A few weeks ago, Leigh Tauss noted that Republicans in Wake County seem to be an endangered species, shut out of countywide offices and left with only one member of the legislative delegation. 

Joshua Peters responds: “I wouldn’t say Wake County Republicans are an ‘endangered species,’ per se. Rather, they are significantly outnumbered by their Democratic counterparts. As someone who would classify himself as a liberal Republican, I definitely think the only way for a Republican to be successful in counties like Wake, Durham, and Mecklenburg is to differentiate themselves from their conservative peers (though this may categorize them more or less as a closeted Libertarians). 

“I do agree with the article’s assessment that this faction of Republicans is an endangered species. With that being said, there isn’t much one can do at this point with regard to turning the trend around in favor of Republicans. The conservative branch pushes away anyone that thinks differently from themselves, so it would seem less likely we will see moderate Republicans being represented on the ballot in Wake. It’s a shame because this is the only type of Republican that will appeal to right-leaning Democrats and left-leaning independents. And what makes it even sadder is that conservatives and moderates only disagree at the margins when it comes to issues. I would say on economic issues, security issues, and individual liberties, there exists no contention; it’s only on social issues where we see disagreement—e.g. same-sex marriage, legalization of weed, and being pro-choice—and this is where moderates appeal to the left.”

Responding to Jeffrey C. Billman’s recent column on the effects gerrymandering had on the elections in North Carolina, Stephen Cook writes: “Your article touched on some very interesting issues regarding the gerrymandering problem we have. Though I am fifty-seven years old and probably see many of our political problems (and solutions) in a different light from you, I bet we would agree that gerrymandering is definitely a problem, and the simplest solution would probably be the best.

“Personally, I would like to see us move to just using counties as districts or either some formula a seventh-grade math class could devise so the corruption is taken away from the legislature. Both parties have severely corrupted the process. I still remember the districts drawn by the Dems that basically were as wide as the I-85 corridor in [some] places to meet a predetermined outcome. Until those in the media, social media, and other outlets can openly criticize and call out the misdeeds of both parties in this sham, it’s just noise.”

Commenter Steve chimes in on a recent story about the likelihood that Dix Park will fundamentally alter the neighborhoods around it: “This is 100 percent going to happen. Dix Park will be a magnet for development and park-side views. Just think about Lincoln Park in Chicago or Central Park in NYC—those park-side apartments are prime real estate. The areas around the park will be radically different, too. Hopefully, the city can increase the density around the park so it eases affordability pressure in other parts of the city, but anything within walking distance of Dix is going to skyrocket. Frankly, the homeowners in those neighborhoods, should they choose to sell, should squeeze the developers for everything they’ve got.”

Finally, Tom Dalldorf, publisher of Celebrator.com, writes about our story on the demise of the Durham-based All About Beer magazine: “The early days of good beer appreciation absorbed pretty much anything we publishers could throw at our thirsty readers. As information and opinions on beer became ubiquitous and, ahem, free, the print publications struggled. Daniel, Julie, and company did their best, but the predominance of easy-access information seems to have doomed the pay-to-read world of print. Long live AAB!”

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