Durham: A Self-Portrait

Tonight my wife Kate and I -- and a lot of folks in the Bull City --  will head downtown to take in a free screening of Durham: A Self-Portrait at the Carolina Theatre. The first show at 7:30 is sold out.

The documentary chronicles the people and neighborhoods of my hometown, as well as the history of race and class here.  It's the work of Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Dr. Steven Channing and Durham-based VideoDialog.

The city has a rich heritage as a textile center and of course, tobacco production (Liggett-Myers, which vacated long ago); my father's side of the family has long been a part of the city's history as well, in business, public service and civil rights. It will be interesting to see how civil rights era history will be covered in the doc.

When surfing by the excellent local blog Bull City Rising, I found a short video tribute to the city center by Luther Blissett. It's below the fold.

fp'd by Betsy

Props to Hamp

Until today, I've been singularly unimpressed with Hampton Dellinger as a candidate for Lt. Governor. With grass-roots heroes like Pat Smathers and true progressives like Dan Besse in the race, Mr. Dellinger seemed a little too much a part of the machine, a little too slick, and just didn't set himself apart. Not in the race, at least for me. Until today.

Hamp (I'm going to take the liberty of calling him Hamp)added a Kid's Page to his website. Very Smart. Read more below the fold.

Wisconsin tries something different for kids' health care

The title says it all:
Wisconsin to Provide Affordable Coverage to All Kids, Regardless of Income

What, you want more?

Gov. Jim Doyle (D-Wis.) announced Wednesday "a sweeping restructuring of state health programs" that will take effect February 1, 2009, and will allow all parents, no matter their income level, to buy affordable coverage for their children, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Dole: It's not my fault. Again.

If you listen closely, you can now hear Do-Nothing Dole whining all the way from the Watergate where she lives. In what feels like a bad script from the Twilight Zone, the Very Senior Senator has this to say to Governor Mike:

"Fooey on you, mean old Governor. It's all your fault that North Carolina has become a ping-pong ball in my sweet little game with John Warner and the US Navy. Nanny-nanny boo-boo. I'm rubber and you're glue. Bounces of me and sticks on you."

That, of course, is my translation, which is amazingly close to what Dole actually had to say, as reported in the N&O today.


Over the Cliffside

Sorry for not getting this on the front-page sooner. Fredly asked me to post this a couple of days ago, but I've been a little over-extended. In any case, here's a cut-n-paste from his/her comment on another thread.

Bottom line? Big Business (this time in the form of Duke Energy) wants to exercise its god-given legislature-given rights to foul the earth in pursuit of profits. This guy is working to stop them.

And we need to help.

Mike to Liddy: Do Your Durn Job.

I love this.

Gov. Mike Easley on Wednesday said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole is failing residents of two counties where the Navy is considering building a jet landing strip by not speaking against the project.

In an unusually sharp exchange, the governor -- who had worked with the Navy to find the sites -- urged the state's congressional delegation to heed local opposition to the so-called outlying landing field in Eastern North Carolina.


The Democratic governor's letter drew an immediate and negative response from the state's two Republican U.S. senators, who earlier this year united behind him in asking the Navy to reconsider its site near the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

"We disagree with your view that the best course of action is now for the congressional delegation to recommend that the Navy develop yet another list of potential locations -- in addition to the 21 sites it is currently considering," Dole and Sen. Richard Burr said in a joint statement.

That other stupid war

My friend Art Benevie had a column published in the News and Observer yesterday. I've spoken often with Art about the subject - the War on Drugs - and I always find his arguments compelling and powerful.

CHAPEL HILL - Last month San Francisco health officials met with groups that supported the idea of opening a "safe injection" center -- the first in the United States. It would be funded by the city and be limited to intravenous users of heroin, cocaine and other drugs. Addicts would bring their own drugs, receive clean needles and inject themselves under medical supervision instead of shooting up in the streets.

Open Thread - Site Burp Edition

Some days BlueNC should come with a warning label. Here's the one for today: Don't panic! We're having site burps.

One community member temporarily was blocked from posting comments. Nothing had been done on our end to restrict this user. We checked the account and it was fine. We're left blaming it on site burps. The problem solved itself from what I can tell.


I have a love-hate relationship with the Internet. I love it because it connects me to people and ideas that span the world in more ways than any of us can imagine. I hate it because it can reveal in me a dark edge that I don't much like. (Plus it's terribly addictive and is distracting from my fiction-writing.)

That same duality exists for me at BlueNC. Things can be bubbling along beautifully and then all of a sudden, meltdown. I hate it when that happens, and it's been happening too much lately.


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