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Archive for April 19th, 2012

COPs for for G’boro performing arts center?

I’m a little naive, so I didn’t take the suggestion that the Greensboro City Council would resort to certificates of participation to fund a downtown performing arts center as seriously as I should have.

This WGHP story is a big dose of reality. Note Walker Sanders’ response to council member Trudy Wade’s statement that taxpayers should be directly involved at the ballot box:

Walker Sanders, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, believes taxpayers are involved. That’s through representative government via the City Council and representation by the 63-member task force. The task force has also held and will hold community forums where anyone can listen to the plans and ask questions.

He said it’s not about getting around voter approval. Instead, it’s about trying to find some other way to pay for the performing arts center than putting even more tax burden on the backs of city property owners.

He believes that’s what a bond referendum would do, so he said other methods should be considered.

Those other methods include COPs but also using hotel taxes and parking deck money, which would, again, require city council approval but not individual voter approval.

Get ready—the powers that be want this bad, and they see the handwriting on the wall that a bond referendum won’t pass.

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W-S mayor takes powder on Amendment One resolution

Noted absence from Monday’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting, when council member Molly Leight sought to place a resolution opposing Amendment One on the agenda:

Seven of the eight members were present. Mayor Allen Joines, smart guy that he is, was absent.Perhaps he had inkling of the minefield ahead and wisely took a powder.

Winston-Salem Journal columnist Scott Sexton says he stands “with those who find it an abomination to use the constitution to restrict, rather than protect, the rights of the minority.” But he concludes local governing bodies have better things to do than “popping off on divisive social issues that the voters themselves will decide on May 8.”

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Re: Farewell, Guarino

I would be remiss if I did not wish Joe Guarino well in his future endeavors. The good doctor posted yesterday that it was time to move on.

Seven years ago seems like an eternity. I remember Guarino showing up in the comments of G’boro’s local blogs —including my former personal blog—- before deciding to get into the game himself. The blogosphere has been a better place since.

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Bobcats’ woeful season unravels

Meck Deck has been keeping track of the Charlotte Bobcats’ woeful season, which at the moment is on a record-setting pace.

But the Yahoo story on the confrontation between coach Paul Silas and forward Tyrus Thomas is too good not to pass along (emphasis mine):

According to the report, Silas took exception to Thomas for fraternizing with some of the Celtics and yelled at him after the game. Shouting ensued and the 68-year-old Silas shoved Thomas toward his locker stall.The two were then separated.

I’d like to read about Michael Jordan kicking some butt in the Bobcats locker room. But he’s probably too busy watching his bank account, which dwindles every time his team takes the court.

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Hotel tax for downtown G’boro PAC ‘moot point?’

Today the N&R reports the dispute over possibly using hotel taxes to help build a $50 million performing arts center might be a ‘moot point’ because debt on Greensboro Coliseum improvements “likely will be paid off by the time the city needs to spend the tax revenue on a performing arts center.”

Meanwhile, I couldn’t help but note the irony in today’s editorial. The N&R seems perplexed that the Greater Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau accepts legal the advice of a Raleigh attorney who says hotel tax funds cannot be used for a downtown performing arts over the advice of Greensboro’s interim city attorney.

Yet the editorial turns around places stock on the advice of Durham city leaders:

From where we sit, the ideal choice is clear: a downtown facility stands a greater chance of creating positive economic ripples by increasing pedestrian traffic and stimulating business for center-city shops and restaurants. Durham leaders told a visiting contingent from Greensboro last week that the Durham Performing Arts Center has had precisely this effect in that city’s downtown during its first year of operation. And when asked where they believe the best site would be in Greensboro, they didn’t hesitate: downtown.

Meanwhile note the advice of commenter ‘City Watcher,’ who says the “hotel motel tax may become irrelevant because the city can still fund this performing arts center with tax dollars and without voter approval through something called ‘Certificates of Participation.’This is how Durham funded its performing arts center.”

I wonder how well that would go over with G’boro taxpayers.

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Detailed allegations in Dem sexual harassment scandal

N&O reports:

A former staffer accused the state Democratic Party’s executive director of showing him a picture of male genitals, caressing his leg and discussing his sexual exploits, according to new documents obtained by The News & Observer.

The sexual harassment allegations are detailed in a Dec. 8 letter from Adriadn Ortega, a former party staffer, to then-Executive Director Jay Parmley. Ortega claimed he was “fired in retaliation for my complaints of sexual harassment” and asked for a severance equal to his annual pay and health care coverage for a year.

..In the letter, Ortega says Parmley:

• Frequently gave him unwanted shoulder rubs despite verbal objections.

• Pointed to his crotch area and asked how his crotch looked in his pants.

• On July 28, detailed his past sexual activities.

• On July 29, showed Ortega a picture of a penis.

• On Sept. 6, caressed Ortega’s leg as they drove back from a Democratic convention kick-off in Charlotte.

Party Chairman David Parker is still refusing to resign, calling for a party referendum on his chairmanship, a plan that Gov. Bev Perdue called unacceptable.

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