Secrets of State

Metro Magazine
January 2009

Secrets of State

Tarheel Adventures has announced two narrated guided tours of historic New Bern, NC, while riding a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) operating from the historic Old City Hall building located at 222 Craven St. The one-hour waterfront tour departs from Council Bluff to Union Point and on to Tryon Palace. The two-hour includes everything on the waterfront tour and continues on to encircle the colonial section of the city, including Cedar Grove Cemetery, neighboring historic sites and historic homes along East Front Street.
“We provide every participant with individualized training, a safety briefing, a helmet and a wireless earpiece,” said co-owner Neal Davis. “The earpiece enables the tour guide to be in continuous communication with the group as they learn about local history and listen to interesting stories.
In addition to public tours, customized private and group tours are also available. For more information, go to

Several hundred people streamed into Raleigh’s new convention center in early December, surprising city planners who hadn’t anticipated a big turnout to hear their plan for Raleigh’s growth and development over the next 20-odd years.
“I have to say, it’s a fairly impressive turnout for the unveiling of a planning document,” said Ken Bowers, deputy director of the city’s planning department, to a tightly packed audience. Homeowners, developers and moms with strollers showed up to hear how Raleigh might look in the decades ahead, how their property might be affected, and what they could do about it. They’ve all got a lot on the line: the potential value of their land and real property.
The draft report, which City Planner Mitchell Silver called a “greenprint for sustainable growth,” aims to avoid urban sprawl, directing the bulk of Raleigh’s anticipated development — 120,000 new households are expected by 2030 — into corridors and clusters. Eight so-called growth centers, including downtown, midtown, Crabtree Valley, West Raleigh, Cameron/University, New Bern/Wake Med, Triangle Town Center and Brier Creek, have been pinpointed as spots for new residential and business development — and for transit hubs.
Planners hope Raleigh will avoid “a center-less and undifferentiated pattern of sprawling development,” as the plan puts it. “Do we want to grow like Atlanta?” Silver asked the crowd. A young woman in the crowd, and then a few others, answered: “No!”
Of much interest to the group milling around afterward studying maps on easels was the plan’s “future land use” map — a color-by-numbers smattering that chops the city into categories such as “public parks and open space” (pale green), “general industrial” (purple) and “medium density residential” (orange). Though this map does not change current zoning, it will influence decisions in the future.
Bowers, who spoke to Metro following his speech, believes this land use map will attract a great deal of the public comment anticipated until Jan. 31, when the overall plan will be revised and presented to the City Council.
On his lapel, Bowers wore a pin of a green oak leaf with veins that branched out to mimic a system of highways and roads. “They’re basically here to see some maps,” he said with a smile. “I’m glad to see it. It shows the citizens of Raleigh stake a great deal on the future of their city.”
—Liza Roberts

Sound Pure LLC has opened an 8000-square-foot facility with multiple recording studios, lounges, a high-end Guitar Boutique and showroom, and a Pro Audio Sales department at 808 Washington St. in downtown Durham. The redeveloped early 1900s all-brick building was recently awarded “Outstanding Downtown Renovation Project” at Downtown Durham Inc.’s annual meeting. This is the latest expansion for Sound Pure, formed originally in a Duke dorm room 10 years ago. The recent expansion, according to owner and founder Todd Atlas, represents the company’s investment in downtown Durham redevelopment and a commitment to local music. Go to for more.

Bust Of William Friday On Display
A group of interested North Carolinians — headed by William A. Johnson, former chairman of the UNC Board of Governors, and Bob Jordan, former lieutenant governor of North Carolina — is placing two duplicate life-sized bronze busts of William C. Friday by Marshville, NC, sculptor Stephen H. Smith on the campuses of NC State University in Raleigh and UNC-Chapel Hill to recognize Friday’s role in education in North Carolina as former president of the consolidated system of colleges and universities. Friday, a national figure in education, earned his undergraduate degree at NC State and his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.
The NC State bust is now on display outside Nelson Hall at NC State, the former site of the textile school where Friday studied as an undergraduate that now houses NC State’s College of Management. The UNC bust will be placed later at Manning Hall, the former law school building.
Other members of the Friday Commemorating Committee that commissioned the busts include Ann Goodnight of Cary, Jim Holshouser of Pinehurst, Betty McCain of Wilson, John Sanders of Chapel Hill, Julius L. Chambers of Charlotte, Art Padilla of Raleigh, Thomas W. Lambeth of Winston-Salem, and Wendell Murphy of Rose Hill.