Durham News

News briefs, March 13

Group wants motel character preserved

With a developer seeking county and city incentives to renovate the former Jack Tar Motel at CCB Plaza, Preservation Durham wants the building’s historic qualities considered.

The motel, which fronts a 250-space parking garage and features a rooftop swimming pool, “is a building that we feel strongly about saving,” Preservation Durham Director Wendy Hillis wrote in an email to City Council members last week.

It is, Hillis wrote, “an excellent example of mid-century modern architecture and the only remaining historic hotel downtown.” She asked council members to make an incentive contingent upon the building’s historic preservation through the incentives’ proposed 15-year period and suggests that Preservation Durham have a preservation easement to ensure the motel is not demolished or “inappropriately altered.”

Austin Lawrence Partners, the company building a 26-story highrise at the former Woolworth’s site, has the Jack Tar property under contract. The company wants $6 million, with inflation adjustments, from the city and county for its planned renovation.

Taking names

Through March 21, the Durham Jaycees are taking nominations for their annual Distinguished Services Awards for conscious positive contributions to Durham as part of their everyday lives.

The group makes awards in six categories:

•  Young Farmer – age 21-40

•  Senior Citizen – over 60

•  Teenager – a high-school senior

•  Young Educator – age 21-40

•  Young North Carolinian – a citizen age 21-40

•  Young Public Servant – a correctional officer, firefighter, law-enforcement officer, EMS worker or and other rescuer age 21-40.

Nomination forms are at bit.ly/1qw1qj8, and may be submitted by email to djaycees@gmail.com or U.S. mail to the address on the form. Winners will be recognized at the Jaycee banquet April 8, and nominated into a statewide competition. Information: djaycees@gmail.com or 888-610-4887.

Lake season open

Durham’s public lakes, Little River Reservoir and Lake Michie, are open for recreation as of this weekend and stay open Fridays through Mondays through Nov. 10.

The lakes are also open Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Canoes, kayaks and john boats are available to rent. Personal boats and motors are not allowed on Little River Lake.

On Monday, the city parks department and Keep Durham Beautiful are holding a Lake Michie Cleanup from 2 to 4 p.m. at the lake’s boathouse on Bahama Road. Residents 13 and older invited, canoes and supplies provided. Contact Ryan Sailstad, 919-560-4355, ext. 37237.

On March 29, Lake Michie hosts Go Fish, an introduction to fishing for all ages, from noon to 3 p.m. Price ranges from $5 to $11, supplies provided. Pre-registration is required: bit.ly/1lnWgEA.

Creek quality

Three of Durham's conservation leaders are speaking on three of Durham's urban waterways at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Durham County Library's main branch, 300 N. Roxboro St.

Chris Dreps, director of the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association; Bob Healy of the New Hope Creek Corridor Advisory Committee; and Robin Jacobs, director of the Eno River Association, are giving updates on their respective streams, why they're important to residents and what is being done to protect or improve their water quality.

Their program is in observance of Durham's “Creek Week,” which runs through Saturday. Admission is free and the library is raffling off a rain barrel at the program's end.