AAAS Report on Coronavirus

This is highly technical. But if you are interested, here is a paper from the American Association for the Advancement of Science just published on research to find a vaccine. The paper describes various viral proteins that could serve as targets of a vaccine.

These proteins have 3D structures that facilitate attachment of the virus to human cells. The 3D structures change as the virus attaches. Understanding these structures will be key to developing an effective vaccine.

The laboratory work necessary for this type of research is pretty amazing. Early in my career I worked for a few years as a lab technician in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Rochester and did some of the steps described in this paper such as running affinity and size exclusion chromatography. But that was many years ago. I am by no means an expert.

Proposed Soccer Stadium Projected Revenues

Here are the numbers on the stadium.

We are being asked to provide $13M a year for 30 years.

The taxes generated during the first ten years of operation are projected to range from $31,172 to a high of $162,099 per year.

Even the revenues in year 10 will fail to equal the taxes spent by $8 million.

These numbers were referred to by the consultant who did the study as “high level proforma”

Much of the attendance will come from existing facilities such as the soccer facility in Cary. The study shows that 46 of the expected 58 to 63 events per year already take place at other venues.

Raleigh’s Homeless Crisis

Raleigh has a homeless crisis.

The McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 is a United States federal law that provides federal money for homeless shelter programs. It was the first significant federal legislative response to homelessness, and was passed by the 100th United States Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on July 22, 1987.

According to the McKinney-Vento Act definition for homelessness, in 2018 there were 4365 children in Wake County classified as homeless – a 100% increase over 2014. Many, if not most, live in Raleigh. Numbers for 2019 were not yet available.

Most are in families that earn less than $30,000 a year. The general requirements to obtain an apartment are the following:

Your gross income must be at least 3x the rent.

You must not have been evicted within the last 7 years

You must not have had a felony conviction within the last 7 years (for example, a drug conviction)

I obtained this information while visiting one of the largest shelters for homeless women and children in Raleigh on Capital Blvd yesterday. They are at capacity with 110 residents.

All of our shelters combined are unable to handle the growing numbers. We have a crisis and need to now give it our full attention.

What we need are 1500 to 2000 housing units to house these families. We also need services to help them stand on their own – education, training, counseling, drug rehabilitation, and ultimately jobs. It is not an insurmountable problem. Let us work together to meet this need.

Irreplaceable Loss of Public Meetings with Police

‪The motion by Saige Martin, Nicole Stewart, and Mary-Ann Baldwin to kill Raleigh’s Citizens Advisory Councils also killed monthly meetings with police officers. That’s 200 meetings a year throughout the City between citizens and officers that will not be replaced.

One of the reasons given for killing the CACs is to cut back on spending. But isn’t fostering good communications between police and citizens worth the money?

Two hundred meetings – two hundred opportunities now gone.

This is why I voted against this ill conceived motion motion to kill CACs.

Requests for Interlocal Funds

The following was provided by the City Manager regarding various requests for interlocal funds. There is $46.6M available for funding medium sized projects. The requests total $73M. Here are the details.

Mayor and Council Members:

The Request for Proposals (RFP) process for the Hospitality Tax Medium Projects allocation has closed and Wake County staff has received proposals for six (6) projects, which are summarized in the table below.

The six proposals total almost $73 million in funding requests; there is $46.6 million in Medium Projects funding allocated for this category of projects. The next steps for the process will be for an evaluation team with representatives from the City, County and community to work through each of the proposals and receive presentations from each of the proposers. Once the evaluation team wraps up its work, the results will be presented to the Wake County and City of Raleigh elected boards for decisions on funding commitments this spring.  

As a reminder, the 21st amendment signed in August of 2019 allocated funding for 1. an indoor sports facility and 2. a medium projects fund for initiatives located within Wake County; these are in addition to the other obligations of the Interlocal Fund. The 21st amendment instructed staff to proceed with two (2) RFP processes to assist in the funding recommendations. The funding recommendation for the indoor sports facility is on the consent agenda for tomorrow’s City Council meeting. Should you have any questions, please reach out to Jim Greene, Assistant City Manager or Allison Bradsher, CFO.


Should Tax Dollars be Spent on This?

I received this email this morning from the Mayor regarding a request to fund a special hockey game. Should your tax dollars be spent on this? There is a significant economic impact. But ask, who will benefit from this economic impact? Is it equitable? Does it only benefit a few special interests? I appreciate your thoughts.

Please email me at


This is a huge win for the City of Raleigh. We have been trying to get this game here for years. The economic benefit is great BUT the international and national PR we can’t buy. Any questions, talk to me. This is a big opportunity.

MAB (Mary-Ann Baldwin)

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 14, 2020, at 9:45 PM, Buonpane, Louis <> wrote:

Mayor and Council Members:

Please note the exciting news from Assistant City Manager Jim Greene. Staff understands that a formal announcement will be provided to media outlets tomorrow.

From: Greene, Jim <>

Good evening Mayor and Council, and Happy Valentine’s Day.

 The Carolina Hurricanes have approached various community partners about an effort to raise funds to locate an NHL Stadium Series hockey game in Raleigh at Carter-Finley Stadium on the campus of North Carolina State University. The Stadium Series games are played outdoors in football stadiums. They are limited to a few games a year with only two scheduled to be played in 2021. These are marquee games with entire weekend events like concerts planned around the hockey game. The NHL focuses significant attention and marketing on these events, thus raising the profile of each game and showcasing the cities that host the games. The Stadium Series game in Raleigh is expected to occur in February 2021.

The economic impact of having a Stadium Series hockey game in Raleigh is expected to be significant. The NHL alone books about 4,700 hotel nights during the 10 day period before and after the game. Also, other games have seen approximately 40% of attendees travel to the game from outside the host city. The game at Carter-Finley Stadium and surrounding events are projected to have an economic impact of $15-$20 million.

The Hurricanes are seeking $1 million total from partners to offset the costs of hosting the game in Raleigh. They have requested $200,000 from Wake County, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Centennial Authority and $250,000 from the State of North Carolina. 

The Carolina Hurricanes have reached out and requested a similar amount of $200,000 from the City of Raleigh to help fund the stadium hockey game weekend. City Council would need to approve any contribution from the City. Based on the significant tourism dollars, marketing for our community and the economic impact anticipated from this hockey game, staff recommends partnering with the Hurricanes and other organizations to bring this event to Raleigh. Staff is evaluating options for this payment and is confident the funds can be identified in the City’s budget. We expect to have additional information for Council and a recommendation at one of your March meetings.

Staff is sharing this information with you tonight as the Hurricanes and NHL are expected to announce the game tomorrow. Follow this link: to see information regarding the Stadium Series game taking place tomorrow, February 15 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Motions to Kill and Replace CACs with Something Less

Here is the motion that was made to dissolve the CACs. Another motion was made to add a second neighborhood meeting for rezoning cases. Nothing was added regarding everything else the CACs do.

Regarding the second neighborhood meeting, don’t expect much. Those second meetings will only happen for certain “large” and “impactful” zoning cases. Also, if neighbors and developers want more time to meet and discuss, there was a third motion to forbid it.

These motions were made by Saige Martin and seconded by Nicole Stewart and inspired by Mary-Ann Baldwin.

Voting in favor were Melton, Buffkin, Knight, Martin, Stewart, Baldwin

Voting against were Cox, Branch

2/4/2020 – Raleigh City Council Kills Citizen Advisory Councils

A meeting of the North Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council

Let the date, February 4, 2020 be forever in your memories. That is the date that Raleigh City Council voted to kill Raleigh’s Citizen Advisory Councils.

I am the elected representative for District B. I represent the northeastern section of Raleigh, North Carolina on the City Council. I was re-elected in October of 2019 winning every precinct in the District.

I was not informed and I was intentionally kept in the dark.

You, the citizens of Raleigh, were not informed and intentionally kept int the dark.

Without announcement, without being on the agenda, without a single public meeting, without any public input, a motion was made by Saige Martin and Seconded by Nicole Stewart to end Raleigh’s Citizen Advisory Councils (CACs) by cutting off all city resources and ordering that the Planning Commission ignore any recommendations from the CACs.

I vigorously opposed this surprise move and voted against it with objection.

What this move does is to prevent City staff from meeting with any citizens. There will be no future meetings regarding rezonings, parks, sidewalks, traffic calming, road improvements, and a myriad other issues. Council strictly forbid staff from meeting with the public.

Going forward, I will hold my own public meetings. I will continue to request, as City Council Member, for staff attendance at those meetings. At one time, there was an active organization called the North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners in the area (known as NORCHOA). Although NORCHOA has not been active in lieu of public CAC meetings, the organization still exists. I will be working with them to organize future public meetings.

More to come.

David Cox, Raleigh City Council.