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If it's late October, it's time for the undead to come out. I'm not talking about election season (though some candidates, you gotta wonder about.) No, it's time for the third annual Durham Zombie Lurch, a grassroots movement bringing halting, staggering movement to City sidewalks each fall in downtown since 2007. Zombies may be the living dead and unable to contemplate much beyond than warm, tasty brains -- but they have managed to connect to the Internet, with this Facebook page dedicated to spreading the word, and a Flickr stream full of photographic evidence. Last year's lurch turned out almost 80 participants, who get made up as zombies -- or who decide to become the hunted instead of the hunters. Hey, Durham's an equal-opportunity sort of town. New this year: you can choose to be come a zombie hunter and take the enforcement of the natural order of things into your own hands. (Hey, we hear BJ Council isn't doing much these days? Then again, the overtime scandal suggests someone's brains had already been snacked upon....) The fun kicks off Friday, October 30 in the parking lot adjacent to Piedmont Restaurant and the downtown YMCA; the free event will mosey though downtown's sidewalks and along towards Brightleaf Square -- where event creator and organizer Vera Reina notes that diners seem to get, er, a bewildered thrill out of the sight. It's a 6:30 kickoff this year. (See BCR's 2007 story on the inaugural event for our thoughts on who we'd... Continue »
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Last night's Durham CAN (Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods) assembly drew about 300 attendees to the Pilgrim UCC Church off Academy Rd. for the organization's most recent gathering of delegates from the organizations and associations that comprise the community action organization. As is CAN's style, the assembly offered a chance to share the outcomes of small house-based meetings of residents; these meetings are used to collect bottom-up interests and concerns from throughout CAN member organizations (with over 1,300 people reportedly participating this cycle), providing grist for the CAN strategy team's mill to promulgate their top priorities for each round of community action. And as is also CAN's modus operandi, plenty of public officials were present to receive the often-charismatic feedback from the crowd and from faith and non-profit leaders who shared perspectives, concerns, and personal stories that spoke to CAN's priorities. US Rep. David Price attended, as did seven of the eight City Council/mayoral candidates, save for Ward 3 challenger Allan Polak. All of the local elected officials and candidates agreed to the five points on which CAN asked for yes/no answers: The creation of a public accountability forum on the use of stimulus dollars in Durham 25%+ increase in the number of youth getting summer jobs through a Mayor's office program Review and take action on concerns identified by CAN in a neighborhood audit Talk with CAN on specific items to improve health and walkability/bikeability in the city Meet with CAN leaders for a two hour retreat within the first... Continue »