Last week’s Soapboxer argued that Raleigh was too large and complex a city to have a part-time mayor—and suggested that Mayor Nancy McFarlane was stepping aside because she had tired of divisive politics, including a recent assault allegation lodged against her husband by city council member Kay Crowder. 

Several readers argued that editor Jeffrey C. Billman did not give that allegation the gravity it deserved. “It was shocking to read you downplay the physical and verbal attack by Mayor McFarlane’s husband against Councilor Kay Crowder,” wrote Richard Johnson. “How can you condone violence against women in 2019? And then to compound it by saying, ‘If this is how her opponents were going to play the game …’ What game are you talking about? A man attacked a woman and you think it’s part of a game? What kind of 1950s logic is that? The INDY used to be a progressive voice in the Triangle. Now it seems to be captive to a moneyed group of downtowners, developers, and brewers. Sure hope you’ll get back to your roots and stand up for what’s right, and certainly against violence against women.”

“Why does the INDY blame Kay Crowder for the mayor not running?” echoes commenter Donna. “It was the mayor’s husband who assaulted a woman councilor! Why is that Councilor Crowder’s fault?”

“Why does the INDY blame Kay Crowder for the mayor not running?”

“The current state of politics is ugly, especially when people say they are ‘assaulted,’” counters Larry. “Kay got a dose of reality for the type of person she is, but she wasn’t assaulted. If she was, why didn’t she press charges? She wanted to create a stir, and she accomplished that. Hopefully, she will be voted out.”

As to the larger argument—about the mayor’s pay matching his or her responsibilities—Nelson Eric Boyce says he agrees “100 percent. And the same for General Assembly. How are these not full-time jobs? And, as mentioned, in both cases, it ensures that only an independently wealthy person can serve.”

Same goes for Annie Britton Nice: “Raleigh absolutely needs a full-time mayor with a proper wage incentive. Nancy did a great job, though. She definitely made her mark and worked hard.”

Alex Bird doesn’t think that will help: “Still waiting to hear what government does correctly without over-bloated budgets and corruption/graft. The answer is not more government, you fools.”

Enough of Raleigh politics. Let’s go back a few weeks, to our most recent, bread-centric edition of Dish, in which Adam Sobsey wrote about Durham’s Ninth Street Bakery

Fabian Heitsch responds: “I very much enjoyed reading Sobsey’s piece for three reasons. First, I recognized myself in that group of people who never had heard about the bakery until a year ago. Second, the bakery reminds me of my childhood. Whenever I walk by there, I notice that scent of yeast and cinnamon, evoking memories (and the promise!) of cinnamon buns, which actually taste exactly like those from my childhood. And finally, Alex’s dark rye bread, the Danish rugbrod, is exactly what I’ve been looking for for years! The bread is dense and heavy, and, I agree with Adam, a food item by itself, not to be relegated to a side dish.”

In a more recent special issue—last week’s wedding guide—Leigh Tauss wrote about local Methodist churches pushing back against the national denomination’s anti-LGBTQ crackdown. 

“You don’t need the church, religion, or a god to be a good person,” writes Jon Boisvert. “You can find your sense of community in many other places. Cast off the shackles of the past.”

“LGBT folks (and those in support), please consider the United Church of Christ,” implores Mark Ellis. “They’re not just tolerant, they’re welcoming.”

To which Melissa Balk Bumgarner responds: “As are Episcopalians.”

And Jared Vaughan Davis: “As are atheists.”

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