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The Rhinoceros Times

®

Vol. XXII No. 30

© Copyright 2012 The Rhinoceros Times

Greensboro, North Carolina

www.rhinotimes.com

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Build it wrong & no one will come by Scott D. Yost county editor

The song lyrics are, “Take me out to the ball game,” not “Take me out to the ball game at the strangely designed, highly irregular and unusable field.” However, the two baseball fields at Guilford County’s Southwest Park are so out of whack that – despite a plethora of teams looking for fields to play on – the park’s fields have only been rented out once for baseball since the park opened in June 2009.

Southwest Park is a 90acre park at the intersection of Wall Road and Jonquil Drive in southwest Guilford County. The park has fishing, three miles of hiking trails, a dog park, kayak and canoe rentals and five picnic shelters that can also be rented. Also available for rent, according to the park’s website, are “two softball/youth baseball fields.” But, while private and public baseball fields around Guilford (Continued on page 31)

Consultants Paid For Phantom HS by paul C. clark Staff Writer

The Guilford County Board of Education’s ill-fated airport area high school is on the agenda for the school board’s Thursday, July 26 meeting. School board member Paul Daniels said that he has been approached by a contact for an owner of two properties totaling about 90 acres in a good place for the high school, and will bring it up Thursday. If Daniels pulls it off, he will be doing for free what Guilford County Schools couldn’t do for almost a half-million dollars.

But most likely the Facilities Department will rule out the land as unsuitable, as it has most of the other land it has considered. That’s not why the airport area high school is on the agenda. The reason is school board members Kris Cooke and Darlene Garrett have broken ranks to question the $488,737 attributed to the phantom high school, and school board member Ed Price has suggested scrapping the airport area high school project altogether and using the money to fix the county’s already existing schools, (Continued on page 2)

Photo by John Hammer

Ann Romney stopped by Guilford County Republican Headquarters at 3950 W. Market St. on Thursday, July 19. She spoke to the crowd of about 200 for a few minutes and then spent a good bit of time shaking hands and having her picture taken. Here she is with Mary Rakestraw (left) and Mary Elizabeth and Charlie Irvin.

Rhino City Recycling Rumors From staff and wire reports

I went out to Tool Locker Plus at 408 Gallimore Dairy Road last week and I finally had to drag myself away so they could get some work done. If you like hardware stores and you like a bargain, Tool Locker Plus is close to heaven. They sell new and reconditioned tools, lawn care and gardening equipment – the same name brands as the big box stores but at greatly reduced prices. --I keep seeing people with broken screens on their iPhones (Continued on page 37)

Inside this issue

Photo by Elaine Hammer

Orson Scott Card (left) and Aaron Johnston at Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, July 18 for the book signing of Earth Unaware that they co-authored, which is a prequel to Ender’s Game about the First Formic War.

High Point News............ 6 Entertainment Guide...... 9 Uncle Orson Reviews... 10 Puzzles...............11,19,23 Yost Column................ 12 Scott’s Night Out.......... 13 Rhino Real Estate........ 15 Letters to the Editor..... 27 Editorial Cartoon........... 37 under the hammer....... 38

Bad Contract by john hammer and alex jakubsen

Once again Greensboro has issued a request for proposals (RFP), received a number of qualified bidders, and the city staff has recommended staying with the current contractor without giving much consideration to the other bidders. While all this was explained to

the City Council at a work session in the plaza level conference room on Tuesday, July 24, Mayor Robbie Perkins and the Perkinettes sat around nodding like a bunch of bobbleheads, and then Perkins said, “I’m ready to go.” He suggested the council accept the recommendation of Field Operations Director Dale Wyrick (Continued on page 35)

Rhino Lawsuit Over At Last by john hammer editor

The fat lady has finally sung. We reported a little over a month ago that on June 19 the North Carolina Court of Appeals released its unanimous opinion upholding the summary judgment dismissing the defamation lawsuit by Greensboro Police Capt. Brian James and Officer Julius Fulmore against The Rhino Times. The plaintiffs had 35 days to file

a request for the North Carolina Supreme Court to hear an appeal, in legal terms to file a petition for discretionary review. The deadline for filing that request was Tuesday, July 24, and according to the clerks at the North Carolina Supreme Court nothing has been filed. They said that if anything were to be filed it would not be “timely.” Which is evidently a legal term meaning it would be thrown out. (Continued on page 31)


Page 2

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

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some of which are in disgraceful shape. School board members have rarely had to question spending during the current $457 million construction program, which is financed with school bonds approved by Guilford County voters in May 2008, because the budgets for the schools were well padded and the school board had the advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime construction market. Spending too much money on building a school is something most of the school board members can live with. But spending too much money on not building a school is another thing altogether. The almost halfmillion attributed to the airport area high school, for which Guilford County Schools tried and failed twice to buy land, got the attention of at least Cooke and Garrett. The $488,737 figure alone probably wouldn’t have caused a public rift in the school board. But only $179,910 was the actual cost of the land search for the high school. The rest of the money – $308,827, was for payments to outside consultants, who may or may not have even worked on the high school project. It’s hard to get financial answers out of Guilford County Schools right now. The retirement of longtime Chief Financial Officer Sharon Ozment has apparently thrown the Financial Department into chaos. According to documentation of the airport area high school costs prepared by Ozment, $102,112 of the $488,737 was paid to Construction Contract Administration LLC, the company through which Dennis Cole billed the county. Other consulting fees stick out in the Guilford County Schools records of the airport area high school spending. The school system paid $8,550 of the $488,737 to the New Orleans school planning firm Planning Alliance. The biggest unexplained cost of the airport area high school land search is the money paid to consultants Sandra Taylor, her husband, Richard Taylor, and their company, Imperial Construction and Development LLC. Both Taylors are real estate brokers. The Taylors and Imperial Construction

and Development are listed as having been paid a total of $83,827 attributed to the high school project – $48,982 for Imperial Construction and Development and $34,845 for Sandra Taylor. According to Guilford County Schools financial records, Sandra Taylor and Imperial Construction and Development worked for the school system under a series of contracts in which the school board would pay her or her company up to, at various times, between $8,000 and $8,500 a month. If that amount was paid out over four years, Sandra Taylor and her company would have made about $400,000 during that period. Guilford County Schools has not confirmed how much Taylor and her company were paid in total – and may not know. Guilford County Schools Chief Operations Officer Andy LaRowe has said Taylor was paid for specific work done, not a monthly salary or retainer. And some invoices from Sandra Taylor do seem to be for specific amounts attributed to specific work for specific land acquisition projects. Numerous invoices, despite LaRowe’s statement, appear to be more in the nature of a salary or retainer. That is, Taylor invoiced the school system for the full amount allowed under her contract – for at least part of the program, between $8,000 and $8,500 for the month, and the school system billed the invoices to 27 account numbers – the exact number of projects on the project list for the construction program. In other words, it appears that Taylor was maxing out her contract amount each month and the school system was distributing the cost among the 27 projects on the list for the construction program. If that was so, you would expect Sandra Taylor’s payments on the airport area high school program to be regular and for the same amount – and they are, at least when she was billing the school system under her own name. At first, the school system hired Sandra Taylor as a consultant under her own name. Then, for a short period of time, it contracted separately with Richard Taylor, who operated a company named Imperial Construction. When Sandra Taylor’s (Continued on page 30)

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

No To Golf Carts, Yes To Mattress Money by Scott D. Yost county editor

Golf cart drivers in Guilford County need to park their golf carts in the garage. Or, at least, they need to keep those golf carts off the streets because at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners’ Thursday, July 19 meeting, the board voted down a request by Sheriff BJ Barnes to let licensed drivers drive golf carts on roads in unincorporated Guilford County as long as the speed limit for the road is under 35 mph. Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston was out of town for the July 19 meeting, which meant that Vice Chairman Kirk Perkins got to lead the discussions. Alston did participate some by phone. Commissioner Billy Yow, who was at the beach on vacation, didn’t attend the meeting; nor did he call in to participate. Guilford County Sheriff’s Department MajorTom Sheppard gave a brief presentation on why county law enforcement officials wanted to make it legal for citizens to drive golf carts on selected roads. Sheppard said it is now illegal to drive golf carts on the roads and, he added, the change would help officers who have trouble consistently enforcing the existing law. According to Sheppard, as it is now, if an officer stops a golf cart driver on the road, the officer can cite the driver for multiple infractions including violations for no vehicle registration, a lack of inspection, no auto insurance and a failure to display a license plate. He said that, in some area subdivisions, it’s not uncommon for people to drive their golf cart to the pool or to a friend’s house, and, he added, when the Wyndham Championship golf tournament is in Sedgefield, there are many people violating the law because residents, tournament officials, media workers and others are driving golf carts on the streets in that community. Until new state legislation passed in 2009, it was illegal for anyone to drive a golf cart on public streets in North Carolina; however the state changed the law to allow counties to decide for themselves. So far, only Brunswick County has taken the state up on the offer. Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne

told the commissioners that the new law wouldn’t affect ATVs and similar vehicles. Payne said it’s currently illegal for those vehicles to travel on the roads, though, he added, it is legal for golf carts and other vehicles to cross the road. Usually, when something unique like this comes up for a vote, it has been discussed behind the scenes for a while. However, this issue seemed to come out of the blue. Commissioner John Parks asked a question that was on the minds of many commissioners, who heard about the item for the first time when they saw it on the meeting agenda. “Where did this come from?” Parks asked. Barnes said the proposal originated due to requests from some county residents for the right to legally drive their golf carts within their subdivisions. Barnes said the change would only apply in very select circumstances, and, the sheriff added, while there were safety concerns, overall this change would be beneficial. “This is not for major highway travel or anything else,” he said. Barnes also said he wanted his officers to be able to focus their attention on more important matters. “We’re there to protect the public,” the sheriff said – adding that he didn’t see golf carts on the road as a major threat to public safety. Barnes usually gets what he wants from the board; however, this time even Commissioner Paul Gibson – whose father was Guilford County sheriff years ago, and who almost always supports Barnes – was obviously struggling over this request. Like Parks, Gibson said he had never heard anyone discuss the subject before, either publicly or privately. Gibson asked if the request was related specifically to the annual Wyndham Championship golf tournament, which is played in mid-August at Sedgefield Country Club. “It’s not only about the Wyndham,” Barnes said. Gibson said he hadn’t heard any compelling reason to approve the change. “I’m really on the fence with this,” Gibson said. Gibson called the move “an accident

waiting to happen,” and he said automobile drivers might not be looking out for slow moving golf carts and they could rear end the open and unprotected vehicles and cause a serious accident. “I’ve done that in Amish Country,” Gibson said. “I’ve come up on a horse and buggy and almost hit it.” He added, “A golf cart is just what it says – golf.” Barnes said those concerns were the reason that, under the proposed change in the ordinance, the carts would be limited to roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or less. Sheppard said that driving golf carts on the road is already a widespread practice. He said he lives in Sedgefield and frequently sees people driving golf carts on the streets of that community. “We’re trying to do what’s already being done all the time,” he said of the ordinance change. Sheppard said that, under the existing law, officers sometimes stop golf carts and order them to drive the cart straight home or, in the case of young drivers, the officer may call the driver’s parents and have them come get the child and the cart. Gibson asked how many tickets the Sheriff’s Department had written in the last year for driving golf carts on the streets. “Zero tickets,” Sheppard said. Commissioner Kay Cashion said she thought that legalizing golf carts on the roads would be a good thing. She said it would be very convenient for people who live in communities like Forest Oaks. Commissioner Bruce Davis, who these days is frequently at odds with Barnes, said he was opposed to the change. Davis said golf carts wouldn’t be subject to regular safety inspections or to the same licensing requirements of other vehicles on the street. He said the proposed change had the “potential for disaster” and he added that people driving cars in subdivisions often drive very fast. “In subdivisions, people tend to go over the speed limit,” Davis said. He also said it was faulty logic to argue that everyone was already doing it and therefore it should be made legal. “Why not legalize marijuana?” Davis asked. “People are doing it.” Gibson jumped in. “Is that a motion, Mr. Davis?” Gibson asked, generating a good deal of laughter. Commissioner Linda Shaw said she had “mixed emotions” on the issue. Shaw said that, in the past, she had gotten behind horses on the road, and, she said, it sometimes scares her the way those horses can suddenly “rise up.” However, Shaw never said how her comments related to the discussion on golf carts that everyone else in the room was having. Toward the end of the discussion, Davis was fishing to find an ulterior motive from Barnes. Davis asked Barnes, “Do you own a golf cart, Sheriff?” The clearly annoyed Barnes indicated that he did not.

The tension between the two was obvious. At another point in the discussion, after Davis spoke, Barnes asked Davis, “Can I comment on that, Commissioner?” Davis shot back, “No, sir.” When Barnes did get a chance to speak again, the sheriff pointed out that each year in the Christmas parade the commissioners ride on a float pulled by a golf cart. Technically, Barnes said, the commissioners were violating the law when they did that. Davis said he hoped Barnes wasn’t going to start ticketing the county commissioners for riding in the Christmas parade. Commissioner Mike Winstead tried to introduce some calm. He said the board needed to back the sheriff. “I think we are making things a lot harder than they should be,” Winstead said. “This is a law enforcement issue.” Winstead said that, for that reason, the matter should be left up to the sheriff, and, he added, approving the change would benefit citizens who wanted to drive their carts short distances on the road. “I think it’s convenient for some people,” Winstead said. When the vote was taken, however, Winstead was in the minority. The motion to legalize golf carts on the streets failed 4 to 6. Winstead, Shaw, Parks and Alston were the commissioners who voted to support the move. Also at the July 19 meeting, the commissioners voted to approve an incentives request from Culp Inc. to expand its mattress cover manufacturing operations in Stokesdale. The company expects to create 129 full-time jobs and invest $925,000 in the expansion. Culp was requesting $82,650 in county funds over a four-year period. The proposed new jobs from Culp will average $25,800 a year, while the average salary of workers in Guilford County is about $40,000. Interim Guilford County Planning and Development Director Betty Garrett, who’s been interim director for almost four years now, said that, since the pay was less than the county average, the company didn’t qualify for the full amount of incentives of $1,000 per job. She said they did qualify for the $82,650, which represents a percentage of the $129,000 the company would qualify for under the county’s guidelines. The commissioners almost always vote to approve incentives requests no matter what, and this time was no exception. At the July 19 public hearing required before incentives can be granted, incentives advocates gave much more information than the board needed to know; at one point, company representatives even displayed a section of a mattress to explain exactly what type of product would be made. Kathi Dubel, vice president of the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance, spoke at the public hearing as an advocate for the Culp incentives. “Culp is a publicly traded company, a rapidly growing company,” she told the board. She added that the facilities in (Continued on page 32)


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

HIGH POINT

HIGH POINT

HIGH POINT

HIGH POINT

HIGH POINT

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro HIGH POINT

HIGH POINT

HIGH POINT

Gaggle of Last Minute Filers in HP Races by paul C. clark Staff Writer

High Point’s no-primary system for municipal races is a godsend for political junkies and reporters alike. The fact that anyone can file and wind up on the general election ballot has generated interesting High Point City Council races this year, both at large and in all wards, except Ward 2 where Councilmember Foster Douglas is running unopposed. The filing period for City Council races closed at noon on Friday, July 20 – and there was a clutch of people at the High Point office of the Guilford County Board of Elections filing at the last minute. Former At-large Councilmember Mary Lou Blakeney, who was knocked off by current At-large Councilmember Britt Moore in 2010, was there to file. Blakeney, however, filed to run in Ward 1, the seat Councilmember Bernita Sims is vacating to run for mayor. Blakeney said she would probably have a hard time putting together

the organization and money it takes to mount a successful at-large race this year. “It will take probably a little less, and it will cost a little less to run,” Blakeney said of running in Ward 1. “It’s a little bit of a scale-down, but I’m still out there doing citywide work.” Blakeney said her issues wouldn’t change. “Mine don’t change,” she said. “That’s my life’s work. Seniors, children, education and, of course, health care is wrapped around all that.” Planning and Zoning Commissioner and frequent City Council meeting speaker Cynthia Davis was there, filing to run at large. Rodney Joslin, who lost an attempt to unseat Ward 5 Councilmember Chris Whitley in 2010, was there, filing to run for the open seat in Ward 5 created by Whitley’s run for mayor. Joslin, a quality analyst at TE Connectivity Ltd. (formerly Tyco Electronics), said he

will run on some of the same issues on which he ran two years ago. “Basic issues of the attractiveness of the city to business,” he said. “I have concerns with fiscal responsibility – some of the uses of money for things. Some of the things you write about in The Rhino Times. Electric rates being higher than Duke [Energy], and planning to raise them for three years, and taxes being higher than any city in the triad.” A flurry of registrations in the last few days of the filing period brought the total number of City Council candidates to 25, including five mayoral candidates and five candidates for the two at-large seats. All of the candidates predicted to run by The Rhino Times this year filed to run, and then some. That’s what has made High Point City Council races fun since the City Council, several years ago, eliminated primaries, and a local act of the North Carolina General Assembly switched High Point City Council

elections from odd-numbered years, like the elections of other North Carolina cities, to even numbered years, in an effort to increase voter turnout, which was then hovering at about 10 percent. The conventional wisdom is that High Point will undo both changes after this election. Former High Point City Attorney and current $68,040-a-year consultant Fred Baggett told the City Council that it could reinstate the primary by changing the city charter, but would need an act of the General Assembly to change elections back to oddnumbered years. That “conventional wisdom” is a shared opinion among the current councilmembers. But so many seats are contested or have been vacated this year that the next City Council could be a very different beast. And if some of its members got onto the council because they could skip the primary and run directly in the general election, they may be less (Continued on page 29)

Mayor’s Race Could Be Sims’ To Lose by paul C. clark Staff Writer

It’s hard to get around the fact that the 2012 High Point mayoral race is HIgh Point City Councilmember Bernita Sims’ to lose. Sims has been planning her run for mayor for years. There are two main hurdles to jump, one of which she has cleared successfully and one of which she may still have. The first, and most important hurdle, was getting her fellow councilmembers to put off any effort to restore High Point’s municipal primary until after this year’s election. Many of High Point’s longest serving councilmembers, tired of having to fight to scrape by with plurality wins, have wanted to reinstate the primary system, scrapped several years ago – including her mayoral opponent Councilmember Chris Whitley, Councilmember Latimer Alexander, former Councilmembers Bill Bencini and John Faircloth, and possibly even Mayor Becky

Smothers, who is stepping down to run for an at-large seat this year. Sims, working quietly behind the scenes, helped put off a reinstatement of the primary system, timed her race for mayor to fall in what is likely to be the last election year without one, and to coincide with Smothers’ giving up the mayor’s job. If Smothers and Sims, both Democrats, conspired to have Smothers step down in the one year likely to give Sims the edge she needed, neither will tell – but that’s how it worked out. The second hurdle Sims had to overcome was ideological, a matter of positioning. She had to represent her majority-black Ward 1 well without overtly angering the majority of white High Point voters and the old white High Point establishment that has organizations it could unite against her. She has generally done that, keeping race out of her public discourse and generally voting as a member of Smothers’ City Council

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majority, which has been, by necessity, composed largely of Republicans. Smothers’ exit from the mayoral race leaves Sims running against Whitley, Coy Williard, Tammy Holyfield and Matthew Fowler. The first three are white and Fowler is a black resident of Ward 5. Holyfield has an inspirational story (overcoming an abusive childhood to become a successful author and motivational speaker), an outgoing personality, an attractive website and no chance of becoming mayor. Until the week the filing period began, she lived on Groometown Road in unincorporated Guilford County. The Guilford County Board of Elections has certified her as having moved, as of July 2, to Rockbridge Road in the part of Davidson County that has been annexed into High Point. Fowler works for a temp agency in Greensboro but also, on the side, is part owner of a real estate rental agency, Piedmont Rent A Home Inc. Neither he nor his two business partners are listed with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission as having a broker’s license, which is usually required for such a business, and Fowler seemed surprised when asked about his side job. Fowler first said he fell under an exemption to the North Carolina real estate statute, then acknowledged that he should have a license and said he didn’t know that when he started the company and is working toward getting a broker’s license. In any case, Fowler moved into High Point three-and-a-half years ago into a majority-white Ward 5, now represented by Whitley, and seems to lack the connections he will need to win Wards 1 and 2. Using rough numbers, black at-large City Council candidates in High Point have to sweep those wards and win about 20 percent of

mostly-Democratic votes in other wards to win. Fowler does not seem equipped to do so, which has led to speculation that he is a spoiler arranged to draw votes from Sims, something he denied. Fowler, too, has no chance of becoming mayor. That leaves Whitley, Sims and Williard as the only serious candidates for mayor. Whitley and Sims are both longtime councilmembers. High Point has a history of choosing former councilmembers as mayor, which gives them the edge. Both Whitley and Sims argue that Williard, a political novice, has no real chance because he has never held office. Maybe so, but this is shaping up as a weird, angry year in which being a political novice might not be a total liability. And Williard, a developer who has belonged to every major old-line High Point business group, has business and social connections Sims and Whitley don’t in Emerywood, the longtime power hub of High Point. Don’t rule Williard out, but rank him well behind Sims and Whitley. Despite his business connections, he seems to attract enemies as well as friends. He’s the wild card of the three serious candidates. His path to victory, if there is one, isn’t clear. The growth of north High Point, much of which is in Ward 5, which Whitley represents, has shifted voting power northward. By definition (the US Department of Justice, under the “one-man, one-vote” rule, requires all wards to have nearly the same voting population), a third of High Point’s residents live in Wards 5 and 6, which make up almost all of north High Point. Many of those voters moved to High Point to take jobs in the Piedmont Centre industrial and (Continued on page 30)


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Commissioners’ Adopt-a-Court-Worker Plan by Scott D. Yost county editor

There were a lot of government workers who got the shaft on Sunday, July 1, when Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox threw 59 Greensboro employees and 30 North Carolina court workers out of the parking lot beneath the governmental plaza in downtown Greensboro. However, not everyone came out of the upheaval the worse for wear. In the bizarro world that is Guilford County government, after the July 1 ousting of city staff and court workers, and a reshuffling of many underground parking spaces that followed, 11 prime parking spaces in the lot – a solid row of spaces right next to the underground entrance of the Old Guilford County Court House – have now been assigned to the Guilford County commissioners, even though the commissioners almost never use their parking spaces. The Guilford County commissioners have had their own reserved spaces in the underground lot for years. However, in the past, their spaces have been spread throughout the lot, and those spaces have only been marked by a number painted on the cement – just like all the other parking spaces used by employees. Now, however, there’s a solid row of 11 spaces each one marked with a red sign with a commissioners’ name on it – “Commissioner Alston,” “Commissioner Parks,” etc. – right next to the underground

entrance to the Old Guilford County Court House. “Now, when county employees come to work each morning,” one Guilford County employees said of the change, “the employees can see an entire empty row of spaces with the commissioners’ names on them in big red signs.” Fox, the person responsible for throwing out the city and county workers and rearranging the spaces, has a parking space that’s also right next to the entrance to the Old Court House in one of the other prime spots. Normally, a prime parking space would be considered a big perk. However, since the commissioners almost never use their spaces, the new arrangement really just meant a totally useless assignment of prime parking places in a way that makes that misuse highly visible. Guilford County commissioners meetings are usually held twice a month, at 5:30 p.m. on a Thursday, when there’s plenty of parking available all around the building as well as under it. In addition, two or three times a month there may be a morning or afternoon work session that some commissioners attend; and the commissioners assigned parking spaces under the governmental complex might be used for an hour or two that day. Before Fox made the move, some county staff proposed that the commissioners be given a block of four or five spaces with no names marked on them. That way, staff argued, the commissioners could have come and gone

as they pleased, and the six freed up parking spaces could have been set aside for visitors with official business with the county. Guilford County Facilities Director Fred Jones said the new arrangement accomplishes the same goal: With the row of 11 open spaces, visitors there for county business can be told to use those parking spots. However, leave it to the Guilford County commissioners to throw a wrench into things. It turns out that, just like nature, parking lots in active downtown areas abhor a vacuum, and some court workers who lost their spaces were ready to fill that vacuum and were creative about doing so. The unusual situation, with court officials being kicked out and 11 county commissioners being given prime spaces they never use, has now generated an unexpected twist: Court employees who lost spaces called up Guilford County commissioners and asked them, “Brother, can you spare a parking place?” And the commissioners have said yes – it’s as if the county commissioners have entered into an Adopt a Court Worker Parking Program. Now all, or almost all, of the commissioners have given out their spaces to court workers. Jones said the commissioners have the right to give away their spaces to others if they want. “It’s their space,” Jones said. Commissioners talk about the court workers who are using their spots as though they were kids the commissioners had

adopted in the Big Brother program. “Mine has been a court worker for 24 years,” one commissioner said of his parking adoptee. “Mine is in the clerk of courts office,” another commissioner said proudly this week. Apparently, in each situation, the commissioners didn’t know the court worker until he or she called seeking parking. After the workers were notified that the county was taking their places away, some enterprising worker in the court system who lost a parking space got the idea and then, after securing a commissioner’s spot, spread the word to his or her fellow court workers until all 11 commissioner slots were full. Commissioner Billy Yow said he couldn’t see any reason to say no to the court employee who asked to use his spot. “I told them they could,” Yow said. “Why not? It’s empty now.” Commissioner Bill Bencini said he also couldn’t think of any reason to decline the request from the court worker who called him. Bencini said it was pointless for his parking space to sit there unused day after day. Bencini added that he told the court worker there may be some rare times when the spot was unavailable because of a commissioners work session or other county event. One commissioner said that a woman who called him requesting his space told him she was very near retirement and, the (Continued on page 32)


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Page 9


Page 10

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Uncle Orson Reviews Everything

Butler, Korra, Austen Guide, Evelina by orson scott card

Japanese cartoonists and animators found their own way. Manga, the Japanese comic book, has its share of superpowers – but in America, as in Japan, it isn’t so relentlessly aimed at boys. American boy-oriented comics have females so buxom that they all seem to have the superpower of defying gravity; Japanese manga, on the other hand, has vaguely sexless characters – so much so that it’s sometimes hard to tell males from females. At Comic-Con in San Diego last week, I paused at a manga booth and picked up a book from a series called Black Butler. Since Japan has an African-origin population somewhere just above zero, the word “black” has the ordinary connotations of darkness without racial overtones. The butler, in this case, is definitely white, and English, and at first it seems that he’s a combination bodyguard, chef and superhuman housekeeper who also opens doors. A significant number of manga fans have fallen seriously in love with the butler; he brings new meaning to the word suave. Not until the end of the first book do we realize what he really is – all of the above, but something much more perilous. Because the manga tradition skews young, it’s no surprise that the wealthy family the butler serves is headed by an orphan

boy whose behavior sometimes makes him seem 16 years old, and sometimes 11. But young as he is, he’s made a perilous deal in order to have help in protecting the family’s worldwide interests – not just money, but also maintaining order in the world at large. The series is more than 10 books long so far, but it’s funny and adventurous, and there’s plenty to delight both male and female readers. Like manga, Japanese animé attracts audiences of girls and boys – the mix of adventure and relationships somehow crosses gender lines that American shows have a harder time crossing. More important, animé is able to be serious along with the humor – in a way that American cartoons rarely try for, animé series attempt to matter to their viewers. Animators from other countries are adopting the tropes and style of animé, sometimes to very good effect. The result is that the American team that created Avatar: The Last Airbender not only used Japanese markers – all the signs and documents in the series were in Japanese – but also achieved the openness to both genders and the seriousness in the storyline that often elude traditional American animators. The M. Night Shyamalan live-action feature-film adaptation demonstrated very nicely that the animators are able to achieve

things that are clearly beyond the reach of at least some live-action directors. And now the new series, Legend of Korra, set in the same world a hundred years later, brings off something I didn’t think was possible: It’s better than the original. The first season of Korra reached a very satisfying climax, partly by keeping the magic to a minimum; it preserved its mystique that way. The characters are even more interesting than those in the original series – though I do miss Zuko. If you missed it on this go-round, the series is available online, and when the next season starts, the first will undoubtedly be rerun. It’s well worth looking for.

....

In the Atlanta airport the other day I picked up one of the most delicious (and healthy) snack foods I’ve tasted: Boulder Canyon Natural Foods Rice & Bean Snack Chips with Adzuki Beans, in natural salt and chipotle cheese flavors. We all know what to expect from a chip: Thin, crisp, delicious. So let’s just say that this is the thinnest, lightest, airiest, chip on the market, and you can’t get crisper than this. It’s so thin that I’m not altogether sure how they can package it. I’ve had chips this thin at a couple of Mexican restaurants over the years – Uncle Julio’s in Reston Town

Center (formerly known as “Rio Grande”), and a Mexican restaurant in Larkspur Landing near San Quentin in California, which has since gone out of business. And those were so thin that I didn’t imagine they could ever be packaged – no matter how much air they puffed into the package, the chips would be reduced to dust by the time they got to the consumer. Well, these Boulder Canyon chips are every bit as thin – but, perhaps because of the bean content, they held together better than much thicker chips. With chips so thin, you can bite down on them and they crunch delightfully; or you can let them lie on your tongue and they practically dissolve. A very sensuous chip. The “delicious” part is, of course, much more personal and subjective. I can’t promise you that you’ll like the flavor as much as I do. But I really, really like both flavors I tried. Where can you find them? I don’t know that they’re worth flying to Atlanta just to look for them. I also found them through Amazon.com and bought them in units of 24 small packages. Not exactly the least expensive way to sample something. I guess the best you can do is keep your eye out for Boulder Canyon as a brand, and then specifically for the Rice & Bean with (Continued on page 28)

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Page 11

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle

No. 0722

A. A. MEETINGS By Brendan Emmett Quigley / Edited by Will Shortz

1

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Across

1 During which 7 Chooses

14 Unlike terra incognita, say

20 Olive oil alternative 21 Sexual drive 22 “Me! Me!”

23 Like the winner of the Miss Influenza pageant? 25 “Blast!”

2 6 Ti k i b a r o r d e r

27 Dons for the first time 29 Indulged in some capers? 30 Hovering falcon

33 Some cake slices

3 6 “ I c a n s e e M e x i c o ’s southernmost state from this ship!”?

57 Place to get a l e a r n e r ’s p e r m i t , for short

102 Company with the slogan “At the heart of the image”

8 N.L. East team, on scoreboards

60 Some Kellogg grads

105 Funding for a Spanish seafood dish?

10 Fringed carriages

58 Fall guys

6 1 L i t e r a l l y, “ f i r e bowl” 65 Stand sales 67 ___ dish

69 Before, to a poet 70 Article in Hoy

7 1 Wi t h 4 1 - D o w n , F o r d part 72 Like the Battle of Tr a f a l g a r

74 Kick oneself over 75 Kabayaki base

76 Entertainer with a Mandinka warrior haircut 77 French verb with a circumflex

4 1 Ta p a s b a r o r d e r

79 Pro accompanier?

44 Art philanthropist Broad

82 Danish Nobelist

4 3 Q u i x o t e ’s p a l

45 Lend for a short while

47 Day during the dog days 5 0 W h e n s o m e c o ff e e breaks begin 51 Bring in, as a big client

53 Like one who has gone green? 5 4 R a t e s e t t e r, informally 55 Scoundrel

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.

80 Guts

84 Cousin to “Roger that” 8 6 Ta rg e t o f t h i e v e s who do card skimming 88 Some trailers

8 9 Va n i d a d e s m a g a z i n e reader 9 1 Wo r d s b e f o r e a n d after “what” 92 They vote first

9 4 “ L o o k w h o ’s b a c k ! ” 98 Brings out

99 “___ like a Maelstrom, with a notch” (Emily Dickinson poem)

101 Old Polly Holliday sitcom

103 Is mannerly

108 Lucidness

11 0 “ B a b e t t e ’s F e a s t ” author 111 G a s p u m p a b b r. 11 2 N o r t h b y northwest, e.g.

11 5 F o r y e a r s o n e n d

120 Game whose lowest card is the 7 123 Far Easterners signed to a St. Louis ball team? 127 Bleach

1 2 8 To p t o b o t t o m , s a y 129 Lick but good

130 Philosopher forced by Nero to commit suicide 131 Kids’ summer activity center

132 Like mushroom heads Down

1 We e r o o m s , f o r short?

2 Onetime teen idol Corey

3 Their empire was the Land of the Four Quarters 4 “ T h e Av e n g e r s ” villain 5 Furniture piece

6 To m o y u k i _ _ _ , creator of Godzilla

7 Mel who was portrayed in “Field of Dreams”

12 Double curve

1 3 S o m e M & M ’s

14 Steam bath enjoyed just before bedtime? 15 Nabokov novel 16 ___ ejemplo

17 Dos Equis-filled item at a birthday party? 18 Poet Sitwell

1 9 I s g r a n d m o t h e r l y, i n a way 24 Pump choice 2 8 Wi n e : P r e f i x

3 1 M c D o n a l d ’s o ff e r i n g s i n c e 1 9 8 5 3 2 D a s h i e l l H a m m e t t ’s last novel, with “The” 34 “Rhoda��� co-star David

35 “___ where it hurts” 36 Estate-planning pro 37 Place for a band

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38 Gridiron stat.

39 Hyundai model 40 Style

59 Doughnuts, mathematically

81 Moving

4 2 Wo r l d _ _ _

62 Foray

85 Ravens’ cries

41 See 71-Across 46 Pork-on-a-stick? 48 Came close to

49 Line in the 1950s

52 Scent coming from a Netflix envelope? 56 Answer to “Did you see which Greek goddess walked by?”?

61 Kind of pie

6 3 F i l t h y k i d ’s l a c o n i c question? 64 Calvary initials

66 Actress ___ Marie Saint

68 Like some Facebook friend requests 7 3 Vi s a c h a rg e 78 1% group

83 Baby food preparation device

87 Store keepers?

90 Soda with a Blue Cream flavor

1 0 0 P. R . p r o 104 Eustacia ___, “The Return of the

Native” woman 106 Chest pain 107 Historical records

93 Sun, on the Riviera

108 Rappers’ posses

96 Jamaican fellow

11 0 L i k e s o m e t r i c k s

95 Jamaican music 97 Adenoidectomy specialist, for short

109 Café additive 11 3 M a n y a p r e p s c h . 11 4 F u n n y C a r v e y

11 6 “ T h i s i s a priority!” 11 7 C o p t e r ’s forerunner 11 8 M a k e 11 9 Ti g h t 1 2 1 A U . P. S . d r i v e r may have one: A b b r. 122 Private eye 124 N.L. East team, on scoreboards 125 Stage item 126 Dangerous job

Get answers to any three clues by touch-tone phone: 1-900-285-5656 ($1.20 each minute).


Page 12

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Sherlock Yost Cracks The Wine Glass Case by Scott D. Yost county editor

This is the story of the Mystery of the Mysterious White Wine Glass.

Go to

www.rhinotimes.com

and click on entertainment

Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen

Tue Jul 31

Laurelyn Dossett and Scott Manring

Print Works Bistro

Wed Aug 1

Evan Olson & Jessica Mashburn

Riders in the Country

Fri Jul 27 Sat Jul 28

Jimmy Shirley Jimmy Shirley

Southern Lights Bistro

Tue Jul 31 Wed Aug 1

Live music Live Music

Village Tavern

Mon Jul 30 Wed Aug 1

Stan Bullock (acoustic) Second Glance

WineStyles

Fri Jul 27 Sat Jul 28

Clay Howard Lyn Koonce

To begin this story, I should point out that Guilford County has 11 county commissioners, and those commissioners have very nice offices that take up almost half a floor of prime office space on the first floor of the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro. Now, you and I and all the taxpayers are the ones who pay for those offices, and, every once in a while, we here at The Rhinoceros Times will write an article about how the commissioners never use their offices, and we point out what a tremendous waste of space it is. The commissioners’ offices are well stocked and they look very nice, and there’s a receptionist’s desk right inside the glass door entrance. Now, several years ago, the board decided that it didn’t reflect well on Guilford County government to have its commissioners offices just sitting there empty and locked, so the board voted to move a receptionist down there and made her sit there day after day. However, since the commissioners were never there, and no one ever came by, the receptionist got very bored, and, after a few months of that, everyone realized it was inhumane to sentence her to solitary confinement when she hadn’t even committed a crime. So they let her move back upstairs to her old office, and now there’s just a permanently locked suite of 11 offices, protected by a key code. Now, while the commissioners never use their offices, sometimes I do. If I’m, say, between meetings that I have to attend at the Old Court House, or if there are too many cats and dogs running around The Rhinoceros Times’ office, which is just across the street, then I’ll take my MacBook over there and use the nice tranquil offices to write. I know the key code, and several commissioners have told me to please feel free to use their office any time I want. So, I do use them from time to time – however, other than that, here’s an example of how often the offices get used. One day earlier this year, I was sitting in there enjoying my private personal suite of 11 offices, writing peacefully. This time I happened to be using Commissioner Bruce Davis’ office, and I noticed that the daily calendar on his desk was open to Dec. 1 with a little writing on it. I thought that was strange since it was spring, and I wondered if Davis had actually been in and used his office in December and then I saw that it was a 2006 calendar. That’s not a joke or anything; that’s the honest truth. So that’s just one indication of what I am talking about. I later told Commissioner Mike Winstead about the 2006 calendar, and he said that that reminded him of something. “I still have a picture of my ex-wife on my desk from when I was sworn in,” Winstead said. Winstead became a commissioner in 2004. If you do the math, that’s eight years ago. He remarried last year. Anyway, my point is that the offices get very little use. OK, so, now back to my story. In April, about three months ago, I was in the commissioners’ offices, happily writing away, and I noticed that, sitting on the receptionist’s desk, was a wine glass with a little something in it that looked like white wine. I was fascinated by it. How did it get there? Was there a commissioners’ party in the office suite? Were two county workers using the commissioners’ offices and desks for romantic encounters if you know what I mean? I found that last theory particularly intriguing. (Continued on page 14)


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Sound of the Beep

Page 13

Scott’s Night Out

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. Thank you so much. Just a couple of days ago I picked up my Rhinoceros Times dated Thursday, Thursday, July 12. I picked it up in beautiful downtown Gibsonville in front of Pete’s Diner. And what I want to thank you for so much is on the first page, I guess the second page, The Rhino endorsements for tomorrow’s election. I’m a registered Republican, and although I live in Alamance County I’m voting following your endorsements for lieutenant governor, commissioner of insurance, secretary of state and state superintendent. Thanks again. Bye-bye. %%% Well, Obama stepped on my toes now. Saying a small businessman, if they succeeded, or women, he wanted to know if somebody else done it for them. I’ve been in business 36 years, going on 36. It was – I started from nothing. I paid for my home. I paid for my cars. I’ve got a few dollars saved up. My credit score is 730 something. And I done it on my own. I didn’t build the roads, but I paid the tax to help build the roads. But I don’t know. I believe, honest to goodness, there’s something wrong with that man’s brain. He’s saying things that he absolutely should not be saying. But that’s Obama for you. He don’t give a man credit for working. Without a doubt, they’ve got people in Camp Butner that’s got more sense than he has. %%% Good afternoon. I just completed reading The Rhinoceros Times. And thank you so much for such a great paper that comes out every Thursday. Our family looks so forward to it. You speak the truth. I am puzzled, though. Letter to the editor said that Sen. Don Vaughan no longer is involved with Waste Industries. And if that is the fact, who took his place? Transparency and an investigation in this would be very interesting to us constituents in Greensboro. If Don Vaughan is no longer involved with Waste Industries, who took his place? I look forward to the answer in the next edition. Too many people run this city. Too many people think they are better than the rest of their constituents. Transparency is everything. I’m looking forward to finding out from your investigating reporter. %%% Editor’s Note: We’re pretty good at getting information from government but private industry is a different story. I would imagine the company has hired another state senator or state representative to replace him. %%% In regards to the Danahey case, please, do not insult all of our intelligence with the word prank. This is just a ploy to alter the facts. Danahey was smart enough to know that this was a very serious offense that she might commit. A prank includes rotten eggs, toilet paper, rip up the sofa or such. A prank does not involve matches and an accelerant. A prank does not fatally hurt four people. I applaud the people that have forgiven Danahey. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. That, however, doesn’t alter the fact that 10 years is a mighty short sentence for murdering four people. Many people with lesser crimes are serving far more. Let’s remember the facts, the victims, the families of the victims, and keep things straight. Thank you. %%% I wonder if liberals will ever change their views on global warming. Of course, I wonder if liberals will ever change their views on evolution, gun control, equal rights, the death penalty, etc. What do you think, Chuck Mann? %%% Yes, I just saw on TV that the US Olympic team’s uniforms are going to be made in China. How despicable. How low, and how much money grubbing can we do? That is a travesty. Thanks. %%% I’d like to know how this city can spend $84,000 looking for a site for a school that’s never been built. It just blows my mind. I think we need some (Continued on page 27)

Recently, my father Eddie Yost, and stepmother Leigh Yost, invited the family up to their house on the very beautiful lake beside Grandfather Mountain. The view of the lake and the mountains is fantastic, and we all used to be beachcombers when it came to vacation, but now we’re turning into mountain men – or, rather, mountain people. In this Linville community, there’s even a “beach” on the lake, where, they told me, the sand for the beach is brought in from the same place they get the sand for the traps for the Masters course at Augusta. That’s where I got this picture (the beach at Grandfather Mountain, not in a sand trap in Augusta) of these two lovely ladies from South Carolina. They’re enjoying the beach, in the imported sand, right next to the Grandfather Golf & Country Club, which is at the heart of the community. This picture was taken in the last hour of daylight that the sun had left that day – also known as the “magic hour” because it makes everyone look good no matter who you are. Not that these two needed any help at all. Speaking of my stepmother Leigh, this week it’s her birthday – so, Happy birthday, Leigh, and keep the invites coming. I believe Leigh is 29 this year if I’m not mistaken. – Scott D. Yost


Page 14

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Yost

(Continued from page 12)

What in the world was the backstory I was wondering. I had no idea. But I took a picture of it for posterity’s sake. I thought about it, and I figured that there had been some sort of festive event like a retirement party or something in the “Blue Room” meeting room across the hall; and, I surmised, some party guests who knew the code had simply wandered in and left their wine glass on the receptionist’s desk. The handful of people who know that the county makes the Blue Room available to the public will, once in a great while, use it for things like business presentations or press conferences, but I didn’t know they allowed alcohol in the Old Court House. If they do actually allow alcohol, when you think about it, the Old Guilford County Court House would be a great place to have, like, a bachelor party – though one problem would be that, when the strippers arrived at the building, they would think they couldn’t possibly be at the right address. Now, a few days later, I was back in the commissioners’ offices, and I passed by the desk and the wine glass was still sitting there. I was surprised because – while we joke about how the staff never uses the offices, and a cleaning crew doesn’t come by because there’s nothing to clean – I figured that once in a while someone goes in to use the restroom or something. I would think that a secretary or someone might walk by and pick up the glass. I mean, it wasn’t like the glass was hidden or anything. It was an obvious white wine glass with a little bit of wine in it and a party napkin sitting there at the entrance to the commissioners offices. It was visible from the outside, so anyone passing by – say, a security person – could have taken the glass and put it on a shelf or something. I don’t know – maybe a commissioner would wander in one day by mistake and see it. If you think about it, it isn’t the best first impression for a resident or a visiting official from another county to show up and there are no commissioners, no staff, just a locked glass door – and an empty wine glass and a party napkin on the main desk. So anyway, the next time I used the office – probably about a week after I had seen the glass – I came in and the wine glass was still sitting there. And guess what: I came back several weeks later, and there it was – still sitting on the receptionist’s desk at the front entrance of the nerve center of Guilford County government. April became May and May became June. The wine glass remained. June became July. The mysterious white wine glass continued to sit there. Every now and then I would take a picture of it so I would have dated pictures to prove I wasn’t making this story up. I thought about doing something about the glass myself or notifying county staff; however, at this point I was curious to see how long it would sit there. Years? Decades? Centuries? Who knew?

To me, it’s somewhat remarkable that the front desk of the headquarters of a county of over 480,000 people could just sit there month after month, apparently completely unnoticed. You know, if it were Pamlico County or Hyde County, you might expect that, because, there, the entire county government is made up of three commissioners, a manager and a secretary, and they probably drink on the job all day long there, so they wouldn’t think anything about a stray wine glass sitting on a desk. Anyway, then, last week, I was in the Old Court House and I stopped by to see the wine glass and … Gone. Suddenly, after three months, out of nowhere the mysterious wine glass had vanished. The mystery deepened. What had happened to it? Where had it gone? And why now of all times? So I called a county staff person I know who works in the building, and I said, “Hey, there was a white wine glass in the commissioners offices, but now it’s gone.” “I took it,” she said. It wasn’t her job to clean the commissioners’ offices, but she said she had seen the glass and removed it. She theorized that other staff may have passed by it but not known what to do with a wine glass – because it’s not like you can put it back in the county’s wine glass cabinet with the other wine glasses in the set. She said it was apparently from some sort of reception in the Blue Room. She told me that, other than that, she didn’t know where it came from. Then she jumped into her natural response mode of trying to protect the county’s image. I said that there was wine in it, but I added that I didn’t think you could have wine in the Old Court House. “I think it was tea,” she said. “I don’t think it was tea,” I said. “It was in a white wine glass, and it looked exactly like white wine to me. It was too clear to be tea, and I’ve studied the liquid carefully over several months.” I said it didn’t appear to be tea to me by a long shot. She said she had taken the glass back to her office recently, and it was her understanding that the caterer had come and picked it up. I said it didn’t really seem to me like a caterer would make that trip just to retrieve one glass – especially after not missing it for months, and she said she would look into the matter. A little later that day, my phone rang. “Mystery solved,” she said. She told me she had found someone who knew about the origin of the glass, and it turns out that the wine glass had quite a storied past indeed. “It’s Newt Gingrich’s wine glass,” she said. “Excuse me,” I said, ”But for a moment there it sounded like you said it was Newt Gingrich’s wine glass.” (Continued on page 28)


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Page 27

Letters to the Editor Stimulus money sent overseas

Dear Editor, Obama’s political ads say Romney shipped American jobs overseas and that he has bank accounts in Bermuda and Switzerland. So what? If you and I had millions of dollars, we’d probably have Swiss bank accounts too. As for Romney shipping jobs overseas, that is doubtful. I saw where Romney finally came out with an ad telling of just a few places Obama’s “stimulus” money went – China, Finland, among dozens of other overseas countries and companies. And that’s a known fact. Ramon Bell

Gunman is to blame, not gun

Dear Editor, I am sitting in my office reading the internet news about the “Batman” shooting in Colorado. This is truly a sad event, and no doubt the “experts” will gather behind the microphones to give their qualified answers to this horrific event. This event will be blamed on video games, the way he was raised or the economic policies of George Bush. Would the “experts” even attempt to root out the true cause of this disaster? The ultimate blame is the gunman himself. He made a logical choice to put on a bulletproof vest, load his weapons and enter the theater. He is to be blamed, rather than the gun, just like it is not a spoon’s fault that many Americans are overweight. The experts need to look backwards to an event that happened in the early 1960s to catch one main reason this event occurred. Since this event, crime has steadily increased as well as out-of-wedlock births, the money spent on welfare, the national divorce rate, as well as our national debt. The event I am referring to is when the Supreme Court took out the Bible and prayer from our national public school system. America’s youth have been educated in the humanistic/evolutionary philosophy, which declares that man is really nothing, and values do not exist. In essence the atheists usurped the authority of our public school system with their “man is nothing but an animal” teaching. So people act like animals and treat other people as mere animals. Our nation will continue to experience this and other travesties so long as our children are taught that God does not exist and you are not accountable to anyone. Sid Stewart

Better off now than then

Dear Editor, On the campaign trail Mitt Romney has asked, “Are you better off now with Barack Obama president?” He’s trying to sound like Ronald Reagan. But he fails to answer the question. The answer is a resounding “yes,” and it can be proven. If you had a retirement plan, you are probably about one-third richer than you were before the last election. Since the end of the October 2008, the Dow has increased 36 percent and the S&P 500 is up 39.7 percent. This averages out to about

9.4 to 10 percent a year. Anyone who looks at their retirement plan statement knows that things have improved under Barack Obama. If you are a homeowner, you know that housing prices are once again starting to rise, after the great fall at the end of the Bush presidency. We all know that unemployment has fallen from more than 10 percent to around 8 percent. You also know that you live in a safer world, thanks to the eradication of most of the al Qaeda leadership including Osama bin Laden, the ending of the ill conceived Iraq war and the winding down of the Afghanistan war. So please, Mr. Romney, keep on asking, but don’t forget to answer. James Bennett Editor’s Note: So you give Obama credit for the stock market increase not from when he was sworn is as president, not even from when he was elected, but from when he was a candidate?

Postal service delivers

Dear Editor, I was deeply disappointed in your assessment of the service provided by the US Postal Service (USPS). What money are you talking about the government wasting? The USPS is self-funded from the sale of its services. No taxpayer money is received. Saturday delivery is a vital part of the service to the American people. You might not be aware of the volume of prescriptions that are now sent through the mail. A delay of more than two days or more could be detrimental to the recipients. Also, the number of parcels that the USPS delivers for FedEx and UPS is something the public is not aware of. Both companies back up to the dock at postal facilities daily to have the last mile completed by the good ole USPS. As a rural letter carrier for more than 20 years, I am proud to be serving the American public on a daily basis. Mitch Reece

while only 50 percent of the people pay any federal tax. Wouldn’t it make sense to get 100 percent paying in? Remember, leadership starts at the top and works down. We need a leader that doesn’t divide us. A leader that will make everyone proud of this country again. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country. Ed Byrum

Benefits for average Americans

Dear Editor, The Republicans in Congress have spent $50 million and voted 33 separate times to overturn the Affordable Health Care Act engineered by President Obama. (These are the same Republicans that claim to safeguard taxpayer money.) The Republicans are intent on repealing an act that has been ruled constitutional by the highest court in the land and is beneficial to the average American in many ways, some of which follow: Keeps insurance companies from denying insurance to those with pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies can no longer revoke coverage if a person has a serious illness. Allows parents to carry their children on their policies until age 26. Provides preventive health care. Some 30 million people without health insurance will begin receiving coverage

starting in 2014. Insurance companies can no longer increase premiums on policyholders if serious illness strikes. It eliminates the practice of insurance companies putting a lifetime cap on the amount of money that can be paid out for coverage. So what’s there not to like? If the Republicans are successful in the November elections, you can count on their finding a way to take away these important and critical benefits that the Democrats have labored long and hard to make happen. Bob Kollar

Beep (Continued from page 13) new people in this town to run it. %%% This is just a thought, but it’s a very powerful thought. Our F22s, our pilots cannot fly the jets that are needed to secure this country due to the lack of oxygen. Has anyone considered it could be a terrorist plot? Ground our jets and see how far we can fight. %%% After Obama’s remarks in Roanoke, Virginia, all Republicans need to do now is give him a little more rope, and by November the people will be saying, Obama who?

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Dear Editor, As I look around everyday I see idiots in the masses. The country operates with the herd mentality. If one person gets a tattoo the others will follow. A large part of society is more concerned about their next tattoo than the direction the country is headed. President Obama is a very poor role model for the youth. He operates on: What can the government do for you, not, what can you do for your country. Now he’s pushing more food stamps for illegal immigrants. What can I give you to vote for me, even if it means throwing the country under the bus? Less than 1 percent serve in the military. Do you hear him promoting the military? Maybe this could help reduce crime rate and give young people some needed discipline and morals. We’re a country racially divided thanks to Obama. We spend $1 trillion more than we take in and all he talks about is taxing the rich

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Page 28

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Yost

(Continued from page 14)

She said I had heard her right. The county’s conservatives had held an anti-tax rally in the plaza in mid-April, and Newt spoke at it, and apparently he had used the commissioners’ offices at some point. I was astonished, so it wasn’t just

anyone’s wine glass – it was the wine glass of a very famous and powerful man who came this close to being the next president of the United States of America, one nation under God. (I asked a security person if the county allowed alcohol at events and he said he didn’t think there was a rule one way or another about that. I asked what had happened that day and he said he was working, but he didn’t know exactly what had happened. He said others were in charge that day. “Well, the Secret Service just takes over,” he said. Apparently, the Secret

Service has no rule against people drinking wine while they are being protected. That makes sense when you think about the recent story of the Secret Service agents and the Colombian prostitutes.) Anyway, now it all fell into place. I wondered about the fate of the glass. “What did you do with it?” I asked the woman. “We still have it,” she said. “We’re keeping it in a glass case.” I figured that was a joke – but maybe not. This was, after all, Newt Gingrich’s wine glass. “What are you going to do with it?” I asked. Whenever a commissioner leaves the board, county staff always has a present for him or her as a token of how happy

staff is that that commissioner will no longer be in their hair (though staff tells the commissioners the gift is for their hard work and dedication, some wild story like that). “I guess we will mount it and give it as a parting gift to an outgoing Republican commissioner,” she said. I said that would be nice because then they would have a wine glass that Newt Gingrich drank wine from. She corrected me: “… that Newt Gingrich drank tea from.” I said, well, “Maybe that makes sense after all, since it was from a Tea Party rally.” “Exactly,” she said. And so ends the tale of the Mystery of the Mysterious White Wine Glass.

literary critics today – they are all about the manner and generally ignore the matter: what the writer is actually talking about. But this is a mistake with Austen, because, even though she was a superb writer and she was keenly aware of her form, she was writing about something. Where the ac-lit critics dismiss her subject matter as “mere romance,” Kantor sees that Austen is, if anything, the consummate antiromantic novelist. Like Margaret Mitchell after her, Austen uses the form of a love story but subverts it every step of the way. In fact, she’s quite open about this project in Sense and Sensibility, where Marianne, a romantic lover, head over heels and hiding nothing, is unfavorably contrasted with her much more careful – and unromantic – sister Elinor. Once Kantor points it out, it seems obvious that Austen does not write stories about love at first sight. She writes stories about mature decisions about the kind of love that can last through a lifetime of happiness. So The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After has plenty of material to guide single women today exactly in the way Austen intended her readers to seek a mate: rationally as well as emotionally, steering away from men of little worth by showing us that such men lead to little that could be called happiness. The Jane Austen Guide is one of the rare guides to social behavior that is actually worth something: I put it right up with He’s Just Not That Into You and everything Judith Martin has written in her guise as “Miss Manners.” In fact, that distinguished list also serves as some of the best social anthropology about the mores and practices of the present, post-sexual-revolution age. Kantor refers to He’s Just Not That Into You a dozen times or more in her book, because it is the best of its type, and because Austen’s novels prefigure many of the useful observations in that book. But even if you already have a good marriage, The Jane Austen Guide is well worth reading because it is not only a good guide to happy relationships, it’s also a very

good guide to reading Jane Austen! I remember that in grad school, I quickly became contemptuous of most Milton scholarship because it completely ignored the fact that what Milton cared about most was his faith, and without sharing that faith it is hard to imagine reading Milton with anything like understanding. Likewise, I can’t see how you can read Austen intelligently without paying close attention to what she is saying about human relationships. And while Kantor focuses in on the finding-and-choosing phase of marriage, the result is a demonstration of a superb way to read Austen and, by extension, any other novelist who is actually saying something about the real world instead of merely trying to show what a clever writer she is. (In other words, Anne Tyler, but not Margaret Atwood; Richard Russo, but not John Updike.) Even if you haven’t read Austen, The Jane Austen Guide gives you enough clear examples from her novels (and other writings) that you will never be lost or confused – in fact, after reading The Jane Austen Guide you’ll be so well-versed in Austen’s fiction that you’ll be able to hold your own in long conversations about Austen without actually having read the novels at all. And men who have grasped the obvious fact that if you want to understand women, you need to read what they read in order to know how they think, will find this to be one of the best, most useful guides ever written. In fact, if anything this book is an excellent manual for men on How To Become a Man Worth Marrying. Consider that to be the subtitle and start reading. Both as literature and as a guide to understanding and coping with modern life, The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After belongs on everybody’s short list. And since every women’s book club that’s worth anything is going to include this book in their reading list, it’s going to stay in print for a good long time.

that you probably never read in school. Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World, by Frances Burney, isn’t included in lists of great literature today. Courses in the early English novel will give you the works of Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (all men, of course, though their main characters are often women). But it’s worth pointing out that Evelina was one of the favorite books, and Burney one of the favorite writers, of the Great Jane herself. Jane Austen was no mean judge of other people’s writings, and while she was in the process of reinventing the novel to suit her own purposes, and far surpassing Defoe, Richardson and Fielding as she did so, she openly acknowledged her debt to Burney. Now, I generally loathe epistolary novels – novels told in the form of letters from one of the characters to another. But as I recently learned in the brilliantly insightful course Classics of British Literature, taught by John Sutherland for The Great Courses, epistolary served a very useful purpose in those early days of the novel. In the writing course I teach, I stress for my students the serious rhetorical difficulties of first-person narrative, urging them to use third-person-limited instead. Firstperson, you see, suffers from the double burden that it is always written in the voice of a narrator who knows how everything comes out, so that suspense depends on the artifice of withholding information known to the narrator; and it is always at a great remove in time, so that the narrator already knows what everything means and where everything will lead. But the modern alternative, third-person limited viewpoint, had not been invented yet; indeed, one can claim – indeed, I do claim – that Jane Austen invented it. So epistolary, as Prof. Sutherland explained, is a useful way to overcome the limitations of firstperson. Since the letters are written during the time of the narrative, while the ending is still unknown, the narrator is not so aware of how things end, and what everything means. In fact, the letter-writers are often (Continued on page 30)

Uncle Orson (Continued from page 10)

Adzuki Beans as the snack chip. For all I know, they have them in stores all over Greensboro and I’ve simply never noticed them before.

....

I happen to believe that not only did Jane Austen develop most of the useful techniques of the modern novel, her books remain as exemplars – like Shakespeare, she not only reinvented the form, but her works remain at the very top. For a long time, however, Austen was ignored by critics – like Louisa Mae Alcott, Margaret Mitchell, Mrs. Gaskell and many other writers of the female persuasion, she and her works were regarded as vaguely substandard, with an audience only of women and therefore easy for professortypes to ignore. The fortunate result of this is that Austen is still completely readable without any mediation from critics or interpreters. You don’t need to take a class in Austen. You just pick up Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility and start reading. She teaches you how to read each novel within its own pages. The critics who do attempt to “do” Austen usually produce dull failures, because the academic-literary tools invented to make Modernism and Post-Modernism look better than they are simply don’t apply to Austen in any but the most rudimentary ways. However, the very fact that Austen needs no mediation allows a really perceptive literary critic to invent a new way of reading her work that responds, not to how well she fits parameters invented to make Woolf and Joyce seem important, but to what she actually cared about in the writing of her books. In The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After, Elizabeth Kantor does two jobs at once: She writes a witty, perceptive, helpful guide for modern single women in search of a mate worth keeping for the long term; and she gives us one of the best literary readings of Jane Austen that I have ever read. It’s one of the mistakes made by most

....

As long as I’m talking about Jane Austen, let me take just a moment to mention a book


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Gaggle (Continued from page 6) prone to return High Point to its previous type of election. The current councilmembers hate the no-primary system, and two-year terms, to which High Point switched from four-year terms in 2000, because of the expense and effort needed to defend their seats every two years, often against political unknowns. Moving High Point municipal elections to even-numbered years has increased voter turnout, but not all of those voters get around to voting for City Council candidates. There may be 25 City Council candidates this year, but the first of them, by virtue of the first letter of his last name, is mayoral candidate Matthew Fowler – and his name is on page 24 of 28 pages of the Board of Elections list of candidates, behind several pages of judicial candidates and even candidates for soil and water commissioner. This year’s High Point election system is what it is, which explains the 25 candidates. The five candidates for mayor are Fowler, who works for a temp agency in Greensboro and runs a rental property management company on the side; Tammy Holyfield, a motivational speaker; Ward 1 Councilmember Bernita Sims; Ward 5 Councilmember Chris Whitley, the first to announce his candidacy; and developer Coy Williard. The five candidates for the two at-large seats on the City Council are Cynthia Davis; Elijah Lovejoy, associate pastor at the Church of the Redeemer in Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

who has produced public events in High Point; at-large Councilmember Britt Moore, who is running to retain his seat; Executive Director of A Child’s World Day Care Center Ed Squires, who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat in 2010; and current High Point Mayor Becky Smothers. The other current at-large councilmember, Latimer Alexander, lost to Greensboro City Councilmember Trudy Wade in the Republican primary for the state Senate District 27 seat and is not running for reelection to his at-large seat. One big filing surprise is Ward 1, where the departure of Sims, who has easily maintained the seat, opened the way for five candidates to file. It was conventional wisdom before the filing period started that Jeff Golden, who challenged Sims unsuccessfully in 2010, would run this year with her support, and that the field would be small. Not so. The five Ward 1 candidates are Blakeney; Willie Davis; Larry Diggs, who has been part of neighborhood organizations and a frequent speaker at City Council meetings; Jeff Golden, a licensed practical nurse who since 2010 has become a member of the High Point Parks and Recreation Commission; and physical trainer and ordained minister in High Point’s Miracle Temple of Deliverance Orrick Quick. In Ward 2, Douglas is running unopposed. For years, he owed the City of High Point thousands of dollars from a 2003 federal court judgment in a racial-profiling case, and overdue federal and state taxes, which resulted in liens against him. In 2010 he

said his constituents didn’t care, and he was right – he decisively beat challenger Chris Williams, 53 percent to 31 percent, leaving third candidate Jill Harwood trailing far behind, with 15 percent. The race for the Ward 3 seat will be interesting. Councilmember Mike Pugh is popular in his ward, disliked by some councilmembers for challenging the City Council majority and making a national issue of sectarian prayer at City Council meetings – and a hero of sorts to some voters for the same reason. He is rated highly for constituent service – he’s been known to chop down a tree for a constituent who needed it done. The only candidate running against Pugh is former High Point Mayor and City Councilmember Judy Mendenhall. Mendenhall has been out of office as mayor since 1987, after serving one twoyear term. She has been out of office as a councilmember since 1992. She is now finance director for West End Ministries. The biggest surprise to come out of the filing period was the decision by Ward 4 Councilmember A.B. Henley to not run for reelection. Henley decided not to run, clearing the way for his friend, attorney Jay Wagner, who had filed to run in the increasingly crowded at-large race, to change his filing on July 9 to run in Ward 4, in which, at the time, there were no other candidates, probably because potential challengers expected Henley to run. On July 12, Brett Moore (no relation to At-large Councilmember Britt Moore), filed

Page 29

to run against Wagner in Ward 4. Wagner in 2010 ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Smothers, winning 36 percent of the vote to Smothers’ 55 percent. In 2005, Brett Moore, then still in college, ran against Whitley and did surprisingly well, winning 46 percent of the vote to Whitley’s 54 percent. Since then, Brett Moore has graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Elon Law School and has been a lawyer in private practice for two years. Whitley’s decision to run for mayor instead of defending his Ward 5 seat left that ward, too, wide open for contenders. In addition to Joslin, two candidates have filed to run for the Ward 5 seat: Jim Davis, a general contractor who now sits on the High Point Planning and Zoning Commission and the High Point Parks and Recreation Commission, and Gerald Grubb, the owner of Southern Cross Mortgage, who ran unsuccessfully for the Ward 6 seat in 2010. Grubb has since been redistricted into Ward 5. Grubb also ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for the North Carolina state House District 61 seat and lost to former High Point Councilmember John Faircloth. In Ward 6, incumbent Councilmember Jim Corey is defending his seat against Jason Ewing, one of three candidates, including Corey and Grubb, who ran for the Ward 6 seat in 2010. Corey won that race in what, at the time, he called “probably the closest race in North Carolina” – a 45-vote victory that left Corey with 35 percent of the vote to Ewing’s 34 and Grubb’s 31.


Page 30

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sims

(Continued from page 6)

office parks and are unconnected to the old High Point business establishment. Some even work for companies that High Point has to bribe with economic incentives to even admit they are in High Point. As a result, the truth is that Emerywood, which is crammed into Ward 4, may not be the power center it used to be. It still has a disproportionate influence when it comes to raising money for campaign donations, and, to some degree, in getting out votes. But this may be a watershed year in which power tips to north High Point, which works in Whitley’s favor. Whitley, in his quiet way, is the most conservative of the candidates. This may pick him up votes in Ward 3, which is a mixed ward politically, and may attract hard-line Republicans in Wards 4, 5 and 6. His path to victory, if he has one, is to sweep north High Point, have Emerywood handed to him (Whitley has been frantically meeting with Emerywood power brokers, some of whom may want to mount an anyonebut-Sims movement) and picking up votes from white, Republican voters who value City Council experience more than joining business clubs. Whitley has his faults as a candidate – he does wonderfully one on one but has a shyness that comes across as stiff and reserved in group settings. That’s a liability for a candidate trying to press the flesh at large community group meetings outside his ward. Whitley has more City Council experience than any other candidate, having served for all but one of the last 20 years. Smothers has given Whitley some practice lately, dodging the rubber-chicken circuit and letting him make public appearances for her as mayor pro tem. That may have improved Whitley’s stump speech some. That leaves, last but hardly least, Sims. Her long-honed weapon, which will be difficult, perhaps impossible to defend against, is the fact that she’s going up against four other candidates, three white and one inconsequential, who are going to split the votes she doesn’t get. She’s sure to sweep Wards 1 and 2, and it’s hard to imagine her not getting the 20 percent she needs in other wards. Sims has been on the City Council since December 2003. Like Whitley, she has served on numerous boards and committees,

within and without High Point. She has far more experience than Williard, and is more politically crafty than Whitley. The best Sims’ detractors have been able to come up with against her is her successful push to get the City Council to vote, outside the usual funding mechanism for outside agencies, to give the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, of which she is a board member, $32,000 last year for advertising. The festival has paid back $5,000 of the money, and if Sims is smart, she’ll find a way to have it pay back the remainder before she begins campaigning in earnest, as the Coltrane festival controversy has had surprising staying power. Sims refused to handicap the race, other than to say she considered herself and Whitley to be the only viable candidates. “I think it will probably break along partisan lines, even though it’s a nonpartisan race,” she said. “I think that’s going to be part of it. Even though I don’t want this to happen, I believe race will somehow play a factor. That would not be my desired thing to happen. I think if more informed voters vote, it will be a race that comes down to the two individuals who have already served on council. I’m not saying Chris and I are better than anyone out there – I’m just saying that experience counts. You look on the blogs and they say ‘get rid of all these guys’ – how do you hone your skills and your knowledge without experience? Having all new people comes at a cost sometimes.” The meta-wildcard in all this is the national election. There is an incumbent black US president on the top of the ballot, which may help bring out the black vote. There is a lousy economy, and there are a lot of Republicans and some Democrats and independents who are deeply dissatisfied with that president. That could work against Sims. And party-line voters focused on the national election who just push a straightticket button won’t even cast votes in High Point’s nonpartisan City Council race. It was predicted that 2010 would be a throw-the-bums-out year as well, but that didn’t trickle down to many local races. Sims and Whitley retained their seats easily. Sims has an edge that will be hard to overcome, and if she loses the election it will probably be because she blows it in some way.

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Sims told The Rhino Times that she would file to run on Tuesday, July 17, in time to make The Rhino Times filing story on Thursday, June 19. Instead, after analyzing the news cycle, she filed on Thursday, July 19. That got her a front-page story in the High Point Enterprise on Friday, July 20.

Phantom (Continued from page 2) contract was renewed, it was renewed under the name of Imperial Construction and Development. During much of that period, the invoices from Sandra Taylor/Imperial Construction and Development simply list the largest amount allowed by the current contract, and bill them as “2008 school bond projects.” The “capital outlay” document that accompanies the Guilford County Schools checks to pay the invoices breaks the amount down among the 27 projects. Other invoices are more specific, and the “capital outlay” document assigns them to specific projects. The 2008 contract with Sandra Taylor specifies that her pay will be calculated “on an hourly basis, not to exceed $8,000 per month or the annual budgeted allocation of $72,000.” The 2009 contract changes Sandra Taylor’s payment method, with the school system agreeing to pay her “on a monthly basis, not to exceed $8,250 per month or the annual budgeted allocation of $99,000.00.” The 2010 contract, the first with Imperial

Uncle Orson (Continued from page 28)

found to be hopelessly wrong in the early letters, as events transpire to contradict their first conclusions and assumptions. Most epistolary, however, suffers from a worse burden – the characters would never write in the turgid style that most writers can’t resist using, as they try to show off their talent and write “well.” Thus an epistolary novel is usually even more artificial than a straightforward firstperson narrative would be. Burney, however, does not succumb to the flaws of bad epistolary. I downloaded the book to my Kindle soon after learning that it was a favorite of Jane Austen’s, and to my surprise and delight, it is an excellent comic novel – much funnier, in my opinion, than any of the “comic” works of Tobias Smollett or even Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, which I find labored and tedious. The joke running throughout Evelina is that the title character is a young woman of such surpassing kindness and good manners that she cannot bear to disappoint anyone – even when the young man in question is behaving very badly and making appallingly inappropriate demands. The result is that young virginal Evelina finds herself, quite unknowingly, in places where no young lady would ever go – and yet, in her deliciously innocent letters, she doesn’t quite understand that she has been consorting with roues and shady women. Evelina’s willingness to go along with

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

“My plans were to file earlier in the week, and one of my campaign managers said, ‘I wanted to go in with you to file,’ so I made that happen,” Sims claimed later. “There was no strategy to get a headline all by myself. But that was cool. In that regard, I think it worked.”

Construction and Development, is far more specific. It obligates Guilford County Schools, “To pay consultant on a monthly basis as invoiced by Consultant, not to exceed an annual budget of $99,000.00. Consultant’s fee will be calculated at $47.60 an hour, not to exceed $8,250 per month from October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011, or the annual budgeted allocation of $99,000.00.” LaRowe was promoted to COO to replace former COO Leo Bobadilla in September 2010, inheriting the tangle of payment systems and poorly kept records left by his predecessors. He has said that one of the first things he did was to rewrite consulting contracts to make them more specific and financially accountable. The 2010 contract with Imperial Construction and Development seems to demonstrate that change. Despite the change to the contract requiring the consulting fees to be calculated at $47.60 an hour, the invoices from Imperial Construction and Development continued to roll in listing simply the month the work was done and the total amount for the month – almost invariably the $8,250 allowed by (Continued on page 32)

truly idiotic schemes can be maddening to a modern reader, unless you understand that this very trait of hers is the joke, the premise: She’s a girl who “can’t say no,” not because she has any bad desires, but because she doesn’t have any idea what is really being asked of her. She is “the innocence of virginal young womanhood” carried to a marvelously laughable extreme. So well did Austen love this book that she named one of her best nefarious characters, Willoughby, after Sir Clement Willoughby, the man who tries so hard to lead young Evelina astray. To Austen’s readers, who were not unlikely to be familiar with Burney’s best-known novel, the name “Willoughby” would have set off warning bells the moment he appears in Sense and Sensibility – an overtone that modern readers completely miss. But Evelina is more than a scholar’s footnote to the career of Jane Austen. On the contrary, it’s a delightful novel in its own right. No, Burney is no Jane Austen – but neither is anyone else. And I’ll take Burney’s Evelina over, say, George Eliot’s tedious books of trivial philosophy masquerading as novels any day. Meanwhile, I have a plan to produce an audiobook of Evelina, because I think that it will be even more enjoyable if it is read to you than when you read it to yourself. Not many fictional works from 1778 are still enjoyable today – but Evelina definitely belongs on your short list.


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Lawsuit

(Continued from page 1)

The lawsuit was filed in November 2007 and has slowly been working its way through the courts. The suit was filed against The Rhino Times, Jerry Bledsoe, John Hammer and William Hammer for 23 statements in the 92-part Cops in Black & White series by Bledsoe, and one statement in a column by John Hammer. The Rhino Times was represented by Seth Cohen of Smith, James, Rowlett & Cohen. And although the case dragged on for almost

Wrong (Continued from page 1) County see a steady business, the two fields at Southwest Park never see any action. According to county staff, in the three years the park has been open, the fields have been rented out a total of one time for baseball. Youth sports enthusiasts say it’s a shame because there’s a need for playable baseball fields in that part of Guilford County. One major problem with the fields is that the infield is cut for high school baseball. The fields are set-up to have bases 90 feet apart – the right distance for high school and Major League Baseball – however no high school team would want to play there because, while the infield is the right size for high school baseball, the fence is set up for Little League. So high schoolers or older players, who would find the infield the correct size, would consistently knock the ball out of the park. Though that might be fun for batters,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Page 31

five years, Cohen won every time we went to court. It was an unusual case in many respects, with a trip to the Court of Appeals and testimony in court before discovery. On Wednesday, July 25, Cohen said, “We are thrilled that this case is finally over after nearly five years. The fact that The Rhino Times never lost one motion in the trial court and won two cases at the Court of Appeals fully vindicates Jerry Bledsoe, John Hammer and the newspaper. It is a much deserved victory for hard hitting investigative journalism.”

In March 2011, North Carolina Superior Court Judge Edgar B. Gregory granted a request for summary judgment, which means that in considering the evidence in the most favorable light for the plantiffs, a reasonable jury could not decide in their favor, or, in other words, the plaintiffs don’t have a winnable case. The decision from the Court of Appeals was a strongly worded 33-page unpublished opinion that noted aspects of the case frequently mentioned in The Rhino Times, like the fact that I did not write the statement

for which I was being sued and it never appeared in The Rhino Times. The plaintiffs had inserted their names into a statement I did write and claimed that I wrote the statement about them. It seemed strange to me and to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals opinion states, “the plaintiffs claim that the reference to “police officer’ in the statement implicates them, but this is incorrect.” We thought it was incorrect but it is nice to have three North Carolina Court of Appeals judges agree. And it’s very nice to have the case end.

it makes the fields unusable for competitive baseball at the high school level. Conversely, Little League teams never use the fields because the infield is cut much too large for kids that age. In Little League Baseball, regulation bases are 60 feet apart. The bases at the fields can be moved to various distances. However, if a Little League team played there, the outfielders would be standing in the infield dirt because the infield is too big, extending too far into what should be the outfield. There are other irregularities as well that make the fields unplayable or unappealing for both high school and Little League players. For instance, the distance between home plate and the backstop is too great; the areas for foul balls are out of proportion with the rest of the field, and the concession stand is so far away from the fields – not to mention it’s up a hill – that it’s impractical for use during a baseball game.

In addition, there’s no irrigation system for the fields – even though the park is built on the banks of the Randleman Reservoir – and the grass isn’t the Bermuda grass traditionally used for baseball fields. Berry Bynum, who manages the park, knows a bit about baseball: His son played for the Cincinnati Reds organization. When asked about the strange design of the fields, he acknowledged that the setup doesn’t meet the needs of either Little League players or high schoolers. Bynum said he didn’t know why the fields are the way they are – he said they were that way when he began working at the park three years ago. He said the baselines were cut “pro style,” which would be good for high school games, but he added that high school players would constantly hit the ball over the fence, and sometimes into the Randleman Reservoir. Southwest Park is well used, Bynum

said. He said county residents come out to engage in activities like canoeing, or hiking, as well as for picnics there. Just not for baseball. The fields could be used, and sometimes are, for, say, a family pickup game or a woman’s softball game. However, as they’re now set up, the fields will likely never be rented out for competitive baseball – despite the solid demand for Little League fields. Guilford County Parks Planner Roger Bardsley said that, after a general design for the park was worked out before the park opened, the project was handed over to a civil engineer. Bardsley said that, in hindsight, the fields could have been thought out better. “I suppose we would have done things differently,” he said. Bardsley said the philosophy behind Southwest Park was that it would be geared (Continued on page 37)

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Page 32

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Golf

(Continued from page 4)

Stokesdale were “very underutilized and had been for the last four or five years.” Dubel said Culp offered many employee benefits, matched 401(k) plans, and was working with Guilford Technical Community College to train workers. She said the fabric company paid $139,000 in taxes in 2011, and, she said, the county is experiencing very high unemployment rates. “These jobs are sorely needed in our community,” she said. Dubel added, “This is a competitive process.” And she said Guilford County was in competition with Henry County, Virginia, for the new jobs. Pat Rosser, the director of operations for the home fashions division of Culp, also spoke. He said the company makes mattress covers for a wide variety of mattress makers. “You all sleep on, most likely, our product every night,” Rosser told the commissioners. He said Culp was a good corporate citizen and that the company supports area hospice services, local United Way chapters and other charities. Rosser pointed out that the state had an African-American population of 21.5 percent, while Culp has a work force that was 25 percent African American. Culp officials also brought visual and tactile aids, going into some detail about how mattresses are made. They displayed a section of a mattress and passed some fabric around to the commissioners so they could feel it. Thankfully, company officials did not wheel out a bed and demonstrate how people lie on it at night. When the board discussed the incentives request, several commissioners praised the company and its plan to expand; however Commissioner Carolyn Coleman expressed concerns that there was no way to guarantee the jobs would go to Guilford County residents. Davis managed to somehow use a discussion about mattress cover incentives to slam the sheriff. Davis commented on the diverse nature of the company’s workforce and then he said, “Your diversity makeup is fantastic – our sheriff could really learn from this. The Sheriff’s Department is

not hitting their numbers when it comes to diversity hiring.” Davis also said he hoped the board would approve the move unanimously. When a vote was taken, it wasn’t unanimous, but it was enough votes to give the $82,650 of taxpayer money to the company with net sales of $254 million last year. The request was granted on a 7-to-3 vote with Commissioners Gibson, Winstead and Coleman voting no. At the meeting, the Board of Commissioners gave final approval of about $7.7 million in funding for the Eastern Area

Plan

(Continued from page 8)

court worker said, if she didn’t get a spot from a commissioner then she planned to go ahead and retire. It’s all just part of the new Wild West atmosphere when it comes to parking in downtown Greensboro near the new 1,032bed jail. The new jail is set to open soon (the most recent projection was July 17) and the building has taken away a large swath of parking in that area while simultaneously creating demand for more parking. The new jail, and creating parking for it, has led to a great deal of controversy: the ousting of the city and court workers, the county’s sale of a large 2-acre lot directly across the street from the jail to the YMCA, as well as a new controversy over a proposed plan by Fox to pave the grassy area in front of the Sheriff’s Department headquarters in the Otto Zenke building in downtown Greensboro. Guilford County’s parking policy calls for two groups to be assured of parking – elected judges and elected county officials, which includes the county commissioners. While Guilford County made it a practice, for several decades, to provide parking to many non-elected court workers and city employees, about four months ago city and court workers got notice that they were being thrown out of the lot at the governmental center. Some of those workers had had spaces for nearly 30 years, while others had spent years on a waiting list to get spots and they were finally in line to get one shortly before Fox

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Sewer Plan, a joint project with the City of Greensboro that will extend sewer lines to much of eastern Guilford County in an effort to promote economic development in that area. The commissioners also voted to finally give the City of Greensboro almost $9.4 million that the county has withheld from the city for about two years. In June 2010, the city sent a letter to the county notifying county officials that the city was terminating a decades-old city and county water and sewer agreement, and it has taken over two years for the county to give the city its half of the joint water and sewer fund. For over

a year, Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox wouldn’t even tell city officials how much money was in the fund. At the July 19 meeting, the board also voted to approve sending 40 Guilford County Sheriff’s Department officers to aid the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department with security for the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in Charlotte from Monday, Sept. 3 to Thursday, Sept. 6. The board also scheduled a work session for Thursday, August 9 to discuss several aspects of the county’s jail situation. The next regular meeting of the board will be on Thursday, August 23.

came in and literally reshuffled the deck. When those workers were thrown out, it took away parking from some court workers who have to use their cars during the day for city and court business – to get mail or run other errands. The move also meant a loss of some spaces that had been used for handicapped jurors. It caused other logistical problems for the city and court system as well. Some of those who had their spaces taken away were told the move was being done to create parking for the new jail in downtown Greensboro, but that’s clearly not the case. Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, when asked if his department had been given any of those spots for jail parking, said no. “Not one spot,” Barnes said. He said the move wasn’t discussed with him at all before the letters were sent out. In fact, Barnes said, the first he heard about the change was when The Rhinoceros Times called him asking about the city and court workers being thrown out of the lot. Jones said that all of the spaces in the underground lot, 89 in all, have now been assigned. Court workers and city workers say it adds insult to injury that the spaces are simply going to county workers who were on the waiting list, and the new parking assignments are unrelated to the jail. Craig Turner, a trial court administrator in the Guilford County court system, said that, after decades in the underground lot, many court workers were shocked at the way they were summarily tossed out. When he was told that the spaces weren’t going for use to the new jail – he was clearly surprised. “That’s news to me,” he said. “I had always been told it would be for new employees at the new jail.”

When asked who had told him that, Turner said, “County administration.” He said that, if the spaces aren’t being used for the new jail, but instead only for county workers who were on the waiting list along with many city and court workers, then the move makes even less sense. Yow said Guilford County has created an absolute mess by building a giant new jail in a crowded downtown area with no plans to provide parking for the facility. Yow added that Guilford County botched things further by selling the large two-acre, formerly countyowned, parking lot directly across the street from the new jail, which could have served as a prime site for a new parking deck. Yow was the only no vote Thursday, April 12, when the board voted 8 to 1 to sell the lot to the Kathleen Price Bryan Family YMCA in downtown Greensboro for $2 million – which was just weeks before Fox had the letters sent out telling city and court employees that they would lose their parking spaces. Yow argued that the large lot would have made excellent jail parking and, he said, the board had absolutely no alternate plans for parking for the giant facility when it sold the lot to the YMCA. In the meantime, while all this parking reshuffling is going on, there’s still no parking for the new jail, which is expected to open in a matter of weeks. Barnes said he needs 225 spaces for the jail, and he still doesn’t know of any plan to provide those spaces. He said the jail isn’t open yet but his officers are already being affected by the unpleasant situation. Barnes said that, recently, one morning two officers came to tell him something. (Continued on page 37)

Phantom (Continued from page 32) the October 2010 contract. There are $8,250 invoices for Imperial Construction and Development for October and December of 2010, and for January through June of 2011, the last available when the records request was made. The only change in the paperwork is that the Guilford County Schools “capital outlay” document accompanying the payment checks books the payments to the five, six or seven school construction projects for which there was

land acquisition work at the time, instead of to all 27 projects. There are two atypical payments. One is a Dec. 3, 2010 “direct payment” for $8,250 signed by Ozment. Direct payments are payments for which there is no purchase order but which must be paid quickly. The other is a purchase order and purchase requisition for $57,750 for a payment to Imperial Construction and Development. The purchase requisition is for “2008 bond projects,” of which the accompanying (Continued on page 36)


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Page 33

Thursday, July 26, 2012

To Place A Classified: Call: Melissa (336) 544-1952 Call

Buy • Sell • Jobs Pets • Autos • Antiques

Email melissa@rhinotimes.net Email: Online: www.rhinotimes.com Fax: (336) 273-0821 Deadline: Friday by 5pm We Accept: Cash, Money Order, Check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express & Discover

Advertise Your Services or Products Here

Put Your Ad in front of 166,500 Rhino Readers Our Policy

Antique Center

Review your ad the first week it runs. If you notice an error, please call the Classified Department at 544-1952. We cannot be responsible for errors reported after the first week of publication. Liability shall not exceed the cost of that portion of space occupied by such an error. We make every effort to print only those ads deemed credible and reserve the right to correctly classify and edit copy and reject or cancel any advertisement at any time. Early cancellation or withdrawal of ads does not entitle the purchaser to a discount or refund.

(at Antiques & Interiors) 641 W. Ward Ave., High Point NC 27260 Mon-Sat. 10am-5pm • (336) 885-6255 40+ Dealers: Antique Furniture, Decorative Items, Vintage Items, Tools, Jewelry, Oak Furniture and Much More

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ANTIQUES/ COLLECTIBLES Visit the Antique Center at Antiques & Interiors in High Point. 641 W. Ward Ave. Open Mon-Sat. 10 am – 5pm. 336-885-6255. 40+ dealers: Antiques furniture, decorative items, vintage items, tools, jewelry, oak furniture and much more. See ad in this section for discount offer.

MISCELLANEOUS MATTRESS SETS CushionTops – Twin $125, Full $150, Queen $175, King $295 (336-852-0090) ~~ Everyone In Town Knows for the BEST PRICE on a NEW MATTRESS SET, You Have to Visit WHOLESALE BEDDING. Call 336-852-0090 or wholesalebedsdirect.com

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Page 34

Thursday, July 26, 2012

3 Easy Ways to Place Your Ad: Call Melissa @ 336-544-1952 Fax: 336-273-0821 Email: melissa@rhinotimes.net

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

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HELP WANTED Now Hiring Canvassing Positions People with experienced canvassing only need apply. Approx. 12 to 24 hours/week. Up to $12/hour plus bonus. To set up an interview please call Stacy at: 336 218 0798 You may also fax your resume to 336 323 6723 or email to salbe@stonemor.com STYLISTS NEEDED Zaj Hair Studio, a new boutique salon near downtown Greensboro, is hiring 3 stylists. Booth rent or Commission. Experience a plus. Please call owner Michael Zajkowski for details. 336-698-4400. Zaj Hair Studio is located at 510-C N. Church Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.

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BUSINESS SERVICES Small Business Services. Tax Preparation. Work done at your office or mine. Lynn Grigni, CPA. 336285-6717. 327 Air Harbor Rd, Greensboro. License 14804 TRIAD ENGRAVING & PRINTING: Signs, Banners, Rubber Stamps, Awards, Trophies, Printing; 1110 Grecade Street, Greensboro, NC 336-856-2311; www.triadep.com.

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ACCOUNTING/TAX SERVICES PERSONALIZED ACCOUNTING, CORP Offering Accounting, Tax and Bookkeeping Services to companies and individuals Such as sending letters/sending invoices/ meeting set ups/etc…. For questions and quotes contact: Bunny Shell (owner) @ 336-681-4563 Small Business Services. Tax Preparation. Work done at your office or mine. Lynn Grigni, CPA. 336285-6717. 327 Air Harbor Rd, Greensboro. License 14804

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Contract

(Continued from page 1)

and award the 10-year recycling contract to ReCommunity, which is what Wyrick wanted to do back in March. Councilmembers Zack Matheny and Trudy Wade had some questions about the proposals, and Matheny said he was not ready to vote or indicate that he wanted to award the contract to ReCommunity. Traditionally, binding votes are not taken at work sessions, but often straw votes to indicate the will of the council are, and they count just about as much as a real vote. Matheny said after the meeting that the proposals were complex and he wanted to have a chance to look at some of the analysis that was done by none other than Joe Readling of HDR Engineering. Recently Readling complicated the city’s 2012 garbage RFP process when he advised the council to throw out the low bid from Waste Connections in favor of the city’s current vendor, Republic Services, a move that would cost the city around a million dollars a year more. When The Rhino Times revealed that HDR had numerous contracts with Republic and none with Waste Connections, the council voted to

Thursday, July 26, 2012

hire another consulting firm to review the solid waste proposals and put off awarding the contract for three months. Everyone knows it is nearly impossible for a government employee to be fired, but who knew the city would keep using the same consultant when his work had caused in embarrassing and expensive results. Perkins said ReCommunity was the recommendation of staff and the council should award the 10-year contract to ReCommunity. However, Wyrick had recommended to the council back in March, before the RFP, that the city accept the proposal from ReCommunity and it was for a payment to the city of $20 a ton for its recycling. Since ReCommunity had to go through the RFP process and had competition, that payment to the city rose to between $29 and $31 a ton. That would be an increase of about 50 percent. In other words, ReCommunity back in March planned to rip the city off like it has been doing for years. If Perkins believes the city should take the staff recommendation just because the staff is recommending it, why not go back and take that $20 a ton price and give ReCommunity even more money. For years

Page 35

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not accurately represented by Readling. Peverall said the figures Readling used for transportation were not favorable to Waste Management. He said Readling used 13 tons per trailer to figure the transportation costs and that Waste Management gets 18 to 20 tons in a trailer. Peverall said that could be a “reasonable error” but that Waste Management was surprised that they were never invited to the table to discuss just that kind of issue or actually to discuss anything. Joseph said there were a couple of email volleys but no face-to-face meeting about what they were proposing. One point that Joseph made that he said didn’t appear to be considered in the calculation is that the amount of material that cannot be recycled at the Waste Management facility is projected to be between 6 percent and 8 percent while the amount that was not recycled by ReCommunity was in the 26 to 28 percent range. Joseph said those are amazingly high figures, and the city doesn’t get paid for the material that is not recycled. So the city stands to make more money from a company that is recycling 94 percent of the material it receives compared (Continued on page 36)

while other cities made a profit on their recycling programs Greensboro has paid ReCommunity to recycle its waste. According to Readling, last year the city paid ReCommunity $165,000 for recycling. If the contract that the staff recommended is approved then the city, instead of paying $165,000, would make a profit of over $800,000. So it’s a difference of about $1 million for the city, which is good news. The bad news is that the contract with ReCommunity goes back to 1998, which means that for years the city has been paying when it should have been profiting. And the City Council apparently wants to keep doing business with these same people. Waste Management, the country’s largest waste management company, has a brand new recycling facility in Winston-Salem and also submitted a recycling proposal. But according to Readling, the deal from ReCommunity was more beneficial for the city. On Wednesday, July 25, both Stan Joseph and Greg Peverall of Waste Management said they were surprised that they didn’t get to sit down and discuss their proposal with the city and go over some of the issues. They also said they felt their proposal was

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PAGE36CJ16 Page

July 26, 2012 PThursday, arting SHot

JUNE 2012 | CAROLINA JOURNAL The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Contract Dalton Staying Far Away From Airplanes in Campaign (a CJ Parody)

Greensboro has probably lost millions ready sites, and we haven’t quite gotten former Councilmember Bob Mays and Mac of dollars because, in 1998, the city there yet,” Matheny said, suggesting that Sims from East Market Street Development the land around the to percent, even if the amount per ton is signed a ridiculous 15-year contract with buying up large tracts of land could By74 RiCk n. BaCheR get facilitate anyone toCorp. lendabout you developing planes, which has historilandfill. Much of the land the city owns such projects. Perkins noted the city would FCR, which became ReCommunity, in an lower. Aviation Correspondent cally been the cause of many problems for my fellow no industry in that area was acquired for buffer and to that is evolving every day. So now not get its money back becauseDemocrats.” Joseph said that although Republic industry RALEIGH would be willing to buy land from the city. provide fill dirt and has never been used as the recommendation for the council is not Servicesemocrat did not bid on the recycling contract, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, hoping Dalton’s plane phobia will not end if he is city to give a landfill. Mays told them with the outer accept a beneficial five-year contract but He said they would expect theelected, Republictoisavoid one ofthe Waste Management’s air travel problemstothat have the lieutenant governor says. “When I beloop going right past it was prime land for to commit Greensboro to a 10-year contract them the land as an economic incentive. biggest caused competitors, and trouble the company so much for Democratic govcome governor I will use the state jet and helicopter development. Perkins said the major companies located because ReCommunity needs a long-term certainly wants to keep Waste Management ernors Bev Perdue and Mike Easley, says he has no for official business, but that’s about it, unless I buy in areas because of personal relationships, contract to upgrade its facility. out of Greensboro, so the previous possible plans to go anywhere near an airplane during his a second home in New Bern or Southport,” he said. ReCommunity is the same company not land. conflict of interest that worried the council campaign for governor. “Of course, Wade suggested to Matheny that then I would be entitled to fly at taxpayer thatcars, backand in March offered to pay the city is still “We there.will use and pay for buses, trains, expense I claim to be working, just like Eaby 50 going percenttoless for its recyclables than it development could also be fostered provided Readling toldand the council something vans, even also ATVs bicycles, but we are sley did.” lowering taxes and water rates, thereby offered in July. that not accurate about machines,” the length of the staywas away from flying he told Carolina (Continued page 2) caused travails of Perdue and from Easley have more if the majority on the City Council making operating in Greensboro The contract. the contract beingin this Even Journal. “IReadling just see said no upside to flying state.” concern in thepurchase aviation industry order lists 27.in North Carolina. considered was for 10 years. The said RFP he askshas does The lieutenant governor somewhat staff-Perkins wants them to do and profitable for small businesses. Flightspend miles areThe down drastically, affecting pilots, purchase requisition is signed by Matheny said the city should gives the contract to ReCommunity, the for proposals on contracts from five to 10 ers who have urged him to continue the questionable fuel suppliers, mechanics, and general aviation pretLaRowe and Guilford County Schools $10 million on buying and developing a city should send a thank you letter to years. airplane-usage policies of Easley and Perdue because ty much stateside. Director of Facilities Planning Donna Bell, the $10 said that bid Waste Management for getting the city that site. Wade said, “Instead of taking he Readling could probably getReCommunity away with them. “Several representatives of the private flight inand is assigned to the Planning Department, million and spending it, just reduce taxes additional $10 a ton. 10 years because it will need to upgrade “My staff says that since nobody in North Cardustry have already suggested to me that some relief which is part of the Facilities Department. and water rates and everyone will want to The other companies submitting its facility and needs a 10-year contract to olina knows what I look like, I could easily cadge must be provided for this ailing industry,” Dalton The purchase requisition states that it covers move to Greensboro because we will have proposals were Sonoco Recycling and pay for it. Why the city is concerned about flights from rich contributors without anyone knowseven months of for work, from Dec.especially 1, 2010 to the lowest rates.” said. “These are hard times everyone, Tidewater Fiber Corporation. how for the upgrade to I told ing,”ReCommunity he said. “But pays that would be wrong, them.” June 30, 2011. At the end of the meeting Perkins once All the councilmembers except Dianne its facility is hard to imagine, but evidently owners of private jets who must pay expenses even In 2009 the State Board of Elections issued a The purchase requisition has a line again got Matheny’s goat by when announcing Bellamy-Small according to to theEasley’s presentation yesterday their planes sit on the tarmac.” $100,000 fine campaign committee for his were present. for “Indicate reason quotes are U.S. not that he had had some ideas for a bar and The meeting included an update on the Greensboro needs to help ReCommunity Dalton said he will work withifDemocratic unreported use of private aircraft. Then an investigadocumented.” restaurant ordinance and had given the capital investment program (CIP), which is upgrade their facility. Another way to look Sen. Kay Hagan to obtain stimulus funds or some tion by a state prosecutor resulted in Easley pleading That linegrants bears from only the the federal signature of ShahforAs future capital improvements that information to City Attorney Mujeeb at it is to that ReCommunity could upgrade a plan other business-stimulus govguilty a felony related to an unreported flight. former Guilford County Schools Director Khan to see if anything could beernment. done. are generally large construction projects that its facility with the excessive profits it has a result of the felony, the North Carolina State Bar of let Purchasing John Mannvibrant Jr. Matheny said, “I’d like to talk to youcan’t can be funded with bonds. made by doing businesslaw with Greensboro. “We such a formerly industry suspended Easley’s license for two years. Mann’s signature is dated Dec. 7, made 2010, about it because I’ve only been working on During the discussion, Matheny Joseph said that Waste Management had go into the dumper just because the media has In 2010 the elections board issued a $30,000 Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who has eschewed air travel for but is accompanied by no indication as to it for two or three years.” buy land and prepare it for just completed a new recycling facility in advocated the city fine to Perdue’s campaign committee for unreported his gubernatorial campaign, heads out to a campaign it difficult, if not impossible, for politicians to misuse why any quotes were not documented. Perkins responded, “I started working Making it “shovel Winston-Salem and didn’t need Greensboro industrial development. airplanes,“ Dalton said. flights. Two campaign supporters have been indicted event recently. (CJ spoof photo) Richard Taylor said he could not and to help pay for it. He also said that Waste ready” is the term that is used, which means on it yesterday, gave it to Mujeeb today In the meantime, Dalton says he has staffers for felonies related to unreported flights, and one of ground. He was the victor in the May Democratic comment on his, his wife’s or his company’s Management submitted a bid for a five-year getting the infrastructure in place and doing I’m telling you about it this afternoon.” researching a good locatioin where unused private them is scheduled for trial on June 11. Party primary election for governor without having Before the meeting Councilmembers Jim relationship with Guilford County Schools contract because that seemed to make more preliminary site preparation. jets can be mothballed, at least until everyone quits Dalton’s campaign finance reports already ever left terra firma. “Every consultant we’ve had over the last Kee, Nancy Hoffmann and Yvonne Johnson because of confidentiality clauses in the sense considering Greensboro’s current show he can win an election by staying on the paying attention to how they’re used. CJ “If you don’t fly,” he met said,in“you don’t have to contracts. the plaza level conference room with seven years has said we need to get shovelsituation. (Continued from page 35)

D

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Wrong

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Page 37

– especially in Midwestern states – this type of setup is popular. “If we were in the Midwest, it would be crowded,” he said. Moving the park to somewhere in the Midwest, however, would by all accounts be prohibitively expensive. Bardsley said that, in recent years, in this part of the country, there had been a move toward youth soccer and lacrosse and away from baseball, so the county’s emphasis hadn’t been on youth baseball fields. “Softball and baseball – we’re waiting for them to come back around,” Bardsley said.

The good news is that most of the problems with the fields at the park could be fixed with little expense. Bardsley said the county would certainly be amenable to making changes in the fields especially if a Little League team or youth league expressed an interest in consistently using the parks for games. The base rate for the baseball fields is $75 per day per field, though there could be additional costs – for instance, if large crowds required additional park staff for an event. Those prices are much lower than private fields, which do quite a bit of business – the ---

or Droids, and when I tell them they can get their phone repaired at Cellular Sales, they always seem surprised. So I thought I would tell a bunch of people all at once. You can stop by Cellular Sales at 1603 Westover Terrace, or call Kris Witherspoon at (336) 209-4260 to make an appointment.

The Wyndham Championship will be filling the Sedgefield golf course with folks who really know how to play the game starting on Monday, August 13, with the tournament itself starting Thursday, August 16. The Wyndham has been getting better every year since they moved it to Sedgefield, and this year they have all new greens that should make the course more difficult.

---

---

Speaking of technology, some advances in technology are great. I keep seeing Mayor Robbie Perkins rolling around city hall on his scooter because he had ankle surgery, and it looks like fun. I’ve spent a few weeks on crutches myself and I know there is just not much that’s fun about crutches. But Perkins really seems to be enjoying his scooter.

From Monday, July 30 through Saturday, August 4, High Point Antique, Art and Design Center is honoring Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department and other county employees with a $1,000 giveaway. These folks can stop by the store at 641 W. Ward Ave. to enter before the drawing on Saturday at 4 p.m. For information, call (336) 885-6255.

(Continued from page 31) more toward family activities rather than events such as Little League games, which in many cases would require more parking than the park has available. Bardsley also said there were three shelters that overlook the two baseball fields, and the hope was that people would rent the fields for friendly baseball games or, say, for family events that involved some low-key ball games. “It didn’t work out that way,” he said. He said that, in other parts of the country

Rumors

(Continued from page 1)

---

Witnesses are being sought for a hit and run at the railroad tracks at the intersection of West Lee and South Eugene streets on Sunday, July 22 between 4:30 and 5 p.m. The vehicle in question is a white older model four-door driven by a female,

Plan (Continued from page 32) “The two officers had gotten parking tickets,” Barnes said. Barnes said his officers have to pay parking fines like everyone else. “It’s their civic duty,” the sheriff said. According to Barnes, his officers are required to keep him informed of any issues that come up, and, he said, if they get speeding tickets or other traffic tickets, they

fields at Southwest Park don’t draw baseball games because of the design problems. Proehlific Park, a private sports facility in Greensboro, for instance, gets a good deal of use from its youth baseball fields at a cost of $750 for three fields for a two-day weekend rental package. Currently, Guilford County has no staff to run its seven parks. The county outsources the work to Greensboro, Burlington, Forsyth County, Jamestown and Gibsonville. Though Southwest Park is owned by Guilford County, it’s managed and maintained by Gibsonville.

possibly a Buick or Mercury, and has a shattered windshield. It hit a grey Cadillac CTS and fled the scene. If you have any information, please call the Police Traffic Division at (336) 373-2216 and provide case number 20120722206. ---

could be in trouble. However, Barnes said, they don’t get in trouble for parking tickets – which is a good thing since Sheriff’s Department employees are likely to see more and more of those as the new jail becomes operational. Barnes said the parking problem in the area around the jail and Old Court House will only get worse. “It will be more hectic once the new jail opens,” Barnes said.


Page 38

Thursday, July 26, 2012

People seem to forget that the government we have today is the result of over 60 years of Democratic rule in Washington. Republicans have elected presidents and have controlled Congress for brief periods, but overall since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1932 the Democrats have called Washington home. So if the Republicans who already control the House could win the Senate and the White House, there would be a chance to fold back some of the Democratic work of the last 70 years. All the Republicans have been able to do by controlling a portion of the government is block the exponential growth of government, although sometimes that didn’t work. At times Republican presidents compromised to get what they wanted and government grew even faster. If the Republicans can quit being the stupid party long enough to win the presidency, maintain control in the House and pick up four seats in the Senate, then not only can they do something about Obamacare but also about the direction government has taken. Who would have thought even 10 years ago that the federal government would have a program to supply cell phones to people. Is a cell phone an essential need like nourishment and shelter? There is probably a federal program that provides Starbucks cards because, certainly, the ability to drink outrageously expensive coffee is a fundamental right of every American.

The Republicans are not going to be able to stop the unfettered growth of government overnight, but if they can win in November they should be able to immediately slow the rate of growth, and then, if they can win again, start cutting. The rule has been that the federal government has to be larger and more powerful every year. It would be so refreshing for the federal government to be reduced to the size it was 20 years ago.

,,, When President Barack Hussein Obama said, “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” and other statements to the effect that business owners are not responsible for their own success but owe their success to the government, he indicated not just how out of touch he is with the American people, but how out of touch his campaign is with Main Street America. From Obama’s actions it’s evident that he believes his statement to be true, but there are all kinds of things that candidates believe that their campaign staffs don’t let them say in public. The fact that Obama went out and made a statement that 72 percent of Americans disagree with on something as important as small business success is another indication that the Obama campaign of 2008 that could do no wrong is long gone. In fact it appears this campaign is just as bumbling as the Republican presidential campaign was last time around. An indication of just how stupid Obama

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and his campaign think the American people are was revealed in an Obama campaign commercial that stated that Obama didn’t say what Romney quoted him as saying. But the Obama commercial used the video of Obama saying exactly word for word what Romney had quoted. So Romney put out a commercial that didn’t quote the words but simply replayed the video of Obama’s speech. Obama said it. It appears that everything is upside down this time. Even for those who support Obama, for him to run a commercial that states that Romney misquoted him, and include in that a video of Obama saying exactly what Romney had quoted him as saying, should be troubling. It is the old – Don’t believe what you hear with your own ears; believe what I tell you to believe. The bumbling Obama campaign has since then tried to parse what Obama was saying to mean that small business owners didn’t build the bridges and roads that they use, not that they didn’t succeed because of hard work and their own initiative. But once again the videotape defeats them because, if you listen to that entire portion of the speech, it is obvious that what Obama is saying is that people who are successful don’t owe their success to hard work or being smart but to the government that helped them get where they are. It is certainly true that we all use government roads and bridges, but all of the folks who use those roads and bridges do not have successful business. It also seems to be true that Obama doesn’t care much for small businesses. You can’t say the same about big corporations, who employ his buddies in the labor unions. Without the big corporations the labor unions wouldn’t exist, so Obama understands the purpose of big corporations. Also he gets some major donations from corporate headquarters. But small businesses don’t generally hire union workers except when they are required to by law. Why would anyone hire union workers if they weren’t required to? It is expensive and an enormous headache. Everything about the employment process is made more difficult, as well as many aspects of just working with somebody.

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When there is a plane crash and hundreds of people are killed, or when there is a horrific traffic accident involving multiple cars and many deaths, liberals don’t get out and protest saying planes should be outlawed or, because vehicles still cause over 30,000 deaths every year in the US, they should be outlawed. But when people are killed in shooting then there is a huge hue and cry from the left that guns need to be outlawed. The massacres at Columbine and now Aurora, Colorado, both happened in gunfree zones, which means the killers could be relatively sure they were the only ones around with guns. At the beginning of what could have been a similar massacre at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. In January 2002, after two law professors and four student had been shot by a former student, two students ran to their cars and

By John Hammer got their legally possessed firearms and put a stop to the shooting rampage. Three of those who were shot died. The CNN article on the event does not mention that the students who stopped the shooter were armed, but only says that “three students grabbed and subdued him.” The only reason they could subdue him was because two of the three students were armed and told the shooter to drop his gun, which he did. But liberals are so against honest, law-abiding Americans carrying guns that CNN completely left that critical detail out of the story. If one person in the movie theater had had a concealed carry weapon and had fired back, the story might have had a different ending. Criminals are going to have guns regardless of the laws or penalties for possessing them. The question is whether society wants law-abiding citizens to have guns also. So far in our 236 years of existence the right of the people to bear arms has been maintained.

,,, Tracking polls don’t matter that much right now, but it is very interesting that Obama’s approval rating is still trending down and that polls show Romney and Obama in a statistical dead heat. Right now Obama has a huge advantage in that he is president of the United States and Romney is just a guy from Massachusetts. After the conventions each will be the candidate of their respective party, but Romney isn’t yet. He is just the person who everyone assumes will be the Republican nominee. Obama is the president, no assumption or qualifiers are necessary. It is incredible that Romney, before he is even the candidate, can outpoll Obama, the sitting president. It should have taken a lot of time and much more money for Romney to get where he is now. But so far his campaign has run circles around the Obama campaign, which is surprising since the Obama campaign four years ago was so good.

,,, It’s funny, you can tell where people get their news by how important they think it is for Romney to release his income tax returns. Evidently, it is the top story on MSNBC, but not so big on Fox News. It is incredible that the left wing of the mainstream media is up in arms about not having all of Romney’s tax returns but aren’t bothered at all about not knowing much about President Obama. When Obama ran for president he refused to release his birth certificate and the mainstream media were OK with that. Even though you have to produce a copy of your birth certificate to play Little League Baseball or other youth sports, the liberals didn’t think Obama should have to produce one to be president. And what about that first thing the campaign released which everyone now seems in agreement was not Obama’s birth certificate, because his birth certificate is what he released after Donald Trump got interested in it and sent folks to Hawaii to see what they could find out.


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Page 39

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