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New York Life ACC Tournament

Surprised this isn’t bigger news –read about it first in N&R columnist Ed Hardin’s blog post but haven’t seen widely reported elsewhere —the Atlantic Coast Conference has sold naming rights to it’s men’s basketball tournament.

Is there a bigger meaning here, considering the ACC Tournament is sailing away from Greensboro for quite a while following this year’s tourney? You’re darn right, Hardin says:

The irony of it is what stings. Here in Greensboro, we’re about to lose the tournament after March for a long time, until 2020, and now we have to endure other people calling it by its NASCAR name for the foreseeable future, a future that includes a couple of tournaments in Brooklyn, of all places.

Check out the logo. Is that our old Pilot Life building? Is that the Empire State Building? Are we being too thin-skinned?

You’re darn right we are.

Gboro will get the tourney back in 2020. After that, who knows?

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Gboro: First in transgender bathrooms

Rhino’s John Hammer notes the big news from Tuesday’s Greensboro City Council meeting—-the unanimous vote making Gboro the the first city in North Carolina to pass a resolution in favor of transgender bathrooms in all city buildings. Just to make sure the world knows about this distinction, Hammer suggests signage:

Greensboro: First in Taxes and in Transgender Bathrooms

Yes, the council did deal with more important issues, one of which is which of the Elm Street site to place the first building in the proposed Union Square Campus. The council is waiting on a decision from the Redevelopment Commission, and there was confusion over whether or not the council could instruct City Manager Jim Westmoreland to proceed with due diligence work before it was determined where exactly the building would sit.

But here’s the bottom line:

The reason for moving the building across the street seems to be simply because the project is not developing exactly as planned. The size of the building was reduced from over 100,000 square feet to between 80,000 square feet and 90,000 square feet because Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners did not agree to pay $450,000 a year for 10 years. GTCC and Guilford County reduced that to $150,000 a year for 10 years.

….Another factor pushing this is that the project is not moving along as quickly as the proponents thought it would, and it now looks like this will be the only building built on the site for at least five years.

Again, anyone who has lived Gboro for any length of time knows the city has been desperately trying to develop the corner of South Elm and Lee Streets. This is yet idea that seems great in theory, but nobody knows where the funding will materialize.

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Re: Randolph might buy megasite land

Randolph County Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing to consider buying land for proposed megasite that would attract an automobile manufacturer.

Commissioners want to spend $4.2 million to purchase 258 acres of the proposed 1,200-acre site. A state grant would provide $1.5 million of the funding, but where the rest of the funding will come from is less clear, as least as the N&R reports —“some of the money” the county “received from Waste Management Inc. to buy the rights to operate the county landfill” was “set aside for economic development.

No doubt commissioners will get an earful from county residents who don’t see the numbers adding up.

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Mabe will not resign

In its first meeting of the new year, Rockingham County Board of Commissioners took no action toward asking Chairman Keith Mabe to resign following his DWI arrest Dec. 13.

The issue was addressed, as Eden resident Keith London —who lost both daughters in a 2012 drunk driving accident, told Mabe “you let me down, you let our young people down and you let Rockingham County down.”

According to the N&R, Mabe “fidgeted and shuffled papers while avoiding eye contact.” Mabe has steadfastly maintained he will not resign.

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Friendly-Hobbs rezoning heats up—again—and again….

N&R reports City of Greensboro planning staff has recommended rezoning 6 acres on the corner Friendly Avenue and Hobbs Road for retail use, which once again will draw protests from nearby residents.

Next up— the city’s Zoning Commission and then—if necessary— the City Council.

Tom Terrell, attorney for the Atlanta-based developer, says his client has “gone above and beyond” in appeasing neighbors with the offer to leave at least 115 feet of land undeveloped and build a 13-foot wall.

“There is no other development in the Piedmont Triad that I am aware of where a developer has offered to construct a 13-foot tall wall adjacent to a residential area,” Terrell tells the N&R.

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Some liberal logic….

(Sound sinister music) …The dark side of lower gas prices…..increased traffic fatalities.

You guessed it —the solution is…..higher gas prices. Anybody else remember the days when higher gas prices were making Bush-Cheney and their evil oil buddies rich?

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W-S takes action on crime lab

The City of Winston-Salem has contracted with a private to test alcohol and drug evidence, a “move that law enforcement officials say will dramatically bolster the prosecution of cases involving defendants accused of driving drunk or dealing drugs.”

Blood-alcohol and drug evidence that took months – sometimes years – to test at the State Crime Lab will be tested within days at the new crime lab, said Karen Watson, the supervisor of the Forensics Services Division of the Winston-Salem Police Department. The local lab may be operational as early as this spring at the Alexander R. Beaty Public Safety Training and Support Center on Patterson Avenue.

Semi-related –today’s N&R front-pager on the upcoming focus on DWI mentions Eden resident Keith London, who lost both his daughters in s drunken driving accident in July 2012. The 18-year-old driver of the vehicle in which London’s daughters were riding was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of felony death by motor vehicle—-and her case still is pending in Rockingham County Superior Court.

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Gboro’s shrunken council

Since Sen. Trudy Wade is not talking, the N&R ponders reasons why Wade would enterlegislation shrinking Greensboro City Council from nine to seven members when the legislature convenes come mid-January:

What prompted this switch? Who was behind the idea?

In the absence of a detailed explanation from Wade, folks have come up with their own theories: Political payback. Revenge from business leaders done wrong by council members.

A simpler idea seems more likely: Those in charge will use their power to keep themselves — and their friends — in power.

What did the council do to tick off business people?

Well, Councilwoman Sharon Hightower pointed out that the council has rejected bidders for lucrative contracts in the last year because they didn’t have enough participation from minority- and women-owned subcontractors.

Hey-I can understand business people wanting to get rid of Hightower, who holds up practically every contract over MWBE issues when many of the contracts are highly specialized businesses –like installing furnaces in the water treatment plant —where finding contractors period —much less MWBE contractors –can be difficult.

Still you have to wonder exactly what a conservative, business-friendly Greensboro City Council would look like. Would such a council crackdown on incentives, breaking the current council’s pattern of handing out money to pretty much anybody who asks? Would it snub fed programs like the SC2 Challenge (which –as John Hammer points out —is all about the money but not so much the implementation)? Would they do away with the notion that federal money is free money? Would it tell the civil right museum to sink or swim? Would they truly be more business friendly to entrepreneurs by streamlining city regulations?

I remember how it went for Bill Knight after he was elected mayor in 2009 with hopes that he would reign things in a bit. It didn’t go well —he lost his reelection bid to the rino Robbie Perkins and in 2013 was defeated in 2013 by liberal Nancy Hoffmann in the District 4 race. So I’ll believe a “conservative, business friendly” City Council when I see it.

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Big money Democrats

Letter to the editor in today’s N&R, from Stokesdale resident John Parson:

Leading up to the 2014 midterm elections, the Koch brothers were vilified and ridiculed by liberal Democrats who eagerly informed us that “the Republican Party was the party of the 1 percenters and Wall Street bankers” and the evil Kochs were attempting to “buy the election” for Thom Tillis and other Republicans around the country.

As it turns out (according to the AP), among those groups required to disclose what they raise and spend on campaigns, the Democrats enjoyed a 3 to 1 advantage over the Republicans from wealthy donors. The top 10 individual donors to outside groups spent $128 million on the midterms, with Democrats raking in $91 million of it.

With that in mind, check out this interesting Investor’s Business Daily article (via Carolina Plott Hound) on plans to keep the Democratic slush fund flowing —2016 will be here before we know it — courtesy of our old friend –former Sen. Mel Watt, now head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency:

The money will help build apartments for extremely low-income Americans, says Watt, the former Congressional Black Caucus leader whom President Obama hand-picked to regulate Fannie and Freddie. The funds will also help the poor afford their own homes through down payments and other assistance.

But nonprofit housing activist groups will distribute the funds. So count on money being diverted to ACORN fronts and clones, beholden to the Democratic Party, who in the past have laundered housing grant money to finance political campaigns.

Like I said, 2016 will be here before we know it –if it’s not already here with the media’s eagerness to prove what a wonderful leader President Obama has been in order to set up their candidate, whoever it will be. With that in mind, expect more rhetoric on the evils of wealth while behind the scenes Democrats will be raking it in with both hands. Not that they won’t be raking it in with both hands in broad daylight, either, while the mainstream media conveniently looks the other way.

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Lacy Ward speaks

Ousted International Civil Rights Center and Museum director Lacy Ward Jr. counters board chair Deena Hayes Greene’s op-ed with an op-ed of his own in yesterday’s N&R.

Ward urges the museum to accept the City of Greensboro’s offer to take over museum operations:

Only the city has the resources necessary to cover the short-term needs of the museum (much as the city did in 2013 and 2014 through its forgivable loan). With solvency assured by the city’s continued partnership, the museum will be able to once again attract corporate, foundation and individual donors. Their return, however, is dependent not only on a strong balance sheet but also on the adoption of nonprofit-sector best practices.

Meanwhile interim museum director John Swaine sends out the mayday call to previous donors in an effort to retire the museum’s debt, while board member and attorney Doug Harris finally sends the city the museum’s financials, or at least somethong that looks like financials.

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