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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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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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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N&O publisher: Sara Glines of Gannett succeeds Orage Quarles | News & Observer

Sara Glines takes over as publisher of the N&O today. This is the same Sara Glines who in the past prohibited swearing in her newsrooms:

From: Sara Glines
Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 4:11 PM
Subject: Appropriate office speak
To: PA-YorkDailyRecord, PA-YorkNewspaperCompany, PA-LebanonDailyNews, PA-PublicOpinionNews, PA-EveningSun, Teresa Hoover, Allison Roth-Cooper

I’ve heard some troubling conversations recently, so I want to remind all employees that cursing is not appropriate in the work environment.

It’s not appropriate in the office and it’s not appropriate when you are representing us elsewhere.

Ms. Glines does realize she’s in the news business, right? Perhaps she should know that the happiest employees are the ones with the greatest autonomy.

RALEIGH – A veteran publishing executive who also has worked extensively on the news side of the business has been named the new president and publisher of The News & Observer.

Sara Glines is joining The News & Observer from the Gannett newspaper chain, where she was president of the Atlantic Group, overseeing eight daily newspapers plus non-dailies in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Source: N&O publisher: Sara Glines of Gannett succeeds Orage Quarles | News & Observer

Does criticism of government turn off new leaders?

A few weeks ago, a local media outlet published a story taking a few swipes at Raleigh’s city manager. While the criticism was mostly harmless (and city managers know it comes with the territory), it reminded me again that while taking digs at city government might seem to win points with hipster readers, it also alienates those hipsters from possibly getting involved themselves. Make public service look uncool and you run the risk of scaring off good people who might do great things with it.

I’m not saying don’t afflict the comforted when they rightfully earn it, but at the same time if you’re taking swipes just for the sake of taking swipes then you could be inadvertently turning away the bright, creative people who could be doing us all good.

I guess the constant focus on the negative when there’s really a ton of good being done gets tiring to me. And it’s not just the local level but at every level. Maybe it’s human nature to find something to complain about. Or maybe not.

Sometimes walled gardens are good

I often knock Facebook as being like the new AOL: a wonderful walled garden designed to keep you from ever wandering elsewhere on the Internet. There’s some truth to that, sure. But it occurred to me that the vast majority of really inspiring, uplifting news I’ve gotten has come from sources like Facebook.

Sure, Facebook gets repetitive (“cat-video-du-jour!” “you won’t BELIEVE what happens next!”) and often the choices made by Facebook’s feed algorithm feel claustrophobic, but a lot of news offered by the traditional media seems too often biased towards the negative (“if it bleeds, it leads.”). To my surprise I’ve discovered I have soft spot for the “fluff pieces” found on Facebook.

Al Jazeera America to shut down

Sorry to hear that Al Jazeera America is shutting down. I liked the kind of journalism they did. Perhaps they were too truthful?

On the bright side, perhaps Al Jazeera will become available again on the FTA satellites.

Al Jazeera America, the American cable news outlet owned by Qatar-based Al Jazeera, plans to shut down less than three years after its much-ballyhooed launch, unable to overcome low ratings, operational problems and a lack of advertisers.The cable news network will be phased out by April 30, according to a memo that was emailed to staffers Wednesday.

Source: Al Jazeera America to shut down