Durham has hit the zero trifecta: The Durham Police Department, for apparently fouling up its procedures in the lacrosse case, which prompted an independent investigation; the Durham City Council, for temporarily halting the work of the committee to investigate the DPD on the advice of the city's insurance carrier; and the carrier, the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, which says the city's investigation could fuel the players' pending civil lawsuits.
One likely casualty of this snafu is the truth. City spokeswoman Beverly Thompson says the council won't know until a Sept. 6 closed session with city attorneys whether to restart the investigation, nor when the decision will be discussed publicly. And if council opts to disband the committee, it's uncertain if any city office could independently investigate the case. "There's no way to predict that," Thompson said. "It's the council's committee; it depends on what they decide to do."
El Salvador, Honduras, Thailand, Vietnam, China and India. The Durham Bulls baseball club has ties to these far-flung locales, but not through its players' roster. Most of the Triple A team's T-shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys and caps are manufactured in these countries, all of which have deplorable labor and human rights records. According to Bulls spokesman Matt DeMargel, the team can sell goods only from vendors licensed by Major League Baseball. MLB didn't have an answer by deadline, but if it doesn't require its vendors to hire non-sweatshop labor, it should. Better yet, MLB could hire a third party to monitor the factories' compliance with international human rights laws. Fortunately, if you buy Team USA gear in the Bulls shop, it's made in America.
Speaking of Major League Baseball, the season is in full swing, but fans in the Triangle have been unable to watch many televised games because of Time Warner Cable. The company has reached a stalemate with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, a Maryland-based regional network that carries Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals games, as well as hundreds of NCAA football and basketball contests. TWC won't allow Mid-Atlantic on its expanded basic service tier (approximately 75 channels, including five sports channels), instead insisting on slotting the network in its more expensive digital tier (an additional 60 channels). Mid-Atlantic owner Todd Webster says that essentially makes his network unavailable to hundreds of thousands of North Carolina viewers, and he has rallied would-be viewers to protest. The N.C. Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection has received more than 200 complaints against TWC. Even Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker has written a letter to the company. Meanwhile, the state's DirecTV and Dish subscribers can see Mid-Atlantic's games as part of their basic service plan. TWC should stop the strong-arm tactics and play ball.