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Archive for December, 2011

Guilford economy in recovery?

UNCG economics professor Don Jud makes the front page of today’s N&R with his Guilford Business Index, which reflects hope —however faint —for the area economy.

Jud says his economic index began declining in December 2007, the start of the recession, and hit its low point in July of 2009.

“We have been on the upswing ever since,” he said. “We’re still 2.3 percent below where we were in December 2007. We are still in recovery.”

For what it’s worth, I’ve noted a couple of times that Jud supported conservative incumbents in the November Greensboro City Council election. Election results are old news, but the new liberal majority has yet to get started. It will be interesting to see how they address the local economy.

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‘Urbanism associates’ to descend upon G’boro

The N&R reports (unposted) that Greensboro’s Cottage Grove neighborhood has been targeted for revitalization, with funding via an EPA grant to be administered by Global Green USA.

‘Urbanism associate’ Hagu Solomon says Global Green will send a team of four ‘experts’ in environmental design to G’boro to consult neighborhood residents, city officials and representatives of local nonprofits. Neighborhood transformation plans include ‘ready access to public transportation, good jobs and recreation.’

As you can imagine, Greensboro city planners are all for this. Who wouldn’t be? But you have to wonder why the federal gov’t has to spend millions of dollars to do this, if the salaries aren’t first sucked up by the ‘urbanism expert associates.’

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WSFCS wants city help w/ school construction

The Winston-Salem Journal reveals a memorandum using “fairly innocuous language to say local governments will work together to choose new school sites.”

In other words, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools wants the city not only to pitch for news school funding but also to ease up on building codes:

There’s a lot of diplomatic language,” said (City Council member Dan) Besse, who chairs the community development committee, which will consider the agreement in February. “The real meat is (they want us to) help pay.”

School board chairman Donny Lambeth replies the “system had faced unnecessary expenses from tough city building codes.”

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Merry Christmas

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Robbie Perkins: Multitasking

The N&R reports(unposted) there may be a resolution to the ongoing dispute between the City of Greensboro and Guilford County over the joint water and sewer trust fund. The N&R says the fund is worth $25 million, but as the Rhino’s John Hammer pointed out last month, nobody really knows how much it’s worth.

Note Inside Scoop cites the possible resolution as indication that the new liberal City Council is already improving relations with the county. For what it’s worth, Commission Chairman Skip Alston puts in his two cents:

“As I predicted, this new council has been much easier to work with,” Alston said. “Sometimes it’s just about getting into a room with the right people. I think this is going to be a relationship of cooperation between us for the benefit of the people of Greensboro and Guilford County.”

Joe Killian’s post links to an previous article he wrote speculating that the city and the county were near a deal. But note the article was written in October, when —you know it—– the previous conservative council was still in office.

Dr. Guarino weighs in Mayor Robbie Perkins’ role in the deal, calling into question Perkins’ claim that it would create jobs and the expand the tax base.

Personally, I’m in awe that Perkins could work such a deal on the same day he —-along with council member ’60s child Marikay Abuzuaiter—- led a march through downtown Greensboro honoring the homeless who died this year.

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D. Jones ineligible for Independence Bowl

Update: The NCAA clears Jones to play; Jones issues an apology and says the party has been canceled.

Tar Heels wide receiver Dwight Jones has been declared ineligible for the Independence Bowl versus Missouri after it has been determined that he allowed his likeness to be used on a flier promoting his phat New Year’s Eve birthday party in Burlington.

However, UNC has applied to the NCAA for Jones reinstatement for the Dec. 26 bowl game.

What jumps out at me about this whole deal is there seems to be a lot cash floating around. Question is who’s holding it?

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Occupy Winston-Salem protester arrested

Winston-Salem Journal reports. WGHP provides the video.

Note the arrested protester had a previous record:

Bridge has previous convictions of felony possession with intent to sell and deliver narcotics, misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, misdemeanor possession of burglary tools and several probation violations.

He is scheduled to appear in Forsyth District Court Feb. 2 on the Tuesday charges.

Despite Bridge’s prior arrest record, Price stands behind Bridge.

“Will’s a trustworthy person,” he said. “I do not believe he deserved to be tackled from the back.”

Sounds like a very trustworthy individual to me.


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Re: Jury convicts Lovette

No doubt if Laurence Lovette had received the death penalty (I realize he wasn’t eligible –too bad)—-his lawyers certainly would have challenged his sentence under the Racial Justice Act.

Some would say that’s evidence we need to do away with the death penalty altogether. But somebody tell me how that would be justice for Eve Carson and her family.

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D.Jones buying the shots

UNC is investigating whether or not former Cummings High School star and Tar Heels leading receiver Dwight Jones willingly allowed his image to appear on a flier promoting his New year’s Eve birthday at a Burlington club:

An image of Jones in his football uniform appears on the flier surrounded by a gold throne, which is in turn surrounded by $100 bills.The flier promises free admission, paid for by Jones, for the “first 24 ladies” to enter the party. “D Jones will be giving some lucky ladies in the building up to (a) $500 cash giveaway,” the flier reads.In addition to the cash giveaway and free admittance for women, the flier promises “24 free shots every hour on the hour,” compliments of D. Jones.

Mind you, the Tar Hells are prepping for their Dec. 26 bowl game against Missouri.

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Dan Besse’s Occupy logic

In response to the confrontation between police and Occupy protesters over the weekend, the Winston-Salem City Council ‘considered temporarily changing the city ordinance governing free speech and public assembly to prohibit such activities on City Hall grounds.’

After some members expressed concern about making such a swift change to city ordinance, the council voted to delay the discussion until the Jan.3 meeting.

Ironically enough, it was liberal council member Dan Besse who suggested the change. But check out his logic:

Besse said he proposed changing the ordinance because he was concerned about public safety and about protecting the City Hall grounds.

“There is nothing at this point to prevent some quasi-fascist group from coming out and getting into a screaming argument with these guys on that corner of the lawn, which was never designed and isn’t set up to accommodate extended open-air public meetings,” Besse said.

OK, I realize Occupy Winston-Salem has been a peaceful movement, engaging in negotiations with the city regarding a site for its protests. But that’s not been the case at other Occupy protests, and the potential for further unrest is there as what will certainly be a very ugly 2012 presidential campaign gets under way.

With that in mind, I find it interesting that Besse is concerned with right-wingers causing trouble on city grounds.

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