Program Reports

The program write ups as they appear in the meeting bulletins.

Program – Mixed Use in Durham

Some of the best programs that we have had in the last several years of excellent programs are those that give us a peek into what other people do for a living, what problems the have to solve, what obstacles are in their way and what makes them toss and turn at night.

Rotarian Rob Everett introduced and then wrapped up one of those presentations on Monday. The topic was mixed-use development inDurhamand he was accompanied by Patrick Young of the City/County Planning Department and Dan Jewell, an activist for progressive planning and landscape architect with offices in Downtown Durham, our most visible mixed use triumph.

What this team was doing was campaigning for revisions toDurham’s current mixed use rules.Durhampioneered mixed use in the state in 1996 and improved the tiers in 2006. There are a number of proposed changes that are currently under review by the City/County Planning staff. Mr. Young pointed out that the issues involve appropriate location, the range of uses, parking and overall density.

Mr. Jewell and Mr. Everett then provided a little history of Erwin Terrace, the mixed use development acrossErwin Roadfrom Duke atLaSalle St. This is on property that has been in theEverettfamily for generations. Two of the five planned buildings have been completed and are occupied. The very popular Nosh restaurant and several other eateries are in one and I can attest through experience that parking can be a problem in this kind of development. However, the longer range plans include a parking deck and two additional buildings await a better economic and financing climate. The fifth building is unlikely to be built because of watershed concerns at the back to the development’s site.

Although there are certainly folks that resist the impulse to continually modify and control what gets built and what doesn’t though zoning, the lack of zoning almost guarantees ugly. I chose not to move toDallas thirty some years ago because nice homes were often built literally across the street from chain-linked industrial buildings. [Read more…]

Diane Daniel – Farm Fresh North Carolina

I had the privilege of introducing Diane Daniel for her presentation on Farm Fresh North Carolina which is also the title of her book. This also put me at the “President’s Table” near the podium. Sitting at the front always make me feel like one of those eager beavers in a class room.  I felt even more this way when Diane asked if anyone recognized the animals in one of her early slides and my hand shot up and I shouted out “alpacas!” This was not because I’d already heavily sampled her very interesting book but because my brother inNorthern Virginiahas recently acquired 3 alpacas. Last spring I spent an interesting Saturday with him at a farm wrestled 75 alpacas to the ground to be sheared.

Diane’s book is essentially a travel book and she put over 23,000 miles on her Honda visiting all the farms that she describes in the book. But what I found really interesting about the book were the stories of the people on these working farms that also open their doors to curious tourists eager to learn something about their state.  It’s also a little subversive.  The client of mine whose urban agriculture project I described in my introduction, dismissed me good naturedly as “too set in my ways” to embrace this trend that encompasses concepts of “slow food,” “sustainable farming,” “urban agriculture,” “community supported agriculture” and “farm to table.”  He’s probably right, but Diane’s book reinforces a new impulse to seek out and enjoy fresh organic fruits, vegetables, dairy products and even meat. [Read more…]

Charles Dunlop – Duke Law School’s Center for Law, Ethics and National Security

Charles Dunlap, director of Duke University Law School’s Center for Law, Ethics and National Security and retired Air Force Major General, spoke to the club on issues of the law and national security.

In earlier decades, academic study and scholarship of national security issues were largely in the domain of the political scientists. More recently, driven by rising threats of asymmetrical warfare and terrorism, legal scholars increasingly give attention to such matters as ethics and national security, human rights, rules of engagement, the laws of war, and military-civilian relations. Duke University pioneered in this field when, under the leadership of the late Law School Professor Robinson Everett, the father of club member Rob Everett, the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security was established in 1993. Having served as Chief Judge of the

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, Professor Everett believed the law school should focus some attention on ethics and national security. According to Dunlap’s count, some 130 law schools now offer courses dealing with national security. Back in the dark ages when I was in the inaugural class of International Studies majors at UNC, I don’t recall issues of ethics ever entering into courses on national security.

General Dunlap is one of the Center’s two professors. The other is Professor Scott Silliman whom President Obama has recently nominated—pending Senate confirmation—to the U. S. Court of Military Commission Review, the appellate court that reviews cases involving defendants held atGuantanamoBay. [Read more…]