Anyone who’s been living in Greensboro for a while can’t help but chuckle at the thought of City Manager Rashad Young —barely two weeks on the job —– showing displeasure with coliseum director Matt Brown’s new amphitheater without vetting it through his office or discussing it with the City Council.
Maybe Young hasn’t yet learned a couple things about Greensboro —A) Matt Brown makes more money than he does; and B) Matt Brown pretty much gets what he wants, which is directly related to A).
As for the City Council being out of the loop, well, it’s just one more thing to keep in mind next Tuesday.Read full article » No Comments »
N&R editor John Robinson noted yesterday that Mark Binker is in analysis mode when covering the Easley hearings. Binker did a pretty good job, taking special note of the former guv’s yarn-spinning skills:
At other times, Easley fell back on his penchant for telling stories to answer questions. For example, the board has looked into a lease deal for a GMC Yukon that Easley obtained from Fayetteville car dealer Robert Bleecker. That deal apparently didn’t require Easley to make regular payments or pay the taxes on the car.
Leake asked Easley if Bleecker had ever called to collect. No, Easley said, he usually dealt with others at the dealership about the car.
“The last time I talked to Mr. Bleecker, I was vacuuming out my fireplace and the vacuum cleaner came unhooked and all the dust started blowing out the back and I had to hang up, and we didn’t discuss the car at all,” Easley said.
JLF president John Hood, however, might disagree with the headline writer’s assessment that Easley was ‘unflappable’ during questioning:
Speaking just as one member of the audience, however, I heard a man start out confidently, employ his usual blarney to evade the early questions, and then begin to fall apart. Easley’s charm became smarmy. His bravado became arrogant. His faulty recollections became evasive.
Mike Easley has not had a good year. He’s a shadow of his former self. Who wouldn’t be?
Commander Hood warns us to be aware of some politicians desire to divert the issue from Easley —- who was attorney general for eight years, for heaven’s sake —- to the ‘system’ that aided and abetted Easley’s behavior, not to mention that of Meg Scott Phipps, Frank Ballance and, last but not least, Jim Black.Read full article » 1 Comment »
Carolina Journal’s David Bass live blogs Mike Easley’s testimony before the State Board of Elections. Subject matter includes Easley’s supposedly tight billfold, Christmas ornaments, free flights and suing newspapers.
Fascinating. I keep harkening back to my conversation telling a liberal friend that a vote for Easley would do absolutely nothing to advance the cause.
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I noted with interest John Hammer’s assessment of at-large incumbent Sandra Anderson Groat’s term as Greensboro’s mayor pro tem:
Groat is very nice but she doesn’t seem to realize that she is a part of the problem. She is talking about the need to solve problems that she could have solved at any time in the past four years. As mayor pro tem she has sat beside two mayors while the city hid documents, denied that it had documents and lied about the documents it did have. On the third try she did vote to fire Mitch Johnson, who was at the root of a lot of problems, but he wasn’t the only problem at city hall. If Groat actually believes what she is now saying she should be endorsing a candidate who might do what she thinks should be done, because if she can’t get it done in four years, there is not much chance she will get it done in six.
Her statements would be sad if they weren’t so frightening. She is trying to run like an outsider who will come in solve problems, when she is as big a part of the problem as anyone.
Funny, but I thought the pretty much the same thing could be said about Mayor Yvonne Johnson. I realize Johnson’s not running as an outsider —- her years of experience on the City Council before becoming mayor is the basis for her reelection campaign —- but the bottom line is Johnson had the opportunity to solve problems that she could have solved at any time, but failed to do so.
In a letter to the editor in this morning’s N&R, Greensboro’s Ruby Binder addresses the main problem Johnson failed to address —- former City Manager Mitchell Johnson’s “locking out” of former Police Chief David Wray. With that in mind, Binder urges Greensboro residents to vote for Bill Knight for mayor.
Guarino transcribes Binder’s letter because —- strangely enough —-it’s not available online.Read full article » No Comments »
Don’t ask me why — I’m not even sure myself —- but I flipped past MSNBC last night and decided to stick with Keith Olbermann for a few minutes. All I can say is if this is the best he can do, then it’s no wonder O’Reilly draws three times as many viewers.
Five precious minutes of my life, down the drain.Read full article » 1 Comment »
Greensboro institution Ham’s has filed for bankruptcy.
No real surprise because Ham’s has —- putting it frankly —– sucked for several years now. I used to live right across the street from the original Ham’s and the convenience made it easy to keep giving them second, third and fourth chances, and each time I walked away severely disappointed. Either the food was bad or the service was slow —– or both.
Hopefully the consolidation will help the franchise get back to the basics.Read full article » 3 Comments »
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Hanesbrands Inc. will close its Weeks hosiery plant, effectively ending its manufacturing presence in Forsyth County.
I’m not being flip here —especially when 240 workers are involved —- but it will be interesting to see if Mayor Allen Joines starts another task force in an effort to find a new occupant for the 850,000-square-foot plant, just like he’s done in an effort to find a occupant for the soon-to-be abandoned Dell plant.
Update: The N.C. Commerce Department says Dell has paid back state job development grants.
Bonus question: Where’s the bailout?
Bonus question 2: For nth time, why is nobody running against Joines for mayor? This would be perfect political fodder for an opponent — if only there were an opponent. Yes, I know —- textile plant closings are old news —- but this is Hanes, for heaven’s sake, shuttering local operations while Joines bends over backwards for Dell. Joines and the state can brag all they want about Dell paying back money, but that still doesn’t make it right.Read full article » No Comments »
A Civitas poll says that Gov. Bev Perdue is less popular than Mike Easley:
“Despite all the controversy surrounding the former governor, the voters of North Carolina are more upset about the current economic conditions and the loss of jobs in the state – issues they lay at the foot of Governor Perdue,” said Civitas Institute executive director Francis De Luca.
Voters specifically singled out Perdue’s signing of a budget that cut education funding and raised taxes as a significant factor in her unpopularity.
“It shows the level of voter dissatisfaction with the current administration and its policies,that Perdue would be viewed more unfavorably than a politician under state and federal investigation,” added De Luca.
Ouch.Read full article » 2 Comments »
“Larry” from Chapel Hill called in and said that any legislation should include a federal “greed czar” to oversee the insurance companies.
I guess that’s the way they think in Chapel Hill.Read full article » No Comments »
Locker Room’s all over the State Board of Elections hearing to investigate allegations of campaign-finance violations by former Gov. Mike Easley. Much of it would be laughable if it weren’t so blatantly corrupt. Check out testimony from Robert Bleeker, the car dealer who hooked Easley up with an SUV:
“Mr. Easley and I had an understanding that he would pay for the car when he got through using the car,” Bleecker said.
He said they put lease tags on it, but there was no traditional documentation for a lease. He said he expected Easley to pay the difference between the value of the car at the time and its value when the former governor turned it in.
Bleecker said he’s never had an arrangement like this with another customer.
Bleecker said he received a check from Mary Easley for around $6,900 for the Yukon in March 2009, after his manager called and asked to be paid for it. Bleecker then transferred the title over to Easley.
Clash for Clunkers is long gone, so try this pitch with your local car dealership and see how far it gets you.Read full article » 2 Comments »