has funded efforts to increase the number of charter schools, was also recently named to the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions, which will make recommendations about the future of the UNC system.
Read a March 2011 exposé of Art Pope written by the Indy and the Institute for Southern Studies.
The remaining tenants of Lincoln Apartments will be allowed to stay in their homes through the end of the year, Sendolo Diaminah, a community organizer with People's Durham.
Diaminah told the Indy that Lincoln Hospital Foundation President Larry Suitt has agreed to let people remain at Lincoln during that time as long as they pay their rent in full each month. The Foundation owns Lincoln Apartments. It announced in late September that the low-income housing complex would close Oct. 31 because it could not longer afford the utilities and maintenance costs.
Lincoln Apartments receives no subsidies; as a privately owned business, it relied on rents to cover expenses.
The Indy has covered the situation at Lincoln since early October.
Read our previous coverage here:
"Durham's affordable housing crisis," Oct. 17