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Archive for November, 2010

For Rent: 3BR/2BA Single Family House in Hillsborough, NC, $1,200/month.

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This article highlights one of the many interesting green projects completed in the Bull City.   I find stuff like this endlessly fascinating and it makes living here very interesting to me.

The Herald-Sun – ‘One of a kind’ way to park.

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Anyone who travels NC54, Farrington Road, 15-501  at almost any hour of the day knows what a nightmare these roads can be.  I’m not sure more four and five lane roads are the answer, especially this connector which will promote more ill conceived rapid development between Chapel Hill and Durham.  What Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh need is a comprehensive transit plan that moves the area away from reliance on the automobile.

The Herald-Sun – Highways corridor agitation brewing.

Do I see this happening?  Not in the near future.  In my previous posting I talked about rain water run off; which impacts Falls and Jordan Lakes; and the city of Durham’s tax on residents regarding rain water run off.  Yet no one at the Bull City hall  seems remotely interested in addressing the gargantuan volume of storm water run off, which inevitably ends up in the lakes and wet lands that runs off of our roadway system.

The problem is like a snake eating its own tail, round and round we go…kind of like green house gases too.

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One of the joys of living in a rapidly developing area are what I call leave behinds.  Development happens with modern, ugly characterless building but the developer fails to remove all vestiges of bygone eras.  Hence, a leave behind.   So after work yesterday I was able to sneak away for an hour of so of daylight and search out some leave behinds.

Durham has recently completed a park at Githens Middle School aptly named the Old Chapel Hill Road Park, like that?  Pretty creative.  Any how, among the basketball courts, miles of walking trails, state of the art, AstroTurfed playing fields, (insert yuck here.)  What’s wrong with REAL grass?  At the new park are some leave behinds.

Visually interesting with a story I think.

Githen's Chicken Shack

Happily this gave me something to play with; I downloaded some free photo editing software and a good time was had by all.

 

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Yesterday a little gem came in the mail from the City of Durham regarding my storm water fee tax.

For those of you reading from elsewhere, here in the big Bull City, which I love, a lot; we have a little gem of a tax called a storm water utility fee. Basically, we are taxed on the amount of rain that falls on our property. Insanity reigns supreme with this one and I really resent it. Today rain, tomorrow the sun.

What the city does is; it calculates the amount of impervious surface that one has and then levies a tax on such surface. The pretense with this tax is that the city will clean up wetlands, streams, Jordan Lake….in Chatham County and Falls Lake…in Wake and Granville counties mostly.

So my rain fall bill is going up from $4.50 to $4.92 per month. What do I get for this increase in tax?

* Capital improvement projects including Northeast Creek watershed
* A new inspection position to oversee storm water drainage
* A water quality technician to monitor and inspect industrial sites.
* A water quality analysis to implement storm water controls
* A 1/2 time pollution control coordinator to conduct in service classes for city employees to teach them about best storm water practices
* A senior engineering technician to inspect drainage ponds and other structures to ensure proper operation.

On a cursory level, that sounds like a lot, on a more in -depth level, I’m thinking that perhaps the city could hire ONE person to handle the above outlined tasks. In this age of fiscal leanness one wonders when the Bull City will catch up and catch on and trim things down a bit a lot.

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Home sales fall dramatically across Triangle – Topix.

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Home sales fall dramatically across Triangle – Topix.

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