Take a Kid to the Ballgame

Kid to the BallgameEverybody is a kid at heart a a Durham Bulls game. These kids are Rotarians who hosted some of the younger type at the August 2 game at the Durham Athletic Park. From the left are Rusine Mitchell Sinclair, the District 7710 Governor Elect, Durham Rotarian and City Manager Tom Bonfield ( professional ballplayer once himself,) Durham Rotary President Lois Deloatch and Durham Rotarian and County Commissioner Fred Foster.

Habitat Kickoff

HabitatFirstDayAlthough the location of our next Habitat Home might look like the lot was carved out of the jungle on some Caribbean island it’s really on Plum Street where it intersects with Angier Avenue just east of Downtown Durham.

A few minutes of basic instructions about safety and what the plan for the day was took place at 8:30 under a blue sky on a pleasantly cool Saturday morning. The goal for the day was to get the foundation ready for framing by laying plastic sheeting and attaching blue insulation board to the inside foundation walls. With advice to stay well hydrated the dozen or so volunteers completed the task while the sun heated up the atmosphere into the 90’s.

The number of volunteers was just about right to complete the goal in time to clean up at about 11:30, with a few also helping to build the front porch on an adjacent home that is largely framed but not yet under roof.

The picture below shows that home as well as two other Habitat homes that have been completed. A few blocks away on Driver Street another Habitat home is almost done. The impact by Habitat on this area of town was told during the formal kickoff at last week’s meeting in the Maureen Joy Charter School, also on Driver Street. There will be several Rotary Days on this home that we are soliciting volunteers for and for those that are willing to spend more time, volunteers are usually on the job Wednesdays through Saturday.


Upcoming Program Schedule

HabitatKickoffOnSiteAugust 3, 2015 – District Governor Newman Aguiar

Also more scholarship recipients will be introduced.

August 10, 2015 – Levelle Moton – NCCU Men’s Basketball Coach

What Basketball Means to Durham

August 17, 2015  – Centennial Program: Education

Review and Reading Rangers Kickoff

August 24, 2015 – David Ferriero – Archivist for the United States

Archiving in an Electronic Age

August 31, 2015 – Jane Brown – Senior Strategic Advisor Business Development

BCBS/Mosiac: Accelerating Health Innovation in the Triangle

Rotary — Bulletin — 8-3-2015 (PDF)

Rotary Minute: Kay Gresham

KayGreshamMinute2WebPast President and multiple Paul Harris awardee Kay Gresham  provided the invocation and a short testament to the value of the Rotary service and the Four Way Test. Kay is currently the Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, which just completed a record year for adding new members to the club.  Kay provided a more extensive “Minute” with her personal background about a year ago at http://durhamrotaryclub.org/2014/06/rotary-minute-past-president-kay-gresham/



New Members July 27, 2015

NewMembersJuly27 webThree new members where inducted as part of the Durham Rotary’s Innovation Fellowship created by Christopher Gergen. From left to right are Emily Egge, Geraud Staton and Nick Allen. Each of these new members will be more completely introduced to the club in later meetings where they will participate in the program.

Emily, who leads the SEEDS program in Durham was accompanied by her parents Farrell Egge and Lynne Egge. The proud father is a Rotarian from Alexandria Virginia and presented that club’s flag to President Lois Deloatch.

FragExchangeJuly27 web

Program Report: Downtown Durham Update – Geoff Durham

BillK and Geoff Durham webSpeed listening, if there is such a thing, would be useful in keeping up with Geoff Durham’s twenty minute or so survey of the continuing, amazing transformation of downtown Durham.  Bill Kalkhof, Geoff’s predecessor as president of Downtown Durham Inc., introduced his successor.  I was reliably told that Bill himself was no slouch when it came to extolling the virtues and progress of downtown Durham in warp speed.  The revitalization of downtown Durham, after all, began on Bill’s watch: a new Durham Bulls ballpark, the American Tobacco Campus, Durham Performing Arts Center, among other major catalysts.  Geoff cited those developments as the core on which the current momentum has continued to build.  Geoff came to Durham two years ago from a similar position in Fairfax County, the mothership of development in northern Virginia.

Geoff’s presentation began with photos of sad looking buildings on Main Street in the 1980s and early 90s.  “In the old days downtown Durham shut down when workers closed their doors to go home for dinner.” he said.  “Now, Durham is hopping except maybe for a few hours after 2:30 or so in the morning.”  Commerce thrives, people again live within walking distance of downtown.  An active nightlife and an explosion of restaurants tempt both locals and an increasing number of visitors.

Headlines in major publications tell the story:  “Top Ten Places to Live”—U.S. News and World Report.  “America’s # 1 Foodiest Small Town”—Bon Appetit.  “Top 10 Tech Towns”—Wired.

Investment in downtown Durham since 2000 has exceeded 1.2 billion dollars and is climbing.  Over 16,000 people work in downtown Durham.  More than 1700 residential units house over 2500 residents.  More than 90 restaurants and bars are located in or near downtown.  New, mostly boutique, hotels are under construction or planned.  A Durham Innovation District will comprise more than 15 acres and a million square feet of office, residential and retail space.  It will serve as a “downtown research hub” that will emphasize life sciences.  Duke University—Durham’s “rich uncle” as Geoff puts it—will have a huge presence.

Durham is rapidly becoming one of the leading centers for entrepreneurship and startup ventures—more than 155 and growing—in the country.  Geoff emphasized an important shift in the way companies locate.  Increasingly they choose places where an innovative, deep talent pool already exists.

Development is well and good, but members raised several questions about issues or problems that might be created or exacerbated.  Parking, for example.  Geoff acknowledged that parking decks can’t be erected next to every project.  Rather, parking garages need to be strategically located around the downtown.  The issue of diversity came up.  Geoff acknowledged they were keenly aware of the relationship between these projects and minorities, for example.  How current and future development will affect affordability is another significant but elusive issue.

Submitted by Allen Cronenberg