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Archive for April, 2010

Newsflash! Dean Smith retires

Not sure why the N&O decided to revisit Dean Smith’s retirement 13 years ago.

The trip through the photo gallery is worth it, though.

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Newspapers’ idea of ‘good investment’

Beware when newspapers editorialize on ‘good investments.’ It means taxpayers’ money.

The Winston-Salem Journal says a $6.2 million economic incentive from the city and Forsyth County to help Piedmont Triad Research Park renovate a former RJR building is a ‘good investment,’ while next on the N&R’s wish list (after the proposed UNCG School of Pharmacy was spiked by Erskine Bowles) is an architecture school at N.C. A&T.

Just as there were questions about the job market for aspiring pharmacists, turns out aspiring architects are having trouble finding jobs because —–imagine this —- architecture is dependent on flowing capital.

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Knocking ‘em out of the park

The Winston-Salem Journal reports:

People worried about how the Winston-Salem Dash will repay its debts to the city based on attendance at the new downtown stadium can take some heart in early statistics.

Through its first six-game homestand, the Winston-Salem Dash is leading the Carolina League and all minor-league teams in its class in attendance, with an average of 4,614 people a game.

Note that commenters are less impressed with the attendance figures than the accompanying photo.

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Panthers to Meck Deck: Screw you

Jeff Taylor begged the Panthers not to draft Notre Dame QB Jimmy Claussen.

The Panthers just drafted Notre Dame QB Jimmy Claussen.

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ACC tourney dodges bullet —for now

The N&R’s Ed Hardin says the ACC tournament “dodged a bullet” with the NCAA’s plan to expand its tournament to 68 teams instead of the proposed 96 teams:

Had the NCAA tournament not come to its senses about expanding the NCAA tournament beyond recognition for 2011, Greensboro would’ve been facing an uncertain future for its nearly annual hosting of the conference tourney. We still might watch it being phased out over time, but at least for the foreseeable future, the ACC tournament will survive as we know it.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to relax and toast our good luck. That means we’ve been given a reprieve and a chance to be ready for what happens next.

Rumored conference expansions and realignments should still be of concern, however. If the Big Ten expands, the SEC will not sit idle, which means the ACC will not sit idle. Further expansion would dilute the ACC brand, meaning less interest in the tournament. Hardin anticipates that problem, saying “(i)f the trend is going to be fewer people making the trip here, the difference has to be made up somehow…..tickets have to hit the streets of Greensboro, and the people here have to know they can get them.”

The NCAA’s new TV deal actually has me worried about the strength of the March Madness brand. Is it ever a good sign when any league broadcasts its championship game on cable?

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More public transportation patronizing

Just a week after Durham Mayor Bill Bell’s subtle suggestion that only losers take the bus comes this money quote from Davidson County Commissioner Don Truell regarding the proposed Thomasville bus route:

“I know we can’t cut the tax rate all the time,” said Truell, who hopes the fare for the bus will be $1 to $2. “We’ve got the tax rate as low as we can, so this is one way we can give a service to all these unemployed, where they can make their little checks stretch a little bit.”

Bless his little heart.

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Skip’s gonna show that Killian guy

Rush Radio is still reporting that Guilford County Commission chairman Skip Alston is heading to Reno for a conference along with other Democratic commissioners —to the tune of $10k—- while the N&R runs a correction to yesterday’s story, saying “a county clerk was holding was holding a hotel room him, but Alston decided Wednesday not to go because of another commitment.”

It could be that Skip heard an earful from his constituents. It could also be that he decided not to go just to spite his not-so- favorite county beat reporter.

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ACC Tournament numbers down

The N&R tells us what we already knew —— attendance for this year’s ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum was down.

As a result —- you already know this, too —– profits from concessions and parking were down. Note the interesting quote below:

Community groups also felt the hit as concessions sales from 2006 to 2010 dropped by more than 25 percent, or $224,086. Some profits from those sales go to the volunteer groups working the stands.

“We made a third of what we did last year,” said Dorothy Nichols, president of the Four Seasons Civitan Club, comparing the 2010 tournament to 2006. She said their men’s tournament gross sales in March were about $26,000.

…Nichols put a point on the tournament from her on-the-ground perspective.

“Well, the prices were too high and everybody complains about it, and nobody showed up this year,” she said. The civic group has worked a concessions stand in the coliseum since 1997, she said.

Contrast with the way the media were treated like royalty during the tournament. I don’t see the article posted in the Rhino archives, but Scott Yost seemed almost embarrassed by the way coliseum staff were falling all over him —- and that’s saying something.

Look, I realize the perfect storm hit the tournament this year —- a down economy combined with the fact that Wake, Carolina and State all sucked. But the conference has undergone big changes over the last several years and bigger changes to the national tournament are on their way. And the rumored Big Ten expansion could set in motion another ACC expansion, further weakening the conference brand.

Which in turn means declining interest in the ACC Tournament, which in turn is not good for the coliseum.

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Perkins gets a ‘City Council special’

I just caught a rerun of Tuesday’s night’s Greensboro City Council meeting. The marathon debate over the land development ordinance had just concluded —–no doubt John Hammer will weigh in when today’s Rhino hits the streets —–when another very interesting item came before the council.

The item was to allocate Neighborhood Stabilization funds for a public housing project to be located near the corner of N. Elm and Pisgah Church Road. The city housing planner told the council that the 20-unit project had a total cost of $2 million, $800,000 of which would be provided by the city.

Before the discussion, council member Robbie Perkins said he had to abstain from the discussion and the vote because one of his brokers found the property for the developer an thusd he had a “direct financial interest.”

I’m not sure who’s providing Perkins’ brokering fee, but an average citizen would look at this and say a public official is profiting from a project that is receiving taxpayer funds. That never looks good.

By the way, the item passed with an 8-0 vote with practically no discussion or debate, something I like to call a ‘City Council special.’

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Yippee! G’boro gets fed energy grant

Get ready —-the ‘community organizers’ will be knocking on your door to see if you need a new furnace or just a little weather stripping.

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