Next BANA Meeting Tuesday March 8 at 7pm

By Annie Thornhill

Join us for the March 2016 BANA meeting on Tuesday, March 8 at 7pm at 825 Burch Avenue. Bring a snack if you like and spend time with neighbors and discuss issues of importance!

We’ll discuss the upcoming Neighborhood Improvement Day, BANA Annual Meeting, and other issues. Want to add something to the agenda? Email BANA President Lynne Bahrami at


BANA residents can vote on campus between March 3 and March 12

By Jeremy Thornhill
Are you registered to vote? This year, Duke University will operate an early voting site at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, which is near the intersection of Swift and Campus Drive. This location is readily accessible to BANA residents and is the closest place for us to vote.
Although the voting site is on Duke’s campus, it will be open to all Durham County residents, and you can vote there from March 3 to March 12.

To reach the poling place from the neighborhood, you can either take the path behind Duke’s laundry facility at the end of Gattis and then turn left onto Campus Drive, or walk West along Duke University / West Chapel Hill Street and turn north on Swift.

If you miss your chance to early vote, you can vote on election day, March 15, at the Durham School of the Arts.
For more details, visit the Duke web site:

Grow Your Own Food in the BANA Community Garden 

By Kavanah Anderson

Do you know about the neighborhood community garden at 833 Wilkerson?  With spring around the corner, it’s time to start planting crops like peas, carrots, potatoes, onions, beets, arugula, and things in the cabbage family like broccoli, kale and collard greens.  Things like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers can follow in mid-April.


Gardeners from last season have until March 1 to claim their bed for this year.  There will be a limited number of beds available for new gardeners on a first come,first served basis.


Here are the instructions if you are interested in having a plot this year.


Cost (this fee goes toward covering the water bill. The BANA neighborhood association subsidizes the balance):

Whole Plots: $30

Half Plots: $15


Note that there is a slight change in the price of plots from 2015 – this was voted on by the BANA Board in November of last year.  If the rate hike causes a financial hardship, please email Alex Tilley at, as money should not be an issue that keeps people from gardening.


Here are the instructions


  1. Current plot-renters have squatter’s rights – meaning you have first right of refusal for 2016.


  1. If you want to keep your plot(s), plot-renters from this past year are required to drop a check or cash in the mailbox of 825 Burch Ave (the 1 story yellow house)by March 1stInclude a note with your name and what it is for. You can make checks payable to the “Burch Avenue Neighborhood Association.”  Please email Alex at so he can keep an eye out for your deposit in the mailbox.


  1. Any plot-renters that did not pay for your plot in 2015: you can pay the backed dues by March 1st($20 for a whole plot and $10 for a half plot), along with the current year’s dues, in order to keep you plot for 2016. If you aren’t sure whether you paid last year, email Alex to inquire. Also, if this causes a financial hardship, please email Alex. If you didn’t pay in 2015 but don’t want a plot in 2016, we would still appreciate the dues for last year (if you are able).


  1. All unclaimed plots will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis starting March 1st. Alex will send out an email to the neighborhood listserv announcing the number of available plots. Even if you have emailed Alex about wanting a plot, if he has not received money by March 1st, the plot may be given to someone else for 2016.

If you have carpentry skills to volunteer or want to be involved in community garden workdays, email Kavanah Anderson at

Yoga Classes for BANA Fundraiser

By Juliana Wilson

What is your idea of someone who practices yoga? Going by the cover of yoga magazines, it’s an attractive, hyper-flexible (usually white) woman in an impossible twisty pose wearing chic yoga togs.

Yoga is not about looks or being in a twisty pose. It is for you. Today. At any degree of flexibility or any degree of strength. Yoga means to start practicing wherever you are on this very day and work from there.

I began studying yoga as a spry 27 year old. I taught classes for 7 years, adjusting the class to those who attended. The students ranged in age from 20s to 50s, varying degrees of flexibility and strength. As a teacher, I did my best to give individual guidance to each student so they could practice safely and experience the mind at peace.

I am currently in a 2-year study course in India in the tradition of Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar. If you have taken a yoga class, more than likely your teacher’s training can be traced back to Krishnamacharya, perhaps via Pattabhi Jois (creator of flowing Ashtanga Yoga) or BKS Iyengar (creator of alignment-based yoga). I will bring this deeper training to our classes.

I will be leading yoga classes at the Emily K Center Monday or Tuesday evenings from 7-8:15pm. I plan for classes to cost ~$5 with all funds going to the Burch Avenue Neighborhood Association.

Emily K is excited about the partnership and will not charge us for the classes.

Barbecue, Basketball, and EKC’s Birthday! Join us for food and fun before the Duke/Carolina game on March 5

Reposted with permission from Donell Moore

Dear Friends and Fans of the Emily K Center,

Please join us and celebrate one of the greatest rivalries in college basketball and the 10th birthday of the Emily K Center on Saturday, March 5th!

Stop by the Emily K Center anytime between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. for a bit of genuine North Carolina barbecue, some sweet tea, birthday cake, and good-spirited rivalry fun. Our full-sized gym, complete with the 2001 Final Four floor, will be ready for your best shot, and we will also have great Coach K and Duke Basketball raffle prizes, face painting, and activity stations for kids.

If you are feeling extra lucky, sign up for a chance to participate in our half-court shot contest and win a Coach K signed basketball and two tickets to next fall’s Inside Duke Basketball event.  At 4:00 p.m. we will draw for our raffle prize winners and cheer on some of our Emily K Center students, so be ready!

We are looking forward to seeing you and celebrating 10 great years of building scholars and changing lives in Durham as well as the greatest rivalry in college basketball. Please RSVP so we can make sure to have plenty of barbecue and birthday cake!

See you on the 5th and Go Duke!

DCM Updates

By Laura Pyatt

We love our BANA neighbors! Thanks for continually supporting the Co-op, and we want invite you to some upcoming events!
$3 Dinners are every Thursday from 4 to 8 pm. Purchase a token at the register, and redeem it at the hot bar for our meal of the night! You can eat it here or take it to go. There are ALWAYS vegan options.
Finally, we are hosting Nacho Night once a month every Third Friday. Swing by Friday March 18th for a hot bar full of nacho fixings, including homemade vegan cashew cheese sauce!


Durham Book Club Meets at DCM

By Gabriel Baldasare

Join neighbors in city-wide book study of Jessica Gordon Nembhard’s “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.” We will be meeting and discussing at the coop.

Contact: Gabriel Baldasare at or leave a note at 1011 Burch Ave. if you’re interested in joining.

Snowy Days Together

By Annie Thornhill

Being snowed in this January turned out to be fun and a great way to reconnect with neighbors!

Neighbors seemed well prepared for the recent “snowmageddon” and we were relatively lucky here in Durham with lovely snow and power to keep us warm.

IMG_20160122_215942 Pauli Murray

Photo by Barry Yeoman

After working from home on Friday (thank you, patient child! Thank you even-more-patient spouse!) we found one of the few opened restaurants, Federal, and walked over for a truly delicious meal and well-earned beverage.

On Saturday many of the parents (and some people without kids!) found each other by the big hill behind the old laundry for sledding. Our equipment ranged from sleek sleds to waxed boxes. They all got us down the hill wicked fast!


Photo by Melissa Watts


Photo by Larissa Parson

We then tromped over to the Durham Co-Op Market and shared a hot lunch. They even provided hot chocolate and coffee for free. I hope the DCM folks weren’t too annoyed with our table re-arrangements!


Photo by Annie Thornhill


Photo by Barry Yeoman


Photo by Larissa Parson

By Sunday we were ready to get out of the house, but a long walk to Monuts was just what we needed. On the way home we saw a strange site– neighbor Ankoor out for a run, in strange, non-winter attire. Weird, but understandable behavior from a new dad and runner. Or maybe it’s that it was 50 degrees? Whatever.


Photo by Barry Yeoman

An afternoon of games kept us going. Oh yeah and more neighbors getting together for a glass of wine and toasted marshmallows!


Photo by Annie Thornhill

Thanks so much to neighborhood businesses for feeding us and to neighbors for keeping us from having cabin fever!

Want to share some of your photos of the winter weather? Send them to me at and I’ll post them here.


A Dream Comes True

By Suzanne and Doug Coonley

We’d been enjoying vacation visits to see our son and his new wife in Durham for several years when we got a call from our daughter-in-law. A small bungalow was becoming available just around the corner because their friends were moving to be closer to family and work. The mom was a Wellesley alum, too! “Are you sure you’d want us to be so close?” we said. “We would love to have you just around the corner if you’d like to be here close to us.” We had always hoped to be closer to family one day, having been separated almost coast to coast for many years. And New England winters seemed to be getting longer, colder and snowier. So we decided to apply for the mortgage and let the bank’s decision guide us. We’d begun to save for a future move several years before because we couldn’t afford to buy a home in Connecticut.

Exciting news came a few months later and we were able to set a close date coinciding with our summer 2005 visit to Durham combined with job interviews, too. We were fortunate to have everything approved so we were now the new owners of 502 Gattis Street, Durham, NC! We rented for the 2005 school year and decided to move to our little bungalow in 2006. Taking a leap of faith, because we didn’t have jobs yet, we reached our new home the very same afternoon that Isela arrived! Now we’re happily helping the little family who moved from “just around the corner” to a short trip to Club Boulevard.

Our youngest son just received his PhD in Mathematics from NC State University! We were both able to find work so that we could keep up the little bungalow and be closer to our family while making lots of new friends here in the Burch Avenue neighborhood.

Dreams do come true!