Displacing the poor: Durham's market-driven revitalization

Gentrification, by any other name:

Kielhurn says these stories of dilapidated, unsafe, unsanitary rentals are fairly common. And the poor condition of some of the housing stock in poorer neighborhoods is what allows her, and other buyers, to grab up properties for such low prices. She’s bought many of her properties for under $50,000 and spends the bulk of her funds on renovations. When she rents them out again, she charges what she feels is a fair price for all the work she’s put in, and for the fact that she’ll be more attentive than previous landlords. So prices escalate to $800, $900, or $1,200 a month.

For muni and metro governments, who are already struggling with budget concerns, the idea of allowing the private sector a free hand in revitalization is an alluring one. Costs to the taxpayers are minimized, and the increase in property values ensures a nice tax bonus a few years down the road. But it's also irresponsible, because it exposes a portion of the citizenry to economic hardship that can (and does) result in homelessness and despair. Creating an affordable housing program (that works) is a complicated and costly venture, but it is a critical responsibility that must be pursued:

Monday News: Take out the Trask edition

STUDENTS OCCUPY DUKE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING (Inside Higher Ed) -- Nine students on Friday occupied the portion of an administration building that houses the offices of the president and other senior administrators. The students (and supporters who have gathered outside the building) have demanded the dismissals of several Duke administrators, including Tallman Trask, Duke’s executive vice president, who a parking attendant has charged hit her with his car and used a racial slur before a 2014 football game. Trask has apologized for hitting the parking attendant, which he says was accident, but denied using a racial slur.

NCGOP advises members to elevate HB 2 pseudo-contrition, pandering

The only unknown was the exact time and place this would commence.

A national group that says having the GOP incorporate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) agenda into its platform is “the conservative thing to do” has apparently established a beachhead on Jones Street.

Workplace discrimination lawsuits much harder under HB2

More expensive and less likely to be resolved:

“For almost 30 years, North Carolinians who have been fired because of their religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability have been able to bring claims in state courts under the common law theory of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy,” Noble said.

“By eliminating employees’ rights to pursue legitimate discrimination claims in N.C. courts, we unnecessarily force our citizens to the federal government and invite excessive federal intrusion into issues that are better handled at the state level,” Noble said.

In tort reform circles, this is a huge deal. North Carolina has joined a very exclusive club blocking discrimination from state courts, one with only Mississippi as a fellow club member. And for those seeking redress from unfair treatment, the journey just got a lot more difficult:

Sunday News: The day the musicals died


BROADWAY COMPOSER DENIES NC COMPANIES RIGHT TO PRODUCE SHOWS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The reaction against North Carolina’s law rolling back LGBT protections continues to spread beyond the business world, where corporations have called for its repeal. Now Broadway’s musical world is flexing its muscle. This email by Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz began circulating Friday, according to the online theater publication BroadwayWorld.com:

More on the Great North Carolina Tax Shift

If you're confused about GOP claims that they're cutting taxes in North Carolina, you're not alone. You're just a casual victim of Pat McCrory's "bait and switch" tax scam, which is already costing middle class families millions of dollars. The Winston Salem Journal does a nice job explaining the chaos.

Saturday News: You know you're wrong when...

HATE GROUP OFFERS TO DEFEND N.C. (Southern Poverty Law Center) -- An anti-trans "bathroom bill" passed in North Carolina is churning up something of a national outcry. And now it seems the anti-LGBT Liberty Counsel, which defended Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, is ready to step into the mix and defend the state.

Bigots are losing the battle of the businesses

Not even in the same league:

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign said an additional 20 companies had joined 100 others in signing a letter to McCrory calling for repeal. The LGBT advocacy group delivered the letter to the governor’s office on Thursday. The new additions to the list of opponents include Hyatt, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Northrop Grumman, Ralph Lauren, American Apparel, Qualcomm, Twilio, Udacity, Pandora Media and EMC Corporation.

The Keep N.C. Safe Coalition, which supports the law, has also added more businesses to its list of supporters. They include Archangel Michael Orthodox Christian Bookstore, To Your Health Bakery and Snyder Packaging.

Since Republicans don't seem to be swayed by common sense or statistics, maybe someone should tally up the corporate worth of these two lists, the actual dollars involved. Without even taking the time to scribble on a notepad, it's apparent were talking billions vs a few million at best. Not that the GOP has ever been that sharp when it comes to economics, but this one's a no-brainer.

Does the North Carolina Family Policy Council also want women to be punished for having abortions?

When Donald Trump says that women should be punished for having abortions, isn't he simply saying with the North Carolina Family Policy Council says? Abortion is murder. Murderers must be punished.

What's more, abortion is premeditated murder. Which means the appropriate punishment here in the Old North State is the death penalty.

Tell me I'm wrong, Tami Fitzgerald. Tell me why abortion is not murder. Tell me why North Carolina women shouldn't be put to death for having abortions.


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