Duncan Murrell's blog

A New Superior Court Judge!

In the newly ratified version of the state appropriations bill, the Orange-Chatham Judicial District (15B) is slated to get a new, second superior court judge. Here's the language:

"The Governor shall appoint a superior court judge for the additional judgeship in Superior Court District 15B as authorized by subsection (b) of this section to serve until December 31, 2006. The successor to that judge shall be elected in the 2006 election to serve an eight-year term."

The way I've seen it interpreted, this means that the governor has to make an appointment quickly. Rumors are, of course, flying around the courthouses in Orange and Chatham. Who will want this new job? My unscientific poll leads me to the conclusion that, by general agreement, there are three leading contenders and one dark horse:

Leading contenders:

1. Joe Buckner
2. Joe Hackney
3. Lunsford Long

And, as disturbing as this might be, the dark horse:

1. Jill Cheek

FLASH: Durham to Get Bigger

Durham County is currently vetting its newest comprehensive plan, which is to guide city/county development decisions through 2030. If you don't think this is an Orange County story, take a look at their plans for the borderlands between the county line and I-40, particularly that chunk of space bordered by 54, 40, Old Chapel Hill Road, and the county line: a couple square miles of medium to high density housing where currently there are woods bordering one of the waterfowl impoundments, more commercial development along 54, and much much more!

And remember, the farm that abuts Meadowmont is in Durham County.


Calling All Friends of Bill W.

This isn't politics, but it's terrifying nevertheless. The most saddening part is hearing a teenager in high school argue that throwing down some liquor is the only way to unwind after a hard week. How many harder weeks and months and years have some of us brought on ourselves by thinking like that?

I'm not as shocked by the idea of teenage drinking as I am by the professed attitude, expressed at such a young age: that alcohol is a routine comfort, and sometimes the only comfort.

I never believed in the scared straight bull. It surely never worked for me. But, damn, I'm sorry for some of these kids. There's a big world out there waiting to smack them around for no discernible reason during much of the next 70 years of their lives, and they talk as if they're exempt from the sorts of tragedies and miscalculations that we bring on ourselves.

Anyway, read for yourself:

High School Students Say Drinking Safe, Strictly Social

"Your Real Motive Here, Bill, is to Stop Us"

Right now I'm listening to Jim Heavner's WCHL-sponsored "forum" on Carolina North featuring Jim Moeser, Roger Perry, Kevin Foy, Bill Strom and Michael Collins. What a bitch fest! What began as a relatively civil conversation has devolved, yet again, into a cacaphony of whines. Moeser is bragging is about how someone somewhere gave the folks from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center a standing ovation (deservedly, I have no doubt; FPG is something the university can be proud of); how I pray that Chancellor Moeser could channel more of the dignity and fairness and progressive attitude of Frank Porter Graham, at least on this issue. Chancellor Moeser has taken a conversation that began with the intent of talking about development at Carolina North in a direct and forward-thinking way outside conference and hearing rooms, and has spent the better part of an hour pointing the finger at the town about its process.

Suffer the little billionaires

Consider the plight of the fabulously rich....



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