The Rhinoceros Times
Vol. XXIII No. 17
© Copyright 2013 The Rhinoceros Times
Farmer Sues Farmers’ Mart by john hammer editor
Sometimes it is better to be wrong, but unfortunately we were right about the Greensboro Farmers Market. If you are fond of the Greensboro Farmers Market on Yanceyville Street the way it has been for years, you had better get down there soon because in a year or two it may not be recognizable with the changes the current board is making. Mike Faucette of Faucette Farms, who was thrown out of the Farmers Market in March, is represented by Seth Cohen of Smith, James, Rowlett & Cohen
At-large Greensboro City Councilmember Nancy Vaughan said Friday, April 19, “I have decided to run for mayor.” Vaughan said that, earlier in the year, she had considered running but decided against it. She didn’t give a specific reason for changing her mind, but the timing cannot be ignored. Mayor Robbie Perkins filed for personal bankruptcy on April 5 in Charlotte, but says
Thursday, April 25, 2013
and has filed suit against the Greensboro Farmers Market, asking for the courts to reinstate him. Faucette was thrown out of the Farmers Market on March 6 for allegedly selling vegetables he didnít grow on his farm in Brown Summit at the Farmers Market. He appealed that decision on March 18, and after his appeal was denied he filed suit. The Faucettes have been selling produce at the Farmers Market for over 100 years. Faucette Farms had one of the biggest (Continued on page 44)
Nancy Vaughan Runs for Mayor by john hammer editor
Greensboro, North Carolina
that he still intends to run for reelection. Vaughan issued a press release on her candidacy on Saturday, April 20. Friday she said, “I called Robbie this morning.” She said it was one of the hardest phone calls she has had to make because they have worked together on the City Council for 15 years and that Perkins has been a friend of her husband, Don Vaughan, for (Continued on page 44)
Photo by John Hammer
The World Headquarters of The Rhinoceros Times up until 2007 was on the first floor of the Southeastern Building on the corner of North Elm and East Market streets, which is finally going to undergo the renovation that was planned before the recession put a stop to just about everything. Here it is reflected in the windows of the Law Center across the street. I couldn’t help but notice that the contractor had put the Port a Potties right outside what used to be my office window. I’m glad I’m not still there.
Alston Returns To Ask The County For Money by Scott D. Yost county editor
When former Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston – who was chairman of the Board of Commissioners five times during his 20-year stint as a commissioner – showed up at the Thursday, April 18 commissioners meeting, reporters asked Alston what he was doing there. “The rule,” he joked, “is that, if someone has been chairman five times, they get to come back and
Inside this issue
Photo by John Hammer
A tourist from the Chicago area gives a busker on South Elm Street some folding money on Wednesday. Buskers used to be discouraged downtown and now the city is encouraging street musicians and street entertainment.
High Point News............ 8 Entertainment Guide.... 10 Sound of the Beep.......... 9 Uncle Orson Reviews....11 Yost Column................ 13 Puzzles............ 14, 40, 42 Rhino Real Estate........ 17 Letters to the Editor..... 37 Editorial Cartoon.......... 50 under the hammer....... 51
participate in the meetings any time they want.” The former chairman also pointed out that there were a couple of empty seats on the dais – last year redistricting shrank the board from 11 members to nine. So no one would mind, Alston said, if he took one of those unused chairs. He added that he’d parked in his reserved commissioners’ spot under the Old Guilford County Court House – though hopefully that was a joke as well. Despite Alston’s wry sense of humor, the former chairman – a liberal Democrat reviled by some in Guilford County and loved by others – didn’t sit at the dais during the meeting. In fact, Alston didn’t even speak during the public hearing that he was there to oversee. Alston was at the meeting with Greensboro attorney Henry Isaacson to convince the ninemember Republican-majority
Board of Commissioners to approve a $7 million loan issued through the Public Finance (Continued on page 41)
Rhino Rumors From staff and wire reports
After taking a winter break The Rhino Times Schmoozefest returns Thursday, April 25 from 6 to 8 pm at the Antique Market Place at 6428 Burnt Poplar Road in Greensboro. As usual drinks and food will be served gratis to those who sign in and wear a name tag. --Driving around Greensboro this time of year I keep (Continued on page 38)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Perkins Financial Woes Are Pertinent by john hammer editor
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
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If you believe in democracy, it’s good news for Greensboro that At-large City Expert Service For Councilmember Nancy Vaughan is running for mayor. It means Greensboro will have a aboutPorsche our BMW Ask Mercedes competitive mayoral race where issues are discussed and voters have a choice. pre-purchase inspections! Jaguar Volvo Audi VW There were a limited number of people who could challenge an incumbent mayor at this late stage and have a reasonable chance of success. Vaughan is one. If you were thinking about running for mayor – unless you have great name 2629 Randleman Road | www.kormanautoworks.com recognition and a built-in constituency – believe me it is too late, unless you can raise $200,000. If you can raise that kind of money, jump on in the water is fine. Perkins raised and spent over $90,000 in the last election cycle. www.kormanautoworks.com 2629 Randleman Rd. Running for the City Council is a whole different story, particularly in the district races. In district races you can make a difference by walking neighborhoods and attending every function in the district where more than two people are gathered. But Greensboro is now a city of over 270,000 people, for mayoral candidates to reach that many people they have to use the media, which means they have to spend money. A serious, viable mayoral candidate was needed because issues need to be discussed. We Specialize in: Vaughan has said she does not intend to discuss Perkins’ personal financial Custom Hoses difficulties. Taking the high road may be admirable, but in this case I think the personal financial issues are too troubling to ignore. Not because Perkins has declared Custom Fittings bankruptcy – in this economy that could happen to any small business owner. I don’t fault Perkins for that. Custom Brake Lines But one of the most important jobs the mayor and City Council have is setting the city budget. The budget is a guide, and the council makes budget adjustments at nearly www.alliancehtw.com every meeting, but also makes decisions about things that aren’t covered in the budget, 3012-F S. Elm-Eugene St. like deciding whether or not to issue certificates of participation – a way to borrow huge (Directions I-40 Business, sums of money without voter approval. Issuing two-thirds bonds is another way for the South on Elm-Eugene St., city to finance multimillion-dollar projects by borrowing money without voter approval. 1/4 mile on the right) Perkins has expressed interest in both. Issuing general obligation bonds, what are (336) 378-9736 usually referred to as bonds, is a way to borrow money that requires voter approval. But they are all ways for the city to go further into debt. And Perkins doesn’t appear opposed to any of them if the result is a downtown performing arts center. So a candidate’s personal financial philosophy is worth considering because it reflects on his or her professional financial philosophy. We know what Perkins thinks is important enough to make sure it gets paid and what he thinks isn’t important because he has filed for bankruptcy, and all that has been made public. For Perkins, on the unimportant list would be his income taxes, his daughter’s tuition at Greensboro Day School, and full child support and alimony – which includes paying the mortgage on the house where his wife and child live – as set out in the separation agreement and upheld by the courts. Because of the bankruptcy we know that Perkins doesn’t consider those bills important because he hasn’t paid them. By the same token we know what Perkins believes is important because we know what he has paid. The reason he is in bankruptcy is because he didn’t have the money to pay all his bills, so he had to prioritize, and we know what his priorities are.
Get Hosed by the Best!
(Continued on page 40)
The Rhinoceros Times
We Make Conservatism Cool TM The Rhinoceros Times, an award-winning newspaper, is published weakly by Hammer Publications, 216 W. Market St., Greensboro, North Carolina. The Rhino Times is intended to entertain and inform its thousands of readers worldwide. Mailing address: P.O. Box 9421 Greensboro, NC 27429 News: (336) 273-0880 Advertising: (336) 273-0885 Fax: (336) 273-0821 Beep: (336) 273-0898 Website: www.rhinotimes.com Letters to the Editor: email@example.com
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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
City inspectors may hold up Grimsley pool by paul C. clark Staff Writer
Whether or not the pool at Grimsley High School can be repaired for $1.13 million depends largely on the city’s building inspectors. Don Gilchrest, the organizer of a group of Grimsley pool supporters, Save Our Pool, dropped by The Rhino Times World Headquarters on Tuesday, April 23, and he, like other Grimsley pool advocates, was angry. The Greensboro City Council on April 16 voted to default on its 1975 agreement with the Greensboro Board of Education
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to maintain the pool, instead choosing to dump it on Guilford County Schools in an unusable condition along with $400,000 to put towards its repair or demolition. That amount isn’t enough to do anything but what Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins wanted to do with the pool in the first place – bulldoze the building and fill in the pool, which has now been used by a couple of generations of not only Grimsley students, but the public and scouting and swimming-education groups. The vote was a pretty sweet deal for the City Council – it got the pool off its hands, and put the school board in the position of taking the political heat for the mess Greensboro created by not maintaining the pool in the first place. “If the school board wants to spend $4 million to $5 million of their money on another pool, that’s their decision,” Perkins said in September 2012. “I don’t see that the City Council is going to spend $5 million to fix someone else’s pool. After all, it is a school facility.” The problem is that was untrue, since the city owns the pool and has contractually committed itself to maintain it. Its failure to do so has galvanized Gilchrest’s group and other supporters who grew up using the pool. The city has not yet deeded the pool to the Guilford County Board of Education – meaning there is still time for pool supporters to pressure the City Council into changing its mind. A concerted effort by the school board would help. The night of the City Council vote, Guilford County Schools Executive Director of Facilities Management Robert Melton returned from the City Council meeting to give the school board a report on the vote at the tail end of the school board meeting. The vote to hand Greensboro’s problem off to Guilford County Schools – even though the school board is living up to its commitment to maintain a similar pool at Smith High School built at the same time – was 8 to 1, with Councilmember Yvonne Johnson casting the sole no vote. Melton told the school board about the Save our Pool proposal, saying it was
estimated to cost $1.2 million. Gilchrest said the figure is actually $1.13 million Melton said, “However, that proposal hasn’t been completely vetted by city engineers at this point.” The Save our Pools team includes some impressive talent. In addition to Gilchrest, president of the Greensboro Swimming Association and the parent of a Grimsley student, and Ted Szostak, a diving coach and architect, the team includes civil engineer Joe Hooten, who Gilchrest said worked on the construction of the Proximity Hotel. The Greensboro City Council proposals to repair and upgrade the pool, prepared by the engineering firm Sutton-Kennerly & Associates, range in cost from $2.5 million to $4.8 million. Gilchrest argues that Sutton-Kennerly increased the price by using “scare tactics” to push for unneeded upgrades. Melton said that the City Council had mentioned just handing over the keys and the deed. School board member Jeff Belton said, “That would mean we would not necessarily get any money at all May 1 – we would just get the keys and the deed.” School board Chairman Alan Duncan
said the transfer of the pool to the school board would happen by operation of law under the deed anyway – which may be true. The deed specifies that, if the city stops using the building for a pool, or stops maintaining it, the property reverts to the school board. But the deed doesn’t specify what would trigger such a transfer. Now the school board has its transaction, or will May 1, and Save Our Pool members, like Gilchrist, are madder than a wet cat. School board member Ed Price, the most potent master of extravagant similes on the school board, compared the situation to an obscure episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, with which The Rhino Times was unfortunately insufficiently familiar to decode. More comprehensibly, Price compared the City Council’s actions to borrowing your college roommate’s convertible for a date and coming back the next day with the roof missing and dents all over the car and saying, “I had a great time, but I have no idea what happened to the car.” “These people are just not doing us right,” Price said of the city weaseling out (Continued on page 42)
Working from home? by Alex JakubseN Staff Writer
Neighbors are complaining that Jeff Hyde is flouting the law by operating a photography studio out of a residential property at 200 East Newlyn St. Hyde is one of the founders of Conservatives for Guilford County (C4gc), the local Tea Party group. He ran for state Senate in 2010 and was defeated by former Sen. Don Vaughan. Hyde also ran a bruising campaign for Chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party in 2011 and lost to Al Bouldin. In April 2012, Hyde was issued a notice of zoning violation for operating a business in a residential area. At that time the second floor of the Newlyn Street house was being operated as a studio for Aesthetic Images Photography and the first floor was being used as a retail store for clothing and accessories. Hyde initially appealed the notice of violation and his appeal was scheduled to go before the Greensboro Board of Adjustment in June 2012. Hyde withdrew his appeal and took advantage of Greensboro’s home occupation guidelines, which allow for 30 percent of the gross square footage of a residence to be used for a home business. The clothing store was removed from the premises and Hyde changed the address on his voter registration and driver’s license to 200 East Newlyn St. The home occupancy guidelines also restrict employees from working at the
dwelling, reporting to work at or near the dwelling, going by the dwelling to pick up supplies or work orders, reporting to the dwelling to be paid or “associating with the dwelling in any manner that could be interpreted as part of a normal employer/ employee relationship.” However, neighbors are complaining that Hyde is not abiding by the home occupancy guidelines and that he is not living in the house. One neighbor, who asked not to be named, said that Hyde, who also owns a home with his family at 1117 Cornwallis Dr., has not spent the night at the Newlyn Street house in months. Greensboro City Councilmember Nancy Vaughan brought up neighbor complaints she had received about the photography studio at the Tuesday, April 16 council meeting. At the time City Manager Denise Roth said she was going to have staff look into the issue. Zoning Enforcement Officer Jeff McClintock said he has no evidence that Hyde doesn’t reside at the property. “At this point I would say that the documentation that he has provided says that he is residing there,” he said. McClintock said that his ability to investigate whether or not Hyde is actually living at the property is limited. “We don’t have the manpower to watch the house,” he said. McClintock said he inspected the (Continued on page 42)
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Barnes in Spin Cycle over Dryergate by Scott D. Yost county editor
No one is calling it Dryer-gate quite yet, but the seemingly simple matter of purchasing three large dryers for the new jail in downtown Greensboro has raised a host of questions, and it’s also set off a debate about a much larger underlying issue. Some commissioners say that a recent request from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department to buy the three new dryers is incomprehensible; and, while the Board of Commissioners did approve the request on a 7-to-2 vote at the Thursday, April 18 meeting, many commissioners said it raised a lot of questions they’d like answered. The no votes were cast by Commissioners Bruce Davis and Ray Trapp. On the surface, the request was a seemingly straightforward one to use $10,460 in federal grant money to buy three large clothes dryers for the new jail in downtown Greensboro, which began holding inmates last September. Usually, the commissioners don’t scrutinize the spending of grant money to the same extent they do expenditures of money that comes from Guilford County taxpayers – however, in this case, the commissioners had a great many questions regarding the request. Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes wasn’t at the April 18 commissioners meeting when the board discussed the issue. In his place, Barnes had sent Capt. K.L. Watkins, the commander of the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office Greensboro Detention Center – better known as the new county jail in downtown Greensboro, or BJ’s Bed & Breakfast. Many commissioners had the following question: Guilford County just built the brand new jail at a cost of about $100 million, and, when it did, it presumably fully furnished that facility. So why does the county now need to spend more money on more dryers? The commissioners questioned Watson, who revealed that, with the bond money that’s been spent so far on the new jail, six large brand new clothes dryers where purchased. According to the jail experts who designed the jail and determined the facility’s equipment needs, six dryers should be adequate to handle the drying of sheets, clothes, etc., for 1,032 inmates – which is how many inmates the new jail can hold at full capacity. The new jail was designed to be expanded as the jail population rose. The laundry room is built so that, years down the road, once a planned 600-inmate jail annex is added, the laundry area would hold nine dryers to handle clothes and sheets for just over 1,600 inmates in Greensboro. At the April 18 meeting, the new dryers constituted part of a $83,000 package of
grant money used for the purchase of the dryers, renovations to the public reception area of the High Point detention area, and video recording equipment for the jails. Davis, a longtime political foe of Barnes, raised the issue when he pulled the item from the consent agenda – which is a list of items set for quick approval with no discussion by the board. Items for action listed on the consent agenda are generally considered to be routine housekeeping matters. But Davis said he wanted to know why Guilford County had built a new jail, and supposedly fully equipped it well with all that money – yet, apparently, no money was allocated out of that $100 million for dryers. Watkins said there was money for dryers in that amount, and said the jail currently had six dryers that were bought when the jail was furnished. “Why not buy nine?” Davis asked. “We came in under budget.” Watkins said the total of nine dryers was called for in the future plans. Davis said, “Someone in their infinite wisdom said that now is the time to go from six to nine.” Guilford County Property and Parks Management Director Sandy Woodard joined the discussion. Woodard said the central washroom and kitchen service area of the new jail was designed to one day handle the needs of the 1,600 inmates that the county might be holding in Greensboro years down the line – if it filled the new jail to capacity and then built the 600-inmate annex. Of course, a check this week of the current inmate population in the new Greensboro jail revealed that it’s holding 598 inmates, which is 58 percent of the 1,032 inmates that the existing six dryers in that facility were supposedly sufficient to handle. Also, 598 inmates is only 37 percent of the 1,600 that would be the capacity of the new jail and a future annex. Given those numbers, Davis asked, “So do we need the dryers?” Watkins said there are six dryers handling the job now, but he added that three new dryers would create a better workflow and jail staff would never have to wait for one dryer to finish before beginning to dry another load. Davis said that, given the low number of inmates now in the new jail, it didn’t make any sense to equip the jail for 1,600 inmates that are nowhere to be found, and aren’t expected anytime in the near future. Davis said the conversation of how many dryers would be needed for 1,032 inmates had already taken place when the jail was designed. He said the number of dryers needed for the 1,032 inmates was “well thought out.” (Continued on page 44)
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Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Perkins Changes Tune On Free Speech by Alex JakubseN Staff Writer
Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins has asked the City Council to limit free speech at council meetings. “I would ask this body whether we should limit the speakers’ time to one appearance per month,” said Perkins, towards the end of the Tuesday, April 16 council meeting in the council chambers at city hall. Speakers from the floor is supposed to be a 30-minute period at regular council meetings for people to speak for three minutes on non-agenda items, but it often goes over that allotted time. Perkins’ suggestion would mean an individual could only speak from the floor at one meeting per month. Perkins, who in 2011 advocated moving speakers from the floor from after public hearings and business items to earlier in the meeting, said some speakers have worn out his patience by taking up the council’s time with repetitive complaints and requests. In 2011 there was a regular group that came to every meeting and expressed the same complaints about opening the White Street Landfill. Perkins agreed with their position and spoke out against limiting their opportunities to speak. During speakers from the floor earlier in the April 16 meeting, former Greensboro Police Capt. Charles Cherry, who was fired in 2010 and is a regular speaker from the
floor, criticized Perkins over declaring personal bankruptcy in his dispute with his estranged wife over child support and alimony. Cherry went after Perkins for having to be ordered by the court to pay back child support. “Robbie, you are a pathetic deadbeat that should be locked up,” he said. Cherry usually goes through a laundry list of accusations against the Greensboro
Police Department and City Manager Denise Roth and aggressively harangues councilmembers for not addressing them. Council meetings are televised, and the speakers from the floor segment has attracted a number of regulars like Cherry, George Hartzman, who has announced he is running for mayor, and Leon Nutez. Nutez uses his time to talk about any number of loosely related subjects, often bringing up issues that the City Council has
no control over. At the April 16 meeting Nutez talked about why the city should legalize gambling, which is controlled by the state. Hartzman often makes accusations of financial impropriety and conflicts of interest on the part of councilmembers. When Perkins ran for mayor in 2011, he campaigned on openness of government and the importance of hearing from the (Continued on page 47)
Solar Girls Heat Up Blue Room by Scott D. Yost county editor
When Guilford County administrators asked two experts in alternative energy to give a presentation on solar power to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, Miriam Makhyoun and Betsy McCorkle, of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, almost certainly had no idea what kind of firestorm they were walking into. While the two women have probably given similar presentations many times to numerous public bodies, when they presented their information to the commissioners at a Thursday, April 18
work session in the Blue Room of the Old Guilford County Court House, some commissioners went on the attack – questioning their facts, implying that they had hidden motives, and aggressively confronting the two women. Makhyoun and McCorkle – both who look to be in their mid-20s – held their own during the sometimes uncomfortable hour-plus meeting; and, when it was over, Guilford County Deputy Planning Director Les Eger, who had invited the two women to speak, tried to offer them a little comfort. “I asked them if they needed a hug,” Eger said. When the two sustainable energy experts were asked about the experience after the meeting, they said they were happy to answer the commissioners’ questions, and they added that that type of frank give and take allowed the facts about solar energy to come out. With all the questions from the commissioners – including some abrasive ones – the discussion with Makhyoun and McCorkle ran over the allotted time, and a third presenter, Frank Yeboah, a professor at NC A&T State University, was forced to give his presentation at a breakneck pace that almost left him out of breath. Or, rather, he gave the very beginning of his presentation at breakneck speed, because the commissioners cut him off soon after he began. They had to get upstairs for their Thursday, April 18 regular commissioners meeting. The board had scheduled the work session on solar energy largely at the request of Commissioner Alan Branson, who has concerns about solar farm expansion in the county. Last month, special-use permits were approved for good-sized solar farms in the southeastern corner of Guilford County that Branson represents. Many residents are opposed to solar operations because they believe the solar collectors and power distribution equipment endanger the health of those who live in the surrounding area. They also argue that the solar farms ruin the way of life they moved to a rural part of the county to enjoy. At the April 18 work session, Makhyoun gave the presentation and McCorkle
added some color commentary and fielded questions while keeping her seat in the audience. Makhyoun’s presentation started out pleasantly enough. She offered a lot of basic information about solar energy. She said state legislators were currently working on a draft of an ordinance that would regulate solar farms across the state. Makhyoun said North Carolina is an “active participant” in the industry that has been growing worldwide. She said the discussion over a coming state ordinance looked at “end of life issues” for solar farms, safety concerns, the influence of solar farms on property values and other topics related to solar energy in North Carolina. Photovoltaic conversion solar collectors – known as “PV” collectors – are a commonly used technology in the industry, and Makhyoun said that dismantling and cleaning up solar farms that use that technology wasn’t expected to be much of a problem down the road. “The minerals they use are very rare and very valuable, so companies take them back,” Makhyoun said. “More than 90 percent of a PV module is recyclable.” She also said the electromagnetic fields created by solar farms didn’t appear to create any more danger than what people are already subjected to day to day. “It’s really no more risk than living in modern society,” she said. Makhyoun said the noise from the solar collection process varies throughout the day, typically peaking at noon and trailing off by 4 p.m. She said more noise studies were needed. Makhyoun said some people have expressed concerns over glare from solar farms; however, she said, glare issues were “largely a myth.” She said that solar panels typically only reflect about 2 percent of the sunlight they collect. According to Makhyoun, a 2009 US Department of Agriculture study found that North Carolina had over 104 solar farms and that the industry was growing in this state and worldwide, Concerning the effect of solar farms on the value of adjacent properties. Makhyoun (Continued on page 49)
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Funny business all over Rogers moving bids by paul C. clark Staff Writer
Former Smith High School Principal Noah Rogers’ 2006 move to Greensboro was odd in ways other than his having to refund the money to Guilford County Schools and the move contributing to Rogers’ sudden resignation on Friday, April 5. Rogers repaid the almost $19,000 cost of the move to Guilford County Schools with a High Point Bank cashier’s check dated April 4, 2013 – the day before he resigned. The contract to move the possessions of Rogers from Norfolk, Virginia, where he was principal of Lake Taylor High School, to Greensboro was approved by former Guilford County Schools Chief Financial Officer Sharon Ozment on Feb. 9, 2006, despite glaring peculiarities in the bid documents. Moving services for a newly hired employee, like all services contracted by North Carolina governmental entities, do not have to be bid, as do purchases. Nonetheless, Guilford County Schools and other government bodies often put services out for bid, for the same reason they put purchases out for bid: to save taxpayer money. Guilford County Schools Chief of Staff Nora Carr said that Guilford County
Schools, when hiring moving companies for out-of-state hires, requires the new employees to get three bids for the move, then hires the low bidder. In 2006, Brockington Moving Co., which Guilford County Schools paid $18,975.22 to move Rogers to Greensboro, was not the low bidder. Bid documents provided by Guilford County Schools show that three companies bid to move Rogers’ possessions: Brockington Moving Co.; New Bell Moving and Storage of Norfolk, which uses Mayflower Transit Inc. of Fenton, Missouri, a well-known national moving company; and Monroe Transfer and Storage Co. of Norfolk, which uses Bekins Van Lines of Hillside, Illinois, another national carrier. New Bell/Mayflower bid $19,042.61 to move Rogers. Monroe Transfer/Bekins bid $18,975.22. Brockington Moving Co. bid $18,998.15, less than New Bell/Mayflower but more than Monroe Transfer/Bekins. Nonetheless, Guilford County Schools gave the contract to Brockington Moving Co., and issued a check for $18,975.22, dated March 9, 2006, to pay for the move. In other words, Cuthrell Brockington of Norfolk, the owner of the purported company, was allowed to lower his bid to exactly that of Monroe Transfer/Bekins and was handed the contract.
As said, government entities do not have to bid services in North Carolina. There are good reasons for that. A school board, for example, wouldn’t want to replace law firms every few years simply because another firm undercuts it on price. Law firms are a storehouse of institutional knowledge of a school board’s past and ongoing legal actions, and school boards don’t want to lose that institutional knowledge. In the case of a moving company, however, that argument doesn’t hold. Many services are no different than purchases in that they do not require longterm relationships between the parties. Guilford County Schools could have hired any of the three bidders. Instead, they chose a company whose bid had more red flags on it than a Fourth of July parade float. The New Bell/Mayflower and Monroe Transfer/Bekins bids are instantly familiar to anyone who has done much moving. They are two-page documents on legalsize paper that detail the major items to be moved, the packing materials required, the travel distance, the cost of fuel, the cost of insuring the goods during the move and they provide an itemization of the costs that make up the bid. They specify the costs of packing and unpacking. Brockington’s bid is a one-page
document with virtually no details. Brockington worked for Norfolk Public Schools until 2010, and at Lake Taylor High School in 2008. If Brockington worked at Lake Taylor in 2006 then he worked for Rogers. Aside from the facts that Brockington was allowed to lower his bid, that his bid was brief and shorn of all the legal specifications normally included in a moving bid and that he may have been an employee of Rogers, there were other red flags on Brockington’s bid. The address Brockington listed was his home address on Colchester Crescent in Norfolk. The other companies listed company addresses. Where the other companies described the job on which they were bidding minutely, Brockington wrote an absurdly brief job description. That description was “Moving and packing the home belongings; moving 4 automobiles and lawn equipment Shipping belongings from Norfolk, Va. to Greensboro, NC.” Instead of the precisely detailed itemization provided by the other companies, Brockington’s itemization was: “Packing Materials, Labor 48 hours, Transportation,” – concluding comma in the original. (Continued on page 43)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro HIGH POINT
Students In Ivory Tower Don’t Help City by paul C. clark Staff Writer
Andrés Duany doesn’t mind biting the hand that feeds him. That character trait was evident in his presentation to High Point city councilmembers and business leaders at the High Point Country Club on Monday, April 22. Duany is a founding partner of Miamibased Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. architects (DPZ) and a founding member of the Congress for the New Urbanism. The High Point City Project and High Point University President Nido Qubein recently raised $450,000 to hire DPZ to redesign some of High Point’s city core. The High Point City Council kicked in $50,000. None of which prevented Duany from attacking High Point University, the policies of the High Point City Council and High Point planners, and the City of High Point for not capitalizing on its residents’ remaining expertise in building handcrafted furniture. Part of Duany’s tailored aggressiveness is clearly schtick. He seems to like attacking his audience in an amusing way, and always manages to turn the attack around into at least a partial compliment. Part of Duany insulting his audience is also technique, as he freely admits. Duany said he throws out the insults to get corrections that clarify his thinking on a city. “I really need the correction,” he said. “I stir the pot to see what turns up.” At The Rhino Times World Headquarters, it’s hard to imagine anyone doing that – but it’s fun to watch. Duany hammered home some hard truths about High Point. One was that High Point is just plain not cool. It’s not a Chapel Hill or Asheville or even a Greensboro. Young people don’t flock to High Point to hang out. College towns are meccas not just for college students but for retirees, for upwardly mobile people who work in other cities, and for people who just plain like
hanging out in vibrant towns with cool shops, cool music and cool food. Duany said High Point remains uncool, and laid the blame on the university. He said High Point University doesn’t pay taxes, soaks up donations from the community and yet, catering to its students’ every whim behind its brick-and-steel walls, doesn’t make High Point a college town. “Guess what?” Duany said. “Not really. The whole thing that’s unique about High Point University is that it keeps kids in ... the whole premise of High Point University is amazingly well done, but it doesn’t help the city. The assumption of High Point University is that, if parents saw the center of the city, they wouldn’t send their kids here. The whole premise is that the whole city has nothing to do with your child’s activities.” That statement caused a clash of comments from a center table in the room, as High Point City Councilmember Becky Smothers said, “You’re wrong,” at the same instant Councilmember Jim Davis said, “You’re right.” Smothers argued that students make a difference by volunteering in the community – a true but palpably irrelevant statement. High Point University students do good in High Point, but people don’t flock to college towns to watch students volunteer at soup kitchens. High Point Mayor Bernita Sims said that High Point University students don’t hang out in town and spend money. “I think the point that he’s making is that you don’t have the students add to the vitality of the community,” she said. “That’s not what happens.” Duany agreed with Sims and said she had pointed out one of High Point’s biggest challenges. He said that Duke students are embedded in Durham, and College of Charleston students are embedded in Charleston. He said, “You have 4,000 affluent students, and you don’t see one.” In other words, there are many nice older people in High Point – but many talented
younger people, including those attending High Point University, get the heck out of Dodge to find jobs elsewhere, or to live in hipper places. Another thing Duany attacked was High Point’s case of Greensboro envy – the idea that it can recreate its downtown as Greensboro has. Sitting at Duany’s table at lunch was Guilford County Commissioner and former High Point Councilmember Bill Bencini, who has begged Greensboro for years to take High Point’s name off of High Point Road – so Duany might have heard a dissenting opinion on that point over chicken. Duany said Greensboro is 20 years ahead of High Point in redevelopment and is too geographically close to copy. “We cannot become a secondary Greensboro, because there is no such thing as a second-rate downtown 20 minutes away,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a plan B. You can’t catch up. It’s not as if you can say, ‘Greensboro is 20 minutes away, but we have the prettiest downtown.’ That’s not what I see.” Ouch. Duany’s speech was not all gloom and doom. He seemed to be trying to dispel High Point’s illusions to replace them with less illusory ideas. Tool number one in Duany’s toolbox for High Point renewal? “Tactical urbanism.” Tactical urbanism isn’t Duany’s term – as he acknowledged. An article by Nate Berg in The Atlantic defines tactical urbanism as “urban interventions of a sort – quick, often temporary, cheap projects that aim to make a small part of a city more lively or enjoyable.” In High Point, that would translate into bringing people into town during the 50 weeks a year in which there is no furniture market. Duany cited young New Yorkers putting artificial grass on street sides, with no permits, to set up food stands and retail stalls. He said the venture was so successful that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg copied it by extending sidewalks, something the young urbanist guerillas would never have negotiated the planning process to try. “The under 30s are tactical urbanists,” he said. “They don’t have the skillset to do what I do. It’s too complicated. But they’re just doing that. They’re not waiting for it.” Duany argued that High Point is tactically urbanist in a way – in that it sets up and breaks down, twice a year, a whole new city for the furniture market, including a citywide transportation system of buses and white vans. “You are tactical already,” he said. “This is what you do. This morning, I just stuck my hand out and someone picked me up. Anything that looks white picks me up.”
Duany also argued against the notion that High Point has lost all its furniture manufacturing, and said that it should use its old-style furniture-making talent to make High Point a crafts center – like Santa Fe, New Mexico, or, on a smaller scale, Seagrove, North Carolina, a worldknown pottery center. In many places, Duany said, craftsmanship is stealing cachet from tech work because it is more satisfying. “I want the young people of High Point not to just know what they know, but become craftsmen again,” he said. “It’s this weird reversal, and I think we can tap into this. I don’t think it’s going to be a million people, but I think High Point could tap into this.” Duany is an entertaining theorist – but he was hired for more prosaic reasons. DPZ was hired to design a new High Point city center along North Main Street and redesign High Point’s furniture showroom district and the commercial areas around High Point University. It’s a start on eight old mixed residentialcommercial-industrial neighborhoods the City Project plans to eventually renovate. The City Project’s contract with DPZ requires the firm to produce an economic feasibility or market study, a drawn master plan, perspective drawings, detailed plans of a complete build-out of a key section of the three neighborhoods, a parking plan, building floor plans and several regulatory documents, including a zoning ordinance customized to suit the plan. The High Point City Council has hired another company, the Chapel Hill office of Denver-based Clarion Associates LLC, to rewrite High Point’s zoning ordinance. Clarion plans to spend two years doing so. Duany sounded doubtful about the rewrite, suggesting it would create “pink zones” of light red tape. “Those are areas where people essentially can’t get anything done,” he said. “And you know who administers this? The lawyers. We have the lawyers in parasitic mode.”
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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Phoenix Galloping Toward New Campus by paul C. clark Staff Writer
The High Point Planning and Zoning Commission, on Tuesday, April 23, voted unanimously to favorably recommend to the High Point City Council the rezoning and special-use permit needed for the Phoenix Academy to create a 56-acre campus on the southeast corner of the intersection of Clinard Farms Road and Barrow Road. The charter school plans to build a 1,500-student kindergarten through 12th grad school on the new campus, while retaining its current building at 4020 Meeting Way in the Piedmont Centre. The Phoenix Academy Foundation successfully requested that the commission recommend rezoning 42 acres to Residential Single Family 9 (RS-9) and another 14 acres to Conditional-Use Residential 9 (CZ RS-9). The land consists of four parcels with Traditional Neighborhood (TN) and Conditional Use General Business (CU-GB) zonings that had been through foreclosure. The parcels had been assembled and then rezoned several times since 2003, the most recently in 2006, when a developer proposed building stores and offices and 557 residential units on them. That project was never completed, and the properties were auctioned to separate owners. For the Phoenix Academy, the new campus would be a major expansion.
Phoenix Academy now has 310 students in its kindergarten through fifth grade school. Brian Hall of Samet Corp. represented the Phoenix Academy Foundation. He said the charter school was High Point’s first and has been in operation for 12 years. He said, “Their success is driving this growth.” Hall said that the location for the proposed school was good because it is close to the current Phoenix Academy and to other schools, because the foreclosure made the price of the land low for the school, and because a fire station, a Duke Energy substation and a 68-foot easement will separate the school from its only residential neighbors to the south. The 1,500 student capacity would not be reached until the school was fully operational. Phoenix Academy plans to build an eventual 149,000 square feet of building, but only in stages as it adds higher grades. Hall said the school would open with 400 students and argued that the Phoenix Academy Foundation should not have to complete the internal roads on the land until all the grades are added. “The reality is that is not going to happen on day one,” Hall said. “We are willing to take that on; we just want to take it on as we grow.” The special-use permit recommended by the commission includes, in addition to the phased-in roadwork, plant buffers and
limitations on lighting. Lighting may be less of a problem with the new Phoenix Academy than with most schools. Hall said the school has no formal sports teams. He said, “There are no planned football fields, baseball fields or soccer fields.” Phoenix Academy does plan to offer an equestrian program, which Hall said will distinguish it from other schools. Phoenix Academy plans to use up to half of the high school to train students in preparation for college degrees or work in the aviation industry. It plans to have two tracks, one that will prepare students for college degrees in engineering and science, and one that will work with Guilford Technical Community College. The Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly in 2010 lifted a longstanding 100-school limit on charter schools in North Carolina, and charter schools are expected to multiply. The Phoenix Academy rezoning was one of two requested by charter schools on the commission’s Monday night agenda. The other was a request by the North Carolina Leadership Academy Inc. to rezone 54 acres on the south side of Payne Road, between Squire Davis Road and Fenway Road from Conditional Use Residential Single Family-9 (RS-9) and Conditional Use Residential Multifamily-5 (CU RM-5) to Residential Single Family-9
(RS-9) District (RS-9). The proposed NC Leadership Charter Academy site is on the south side of Payne Road, between Squire Davis Road and Fenway Road. The NC Leadership Charter Academy asked the commission to put off the hearing on its request for 30 days, a delay the commission granted. Charter schools are public schools that are funded by the state education allotment for each student, which is transferred to a charter school along with the student – but are not under the control of local boards of education. The removal of the charter school cap has already brought new charter schools to Guilford County. In March 2012, the state approved two Guilford County charter schools, Cornerstone Charter Academy and a school that was proposed to be called High Point College Preparatory Academy – but which, after objections from High Point University over possible confusion between the two schools, was renamed the College Preparatory and Leadership Academy of High Point. Those schools opened in August 2012. Also in August 2012, the state approved 25 charter schools that were cleared to open in August 2013, including Summerfield Charter Academy in Summerfield and the NC Leadership Academy, which is looking for land in Oak Ridge or Kernersville.
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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
The Sound of the Beep What follows has been transcribed from the answering machine tape on our comment line 273-0898. We edit out what is required by the laws of the state, of good taste and of good sense. The limit on phone calls is one minute and each caller may make up to two calls per week. If you have something to say, call our comment line at 273-0898 and start talking at The Sound of the Beep. Hello, Beep. First of all, I am no conspiracy theorist. I mean I believe Oswald did it. I believe James Earl Ray did it. I believe we landed on the moon. I believe al Qaeda did 9/11. And I’m not buying there are ET aliens housed at Area 51. But as this tragedy plays out, something stinks about the Sandy Hook incident. Explanations are too practiced. Information is either too contradictory or just not forthcoming. The way Obama is parading these people around to rally his causes. Murder is still a state issue, is it not? Seems too convenient. Maybe it’s just me. Thanks. %%% Editor, your story about your dad was a gift to the whole community. Thank you for sharing. %%% Yes, to this black Republican fellow. I don’t see too many racist comments in The Rhinoceros Times, and I’ve been reading it for a number of years. Well, anyway, that’s all I got to say. Bye. %%% I’m a citizen of Greensboro, and I think that the citizens of Greensboro need to get a movement going and Robbie Perkins removed as mayor. If he can’t handle his personal finances, how in the world is he going to handle Greensboro as big as it is? No wonder we have no companies coming into Greensboro to create jobs here because of this joke that we have as a mayor. I think it is time for him to step down and handle his own finances and move on. I think it’s time that we get rid of everybody up there on the City Council and get people up there that are willing to work for us. He needs to remember – so does everybody else up there on that City Council – that we put them in that position, and we, the people of Greensboro, can remove them. Robbie Perkins, you need to resign. %%% Editor’s Note: It’s an election year. Just give money to his opponents and then vote him out of office. %%% Why do people continually refer to families as single-parent families? Why don’t we call them what they are, absent-parent families. It still takes two people to make a child, and when it’s a single parent household, as they call it, it just means there is an absent parent not doing his or her duty. Let’s call them what they are, absent-parent households. And maybe we’ll get some attention. %%% Can someone, please, tell me, when did Linda Shaw decide to become a Democrat? %%% The guns are not the problem, it’s the anti-God, no-respect-for-human-life, environment or society that the Democrats are trying to create in our country. That’s what the problem is. It’s not the guns. It’s the Democrats. We need to vote these people out of office and save our country. These people are terrible. Thank you. %%% I’m sorry for the people that got hurt at the Boston marathon. It’s terrible. But what about all this Homeland Security we got that we’re paying for? The FBI, SBI, Secret Service. What’s going on? How come they didn’t go and check the crowd out before these people were running? We pay for bomb sniffing dogs. Are we really safe? I think we all need to carry guns yet. Unbelievable. But here we are security. And what happens? So, somebody fell down on the job it seems. Thank you, and have a great day. %%% Hi. This is a friendly reminder to all you dog owners out there. This time of year is so nice to be able to open the windows and let in nature. But your barking dog really ruins that experience for a lot of us. Please, please, control your barking dogs. It’s a nuisance. Thank you. Bye-bye. (Continued on page 43)
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Uncle Orson Reviews Everything Mysteries with Dogs, Shelden’s Young Titan by orson scott card
I’m beginning to measure books by how many files they’re broken into when downloading the audiobook from Audible. com. Most novels take two files; some massive books (I think of the volumes of Shelby Foote’s Civil War history) are divided into three, four or even five huge files. (As any aficionado of Audible.com can quote, because it’s repeated with the relentlessness of “please bring your seatbacks and tray tables into the full upright and locked position”: Books are “divided into multiple files to make the download faster. You have reached the end of the file, but not of the audiobook.”) Mystery novels, however, are usually much slimmer. A single file. Rarely two. On a recent cross-country trip (which I undertook merely to show my Hyundai Santa Fe enough of America that it would understand that it’s not in Korea anymore) I listened to a whole slew of books – mostly mysteries. Good mysteries have the advantage of being very compelling, so you don’t get bored as the prairie states flow past your window (or, just as boring, the endless rows of trees lining the freeways in North Carolina and Tennessee). That can also be a disadvantage, as I once got a speeding ticket in Wyoming – they have a speed limit in Wyoming? – while driving a Datsun B-210. All because I was so caught up in listening to The Firm by John Grisham (abridged) that I had no idea that downhill, with a tailwind, I was nearing escape velocity. Another advantage of mysteries for travel listening is that they’re usually short. That means that you can feel that you’ve gotten somewhere – the road trip might not end, but the novels do. Robert Crais’ The Suspect is a perfect example. Crais is known for his Elvis Cole and Joe Pike novels, set in Los Angeles. The Suspect, though, is out-of-series – it doesn’t overlap with any of the series books. Yet it’s a good mystery, with a complicated structure that is so well handled that there’s never any loss of clarity. Which is what we expect from Crais. However, the blurb made it clear that it’s a novel about a man and a dog. The last dog story that I cared about was Old Yeller. I read it as a child, not long after seeing the movie when it came out in 1957. I liked the book better – it made me cry more. But after Old Yeller I never found another boy-and-his-dog book that I much cared about. And while I have liked many dogs in my life, I have never bonded to any of them as to a human. There are some writers who put dogs into fiction with the assumption that readers will love and care about the dog simply
because it’s a dog. I, on the other hand, can only remember two stories that I’ve written that have dogs in them. Not because I’m anti-dog, but because I don’t think of pets as being part of a completed life. I’m glad for people who have pets they love; I just don’t assume that my characters will have a hankering for an animal companion. So knowing that Suspect featured a police officer who was wounded in the same incident in which his partner was killed, and a military dog whose owner was killed in front of him in Afghanistan, I immediately assumed that the two would heal each other, yadda yadda. Well, of course. But this is Robert Crais telling the story, and so I very quickly cared about both characters, and liked the way he got the job done. What makes it work, besides very good story invention and clear storytelling, is that Crais does not anthropomorphize the dog. Quite the contrary. He keeps him within a reasonable approximation of a dog’s point of view. Honest. Believable. And the dog does only stuff that you can believe a dog would do. So, short as it is, Crais made me care about a dog. I cared way more about the humans, though. So sue me. David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter series, on the other hand, seems to be gradually getting taken over by the dogs. In the first book, Open and Shut, the dog is merely an ancillary character. Criminal defense attorney Andy Carpenter and the love of his life, Laurie, who is also his main investigator, also love their golden retriever, Tara. I applaud their domestic bliss, but in no way was this a book about the dog. Carpenter writes in the first person, and he’s a wise-cracking lawyer whose wisecracks are usually unembarrassing and sometimes funny. The mystery was clean and clear. The northern New Jersey setting was fun – Carpenter (and, clearly, Rosenfelt) likes the place and the people. I listened to the next book, and the next. Open and Shut, First Degree, Bury the Lead, Sudden Death, Dead Center, Play Dead. Six books in, and I could see signs of Maggody Syndrome – named for the series by Joan Hess. Maggody Syndrome takes place when a writer of a mystery series comes to rely too heavily on the same eccentric characters, the same jokes, and begins eventually to write the same book again and again. Think of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, which are interchangeable, and you get the idea. Read one, you’ve read them all. Rosenfelt isn’t there yet, but I see danger signs. The secretary who does no work. Laurie and Andy settling into a long-term long distance relationship after she moves to Wisconsin. The nebbishy overweight
hypochondriac assistant attorney. The accountant who’s a wizard with computer stuff. The love-hate relationship with a friend on the police force. The crime boss who seems to show up in most of the books, having meetings and making deals with Carpenter. My but Patterson, New Jersey, seems to have only a handful of people living in it. But a new danger is surfacing: In the first book, Andy’s client, exonerated, uses his millions from a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit to join Andy in opening a dog rescue center. That’s a lovely thing, which I approve of (I’ve even contributed to animal rescue enterprises; I really do have a heart), and for several books the dog rescue operation is just an interesting thing that is mentioned now and then in books that are about something else. But book six, Play Dead, dangerously opens with a court case in which a dog’s rights are asserted, and dogs begin to move to center stage. Add to this the list of the rest of the books in the Andy Carpenter series – New Tricks, Dog Tags, One Dog Night, Leader of the Pack and Unleashed – and you can only suppose that the dogs are taking over the kennel. It’s as if having started an ironically faux noir series, he’s decided to switch over to
dog-centered cozies. I liked the noir, but will soon lose interest in the cozies. So far, Rosenfelt still writes clever, engaging mysteries. But if, as seems likely from the titles, the series is going into a chase-your-own-tail spin, I’ll probably bail out, as I did with other Maggody writers like Joan Hess and Janet Evanovich. As a writer, I try not to write the same book twice. And as a reader, I appreciate writers who broaden their world and bring in new people from time to time. So I’m recommending Rosenfelt’s series, at least the early books, even as I also warn you of my trepidations about its steadily shrinking perimeter. The jewel of my cross-country mysteries, though, is Jonathan Kellerman’s Guilt, which was released in mid-journey. With a bad Wi-Fi connection in a hotel room, it took all night to download the book – which is long enough to require two Audible.com files. But the book carried me from somewhere west of Amarillo to Barstow, and I didn’t even get a speeding ticket. Kellerman’s main character, child psychologist Alex Delaware, once came dangerously close to becoming as tedious in his relationship with Robin as Robert (Continued on page 14)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle
FRONT FLIPS By Jonah Kagan / Edited by Will Shortz
1 Solar panel spots, sometimes 6 C o o l i d g e ’s v i c e president
11 H o l l y w o o d h r s .
14 Grammar concern
19 “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” composer Morricone 20 Dramatic response t o “ W h o ’s t h e r e ? ”
45 Academy for criminals?
51 Journey from the nest to the kitchen, say? 53 “Arrested Development” character Fünke 54 “Harry Potter” librarian Pince
55 Itty-bitty battery 56 Cactus features
58 Had an appetite
21 Neighboring bunkers?
6 0 Ta k e i n o r t a k e o n
2 4 Ta m m a n y H a l l corruption, e.g.?
6 7 To r t u r e
2 6 P a t i s s e r i e o ff e r i n g s 28 Sunflower State capital 29 Starting stake 30 Bona fide
31 Poetic pause
33 Sign that means “Do not disturb” 3 4 Tr y t o s e e w h a t you’re getting for Christmas?
RELEASE DATE: 4/28/2013
38 Something a model should be in 39 Up, as an anchor 40 Piazza parts? 4 1 Wa y t o g o
42 What much can follow 43 Is in the works
For any three answers, call from a touch-tone phone: 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 each minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800814-5554.
64 Hidden drug habit, maybe? 68 Accidentally reveal
70 Psychologist Jean known for his theory of cognitive development 71 Laugh syllable
73 Prefix with -plasm 74 Pitchers to publishers
76 Drink greedily?
81 Playground apparatus of the Apocalypse?
83 Game for players with steady hands
85 ___ deck (part of a cruise ship)
86 Plasma constituents 8 7 Vi b e
8 8 C o o l e r, t o L L C o o l J 89 Comes to
91 Be a lenient judge? 96 Hayride seats
97 Some tennis play
98 All that and ___ of chips
Uncle Orson (Continued from page 13)
Parker’s Spenser did in his relationship with Susan. But Kellerman caught himself much earlier on that road than Parker did. Now Robin remains as an important part of his life – but not all that important a part of most of the recent novels. What Kellerman brings to his mysteries is actual knowledge. He really did work as a child psychologist in the oncology unit of one of the hospitals that Alex Delaware works with. Kellerman knows the world of shrinks and doctors very well, and this is extremely helpful in this novel in particular. The story centers around the skeletons of two babies, found within days of each other. One had been buried under an old sycamore tree; uncovered in the process of taking down the tree to save a house, it is soon dated back to the early 1950s, and Delaware begins to obsess a little in finding out whose baby it might have been, and why it was buried there. The second skeleton is new. The bones, found strewn in Cheviot Park, seem likely
9 9 To p Q a t a r i
1 0 0 L i f e g u a r d ’s a c t
101 It might be right under your nose 105 Maligned merchandise?
109 Cartoon boy with an antenna on his cap
11 0 L o v e r o f L a n c e l o t 111 A c t o r H i r s c h o f “Speed Racer”
11 2 “ Vi c t o r y i s y o u r s ” 11 3 Wo l f g a n g P u c k restaurant
11 4 P a r t o f a r e a c t o r
11 5 O n e o f t h e E p h r o n s 11 6 L i k e s o m e b l o o d and articles Down
1 L i b r a r i a n ’s u rg i n g
16 Like some noise music
17 “___ the Dinosaur” (pioneering cartoon short) 18 Gravelly ridge 22 ___ culpa 25 Sub ___ 27 Series
3 1 C a p t a i n ’s c o m m a n d 3 3 E a r- r e l a t e d
3 4 Tw o t h r e e s , f o r o n e
7 Relatives of dune buggies, for short
4 9 Yo u m i g h t s e e o n e in an eclipse
8 Something to connect to a TV
5 0 M a rg a r e t T h a t c h e r, e.g.
10 They’re shaken in kitchens
53 Supermodel Cheryl 56 Police setup
57 Exams for would-be Natl. Merit Scholars 59 Family name in the O l d We s t 60 Undercover?
61 Some ’30s design
to have something to do with the body of a woman who was shot in the park on the same night. And here the investigation, instead of delving into the deep past, brings us close to the present as it keeps pointing to a celebrity couple who have isolated themselves from the demanding, prying public. As with all of Jonathan Kellerman’s mysteries, the answers, when they come, are satisfying. And if the celebrity mystery makes you wonder just how much Kellerman is trying to make us think of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, that’s just a brief distraction. What really makes this series remarkable is that while the sleuth characters – Alex Delaware and his police detective partner, Milo Sturgis – are both very smart, they don’t always guess right. They take the evidence they have and spin out possible scenarios, then, in best scientific-method fashion, they gather new evidence to see if that picture is right. In Guilt, Alex and Milo come up with theories that are hopelessly wrong – though they weren’t dumb. In other words, we
69 Reflexes said to be contagious 75 They’re not vets yet 77 Under the table, maybe
72 77 85 88
6 6 To u g h
65 Amenable (to)
63 Commitment signifier
62 Good name for a car mechanic?
7 6 B o t h e r, w i t h “ a t ”
4 8 Ye s _ _ _
52 “Catch ya later!”
41 No. between 0 and 4
3 7 O . T. b o o k 38 Pert
6 Got rid of the waist?
43 Support provider
15 1989 John Cusack romantic comedy
36 “It was,” in Latin
5 R e g a i n c l a r i t y, s a y
1 4 A ff i l i a t e o f t h e A . F. L . - C . I . O .
13 Hasbro brand
4 6 “ Aw a k e i n t h e D a r k ” writer
12 Actress Suzanne
4 Memorable romantic moment
11 S u p p o r t
3 5 S i t e o f C y c l o p s ’s smithy
3 A lot of binary code
9 U . S . a l i e n ’s s u b j .
45 Puerto Rican city that shares its name with an explorer
2 “When I was young …”
7 8 Wo r k t h e l a n d
7 9 “ W h a t ’s t h e b i g ___?”
80 Land on the Arctic C i r. 82 Dipsos
8 3 Ti t l e f e l l o w i n a Beatles song
84 Figure with arrows 87 Supposed
8 8 “ E w w, n o ! ”
8 9 Wa s m e n t i o n e d
have heroes who don’t always guess right. Think of how many novels you’ve read, or movies and TV shows you’ve seen, in which the heroes spin out elaborate theories and then act as if they’re true and – wow, who’d’a thunk it! – they’re right in every, or nearly every, detail. Maybe that’s why the Kellerman novel takes two files to download – they go up more dead-end creeks than most novelists allow themselves. Those dead ends might become frustrating if it weren’t for the fact that Kellerman has a gift that I’ve seen in few mystery writers since Ross Macdonald wrote his Lew Archer novels: His incidental characters are fascinating and real. Where Maggody Syndrome writers have a handful of stock characters with amusing eccentricities, a Ross MacDonald-ish writer populates the world with well-developed characters from every walk of life. And it’s not always the dark side. We meet some people that we adore, though they’re far from perfect, and even the people we definitely don’t adore are usually understandable.
90 Lover of Cesario in “ Tw e l f t h N i g h t ” 91 Set of software components packaged for release, briefly 92 Moved like a caterpillar 93 Possible flu symptom 94 Possible flu symptom
95 “Conan” channel
96 Arctic Circle sights 97 Annual dinner
100 Excite, with “up” 101 Roman 1551
102 Wheat or corn 103 It might fill a kiddie pool
104 Carefully saw?
106 Rex of the jungle
1 0 7 K i p l i n g ’s “ F o l l o w Me ___” 108 It can be refined
But there is a dog in the series, and he’s as important to the plot development as the dogs in the books by Crais and Rosenfelt. I just wanted to warn you. But I can’t imagine Kellerman letting the dog take over the story, let alone the series. One might think – I certainly did, for a while – that having a shrink who works as a consultant with the cops as a main character would be limiting. Far from it. Because Kellerman wasn’t just a shrink – he was a very, very good one. A friend of mine was telling me at dinner the other night that she once did some work at the same hospital where Kellerman was practicing, and by coincidence, knew someone in publishing involved in his first novel sale. She remembers how impressively good Kellerman was – how beloved and respected among the hospital staff – and how excited she was that he was getting a book deal. All that was long ago; the point is that he made a powerful positive impression in his first life, and it shows up in his writing. (Continued on page 16)
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Yost Gives Mouse Day In The Park
R E L O C AT I O N Danny Vannoy Barber/Stylist
by Scott D. Yost county editor
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He’s free! About 7 blocks away. Hope I never see him again, but I was surprised how satisfying it was to see him scamper away safely. Ben, on an internet discussion board about how far you need to take mice away from your house once you catch them, so they don’t come back. One of my biggest problems is that I think about things too much. Probably a better word than “think” to use there is “worry.” Now, it’s not uncommon for people to worry about themselves – but I also worry a lot about other people, not just myself. And I also worry a lot about the animals. I could give you a bunch of examples, but I’ll just give you one that happened recently. It started when I found out I had a mouse in the house. Or rather, I found out I had at least one mouse in the house – because, as you are no doubt aware, when you have one mouse in the house, there’s usually a whole family. So, now, what most normal people do is either: (1) Put a big hunk of cheese in a big trap that will slam a tight hair-trigger metal jaw of death down on the mouse and break its back as soon as the mouse so much as nibbles on the cheese (2) Put out small plastic bait traps full of poison that will cause the mouse to die an agonizing death over a four or five day period, or (3) Put out glue traps that will immobilize the mouse and will freak it out as it tries wildly to escape, in some cases breaking its little back. Also, when it comes to that third option, you have the added problem of figuring out how to kill the ensnared varmint once they’re on the trap. (Whenever that conversation comes up over dinner I get all sorts of answers from people who drown them or hit them over the head with a hammer, etc. – and there was even one person who asked, “Kill them? Why would you need to kill them? Just throw them away in the trash.”) So, awhile back, I wrote about the whole mouse elimination conundrum, and a friend read that and finally told me what I should do about mice. “Get a live trap,” she said. I had never seen one anywhere in the store, like, say, at Walgreens – where it was all either poison, the snap-jaws of death or the sadistic glue traps. But someone told me I could get a live trap at Lowe’s, so I went to Lowe’s on Battleground and I asked about them, and the guy said, yes, they had some live traps. The one that I got is a plastic tube and it works like a seesaw. You snap off one end and put some peanut butter or whatever in the container and then reattach it and lock it back into place, and then you set up the trap. The way it works, in theory anyway, is that the unsuspecting mouse smells the peanut butter, and then he comes up the tube eagerly anticipating the peanut butter that someone was nice enough to leave out for him as a present, and, as he gets to the peanut butter, the weight of the mice lifts the back of the tube off of the ground and – bam! – the trap door on the back of the device slams shut and locks into place.
When the guy at Lowe’s was showing me the trap, and explaining how it works, I asked him if he had any bigger live traps to catch more mice. “Are you worried about them being anxious because they’ll be crowded in there?” he asked. He then explained that I probably didn’t have to worry about that since the trap would catch the mice one at a time. I wasn’t sure I’d heard him correctly. “Am I worried about them being too crowded?” I repeated. “No, I’m not in love (Continued on page 15)
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Yost (Continued from page xx) with them – I’m just trying to not kill them in some brutal way.” So anyway, I put the trap out and I didn’t have any peanut butter, so I put shredded cheese and turkey in the trap. I put the loaded contraption on the counter next to the stove, where I’d seen some recent mouse activity. And I waited like Wile E. Coyote for my ingenious plot to hatch. I went to bed and turned out the lights in the kitchen so that the mouse in the house would be none the wiser. The next morning I woke up, eagerly anticipating what I might find, and, when I went into the kitchen and looked, there was the trap. The back had snapped shut and, though you can’t see inside the trap, the mouse clearly had to be in there – just like in the company’s promotional video that I’d watched. Now, when you catch a mouse in an old-timey mousetrap, it’s already dead so no further action is needed, and, when you poison them, there’s also nothing else for you to do. However, when you catch them in a live trap, your work has just begun, and there are still some things to consider. Like, how far away should you take them? Before the internet, if you had a question like that, then you would just have to make a wild guess, because you would have no idea about the answer. But now, with the internet in the modern computer age, you can go online and read information from many other people who are making wild guesses because they have no idea either. One person said five miles, and I was thinking that seemed too far. Others said be careful to take it far enough away because the mice have very good homing instincts. I took the mouse about a half-mile away to a nice park. I put the trap on the ground and opened the door for him to come out but he didn’t. I kicked the trap and he didn’t come out. Then I waited a while longer. Finally I got the courage to look inside the tube. Nothing. And I do mean nothing: There was no mouse, and, to add insult to injury, there was no food either. The mouse had somehow gotten in the trap, had his little feast, and then left – even though the trap had snapped shut at some point. I have no idea how he got the food without getting caught. The door on the back is very secure when it closes and locks into place. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out. The only theory I had was that two mice might have worked in unison, with one staying at the entrance of the trap and holding his foot down on it so that the other mouse could go in and get the food without the back of the tube coming up and releasing the trap door. The next night I set the trap up again and the exact same thing happened: No food, no mouse, trap door shut. I was at the end
Thursday, April 25, 2013
of my rope. Now, each morning, the first thing I do is read a morning devotional and then a Bible passage, and then I say the Lord’s Prayer, and then, after that, I pray for any areas of special concern. I do that each morning unless, say, I have to talk down some frantic hung-over chick who’s trying to figure out where she is and how she can get home. Anyway, so the next morning, I said “God, please let me catch that mouse tonight in that trap, because if I don’t catch it tonight, we both know I’m going to kill it and there has been enough killing already.” That night I set out my trap again, along with a little prayer. The next morning, the trap was shut like it had been the previous two nights, and I hoped this time it was not going to come up empty-handed again, and then … The trap moved. It shook again. Something was inside it. I was overjoyed but panicked as well, because now I had to transport it. I was like the dog chasing the car who catches the car, but then has no idea what to do with it once they catch it. I took the trap to the car, and I put the trap with the mouse in it on the passenger seat. I was worried about the trap falling off the seat and opening while I was driving because I can assure you there would have been a crash in the ensuing panic.
Uncle Orson (Continued from page 14)
Because Alex Delaware isn’t a psychologist who worships at any particular shrine; he’s a practical psychologist who listens with compassion and wisdom, and recognizes health as well as pathology. When we see him working with a patient, it’s completely believable – and powerfully effective. Yet he’s not a superman. Delaware always knows (and often sees) that people only make as much progress as they consent to or cooperate with. Especially lovely are the passages in Guilt where he works with the soon-to-be mother in whose yard the 60-year-old baby skeleton was found. All these books were entertaining, clever, well-done. They try for different goals and they all succeed. But there’s more substance in the Kellerman – and not just because it take two files to download the audiobook.
Even the thickest biographies and histories can’t include everything – not if they’re to be readable. So there is considerable value in a writer or historian or scholar shaping a smaller frame, drawing in closer to a particular portion of a person’s life, or a particular place or period or device or issue in history. This is what Michael Shelden attempted in his book about Churchill, Young Titan.
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
I drove to a nice little park where I thought the mouse would be happy and I let it go and it scurried off. Now, I can’t tell you how great that felt. I was so happy that day all day. Later, at home, I was celebrating in my head. I started to feel pretty good about myself. Until it hit me … I came to a realization: Yes, sure that mouse is alive, but so what? He is alone, completely separated from his family. In fact, I thought – and I’m very serious about this – I’ll bet the mouse is just going around saying, “Here I am, all lost and alone. I wish I were dead.” So, it hit me, people call the live traps humane – but really they aren’t humane in any true sense of the word because, while the mouse does continue living, it really has no sort of quality of life because they’re away from loved ones I realized what needed to be done: In the future, I would need to catch the mice in the house one at a time, and then keep them together in a cage or container until I was sure I’d caught them all, and then I would take the whole kit and caboodle out somewhere and let them all go together. As I was having those thoughts, I found evidence that I still had at least one other mouse in the house. I thought about catching it alive, keeping them together and taking them to the same park where I’d dropped off the other mouse. Maybe there was a slight chance that they could
find each other. Then it hit me that that this was all becoming an awful lot of work. It was almost overwhelming. I was exhausted from worrying about the mice, and I had a revelation and suddenly decided to worry about myself instead. I got out a glue trap, put some turkey and cheese on it, caught the mouse in 10 minutes, put it in a plastic bag, took it to the yard – stomp stomp, stomp – and I checked to be sure it was dead, Oh yes, it was dead, and a mess. And then – ta da! – the whole mess went into the trash can. So as much joy as it gave me to catch a mouse alive and release it, I was surprised at how good that felt – to solve the problem immediately, to not have the tension of knowing that there was a mouse in the house. It felt really good to put out the glue trap, catch the mouse 10 minutes later, kill it, and not have to drive the mouse anywhere, late at night no less. You know, I never signed up to be a mouse chauffer. In short, problem solved! Just like that. So, you know, as for which way to do it, in the end it feels pretty good both ways. It’s really six of one and a baker’s dozen of the other. In my journey, I had discovered that there wasn’t really much difference at all. Unless, of course, you’re the mouse, in which case I guess it does matter somewhat.
It might seem odd – or perhaps obsessive – for me to turn to yet another book about Churchill so recently after reading William Manchester’s definitive three-volume biography. But that is precisely why I wanted to read Young Titan right now. My memory of the Manchester work is still fresh in mind; I am able to see just how the much slimmer book fits within the scope of such a great life. Shelden focuses on the time between Churchill’s first election to Parliament and the time when he enters the Liberal Party cabinet on the eve of the First World War. At the end, Shelden offers a brief and wholly inadequate summary of the issues that toppled Churchill and drove him from the government in the middle of the war. Here is where the shorter book is most disappointing, because it seems that Shelden is quite unaware of Manchester’s fully documented exoneration of Churchill for the failure of his Gallipoli campaign; Shelden seems to believe it was Churchill’s errors, and not the failure of others to carry out his instructions, that led to failure. But this comes as an afterthought – Shelden says next to nothing about Churchill’s service in the Great War, as it was called at the time. His focus is on the track Churchill followed in pursuit of domestic bliss – that is, an appropriate wife – and domestic power – that is, a
significant role in the government of the British Empire. The former quest seems to be Shelden’s primary interest, and it is here that he offers his most original contributions. Some information has become available since Manchester’s first volume was written, and Shelden does a good job of showing how desperately Churchill seemed to fall in love each of the times he claimed to have done so. Churchill may, however, have been much better at writing love than showing it in person. In person, his self-obsession might be off-putting to many women; in writing, he could use his dazzling skill with the pen to write with both candor and romance. He could write things he was completely unable to say. As with so many people, he fell in love where love could not be returned; meanwhile, the one woman who fell in love with him before his wife, Clementine, could never get anything but friendship from the great-man-to-be. Yet it was a friendship that lasted his whole life, and she was the woman he had to visit personally in order to tell her that he was marrying Clementine. Those who have read Manchester’s biography know that Clementine was a superb choice; one can hardly imagine any other. Young Titan, though, makes it plain (Continued on page 38)
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Letters to the Editor What about civil liberties in Boston Dear Editor, I have always wondered what rights citizens have when a state of emergency, quarantine or martial law has been declared. I didn’t know that the government had the power to lockdown an entire city. I thought that American citizens had the right to peaceably assemble. I guess I should read the Patriot Act so I can find out what rights we have. Can a government ban businesses from doing trade? What about property rights? Can reporters and cameramen be banned from the streets during a lockdown? What about freedom of the press? If a lockdown occurs on a Sunday, can the government shut down churches and prevent citizens from attending religious services? What about freedom of religion? I have no problem with the authorities going after a wanted terrorist, but I want to know what rights the government can ‘’temporarily’’ take away from law abiding citizens to catch the bad guys. Chuck Mann Editor’s Note: Evidently all of them.
Incentives are handouts Dear Editor, “Incentives” are a polite, but deceptive word for a handout. Five of the nine county commissioners – four Democrats and one
Republican – voted to allow a $975,000 tax break, called “incentives,” for Procter & Gamble, one of the 30 of America’s largest companies, with a market cap of over $213 billion and reported sales of $83.68 billion in 2012. So why would such a behemoth ask for a tax break? Because the commissioners are sending the message that it’s there for the asking – since companies threatened previously to go elsewhere, they’re afraid to just say no. In exchange, the company “says” they will hire 200 employees (supposedly local). The CEO was compensated $15.2 million in 2012. Other company officials were compensated millions in combined salaries and bonuses. When companies don’t pay their fair share of taxes it puts more tax burden on citizens and other companies, which would result in postponing raises and/or hiring. This is just one more (major) reason why our local economy is still struggling. Leroy Seawell
Mathmatician replies Dear Editor, Ramon Bell’s April 11 letter, “Social security not a great deal,” is a perfect example of the lack of knowledge people have on topics about which they complain. First inaccuracy, Bell states, “I paid 7.5 percent of my gross income into the
system for over 50 years.” Incorrect. The combined rate for Social Security and Medicare in 2012 is 15.3 percent. Social Security: 6.2 percent on income under $113,700 plus employer share of 6.2 percent. The Medicare rate of 1.45 percent for employee and employer produces the total of 15.3 percent. For self-employed: 12.4 percent to Social Security and 2.9 percent to Medicare on the same income maximum for a total of 15.3 percent. I presume that Bell is not self-employed; if so he would be entitled to deduct the “employer share” on his federal income tax return. Second factual error, Mr. Bell contends that he has paid with employer, 15 percent for “over 50 years.” I reference the Social Security web page that lists Social Security tax percentage in 1963 of 3.375 percent for the individual. Double that for ease of calculation and the total is 6.75 percent. Individual rates gradually increased from 1963 to 2012 (5.3 percent). Third (set of) factual error(s), “Plug these figures into a savings interest schedule and it will do the math for you. A very modest 5 percent annual earnings invested wisely comes to about $800,000.” His math may be correct but not his premise. Inflation-adjusted stock and related investment values rose from the 1980s to 1996, but mostly declined from 1998 to 2012. So the vast majority of retirees, including the very populous baby boomer
generation of new retirees, would not be able to recognize such beneficial investment returns. “Savings interest,” his selection of how he would grow his Social Security in a private fund, has averaged less than 2 percent since the beginning of the 2008 recession and currently is in the range of 1 percent. “Savings interest” of 5 percent annually over the long-term ignores reality. Stock investments would have fared even worse since 2008 for the small investor. Just yesterday the Dow dropped approximately 269 points. Would Bell have “invested wisely”? Who knows but, if he had not, it is likely that he would have turned to the federal government for assistance to which, in his term, he is not “entitled” since he did not contribute to create. Social Security was created in the Depression, not to give a high rate of return that, yes, some people could produce for themselves, though those who could produce would likely be the wealthy who would not really need its benefits, but for the 50 percent of the population of America living in poverty in the late 1930s. Bell can argue that he is entitled to a better rate of return on his “entitlement”. He can argue that Congress has raided the Social Security Trust Fund to finance other programs for which it was not willing to increase taxes. We see today the lack of courage of Congress in addressing a serious problem (Continued on page 38)
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Letters (Continued from page 37) with the viability of Social Security and Medicare in the coming decades by ignoring the fact that most economists state that both programs are not sustainable as presently constituted. He first needs to gather correct facts. Jerry Weston
Islam is Trojan horse Dear Editor, President Obama said he just “can’t understand how two young men who went to school and grew up here in America could turn to violence. “Mr. President, you are an intelligent man. Why can’t you and others of your political persuasion not see the truth about Islam? For God (and Allah’s) sake, this is what Islam teaches and instills in its followers. Even though the majority of them say they disapprove of these radicals deep inside, all of them believe the same thing, but in order to blend into our society (and survive), they are, in reality, nothing less than a 21st century Trojan horse just biding their time when their numbers can achieve their ultimate objective to peacefully seize political power, as they have in France and other countries where their numbers continue to grow. All the while, they continue to coerce those around
Rumors (Continued from page 1) thinking that there can’t be any place prettier in the spring. There are a bunch of scraggly bushes in a yard I drive past every day. Or they look scraggily most of the year. Right now there is bright red stripe down that yard because it is a row of azaleas, which admittedly are not the loveliest shrubs when they aren’t in bloom, but when they are, wow. --Anyone who is under the impression that most city employees stand around holding a shovel watching someone else dig a hole got a bunch of positive reinforcement for their views during the last two City Council meetings. The last two meetings staff has asked for permission to spend money without a contract because they forgot to renegotiate or rebid a contract. For example, if you are in charge of running the yard waste composting operation at the White Street Landfill, doesn’t it seem like part of your job would be to make certain the contract to lease the equipment was up to date? Evidently it is not. --The big daily newspapers are apoplectic this week because they are looking at losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue from mandated government advertising. Senate Bill 287 sponsored by (Continued on page 42)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
them to convert to Islam. There is one common denominator – the teachings of radical Islam prevailed in leading these young men down this path. You say, “How could it happen?” The world, and America in particular, must open its eyes and minds to this. For once, we must see and believe the truth for exactly what it is. There must be some limits to our American Constitution that unconditionally guarantees absolute freedom of religion. Very idealistic, but not acceptable when it serves to embolden those who would use this inherent right to destroy us from within. Ramon Bell
Don’t pay Gilbert Dear Editor, Former Guilford County Elections Director George Gilbert is suing for back pay and benefits citing a vague state law. He points to higher salaries paid in Mecklenburg and Wake counties in support of his suit. Wake and Mecklenburg are larger and more prosperous than Guilford, where unemployment has hovered near 9 percent. The Mecklenburg and Wake elections directors are likely paid less per registered voter than Gilbert was being paid, a hefty $93,772 per year plus benefits. Gilbert illustrates the “sense of entitlement” prevalent in too many public employees and politicians. Try that in the private sector where salaries cannot exceed the based on marginal productivity of each employee. Poor Gorge will just have to learn to get by on his generous retirement package, or he could go to work in the private sector to supplement his income. He might have to give up his fully paid vacation and sick leave benefits, and maybe have to work something close to 40 hours per week. I urge the county commissioners to stand strong and united in opposition to his greedy request. I wish George Gilbert happiness and success in his taxpayerfunded retirement. John B. Gee
Coaches aren’t commanders Dear Editor, As a former military commander, I know well the axiom that a commander’s first duty is to accomplish the mission, then look after the welfare of his men (or women). The mission might include sending them to their death; more often suchlike as protecting civilians, property, restoring trust, rebuilding, etc. The proper commander sees to it that his men eat earlier and as well as he. There it is. Coaches, to the contrary, seem to think their only goal is to win the game. Never mind the welfare of the players, whether they are hurt or might get hurt further, the game must be won. So they can get a contract for $2.5 million for the next season rather than the $1.7 million they have. They gotta play their superstars.
The coach’s first duty should be to look after the welfare of his players. Enable them as practical to get a degree of whatever flavor. Five, maybe 10 percent of the players will succeed in professional sports. Develop your players, allow the understudies court time. Why else do you have a team of 20 when you play only eight. A former favorite coach of mine kept his superstar in the game after an eye injury, after a three-week hiatus from an ankle injury. His replacement, who had done a most excellent job, was allowed to play little thereafter. If I were he, I’d be leaving that team. If sports be war, give them all a gun and let them shoot it out. John Taylor-Hall
Stop ruining the Farmers Market Dear Editor, As bad as it seems, I’m afraid I must remain anonymous. I have been a vendor at the Greensboro Farmers Market for many years. I have seen a lot of changes over these years. Some for the best, but lately not so much. If it was found out by this group that I was writing this I would be the next vendor out the door. If you don’t agree with them you better keep it to yourself. From the time they took over things have started to change. Even though one of the agreements they made with the City Council was that things wouldn’t change for a year. That lasted two weeks. They
Uncle Orson (Continued from page 16) that Churchill remained the love of the other young woman’s life. On the other hand, Shelden does a fair job of dealing superficially but accurately with some (but by no means all) of the issues that shaped Churchill’s public and political life during those career-building years. There are vast areas that Shelden barely touches on – understandable, given the length he was working with, but frustrating if you know just how fascinating each story was in detail. By the end, while I enjoyed Shelden’s writing and he brought some fresh insights to Churchill the private person, Young Titan is closer to a celebrity biography than a serious one. That’s not a bad thing to have written – he remains a celebrity, 50 years after his death. But if you are looking for a short introduction to Churchill’s life, Winston’s War, by Max Hastings, looks at World War II through Churchill’s decisions, and Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945, by Carlos D’Este, may not live up to its title – it’s pretty worthless from World War I onward – but it does give a very good picture of Churchill’s early military career, vital to understand him as a
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
started taking away variances. Changing rules to let some people sell stuff by claiming it was a hobby instead of a retail business. That’s a laugh. They have thrown Faucette Farms out for trying too hard. Their family has been here for many years. And people are jealous of their success. I can remember when Larry Smith and Faucette Farms were the only ones in here during the week. They worked hard and promoted this market and their farms to get people in here. And after months people started coming during the week. Instead of keeping this to themselves, they encouraged the rest of us to give it a chance and come out. But no one ever told Larry or them thanks. They made it look like it was all on the market staff. But it wasn’t. And now look at all the good it did them. These people who run this market now only see what they want to see. I bet if you were to visit that farm you would have found everything you look for. And then some. When you have a purpose to get rid of someone, you can always see what you do or don’t want to see. What concerns the rest of us is who’s next. I have tried to be here as much as I can all year long. But the vendors who are running things from behind closed doors aren’t seen here in the winter. Unless they have come to target a new victim. I wish the city had kept our market. The customers are getting tired of all the jealousy. Please stop ruining our market, before all the customers leave. Anonymous
man and as a war leader.
Every now and then, I get to say “I told you so.” You know the actress Melissa McCarthy, who rules in the sitcom Mike & Molly and who stole the movie Bridesmaids? Officially, her career really began with Gilmore Girls in 2007. But here’s what I wrote about her in this column in early April 2003: “I have met the funniest woman in America. “Her name is Melissa McCarthy. “I saw her give a triumphant performance in a sketch-and-improv show at the Groundlings in LA last night. “She can only be compared to Gilda Radner or Phil Hartman. Dead-on timing, characters that fit her like a second skin, screamingly funny material – even when she’s making it up on the fly.” And I finished with: “But if you want to see Melissa McCarthy, you don’t have to go to the Groundlings. It is inconceivable that she’ll be there much longer. Talent like that goes national – and she’s overdue.” Well, it took four years for my prediction to be fulfilled. But I nailed it, didn’t I? I just wish I could see some of those sketch comedy characters again.
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Thursday, April 25, 2013
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Right at the top of the list of priority bills for Perkins are his Greensboro Country Club dues and the mortgage on the condominium (and the fees for the homeowners’ association for the condo where he lives), which happens to be Center Pointe – one of the most expensive residential buildings in Greensboro. Perkins has also chosen to pay the mortgage on a vacant lot beside his house, which would be considered investment property, but not on the house. Legitimate questions can be raised about Perkins financial philosophy, and evidently they were raised by the judge at the most recent hearing in his divorce proceedings. Which is more important, providing a home and education for your child or being a member in good standing of the Greensboro Country Club? Perkins has chosen the Country Club. It is also worth noting that Perkins won’t pay his daughters tuition at Greensboro Day School, but he also has not enrolled his daughter in Greensboro public schools, which are free. Perkins’ personal philosophy is reflected in his mayoral philosophy. Greensboro is in serious economic difficulties. The unemployment rate remains much higher than the national rate, and even higher than the state average. We need jobs. Perkins, in his first year as mayor, concentrated on one issue – building a downtown performing arts center. It’s a lot like being a member of the Greensboro Country Club. A downtown performing arts center will give people who can afford it a venue to attend the symphony, Broadway shows and the like, where tickets can be over $200 each. It will not provide a significant number of
jobs, and the current method of paying for it – with high parking fees at downtown parking decks at night – could destroy many downtown businesses that do employ people. For Perkins, a downtown performing arts center is at the top of the list, not streets, not infrastructure, not jobs, not giving people a tax break or lowering their water rates. No, the number one issue for Perkins is to build a downtown performing arts center within walking distance of his condominium so that people who can afford to spend $500 to $1,000 on a night out can dress up and go. There is nothing wrong with that if you can afford it, but should that be the number one issue for the Greensboro city government? Perkins thought he was so powerful that he could push a downtown performing arts center through the City Council in a couple of months. Just for the record, he was stopped by one fairly quiet, unassuming elected official who put representing his constituents first. That is District 2 City Councilmember Jim Kee, who repeatedly said that the people in his district just weren’t in favor of spending $60 million on a performing arts center. It is a luxury that would be really nice if everything else were taken care of. Kind of like being a member of the Greensboro Country Club. There is nothing wrong with being a member of the Greensboro Country Club. It has two good golf courses, one just having had a major renovation. The food in the clubhouses is good. It has nice swimming pools, tennis courts and workout rooms. It’s a great place to meet people and do business. But it’s only a great place to be a member if you can afford it. Perkins cannot, or he can because he chooses not to pay bills that most of us would consider
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obligations rather than luxuries. Like paying the tuition for your daughter to go to school, making the payments you have been ordered to by the court to your wife and for child support, and paying your taxes. Perkins’ personal financial house is not in order and his political house is not in order. Right after Perkins was elected mayor he did something that is unprecedented in modern Greensboro city politics – he got a job for his campaign manager where she was paid by the taxpayers of Greensboro. Now the money was laundered through the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, but there is no doubt that it was city tax dollars that paid Perkins’ campaign manager Ross Harris to be the one paid employee of the drive for a Greensboro performing arts center. It’s just wrong to get the taxpayers to give your campaign manager a job, but there are a couple of aspects of this particular situation that make it even worse. Harris was hired by the Community Foundation as a consultant to run the task force that was set up by Perkins and the City Council to push for a Greensboro performing arts center. The Community Foundation has revealed the cost of contracts with other consultants, but has refused to even tell councilmembers how much Harris was being paid. However, one reliable source said it was over $100,000. During this same time period Harris was also being paid as Perkins’ campaign manager. Harris began working as a consultant for the Community Foundation at the beginning of 2012. And from July through November 2012, the Perkins campaign paid Harris over $14,000. That’s a pretty good chunk of change for a campaign that doesn’t kick off until 2013. It also doesn’t seem right for Harris to be paid by the Perkins’ campaign at the same time as she is being paid with city tax dollars laundered through the Community Foundation. Which brings up another issue that should be a big one in this campaign. Perkins has done everything in his power to make government as secretive as possible. Decisions of the City Council, which used to be made after discussions in public meetings, are now made in secret meetings behind closed doors where the public and press are thrown out, if they manage to find out about the meeting and try to attend. Perkins is working hard to shut off the public’s ability to find out what the City Council is doing and wants the people to only be able to find out what the City Council has done. One of the councilmembers working against Perkins on many of his efforts to close down the public’s right to know is Vaughan. One point that Vaughan’s candidacy makes crystal clear is how much better partisan elections are than nonpartisan. In this case we have a mayor, Perkins, who is being sued for contempt by his wife, was sued by his father-in-law for not paying a $16,000 debt, has allowed his house where his wife lives but he doesn’t
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
go into foreclosure, and then he declared personal bankruptcy in Charlotte instead of Greensboro. If ever a candidate were vulnerable, it would be Perkins, who is a registered Republican. Does anyone think for a minute that if he were in a partisan race that the Democratic Party would not be lining up candidates to run against him. But since the races are nonpartisan there is no one to line up candidates to run against Perkins. A few people who care about Greensboro are left to make telephone calls. I admit to making a few telephone calls and visits to people who I thought would be good candidates because Greensboro needs to talk about the mayor. If the people of Greensboro look at Perkins and decide they want a bankrupt mayor who refuses to pay court ordered child support and alimony, then so be it. Perkins is smart, personable and experienced. A lot of voters will decide that trumps his financial problems. But voters deserve a choice and they only get a choice if a viable candidate is running against Perkins fortunately Vaughan has stepped forward. But as noted earlier there are only a few people in Greensboro who at this late date could take Perkins on with any hope of winning. I talked to one of those few, Mike Barber, about running for mayor. He has the name recognition and political skills to jump in and make it a race. Barber says that he is leaning toward running for the District 4 seat currently held by Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann, which Barber held before Mary Rakestraw, who was defeated by Hoffmann in 2011. I also talked to Justin Conrad who ran in the Republican primary for the District 27 state Senate seat won by state Sen. Trudy Wade. Conrad, the president of Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants, said that a number of people had asked him to run for mayor but he thought his strengths meshed better with the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and he was seriously considering a run for a commissioner’s seat in 2014. Vaughan running for mayor opens up an at-large seat on the City Council, so you can expect the usual 12 or 13 people to sign up to run for City Council at large. In 2014 election news. Kee is telling people that he plans to run for the District 57 seat currently held by Rep. Pricey Harrison. It is a majorityminority district. So it is pretty odd that it is represented by a white woman, and not just a white woman but an extremely wealthy, privileged white woman. Pricey Harrison is the granddaughter of Joe Bryan. In Greensboro you don’t get any more high society than that. Harrison is also known as an environmentalist, and clean water is not as big an issue when people are worried about getting their water bill paid. It looks like Kee, who has proven to be an elected official who does a great job of working with both sides, would be a better fit for that community. Finally, Mark Walker, who has already (Continued on next page)
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Thursday, April 25, 2013
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Authority of Wisconsin to a nonprofit group in Guilford County. Up to $5 million of that loan will be tax exempt. The money will be used to refinance and improve Cumberland Courts apartments in east Greensboro, as well as to construct a new 84-unit complex – Asberry Courts apartments – to be built on the site of the former St. James Homes apartments. The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the “pass through” loan. However, it did so only after commissioners asked questions as to why they were being asked to vote on a loan to a private nonprofit entity that originated from a state about 1,000 miles to the north known largely for its badgers and cheese. At the start of the public hearing, Isaacson spoke briefly while Alston – a Realtor who’s the managing agent for both projects – sat quietly in the audience. No one from the public spoke against the loan. After the public debate portion of the hearing was closed, the commissioners asked about the nature of the loan. Isaacson said the financing was for a 501(c) 3 entity, and he said that a 1986 Internal Revenue Service regulation, as well as Wisconsin law, required that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners approve the loan since the board was the highest governing body in the project’s jurisdiction. Isaacson assured the commissioners that Guilford County could in no way be held liable for any part of the loan. He said the vote was merely a perfunctory legal requirement that had to be met. Commissioner Ray Trapp – who Alston handpicked to take his place on the board after Alston decided not to run last year – asked about the “Asberry Park” project, perhaps mistakenly channeling Bruce Springsteen. Trapp wanted to know if the new apartment complex would be on the site of the old St. James Apartments, and Isaacson and Alston confirmed it would be. After the commissioners seemed convinced the county wasn’t on the hook for any of the money, the board voted unanimously to approve the deal.
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announced that he intends to run for the Sixth District US House seat currently held by Congressman Howard Coble, officially launched his campaign last week with a rally at the airport Marriott. Reportedly a couple hundred people attended Walker, an assistant pastor at Lawndale Baptist Church, is a novice politician, so he can be expected to make some novice mistakes. Having a couple of hundred cheering supporters at your campaign launch is the kind of image most politicians want to covered by the media, but his campaign launch was not.
At the April 18 meeting, the board also faced another financial decision involving other people’s money – at least, that’s how the Board of Education members would like the commissioners to view the matter. It used to be that the Board of Commissioners would never even discuss the issue when the school board wanted to move money from a project at a school to another project at that same school. However, things have changed. Three new county commissioners – Hank Henning, Alan Branson and Jeff Phillips – campaigned last year on platforms that included reining in school spending, and now those three have a tendency to ask a lot of questions about school issues that many commissioners consider housekeeping matters. At the previous Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, April 4, the schools sent the commissioners the item for approval – and school officials must have felt rather confident about it at that time because they didn’t even send a representative to answer questions should the commissioners have some. At that meeting two weeks earlier, the commissioners did have questions and, when they realized there was no school official there to answer them, the board continued the matter until the April 18 meeting, when, presumably, someone from the schools would be able to enlighten the commissioners. At the April 18 meeting, Guilford County Schools Director of Construction Julius Monk spoke on the transfer of funds. Monk said the school board was requesting the commissioners vote to approve moving $165,011 in school bond money from the renovation of the English building at Dudley, where extra funds were available, to the athletic facilities construction project at Dudley. Both projects were being funded by bond money approved by Guilford County voters in May 2008. According to a memo to the commissioners from school officials, a contract for work on Dudley was awarded in September 2011; however, the athletics portion of that contract now had expected cost overruns of $135,011. The memo cited “regulatory requirements and unforeseen conditions” as the reasons the transfer was needed. Two months ago, the Guilford County Board of Education approved the request to transfer money from renovations of Dudley’s English building to Dudley’s athletic facilities project, which includes a new stadium, and a new field house. Branson, who’s had a lot of questions for county school officials in recent months, asked why the transfer was needed. Monk said that, in the construction of the new athletic facilities, there were code violations the building inspector identified. Monk added that it’s not uncommon for there to be a few surprises when a project that size is translated from an architect’s drawings into real world structures. Phillips, who also spoke frequently about school spending when he was running for
his District 5 commissioners seat last year, had questions about the amount requested for the project overruns. The paperwork accompanying the request stated that the projected additional cost would be $135,011; however, the actual request before the commissioners was to move $165,011. “I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me at first,” Phillips told Monk. Monk told the commissioners the extra $30,000 was “just in case there may be something else.” He said that, with projects of this scope, it made sense to have some extra money allocated to address any additional unforeseen issues. “Is that common practice?” Phillips asked. Monk said construction and renovation projects usually had some additional funds set aside just in case. Henning chimed in, “I have the same concerns Commissioner Phillips raised.” Henning wanted to know what would happen to the surplus if it turned out the school system didn’t need that money for the Dudley athletic facilities. Monk responded that the money would go back to a general construction fund and the commissioners would have to approve it before it could be spent on another project. Commissioner Kay Cashion had questions as well. “A $30,000 set aside?” she asked. “How
do you arrive at that?” Monk said a standard formula was used to calculate the amount of the potential overruns. Phillips made a motion to approve the $135,011 but not the $165,011 requested. Coleman objected. “I don’t think it’s our job to micromanage the school board,” she said. Phillips said the point was that the funds weren’t currently needed, and, if it turns out that they are needed in the future, the commissioners could always approve the money at that time. Phillips got his way. The board voted 5-to-4 for the lesser amount. At the end of the meeting, when the commissioners take a few minutes to talk about anything under the sun that they want to talk about, Commissioner Bruce Davis took the unusual step of using his time for a commercial during the televised meeting. He said he had recently had trouble with a bee swarm and, at first, he’d thought about calling an exterminator. Then, he said, he heard about Ben Morgan and the Save the Bees organization. Davis said the bee population has been dwindling in recent years so the bees needed saving rather than killing. Davis said Morgan did “an excellent job,” and Davis even gave out the phone number for Save the Bees. Another issue of concern for the (Continued on page 42)
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Alston (Continued from page 41) commissioners came up during the time for speakers from the floor at the start of the meeting. Stacy Smith, who said she works for a psychotherapy services provider in Guilford County, told the board that, since the county had completely divested it mental health services at the beginning of the year, things have fallen apart in the mental health services field. “I just want to tell you it’s a disaster,” she said. Smith said county mental health providers were getting arbitrary and misleading instructions from Sandhills Center – the nine-county mental health collective headquartered in West End, North Carolina, in Moore County that’s now in charge of providing mental health
Grimsley (Continued from page 4) of the 1975 shared-use agreement for the pools. “It was a good idea 38 years ago, and it’s a good idea today. The City of Greensboro should be ashamed.” Later, Wilson said that the school board is unlikely to sue Greensboro over letting
Rumors (Continued from page 38) state Sen. Trudy Wade passed the Senate on Tuesday and, if a companion bill passes in the House, paid circulation newspapers lose their government mandated monopoly on local government advertising and it opens the doors up to free weeklies, magazines, radio, television, websites, billboards or any other kind of advertising a local government chooses to get its message out to the people. The big dailies act like their First Amendment rights are being violated, but in reality it is only their pocketbooks that will be hurt. Hopefully this legislature will end a host of government mandated monopolies and return more business to the free enterprise system. --I’m considering only voting for City Council candidates who drive north on Battleground Avenue from the downtown regularly because I think that is the only hope the city will straighten out the traffic lights on that road. I almost always have to stop at Hill Street, and as often as not there is no traffic. It’s worse at Bessemer where the city is convinced that thousands of cars want to turn right from Bessemer on to Battleground and need a green arrow to do it. No cars, just red lights. Battleground is a major thoroughfare. It should have some precedence, but it has none. A single car on Mill Street stops Battleground dead in its tracks. --(Continued on page 50)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
services for Guilford County. Smith said someone would have to be “living under a rock” to not know that the mental health care in Guilford County was going to the dogs. She added that the turmoil was having a highly negative effect on the mental health patients who use the services. “It’s freaking out the folks that I serve,” Smith said. Cashion informed Smith that she serves on the board that oversees Sandhills, and Cashion asked Smith to contact her after the meeting. “I would like to get specifics,” Cashion said. Several commissioners informed Smith that, while the commissioners did have a choice as to which provider they chose to merge with, they had no say in the decision that they would have to merge. The North
Carolina General Assembly only gave the state’s two largest counties – Mecklenburg and Wake – the right to exempt out of consolidation. The ironic thing is that the whole situation – Guilford County’s forced merger of mental health services – might have been avoided with a single phone call if any Guilford County commissioners had thought to contact a state legislator and asked that Guilford County be excepted. However, the commissioners were too busy arguing over minutia, naming buildings and creating policies that they never followed, to be concerned about those who need mental health care. With a Republican majority in the state legislature and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger a representative of District 26 – which includes part of Guilford County – the state’s third largest county could no
the pool decay and then not fixing it after a windstorm damaged the roof on Dec. 7, 2011. Wilson expressed uncertainty about whether the deed and the shared-use agreement limit the school board to merely taking back the pool, or would allow the school board to sue the city for handing over the keys with the pool in execrable shape. School board members contacted later were angry, but uncertain whether the school board would pay to fix the pool. It shouldn’t have to, but the school board has plenty of left over school bond money for construction, although there are many demands for that money. School board member Amos Quick said the City Council’s decision speaks poorly for the city’s commitment to young people in Greensboro. Quick said he doesn’t consider suing the city a good option for the school board. He added, “I would hope that better minds would prevail, and that some type of better agreement would come out of further discussion between the City Council and the Board of Education and our respective staffs.” The problem is there is no indication that the City Council wants to talk. The Greensboro staff PowerPoint presentation at the April 16 meeting was honest. It listed the Sutton-Kennerly estimates, and said they all included extensive renovations and code upgrades to the pool. It also listed the Save our Pool proposal, noting that it does not include unneeded renovations or code upgrades. That’s where Greensboro’s building inspectors come in. The sticking point is that SuttonKennerly insists on extensively renovating the building, and renovations trigger requirements that the pool building be brought up to current building codes. The original Sutton-Kennerly proposal included new locker rooms, a deeper pool, bringing the building into conformance with the
Americans with Disabilities Act and a host of other improvements. Save our Pools proposes merely repairing the damage to the pool, including fixing the roof and driving some piers to support the building’s foundation, without adding enough doodads to trigger all those code improvements. One of the things that had Gilchrest spitting mad was that he and the other members of his committee sat down with a roomful of Greensboro building inspectors and were told that repairing the pool wouldn’t trigger code upgrades. He said the inspectors have since changed their tune. Greensboro Parks and Recreation Director Chris Wilson confirmed Gilchrest’s memory of that meeting, but said the inspectors did not realize the extent of the work that would be done on the pool. But Wilson interpreted the meeting differently, saying the inspectors said they could make allowances for repairs, but would have to make decisions on code upgrades once a design was formally proposed. “The way I understood it was if you are doing something that involved taking down walls and repairing the roof, then you absolutely have to address the electrical issues,” Wilson said. “That was my sense of what was being discussed.” That is no consolation to school board member Linda Welborn, who said the City Council’s abandonment of the pool puts the school board in an uncomfortable position – not yet knowing what money they will get for their operating budget, but having to consider allocating money to repair and operate the pool. Welborn said, “If it comes down to operating the pool or keeping teachers in the classroom, it may come down to keeping teachers.” School board member Nancy Routh said she needs more information before deciding what to do with the pool, if the school board doesn’t challenge the City Council vote.
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
doubt have gotten an exception in the same way that Mecklenburg County and Wake County did. Dist. 62 State Rep. John Blust said no one ever approached him about getting an exemption and the first time he knew about the forced merger was when he read it in The Rhinoceros Times, but, by then, it was too late. Various county commissioners and former commissioners said it never occurred to them that the county could somehow get an exemption from merging. Regardless, virtually everyone now seems to agree that mental health care in Guilford County – and across the state – is in a much worse shape then it was before the state began the decade-long process of dismantling county-based mental health departments. At theApril 18 meeting, the commissioners also approved $80,600 for dental software and training in its use for the Department of Public Health’s dental program. The board also approved a $183,000 contract with Bound Tree Medical, a Dublin, Ohio, company, to purchase ambulance related supplies for Guilford County Emergency Services. The board also accepted a donation of $20,000 in stock from Elizabeth Conner of High Point to create a hiking trail at Rich Fork Preserve to honor her husband, Bob Conner. The next meeting of the board will be a noon work session on Thursday, May 2.
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house several times and found the photography business was within the floor area limitations that the home occupancy guidelines required. McClintock also said he had stopped by the house around 6:30 in the morning and had found Hyde there each time. However, he said that he was not authorized to work at night except for in special circumstances, so he is restricted to going by during the workday. McClintock said the land development ordinance is not specific on what qualifies as a primary residence. He also said that from what he has seen Hyde does not have employees working at East Newlyn Street. Hyde said that he is now complying with the home occupancy regulations. “I’ve talked with the city and I’ve done what they’ve asked me to do,” said Hyde. “I’ve changed my lifestyle to be in compliance.” An attempt to contact Hyde for further comment was made Tuesday, April 23, by calling the Aesthetic Images Studio. However, an employee answered the phone and said that Hyde was out of the office with his family. The employee said she was not answering the phone from the 200 Newlyn Street house, and that she works from her own home.
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Rogers (Continued from page 7) Despite the oddities in Brockington’s bid, Ozment on Feb. 9, 2006 wrote a letter on Guilford County Schools letterhead to Brockington hiring him. “Guilford County Schools (GCS) will be paying relocation expenses in association with Noah Rogers’ move from Norfolk, Virginia to Greensboro, North Carolina in Guilford County,” Ozment wrote. “Per estimates obtained from professional bonded movers and submitted to my office, GCS will make payment not to exceed $18,975.22 to Brockington Moving Company.” Ozment’s letter instructed Brockington to send his invoice to her after the move. Another oddity surfaces toward the end of Ozment’s letter. Ozment wrote, “Dr. Rogers will be responsible for any costs incurred for the unpacking of his household items or for any costs in excess of the $18,975.22.” Both of the companies who were denied the contract provided, in their bids, costs for unpacking at least some of Rogers’ possessions. Brockington’s bid, as approved by Ozment, required Rogers to do his own unpacking, or hire someone to do it. Monroe Transfer and Storage is listed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission as an incorporated business at 5827 Curlew Dr. in Norfolk. New Bell Storage and Moving is a company at 3489 Westminster
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Ave. in Norfolk whose website states it was founded in 1912. There is no Brockington Moving Co. listed in Norfolk phone listings or with the State Corporation Commission. Rogers was hired by former School Superintendent Terry Grier. Ozment has since retired. Carr and the current Guilford County Schools chief financial officer, Angie Henry, had not been hired at the time. “None of us (Mo, Angie, Nora) were here or involved in this process, so I think it would be inappropriate for us to guess as to why this firm was selected,” Carr wrote The Rhino Times on Monday, April 22. “Also, while our practice has been/ is to ask administrators to take the low bid, a service contract doesn’t fall under ‘lowest responsible bidder’ guidelines. Other factors can come into play regarding service contracts.” The fact that the moving contract was given to a Norfolk Public Schools employee, and possibly an associate of Rogers with no actual moving company, would be of little importance if its only effect was the fact that Brockington was allowed to lower his bid by $23. But Brockington claimed in a lawsuit filed in Norfolk Circuit Court on June 22, 2009 that he gave Rogers the $18,975 that had been paid to Brockington by Guilford County Schools to pay for Rogers’ move, and that Rogers never paid him back for the move. That lawsuit was decided in
Brockington’s favor, but the lawsuit was also dismissed, meaning that Rogers and Brockington apparently came to some settlement. Brockington’s claim is made plausible by the fact that Rogers paid the money back to Guilford County Schools the day before resigning. Carr said that Rogers would have been entitled to none of the money paid to Brockington. “Moving expenses is what gets approved,” she said. “Payment goes to the moving company.” The Rhino Times in September 2011 reported that Rogers, although he claimed two presumably legitimate degrees – a 1980
Beep (Continued from page 10) %%% After reading your article, I am not one of Robbie Perkins fans at all. And after reading your article in the May 11 issue, outlining his – not just his monetary problems, but his attitude about it, and his still insisting on pushing the art center through it has been made more than clear the people of the city do not support because 85 percent at least of the people in Greensboro will not be able to afford to buy these tickets to go to functions at this art center. If he can’t manage his own personal bills
bachelor of science degree in social studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a 1982 master’s degree in education administration from Norfolk State University in Virginia – also claimed a 2003 Ph.D. in education administration (magna cum laude) from Madison University, a diploma mill in Gulfport, Mississippi. A diploma mill is a college – a company, actually – that offers diplomas for a fee based on little or no academic work. Diploma mills are usually unaccredited, or are accredited by fake institutions unrecognized in the normal academic world. Some charge by the degree, rather than by the class.
and finances, he does not qualify to run a city and manage the finances of the city, which are much more complicated. As complicated as his finances are, because he has his fingers in so many pies, the city is much more complicated. %%% I truly, truly hope that the citizens of Greensboro will not reelect this man. He has proven that he, as my mother used to put it, there are excuses, and there are reasons. And he’s got a ton of excuses, but he doesn’t have any actual good reasons for not being able to manage his (Continued on page 45)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
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operations at the market and appeared to be one of the busiest operations. During the winter Faucette was often one of the few tables with a good selection of vegetables. Several of the people who came out to inspect his farm are vendors at the Farmers Market and his competitors. Faucette, according to a letter from the Farmers Market Board Chair Eric Calhoun and the Market Manager Elizabeth Gibbs, was removed from the market for selling mixed greens, red and yellow onions and potatoes on July 18, and for selling potatoes, oyster mushrooms, grape tomatoes, baby spinach and acorn and butternut squash on Feb. 23, 2013. According to the letter from Calhoun and Gibbs, Faucette, a well-known farmer from a farm family in Brown Summit, is being removed from the Farmers Market because, ìThe inspections of your farm on these occasions did not provide adequate evidence that you had produced the items on your table.î None of the documentation that has been provided to Faucette and Cohen states exactly what he is supposed to have not grown on his farm or why the inspectors decided that he did not grow those particular
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
vegetables. The lawsuit notes that no attempt was made to scientifically determine if the vegetables were grown on the Faucette Farm or not. Faucette said he showed the inspectors from the Farmers Market where he grew the different items they asked about. Faucette said he didnít know that his answers had been considered unsatisfactory until he received the letter throwing him out of the market. Faucette said one complaint Gibbs had was that his potatoes were too clean. He said he showed her his potato washer and even plugged it in and turned it on. The appeal before the Appeals Committee was as much of a kangaroo court as you are ever likely to see. There was no evidence presented by Gibbs or the others who inspected the farm. There was no report handed out explaining why Gibbs and the others thought that Faucette had not grown the vegetables in question. There was no definitive list of what Faucette was supposed to have not grown. What you had at that hearing was Cohen explaining that Faucette was a farmer in Brown Summit and everybody knew he grew a lot of vegetables and that Faucette said he grew all of the vegetables he sold at the market
on those occasions. Faucette provided the committee with a big stack bills for seed he bought. Most people would wonder what he did with all that seed if he wasnít planting and growing vegetables, but evidently the board of the Farmers Market didnít wonder. It is extremely difficult to refute allegations when there are no facts. Cohen asked several times for evidence if there was any that Faucette didnít grow the vegetables, and none was ever provided. There wasnít even any testimony about why the inspectors decided that Faucette hadnít grown the vegetables or where he was supposed to have acquired the vegetables. One letter says that Faucette is being thrown out based on ìthe report from the most recent visit to your farm.î No such report has been provided to Faucette, and, during the hearing when Cohen asked for evidence, no report was provided. Faucette is the second long-time farmer to be removed from the market. The first was Gann Farms. Brian and Rodney Gann said they came to the market with their father and their when they were kids, and until they were thrown out, their mother, Mary Gann, still came to the market with them. They were kicked out because Ms. Maryís
Chow Chow is selling like hotcakes. The Ganns started selling the Ms. Maryís Chow Chow at the Farmers Market and then got a contract to also sell their chow chow at The Fresh Market stores nationwide. The Farmers Market threw the Ganns out because the Ganns refused to let inspectors from the Farmers Market inspect the kitchen where the chow chow is made. The chow chow meets all the regulations to be made, packaged and shipped from coast to coast, but does not meet the high standards of the Greensboro Farmers Market. What we predicted would happen is happening. The Farmers Market has a lot more gewgaws and doodads, but not as many farmers selling vegetables. Some of the other long-time local farmers figure they are also on the hit list, but they donít know who is next. It is exactly what the proponents of the city maintaining control of the Farmers Market said would happen if a group of vendors were allowed to run the market. Everything changes and it wouldnít be surprising if next year you can sit down and order herb tea at the Farmers Market and watch a demonstration of how to grow indigo and hemp and dye your own cloth, but to buy vegetables youíll have to go to Harris Teeter.
request, and he said that this seemed to him to be a move to “retrofit the new jail in the hopes that one day we can lock up 1,600 people.” Trapp added, “If so, then we don’t really sudoku_356B need these.” Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz Like Coleman and Trapp, Davis said the request brings up much bigger 4 issues. “The concern goes beyond the dryers,” Davis said.8“It goes to the planning.” Davis said that Guilford County had 2 spent money in previous years hiring pretrial workers3and establishing 9 7 programs – such as house arrest, drug court and mental4health court – in order to keep 8 the jail population low, but now the county 2 6 was spending money on dryers for a much larger 1 mythical inmate population that 9 was 3 not in the jail and wouldn’t be for years to 6 7 come, 3 if then.
Davis said that, if this was a move to get dryers in place for when the county actually does have 1,600 inmates in an expanded jail in Greensboro – perhaps 25 years in the future – then it’s an ill-conceived plan, because, Davis pointed out, dryers bought today won’t be working 25 years from now. Davis then took a jab at the Sheriff’s Department over the fact that two inmates escaped from the High Point jail two months
ago by crawling out a window. Those two men still are still on the loose. Davis said it looks to him like a better investment at the current time would be “to put some bars on the windows” of the High Point jail. Barnes wasn’t at the April 18 meeting; however the next day, after hearing about the debate, the sheriff returned fire. “Why would you need 10 gallons of gas when the trip you are taking only requires
Dryergate (Continued from page 5) That number was six, and, even though the jail wasn’t remotely near capacity, the Sheriff’s Department was asking for more dryers. Commissioner Carolyn Coleman asked, “When we built the jail, why didn’t we fully equip the jail?” She said the planned facility was supposedly established and funded to hold at least 1,000 inmates. “That’s the jail we built,” Coleman said. She said she didn’t understand why this request was being made. Coleman added that, in her mind, it brought up a much larger question. “What else did we not furnish?” she said. Trapp was noticeably aggravated by the
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From last week’s issue E A R L O B E
Distributed by The New York Times syndicate
From last week’s issue
E D S O Y A N N E R O C K O O S P U P H E R O A R T E D O C H W H A S O H E C A X O S I A L T T A W E T T E D E N E D D A R I R O N L P G
N I K R E O S T O P S A R C A D I A
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4 5 8 9 2 7 3 1 6
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Vaughan (Continued from page 1) 30 years. She said the conversation was what you would expect from two people who have known each other and worked together for so long – “civil.” She said she planned to run on her record as a city councilmember and said, “I think I have a good reputation. All I can do is stand on my record.” Vaughan noted that both she and Perkins have records that the voters can compare. She said, “I think there are enough differences to give people a choice.” Vaughan said she thought she was more detail oriented than Perkins and that she had not been happy with the way the proposed Greensboro Performing Arts Center issue under Perkins’ direction had evolved. Nancy Vaughan was a member of the City Council from 1997 to 2001. She stepped down in 2001 and ran again in 2009, won the at-large race and was elected mayor pro tem. She ran for reelection in 2011 and
finished second to former Mayor Yvonne Johnson in the at-large race. It is worth noting that when Vaughan won the at-large City Council race in 2009, the second place finisher was Perkins. The top three vote getters in the at-large race win seats on the City Council. Along with the personal bankruptcy, Perkins is in the midst of a messy divorce with his wife Carole Perkins. Just how messy might be indicated by the fact that Robbie Perkins reportedly did not tell Carole Perkins that he had filed for bankruptcy. Nancy Vaughan is married to former City Councilmember and former state Sen. Don Vaughan. In fact, the two got to know each other by serving on the City Council together and, according to city hall legend, their first date was to look at the wastewater treatment plant construction project. George Hartzman, a frequent speaker at City Council meetings, has also said he intends to run for mayor.
PAGE CJ16 The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
APRIL 2013 | CAROLINA JOURNAL
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Incentives Switcheroo Benefits Carolina Panthers (a CJ Parody) Dryergate By TuTTS DownSfrom previous page) (Continued Incentives Editor three?” Barnes said. “We have the money RALEIGH that must be spent on law enforcement. It ebuffed in his efforts to get the is not local tax dollars; we are planning for state to kick in $62.5 million in the future, and thedollars more dryers we have the state tax for upgrades to less wear and tear on the ones we and his team’s Charlotte home, have, Carolina the quickerowner we canJerry finish Richardson the drying ofhas the Panthers sheets we wash daily.” foundand outuniforms there’s more than one way toDavis skin asaid cat.that the sheriff is keen on the fact that this Gov. money fromand a grant, While Patcomes McCrory othbut Davis officials said that doesn’t mean the money er state were telling him his should spent any lesswas wisely. requestbefor millions no-go, they “I know it’s asimultaneously grant,” Davis said, “but were almost telling aMetLife grant isthat not free money –fora grant comes its request $94 million from somewhere.” in incentives to move 2,600 jobs from Davis, along with other commissioners, the Northeast to North Carolina had said Barnes complains about a tight beenthat approved. budgetRichardson so it just doesn’t seem likeJournal buying told Carolina new dryers for some point way in the he initially was miffed that the future state should be the top priority right “feels it’s OK sheriff’s to give money to insurnow. If his budget really is that constrained, ance agents but not to football playcommissioners ask,upon then how does he ers,” until he hit an idea. Hehave ap$10,000 andMetLife change toand spend on something proached offered to sell oriented the distant naming to rights to thefuture. stadium in Char“It’sfornot biggest need,” Barnes lotte $94 the million. responded, “butalready the one owns we could MetLife the afford namwith the funds we New had toJersey use. Stadium, We try to ing rights to the plan long Sometimes may play, have where theterm. NFL’s Jets and we Giants aso$100 need be andnoa stranger $25 budget, so wea it would to such buy something we need thought, but can afford proposal, Richardson and at that time, especially He if we’re might be receptive. was dealing right. with money that only is earmarked and time MetLife agreed, the new name for constrained.” what is now Bank of America Stadium 2005, a will jail be report by Kimme & inInCharlotte MetLife Stadium Associates claimed that Guilford County’s South.
jail population would grow immensely inmate lower than the 818 average daily between 2005 and now, and alternative population the county had 10 years ago, in programs and court strategies could do March of 2003. little to prevent jail overcrowding. Judges In fact, the only reason the new jail’s court officials, Barnes, his staff and others population number is as high as it is today in the community all screamed from the is that the inmates at the Prison Farm are mountaintops that the county needed a new being moved into the new jail. jail because the inmate population would Barnes admits that the current county jail grow by leaps and bounds. Those dire population in 2013 is less than he and the predictions never came remotely close to Kimme report predicted, and less than he being accurate. anticipated when the large jail was planned Now Guilford County has three jails and in 2008. one prison – the only thing it doesn’t have He has said that he is planning on using is inmates to fill them. Currently, the old that extra space to hold federal inmates. Greensboro jail is not housing inmates, The Sheriff’s Department would charge the and, by June 30, the Prison Farm near federal agencies for that service, perhaps Gibsonville will no longer house inmates either. Also, about half of the holding space in the new jail in Greensboro is empty, andrendering the High Point jailthe is Carolina no longerPanthers stadium will look like when signage An artist’s of what overcrowded, and on some days it is under is changed to reflect the new naming sponsor. (CJ (Continued spoof photo graphic) from page 43) capacity. “We are pleased with this part- money vate funds. other than his immaturity, his lack Barnes said his department does use Asked by CJand if he nership with MetLife,” said Richard- of accountability, justdidn’t from feel this that one some office only space does in theitold Greensboro the $94I million in incentives that the son. “Not give MetLife article, would say he doesn’t even take jail, that visibility jail is no and longer for state granted to MetLife wasn’t the somebut added yet used another care of his family. He borrows from his inmates. Theits sheriff said blimp, his staffbut hasthe to same money that MetLife was now place to fly Snoopy father-in-law and doesn’t repay it. This is do a walk from throughthe every so often to flush giving to the stadium, the Greensboro, Commerce revenue naming rights is not a trustworthy man. Please, the toilets so 50 thatpercent the plumbing go official responded tersely, “Well, that more than more doesn’t than we do not reelect this man. If you do, you’re bad. just paying shows attention. that you don’t were asking from the state for renova- not You’reunderstand not paying Despite all the dire and unfounded the complicated nature of the state’s tions.” attention if you re-elect Robbie Perkins as predictions of earlier inmate had growth incentives McCrory said that the mayor again.program.” He will take us down. Thank supposedly not to be give reduced and A spokesman for MetLife told CJ state could could not afford the Panyou. One woman’s opinion. therefore required newinjail be built, thers $62.5 million taxspace money, but that the the media and North Carolina %%% in March of thisDepartment year the average combined a Commerce official con- taxpayers should not get “hung up” Yes, since Mr. cannot bring daily population of the Greensboro jail and of the incentive and vinced him this arrangement was OK on the coincidenceObama himself to use the word terror or terrorism, the High Point jail was 817, which is one to the because all the money comes from pri- the naming rights amounting
FIRST IN FREEDOM
charging the feds about $100 per inmate same number of dollars. per day. “All money is fungible,” “It’s still in the plan,” Barnes saidthe of spokeman said. “When Mr. Richardson keeping federal inmates. “We just have named the pricefor forupgrades the naming rights, to find funding in jail and it never occurred to us that this was the additional staffing.” exact same amount of money the state The plan to eventually house federal had given us in incentives for moving inmates could be one reason Barnes wants jobs to North Carolina. One thing has the extra dryers. nothing to do with the other.” However, even if the new jail brought in He went on to say that incenover 400 federal inmates and filled the new tives money is given with no strings jail to capacity, that 1,032 inmates would attached, so, even if MetLife simply still just reach the level for a predicted need passed the same money from the state of for six into dryers so it’s of notRichardson, clear, even treasury the–hands in that scenario, why the three additional that would be entirely appropriate. dryers“The would$94 be needed. million was given to
MetLife for the good things it was going to do in North Carolina,” he said. “That includes bringing jobs and business to the Tar Heel State. Having our with the Boston massacre and with over name prominently on a up pro-a Benghazi, maybe hedisplayed needs to pick fessional sports stadium in the state’s copy of Webster’s Dictionary and see the largest city can only enhance our abiltrue meaning of terror and terrorism. Of ity to help the people of this state.” course, I know he hopes never to come to Bank ofheAmerica officials would that, because believes in what terrorism not comment about losing their is, coercion to get people to do thingsname your on the renovated stadium only Keep nine way. And that is him. Thank you. years 20-year deal, but one insidup the into goodawork. Bye-bye. er said the refund they would receive %%% for the 10 lost years would be helpful Yes, I wonder if this Boston thing is going to the company. to be another Brotherhood cover up “TheirMuslim stock has been taking a hit like and bad Fort mortgages, Hood and four due Guantanamo to fallout from so Americans was murdered overseas. the money that the Panthers are refunding And all will thesereally othercome bad in things that one are to them handy,” (Continued on page 49) analyst said. CJ
Transforming Ideas into Consequences for North Carolina In First in Freedom the John Locke Foundation’s president and research staff apply the timeless ideas of 20th-century conservative thinkers to such 21st-century challenges as economic stagnation, tax and regulatory burdens, and educational mediocrity. First in Freedom contains practical suggestions and advice for North Carolina’s new governor and General Assembly. To get your copy, go to: JohnLockeStore.com. The John Locke Foundation, 200 W. Morgan St. Suite 200, Raleigh, NC, 27601 919-828-3876 • JohnLocke.org • CarolinaJournal.com • email@example.com
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Thursday, April 25, 2013
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ANNOUNCEMENTS BAUBLES AND BEADS Fantastic Jewelry Sale! Friday, May 3rd, 9am-7pm Saturday, May 4th, 9am-1pm St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church Corner of Eastchester and Johnson St. In High Point. Beneﬁtting homeless mothers and children (Mary’s House)
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HEALTH/WELLNESS IF YOU USED THE MIRENA IUD between 2001-present and suffered perforation or embedment in the uterus requiring surgical removal, or had a child born with birth defects you may be entitled to compensation. Call Johnson Law and speak with female staff members 1-800-535-5727
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
Perkins (Continued from page 6) public. Perkins sparred with then incumbent Mayor Bill Knight about moving speakers from the floor to earlier in the meeting. At a mayoral debate Perkins said he would move speakers from the floor to earlier in the meetings and said, “I think it is very important for us to hear from our citizens.” Now Perkins has said “enough is enough” when it comes to the speech of some citizens. “I think that my concern is we have people that have agenda items that have to sit through the same stuff every meeting,” Perkins said. “There is not a right to perpetual speech; there is a right to free speech.” Perkins said he is interested in restricting how often someone can speak from the floor to make the meetings run more smoothly, and so people with items on the
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agenda don’t have to sit through speakers that bring up issues repeatedly. Knight used the same argument that people with agenda items shouldn’t have to sit through speakers from the floor – who can just sign up to talk at the beginning of the meeting – before having their issues addressed to justify moving speakers from the floor to later in the meeting. However, Perkins is not just suggesting that the council move speakers from the floor to a more convenient part of the meeting, but that everyone be restricted to speaking once a month. Perkins said that city staff is in the process of looking at legal options for dealing with repetitive speakers and how other cities have dealt with them and that the council will make a decision based on that information. Councilmembers have already expressed strong opposition to limiting speakers from the floor.
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said that no matter how much what speakers say bothers the council, she supports their right to free speech. At the April 16 meeting, Cherry also targeted Johnson during speakers from the floor over what he said was her failure to deal with what he alleged was misconduct in the Greensboro Police Department. Councilmember Nancy Vaughan, who has announced that she is running for mayor this year, also disagreed with limiting speakers from the floor. “I think it’s a bad idea,” Vaughan said. Vaughan said that even though some speakers can get irritating, it’s the job of elected officials to listen to the public. While Vaughan disagreed with Perkins’ suggestion to limit speakers, she did say the speakers from the floor process could be streamlined so it takes up less time at meetings. Vaughan suggested directing speakers to staff members to address their
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concerns rather than engaging them from the dais. Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter also said she was adamant that speakers from the floor not be limited. Councilmember Jim Kee said that he was opposed to limiting speakers from the floor as well. He said he realized that a few speakers do address the council continually with the same issues but said, “that is certainly their right.” Councilmember Tony Wilkins said that he was opposed to Perkins’ suggestion to limit speakers from the floor. Wilkins said he was open to moving speakers from the floor back to after public hearings and business items. With five councilmembers already taking a stand in support of free speech and against Perkins’ desire to squash free speech, it looks like this plan by Perkins will die on the vine like so many others.
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Solar Girls (Continued from page 6)
said there were no comprehensive studies on that so far. The first indication that the work session was going to be something other than a nice, non-confrontational information session was when Commissioner Hank Henning said he questioned the entire financial feasibility of the industry. Henning said, “There is an incredible investment from the tax side of things. It [solar energy] is not sustainable by itself. If there were no incentives, they wouldn’t have the business – the business wouldn’t exist.” When Makhyoun began to cite a study by her group on the financial benefits of solar energy, Henning stated that he always has a great deal of skepticism when studies are funded by a group with a vested interest. McCorkle said, “We would love for someone else to pay for the study,” adding it cost about $60,000. “I’m happy to share the model they used with you,” she told Henning. McCorkle added that the studies and ongoing discussions were a starting point for the state ordinance that’s expected to be voted into law in October of this year. Branson jumped in. “There’s a huge flaw in an ordinance for Guilford County and the state,” he said. Branson said all the studies that he’s seen – “with this big stack of books, all these pretty books, for which many trees were killed” – are usually focused on residential areas. He said there were significant differences in how residential and agricultural properties were treated in zoning cases. For instance, he said, solar farms were allowed in front of dwellings, whereas in residential areas, egregious structures were relegated to property behind the residence. “To me, this is not in harmony with agricultural property,” Branson said. Branson added that there had been no real planning on these matters, yet two solar farms had recently been approved in his district. “How do we press forward when there’s no state ordinance in place?” Branson asked. McCorkle said that was exactly why her group and many in Raleigh are currently working to create a state ordinance for solar farms. Branson added that taxpayer money went into these projects and, at the end of the day, the farmers get only a “minimal amount.” “I know where the money’s coming from,” Branson said. “It’s coming from Washington, the government.” Branson also said that property owners see promises of big money and say, “We’ll jump at it.” However, he added, “In my opinion, it’s wrong.” Branson said landowners needed to be very cautious about the long-term consequences of entering into agreements with solar farm companies because there might be future unanticipated costs.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Branson said, for one thing, once the land had a higher zoning classification, landowners might have higher property tax bills even after the solar farm is dismantled. Makhyoun said the contracts with solar companies typically have no cost for the landowner. Commissioner Bill Bencini had questions about the NC Sustainable Energy Association that the two women worked for. “Who funds your organization?” Bencini asked. McCorkle began to reel off a list of names: “Piedmont Natural Gas, Strata Solar, Ingersoll Rand … Bencini jumped in: “So those are solar industries.” “Oh, absolutely,” McCorkle said. Branson said that, even some now serving on the Guilford County Planning Board don’t understand anything about the nature of solar farms. Branson said, “We’ve got a guy sitting on the Planning Board that acted like an idiot [during a February public hearing on two solar farms].” Branson said one solar farm in Alamance County that opened a few years ago and had already closed down. McCorkle told Branson, “I don’t know of any that have been decommissioned.” Branson said he felt confident there was one case in Alamance County. McCorkle said that, since the NC Sustainable Energy Association works day in and day out in the analysis of solar energy in the state, it would surprise her if there were one that had shut down that they didn’t know about. Finally, Yeboah, from the School of Technology at NC A&T State University, began his presentation. Knowing time was short, he tried to speak fast but he barely got started before the commissioners stopped him. Chairman of the Board Linda Shaw informed Yeboah that the board had gotten behind in the work session and that perhaps he could come back and give the rest of his presentation later. Commissioner Bruce Davis said, “This is very critical stuff. I’m very interested in hearing what he has to say. The time is right for us to have this discussion in great detail.” Another commissioner said, “We have the handout” and added that there was therefore no need for the presentation. Commissioner Kay Cashion said, “I personally would like to hear his presentation.” There is a summit style discussion on solar farms and solar energy in Raleigh on Friday, May 31. Shaw wanted to know if Henning, Branson or other commissioners wanted to attend. At the work session, several commissioners said it would be a good idea for Guilford County to craft a solar farm ordinance so the county would have a consistent approach to the issue in the
future. Eger informed the commissioners that the county already has an ordinance for solar farms, one adopted in 2011. That ordinance was approved by the Board of Commissioners, though few if any of the commissioners at the work session seemed to have a memory of that. Eger and Guilford County Attorney Mark
Payne told the board they would attempt to use the new information now being offered to tweak the county’s current ordinance. Commissioner Ray Trapp joked that the board might be getting a little too far down the rabbit hole when it comes to the intricate details of the solar industry. “We’re the Guilford County solar commission,” Trapp said.
Beep (Continued from page 45) happening to America since Obama got in. I just wonder if the Muslim Brotherhood is finally going to take over. %%% I managed to graduate from high school barely. But I don’t understand why that the US government would give the Muslim Brotherhood airplanes, fighter planes and tanks. They hate Israel. Who are they going to use them on? It don’t make any sense at all. It’s the whole crowd in Washington, something wrong with their brain. The whole Congress, Senate and the president. I know preacher Obama has got something wrong, but I believe there’s something wrong with the whole bunch of them. Close down the White House so little kids can’t go in, and give these millions and billions of dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t understand it.
%%% When the honorable Mayor Bill Knight was running council meetings Perkins, Bellamy-Small and Goldie Wells and their little group did everything to disrupt Knight’s meetings. Now Perkins is getting paid back in full as mordutch show up for his meeting. East Greensboro voted Perkins in as mayor. And now that he has financial problems, it looks like they will do the right thing and assist him with his money problems. Perkins, it is time for you to step down. You have become an embarrassment to the City of Greensboro and yourself. Thank you. %%% I like the picture of the synchronized swimmers on the front page. The Aquatic Center seems to be doing well. Is it making any money for the City of Greensboro? %%%
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Under (Continued from next page) and been caught in the act. How do you explain the need to have a pressure cooker at a marathon? It’s a farfetched idea that every TSA agent in the nation would be at the Boston Marathon, but the way it is now the TSA is fighting the last war. People who fight the last war lose. Now the terrorists know that two relatively small bombs that cause a relatively small loss of life can shut down a major American city for days. (Relatively small loss of life sounds harsh, but three people were killed in one accident on Wendover Avenue last week and nobody really noticed.) If you were a leader of al Qaeda who hated the US, wouldn’t you be trying to figure out how to get 10 or 12 bombs placed in American cities? It appears at this point that the Tsarnaev brothers’ bomb was made from fire crackers, which you can buy all over the place. And the response of the government is to shut down a city and ignore constitutional protections. The terrorists have won another round.
,,, I’m not being facetious, although people think that I am, but the Boston bombers used pressure cookers full of explosives to kill three people and maim over 100. Why hasn’t there been a big push by President Obama and the liberals in Congress to ban pressure cookers, or have a background check before someone can buy a pressure cooker? Sure, most people who buy pressure
cookers are good, honest, hardworking people, but if there were a background check for pressure cooker buyers, then maybe they would have caught these guys before they killed. Of course, just like in the case of the Newtown murders, a background check wouldn’t have helped because in Newtown the person buying the guns had a stellar record. And in Boston the Tsarnaev brothers had good records also. There would be no reason not to sell them a pressure cooker, except for those FBI reports that the brothers should be
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
watched. But nobody knew about those.
,,, The Republicans in the House have issued a report finding fault with the way the attack on the US compound in Benghazi, Libya, was handled. The Democrats found no real fault with anything the Obama administration did, despite the fact that four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed and no help was sent, even though the battle raged for over eight hours – more than enough time for troops
to be sent from Tripoli or even Italy. The Republican House committee members blame Obama and the State Department led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for ignoring the warning signs that an attack was imminent, and setting the military up for failure once the attack started. The Republicans also said the White House and State Department lied about the cause of the attack, blaming it on a mob and then saying that they did so to protect an FBI investigation, which was also untrue.
Rumors (Continued from page 42) Being a writer I spend a lot of time staring out my window looking at West Market Street and the Register of Deeds parking lot. One thing that I find interesting is that you can stare at some people for a long time and they never seem to notice, but others – particularly people who are permanentshelter challenged – notice right away and start looking around to see who is staring at them. I’m sure someone has done a study on it. I’ll have to look it up. --It’s good for us, so I’m not complaining, but simply noting that the News & Record online paper is horrendous. I hate to admit it, but I have two subscriptions to TECAN&R. Still, on occasion, I want
to look at the TECAN&R online. I have never successfully gotten to the print edition online without help, and I spend my life online. By the way, old Jeff “Grits” Gauger is at it again. The Friday, April 19 paper had an article about being Southern – something that Grits evidently still finds extremely exotic. And what photo is prominently displayed above the fold? A package of grits. Just for the record, I was born in North Carolina, have lived here most of my life, and I haven’t eaten grits in years. --Talking to Mayor Robbie Perkins recently, one of the things he mentioned was that the clubs downtown weren’t making money like they once were. Perkins thinks the solution
is to get more people living downtown, but that will take some changes. Perkins was a proponent of a stronger noise ordinance downtown, and instead the City Council passed the most lenient noise ordinance in North Carolina, and still the problem clubs refuse to obey it. --Because I am spending a lot of time wandering around my yard watching a puppy, I know exactly when our cherry trees bloomed. It was Saturday, March 30 in the afternoon. I spent a lot of time in the yard that morning and then, in the afternoon, came around the corner of the house and you couldn’t miss it. Or at least I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss it all morning. I would hate to think I was that unobservant.
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro
The constitutional rights of people living in an entire section of Boston were taken away and the mainstream media are barely reporting that anything is amiss. According to our Constitution, Americans are supposed to be protected from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” What is reasonable about a bunch of heavily armed, helmeted, armored men banging on your door in the middle of the day, pointing a gun at your face and ordering you to put your hands on your head, leave your own home and run down the street to be frisked several times? They had no warrant and no probable cause. They also had men frisking women, which most of the time is considered sexual harassment. But when you are trampling the Constitution, what difference does sexual harassment make? Law enforcement was looking for a 19-year-old who they thought still had a gun, who had participated in killing four people and who they knew was wounded. So that gives them the right to burst into any house in Watertown, treat everyone in the home like a criminal and order them out of their own homes? Does this set a precedent? If it does then the terrorists have won. If all it takes to shut down a major American city and to take away the constitutional rights of the citizens of that city is for a bomb to go off then freedom loses and terrorism wins. The Constitution was not written to protect Americans from the government in good times. We don’t need protection when everything is going well. The citizens need protection when things go bad and the government is overreacting. The First Amendment gives me the freedom to write this newspaper. I need that protection because at times the government would love to shut us down. But Good Housekeeping doesn’t need protection. Sports Illustrated doesn’t need it, except maybe for the swimsuit issue. Happy talk doesn’t need protection from the government. The Fourth Amendment says that the government cannot come into my house and search it just because it is convenient for them. There is such a thing as due process. It turned out that if the police had not insisted on everyone being locked in their homes and had not gone around throwing people out of their homes so they could search them, they might have found the 19-year-old sooner. Because when David Hanbury was finally allowed by police to go out on his own deck he saw the blood on his boat, looked to see if the boy was in the boat and then called the police. Perhaps if – instead of panicking and ignoring the rights of US citizens – law enforcement had just asked for cooperation they would have found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev earlier. What did the government accomplish by locking down the city and forcing people out of their homes? What was accomplished by not allowing other people to go home?
Thursday, April 25, 2013
In Boston one reporter said they were only showing the film clips that the police had approved. So much for freedom of the press.
,,, Being president is a lot like being a dictator. President Barack Hussein Obama thinks he is a dictator, and he would be wise to take lessons from some of the more successful ones. Much of anyone’s power is simply perception. For that reason dictators don’t pick fights unless they know they can win. After none of his anti-gun measures passed, Obama looked like a big crybaby. The Republicans in the Senate – where the Democrats have a substantial majority – ate Obama’s lunch, smacked him on the behind and sent him back to the White House with his tail between his legs. What Obama should have done at that point is gone out and shot some hoops, played a round of golf or attacked a small defenseless country. What he should not have done is gone on television and whined about the mean Republicans who wouldn’t pass any of the measures he wanted to pass to take away the Second Amendment rights of American citizens. Gun control is a losing issue for Democrats because most of the people in this country believe that people have the right to have guns. Some black leaders think that gun control is designed to take guns and thus power away from blacks. Obama blamed the Republicans but, as noted, the Democrats control the Senate. Obama didn’t have the support of his own party. He should have called first to make sure he would win. But he didn’t. Members of his own party voted against him because they want to get reelected. The whole thing was a sham to begin with. Everybody knew that it made absolutely no difference what Obama and the Democrats in the Senate passed because the House, with a Republican majority, wasn’t going to pass anything. This was all hat and no cattle. But Obama went all out, for example flying parents who lost children in the Newtown murders to Washington, DC, on Air Force One. He did everything he knew to do, which in reality isn’t much because Obama doesn’t understand how the legislative process works and he proved that he can’t even control his own party. Then he let emotions take control and went on television to complain about it. Obama has no earthly idea what he is doing or even what his job is. No one should be shocked by that. Before becoming president he only had two fulltime jobs for any length of time. He was a community organizer in Chicago before he went back to law school, and he was a US senator. Even after graduating from Harvard Law School Obama didn’t bother to go out and get a real job. He taught a class or two and did some legal work.
Plus, look at who his friends were before he decided to run for president. Bill Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist who hates the United States so fervently he was willing to kill innocent people to make his point and who hasn’t said that he regretted it but that he is sorry he didn’t do more. Rev. Jeremiah Wright was Obama’s mentor. He is, according to Obama, the man who converted Obama to Christianity. He married the Obamas and baptized their children. Before the media got a hold of some of Wright’s more famous tirades, Obama couldn’t say enough nice things about Wright. After the media ran a few excerpts of Wright saying, “Not God Bless America. God damn America,” Obama was allowed to act like he barely knew the man.
,,, I know I’ve written this many times before, but it is shocking to me how many people buy the mainstream media hype about gun control hook, line and sinker. The assault weapons that Obama and company want to ban are not anything like the assault rifles that the US military uses. US military assault rifles are fully automatic, which means when you pull the trigger the gun will fire until it runs out of bullets. Some people call that a machine gun. These guns are basically illegal in the United States and have been since the days of Al Capone. What the Democrats want to ban are guns that look like assault rifles but operate like a hunting rifle. These guns are semiautomatic, which means when you pull the trigger the gun shoots one bullet and won’t shoot another until you pull the trigger again. Banning assault weapons would be like banning cars that look like they go fast. So if you had a car that looked like a race car but operated like a minivan it would be banned. Banning assault weapons is a feelgood measure that will accomplish nothing to make the world a safer place. But an assault weapon is by no stretch of the imagination an assault rifle.
,,, The reporting on the Boston Marathon bombing makes the sorry state of what passes for journalism in this country impossible to ignore. When you have a group of people who make their livings rewriting press releases for labor unions, Planned Parenthood and the Democratic Party and calling that news, you can’t expect them to go out and cover any real event with any degree of competency. It’s unfortunate that more people can’t sit down and have a conversation with a few television reporters. One conversation should be enough to reveal they know a lot about fashion, hair, makeup and 27 ways to make it appear you are not reading when you are, but when it comes to knowing anything about government or why they are standing in front of the Old Guilford
By John Hammer County Court House, which is not a courthouse but an office building, they often don’t have a clue. The camera men and women usually know a lot, but the onair people who have any idea what they are talking about are few and far between. You put someone like that in a situation where they are supposed to be reporting on real events and you have huge mistakes, like CNN reporting that a suspect had been arrested.
,,, You have to wonder how many of those anti-gun nuts – the people who won’t even allow their children to have any toys that look like guns – were sitting at home in Watertown (having been told to stay in their houses with their doors locked because there was a dangerous terrorist loose in their neighborhood) were wishing that they had a gun to protect their families.
,,, The authorities are now saying that the Boston Marathon bombers were part of an organization, maybe a sleeper cell. Imagine if they were and this is the first strike, and sleeper cells all over this country are going to wake up and go into action. It doesn’t seem like the bombers were hampered by the fact that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is searching old ladies and making handicapped children cry before they are allowed to board a plane. The fact that no one in this country has been allowed to take a real tube of toothpaste or bottle of shampoo with them on a plane didn’t stop the Boston bombers. The TSA is working hard to stop the 9/11 bombers and that was 12 years ago. Instead of wasting all the government time and money on searching average law-abiding citizens and making their lives miserable, what if that time and money were spent on figuring out what will be next? The FBI had repeated messages from Russian intelligence that the Tsarnaev brothers were planning something. The State Department had plenty of warning that an attack was planned in Benghazi. The problem seems to be one of leadership. The US needs people in those top positions who know when they hear about a real threat. They may not be able to fill out all the forms perfectly and their reports may have misspelled words and be messy, but those people are out there – we just aren’t using them. Imagine if instead of being spread around at airports all over this nation harassing lawabiding citizens over shoes and toothpaste, if the entire TSA force had been at the Boston Marathon watching for suspicious activity. The bombing most likely would not have happened because the bombers were not going to put a bomb at the feet of a TSA agent. Or maybe they would have (Continued on previous page)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro