In a follow-up to our cover March 10 cover story, "Gaga for Google's fiber," we'd like to update metrics of the involvement of the Triangle's top three participants.
Durham's still ahead in Facebook presence, with 2,180 fans on its "Bring Google Fiber to Durham N.C.," page, while 935 people have signed up for "Bring Google Fiber to Raleigh!". The western part of the Triangle is not far behind: the Facebook group "Bring Google Fiber to Chapel Hill & Carrboro N.C." boasts 906 members.
The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and UNC-Chapel Hill, will hold a public forum at 7 p.m. today at Chapel Hill Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., to receive public comment regarding community interest in the fiber optic trial and how residents would use an ultra-high speed Internet network.
On Thursday, Durhamites hope to make a splash by corralling thousands of locals into the Durham Bulls Athletic Park at 11 a.m. Thursday to spell out "We want Google" on the field, to pose for an aerial photograph. More here >>
Update (8:35 p.m. Friday): A group of Technician alumni, current staff and others concerned about the newspaper's fate will gather at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mitch's Tavern to hatch a plan. All are welcome to attend. So far, the Facebook page announcing the event shows 23 confirmed guests.
The Technician, N.C. State's student newspaper for the past 90 years, is facing extinction because of a lack of staff.
The paper's editorial board made a desperate plea for help in Wednesday's paper, the day after no one applied for the editor in chief post.
In today's edition, news editor Nick Tran gives readers a window into the problems. Former editor Ty Johnson, an occasional contributor to the Independent was suspended when his grades dipped below the required 2.5 GPA for senior leaders of N.C. State's Student Media Association. The suspension created a chilling effect, where others questioned if they could handle the burden of both reporting and classwork.
State Rep. Rosa Gill, who replaced Dan Blue in state House District 33 (East Raleigh, part of eastern Wake) when Blue moved to the Senate to replace the late Vernon Malone, has filed to run for election in own right.
The Wake Democratic Party picked Gill, a 10-year veteran of the Wake school board, over Bernard Allen II when Blue vacated the House seat. Allen is challenging her in the primary; his father held this seat at one time.
The only other notable filing of the day: Robert "Champ" Claris, whose nickname we covet, filed to run in the Republican primary for the District 2 Wake Commissioners seat. Claris ran last year for the Raleigh City Council but didn't scratch. He'll go against Garner Council member Phil Matthews and Phil Jeffreys, a former county commissioner. The seat is held by Democrat Lindy Brown, who is running again but has yet to file.
State Sen. Josh Stein, a Democrat whose 16th district covers the western portions of Raleigh and much of western Wake County, filed for a second term today. So far, he's unopposed.
“I hope to continue serving my constituents in Wake County,” said Stein. “In this economy, job creation must be our top priority. We must also lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth by supporting our public K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities.”
In his first term as Senator, Stein received awards and recognition for his efforts on a variety of issues. For his efforts to create clean energy jobs and to extend the renewable energy tax credit, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association named Stein its 2009 Legislator of the Year.
The AARP selected Stein its Legislator of the Year for his steadfast work as a consumer advocate, particularly on behalf of senior citizens, with his legislation to strengthen the state’s identity theft law and to establish a financial literacy council. Stein also received awards from the Metro Mayors’ Association for his work on transit and transportation issues and WakeUp Wake County for his legislation to clean Falls Lake.
Stein serves as vice-chairman of the Judiciary I committee and serves on the Commerce and Finance Committees, among other committee and commission assignments. He had the 3rd highest percentage of public bills enacted into law among all 50 Senators from across the state.
“It is an honor to serve as State Senator. I look forward to working with legislative colleagues to make the critical investments needed to get our economy moving forward again,” Stein said.
The News & Observer announced plans to cut 21 jobs today, citing declines in advertising revenue.
"These reductions affect a number of areas of our operation. Some positions will be eliminated through layoffs, and some departments will have opportunities for employees in certain work groups of two or more to accept a voluntary severance package," Publisher Orage Quarles III wrote in a company memo, a full copy of which can be found on Poynter.
Here is some Monday math on the R-Line, Raleigh’s free downtown bus service that launched last winter.
• 152,634: The number of passenger trips on the R-Line since Feb. 13, according to Raleigh’s Transportation Department, about 3 percent of the city’s total transit load
• 5 million: The number of passenger trips taken in 2009 on Capital Area Transit buses, including the R-Line
• 519: The average number of passengers who ride the R-Line daily, including weekends
• $1.13 million: The capital costs of the two 36-seat, hybrid buses
• $80 an hour: The operating costs of each R-Line bus while it’s running. Local funds pay for all the operating costs: labor, maintenance and fuel—the amount of which is reduced because the buses are hybrids.
• $757,680: The total operating costs of both buses running at 112.75 hours each per week, so far in 2009
• $920,040: The total annual operating costs of both buses running at 112.75 hours each per week, for 51 weeks a year. (This accounts for reduced hours on holidays.)
• $825,000: The annual operating budget for the R Line
• $5-$6: At current ridership levels, cost per passenger trip for the R-Line, for 42 weeks in 2009 and annually
The R-Line runs every 10 to 12 minutes. It runs 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The online mag cited the area's top-notch universities, Duke and UNC (sorry N.C. State), RTP and the "engaged political minds" that are attracted to the capital city. It awarded the region a Daily Beast IQ of 170, which, if translated into legitimate intelligence quotient, would place us between Albert Einstein, who reportedly had an IQ of 160, and Sir Isaac Newton with 190.
Of the 55 cities scored, Fresno, Calif., placed last with an IQ of 3. Greensboro came in 35th with an IQ of 83. Charlotte ranked 16th with an above average score of 119.
The case against Daniel Boyd and the other Wake County Muslims indicted on terrorism charges by a federal grand jury in Raleigh may turn on what the eighth defendant, who's still at large, has been up to in Pakistan. There's some new reporting on that angle in an excellent overview of the case published last week by the the Guardian, a leading newspaper in Great Britain.
Since the Guardian's piece appeared, the eighth man, Jude Kenan Mohammad, failed to appear for a scheduled September 5 court date in Pakistan on minor charges, according to ABC News.
This post was updated at 11:27 a.m.
There is no joy in Mudville, Jerry Goldberg has struck out. The N.C. Board of Elections Monday upheld a recent ruling by the Wake County Board of Elections that stated Goldberg did not meet the residency requirements to run for Raleigh City Council District D.
Goldberg's attorney, former N.C. Democratic Party chairman Jerry Meek, had asked Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan to issue a temporary injunction against the Wake Board's ruling on the grounds that the requirement is unconstitutional. Morgan did not grant the injunction, pending the state board's review. Meek told the Indy that he would go back to the court for a decision on the constitutionality of the requirement.
Read the entire saga at the previous Triangulator post.
Jerry Goldberg will have to wait until Monday to know whether he is considered a legitimate candidate for Raleigh City Council. Goldberg is running for the District D seat against incumbent Thomas Crowder and Ted Van Dyk.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan rejected Goldberg's request for a temporary injunction against the Wake Board of Elections' recent ruling that Goldberg did not meet the residency requirements to run in D. Goldberg's attorney, Jerry Meek, told the Indy that the judge reasoned that there was no "immediate or irreparable harm" in waiting for the N.C. Board of Elections to consider Goldberg's case on Monday. "The judge was clear he was not ruling on the merits of the case," Meek said.
Goldberg is charging that the residency requirements for nonpartisan, municipal races is unconstitutional. Candidates must live at the address they list on the day they file for office; in congressional races, for example, candidates only have to declare that they will move into the district where they are running.
According to the Elections Board, when Goldberg filed, he listed his address as a home in District D on Avent Ferry Road, one of many properties Goldberg, a city inspector, owns. However, the official Election Board document shows Goldberg as living at 8901 O’Neal Road, which does not lie in any council district, according to Wake County maps.
Goldberg told the Indy that he lived on Avent Ferry when he filed but since moved to 1114 Kent Road, also in D. Goldberg said his wife lives on O'Neal Road and plans to move in with him when fixes up the Kent Road home.