Two Years of Construction on Glascock Street Could End This Week. Did Bad Communication Only Create More Problems? – Raleigh Agenda

Jane Porter’s story on the seemingly never-ending construction on Glascock Street ran in today’s Raleigh Agenda. It’s a fair piece and properly highlights the frustration neighbors have been feeling.

To give a little context to my remarks, I also told Jane that I’m happy that the City is bringing much-needed investment to East Raleigh (after all, there are still two actual, honest-to-God unpaved dirt roads that connect to Glasdock). I only wish the city had done a better job of setting expectations for how long this project (these projects) would take.

Being that I was East CAC chair at the time (or had just been), I certainly knew that the project was gearing. I was not aware, though (and I don’t think any other neighbors were aware), of the time it would all take.

What I would like to see for future projects is the city not only telling us when a project is expected begin but when it is expected to be completed. Put up a sign at the work site with this information. Include a URL (or QR code) that points people to the project webpage. This would do a lot to keep neighbors comfortable with the process.

A good example of why this is needed is the construction that has temporarily closed Old Louisburg Road. A sign appeared over the weekend of October 8th, which tells drivers that the road would close on the 10th. The sign does not tell drivers when the road will reopen! Because Old Louisburg Road is the main way people in my neighborhood get to downtown Raleigh, it being closed is hugely disruptive.
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Insider reveals true intent of Florida’s proposed solar amendment | Miami Herald

Solar panels

Solar panels

Who’s ready to fire their electric company? A Duke Energy-backed lobbying group is pushing Amendment 1 in Florida, an anti-solar constitutional amendment disguised as a pro-solar one. This makes me wish I had some other choice for electric power than Duke Energy. Thanks to electric monopolies I don’t have that choice.

It’s time to end electric monopolies and open this market to competition. It’s time the Duke Energys in this country stop just pretending to support free markets and actually do it.

The policy director of a think tank hired by Florida’s largest electric utilities admitted at a conference this month what opponents have claimed for months: The industry attempted to deceive voters into supporting restrictions on the expansion of solar by shrouding Amendment 1 as a pro-solar amendment.

Sal Nuzzo, a vice president at the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, detailed the strategy used by the state’s largest utilities to create and finance Amendment 1 at the State Energy/Environment Leadership Summit in Nashville on Oct. 2.

Nuzzo called the amendment, which has received more than $21 million in utility industry financing, “an incredibly savvy maneuver” that “would completely negate anything they (pro-solar interests) would try to do either legislatively or constitutionally down the road,” according to an audio recording of the event supplied to the Herald/Times.

Source: Insider reveals true intent of Florida’s proposed solar amendment | Miami Herald

Biting the government hand that feeds you

Does this man work in government?

Does this man work in government?

Back when I felt compelled to enter political debates on Facebook, one of my conservative friends chimed in on a post I had regarding something about the government (probably me expressing my wistfulness for a health care public option). My good friend comes from the Ronald Reagan “government is the problem” line of thinking and commented something to the effect that the government can’t do anything right.

Even though we don’t see eye to eye on many political points he’s still a friend and I do respect him. It was all that I could do, though, to keep from pointing out that as a first-responder he actually works for the government. Not only does he work for the government, for all practical purposes he is the government. He is the public face of government to the people he serves.

That’s not to demean the work he does, of course. It’s important work. I just have a hard time understanding how conservative individuals who work for the taxpayers belittle the very government that they, themselves, make up. What accounts for this self-loathing?
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Facebook filtering

Earlier this week I saw a funny post on Facebook that appeared briefly in my feed when a friend commented on it. I know of no way to track down these kinds of feed items once you scroll past them because don’t tend to stay in the feed and you can’t simply visit your friend’s page to see them because they aren’t actually my friend’s posts, they’re just her comments on posts.

I decided to wade once again into Facebook’s search feature, or what has passed for a search feature. As long as I’ve used Facebook I’ve hated its abysmal search ability. To my amazement, Facebook has done quite a bit to improve its search functionality. I was able to zero in on my friend’s posts, narrow them down by time, and search for a string. It used to be that this was not possible (as least, as far as I know).
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Speeding point proven at 2 AM

I’d spent many evenings last week going door to door along State Street, methodically collecting signatures on a city petition to reduce the State Street speed limit to 25 MPH from its current 35 MPH. The first two days garnered the lion’s share of signatures; before I knew it I was up to ten. The last four, however, have been a challenge. Some neighbors tell me they agree 100% with reducing the speed and yet they’re very reluctant to put their name on the list. Some of these neighbors are older and some are renters who are perhaps worried any more neighborhood improvements might price them right out of the home they are renting. It’s hard to know what their real reasons are but it’s frustrating that they want it done and yet don’t want to do anything to make it happen.

Sunday afternoon I was particularly bummed when some friends I thought I could count on to sign decided against it, citing the mess that the water main replacement/traffic calming on Glascock has been. Even though I stressed it was only a new set of speed limit signs I could not convince them. I felt like chucking my clipboard into the street and giving up on the whole damn process. It would be just like five years ago, when I spent hours walking up and down State only to collect just enough signatures to barely miss the threshold.
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N&O quoted my letter to City Council in 2013

I was doing a vanity search on the N&O website, looking for a story I linked to once but apparently no longer exists (the N&O has never fixed its linkrot problem), when I found a 2013 story in which Colin Campbell quoted me and I didn’t even know it. In 2013, after musing about two-way streets here, I had written City Council and urged them to consider getting rid of the one-way streets in East Raleigh:

From: Mark Turner
Date: 06/25/2013 07:57 PM
Subject: Please consider making New Bern and Edenton two-way

Dear Madame Mayor and City Councilors,

I would like to respectfully request that you consider devoting a portion of transportation funds towards converting New Bern Avenue and Edenton Streets from one-way streets into two-way streets east of the Capitol. I strongly feel nothing would provide an economic boost to the east side of town as much as making these streets friendlier to local traffic and pedestrians and making them less like miniature freeways.

Thank you for all that you do for our city!

Respectfully yours,

Mark Turner

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Inside The Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns | GQ

Anytime a cop in any jurisdiction in America wants to connect a gun to its owner, the request for help ends up here, at the National Tracing Center, in a low, flat, boring building that belies its past as an IRS facility, just off state highway 9 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in the eastern panhandle of the state, a town of some 17,000 people, a Walmart, a JCPenney, and various dollar stores sucking the life out of a quaint redbrick downtown. On any given day, agents here are running about 1,500 traces; they do about 370,000 a year.

“It’s a shoestring budget,” says Charlie, who runs the center.
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