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Archive for January 12th, 2011

G’boro donates services to skating championships…

But will Guilford County?

I don’t know if N&R beat reporter Joe Killian took note took note of the blogs reporting the $40k “sponsorship” request for U.S. Figure Skating Championship or if he looked at the Guilford County Commissioners agenda and figured it out for himself. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

At any rate, the N&R runs with a front pager on organizers’ request for the county to donate county services like EMS to the tune of of $40k.

The City of Greensboro has already signed off on donating its 40K in police and fire services, but commission chairman Skip Alston is skeptical, at least for now.

As for the championships’ economic impact, Greensboro City Manager Rashad Young sent out a memo stating that “attendance for the nationally televised event is estimated at about 100,000, with 10,000 hotel rooms rented in the area,” with previous host cities reporting a $25 million economic impact, depending on attendance.

As of now, ticket sales are at 85 percent.

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State budget deficit: the ultimate farce

I’m not the smartest guy in the world, so it took another cup of coffee and a second serious reading to figure out that Doug Clark’s (unposted) N&R column on cutting the state’s $3.7 billion budget gap was tongue-in cheek. Still:

School’s been out this week for wintry weather. Let’s just forget the makeup days and save the money of turning on the lights and running buses. And when teachers stay home, they shouldn’t be paid.

…..Prison inmates can do a lot more than mope in their cell all day. Why aren’t they helping to maintain state parks, roads, beaches and other public resources? Some might be qualified to teach, if they aren’t sex offenders?

In seriousness, prisoners already do road work, so is there anything so wrong with expanding work programs? As for calling off makeup days, I’m all for it, once it gets to a certain number —- and there could be quite a few, the way this winter’s going. I’ve never understood what is so magical about that 180-day number. Is there any evidence at all that going to school for exactly 180 days improves learning?

Yes, Clark’s suggestions —like inmates as teachers and shipping the sick to Arizona to save on medicaid costs —are farcical. But he concludes “(w)e can cut costs and raise revenues at the expense of the few and to the benefit of the many. Just make sure you’re on the right side of the equation.”

The only problem is quite a few people are going to be on the wrong side of the equation as the state begins what will be a very painful budget process, and no doubt many will consider some budget-cutting measures to be as farcical as letting inmates teach.

Unfortunately, this is what it’s come to, and there is no other choice.

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Palin’s response to Tuscon shootings

The NYT highlights Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel,” but the seven-plus minute video on the whole was very rational and balanced. I watched with interest because I have my doubts about Palin.

Judge for yourselves, dear reader.

Sarah Palin: “America’s Enduring Strength” from Sarah Palin on Vimeo.

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Taxpayer-funded stadium tax val lowered

Forsyth County has lowered the taxable value of Winston-Salem’s taxpayer-funded downtown baseball stadium after Sports Menagerie LLC protested.

Sports Menagerie will now pay $344,700 in taxes to the city and the county.

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