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The Tar HeelThursday, May 26, 19885
Alliance of Neighborhoods strives to keep citizens up to date on local issues
By BETH BUFFINGTON
The Alliance of Neighborhoods is
nothing new to Chapel Hill residents
interested in town growth and policy
issues, said Margaret Taylor, the
But the watchdog organization
may be unfamiliar to newcomers or
to residents who aren't interested in
Construction nearly complete
for luxury facility next to Duke
By SCOTT COOPER
DURHAM A $16 million
luxury hotel adjacent to the Duke
University campus should be com
pleted by October.
The Washington Duke Hotel, a
multilevel hotel and convention
complex, is under construction at the
intersection of Highway 751 and
PTL faces end as donations dwindle
From Associated Press reports
COLUMBIA, S.C. PTL will
have to go off the air and close its
theme park as early as next month
if contributions to the television
ministry continue to dwindle, the new
trustee told a U.S. Bankruptcy Court
judge who said he supported the
concept of PTL's liquidation plan.
After the hearing, PTL contribu
tors made tearful pleas to trustee
M.C. "Red" Benton to allow ban
ished PTL founder Jim Bakker's
appearance on the cable TV network
to solicit donations they said would
save the ministry and keep it intact.
"Everybody else has tried and
failed why not Bakker?" said Paul
Wood, a spokesman for a group of
PTL's Lifetime Partners, the major
contributors to the ministry.
Bakker resigned in March 1987 as
the story of his tryst with Jessica
Hahn and her hush money payments
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local issues, she said.
"We're (a group of individuals)
concerned about neighborhoods and
what goes on in them.
"Growth is a continuing concern.
But we're also concerned about a
number of things water resource
policy, waste management, air pol
lution, noise, animal control
whatever growth affects Chapel Hill,"
Science Drive. Work on the hotel
began in September 1987.
"The hotel's function will primarily
be to serve the needs of the university
and the golf course," said Carolyn
Brown, spokeswoman for the Dur
ham Chamber of Commerce.
Funding for the project was pro
vided jointly by Duke and Equitable
Real Estate Investment Management
was about to break. His successor,
Jerry Falwell, resigned in October.
Wood said contributors he repre
sents had pledged $81 million that
would be turned over to the ministry
once Bakker was allowed on the PTL
network "to ask for forgiveness."
Benton told the contributors,
several of them weeping as they
pleaded with him in the courtroom,
that his objective was to "save" PTL.
"My primary duty is to get the
creditors paid," he added. Benton
said after the hearing he wouldn't rule
out the proposal allowing Bakker's
return once he saw it in writing, "if
it's the best and logical next step for
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The alliance was formed in 1981
in response to a new development
ordinance which gave developers
more freedom for infill, or high
density housing developments, Tay
"There was a big crunch for off
campus housing, and there were
indications that the town was going
to rapidly grow," she added.
"It used to be that if there was a
Inc., according to Len Pardue of the
Duke University Public Relations
Tishman-Speyer Properties, a
developer from Atlanta, is in charge
of the construction, Brown said. The
hotel, a five-story, 1 7 1 -room structure
employing more than 100 people, will
be managed by the Continental
PTL attorney Bradford Leggett
said if the contributors had as much
financial backing as they claim, the
logical thing to do would be to put
their money together and present a
proposal to buy PTL and pay its
Wood acknowledged later that
they couldn't raise the money without
getting Bakker on the network.
In the hearing before Judge Rufus
Reynolds, Benton said, "We're con
siderably short of money now, and
we're going to have to have some
money soon to operate. Contribu
tions have about dried up."
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little patch of grass you (a developer)
could build apartments rabbit
apartments almost on it," Taylor
Since then, the alliance has main
tained a careful watch on Chapel
Hill's growth and has drawn more
support from its citizens, she said.
But the alliance's actual member
ship is hard to count, because there
are about 300 due-paying members
plus a larger number of non-paying
members who come out and rally
support on certain, individual issues,
Although the group meets twice a
year for scheduled meetings and as
often as needed for unscheduled ones,
the alliance's candidate forums are
the best-attended, Taylor said.
In the candidate forums, the
alliance has endorsed four of the nine
elected town council members in the
past two years, including former
Mayor James Wallace, Taylor said.
"We don't control them (those
endorsed) but we certainly hope that
they support us," she said.
"I think that (the endorsement) is
a mixed blessing," Mayor Jonathan
Although the Alliance of Neigh
borhoods endorsed Councilwoman
Julie Andresen for mayor in the
election last fall, Howes was able to
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overcome the lack of the endorsement
and win the election, Howes said.
As mayor, Howes said that he
looks to and expects to hear from
the alliance concerning certain issues.
"(Alliance members) make their
interest known to me like any other
interest group, and I take their views
and everyone else's into con
sideration," Howes said.
Andresen, founding charter
member of the alliance, said Chapel
Hill needed an organization like the
"In government, the neighbor
hoods never get together as a group,"
"The alliance allows the special
interest groups to band together (as
one group)," she added.
Although the town council sees the
alliance as a positive interest group,
others do not, Taylor said.
"Of course, we're not the develop
ers' favorite people," she said.
According to Taylor, disgruntled
developers have often misunderstood
the alliance's intentions and have
accused it of being an elitist or an
"We are not activist," Taylor said.
"We're not knights on white horses
out to do battle.
"We're just ordinary Chapel Hil
lians; we're just folks."
K S TJJO