Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Concert to Benefit First In Families of NC

Going to a concert in Durham is always a great experience, but attending a concert that helps people with disabilities is even better.

First In Families of North Carolina will host a benefit concert Sunday, April 7th, 4pm at Historic St. Joseph’s Performance Hall (Former St. Joseph’s AME Church), located at 804 Old Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC 27701. The ticket cost is $25 in advance and $35 day of event with all proceeds going to First In Families of NC.

The event will feature singer-songwriter, Jonathan Edwards. Four decades into a career of uncompromising musical integrity, Jonathan delivers songs of passion, insight, and humor, all rendered in that pure and powerful tenor which, like fine wine, has only grown sweeter with age. Jonathan Edwards is a vital and relevant artist in today’s folk and Americana scenes and measures his success by his enduring ability to attract and take care of his audience. His repertoire includes classics such as “Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy,” “Sometimes,” “Everybody Knows Her,” and the 1971 hit song “Sunshine (Go Away Today).”  

Also performing will be Durham-based blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, JohnDee Holeman. Born in Hillsborough, NC, John Dee Holeman has toured both in the US and overseas, including performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and abroad on behalf of the United States Information Agency’s Arts America program. More recently he has recorded on the Music Maker label, backed by well-known players such as Taj Mahal and Cool John Ferguson. In 2008 Zeke Hutchens produced John Dee’s most recent CD, “You Got To Lose, You Can’t Win All The Time.”   

FirstIn Families of North Carolina is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to help people with disabilities and their families to believe in their dreams, achieve their goals, and give back to others. First In Families serves individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries and their families throughout North Carolina.  

For tickets and information contact First In Families of NC at 919.251.8368  or

For more information about events in Durham, visit the Durham Events Calendar.

Durham Furniture Designer Partners with Durham Manufacturer

Durham is known for its creativity and for being a hub of entrepreneurialism. It is also a place filled with people who appreciate authenticity and value integrity.  Those traits tend to foster synergistic relationships between local businesses.  Just such union has recently been formed to bring to market a line of children's furniture both designed and manufactured in Durham.

Durham-based furniture designer Mas Sato Designs has expanded operations of its modern children’s furniture line by partnering with Phillip Fletcher of Durham Bookcases in Downtown Durham. The company has added production capabilities using local craftspeople to build and assemble originally designed furniture pieces.  In the past year, Mas Sato Designs has launched a new website to improve availability and ease of ordering. It has also added a flat-ship option to expand its offerings and lower shipping costs.

Mas Sato Designs began as a small independent craft maker and quickly saw international demand and sales growth for high-quality modern children’s furniture. It provides locally manufactured furniture that is sturdy, modern and elegant for children ages 1-10.

About Mas Sato Designs
Mas Sato Designs’ mission is to create stylish furniture children will love to use and adults will love to display. What started as a project for his own family grew into a business that helps children to create, imagine and be independent. Mas Sato’s designs are elegant, minimal and decidedly modern. Drawing from both traditional Japanese aesthetics and mid-century modern design, the pieces offer a unique twist to standard children’s furniture. Each design is original and is designed and manufactured in Durham, NC. In addition, Mas Sato Designs takes commissions for custom furniture work and works with interior designers, architects, business owners, and homeowners., Mas Sato Designs is located at Livingstone Place, Durham, NC.

About Durham Bookcases
Durham Bookcases opened in 1995 building bookcases at competitive prices with high quality workmanship. Today, its 20,000 sq ft retail and manufacturing building creates more than 450 standard sized bookcases in addition to a large variety of furniture pieces in all kinds of woods and finishes including crown mouldings, solid wood doors and stylized drawers and more. In addition to standard built pieces Durham Bookcases builds custom designed pieces. Learn more at, Durham Bookcases factory and store are located at: 301 S Duke St. Durham, NC 27701.

Like to stay in touch with things made in Durham, go to the Durham Stuff website!

Get Your Hands Full Of Bull

Durham's Bull City Burger and Brewery is at it again. From the same folks with a penchant for all things Willie Wonka, a commitment to making in-house darned near everything they serve, a logo tattoo program that gets the tattooed customer 26% off for life, and a slightly sadistic streak as evidenced by their torturous clues in their Golden Bull scavenger hunts, comes a new and quirky way to be involved.

In this case, take involved in its literal meaning...people have to actually have their hand on Major, the large bronze bull sculpture on CCB Plaza on Corcoran Street in Downtown Durham to participate.

All the details are on the BCBB website, and they are very - very - specific.  Some of them border on TMI, but sometimes specificity is best.  Reading them is likely to produce a chuckle or two, and perhaps even a nervous laugh.

In short, the last of the 30 participants who agree to the terms laid out in the contest rules and keep one hand on Major the longest will win the last of the Golden Bulls.  That prize gets the winner a free burger, dirty fries and non-alcoholic beverage each week for a year.

This contest begins at 8 AM on Saturday, March 30.  Seth Gross, the owner of BCBB, is limiting the duration to 11 PM.  In the event that more than one person makes it, there will be a tie breaker event to be determined at a later date.

Participants should also dress up (family appropriate only - reading those aforementioned rules is a really good idea), because the most "outlandish, yet tasteful" costume as voted by the crowd will receive a bonus potty break (again, read the rules).  Participants are encouraged to get sponsors for charitable donations to support a cause, and have a crowd to cheer them on.  Donation dollars equal votes in the costume contest, so those with small bladders should rally a big crowd.

The folks at Monuts Donuts are providing breakfast to participants, BCBB is providing lunch, and participants can bring their own food if they like, but it all has to be consumable with one hand - no help is permitted.

There are always fun a quirky things happening in Durham.  Stay up to speed on all events here in town with the Durham Event Calendar.

Duke Offers Admission to 2,929 High School Seniors

More than 2,900 high school seniors from across the country and around the world can go online at 6 p.m. Wednesday (today) to learn that they have been accepted to Durham's prestigious Duke University.

A record 31,785 students applied for admission this year -- several hundred more than last year. Of that number, 2,929 students -- 9.9 percent of the Regular Decision applicant pool -- will receive a notice of acceptance today inviting them to become members of the Class of 2017. These students have until May 1 to make their final decision.

In December, 753 students were admitted under the university's binding Early Decision program, 105 more than the year before.

"This is the first time our Regular Decision admit rate ended up below 10 percent, and it made for some difficult choices," said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions. "The accomplishments and personal qualities of the students applying for admission are just exceptional, and as pleased as I am for what it means for Duke, I’m sorry that we don’t have room for more of these wonderful young women and men."

“The increase in the number of students admitted under our Early Decision program left fewer places in the class for our Regular Decision applicants, and it made choosing the best mix of students challenging for all of us," Guttentag added.

Duke's admissions policy is "need blind" for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, meaning applicants are accepted regardless of their ability to pay for college. Duke also meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

“We are in a fortunate position, where we in the admissions office are able to make our decisions independent of family’s financial circumstances, knowing that the financial aid office will make Duke an affordable option for everyone we’re able to admit,” Guttentag said.

All admitted students are invited to campus for Blue Devil Days, which provides the opportunity for students and their parents to discuss Duke's offerings with faculty and administrators, attend classes and tour Duke's campus, as well as the chance to get acquainted with other members of the Class of 2017. This year, the two-day event will be held at three different times: April 8-9, April 14-15 and April 18-19.

All students will be able to receive their decisions online, but only those students who are admitted will receive mailed letters. Students who are placed on the waiting list or denied will be sent printed letters on request, or if they have not viewed their decision online within 72 hours. For the third year in a row, students will be able to reply online to offers of admission or the opportunity to be placed on the waiting list.

For more information about Durham, North Carolina, visit

Durham Arts Council Presents the 2013 Durham Art Walk Spring Market

Imagine taking a leisurely stroll through the picturesque streets of Downtown Durham and browsing hundreds of pieces of artwork, talking to artists, enjoying live music, and tasting scrumptious foods. Your imagination doesn't have to take you too far, because the Durham Art Walk is coming soon.

The Durham Art Walk (DAW) Spring Market will take place on April 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 14 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m in downtown Durham.  The work of over 200 talented artists will be displayed at 33 venues, including the Durham Arts Council, Vega Metals, West Village Apartment Lofts, the Durham Armory, Bull City Arts Collaborative, Net Friends, LabourLove Gallery, Liberty Arts, the Pleiades Gallery, the Scrap Exchange, and the Smitten Boutique.   The Durham Art Walk is produced and presented by the Durham Arts Council.

The DAW Spring Market brings thousands of visitors for a weekend of art enjoyment, shopping, and exploration of all the great things the newly revitalized downtown Durham has to offer.  Visitors will be able enjoy festive musical performances, eat great food and find creative, local gifts for everyone on their Mother’s Day or graduation lists.  The full Art Walk program, including a list of artists and all Art Walk locations, is available in the Durham Herald-Sun the week before Art Walk and can also be viewed at

This year features a second collaboration with the Bull City BUCK$ mobile app program on the Art Walk “Scan”venger Hunt.  Each Art Walk site will feature a QR code that can be scanned to earn BUCK$, which can be redeemed at local businesses.

Storefront installations by the Durham Storefront Project will create a celebratory and springy atmosphere, providing unique artist installations throughout the Spring Market route.  Storefront installations are temporary, so catch them now before they disappear!  A talk by the Storefront Project artists will be held on Saturday April 13th from 5pm-7pm at the Carrack Modern Art Gallery on 111 W. Parrish St. in downtown Durham.

Art Walk is for the whole family.  Children’s shorts and cartoons are on view in the Durham Arts Council’s PSI Theater during the Art Walk weekend.  The Museum of Durham History’s newly renovated History Hub will feature Durham-centric educational exhibits and Art Walk artists.  The Scrap Exchange will feature a group of re-use artists on site during the Saturday of Art Walk.  Vega Metals will be continuing their tradition of offering a unique Durham Art Walk ornament.  Vega Metals will also have food trucks parked outside their location throughout the Art Walk weekend.

Live music organized by Kirk Ridge of the North Carolina Songwriter’s Co-Op will entertain visitors throughout the weekend at the Durham Arts Council, and the Durham Armory.  On Saturday Vega Metals will also have live music, organized by Squier Red.  The Durham School of the Arts will be showing student work Art Walk weekend and Saturday night at 7:30 will feature a dance performance by Blank Slate Dance Company.  The performance will take place at Weaver Auditorium and is being held to benefit cancer support organizations.

Hungry?  Food is never far away with Durham’s special fleet of food trucks and great restaurants including Art Walk sites Blue Coffee Café, Bull City Burger and Brewery, and Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub.  Also make sure to visit The Parlour, downtown Durhamn’s newest truck-to-storefront food addition, to grab some made-from-scratch ice cream during your walk!

“The creative economy is booming here in Durham,” said Durham Arts Council Executive Director Sherry DeVries, “and this event is a great example of this upsurge with so many talented artists at a single event working in every imaginable medium.  We intentionally keep Art Walk as an unjuried event to encourage visual artists at all levels to share and market their work – from artists showcasing for the first time to experienced, nationally known artists.”

The Durham Art Walk Spring Market is free and open to the public, rain or shine.  Visitors can take the Bull City Connector, a fare free bus service connecting Duke Medical Center and Golden Belt, on Saturday.  Free shuttle service is provided on Sunday by Hendrick Durham Auto Mall.  The Durham Art Walk is presented and produced by the Durham Arts Council with support from community sponsors.  For more information, visit online or call 919-560-ARTS.

Durham Arts Council, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that promotes excellence in and access to the creation, experience and active support of the arts for all people in our community.  The Durham Arts Council, one of the oldest art councils in the United States and one of the largest in North Carolina, manages a historic building at 120 Morris St., a public facility in downtown Durham that attracts nearly 300,000 visitors a year.  The Durham Arts Council has year-round programs including art exhibitions; classes in the performing and visual arts; artist residencies; advocacy and fundraising; grants for artists and arts organizations; the Durham Art Walk; and CenterFest.  For more information, visit their website. To volunteer with the Durham Art Walk, email Lindsay Gordon.

For more information about great Durham art or things to do and see, please visit online.

Registration Open for Battle of the Bands

Are you ready to rise up and rock? The 2013 Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands is searching for the band whose rock rules supreme to benefit the East Durham Children's Initiative. The EDCI has a revolutionary approach to creating a pipeline of services to children, from cradle to college and career, to improve lives and communities. So get ready, because the rock is coming.

THE BATTLE: September 21, 2013
RAIN DATE: September 22, 2013
Location: American Tobacco Campus - Durham

Durham advertising powerhouse McKinney produces this event.  The pick the best band, and the most creative.  The latter will be judged on things like mixing genres, unconventional ways of playing instruments, and even remixes of familiar songs.

Proceeds from the show will benefit the East Durham Children's Initiative. Founded in 2008, EDCI's goal is to change the expectations and outcome for youth in a 120-block area in East Durham. The nonprofit provides early childhood interventions, family support, after school and arts and summer programs.

There is a discount for early registration, so bands interested in participating can save a few dollars by registering early. Companies and organizations without bands can sponsor the event and get information about doing so on the event website.

Learn more about the music scene in Durham online.

Dine to Support Durham Art

Downtown Durham is a hotspot for culture and the arts.  In Durham, for those who don't know, food is an art form.

The Durham Arts Council is connected to that idea.  In fact, they are running a spring fund raiser called Downtown friends – with everyone’s support so far the “Fine Art of Durham Dining & Living – Spring 2013” campaign has already generated over $15,000 in business sales for our 9 fabulous restaurant and spa deal partners, and $2,781 to support the Durham Arts Council.  Yea!  There are just a few days left for folks to purchase deals that can be redeemed now or later.  Help the Durham Arts Council reach their fund-raising goal by purchasing and sharing. Find more information online here

Durham Arts Council provides services annually to over 300,000 visitors and program participants plus more than 900 artists, and more than 60 arts organizations through arts classes, summer camps, artist residencies, exhibits, festivals, and grants.

Learn more about the art scene in Durham online here, and the dining scene here.

American Dance Festival Announces 80th Season Schedule

At 80, most are just happy to be mobile and active, let alone planning on dancing for six and a half weeks straight. But that's exactly what Durham's most well-known dance festival plans to do.

The American Dance Festival (ADF) is back for its 80th season and has announced its 2013 schedule June 13- July 27, 2013. The Schedule includes 47 captivating performances by 25 companies and choreographers from around the word.This year's season will feature 11 ADF debuts, 9 commissioned world premieres 2 reconstructions and 1 US premiere.  The season also includes four collaborations including the ADF and Lincoln Center Out of Doors co-commission of a new site specific performance by Mark Dendy. The work will premiere in New York City during ADF’s season and will feature 80 dancers in honor of the Festival’s anniversary.

Founded in 1934 in Bennington, Vermont by four modern dance legends—Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Doris Humphrey, and Charles Weidman—ADF continues to be the premiere service organization of modern dance: from performances, to educational programs, to outreach activities, and more. Audiences continue to flock from around the world to see the breathtaking performances that happen each year by companies and artists of the highest caliber.

“During our 80th anniversary season we will celebrate the critical role ADF has played in the
development of one of our indigenous American art forms, modern dance. Additionally, we will
continue to embrace the role we play in supporting talented artists of the field,” said
ADF Director Jodee Nimerichter.

The anniversary season is packed with a breadth of performances including nine ADF commissioned world premieres by both newcomers to the ADF stage including LeeSaar The Company, Adele Myers, and Vanessa Voskuil, as well as by ADF favorites Twyla Tharp, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Rosie Herrera. Iconic dance troupe Pilobolus will present two commissioned world premieres in collaboration masterful illusionists Penn and Teller and with Trish Sie and Tijuana’s Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible

The season will also feature Paul Taylor Dance Company, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Argentina’s Brenda Angiel Ariel Dance Company, Mark Haim, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, and Faye Driscoll, as well as the ADF debuts of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Canada’s The 605 Collective, Ireland’s ponydance, and four North Carolina artists that were chosen by a national panel of judges to present their work in a special shared-program in collaboration with the NC Dance Festival.

The 2013 Festival performances will take place at the Durham Performing Arts Center, Reynolds Industries Theater and Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and Motorco Music Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. All performances begin at 8:00pm unless otherwise noted. Single tickets and subscriptions go on sale Monday, May 13th and prices range from $15 to $54 with many savings options available. Tickets can be purchased through the ADF website. More detailed information about ticket prices and performing companies, including photos, videos, and press reviews are also available online.

For more information about how to get to the American Dance Festival or where to stay in Durham, visit online.

Walk, Run or Skip to Northgate Mall Saturday, April 6

Durhamites know that no matter what walk of life we come from, we're all part of the great human race.

This is why Northgate Mall is pleased to announce its second year as sponsor and host of the Volunteer Center of Durham's Great Human Race, Saturday, April 6 at 8:30am, a unique 5K run and community walk that supports over 100 nonprofits, schools and faith-based groups. Now in its eighteenth year, the event has raised over $2 million for area groups since its inception in 1996.

Northgate will welcome over 1,000 runners and 2,000 walkers on Saturday, April 6. The event will include plentiful free parking, food and entertainment and runner awards at the conclusion of the event. The 5K course will wind through the historic Watts Hospital-Hillandale neighborhood adjacent to Northgate Mall.

Runners can pick up a pre-registration packet Friday, April 5 from 11am-2pm and again from 4:30 pm-7 pm near Northgate’s Hibbett Sports. The day-of race runner registration begins at 7:00 am. The run begins at 8:30 am. For more information visit The Volunteer Center online.

For more great events in Durham, visit the Durham Events Calendar.

Durham's King's Daughter's Inn: Hot Spot for Pop Up Dinners

As a top ten finalist on Southern Living’s “The South’s Tastiest Towns” list, and home to four James Beard Award Semifinalists in 2013, Durham continues to garner acclaim nationally and internationally as a place with an intense food scene. It is also a place on the cutting edge with a growing roster of dining opportunities at pop up restaurants, a trend sweeping the nation.

Durham's The King’s Daughters Inn has embraced the town’s food scene by lending the Inn’s main dining room and commercial kitchen to up-and-coming chefs for monthly pop up dinners. The dining experiences are open to the public and exhibit chefs that plan to open Triangle restaurants in the near future.

April’s pop up dinner will be held on Sunday, April 28th at 6:00 PM hosted by Chef Justin Rakes and Chef Scott Martin.  With plans to open a permanent location in Downtown Durham in late Fall 2013, the restaurant will be named The Salted Pig. The venture will be a "pork centric" modern American eatery serving inventive interpretations of pub food. They will focus on utilizing the whole animal and local produce to create snacks and small plates, shared plates, and an extensive charcuterie program. Chef Rakes explains the cohesion of his and Chef Martin’s culinary styles, 

“Scott and I are working on the project together because our difference in style compliments each other. I am very aggressive and 'out there' when it comes to creating new dishes and Scott is more grounded in precision of flavor and technique. It is really a perfect combination to bring out our strengths. I will be responsible for daily operations of the entire restaurant giving input on the menu but Scott will be the Executive Chef." To showcase their unified talents, Chef Rakes and Chef Martin will create a pork-based menu for a four-course dinner.

The dinner will consist of a greeting course of Crispy Chicharron Slider on Parker House roll with local lettuce, confit tomato, dukes on the front porch. The first course will be Deep Fried Brussel Sprouts with red eye aioli, second course will be Sunset Ridge Bison Tartare, kewpei mayo, spiced cucumber, nasturtium, third course will be Thin Cut Pork Chops with charred ramp and shallot gravy, herb salad. The dessert will be a Roasted Banana Budino, salted NC peanuts, candied bacon. Mutual Distributing Company will assist in the wine and beer pairings that can be added for an additional charge.
The King’s Daughters Inn has gained a local and national following of supporters and patrons.  Located adjacent to Downtown Durham in the Trinity Park neighborhood next to Duke University's picturesque East Campus, the Inn blends the charm of a historic bed & breakfast with all the modern amenities of a luxury hotel. 

Guests can register for April’s pop up dinner online. For more information about where to stay or eat in Durham, visit the offiicial Durham visitors website.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

April 13 Robot Rumble to Occur at Museum of Life and Science

Soon, the machines will overtake Durham. But in the end, that might not be such a bad thing.

In honor of National Robotics Week April 6-14, robots will take center stage at the Museum of Life and Science, Durham on Saturday April 13, 2013 from 10am-4pm when expert and amateur robotics specialists feature this fascinating branch of artificial intelligence—robotics—the intersection of computer science and engineering that creates devices that can move and react to sensory input. All Robot Rumble events and activities are free with Museum admission.

Now in its fifth year, Robot Rumble will feature experts, students and enthusiasts demonstrating a multitude of robotics designs and functions including Bot Hockey, Combat Robots, Underwater Robots, LEGO  Robotics and others. Throughout the Museum, guests will enter arenas and view or test out a multitude of robotics activities including hands-on robot demonstrations, a vintage robot display, LEGO Sumo Competition, exhibitions that explore solar robots as well as underwater robotics at the Museum’s Sailboat Pond.

“The Museum is excited to showcase this growing branch of artificial intelligence to inspire students and enthusiasts of all ages to pursue careers or a love in robotics and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields,” said Nancy Dragotta Muhl, Robot Rumble Event Coordinator.                      

The Battle Dome will feature robot arenas and obstacle courses including a nostalgic ‘blast from the past’ in ‘Rock Em Sock Em Robots’ competitions where visitors can fight it out in the combat ring.  For non-fighting guests, a unique display of robot claws and arms will accompany a sentimental display of vintage toy and tactical robots from the late Professor Frank Cheney.

Triangle Sumo takes center stage for its LEGO Sumo competition with over 90 students competing through the day with LEGO bots and hands-on demonstrations.

IBM will be in the house with LEGO tournaments featuring the LEGO Mindstorm NXT kits that program the LEGO base bot to navigate an obstacle course. Additional workshops for younger guests include building a computer-controlled animal using LEGO WeDo robotics kits.

Carolina Combat Robots are back in action showcasing hands-on Bot Hockey play—small-scale battle bots with bug robots featuring teams of remote- controlled robots competing to score goals using street hockey pucks.

First Robotics, VEX Robotic and First LEGO League student-based enthusiasts will highlight their large-scale interactive bots demonstrating their latest in robotic design and competitive edge.  Interactive and large-scale, these bots also include FTC Robotics showcasing student-designed sports model robotics competing head to head against other teams.

First-time exhibitors SeaPerch will amaze guests with their naval and submarine-style remotely operated robotics that encourages students to explore marine and ocean engineering principles outdoors at the Museum’s beautiful Sailboat Pond.

Robot Rumble Saturday April 13 Exhibitors List*
  • NC FIRST Robotics High School Competition Teams, VEX and FIRST LEGO League including Orange HS 587 Hedgehogs and Efland Cheeks Robotics (multiple teams doing demos)
  • Triangle Amateur Robotics – individual member robotic demos
  • IBM – Lego and dancing robots
  • Carolina Combat Robots “Bot” Hockey  
  • Hands On Robotic Demos: Sumo and Combat Arenas with Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots 
  • “Visions of the Future from the Past” vintage toy and tactical robots from the collection of late Professor Frank Cheney
  • SeaPerch – marine and naval underwater robotics
*Exhibitor participation subject to change.

All Robot Rumble activities and event are free with Museum admission; Museum guests can visit the lobby for free registration and sign up opportunities.

Robot Rumble is a proud feature event of the NC Science Festival with special thanks to Time Warner Cable/Connect A Million Minds STEM education support 

For more information on activities and things to do in Durham, visit online.

Rhodes Scholar to Speak at NCCU Honors Convocation

"A football player, a Rhodes Scholar and a group of honors students walk into a gym."  No that isn't a joke, it's about to be a real event in Durham.

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will recognize the academic excellence of more than 200 students at the annual Honors Convocation on Friday, April 5, at 10:15 a.m. in the McDougald – McLendon Gymnasium. The event speaker is Rhodes Scholar and former NFL player Myron Rolle.

In 2006, Rolle was ranked as the No. 1 high school football prospect in the country by ESPN. A graduate of the Hun School of Princeton, he received 83 scholarship offers from Division I schools. He selected Florida State University.

Rolle made news again when he sat out his 2009 football season, choosing instead to study for a year at Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar. He received his master’s degree from Oxford in medical anthropology in June 2010. That same year, he entered the NFL draft and was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round. After being released before the start of the 2011 season, Rolle went to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is only the third Rhodes Scholar to play in the NFL.

Now retired from pro football, Rolle is a scholar and philanthropist, heading the Myron Rolle Foundation dedicated to the support of health, wellness, educational and other charitable initiatives throughout the world that benefit children and families in need.

“As a nationally recognized and distinguished Rhodes Scholar who has excelled in the classroom, in the community and on the field of play, Myron Rolle exemplifies what is possible for our students if they live a life of dedication, without limitations,” said Ansel Brown, assistant professor of political science and director of the University Honors program.

NCCU will confer honors to students in a number of categories, from the Chancellor’s Award and University Award recipients — the university’s top honors — to deans’ lists and departmental academic honors. In addition, students will be recognized for performing arts distinctions, community service and membership in professional and academic honor societies. Students will receive a lapel pin that distinguishes them as honor students, which is worn during the week of convocation and on Convocation Day.

A reception for honorees in the Alfonso Elder Student Union follows the convocation along with a poster presentation of students’ research pursuits. This year’s University Honors Convocation is a partnership with the Lyceum Committee.

Click here for more information about Durham.

Friday, March 22, 2013

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This Week's Highlights:
  • You Spoke. We Listened.
  • Farmer Foodshare
  • Spring Vegetables!
  • At Market this Week

Market Hours/Information
Winter hours:  Our hours are now 10AM-1PM Rain or Shine (December-March)! Greenwood Commons at 5410 NC Hwy 55, Durham, NC 27713

You Spoke. We Listened.
Last October, we conducted a community survey where 200 market shoppers shared their ideas for how we can improve the SDFM market experience for everyone. Since that time we have used the survey data to help guide us in planning for the upcoming market season – including determining the correct product and vendor mix, conducting operational improvements, and scheduling educational programs and cooking demonstrations. So, we thought we could spend a few minutes summarizing the more popular ideas from the survey and updating you on how we are responding. And, for those who didn’t get a chance to participate, but still have something to say – contact us here... (read more)

Farmer Foodshare
Ever wonder how Farmer Foodshare at The South Durham Farmers' Market works? Katy Phillips, the Donation Station Coordinator for FF recently chimed in with some awesome statistics from our very first year...

Spring Vegetables!
Be on the lookout for Baby Spring Leeks, Aurugla, Asian Collards (Senposai), Baby Kale and more. Take on some of these delicious ideas...

Our first ever Spring Harvest Fundraiser Dinner will be at Pop's Backdoor  on Sunday, April 14th at 6pm! Menu sourced from our producers and farmers that you see each week. Buy tickets NOW and find more information here! You can also save $3 in processing fees and buy your ticket at market on Saturdays (just find Ben, market manager with a red beard).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Draftsman, Illustrator and Painter Tyrone Geter at NCCU Art Museum

It's not every day that you can meet an acclaimed artist at a exhibition opening for free. Thanks to Durham's North Carolina Central University, Durham visitors and residents can do exactly that.

North Carolina Central University Art Museum will host the first major retrospective exhibit of draftsman, illustrator and painter Tyrone Geter from March 24 through April 19.  An opening reception with Geter will be held on Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m. Admission to the reception and the museum is free.

A recipient of the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence award sponsored by the Taft Museum in Cincinnati, Geter is one of the best draftsmen — an artist skilled in drawing — on the contemporary scene. The 45 works in the NCCU exhibit are steeped in the African genre, personal memory and visual metaphors and include Geter’s most important drawings, collages, paintings, installation pieces and ceramic sculptures.

A grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Boston enabled Geter, in 1979, to spend seven years in Zaria, Nigeria. The result was the production of large-scale drawings that are among the highlights featured in the exhibition: his bold charcoal drawing of “Spirits No. 4 (Ancestors),” “Women Being What They Are,” “Shadow People” and “Water! Water! Always Water!”

In the early 2000s Geter’s work expanded to include studies in motion, mixed media and three-dimensional collages that are centered on powerful human portraits reflecting their African-American heritage. In “Enough,” each head is rendered in charcoal while the remainder of the bodies is composed of cloth. This combination of drawing and the tactile nature of applying fabric and torn paper introduce a novel mode of expression that enables the viewer to perceive the surface quality in both physical and visual terms.

Having painted several murals and completed one for the National Underground Railroad begun by the late Tom Feelings, Geter’s sense of scale was heightened in “Threshold,” prominently displayed on a back wall in the museum, and in “Jubilation at the Gates” and “Playtime With My Father.” His application of paint in an abstract manner to simulate skies pushed him to consider color field techniques in these pieces

Also present in the exhibition is Geter’s “Contender” series, which examines the economic disfranchisement and unrealized potential of marginalized African-Americans. Inherent in “Backache: My Back was your Back; I Guarded it with my Life” is the relationship between daughters, mothers and grandmothers whose personal and public sacrifices made it possible for their progeny to advance.

More recently, Geter has created a series of abstracted, ceramic sculptures that are sometimes glazed, but have the head as a focal point. The fabrication process was remarkably labor-intensive, involving subtle juxtapositions and layers of glazed color. The show also includes large-scale installation pieces such as his 2013 “Father of Our Father.”

Geter’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States, and in Nigeria, Senegal, Japan and China. He has received numerous awards, including first place in the Moja Arts Festival in Charleston, S.C., and first place in the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.

An artist who draws upon oral narrative tradition and music for inspiration, Geter has illustrated 10 children’s books. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1973 and an MFA in 1975 from Ohio University. He is currently professor and director of the Ponder Gallery of Art at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C.

The NCCU Art Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call the museum at 919-530-6211.

For more information on Durham's art scene, look online.

Durham Celebrates NC Beer Month With CollaBEERation

UPDATE: Per Bull City Burger and Brewery's Facebook page, info about the CollaBEERation:
CollaBEERation "Trinity Ale" now on tap. Equal parts of Fullsteam, Triangle Brewery and Bull City Burger and Brewery in one beer. To celebrate NC Craft Beer Month, we joined hops, malts and forces to create a one-off beer for craft beer lovers. A pale amber color with hints of bronze and a rocky white head from the NC rye and wheat malts, this medium bodied beer packs a punch with over 6% ABV and tangy hop bitterness on the finish. This beer was filtered and then dry-hopped with Northern Brewer and Fuggles hops, plus a hint of Durham’s Rosemary bushes at the corner of Mangum and Parrish to make certain we have included Durham in every glass. We are donating $1 from every pint sold to a local Durham charity. This beer is sold only by the pint for $5 including tax. Sorry, no growlers or pitchers. VERY LIMITED at all three breweries. Hops: Northern Brewer, Nugget, Goldings.

In April, Durham has a little something special up its sleeve for North Carolina Beer Month.  Soon, Durham beer aficionados will have a new local draft beer to call their own.

On April 3, Durham beer drinkers will be able to celebrate North Carolina Beer Month with a CollaBEERation from Durham's three breweries; Bull City Burger and Brewery, Fullsteam Brewery, and Triangle Brewing Company. The unique styles from each of these three breweries have been blended together to create a uniquely Durham brew.

About the Beer
Brewers from each brewery assisted with mashing in the grain, and adding hops. Each contributed a third of pale malt from three different maltsters, one bag of specialty grains (Triangle contributed wheat, Fullsteam contributed NC Rye and  Bull City Burger and Brewery added Caramel 40), and hops from their signature beers (Triangle added hops from Nugget, Fullsteam added hops from Northern Brewer and Bull City Burger and Brewery added hops from Fuggles).

A taste of Durham is also included from the big rosemary bush at the corner of Mangum and Parrish streets in Downtown Durham. The beer will be lightly filtered with a copper colored ale around 6% ABV with a high level of hoppy bitterness and aroma to please NC craft beer lovers. The style is not defined and will henceforth be known as Durham's style. The beer will be available at each of the three breweries on draft. Each brewery will donate $1 from each pint sold to a local Durham charity selected by each brewery.

Name the Beer
The name of the beer will be decided by a contest.  All three breweries will ask their Facebook fans to nominate a beer’s name and the brewers will pick from the top 5 most liked beer names. Find them on Facebook: Bull City, Fullsteam, and Triangle.

About North Carolina Beer Month
North Carolina is truly the South’s beer stronghold with the most breweries of any state south of Pennsylvania and east of Texas. To celebrate the state’s craftsmanship and the destinations where it’s nurtured, breweries, hotels, restaurants and other businesses combine forces for the inaugural NC Beer Month. Throughout April, beer lovers will find special tours, tastings, dinners, classes and other events as well as lodging packages and deals on North Carolina beer. Travelers can chart a course from urban pub hubs and beer frontiers to lively towns with character to spare. Visit for details on specials, and developments on other newly minted festivals, beer classes, and other activities.

Durham April Beer Month events include:
  • Triangle Brewing Company holds Saturday brewery tours at 1:30 PM. Cost is $3 per person.
  • Bull City Burger & Brewery offers an official brewery tour at 4:00 PM on Saturdays. Cost is $5 per person and includes a tour and tasting of the beers on tap together.  The $5 can be credit toward a growler deposit that day only.
  • Beltline Brew Tours give tours of Fullsteam, Triangle Brewing Company and Bull City Burger and Brewery. Tickets are $40-$45. Tour is 11:30-4 PM on April 6.
For more information about Durham, read online.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dine Out For Kids® to Occur April 16

Helping local students can be as easy as eating at your favorite local restaurant on April 16.

The annual Dine Out For Kids ®  event on Tuesday, April 16, will give area restaurants and residents a chance to support local students who are having difficulty succeeding in school. Funds raised from the event will provide students with immediate basic-needs assistance, academic supports and life skills. When diners eat at participating restaurants on April 16, a portion of each meal will be donated directly back to Communities In Schools of Durham.

“This meal can help make a difference for some of Durham’s most vulnerable students,” said Bud Lavery, Executive Director of CIS of Durham. “We’d like to see everyone go out and have dinner — and dessert — on April 16th to help out kids.”

Patrons also can register for a chance to win a Barnes & Noble NOOK™ HD Tablet by scanning a QR code located on DOFK posters and tent cards! Posters and tent cards will be located inside participating restaurants. This contest begins on March 28th and ends on April 17th.

Communities In Schools of Durham connects schools, children and families with community resources to help students stay in school, graduate and prepare for life. Proceeds from Dine Out For Kids®  will help provide:
  • School supplies and food for more than 3,000 students who can’t afford them
  • 14,000+ books and comprehension activities to get elementary students reading over the summer
  • Tutoring and counseling to help more than 350 students graduate on time
  • Career- and college-readiness programming like internships and résumé guidance
"Everybody wants to feel they've got someone in their corner when the chips are down — someone they can depend on ... Every child wants and needs someone like that,” said the mother of one recent high school graduate about the importance of the CIS model school, the Durham Performance Learning Center. In the 2011 Dine Out For Kids, Durham residents and businesses raised more than $18,000 to support students in local schools.

Communities In Schools of Durham is part of the nation’s most effective dropout-prevention model. The organization serves more than 4,500 Durham students inside of 24 local schools. CIS of Durham’s mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

For more information on this event, go to the CIS website or contact Tracie Miller at (919) 403-1936, ext. 24, or by email.

Dine Out For Kids® – Participating Restaurants & Locations
Blue Corn Café, 716 B Ninth St.
Bull City Burger & Brewery, 107 E. Parrish St.
Carolina Ale House, 3911 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.
Elmo’s Diner – Durham, 776 9th St.
Joe Van Gogh, 1104 Broad St.
Local Yogurt, 2501 University Drive & 2816 Erwin Road
Mad Hatter Café & Bakeshop, 1802 W. Main St.
Mateo Bar de Tapas, 109 W Chapel Hill St.
Mez Contemporary Mexican, 5410 Page Road (Exit 282 off I-40)
Page Road Grill, 5416 Page Road
Pop’s, 810 W. Peabody St.
Rue Cler, 401 E. Chapel Hill St.
Saladelia, 4201 University Drive
Satisfaction Restaurant, 905 W. Main St., Suite 37
Six Plates Wine Bar, 2812 Erwin Road, #104
Spartacus, 4139 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.
The Blue Note Grill, 4125 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.
Toast, 345 W. Main St.

Duke Gets No. 2 Seed; Hosts Hampton on Sunday

There's no doubt about it—Durham has fantastic basketball teams and March Madness is their time to shine.

The fifth-ranked Duke women’s basketball team received its 19th straight NCAA Tournament selection on Monday.  The Blue Devils (30-2) were seeded No. 2 in the Norfolk Region and will play 15th-seeded Hampton (28-5) in the first round on Sunday, March 24, 2013 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and will tip at 12:05 p.m. (EST).

The Blue Devils have earned one of the top eight seeds in 12 out of the last 13 years in the NCAA Tournament and are coming off three straight Elite Eight appearances.  Duke has been a No. 2 seed in each of the last four years.

Hampton advanced to the NCAA Tournament after claiming the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament championship for the fourth straight year with a 59-38 victory over Howard on March 16.  The Lady Pirates enter the NCAA Tournament winners of 19 straight games under head coach David Six.  Hampton features four double-figure scorers on the season – Keiara Avant (16.1), Nicole Hamilton (12.2), Alyssa Bennett (10.2) and Olivia Allen (11.8).

Duke and Hampton will meet for the second time over the last four years in the NCAA Tournament.  The Blue Devils downed the Lady Pirates, 72-37, in 2010 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  Overall, Duke and Hampton have met on four occasions with the Blue Devils holding a 4-0 advantage.

The winner of the Duke/Hampton game will advance to face the winner of the No. 7 seed Oklahoma State vs. No. 10 seed DePaul game, which will tip at approximately 2:30 p.m., on Sunday.  The second round contest will be played on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m., in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils received an automatic invitation to the 2013 NCAA Tournament after claiming their eighth ACC Championship on March 10 with a 92-73 victory over 15th-ranked North Carolina.  Duke has registered 30 wins for the 10th time out of the last 13 years, including three out of the last four.  The Blue Devils claimed the ACC regular season title outright for the second straight year and the fourth consecutive season.

Entering the 2013 NCAAs, the Blue Devils own an all-time record of 49-19 in NCAA Tournament play and are 50-20 in all postseason action.  The Blue Devils feature a 16-game winning streak in Cameron Indoor Stadium in NCAA Tournament action.  Duke has advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 14 out of the last 15 years and reached the NCAA Final Four in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2006.  As a conference, the ACC received five bids in 2013 -- Duke, Maryland, Miami, Florida State and North Carolina.

Tickets can be purchased by heading to online or calling the Duke Ticket Office at (919) 681-2583.

For more information about sports in Durham, check out this website.

Durham’s CPR/AED Initiative Wins International Award

One of the many ways people have referred to Durham, NC over the years is "The City of Medicine."  It's a deserved title with six medical centers including the world-renowned Duke University Health System and the Veterans Administration.  It is a place where health and care are taken seriously at every level - including at the municipal level and for which an award has been won.

Durham’s life-saving efforts to train thousands of City and County employees as well as public high school students has received international accolades.

Durham’s “A Heartbeat Away” Initiative has been selected as the winner of the Alliance for Innovation’s 2013 Award for Excellence in Local Government.  The City of Durham, Durham County Government, and Durham Public Schools have partnered to create this one-of-a-kind CPR/AED Initiative to help improve the survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest victims by training local government employees and public high school students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) education as well as bystander hands-only CPR.

According to Durham County Emergency Medical Services, in 2011 only 8 percent of cardiac arrest victims in Durham received life-saving CPR prior to the arrival of first responders, making Durham’s survival rate one of the lowest in the country. It was this alarming statistic that created this unique partnership – the only of its kind in North Carolina. “The joint initiative supports both the City’s and the County’s strategic plan efforts to improve the health and safety of Durham residents while also addressing a state mandate that requires all publicly educated students to be trained in CPR before receiving their diplomas starting in 2015,” said Jay Reinstein, strategic initiatives manager with the City’s Budget & Management Services Department. “It’s one of several initiatives that we are working on together for a better Durham.”

According Karen Thoreson, president and chief operating officer of the Alliance for Innovation, Durham was chosen from more than 70 applicants from across the United States and Canada for its innovative approach. “The Selection Committee looks for those local governments that have shown their dedication to stretching and improving the boundaries of day-to-day government operations and practices, implementing creative business processes, and those who have improved the civic health of their community,” wrote Thoreson in a letter notifying the City of Durham of its award. Durham will receive its award at next month’s 2013 Transforming Local Government Conference. For more information about the conference, visit online.

For more information about the “A Heartbeat Away” Initiative, contact Jay Reinstein or read about it online.

For more information about where great things happen, visit online.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dinosaur Egg Hunt at Museum of Life + Science March 28-31

Bunnysaurus is coming to town and he’s only making one stop – Durham's Museum of Life and Science. Let's be honest, a dinosaur bunny is a great reason to visit Durham.  That, and it's got a whole lot of interesting activity all over town.  But the dino bunny is a big draw, undeniably.

Join The Museum of Life and Science for the Triangle’s only Jurassic-themed egg hunt Thursday, March 28 - Sunday, March 31 from 10 AM - 4 PM (Noon- 4 PM on Sunday). Children can:

  • Search for five different dino eggs, each with a science prize or passes to the new Jurassic Park in 3D movie inside! 
  • Take photos inside a dinosaur nest
  • See real fossils
  • Make a dinosaur craft. 

Tickets are $5 and does not include general admission to the museum. General admission is required for non-members age 3 and over. Only those collecting eggs require Dino Egg Hunt tickets, other family members may accompany ticket holders with paid admission. There is limited availability and, pre-registration is recommended. For more information: Call Reservations at 919-220-5429 x313.

For more information about events in Durham, visit the Durham Event Calendar.

Vert & Vogue to Donate Proceeds to Urban Ministries March 23

One of Durham, NC's hallmarks is that the people who live there are engaged in their community with an eye toward making it better for everyone. Many of the modern conveniences of big city life are in Durham, but residents and business owners still hold on to small-town values like looking out for their neighbors.

Vert & Vogue boutique in Durham’s Brightleaf Square  is one of those businesses that cares for neighbors in need. For the second year in a row, they’re teaming up  with Urban Ministries of Durham to donate 20% of Its sales to benefit urban Ministries of Durham.

On Saturday, March 23rd, the boutique will unveil its newly renovated showroom, spring collection and Vert & Vogue line of women’s shirting. To celebrate, the business will donate 20% of its sales that day to support the work of Urban Ministries.

Vert & Vogue will also leverage their annual spring client clothing exchange to build the stock of clothing available at Dress for Success. This will help women who are assisted by Urban Ministries improve their self-image and perception in the world.

For more information, email
Ryan Hurley, owner of Vert & Vogue or Bryan Gilmer, director of marketing & development at Urban Ministries of Durham.

For more information about great things happening in Durham, NC click here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Market


Tomorrow is going to be another warm spring-like day at the market! The forecast high temperature 72! In preparation for spring and planting season, lots of farmers will be bringing vegetable and herb seedlings for you to plant in your home gardens! Last week, I saw seedlings of kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, fennel, parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme, mint, rosemary and lavender.  (Tomato seedlings are still a few weeks away-- when the weather warms up a little more). I expect that there will be a similarly great selection this week. Also, because you are buying seedlings directly from a farmer, you have a special chance to "ask the expert"! Farmers are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to growing vegetables and are ready with tips and hints for a successful garden.

This week, along with the growing quantity of lush spring greens, there will be a *very few* greenhouse grown strawberries at Market available. At the end of Market last week, Lauren, who works for Lyon Farms, told me that she is expecting there to be a few pints of strawberries available this weekend! Greenhouse strawberries mean that field strawberries and asparagus aren't too far behind! I checked my records and at this time last year, the first asparagus was just starting to come to the Market.  However, that was much earlier than usual because the winter of 2011-12 was exceptionally warm. Based on the reports I've been hearing from farmers, the colder, wet weather this winter may delay the arrival of some spring crops.  But, I'll keep posted with what I hear. Speaking of which, greenhouse grown tomatoes will be back at Market tomorrow!


This may be old news by now, but TWO Durham Farmers' Market vendors have been nominated as James Beard Award Semi Finalists! Phoebe Lawless of Scratch Bakery has been nominated in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category and Sean Lilly Wilson of Fullsteam Brewery has been nominated in the Outstanding Wine, Spirit and Beer Professional category! Along with Phoebe and Sean, local chefs (and market shoppers) Scott Howell from Nana's and Aaron Vandemark from Pancuito and local restaurants Mateo Tapas and Lantern have been nominated as well.
Read more about Phoebe and Sean's reaction to their nominations by clicking on their names.
And while I'm handing out congratulations, Fullsteam's First Frost beer and Farmer's Daughter's Rosey Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves have been nominated as 2013 Good Food Awards Finalists!

Upcoming Events and Spring Schedule

March 23: Chef in the Market - Katie and Justin Meddis from Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop will have a sausage making demonstration.  Starts at 10!

March 30: Chef in the Market - Chef Katie Coleman from Durham Spirits Company will be cooking with seasonal veggies!

April 6: OPENING DAY! The Durham Farmers' Market's 15th Season officially begins on Saturday April 6th! Hours shift to our summer schedule of 8am to Noon!  Chef Amy Tornquist and Kyle Wilkerson from Watts Grocery will be doing the annual Market Kickoff Chef in the Market appearance!

Wednesday April 17th: WEDNESDAY MARKET OPENS! Fun opening day events are still in the works!!

Fresh this Week....

VEGETABLES:  SPINACH, GREENHOUSE TOMATOES, Asian Greens, Arugula, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Collards, Creasy Greens, Daikon Radish, Escarole, Fennel, Frisee, Fresh & Dried Herbs (Cilantro, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley), Green Onions, Gourds, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Leeks, Mustard Greens, Pumpkins, Radishes,  Salad Mix,Shiitake Mushrooms (dried),  Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Winter Squash and more
MEATS AND EGGS:  Beef, Bison, Chicken, Duck, Goat/Chevon/Cabrito, Lamb, Pork, Veal
Guinea Eggs, Duck Eggs & Chicken Eggs
CHEESES: Fresh and aged cow and goats milk cheeses.
FLOWERS & PLANTS: Ranunculus, Tulips, Daffodils, Icelandic Poppies, Anemones, Landscaping Plants, House Plants
SPECIALTY ITEMS: Raw Honey, Flour, Cornmeal, Grits, Baked Goods including Pies, Breads, Cookies & Pastries, Fermented Foods, Beer, Wine, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Preserves, Pastas, Perogies, Wool
CRAFTS: Pottery, Jewelry, Handmade Baskets, Woodwork, Photographs, Hand-dyed Clothing and other items, Handmade Clothing, Goats Milk Soaps, Body Butters, Lotions, Yarn, Roving, and much more...

Produce availability depends on weather conditions. 

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This Week's Highlights:
  • Notes from the South Durham Farmers' Market
  • Eat Local for the ACC!
  • New Vendors!
  • At Market this Week

Notes from the South Durham Farmers' Market
A Farmer's To-Do List Preparing for Spring

By: Maggie Smith

Sleep in until 5:30

Be happy the freeze alarm didn't go off in the middle of the night

Eat breakfast

Check email

Check the insane excel spreadsheet that is your planting schedule... (read more)

Eat Local for the ACC!
Regardless of which team you support, most of us celebrate ACC weekend with some of our favorite fare - hot dogs, barbecue (especially in Carolina!), nachos, and chicken wings. I want to encourage you to make this ACC Weekend a LOCAL one. Making chicken nachos? Use leg quarters or breasts from Walter's Unlimited. Making barbecue? Grab a pork shoulder, or other pork roast from Green Button or Fickle Creek Farm.

Try some vegetarian options too, like braised green panini or sweet potato goat cheese puffs with sweet potatoes from Parker Farm & Vineyard or Pine Knot, and goat cheese from Hillsborough Cheese Company. Oh, did I mention we set up an ACC Pinterest Board with some of our favorite recipes using local ingredients? (Click Away, Sports Fans)

New Vendors!
We have a great new selection of folks coming to market this coming season, along with your inaugural favorites. We are particularly excited about the new Cooperative of Homegrown cityfarms, Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm (Bountiful Backyards), and Commonplace Cooperative! These three urban Durham farms will be providing a wonderful array of new and interesting produce, fruits, and knowledge (like how to plant fruit trees via Bountiful Backyards folks, and Maryah of Homegrown is an awesome woodworker) to the SDFM community.

So many other amazing new people that will be highlighted in different ways in the coming weeks: LocoPops, Aidas Turnovers, S&H Farm, Down 2 Earth Farms, Dig It Farm, Better Be Ellerbe Peaches, Chappells Peaches, Good Grace's Homemade Dog Treats, Shorganics, Slim on Soup, Open Door Farm, Mommo's Sweet Potato Pie, and the return of your favorites from this past year!

Remember, that THE Local Foods Event of the season, our first ever Spring Harvest Dinner will be at Pop's Backdoor on Sunday, April 14th at 6pm! Menu (Coming VERY Soon) sourced from our producers and farmers that you see each week (including the new members listed above). Buy tickets NOW and find more information here! You can also save $3 in processing fees and buy your ticket at market on Saturdays (just find Ben, market manager with a red beard).  

Breaking News: Brightleaf Square Suffers Damage From Fire

This a developing story.

Durham landmark Brightleaf Square suffered damage due to a fire this morning.  While details are few and far between, it seems that the blaze originated in the El Rodeo restaurant.  It is unclear at this time if damage spread beyond that business to other parts of the historic structure.

Reports indicate that the fire started shortly after 10 AM in the ventilation system at El Rodeo.  It was put out within 30 minutes, and no injuries were reported.

The Durham Fire Department and Durham Police Department responded to the scene in force.  There were more than a dozen vehicles on the scene.  The area was calm and well organized, and the response from emergency personnel was smooth and well-practiced.

Businesses in the area around Brightleaf, along Main Street, and in the adjacent Peabody Place across Gregson Street, are planning to be open for business as usual. Alivia's, The James Joyce, The Federal, and Lilly's Pizza are all open for lunch today. Those planning on visiting the area for lunch should take a little extra time to get to and from their destinations.

Some Brightleaf restaurants indicated that they would be open for dinner on Friday night, others could not be reached for comment. Satisfaction was open for lunch and intended to be open through the evening for normal service hours.  Given its popularity for watching sports and the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament being underway, this is good fortune for sports fans.

"Brightleaf Square is an integral part of Downtown Durham and the visitor experience.  We will be monitoring this closely and providing updates to the public as quickly as they are available," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Story Updated at 1:52 PM, 3/15/13.

Renew Your Vows at 2nd Anniversary of Marry Durham

Good marriages take work, but that work is so much more worth it when an anniversary is reached. Even when the marriage is between a person - and a place.

The good news is that Durham is a great spouse - A+ material.  It's got a good vibe, solid track record, excels in being engaged and present, dependable, and most of all, loving.

Rattling off a better list of attributes for one's betrothed would be challenging. The work of this marriage is totally worth it for many who live in Durham. "I love Durham, its creativity, open-mindedness and its sense of activism," said Shelly Green who heads Durham's tourism marketing agency.

This crazy idea that people would be willing to marry the place they love caught a lot of attention both locally and around the country.  But that's the thing about Durham, it can always be counted on for being progressive and keeping things interesting.

That welcoming nature in this diverse place is a great reason to come down to the anniversary celebration on Saturday, March 23rd.  Starting at 2 PM on Rigsbee Street, where this whole crazy thing started in 2010, will be a street party worth attending.  Break out the tux, the gown, get a wedding party together and join in the celebration.  There will be food trucks, a raffle, a parade, and more. "This is sure to be another great and unique Durham celebration," Green added.

Read more about the original celebration here and here, and about the first anniversary here, and follow this on Facebook for updates.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Most City of Durham Offices Closed for Good Friday Holiday

City of Durham employees will be taking a break from their regularly scheduled programming in observance of Good Friday.

Most City of Durham offices will be closed Friday, March 29, 2013, in observance of the Good Friday holiday. The City will operate under normal business hours on Monday, April 1. Police, fire, and rescue services for life-threatening or in-progress emergencies may be reached by calling 911. Non-emergency problems or concerns may be directed to (919) 560-4600. Durham residents are also asked to take note of the following changes in City services and programs.

Solid Waste, Recycling, Yard Waste, and Bulky Item Curbside Collections
The City’s Solid Waste Management Department will be closed on Friday, March 29. There are no changes to the recycling or garbage collection schedules. Collections for yard waste and bulky items on Friday, March 29 will instead occur on Monday, April 1. For more holiday schedule information, visit this website

Waste Disposal and Recycling Center
The City's Waste Disposal and Recycling Center will be closed on Friday, March 29. It will reopen under its normal schedule on Saturday, March 30. For more information, visit this website

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center
The City's Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center will be closed on Friday, March 29. It will reopen under its normal schedule on Saturday, March 30. For more information, visit this website.  

Durham Parks and Recreation
Durham Parks and Recreation will close its administrative office and all recreation centers on Friday, March 29. Recreation centers will operate under normal schedules on Saturday, March 30, but will be closed Sunday, March 31. City Lakes (except Little River which is closed until June for construction) will be open regular hours Friday through Monday and outdoor facilities are available to rent. The administrative office will reopen under its normal schedule on Monday, April 1. For more information, visit them online, “like” them on Facebook, or call (919) 560-4355.

Durham Area Transit Authority
On Friday, March 29, Durham Area Transit Authority (DATA) and DATA ACCESS will operate on its normal schedule in which service is provided from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. However, DATA’s administration office will be closed on Friday, March 29 and will reopen under its normal schedule on Monday, April 1. The Bull City Connector will also operate on its regular schedule in which service is provided every 15 minutes from 6:22 a.m. to midnight. For more information on DATA and DATA ACCESS, visit them online, “like” them on  Facebook or call (919) 485-RIDE. For more information on the Bull City Connector, visit them online, “like” them on  Facebook, or “follow” them on Twitter.

Durham One Call
Durham One Call will be closed on Friday, March 29 and will reopen under its normal schedule on Monday, April 1. However, residents may complete an online service request by visiting the City’s website at here, or by leaving a message at (919) 560-1200. Durham One Call will forward all requests for City services to the appropriate department on the next business day. For information about the City’s holiday schedule and the services that may be affected, residents should contact Durham One Call at (919) 560-1200 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, visit the City's website, “like” them on Facebook, or “follow” them on Twitter.  

For more information on Durham, North Carolina, please visit Durham online.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

‘Reverse Rhodes Scholarship’ Established for Engineering

Durham, NC is a place with many diverse cultural opportunities and people, attributes driven, in part, by the two universities here.  Today, Duke University made an announcement that will give top engineers from across the world will a new reason to come and study here.

Duke and North Carolina State universities, along with six other U.S. institutions, today announced the establishment of a new scholarship program designed to bring international graduate students to the U.S. to further their research.

The program, known as the Vest Scholarships, is named after the outgoing National Academy of Engineering (NAE) President Charles M. Vest. The announcement was made at the inaugural Global Grand Challenges Summit (GGCS) in London. The new scholarship program will foster international collaborations among graduate students whose studies are focused on tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Participating universities are conducting research toward addressing the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering™, 14 “game-changing” goals with the potential to dramatically improve life in the 21st century, as identified by a blue-ribbon committee of leading technological thinkers and doers. The challenges are also the inspiration for the GGCS.

In addition to Duke and NC State, the schools participating are the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Olin College, University of Southern California, University of Washington, Illinois Institute of Technology, and MIT.

“This is like a reverse Rhodes Scholarship,” said Tom Katsouleas, dean of Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. “It gives select international graduate students the opportunity to pursue potentially world-changing ideas at top U.S. universities.

“We hope that the Vest Scholarships will grow and become a highly valued platform for international collaboration -- specifically that the students will carry the pollen of potent ideas from continent to continent with them and back again, strengthening international relationships in order to advance progress in some of our most critical global challenges,” Katsouleas said.

In the first year, students from schools attending the Global Grand Challenges Summit will be eligible to apply for the scholarships. In later years, the program will be expanded to additional schools. Students who are chosen will receive an expense-paid year to pursue research opportunities related to the grand challenges at one of those institutions.

“The grand challenges can’t be met by one group of people in one field. Finding the right solutions requires a focused, global effort that brings together people from different disciplines and backgrounds to develop new ideas,” said Louis Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering at NC State. “By linking some of the world's top graduate students with leading U.S. researchers, the Vest Scholarships will be an important part of this collaborative effort.”

For more information about Durham, visit this website.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hillandale Golf Course Announces 2013 Tournament Dates

As the weather in Durham gets warmer and the grass gets greener, it's time to start thinking about clearing the cobwebs off of the golf clubs and heading back to the green.

Today Hillandale Golf Course announced the dates of two exciting golf tournaments, the 2013 Durham Amateur and the 2013 Herald Sun Classic.

The 2013 Durham Amateur will be held on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, 2013. Golfers interested in participating in this year’s tournament should email Joe Beavers.

The 2013 Herald Sun Classic will begin on Monday, June 17 and continue through Sunday, June 23, 2013. The week’s schedule will consist of two qualifying rounds on Monday and Tuesday, followed by Match Play on Wednesday and continuing through Sunday. Golfers interested in participating in this event should visit the Herald Sun Classic website. Golfers can sign up via the website starting in late spring.

For questions about either of these events, please contact the Hillandale Pro Shop at 919-286-4211.

About the Hillandale Golf Course
Originally designed by Donald Ross and Perry Maxwell, Hillandale Golf Course is the Granddaddy of Durham's golf courses. An average of 45,000 rounds are played annually and nearly 1.7 million rounds have been played since 1960. This popularity can easily be attributed to its user-friendly design. The public golf course provides a challenge to golfers of all skill levels. As the oldest course in Durham, generations of families have grown up on the friendly fairways of Hillandale Golf Course.

Hillandale Golf Course was donated to the Durham, North Carolina, community in 1911 through the philanthropic interests of long-time Durham resident John Sprunt Hill. The original nine holes were designed by renowned golf course architect Donald Ross, with the remaining nine designed by Perry Maxwell. In 1960, the Hillandale Golf Course was moved to its current location and was redesigned by George Cobb, who designed the Surf Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

For more information on golf in Durham, look online.