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Archive for September, 2011

Apartments at North State Chevrolet site

The Biz Journal reports developer John Lomax is planning a 192-unit apartment complex on the site of the former North State Chevrolet dealership in downtown G’boro:

If built, the “Greenway at Fisher Park Apartments” would breathe new life into a long-vacant property near NewBridge Bank Park and could spur further economic development along the downtown Greensboro greenway.

Residents of nearby Fisher Park have long waited for that property to develop, but their reaction to an apartment building will be very interesting, considering the traffic that will be generated along Eugene Street.

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More problems for the guv

My guess is the N&R didn’t know just how true these words would be:

Perdue would have been better off sticking to that pattern rather than rambling through an inarticulate response to a question. Now she’s been turned into a figure of widespread scorn — at least until a new target presents itself. In today’s political environment, it won’t take long.

Presenting new target:

A state lawmaker and a group of Democratic political donors with ties to Gov. Beverly Perdue are poised to sell land at a handsome profit for a tire plant that’s being lured with $100 million in state and local incentives, according to public records reviewed by The Associated Press.

Still, the N&R’s statement that we’re not smart enough to pick up on the governor’s ‘sarcasm’ will sting for some time.

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Lexington depot not ‘shovel ready.’ So what’s the problem?

Lexington officials are reviewing a contract with Charlotte-based Shook Kelly to refurbish the former Lexington Home Brands plant site. Funding for Shook Kelly’s $680,000 proposal will come from a federal Tiger II grant.

Still, the city is having trouble securing stimulus funding for the proposed $15 million passenger rail depot. Lexington City Manager John Gray says funds are forthcoming because the project’s not “shovel ready.”

Since when did that matter?

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Danny Thompson’s Superman cape

While the Rhino keeps a close eye Greensboro City Council member Danny Thompson’s questionable campaign financing, the N&R collects quotes* from fellow council members Zack Matheny, Jim Kee and Robbie Perkins regarding the truthfulness of Thompson’s political ads:

When you see these ads, it’s like Danny Thompson needs a Superman cape,” Matheny said. “He just takes credit for everything. And if you’ve been watching the council for the last two years, you know he didn’t get these things done.”

….”The only thing Thompson really took a lead on was concentrating on a perceived porn problem at the library,” Perkins said. “If no one calls him on the carpet, for saying he did these things, then he can get away with it.”

So here’s my question: Thompson is running for an at-large seat; Matheny is running in District 3 and Perkins is running for mayor. So what does it matter to them what Thompson’s campaign ads say? And how about the N&R do its own investigation of Thompason’s political ads?

*Link via Ed Cone.

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Effort to unionize RJR

A petition has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board to unionize RJR.

The latest effort is sparked by the transfer of unionized workers from the Brown & Williamson plant in Macon Ga., which RJR purchased in 2004.

Workers are concerned about continued downsizing at Reynolds, but the company counters that demand for cigarettes is on the decline. That’s part of government’s plan, remember.

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Re: Gov. Perdue’s joke

Leave it to JLF president John Hood to add perspective to Gov. Bev Perdue’s lame joke, if indeed that’s what it was:

I can’t read Gov. Beverly Perdue’s mind. I don’t know how far she would be willing to go to silence her critics – or to shield politicians from public accountability so they can “help this country recover” (i.e. spend the country further into fiscal insolvency) without having to worry about the consequences.

But I do know that the governor wasn’t making a serious proposal to suspend the 2012 elections. During her speech before the Cary Rotarians, Perdue tried to use a lame joke to make a lame point. She bombed.

Gov. Perdue’s real problem is not that she is a closet totalitarian. It is that her ideas are dated and wrongheaded, and she expresses them poorly.

That’s bad enough.

That’s the problem with lame jokes to make lame points. There’s always a certain seriousness behind them.

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You tell me if the guv’s joking

Listen here to Gov. Bev Perdue’s suggestion that Congressional elections be suspended. Sure doesn’t sound like she’s joking to me, especially when she says she’s “really hopes somebody can agree with me on that.”

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PART asking counties for more cash

The PART board voted this morning to request more funding from participating counties or face service reductions. Guilford County Commission Chairman Skip Alston participated in the meeting and said he would bring the matter before the full board during its Oct. 6 meeting.

High Point Mayor Becky Smothers, who serves as chairman of the board’s finance committee, initially made motion to request a $2 vehicle registration tax to provide funding for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. But Forsyth County Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt said her board absolutely would not approve a registration tax along with short-term funding. Fellow PART board members who also serve on county commissions agreed, and Smothers’ motion was withdrawn.

It seems as though PART has been on shaky financial footing for some time now, yet they always find the money somewhere. However, there appears to be a legitimate doomsday scenario absent another funding stream, aka another tax.

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Gov’t PR 101

CJ reports city officials from Greensboro and Burlington were among participants in a webinar educating them on deliver bad news —— higher taxes and budget cuts —to citizens:

The webinar, “Delivering Bad News: How to Help Citizens Understand the Realities of Tough Economic Times,” sponsored by the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was facilitated by Mark Weaver, president of Communications Counsel, Inc., a national communications consultancy in Columbus, Ohio. Weaver has advised top-level elected government leaders, including President Ronald Reagan, and nonelected officials for more than two decades.

Among the topics: understanding how the public thinks; taking the community’s “pulse;” determining what bad news to share and when; using communication principles to craft the message; and ways to deliver the message.

North Carolina local government officials may well feel the need to do a better job of communicating with their constituents, given the results of a number of tax proposals over the past few years.

Gov’t officials interviewed for the article —including Burlington City Clerk Jordeen Terry —say the webinar was part of broader training on the growing use of social media, not to train local officials to better sell sales tax increases. The public gets the message about sales tax increases, as indicated by voters’ overwhelming rejection of sales tax referendums across the state. What’s more subtle is selling of so-called economic development drivers such as greenways.

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House arrest for first-degree murder charge

The N&R reports two of the four suspects charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of a 6-year-old boy and his mother’s boyfriend “have been released to home confinement and electronic monitoring.”

Fnu Angu and Ayun Yy were charged along with Hoanh Rcom and Polly Rcom in the July 21 shootings. Police reports indicate that Hoanh Rcom — the father of the 6-year old, was the shooter. The other three men were with him, waiting for his estranged girlfriend to return home.

Guilford Assistant District Attorney Howard Neumann says the “facts suggest there may be some difference in the knowledge that these three had before they went over there that night.”

Still, first-degree murder charges against the two men have not been dropped.

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