Author: springmagazine

EXCLUSIVE: What happened to “Evacuate Our Allies”?

By Monica Chen The shocking chaos and destruction in Afghanistan has escalated in recent weeks as the Taliban rapidly occupied the country following the sudden and poorly planned withdrawal of the U.S. military. But this withdrawal did not have to happen. For months, an Iraq War veteran pressed the Biden administration and members of Congress to implement an organized plan to evacuate Afghan allies to Guam. The plan, called “Evacuate Our Allies,” identified 18,000 Afghans who had helped the U.S. military, as well as their families, totaling 70,000-80,000 people who needed to be evacuated. It worked out logistics and gathered support from more than a hundred veterans and humanitarian organizations. The governor of Guam also supported evacuation to the U.S. territory. Chris Purdy, who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2011 and is the program manager of Veterans for American Ideals, put together “Evacuate Our Allies.” VFAI is a project of New York-based nonprofit Human Rights First. “Our plan was pretty reasonable, we thought,” Purdy said this week. “We were asking not to create any …

Grata Café, built on gratitude, filling void left by Elmo’s

By Monica Chen CARRBORO – Inside Carr Mill Mall on Tuesday, Jay Radford was busy getting his new restaurant ready. Full of energy and optimism, Radford walked here and there in the former Elmo’s Diner space, gathering materials, telling construction workers what he wants done, enlisting the help of one of his sons. Other business owners in Carr Mill and employees stop by to chat with him. Grata Café can open as soon as in the next couple of weeks, Radford said, as soon as the permits are approved. Would he like to sit down for this interview? “Oh, no. If I sit down, I’ll fall asleep,” Radford said. Radford is a man who likes to keep moving. Over the course of his life so far, the 52-year-old has built a multitude of experiences and skills. They are all informing his approach to Grata Café. His work style is rooted in the ‘80s and ‘90s. A native of Washington, D.C., he worked as a page at the Capitol Building when he was young. (“When I …

Trump makes rousing comeback speech at NCGOP Convention

By Monica Chen GREENVILLE – Former President Donald Trump returned to North Carolina on Saturday and gave a rousing speech at the N.C. Republican Party Convention, where he blasted President Joe Biden, said critical race theory should be banned, slammed China on COVID-19, spoke on election fraud and his team’s continued legal efforts, and touted his accomplishments in office. Trump also endorsed Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., for Richard Burr’s senate seat.Daughter-in-law Lara Trump announced she will not run this year. It was the former president’s first major appearance since leaving office,and he delivered the speech in a more low-key manner than at his campaignrallies. However, Trump did not hold back in criticizing Democrats and inparticular the Far Left. “It’s great to be back in Greenville with so many proud North Carolinapatriots who love our country, support our military, respect our police, honorour flag and always put America first. We don’t put America second,” Trump said in kicking off his speech. And Trump immediately criticized the Left. “They stick together. They don’thave some of the people …

Gallery: Scenes from the NCGOP Convention

Delegates, vendors and demonstrators flocked to the NCGOP Convention in Greenville on Saturday. Selling their wares, holding up pro-Trump signs and chatting with other attendees, the crowd was energized by the prospect of catching a glimpse of the former President Donald Trump. “Maybe I’ll see him pass by, in the motorcade,” one demonstrator said. A man who wanted to be called “Cosmos A Clown” waved flags to passing motorists and danced. Some of them jeered, but he took it in stride. “Clowns, we don’t get the respect we deserve, so I’m here to support our President Donald Trump.” Check out our photo gallery of the day below:

Live blog: The NCGOP convention in Greenville

The NCGOP Convention on Saturday is drawing some high profile speakers to Greenville, including the former President Donald Trump. The event is being held at the Greenville Convention Center. We are live-blogging the event. One of the first speakers is Rep. Virginia Foxx, representing North Carolina’s 5th District. 12:25 p.m.: Virginia Foxx is speaking. “Most people in Washington will tell you that the North Carolina delegation punches its weight. We work very hard together, and we’re all working for the entire state. We are all very optimistic about taking back the House.” “We’re not going to let the Far Left take this country from us.” “We’ve got to double down in 2022.” 12:30 p.m.: Kristi Noem speaking. The room standing up for applause. “You send amazing people to Washington in your delegation. Not governors…,” and the crowd laughed. “There’s no women’s issues in this country. What there is is a woman’s perspective on every issue.” “I’m going to help you get a new governor.” The room explodes in applause. Another moment of applause. “I believe …

Blog post: New restaurant for Elmo’s space in Carrboro

When Elmo’s Diner closed during COVID-19 last March, Carrboro residents wondered when the restaurant would reopen. The months passed, lockdown orders came and went, and still the restaurant remained closed.   Then came word in September that they had decided to close permanently, although Elmo’s ownership seemed to leave the possibility open that they would return. “We have not sold to anyone, so we do not know the future of the space,” the last post on their Facebook page said. But since then, that prime spot in Carr Mill Mall has changed hands. There is definitely a new tenant now. Grata Café, which will focus on Italian cuisine, is currently sprucing it up and getting ready to open. “Eat with gratitude,” is the slogan displayed on its web site (www.gratacafe.com), which also states that “grata” is Italian for “gratitude.” The owner is Jay Radford, founder of the Not So Normal 5K races in Carrboro some years back that raised money for a variety of causes. Radford is also the man who is behind the “Mom …

What is Chapter 160D?

A new state law passed in 2019 will change local government planning processes statewide. In May 2019, the N.C. General Assembly passed Senate Bill 355 to combine city and county development statutes and “modernize” local ordinances. It was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper in July 2019. Local governments have to change ordinances to comply with the law by July 1 this year. By July 2022, cities and counties statewide also are required to have comprehensive plans or else zoning ordinances cannot be enforced, as required in 160D. The state legislature proposed similar legislation in April 2015 and March 2017. But it was in 2019 that it finally passed. The UNC School of Government states the bill was proposed by the N.C. Bar Association, and that the final version passed was a combination of that bill and another proposed by the N.C. Home Builders Association. Chapter 160D replaces the former 160A that applied to cities and towns and 153A for counties. They were much more detailed, the original writing for which date to 1905 …

Perfume 101 with Jenny Mann

Jenny Mann, the manager and “nose” of The Fragrance Shop, gives The Spring Magazine a rundown on perfume basics. From “The H&R Book of Perfume,” published in 1984, there are three classic fragrance categories for women’s perfumes: Floral, Oriental, Chypre. Floral: Compound of flower scents. “Miss Dior” by Christian Dior is a floral perfume, with two kinds of rose, sandalwood and patchouli.   Oriental: Base of musk and typically using vanilla as an ingredient. Rich and seductive. “Shalimar,” 1925, by Guerlain is the classic Oriental perfume and includes musk, vanilla, incense, jasmine, mandarin orange, iris, rose, among other ingredients. Chypre: Chypre is French for Cyprus and this fragrance family draws inspiration from the Mediterranean island. Built on bergamot, oakmoss and labdanum and meant to evoke the goddess, this category was started in 1917 with the perfume “Chypre” by Coty. For men, the fragrance categories are: Fougere, Oriental, Chypre, and Citrus. Fougere is the French word for “fern,” and perfumes in this family have a woody, mossy scent with sweet top notes. “Boss” by Hugo Boss …

The Fragrance Shop, a family journey of timeless scents

Among the thousands of perfumes lining the shelves at The Fragrance Shop in Carrboro are a perfume that is more than 200 years old, a perfume worn by the empress of France, and an oil that smells exactly like a well-loved lotion of a popular brand. That first perfume, which smells of citrus with a cool, medicinal undertone – or is it overtone, intended to mask body odor in the 18th Century — is called “4711.” The perfume worn by the empress of France in 1860 is called, fittingly, “Imperiale.” It was created by the perfume house Guerlain to soothe her migraines. “Burt’s Bees, we have a scent,” says long-time manager Jenny Mann during a recent visit to the store. And Mann pulls out, as she does, a bottle from tucked behind other bottles that only she remembers. “Someone told me they used to work at Burt’s Bees, right here in Carr Mill Mall,” she says. The bottle smells exactly like Burt’s Bees’ milk and honey lotion. Mann is The Fragrance Shop’s expert “nose,” the …

Durham Fire Department to build $8M new station in South Durham

Durham Fire Department wants to build a new fire and EMS station to the tune of $8 million in South Durham by the city-county line. Instead of renovating the existing fire station in the Parkwood subdivision, the department has staked out a new site at 6919 Herndon Road two miles away, along a rural and residential stretch. On Tuesday morning, the department got the go-ahead from the Board of Adjustment for the project. It was a decision that neighbors in the area seem to have expected. “They drive by here all the time. We see them several times a week,” said Enrique Galvan on Monday as he stood on his front porch, lined with pots of bright red Christ thorn bushes.   Tracey Price, who also lives on Herndon Road, echoed Galvan’s observations. “They come this way anyway,” she said. Durham City bought the land in 2017, paying $700,000 for the 2.2-acre lot, which is assessed for $182,280. The new station is projected to cost $8.02 million. Durham County will be paying for 24.8 percent of …