Last week's Soapboxer explored the Republican legislature's creation of a Catch-22 that seems to doom the Durham Orange Light Rail Transit project by creating impossible conditions for state funding.
Not everyone would be sad to see the project go.
On Facebook, Judy Stroud Brackett writes: "Hope it doesn't pass, because it doesn't go to the airport, East Durham, or other locations that would help the poor. Now if the routes change, maybe it would be a good thing."
Commenter Harris Tweed calls the project "gentrification on steroids": "Pols like Durham Mayor Steve Schewel claim to be progressives while supporting projects for the elites like the light rail. It's a mystery why people vote for politicians like him instead of their own interests and policies that actually help the less fortunate. And, INDY, the same goes for your fake concern for the disadvantaged."
Barbara2 offers a similar critique: "Insanity has been halted. Light rail for seventeen miles to take people from Duke to UNC? The worst of wasted money, and nobody wanted it but the politicians who would have been paid off by the developers. Schewel was a huge proponent of it, while he didn't support things such as the ballpark or DPAC that generate revenue. Then again, that's the way socialists think."
Wheresthebeef? says the legislature shouldn't back down: "There is so much more that was promised and could be done with the sales/use taxes the General Assembly authorized. This is a giveaway to developers, choice riders, and the universities, leaving the transit-dependent standing in the rain with poor service. Certainly we need better public transit, but not at the expense of those who need it. Go back to the drawing board and design a less costly bus rapid transit system that serves more people in a less regressive way."
Ellen McCann Dagenhart, however, argues that this move is emblematic of the General Assembly's disdain for the blue parts of this purple state: "The legislature doesn't care about urban areas. They want to punish them for voting blue. They don't care about world-class businesses and the jobs they bring, unless it's processing hogs and chickens."
Bonnie Hauser, an ardent critic of light rail, disputes our assertion about the project's popularity: "Why does the INDY believe that there is widespread local support of this project—other than politicians?"
To which Orange County Commissioner Mark Marcoplos replies: "Maybe it is simply because the citizens voted for the project and voted for their representatives that support the project. If you are suggesting that democracy is no way to govern, then you should just come out and say it."
Last week's paper also featured a profile of JD Greear, the pastor of Summit Church, who is making a bid for the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention on a platform of bringing the church into the twenty-first century—in methodology if not in theology.
Danny Berry quips: "Maybe he should start with a more modest goal—like bringing the SBC into the twentieth century."
Steve Ostergaard writes that the article may have ascribed to Greear more progressive positions than he actually has: "This is the first time I heard that JD believes that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. I'm not sure that's true. I'm not convinced that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. To worship God, you must accept that Jesus Christ is God. And they don't accept that."
Finally, Steve Johnston argues that the story glossed over a key point: "This article missed the whole concern some have with Greear. It is not his character, a modernizing vision, or a fresh perspective. Rather, the biggest concern among most is his alignment with Calvinist theology and its modern iteration. It is about theology."