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Archive for April, 2010

Cal Cunningham – oppressed white male

The buzz is Cal Cunningham faces an uphill battle in versus Elaine Marshall and Ken Lewis in Tuesday’s Senate primary:

Earlier Wednesday, a top adviser to Marshall’s campaign told POLITICO that Cunningham wouldn’t be able to win a general election because “he’s a white male.”

“He doesn’t have a base. If he gets two percent of the vote in the African American community in the primary, I’d be shocked,” Thomas Mills said of Cunningham. “And if African Americans don’t vote at 20 percent in the general, Democrats can’t win in this state anyhow.”

Last week, a Cunningham adviser was quoted in the Washington Post explaining his candidate’s unimpressive fundraising quarter this way: “When you are in a three-way Democratic primary with a female statewide office holder and an African American it makes it difficult to raise money no matter how good you are.”

Lewis interprets all this as interjecting race into the campaign. Interesting that he reportedly has the endorsement of former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, who doesn’t whistle Dixie.

Via Locker Room.

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HP considering more debt

As you can probably imagine, I just love stuff like this.

The City of High Point is considering taking on more debt:

The bonds could be issued in June and be available for improvements to the High Point Athletic Complex, such as reconfiguration, resurfacing and marking of the parking lot on the north side of School Park Road, as well as improvements to bathrooms and concession facilities.

…..The other parks and recreation work involved is the planned completion of the city’s greenway from University Park on Deep River Road to the Piedmont Environmental Center on Penny Road.

The funds also would go toward various road improvements, streetscapes, sidewalks and other work in core city areas.

By the way, aforementioned bonds are two-thirds bonds, which do not require voter approval.

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Meanwhile, in Winston-Salem…

money

The North Carolina Public School Forum held a meeting in Winston-Salem yesterday.

Do I even need to even mention the Forum’s solution to education problems?

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Becoats bolts to Bull City

Guilford County Schools chief administrative officer Eric Becoats has been named superintendent of Durham Public Schools.

Odds that GCS will replace Becoats and his $150k salary? Perhaps county commission chair Skip Alston will strongly suggest they don’t.

Update: NBC-17 notes Becoats’ issues while he was assistant superintendent down at Char-Meck.

A Durham school board member says “Becoats’ strengths overshadow any allegations like those made during his days in the CMS system.”

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Triad flunks air quality standards

Pardon me while I step out on the deck and —-aaahhhhhh—–breathe in this morning’s fresh spring air.

Triad flunks American Lung Association’s air quality report card. This morning’s N&R article (unposted –as far as I can tell) expresses some skepticism while noting that the ALA is using two-year-old data.

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I (heart) AZ

I ran into a buddy yesterday and he told me how pumped up he was about his trip to —–you guessed it —— Arizona.

“Dude,” I said, “spend some money —– and bring me back a T-shirt.”

Look, it’s fair to question the Arizona’s immigration law —of all people, Jonah Goldberg expresses concern that there could be civil rights violations.

But to call for a boycott of businesses in the middle of “the worst economic recession since the Great Depression” is just mean-spirited. And President Obama’s statement that “if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed” was typical liberal political posturing. Give me a break.

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It’s official —‘Alston’s had a change of heart’

I’m not talking about the $10k trip to Reno — while the N&R reported that Guilford County Commission chair Skip Alston has decided not to go, the High Point Enterprise says today’s editorial that Alston “indicates he isn’t going.”

The issue today is —surprise — Alston and the GCS school board are sparring over money. But this time the dispute is over $17 million in federal stimulus bonds, the so-called qualified school construction bonds.

I’ve written about the issue here and here. As you can imagine, I think utilizing federal bonds is a bad idea, even if school officials claim it will save taxpayers $5.5 million in interest. Call me skeptical, but it’s my belief taxpayers will never see that savings.

The issue today is whether or not Alston will give the go-ahead to apply for the second round of bonds. School board members seem to think he had signed off, but apparently the official word —-coming from Alston himself —-is “Alston has had a change of heart.”

As you can also probably imagine, County Manager Brenda Jones Fox is MIA, while another commissioner contacted for comment —-in this case Bruce Davis —- says he doesn’t know anything about it.

That’s the second time this week a commissioner has acknowledged he’s out of the loop. Kirk Perkins told the N&R yesterday “it was news” to him that an incentives hearing for the proposed American Express data center had been delayed.

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Board schedules Hege hearing —after primary

The Davidson County Board of Elections has scheduled a hearing on Gerald Hege’s eligibility to run again for sheriff —- but after the May 4 primary.

It will obviously be a moot point if Hege loses the primary. But there’s no speculation about what will happen if he wins and the board declares him ineligible.

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Green energy myths

Former Guilford County planning director Rob Bencini is bummed out about Greensboro-High Point’s dead last ranking in green initiatives among cities analyzed by American City Business Journals:

We can do better. The green economy may be the greatest source of both work accessibility and entrepreneurial opportunities on the horizon. And not a single adopted economic development plan, public or private sector, in the Greensboro-High Point area pursues this huge market. The time to move is now. In the area that may hold the greatest promise for putting people back to work, we can’t afford to be last.

Seems to me if commute time via roadway ranks high, then it stands to reason that public transit use ranks low because there’s absolutely no reason to take the bus when the driving is easy. That’s why mass transit in the Triad is such a bad idea, not that it’s going to stop people from trying to convince us otherwise.

But Bencini need not fret— the feds are coming, and it’s no surprise that the N&R really believes the $5 million federal grant is a “major but worthwhile undertaking” because “if it all goes as planned, new jobs will be created.”

How about now you read Robert Bythe’s five myths about green energy. Blythe concedes that sure, the government can create green jobs, but at what cost?

Via Reason.

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Clap hands for Gene Conti

Big talk down in Davidson County about construction on the I-85 bridge over the Yadkin River starting this fall.

A good chunk of the $180 million for the eight-lane bridge will come from federal GARVEE bonds. But funding will still be needed for another another six miles of the work, from N.C. Highway 150 north to the Exit 88 exchange near the Davidson County Airport.

However, Transportation Secretary Gene Conti is working on it:

Conti admitted that securing funding for the second half of the project was “a little more challenging,” but said the cash may be secured through Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposed budget, which was released Wednesday. Conti said the budget includes a “mobility fund” whereby legislators can vote to transfer cash from other funds, including the state’s general fund, to pay for the Yadkin River project.

“We need the General Assembly’s support, obviously, to support this,” Conti said of the transfer of funds.

But he said he fully supports such transfers, and said he believes legislators will agree.

“The first cash flow, in our minds, should go toward funding the Yadkin project,” Conti said. “We want to emphasize projects that will give the maximum return for the people.”

Conti’s words were so enthusiastically received that those attending Thursday’s meeting applauded him.

Bids are coming in, and it looks like Colorado-based Flatiron- Lane has the inside track.

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