Nice long Memorial Day weekend, so here’s catching up:
*Is N.C.’s unemployment rate more like 16 percent?
*The City of Greensboro will repair the historic downtown Cascade Saloon building, at a cost of $700k —after it acquires the building through eminent domain. Mayor Robbie Perkins says —according to the N&R — the city “likely will lose money, but it will be worth the expense to save the historic building”;
*Costs to operate the Greensboro Coliseum will rise $300k in the coming fiscal year;
*Protesters at Joel Coliseum gun show read names of gun violence victims;
*High Point Mayor Bernita Sims’ legal troubles stem from the settlement of her late sister’s estate;
*Differing views from local law enforcement officers on NTSB recommendation to lower the blood alcohol content threshold from .08 to .05;
*Alamance County jail generates $2.7m in revenue, some of it through the federal 287(g) program, which the federal government has since terminated.
98th out of 102 markets measured for economic vitality by American City Business Journals.
The 18 components are basically five economic components at different intervals, which means —according to ACBJ –that Gboro-High Point ranks near the bottom in private sector employment, retail employment, construction employment, home values and–last but not least —unemployment rate.
Like I said —ouch.
Update: Meanwhile the cost of dying in Greensboro might go up, with City Manager Denise Turner Roth seeking huge bumps in burials and services in city-run cemeteries.
Like I said, ouch.
Let’s start out with Richard Barron’s N&R front-pager on Randolph County officials possibly backing off the the proposed megasite in light of Gov. Pat McCrory’s plan to privatize the Department of Commerce:
The commerce department helped Randolph County initiate the project.
But if it goes private, it’s unclear what that means for Randolph County. Without state support, Randolph County officials are certain they can’t move forward in what is estimated to be a $40 million to $50 million process.
Alan Ferguson, a Greensboro lawyer who lives next to the site and leads the property owners who have said they will never sell, said he’s talked to Randolph County officials who are taking a second look.
“I’ve spoken to public officials who have told me that they do have concerns about the project,” Ferguson said.
Note in the comments that UNCG economics professor Andrew Brod suggests “an enterprising business reporter tackle precisely what the Republicans’ privatization proposal for state-level economic-development activities would mean at the local level.”
Turns out the Winston-Salem Journal’s Richard Craver is that enterprising business reporter. Craver takes a look at the challenges the Piedmont Triad Partnership could face with the shift in focus. Turns out the only thing PTP is sure about is they’re not getting any money from the state the next fiscal year—- which is bad news, at least for them.
The ACC has never held its tournament farther north than Landover, Md., and North Carolina has been the event’s home for all but 11 of its 60 playings.
But, with former Big East members Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining this year — and Louisville to follow next season — it has caused a shift in thinking for the conference.
Swofford has previously said the ACC’s teams want to see a tournament structure that keeps its home base in North Carolina with periodic bounces out to other parts of the ACC’s reach.
“I don’t know that that’s necessarily changing,” Swofford said. “We’re not at an endpoint yet in terms of the rotation and what that will look like going forward.”
Maybe it’s me, but that wasn’t exactly a vociferous defense of the Greensboro Coliseum as host going forward. I also kinda forgot about the Barclay Center, which is under contract to the Atlantic 10 Tournament until 2017. Wonder which tournament they’d rather have.
Remember it’s all about money, so don’t be surprised at what might happen. We’re only talking about the world’s Most Famous Arena in the world’s largest media market.
Fox 8 reports on the City of Greensboro’s plan to condemn property along High Point road as part of the transformation to ‘Gate City Boulevard.’
Winston-Salem City Manager Lee Garrity tells the Journal that Wake Forest University has agreed to keep Joel Coliseum open to the public past 2034 should the sale go through.
Only roadblock now is the City Council, which considers the sale of coliseum —along with the sale of Bowman Gray Stadium to WSSU — at tonight’s meeting. Don’t see the council holding this up, but as I’ve said many (many, many, many) times before, nothing surprises me any more.
Update Council approves sale, but subject to 10-day period for an ‘upset bid.’
Heard the discussion on sports talk radio the other evening:
Sources on Wednesday said the conference is “thoroughly investigating” playing its tournament at the Garden, with one source adamant that it eventually would be held in the World’s Most Famous Arena, which would take it out of traditional ACC country for the first time.
“We’ll be playing there,” a source said. “It’s just a matter of getting all the legal ramifications worked out.”
No doubt a lot of legalities to be worked out with the new Big East, but a sources seem confident they can them all worked out. That’s what the higher power put lawyers on the Earth, eh?
Meck Deck speculates adding Madison Square Garden into the mix “obviously reduces the odds that Charlotte will host the ACC’s men’s basketball tournament ever again.” And what about Gboro, which has the tournament only through 2015?
In his Sunday column, N&R editor Jeff “Grits” Gauger says farewell to the Rhinoceros Times.
While Gauger is kind to John Hammer –he writes that he stopped by Rhino headquarters and paid his respects—– he manages to get in a little shot:
It’s an irony, perhaps, that the Rhino died for reasons held most dear by the conservatives whose views the newspaper said it channeled. It failed as a business.
Its failure highlights a dissonance at the heart of newspapers’ challenges in a world of new consumer habits. Journalism is not, by itself, a business. It is a public service, one that at the Rhino, the News & Record and most other news outlets is supported by a commercial enterprise. The journalism may succeed even as the business fails.
Funny I don’t see the irony because that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen in a free market society –you put on your money on the line to start a business and you either make it or you don’t. It should be a universal truth instead of the grey area we’ve created where government picks winners and losers.
Here’s an idea — Hammer should do what quite a few businesses here in Gboro do –go before the City Council and ask for a loan (with favorable terms, mind you) to keep his business going. He could argue the Rhino is not only providing jobs, but –as Gauger put it –providing a public service. Indeed much of the response to the Rhino’s demise has focused on the valuable public service it provided by keeping a close eye on local government.
Crazy idea, I know. Hammer wouldn’t do that, and if he did, we can probably guess what the answer would be. At least we know for sure he wouldn’t get Mayor Robbie Perkins’ vote.
Many times of driven South Elm-Eugene street and taken note of the world headquarters of Ashtae Products and its sister company Black Network Television. Today’s N&R has a front-pager on the BNT sitcom ‘Watcha Cookin,’ which they hope will become the network’s first nationally-syndicated show.
BNT’s backed by the success of Ashtae’s hair care business, and Kim “Tootie” Fields — the show’s director and executive producer— describes owners Michael and Ramona Woods as ““stellar business people, creative visionaries … and people of faith.”
Cool, I thought to myself—here’s the the creative class that Richard ‘Mr. Creative Class’ Florida keeps talking about. Then the other shoe dropped:
To help with the $1 million cost of the first 13 episodes, the network will ask the Greensboro City Council for a $300,000 loan. It would be repaid over 10 years, with interest only to be paid in the first year.
The City Council will consider the request at its meeting Tuesday.
The show and BNT will create more than entertainment, Michael Woods pointed out.
They create jobs, economic development and exposure for Greensboro, he said.
Interesting request to say the least —-not from the usual artsy types around here. Stay tuned.
Lorillard Tobacco Co. is donating $1 million toward Greensboro’s proposed downtown performing arts center.
Mayor Robbie Perkins says Lorillard’s donation gives the project “credibility and momentum,” while Community Foundation president Walker Sanders says the “leadership they have shown to this project is very significant” and that he hopes the $20 million private funding goal will be met by May 31.