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Archive for August 29th, 2011

N&R says delay landfill vote

In yesterday’s editorial, the N&R describes the vote to proceed with a contract to operate the White Street landfill as “rushed and flawed,” ultimately concluding that the decision should be delayed until after the election, with the landfill serving as the “signature issue in the council campaign, which should be viewed, at least in part, as a referendum on the landfill.”

I wish it were that simple. Although Mayor Bill Knight is facing a tough reelection campaign, the possibility still exists that the council’s conservative bloc could hold steady. Anyone think landfill opponents would accept such a defeat so graciously?

The N&R also needs to be careful what it wishes for —it might get it. Making the landfill the signature issue would make for a campaign like Greensboro hasn’t seen in a while. I personally wouldn’t mind, but it would shock the sensibilities of those around here whose idea of local politics is council bowing down to city staff on every issue.

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Re: Gibson Guitar raid

Yesterday a buddy of mine told about the feds raiding Gibson Guitar Co., and this morning Locker Room’s George Leef passes along the story:

Putting aside the presumably misguided motivation to enforce another sovereign nation’s laws, why would a homegrown American company be the target of the Department of Justice in the first place?

It’s worth pointing out that Henry E. Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s Chief Executive Officer, is a donor to a couple of Republican politicians. According to the Open Secrets database, Juszkiewicz donated $2000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN07) last year, as well as $1500 each to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Juszkiewicz also has donated $10,000 to the Consumer Electronics Association, a PAC that contributed $92.5k to Republican candidates last year, as opposed to $72k to Democrats. (The CEA did, however, contribute more to Democrats in the 2008 election cycle.)

When warrants as ridiculous such as these are issued and executed, there appears no other reason than because the company or individual at hand is being targeted, not because there is any sort of wrongdoing. As a company, Gibson is a legendary. They’ve done nothing wrong, except, apparently, deigning to have a Republican CEO.

This is your federal gov’t at work.

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Stan Kowalewski: Everything but the kitchen sink

And probably that, too. The N&R reports that the controversial former Oak Ridge Military Academy basketball coach —-who’s facing a huge fine from the SEC —- is stripping his Greensboro home:

Neighbors in the upscale Henson Farm neighborhood say Kowalewski held several weekend “estate sales” during the past month or so, apparently in connection with moving his family recently to Pawleys Island, S.C.

The most recent sale took place Saturday. The people running it said only moveable household furnishings such as dressers were for sale.

“It’s a problem because I have seen kitchen cabinets and all kinds of stuff that you would normally associate with an existing house being taken out,” said Peter Heineman, who lives near Kowalewski and serves on the neighborhood association’s board.

“It’s one of the better properties in the neighborhood, then they leave us with the burden of disposing of a house that’s been compromised.”

Remember the purchase of the home represented an “investment” for Kowalewski’s clients, who stand to lose millions.

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