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Friday, April 20, 2018

Local Activists Condemn the Detention of Up to Twenty-Five Undocumented Immigrants Across the Triangle

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 2:34 PM

On Friday morning, the activist group El Centro Hispano and officials from around North Carolina denounced a spate of ICE raids across the Triangle that have led to the detention of up to twenty-five local undocumented immigrants over the past several weeks. At a press conference, U.S. Representative David Price spoke about his work to protect undocumented families in North Carolina. Price said that he spoke with ICE officials last week and called on them to be honest and transparent about what initiated the raids. However, he said, they offered little new information about their policies and practices. Price said he believes...

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Durham Feels the Bern: The Vermont Senator Stopped By Duke to Chat With Reverend Barber About a “Moral Economy”

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 2:22 PM

Back in October 2015, when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were still battling it out for the Democratic primary, Saturday Night Live took a jab at the Vermont senator during a mock presidential debate. "How are you?" a faux Anderson Cooper asked comedian Larry David, playing Sanders. "I'm good," David replied, nonplussed. "I'm hungry, but I'm good. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to dial it right up to a ten. We're doomed!" It didn't take long for (the real) Sanders to dial it up to a ten last night, as he spoke with the Reverend William J. Barber at the...

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Women of Color Are "Particularly Burdened" by Gentrification in Durham

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 3:06 PM

Low-income women of color are "particularly burdened" by gentrification in Durham, according to a new report by UNC Chapel Hill students. The public policy students are UNC Capstone Fellows who have been working with WomenNC as part of the NC Coalition for CEDAW, which refers to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The student researchers, who presented the report to the Durham City Council Thursday, set out to answer the question “How does gentrification negatively impact low-income women of color in Durham County, and how can access to affordable housing be improved at both the...

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The Raleigh City Council Punts on Affordable Housing Decisions and I AM SHOCKED

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 9:02 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. The Raleigh City Council is known for taking its sweet time to do just about anything. This is a body, after all, that hasn’t quite figured out Airbnb after, what, three years? And, my god, earlier this month and again this week the council punted on a decision over a boutique hotel in Glenwood South—Glenwood South! The heart of the damn city!—because some condo-dwellers were worried that a rooftop event space might ruin their view. This is also the same city...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Everything Is Awesome! Notes on the State of Downtown Raleigh and Durham, According to Their Professional Boosters

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 9:10 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. There are people who get excited about urban planning, and then there is Joe Minicozzi, the principal at Asheville’s Urban3 LLC and a former executive director of the Asheville Downtown Association. Yesterday afternoon, he was the keynote speaker at the first annual State of Downtown Durham event, hosted by Downtown Durham Inc. Unlike the same State of Downtown Raleigh event earlier on Tuesday—which I didn’t attend but have in years past—this was a more laid-back affair at the Rickhouse, with beer...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Downtown Raleigh Still Booming, According to Downtown Raleigh Alliance

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:14 AM

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance's annual State of Downtown Raleigh report is hot off the presses and continues to highlight historic growth for the center of the City of Oaks. Since 2005, per the report, more than $3 billion in development has been constructed or completed in downtown Raleigh, providing residents with new places to eat, live, work, and play. That growth continued in 2017 and will likely sustain itself in the years to come. Between 2008 and 2016, property values downtown increased 31 percent. Here are some key takeaways: 1) More humans. Downtown Raleigh’s population has grown 179 percent since...

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Drawing Accusations of Anti-Semitism, Durham City Council Passes Statement on Police Exchanges

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 12:02 AM

A debate that divided Durham's Jewish community and prompted accusations of anti-Semitism culminated Monday night with the City Council's approval of a statement opposing international military-style police training programs. The unanimous vote came after two hours of tense public comment. At one point Mayor Steve Schewel condemned remarks by one speaker who said Jews had "an inordinate amount of control" over politics, and council member Jillian Johnson was interrupted by a man in the crowd calling the officials liars, drawing calls from the audience to throw him out. Much of the opposition began with a petition, by a coalition known as Demilitarize!...

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Monday, April 16, 2018

James Comey Came Out Swinging, But He’s No Hero of Mine

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 9:43 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. If James Comey’s media strategy is simply to say things that get under President Trump’s skin, thus prompting the president to rage-tweet, thus generating media attention, thus generating book sales, thus driving profits, well, it all seems to be working. Last night, ahead of the launch of the former FBI director’s book A Higher Loyalty tomorrow, ABC aired an hourlong interview with Comey. (I didn’t stay up to watch; here’s a transcript). This morning, USA Today published its own interview, in...

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Here’s What It Would Cost to Give Wake Schools What They Want

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 9:37 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. On Wednesday, I mentioned that the acting superintendent of the Wake County Public Schools System had proposed seeking nearly $490 million in funds from the Board of Commissioners, which would include nearly $59 million in new funding—far and away a record amount. As Commissioner John Burns put it, the ask was “timed well”: many of the county commissioners are in difficult primary fights with the key battleground being their vote last year to give the school system $21 million of the...

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Farmworker Advocates Call for a Boycott of VUSE E-Cigs Until R.J. Reynolds Guarantees the Right to Unionize

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 5:23 PM

At its convention last September, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee voted to approve a boycott of VUSE e-cigarettes until their manufacturer, the Winston-Salem-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, agreed to allow all the workers in its supply chain to unionize. On April 9, the boycott began in earnest. Baldemar Velasquez, president of the FLOC, says protests will be held outside of convenience stores across the country in an effort to convince them to stop carrying VUSE e-cigarettes. In Durham, just over thirty protestors gathered outside of a Circle K on Highway 54 last week to join in this demand. Velasquez...

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ICE Raids in Orange and Chatham Counties Swept Up Ten People This Week—Including Immigrant Rights Organizer Maria Peralta’s Stepfather

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 7:33 AM

Members of Siembra NC, an immigration justice group based in Greensboro, offered support for undocumented families in Chapel Hill last night after a stream of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids led to the detention of a reported ten people across Orange and Chatham counties this week. For the activist organization, the raids hit close to home. One of its most active members, Maria Peralta, a student at Guilford College, discovered that her stepfather was among those detained on April 9 in Chapel Hill. In an interview with the INDY, Peralta explained that her stepfather was taking out the trash when...

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Paul Ryan Is a Damned Fraud Who Needs to Go Away

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 9:20 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. There are probably two Republican politicians who annoy the center-left intelligentsia more than any other, and for the same reason: Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. This is because both are often held up in the media as examples of a thinking man’s conservative—intellectuals, truth-tellers even—when in fact the entire record of their time in office suggests that just the opposite: they are...

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A Horrible, No Good, Very Bad NCGA Idea Has Died (for Now)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 9:14 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Earlier this year, Republicans in the state legislature convened a committee to look at breaking up large school districts into smaller ones. While they claimed they weren’t targeting any particular district, they were responding to some suburban parents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Wake, by far the state’s two largest districts, who argued for more local control. The biggest problem, though, is that doing...

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A GOP Operative Says Trump Is “Losing His Sh*t.” Is He About to Fire Mueller?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 9:31 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. This is the big parlor game in DC right now—will there be a constitutional crisis? On Monday, of course, the FBI raided President Trump’s lawyer’s office. The president freaked out, rage-tweeting about the WITCH HUNT! and how ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE IS DEAD! Let’s survey the playing field: CNN: The president is considering firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein so that a lackey could...

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Wake County Schools Want a Bunch More Money, and This Could Get Ugly

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 9:19 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. In this week’s paper, I wrote some three thousand words on the Wake County Board of Commissioners’ brouhaha over the former Crooked Creek Golf Course and the coming elections and the prospect of big-monied PACs throwing their weight around and how this all links together. (Or, at least, I tried to do all of that. Whether I succeeded, I suppose, is up...

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New Study Finds North Carolina Women Lose an Average of Almost $8,200 to the Pay Gap Each Year

Posted By on Tue, Apr 10, 2018 at 2:18 PM

Women in North Carolina earn 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, according to a study released this week by the National Partnership for Women and Children. That adds up to an individual loss of nearly $8,200 every year, enough for a woman to pay almost ten months of rent, more than a year of college tuition, or sixty-four weeks of food for her and her family. The collective deficit for all women across the state adds up to $22.4 billion each year. Across the nation, the gap is $900 billion. The National Partnership drew its analysis from...

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Wake County Proposes Incentives to Lure Business to Vulnerable Areas

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 7:38 PM

The Wake County Economic Development Department wants to implement an innovative policy that would provide incentives to businesses to make decisions that benefit vulnerable groups across the county. In a presentation at a Wake County Board Commissioners work session today, executive director Michael Haley explained that there are currently fifty-two active projects that would create jobs or expand businesses in the area.  But Danya Perry, manager of equitable economic development, explained that there are still many areas for improvement. Perry offered a few ideas for developing an incentive program to spread economic prosperity to communities that are typically left out....

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There’s Going to Be One Hell of an Awkward Wake County Commission Meeting This Afternoon

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 9:09 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. It’s not actually on today’s agenda, but it will be the elephant lingering in the room. On Friday afternoon, a group of Wake County commissioners—chairwoman Jessica Holmes along with Greg Ford and James West—issued a blistering statement accusing their four colleagues of engaging in “pay-for-play.” This is, I should point out, highly unusual for a Wake County board that is run unanimously...

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Durham Committee Makes Primary Election Endorsements

Posted By on Sat, Apr 7, 2018 at 11:15 PM

The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People has released its endorsements for federal, state and local elections in May. In local races, the Committee is backing Roger Echols for a second term as District Attorney, and Clarence Birkhead for sheriff over incumbent Mike Andrews. Echols faces two Democratic challengers in the May 8 primary, Satana Deberry and Daniel Meier. Deberry already picked up the endorsement of another PAC, the People's Alliance.  In the sheriff's race, Birkhead also won the Peope's Alliance PAC endorsement. For Durham County Board of Education, the Committee endorsed incumbents, with the exception of District...

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Wake Commissioners Holmes, Ford, and West Blast Their Colleagues for Holding a Campaign Event at the Crooked Creek Golf Clubhouse

Posted By on Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 2:26 PM

In a pointed statement emailed to reporters this afternoon, Wake County commissioners Jessica Holmes, Greg Ford, and James West took aim at colleagues Matt Calabria, Sig Hutchinson, John Burns, and Erv Portman over a “private event” being held at the “Crooked Creek Golf Clubhouse.” “Transitioning the now-defunct golf course into a county park was the source of a contentious 4–3 vote this past fall that could result in a $24 million expenditure of taxpayer dollars,” the statement reads. “The purpose of the campaign event, according to social media posts, is to ‘support the elected officials who support this project.’ Several citizens...

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What Does Shady EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Actually Have to Do to Get Himself Fired?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 10:03 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. I’ve written quite a bit lately about Scott Pruitt, the embattled EPA administrator who has shown a casual indifference to the fate of the planet and a malevolent coziness with the fossil-fuel industry, including a shady-as-hell condo deal with a lobbyist’s wife in DC (for which he fell behind on payments, despite the low rate) . Now we’re learning some more info...

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Responding to Activists, the Durham City Council Rejects Police Exchanges With Israel

Posted By on Fri, Apr 6, 2018 at 9:54 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. In February, the INDY reported that Durham activists were pushing the city council to pass a resolution condemning exchanges between American police officers and Israeli security forces, citing those Israeli forces’ alleged human rights violations. At a work session yesterday, the council did just that. Well, sorta. From the Herald-Sun: “The Durham City Council went on record Thursday opposing military-style training by...

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

GoTriangle Might Not Get All of the State Money It Wants for Light Rail, But It Should Get Enough to Keep the Project on Track

Posted By and on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 6:35 PM

Unless its budget changes, the maximum contribution the N.C. Department of Transportation can legally make to the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project is $183 million, which is less than the $247.6 million GoTriangle had requested, the INDY has learned. The good news for light rail proponents is that they’re likely to get all of that money. The better news is that this $63 million shortfall is significantly less than GoTriangle has accounted for in its contingency plans. According to the most recent quarterly update it gave to Durham and Orange County officials in February, “We are seeking $247 million from...

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Durham Man Pleads Guilty in 'Historic' Restorative Justice Case

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 12:39 PM

Tears, hugging and applause aren't something you often see when a person pleads guilty to a crime. But that was the case Thursday morning in Durham County court as James Berish pleaded guilty to accidentally shooting an eleven-year-old girl last year. It was the culmination of a year-long restorative justice process in which Berish apologized to the girl and her family, and they forgave him. The case is believed to be the first felony to go through a formal pretrial restorative justice process in North Carolina — a rehabilitative approach that focuses on reconciliation between a defendant and a victim...

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How Smelly Is Too Smelly? What We Learned From the First Two Days of the Murphy-Brown Hog Nuisance Trial.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 9:41 AM

The showdown between an eastern North Carolina hog farm and its neighbors continued Wednesday in the second day (not including a day dedicated to jury selection) of a trial about the odors and nuisance allegedly caused by industrial hog operations. The outcome of the trial could force the world's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods subsidiary Murphy-Brown LLC, to change the way it manages its hog waste—an issue that has been a point of contention for the communities surrounding Murphy-Brown-operated hog farms for decades. At its core, the trial is about pig poop. Plaintiffs suing the food giant argue that the farms'...

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Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

You might want to check your reporting here. Council actually approved 6 of 8 affordable housing projects at this week's …

by FONCitizen on The Raleigh City Council Punts on Affordable Housing Decisions and I AM SHOCKED (News)

Very thorough coverage. Agree with the previous commenter - thank you!!

by elladavis on Responding to Activists, the Durham City Council Rejects Police Exchanges With Israel (News)

What a biased, uninformative headline. Bravo to Durham City Council for taking a principled stand and shame on Indy Week …

by elladavis on Drawing Accusations of Anti-Semitism, Durham City Council Passes Statement on Police Exchanges (News)

You forgot to mention anti-Semitic Deborah Friedman. Remember your talking points.

by Zane Kuseybi on Durham Activists Want the City to Become the First in the U.S. to Condemn Exchanges Between Local Cops and Israeli Security Forces (News)

Unbelievable. No justice for either woman he murdered.

by Urth Creature on No Plans Friday? Michael Peterson is Talking to Dateline NBC (News)

Comments

You might want to check your reporting here. Council actually approved 6 of 8 affordable housing projects at this week's …

by FONCitizen on The Raleigh City Council Punts on Affordable Housing Decisions and I AM SHOCKED (News)

Very thorough coverage. Agree with the previous commenter - thank you!!

by elladavis on Responding to Activists, the Durham City Council Rejects Police Exchanges With Israel (News)

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