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Archive for April 5th, 2010

Mitch Johnson’s legacy

Interesting John Hammer column (unposted) in this week’s Rhino on calls for Greensboro Mayor Bill Knight to apologize for the statement he made saying that Police Chief Tim Bellamy was hired “primarily because of race.”

For the most of the column, Hammer discusses the irony behind the fact that local black clergy are calling for an apology from Knight when it’s pretty much official government policy to hire based on race:

So there was a well-publicized effort by the city to recruit and promote more blacks as police officers but the (NAACP) is protesting the statement made by Knight that race was a primary factor in Bellamy becoming chief of police. When Knight said it, he wasn’t mayor, he was a private citizen running for mayor, and that was his opinion. At the press conference Brown said that if that was knight’s opinion he should keep it to himself. Is that the way to bring racila healing to Greensboro? To keep our opinions to ourselves?

Evidently so, because Knight has chosen to take the advice of city attorney Terry Wood and not comment on the issue.

I’d give anything to hear the mayor take on his critics explain in clear, concise terms exactly what he meant during the campaign. But I understand the legalities hovering over the issue like a nasty haze. As Hammer noted last week, it’s the legacy of the Mitch Johnson era in Greensboro city politics.

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K to Nets: Nyet

As Duke prepares to take on Butler in tonight’s championship game, the N&O reports that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is again offering Mike Krzyzewski “a fortune” to take over as coach and general manager:

Krzyzewski said last summer that he will spend the remainder of his coaching career at Duke. When reports of the Nets’ interest in him surfaced earlier this season, Krzyzewski downplayed them and said he hadn’t been contacted by the team or its owner.

“The guy’s Russian, right?” Krzyzewski said Feb. 13. “Do you think he’d hire a Polish guy? Really?”

He was asked if a Polish guy would go work for a Russian guy.

“No one’s contacted me, and if they do, ‘Nyet’ would be easy for me to say,” Krzyzewski said.

As for tonight’s game, I’m just wondering how many brand-new Butler fans there are here in North Carolina. I’m over my Duke hatred, but more than a few I talk to haven’t let it go.

But a Bulldog victory’s the better story, eh?

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Public hearing on G’boro amphitheater

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Greensboro City Council will hold a public hearing “to receive information and public comment with reference to the construction of the amphitheater and the Greensboro War Memorial Coliseum Complex.” No doubt funding to cover the ever-increasing cost of the amphitheater will be discussed, considering the fact that director Matt Brown and council member Robbie Perkins want it up and running by summer.

The N&R’s Allen Johnson weighs in, arguing “at some point the city should consider rethinking the way the coliseum is run and supervised.”

Johnson ponders the idea of creating a coliseum authority modeled on the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which runs the major entertainment venues with funding from a hotel and food preparation taxes.

Johnson says the fact that some City Council members “just don’t like Brown” will keep any meaningful action regarding the coliseum from taking place in the near future. All I know is Brown is the city’s highest-paid employee —a fact that isn’t mentioned nearly enough —– and he should be the subject of very close scrutiny from the City Council. Whether or not council members like him or not shouldn’t really matter.

It will also be very interesting to hear what the public has to say about the amphitheater.

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