Credit: Brett Villena

Earlier this month, Leigh Tauss reported on the FAA’s ruling that local governments could not interfere in the RDU Airport Authority’s controversial quarry lease. 

Deborah Hage writes that this is “heartbreaking for the community. This land has been used for seventy years by Boy Scouts, nature lovers, hikers, and, in more recent years, mountain bikers. The behind-closed-door deals made between the RDUAA, RDU president Michael Landguth, and Wake Stone are unforgivable! The Conservation Fund made a $6 million offer to purchase the land, and the RDUAA declined, saying they don’t want to sell it to be a park. Instead, they want to lease the land to be a quarry. That land will never be the same after a quarry. It sits on Crabtree Creek—the one that causes all the flooding at Crabtree Mall. The whole deal stinks. Michael Landguth, Dickie Thompson, and the RDUAA are corrupt. Period.”

“The utter lack of imagination on the part of Michael Landguth and the RDUAA is tragic,” adds Buddy Kelly. “It’s like, the public be damned, we are going to take care of our friends.”

Last week, Tauss wrote about the Raleigh City Council’s deliberations over an affordable housing bond, like the $95 million bond Durham Mayor Steve Schewel has proposed for his city. 

“There is no affordable housing in the area—a few exceptions with some slumlords—and it is getting worse,” responds Charlie Felicitas. “But it is capitalism, and we love our capitalism.”

“I think it has yet to be seen if Durham is leading on affordable housing, or just facilitating developers’ ability to build luxury apartments in formerly affordable neighborhoods,” writes Christy Marshuetz Ferguson.

“What a joke,” adds Caroline Crawford. “Durham leading in affordable housing? I have to laugh or I cry.”

In March, when Duke University effectively killed light rail, we wrote a piece that, among other things, talked about the university’s history with its hometown, and credited Duke with being instrumental in founding starting Durham Central Park. 

Allen Wilcox, an early DCP organizer, writes: “I’ve let this slide for two months, but I’d like to clarify one point. Duke was not ‘instrumental’ in creating Durham Central Park. The park was founded as a grassroots organization, with support from many quarters. Duke has done great things for downtown revitalization, but Duke was not involved with the creation of the park. That said, I don’t want to appear ungrateful for what Duke has contributed. We’ve benefited from many volunteers from the Duke community on our regular workdays.”

In last week’s Soapboxer, Jeffrey C. Billman argued that Donald Trump is a symptom of a larger disease, not its cause—“the culmination of a half-century of calculated cynicism … that stoked racial resentment, and three decades of Fox News and talk-radio propaganda that laid the groundwork for an army of angry, aggrieved white men”—and that defeating him will be only the first step toward a cure. 

“Yes, he didn’t elect himself,” writes Mark Ellis. “A critical mass of people voted for him, even after disability-mocking, the Access Hollywood video, war hero (and practically everyone else) insulting and belittling, a blatant narcissistic personality disorder, the list goes on. We’re doomed.”

“This didn’t start in 2016,” writes Scott Dotson. “The push for more division has been going on for the last several decades. Few, if any, politicians benefit from consensus. Consensus gets them painted as weak at best, guilty of blood treason at worst. It’s about weaponizing biases and anger, with the intent of violence to silence the opposition.”

And then there’s … whatever this is, from Daniel Brisbon: “You white haters of Trump have been educated out of your skins. You’ll be lynched for those skins, too, before too long. The coming Mau Mau won’t ask about where you went to school.”

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