Posts filed under ‘Old Five Points’

Matvey Farber: He’s Been Commuting on the Railroad

Old Five Points

Matvey Farber is not your average public transit commuter or even your average commuter—he works in Burlington.

The first time Matvey took the train was a couple of months after he started the job. He did a little research online and found that he could bicycle to Durham’s Amtrak station, have his bicycle hung in the baggage car for free, get off in Burlington and cycle to work. He finds that the reliability and timing in the morning work perfectly.

The way back to Durham takes a bit more thought. Currently there are only three trains a day that run between Burlington and Durham: morning, afternoon, and evening. His employers would probably not be thrilled if he made it a habit of leaving mid-afternoon, and usually Matvey does not want to wait to head home to his family until the evening train leaves Burlington at 7:30pm. Although he sometimes settles for taking the late train, Matvey has also discovered that during good weather he can bicycle home in two hours, thereby taking control over what time he gets home and enjoying the many perks of getting in a nice long distance ride.

The commute back to Durham without a car is a bit of a commitment, so Matvey generally drives his car to Burlington four out of five days a week. However, when your commute is 70 miles round-trip, the energy savings for taking the train one day a week are high. According to Matvey, the bottom line about commuting by train is that it only costs five bucks and he gets to relax and set aside any worries about speeding tickets or getting cut off.

If you would like to learn more about taking the train contact to be connected with Matvey.

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June 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

NECD Energy Fair and Kickball Game

Ms. Iris Fisher talks with a neighbor about energy efficient CFL light bulbs.

More than seventy residents came to the Northeast Central Durham and Clean Energy Durham energy fair and kickball game last Saturday at the Holton Career and Resource Center. Neighborhood volunteers set up information tables and talked with their neighbors about home energy efficiency.

After the energy fair, community and City representatives squared off in the annual kickball game pitting the “Kill-A-Watts” against the “Bust-A-Therms.” Players ranging in age from 10 to 60 turned out with great bravado to proclaim their kicking superiority and to demonstrate their kickball prowess. This year the Bust-A-Therms pounced the Kill-A-Watts in a 14-7 victory. After the game, Cpt. Winslow Forbes, the organizer of the police participants and game officiator, said he had a good time and that the game was a lot of fun. He said he would like to see it become an annual event.

Ms. Iris Fisher, Clean Energy Durham volunteer and Old Five Points resident, said that the game was a great time for the youth to see that the police are friendly and that they like to have fun. She said the youth often see the police in their role as law enforcers and never see their fun side.

July 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm Leave a comment

Two days left for a FREE $25 restaurant gift card and cool transit info!

If you live in one of these neighborhoods, you're eligible to receive a free $25 gift card to & order free transit info.

ORDER BY July 1st if you live in the highlighted areas in the map above!

Order at

The first households to respond get a free $25 gift certificate to, which you can use in lots of great local places. Contact Jessalee at with questions.

Offer applicable if you live in: Trinity Park, Watts Hillandale, Northgate Park, Duke Park, Old West Durham, Lakewood Park, Tuscaloosa Lakewood, West End, Lyon Park, Morehead Hill, Burch Ave, Cleveland Holloway, or Old Five Points.

June 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm Leave a comment

2nd Annual Kickball Game and Energy Fair

PAC 1 and members of North East Central Durham, mark your calendar for the second annual kickball game and energy fair. This year the “city team” will play against community members. Come have fun, play kickball and expand your knowledge of how to save energy and money! You won’t want to miss the game, prizes, and refreshments. Announcer Will and DJ Piddipat will be back by popular demand!

When? Saturday, June 19, 2010, 11am-1pm (immediately following the PAC meeting)

Where? Holton Career & Resource Center Gym, 401 N. Driver St. Durham

Who? Residents of North East Central Durham

This event is brought to you by PAC1; the City of Durham Parks and Recreation, Neighborhood Improvement Services, Water Management, and Solid Waste and Recycling departments; and Clean Energy Durham. Thanks also to our other sponsors: Pope’s True Value Hardware in Wellons Village and Woodcroft True Value Hardware.

June 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

Reducing Energy Bills for Renters in Old Five Points

Photo: Jason Smith and Carrie Hill check out a fill cycle diverter for a toilet tank.

It was Halloween and the sun had not yet set, but one father and son team searched their apartment to exorcise wasteful energy phantoms.  Stephen Hopkins and Jason Smith are community advocates who take great pride in advancing community initiatives to benefit low wealth communities.  Stephen’s concern that renters often pay high utility bills led him to open up his apartment to an energy assessment for low- and no-cost ways to save on his energy bill. Clean Energy Durham helped Stephen identify ways to lower the $95 monthly energy bill for his two bedroom, 1 bath, approximately 800 sq ft. apartment located in Old Five Points. Jason, Stephen’s son, pointed out that energy is a hot topic, and said that he wants to increase his knowledge about energy efficiency.

Stephen and Jason are also helping Clean Energy Durham establish an energy assessment curriculum for rental units.  Currently, Clean Energy Durham’s programming focuses on homeowners, and the new curriculum will be Clean Energy Durham’s first program to help renters lower their utility bills. Renters face different energy efficiency challenges than homeowners because they pay the energy bills but typically don’t have control over the types of appliances installed in their home.

Stephen and Jason replaced the traditional 60-watt incandescent bulbs in their apartment with 20-watt CFL (equal to a traditional 75-watt) light bulbs made by General Electric. They purchased two packs of bulbs, 3 in each pack for $15.  The bulbs are expected to last 5-7 years, and their cost should be repaid within the year. The Clean Energy Durham team suggested that Stephen make a note of the date he installed the bulbs either on the bulb box or taped to the light fixture or other obvious place so that he could verify the lifespan of the bulbs. So far, Stephen and Jason are pleased with the light from the new bulbs.

In addition to switching light bulbs, Stephen, Jason and Carrie Hill (one of Clean Energy Durham’s Neighborhood Energy Committee Members) learned more tricks from Clean Energy Durham Super Trainer, Morgan Crawford. Morgan showed them how to clean the refrigerator coils and install a low-flow shower head, sink aerators in the kitchen and the bathroom and a fill cycle diverter in their toilet tank. Low-flow shower heads are available for sale at City Hall at the heavily discounted rate of $3 each. These low-cost and no-cost measures could save Stephen and Jason 12%-20% on their electric bill.

December 21, 2009 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

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