Durham News: Opinion

The conversation, Oct. 26: Susan Winders Moses, Mike Kelly, Mark G. Rodin, Chris Bobko

Marriage equality

Editor’s note: Our story on same-sex marriage licenses being issues in Durham County generated these online comments:

Susan Winders Moses: I issued marriage licenses for 10 years at the Durham County Register of Deeds, so reading about same-sex marriages performed in Durham is surreal for me. I’m so grateful to see marriage equality happen in my lifetime.

Mike Kelly: Welcome to the 21st century! And only a few years behind my native California, where change was hard-won, and like California, moved into this great extension of equal treatment under the law by a host of judges at many levels, most recently by a divided U.S. Supreme Court.

Yard signs wrong

I’ve noticed some residents on Buchanan Boulevard and Watts Street in Durham’s Trinity Park neighborhood have Sixth U.S. House District Democratic candidate Laura Fjeld’s yard signs in front of their homes.

I am a judge at the Triangle Presbyterian Church precinct and saw them last week while visiting a friend in Trinity Park between state required election official training. I was curious and looked at the master street list for Durham County maintained by the Durham County Board of Elections. Both Buchanan Boulevard and Watts Street in Trinity Park are in the first U.S. House District which goes out to Elizabeth City, not the sixth. Those who have the Fjeld signs are now represented in the U.S. House by G. K. Butterfield of Wilson as the N.C. General Assembly in its wisdom split Durham county into four U.S. House districts following the 2010 Census.

When Durham County voters go to early voting or vote on election day, they should be aware of which U.S. congressional and General Assembly districts they live in before going to the polls.

Mark G. Rodin


Protect Durham’s brand

While Mr. Arneson’s sketches are already much better than the ones initially floated for this site (DN, bit.ly/1ny2tAz), it is still hard to understand why no one is speaking up for preserving some of the historic structures currently there.

Durham’s brand, particularly when it comes to architecture and urban development, is a combination of adaptive reuse of historic structures at large, medium, and small scales (American Tobacco, 21c hotel, Brightleaf Square, Geer St. Garden/Cocoa Cinnamon/Fullsteam/Pit, Baldwin Lofts) in combination with well-designed modern structures (DPAC, Bull City Co-housing, etc.).

Here there is an opportunity to find a way to adaptively reuse one of the last historic structures in the vicinity, while adding modern structures that complement them. As an added bonus, the blue and white color scheme is already appropriate for a police HQ, or the paint could be removed to reveal red brick.

Additionally, if we take David’s well-presented ideas of good urbanism a step further, why must the DPD HQ entrance face Main Street directly? There are already too many government offices opening on this corridor of Main Street. Allow private development to adaptively reuse the historic structure and integrate with new construction for the HQ as well as the “Not Just Wings” triangle.

Chris Bobko

via thedurhamnews.com