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Archive for January, 2011

HP retail incentives goes to council

High Point’s proposed incentives policy that would help out small businesses and retailers has passed committee and will be considered by City Council.

City Manager Strib Boynton says “(o)bviously, where the money comes from is a whole other issue, but it’s that way with everything. We’ll worry about it later.”

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The truth about electric cars

Appearing on today’s N&R Web site, George Will talks electric cars:

Michigan’s Levin brothers remain faithful to Obamanomics, which holds that prosperity is just around the corner — if government spends more on innovations it imagines. Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. Sander Levin have a combined 60 years of Capitol Hill tenure, and an innovation. Like most liberals’ new ideas, theirs is to make an old idea more expensive. The day of the CBO’s dark forecast, the Levins said the government should double the scope of its program to bribe people to buy a kind of car the government likes much more than do buyers of cars.

…Obama’s goal of getting 1 million such cars on America’s roads by 2015 cannot be met unless innovative government rigs the market. Introduced in 2008, the $7,500 bribe was limited to the first 250,000 cars. Under Obama’s stimulus, it was expanded to 200,000 per manufacturer. The Levins, uttering liberalism’s timeless rallying cry (“More!”) want it to cover 500,000 per manufacturer.

Problem is electric cars don’t do too good in the cold and snow. And we’re going to have a lot more of that, at least if you believe the global warming guys.

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Bev’s N&R interview

The N&R’s interview in today’s Ideas section with Gov. Bev Perdue is unposted, but video is here.

I’m not sure what’s up with the N&R and the governor, but reading the lede, you can’t help but get the feeling the editors are in love with the woman:

Gov. Bev Perdue, who might reach 5-foot 4 on her tiptoes —wearing heels —- cut an imposing figure in the face of a Triad crisis on Jan. 20.

Backed by a bipartisan phalanx of Triad business and political leaders, the governor visited Greensboro as the region braced for its biggest single job loss in nearly 18 years.

It was obviously no mistake that she chose to salve the area’s wounds at GTCC’s Aviation Center near Piedmont Triad International Airport.

..Perdue, a Democrat who struggled early to find her political footing, seems more focused and assured in the midst of a crisis.

Or two. Or three.

But then you read the interview and you find out pretty quickly that the governor was totally clueless about American Express’ plans to close its Greensboro call center. And when you watch the video, you’ll hear Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco chime in and say he called AmEx and asked if there was anything they could do to reverse their decision. So what if they’d said yes?

The governor also repeated her assurance she would work with the Republican-controlled General Assembly. You have to wonder how that’s going to work, too.

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Forsyth board finds no evidence of sexual harrassment

On the part of elections director Rob Coffman, who was accused of creating a hostile work environment by making inappropriate remarks about fellow employees.

However, “the investigation by the Forsyth County Board of Elections is not over: Members are waiting for results of a survey of employees and still plan to interview Coffman.”

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G’boro council harshes dream mellow

I was actually encouraged reading John Hammer’s account the Greensboro City Council’s search for the 7 percent solution. Like Hammer, I was glad to see that not only was the supposedly-conservative council asserting itself, it seemed to be getting support from city staff. I thought perhaps the wheels of G’boro city government would turn smoothly amidst all the other chaos 2011 is sure to bring.

Then the conversation turned to “economic development” and suddenly the wheels fell off.

Robbie Perkins said G’boro “could build a business around youth sports and amateur sports.”

Mary Rakestraw noted that only one event at been booked for the taxpayer-funded Aquatic Center.

City Manager Rashad Young “spoke about creating an office of economic development and small business resources.”

Danny Thompson noted that the city pays three different organizations for economic development.

Trudy Wade “suggested that the city pay Duke and Roy Carroll to bring more energy centers here, since they seemed to know how to do it.”

Mayor Bill Knight said that the Piedmont Triad Partnership “actually continues to refocus its direction.”

Wade also suggested “that the city put Mayor Knight on a big screen out at the airport explaining to people why Greensboro was great,” while Dianne Bellamy -Small “wants to put something in hotel and motel rooms.”

Rakestraw added “it sounds like nobody knows what anyone else is doing.”

Suddenly I’m not so encouraged any more.

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Meanwhile, in Winston-Salem…

Mayor Allen Joines and his partner Billy Prim “have been discussing ways some financial information about BB&T Ballpark’s performance could be made public.”

Note the mayor’s tone:

Joines said Thursday that it made more sense to him to wait until audited financial information from the full season was ready. He said those final numbers would be complete at the end of March or beginning of April. He said he and Prim have been discussing ways to make some of the numbers from the full audit public.

“We’re not going to release everything, certainly, but what we talked about was trying to find some way to release some of the data to show profit and losses.”

If you had any doubt before working for whom, then it should be officially erased.

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Cain’s plea bargain

The Winston-Salem Journal editorializes on former Yadkin County Sheriff Mike Cain’s plea bargain, which was resulted in suspended jail time:

Some will say that Mike Cain, who agreed to resign as the Yadkin sheriff Wednesday just before pleading guilty to nine misdemeanors in connection with the misuse of county funds, should have gotten harsher treatment in court. Such misuse of public money by a sheriff is a violation of the public trust that can’t be tolerated, no matter what the amount. Although Cain didn’t get jail time, he did permanently surrender his law-enforcement certification. And Yadkin County, with pressing matters on its plate, such as replacing its overcrowded jail, can move forward, avoiding a costly, time-consuming and divisive trial.

Rush Radio host Dimitri Vassilaros was discussing the Cain case this morning and went off in the idiocy of the Journal editorial board. I won’t mimic Dimitri’s outrage just for the hell of it, but —- as someone who reads the Journal’s editorials on a regular basis —- I’m happy it’s not just me.

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Now Skip tells us…

…As if we weren’t already clued into Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston’s International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

In yet another cost-cutting move, the center has let go chief fundraiser Amelia Parker and her $100,000 salary. Parker had previously been executive director before she was replaced by curator and program director Bamidele Demerson.

Alston tells the N&R that at Monday’s board meeting Demerson revealed the worst-kept secret in Greensboro:

The (operating) structure was set up by the board and none of us had any experience,” Alston said. “Bamidele is the only person in our midst who has ever run a museum and he’s saying that the structure, compared to other museums, is not working.”

In order to make it work, Demerson has laid out a plan to include “more of a focus on the ‘center’ part of the museum’s name, “proposing a heavy schedule of interactive programs on racism, how to work together, gays and lesbians and their civil rights……”

Related: The thorny path to a national black museum.

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Deena Hayes: Convicted

No, no, not another public official in trouble with the law. It’s just Guilford County Board of Education member Denna Hayes’ way of explaining why she’s not running for another term:

..Hayes disclosed her plans to not seek another term on the Guilford County Board of Education after her current term ends in 2014. Instead, she wants to focus on her community organizing work.

“I am going to spend the next four years being convicted about getting to bottom of what ails this district,” said Hayes, who was first elected to District 8 in 2002 and ran unopposed last year. “I’ve seen enough.”

Note that one commenter asks N&R education reporter Morgan Glover what exactly what Hayes meant; Glover says that’s just what she wrote down, though she invites Hayes to clarify her comment.

I assume Hayes’ comment means she’s going to stick to her ‘firm and fixed belief” that there are racial disparities in the schools. However, another definition of the verb ‘convict’ is ‘to impress with a sense of guilt.’ She’s sure done plenty of that during her nine years on the board, never passing on a chance to race bait on most any issue confronting the school system.

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Your public officials-with-issues update

The Thomasville City Council votes to reinstate City Manager Kelly Craver with stipulations.

Council member David Yemm was the lone ‘no’ vote:

“I believe that someone who allowed himself to be put in that position that contributed to his arrest on drug charges should not be allowed to return to a job in which he oversees law enforcement,” Yemm said, adding that Craver should “give one last gift of generosity and provide the City Council with his letter of resignation.”

Meanwhile, former Yadkin County Sheriff Mike Cain pleads guilty to nine misdemeanor charges, including “conversion of public property, public officer benefiting from public contract, willful failure to discharge duties and private use of public vehicle.

 

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