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The Rhinoceros Times


Vol. XXII No. 5

© Copyright 2012 The Rhinoceros Times

Greensboro, North Carolina

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Council Keeping Public In Dark by john hammer editor

So much for transparency and openness by the new Greensboro City Council. By a 5-to-4 margin the City Council voted to keep the city manager hiring process secret right up until the end at a special called meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the Plaza Level Conference Room. The majority voted not to

Photo by John Hammer

Pat McCrory, who grew up in Jamestown, made the long-expected announcement that he is going to run for the Republican nomination for governor at the Shrine Club on High Point Road Tuesday night before a standing-room-only crowd. See story on page 4

NAACP Standing Up For District 6 Voters by Scott D. Yost county editor

President Pro Tem of the NC Senate Phil Berger said this week that the NC General Assembly will not change the structure of the redistricted Guilford County Board of Commissioners because there is nothing to fix. However, on Tuesday, Jan. 31, it became clear the Greensboro and the Guilford County NAACP do not agree with Berger because

Inside this issue

High Point News......... 1,7 Entertainment Guide.....11 Uncle Orson Reviews... 12 Puzzles................... 13,34 Scott’s Night Out.......... 14 Yost Column................ 14 Rhino Real Estate........ 17 Letters to the Editor..... 25 Comics......................... 28 under the hammer....... 39

an attorney for those groups sent a letter of intent to file a lawsuit over the structure of the board to the NC Attorney General’s Office. The lawsuit hasn’t been filed yet, but a copy of the lawsuit was sent to the Attorney General’s Office on Jan. 31, and a letter sent with the document states that the Guilford County Branch of the NAACP and individual voters in Guilford County are bringing suit

Rhino Rumors From staff and wire reports

It’s Groundhog Day, the only holiday of the year that is named after a movie. Think about it, The Wizard of Oz, The Philadelphia Story, Singin’ in the Rain, Gone With the Wind, A Bridge Too Far, Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now, The Sound of Music, The Godfather,

on the grounds that the new Board of Commissioners structure fails to provide representation for about 43,000 people in Guilford County. The letter signed by attorney Anita Earls states, “As you know, the law will result in a two year period during which there will be some voters in the county who will have no elected representative on the Board and some voters who (Continued on page 32)

have any public participation in the selection process, and if all goes according to plan the people of Greensboro will find out who their new city manager is after he or she signs a contract, or maybe on his or her first day of work. After the vote Mayor Robbie Perkins said, “OK, close it up.” Councilmember Trudy Wade (Continued on page 30)

Miracle Ending Now In Doubt by paul C. clark Staff Writer

HIGH POINT – High Point leaders won’t be happy if the Guilford County Board of Education tries to hang onto 10 acres next to the High Point Athletic Complex and Miracle Field for children with disabilities. School board member and Miracle Field prime mover Ed Price in November asked the school board to sell or give the 10

acres to the City of High Point to expand the Miracle Field, in order to add more parking, new fields and other amenities. The land is part of more than 100 acres the school board once owned next to Simeon Stadium, which is now owned by Guilford County Schools but was built by the old High Point school system. High Point uses Simeon Stadium, (Continued on page 7)

none of those have their own holidays, but Groundhog Day does. And since that movie came out in 1993, people all over the country have been disturbing groundhogs on Groundhog Day and watching their reaction. --Speaking of Groundhog Day, if you would like to see the movie that got this all started, it is showing twice at the Carolina Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 2, Groundhog Day, at 7:30 pm. and (Continued on page 9)

Photo by Sandy Groover

It’s hard to believe considering the spring weather but this young lady is enjoying sledding in downtown Greensboro on Friday evening. Three tons of snow was blown into Festival Park next to the ice rink, and that may be the only snow we see in Greensboro this year.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

GOP Excited About McCrory Candidacy by john hammer editor

Give Her a Special Gift this Valentine’s Day

Pat McCrory has been running for governor since 2008. He took a brief break after he narrowly lost the November 2008 election to Gov. Beverly Perdue, but he has spent the past three years speaking all over the state, so it was no surprise when he made it official by announcing that he was indeed running for governor of North Carolina at the Shrine Club on High Point Road on Tuesday, Jan. 31 in front of about 500 enthusiastic supporters. McCrory entered the room to the song “We Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who and that was the theme of his speech. He noted that he was endorsed by every major newspaper in North Carolina in 2008 and that it looked like he would win up until the final days of the campaign. McCrory got caught up in the overwhelming Democratic voter turnout for President Barack Hussein Obama. It was just a tough year for statewide Republicans to win. McCrory isn’t likely to have the same problem this year. McCrory made the announcement here because he is a native of Jamestown and a graduate of Ragsdale High School. McCrory was elected mayor of Charlotte in 1995, and at 39 became Charlotte’s youngest mayor. He served until 2009, winning reelection one year with 78 percent of the vote. He was a popular mayor and during his time in office Charlotte had tremendous growth. In making his announcement on Tuesday McCrory said, “We have already taken the first step – the current governor will not be reelected.” Perdue announced last week that she would not be running for reelection. Although McCrory made his political name in Charlotte, he says he is still a Jamestown boy and that he wants to take the values he learned growing up in

Jamestown to Raleigh. Sheriff BJ Barnes was the master of ceremonies for the event, and noting that there were far too many elected officials in the crowd to introduce them all he asked elected officials to raise their hands. Greensboro attorney Marshall Hurley was one of the warm-up speakers he admitted that he lost the race for school president at Ragsdale to McCrory. Ruth Revels, another well-known Republican, who taught McCrory, spoke about having him in her class. It’s hard to get Republicans up on their feet cheering, but McCrory had this crowd on its feet several times. Republicans expressed confidence that McCrory can win the governor’s race, and even more confidence now that the incumbent Perdue has stepped aside. The last time North Carolinians elected a Republican governor was in 1988, when Jim Martin won a second four-year term. So it has been nearly 20 years since there was a Republican governor in Raleigh. The huge difference between now and 20 years ago is, if McCrory can win, it is almost a certainty that the Republicans will maintain control of the North Carolina state House and state Senate. That means for the first time in over 100 years the Republicans would actually control the government in Raleigh. A lot of dead wood can collect in 100 years. The difference that having a Republican governor will make in Raleigh is obvious. Perdue has vetoed 16 bills that passed the Republican state House and state Senate. It is not likely that McCrory would have vetoed any of those bills. According to McCrory, having a governor who is working with the legislature instead of against it will help pull North Carolina out of the economic slump that currently has 450,000 North Carolinians out of work.

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 5

County Forced To Make An Insane Deal by Scott D. Yost county editor

After months of negotiations, Guilford County mental health officials have come to an agreement in principle with Sandhills Center, the Moore County-based mental health management group that is taking over Guilford County’s mental health services this year. The agreement still has to be approved by the Guilford Center Board, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and every board of commissioners governing the eight counties that are members of Sandhills Center. However, all of those boards are expected to approve the new agreement, which has been worked out after extended negotiations. On the Guilford County side, the talks were headed up by Guilford Center Director Anthony Ward, Chairman of the Guilford Center Board Bert Davis and Commissioner Paul Gibson, who serves as the Board of Commissioners’ liaison to the Guilford Center Board. Sandhills Center is a public mental health collective, or local management entity (LME), that currently oversees mental health services administration for eight counties that are much smaller than Guilford County – Anson, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph and Richmond counties. With the addition of Guilford County, Sandhills will become a nine-member group, with Guilford County as by far the

largest member. The agreement means an end to the Guilford Center, the county department that has provided public mental health care for Guilford County for decades. The Guilford Center will turn all of its operations over to Sandhills. Guilford County will have six seats on the new 30-seat Sandhills board. County mental health officials had been hoping to get eight seats, and some sources said that, initially, Sandhills only wanted to give Guilford County four – so, six seats, like much of the deal, is a compromise in the eyes of Guilford County officials. At several points in the negotiations, representatives of Guilford County called anything less than six representatives on the Sandhills Center board a “deal-breaker.” Six seats on the board will still mean Guilford County has more seats than any other county in the collective. The Sandhills board currently consists of 26 members. By state law, a board of that type can have a maximum of 30 members. Randolph County, which currently has five seats on the Sandhills board, agreed to give up two seats to help the LME strike a deal. Guilford County has been limited in its options because Guilford Center officials were informed on April 1, 2011 that the state had a new and accelerated timeline for transitioning mental health services, and the state made it clear at that time that counties across the state would be forced to merge

into larger mental health administrative entities faster than previously expected. The state requires all of its counties, with the exception of the two largest, Wake and Mecklenburg counties, to merge into larger groups for the management of mental health funds, on the theory that the resulting economies of scale will provide savings in the administration of services. If Guilford County had been more active in fighting the move several years ago, it is likely the county, as the third largest in the state, could have also gotten an exemption in the law. However, one state representative, John Blust, said last year he was not told of the situation by county officials at all – instead, Blust said, he read about the required mergers first in the newspapers. Guilford County now expects to transition all of its clinical mental health services to private providers in March and April of this year. The administrative functions, which are also currently carried out by the Guilford Center, will be handed over to Sandhills later in the year and that merger will officially take place on Jan. 1, 2013. The agreement calls for Guilford County to continue funding its mental health operations at current levels, about $10.6 million annually, and Sandhills will manage those funds. As part of the deal, Sandhills will maintain a significant local presence in Guilford County, keeping about 60 to 80 employees who will work in Greensboro

and High Point. It’s expected that many current Guilford Center employees will find work with Sandhills since the nine-county LME will need administrators to oversee services in its largest member county, and since those employees already know the job and have familiarity with the clients. Many of those workers also are even likely to continue working in the same buildings: The agreement calls for Guilford County to provide office space for Sandhills workers for the next five years. Sandhills’ preference is for Guilford County to provide space for five years in the Bellemeade building at 201 N. Eugene St. in downtown Greensboro and at the county’s mental health offices at 211 S. Centennial St. in High Point, where the Guilford Center now has its Greensboro and High Point work force. Guilford County, according to the agreement, will donate to Sandhills, for three years, use of the Bellemeade building and the county facility in downtown High Point. County officials have said they would agree to providing an additional two years of space in buildings of the county’s choosing. That would allow Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox some flexibility in the fate of the Bellemeade building, which some say Fox is looking to sell once the Guilford Center services are divested and, hopefully, the real estate market picks up. (Continued on page 32)

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Misnomered Buildings Could Be Deadly by Scott D. Yost county editor

Guilford County is facing a projected tax increase of 9.5 cents per $100 of property value in the next budget as well as skyrocketing debt, while the county’s sales tax revenues continue to falter, and Guilford County is now holding a series of giant summits consisting of a great many top-ranking officials drawn from just about every county department – with the purpose of finding the best names for the county’s buildings and meeting rooms. The phrase “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” comes to mind, and the whole idea would be a little more comical if it hadn’t become evident at a Monday, Jan. 23 Guilford County Building Naming Committee meeting that the new effort might not just cost the county time and money, it could even lead to the deaths of Guilford County citizens. That revelation came about halfway through the two-hour committee meeting, chaired by Commissioner Kay Cashion, when that committee was discussing the

best potential new names for the county’s Emergency Services buildings, including the Emergency Services bases. It turns out that the names given the buildings by Guilford County Emergency Services Director Alan Perdue and his staff are extremely drab and needed some sprucing up, according to some of the 20 top county officials who gathered in the Blue Room of the Old Guilford County Court House to give new names to about 30 or so county buildings. Perdue’s emergency bases have repetitive and boring names like “Emergency Base 1,” “Emergency Base 2,” “Emergency Base 3” and so on, and they are a perfect example of how the county’s building names need to be made more exciting. The committee discussed giving those emergency bases more interesting names – perhaps naming them after some former county leader or historical figure. For instance, Emergency Base 1 could become the John Coltrane/Edward R. Murrow Memorial Emergency Services Base. However, Perdue was clearly worried that

names other than Base 1, Base 2, etc., might lead to confusion in a life and death service where every second counts and where confusion can result in unnecessary death. At the meeting, among others, were Perdue (who makes $108,000 a year), Social Services Division Director Myra Thompson ($91,000), Guilford Center Director Anthony Ward ($110,000), interim Property Management Director Sandy Woodard ($72,000), Facilities Director Fred Jones ($100,000), Sheriff’s Department Major Debbie Montgomery ($95,000), Information Services Director Barbara Weaver ($146,000), Assistant County Manager Sharisse Fuller ($163,000), Health Director Merle Green ($152,000) and Guilford County Manager Brenda Jones Fox ($183,000). Commissioners Paul Gibson, John Parks and Cashion were also at the meeting. Their income isn’t public record, but all of them make $20,700 a year as county commissioners, on top of whatever they pull down in their private sector occupations.

That was the group that might end up getting county residents killed, namely by creating confusion for the Emergency Services Department. During the Building Naming Committee meeting, when it was time to discuss naming the county’s Emergency Services bases, Cashion looked at Perdue and said, “Alan, you’re up.” Cashion asked the Emergency Services director, “Have you brought us proposed names?” “No,” Perdue said, like a school kid who didn’t have his homework. Cashion reminded Perdue that he was supposed to have brought some proposed new names for his buildings. Perdue said he thought calling the emergency bases by the numbers was important for clarity, and he said that, for instance, Base 1 is tied to the Base 1 District and has an operational meaning for his dispatchers, response teams and other Emergency Services workers. (Continued on page 28)

Schools May Leave Free $1.5M On Table by paul C. clark Staff Writer

The Guilford County Board of Education, which is always demanding more government money, is wrestling with whether or not to take free private-sector money. The school board is frequently offered free money in the form of government grants and business donations, but doesn’t always take it because “free” doesn’t always mean “without strings attached.” This case, however, is unprecedented in Guilford County. Millis Road Elementary School in Jamestown wants to raise more than $1.5 million from donors to build and furnish a new building at the elementary school that would be a combination gym, assembly space and four-classroom expansion. The first instinct, as always with free money, is to take it. Money, after all, is money.

Guilford County Schools Chief Operations Officer Andy LaRowe, school board attorney Jill Wilson and the school board are looking this gift horse in the mouth, however, and it didn’t take them long to find a cavity or two. The fund drive first came up at the school board’s Jan. 21 retreat, but issues the free gym raised were substantial enough that the school board created a separate committee to study them. That committee held its first meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 31 without voting on a policy. At the retreat, Millis Road Principal Russell Harper introduced Bruce Cantrell, the intended architect for the project, and representatives of several local companies Harper said would participate. He said that Millis Road Elementary is one of the only Guilford County public schools to make adequate yearly progress every year under the No Child Left Behind Act, despite having 517 students in a school built for 300.

He said the new building would improve the health and education of students. Harper said, “There is no other agenda other than that this is for the children of that school and that community.” Guilford County Schools already has policies on donations, but they don’t anticipate a school community coming up with $1 million or more for a new building. They don’t even anticipate anyone other than Guilford County Schools constructing a school building. The school board recently came up with a master plan that calls for $1.2 billion in spending on school construction over the next decade, so a donated building should be welcome. A million here, a million there, and eventually you’re talking real money, even by Guilford County Schools standards. The Millis Road plan is still skeletal – there are conceptual drawings and floor plans of the buildings, along with undocumented costs for each stage of the building.

The school plans to raise $500,000 in one donation for the building’s exterior; $250,000 in two donations for the gym/auditorium fixtures; $100,000 in two donations for a physical education building and scoreboard; $50,000 for each classroom; $25,000 for a “wall of champions;” and $10,000 for a brick “path to success,” probably a sidewalk with donor names, as “Path to Success” is the name of the school’s nine-step plan to fund and construct the building. The school and its supporters are nothing if not optimistic; Step 9 is “celebrate success.” At the first meeting of the new committee, LaRowe said the plan doesn’t indicate that the Millis Road supporters have the $250,000 needed to design the building or the $700,000 needed for construction. He said they so far have no more than $50,000, although they have plans to raise the rest of the funds. (Continued on page 30)







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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro HIGH POINT



(Continued from page 1)

and Guilford County Schools gets to use the athletic complex. The school board on Thursday, Jan. 26 voted 7 to 1 to authorize, for the second time, Guilford County Schools staff to talk to High Point officials about the possibility of selling the 10 acres. School board member Darlene Garrett made the motion, and Price and school board Chairman Alan Duncan abstained. Garrett and school board members Sandra Alexander, Jeff Belton, Kris Cooke, Carlvena Foster, Deena Hayes and Nancy Routh voted to authorize the talks. School board member Amos Quick cast the only vote against authorizing them. Despite the vote, several school board members spoke against selling the land, and Price and High Point Mayor Becky Smothers interpreted the discussion as indicating that the school board wanted to keep the land, although it has found no use for it. Both Price and Smothers were angered by a Guilford County Schools Facilities Department report, presented by Guilford County Schools Chief Operations Officer Andy LaRowe and Guilford County Schools Director of Facilities Planning Donna Bell at Thursday’s meeting. Price and Smothers said the report was insulting to High Point because it included what they called madeup uses for the property that LaRowe and Bell used to defend not selling the land. Among the uses suggested by LaRowe and Bell were a bus maintenance depot, a school maintenance shed and some sort of specialty school. The school board has held onto the 10 acres for years because its original plan was to build a middle school on the larger parcel, but most of that land was sold off. These days the school board can’t build a phone booth on 10 acres; the high school and middle school for which it has, so far, unsuccessfully tried to buy land in Kernersville require 120 acres, according to the Facilities Department. Most offensive to Price and Smothers was the idea of building a bus maintenance depot at the entrance to High Point’s athletic complex, which is a major tourist attraction as well as a favorite destination for High

Thursday, February 2, 2012 HIGH POINT


Pointers. Price and Smothers said they considered the suggestion an insult and something that would prevent productive talks with the school system. “I certainly would hope they would reexamine their options,” Smothers said. “I suppose I should say it’s encouraging that they voted to let staff examine their options, but unless they come with a more productive frame of mind, I don’t think it would be a productive use of time.” The 10 acres (actually 9.81) have an assessed value of $245,000, but the Facilities Department claims it was appraised at $400,000 in December 2011. That claim set Smothers off. “We’re not going to pay them $400,000 for the land,” she said. “Apparently the value staff determined is that it would be suitable for apartments. So apparently they doubled it. Like the city would buy it and put apartments on it? Come on.” High Point City Councilmember and Republican candidate for state Senate District 27 Latimer Alexander said the school board’s attitude reeked of hypocrisy. “We always talk about regionalism and partnerships and working together,” Alexander said. “It certainly is a headscratcher why the school board wouldn’t want to sell or trade us the land. They don’t need to build a middle school in our area. They won’t ever need to build a middle school in our area. I guess it’s just a matter of they don’t want wonderful facilities for wonderful children. I hope Ed can pull it off. Or else, it may just be an indication that the school board doesn’t care much about High Point.” Several school board members expressed reservations about selling the land, some, along with Guilford County School Superintendent Mo Green, suggesting a lease or shared-use agreement rather than a sale. Green said, “Certainly that’s where staff sort of leans at the moment, but that’s subject to further direction from the board as to whether or not you want us to pursue that with the City of High Point.” Even the Facilities Department administrators acknowledged that a lease wouldn’t work, as High Point would need a 25-year lease to get bonds, and the school



system can’t lease properties for more than 10 years. Routh said the school board should find some more creative way to transfer the land than declaring it surplus and offering it for sale. The last time the school board did that, with the $2 million parking lot between the Bryan Family YMCA and the Washington Street office building belonging to Guilford County Schools, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, as is their right by law, exercised their first option to buy the land. Routh said it was obvious that the school system didn’t need the property for a middle school, something Price emphasized and Bell acknowledged after some number crunching. Andrews High School and Welborn Middle School in High Point are far below capacity, and the school system plans to build the new airport area high school. Routh said the school board couldn’t guarantee that the commissioners would sell the land to High Point. Recently, Price was giving 10-to-one odds that he could get a unanimous vote from the commissioners to sell the land to High Point. That bet was worth taking for the odds, but Price might be able to pull it off. Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said he hadn’t heard enough about the proposal to make a decision, but that the commissioners had strongly supported the Miracle Field.



Commissioner Kirk Perkins said he would support a sale if the price was right, because the Miracle Field was nationally known. “I would be in favor of anything we would do to improve that situation,” Perkins said. “I’d be in favor of doing it, but you always have to look at the appraisals. As long as it’s a reasonable value trade, I’d be fine with it. I haven’t seen anything the city has done as good as the Miracle Field.” Cooke said she was against selling the land. She said, “I don’t want to give up property we own if there’s ever a possibility we can utilize it for something.” That was the logic the school board used in refusing to sell Craven School in Lindley Park in 2009. The school board in June 2009 voted to turn down $1.14 million that Guilford Child Development had offered for Craven. Green and school board members said they could find a use for the 34,000-square-foot school, built in the 1950s and closed by the old Greensboro school system in 1987. Craven was used after that by Guilford Child Development for 17 years, until the school board took the building back in 2004 and did nothing with it. Two years later, the school board voted 10 to 0 to spend $270,000 to demolish Craven School. The 10 acres in High Point don’t have a building on them, but Price argued that the (Continued on page 34)

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Achievement Gap Tied To Literacy, Discipline by paul C. clark Staff Writer

Three years after School Superintendent Mo Green released, at a choreographed, televised event at Guilford Technical Community College, his four-year strategic plan for Guilford County Schools, central office administrators are beginning to address one of its main goals: reducing the “achievement gap” between black and white male students. Green’s original goal isn’t going to happen. The 2009 strategic plan set a goal of reducing the achievement gap by 20 percent by 2012. It’s 2012, and that hasn’t happened. In 2008, when the Guilford County Board of Education hired Green, the school board had an Achievement Gap Committee, which was supposed to address the problem, and began with a few good ides. But after more than a year of meetings, the Achievement Gap Committee’s entire output could be measured in one word: “literacy.” After countless hours of meetings, and a year of continually shifting goals and plans, the committee decided that the achievement gap is a result of low reading skills among black students, and to focus on improving those skills. In other words, a year of meetings – expensive to the school system in time and money (at one meeting, there were $1 million in salaries sitting around the table) – produced a one-word answer that was already obvious to anyone who

has taken a cursory look at public education lately. Now, Green and his top administrators have announced a new project to close the achievement gap by improving reading skills and reducing the number of disciplinary suspensions of black male students, two things that were already goals of the strategic plan. According to a Jan. 6 letter from Green and some of his administrators to the school board, Guilford County Schools has created the Achieving Educational Excellence for African American Male Students Project. It’s not clear whether or not the project can be traced to the earlier committee – probably not, as Green’s letter traced the project’s history only to March 2011. According to the letter, by the end of 2011, the project’s board, which includes many Guilford County Schools central office administrators, had settled on teaching black male students to read and on reducing the number of days they are suspended from school. Green wrote, “In January 2012, Early Literacy and Disproportionality in Discipline subcommittees began working to identify pilot schools, select researchbased strategies, identify professional development needs, and determine funding requirements.” In public school systems, the answer is always money. The letter, and a presentation made to the



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school board during its Jan. 21 winter retreat at the school system’s North Eugene Street headquarters, are a mixture of gibberish and indications that some sort of pilot program will actually be launched at some Guilford County Schools. In central office speak, the project will “continue its work to develop an implementation plan inclusive of project scope, professional development, coaching and monitoring, and evaluation to improve the educational outcomes for all GCS African American male students.” How that will differ from the multiple reading programs, school improvement programs and tutoring programs now in place to improve Guilford County’s worst schools is unclear. Green has had some success in improving the worst schools in the county, most of which have high percentages of black students. The letter and presentation include a list of things the project team has already done, most of which have nothing to do with improving reading or reducing suspensions. Things that can be listed among the gibberish are an Understanding the Effects of Implicit Bias Symposium and Undoing Racism training – pet projects of school board member Deena Hayes, who does such training for a living. More useful background research the project team has done includes a tour of the International Civil Rights Center and

Report Finds Schools In For Rude Wake-up by paul C. clark Staff Writer

The application by Guilford County Be one of the first to become Schools to win the Broad Prize for Urban a part of this exclusive development. Education, a national award given annually This expanding area is named in The Business Journal by physicians by the Broad Foundation that comes with $1 as one of the best locations for million in scholarship money, didn’t pan out, medical outpatient sites in Greensboro. at least in the form of winning the prize. But the process of applying for the prize Ideal for professional and medical offices at least generated some scrutiny of Guilford Approved DOT widening of road to four lanes County Schools from outside the school Traffic count: 37,000 SUMMERFIELD system – always a good thing, although the Planned traffic signal at site OAKRIDGE 1,500 - 6,000 sf available study of the school system by Denver-based education consulting firm RMC Research FOR MORE INFORMATION Corp. (RMC) was only partly funded outside Ralph L. Jones, III Guilford County. RMC was paid $19,300 by COMMERCIAL (336) 339-3132 the Broad Foundation and another $19,300 byT Action Greensboro through “Businesses for Excellence in Education” to perform the assessment. Guilford County Schools had already been given the 47-page report, but the Guilford County Board of Education, at its Jan. 21 winter retreat at Guilford County SUMMERFIELD Schools headquarters on North Eugene “NOW SELLING” Street, was given an oral analysis of the OAKRIDGE report by Shelley Billig of RMC. Available Spring 2012 RMC gave Guilford County Schools Emerson Commercial Properties LLC high marks in many areas – but found (336) 478-4441 | | 819 N. Elm Street | Greenboro, NC 27401 deficiencies in several critical ones related

Horse Pen Creek Road Greensboro, NC T






Museum, a Civil Rights Heritage Tour, and a “Beyond the Bricks” town hall meeting at North Carolina A&T State University that included talks by out-of-state scholars. “Being colorblind has not and will not advance our efforts,” the presentation states. “Race not only matters, but is a significant indicator in every measure of the achievement gap.” The first sentence is arguably untrue – if the school system taught everyone to read, there wouldn’t be an achievement gap. The second is obvious; race is the only indicator in the achievement gap under discussion, although academics also debate achievement gaps between white and Hispanic students (white students perform better), female and male students (female students perform better), Asian and white students (Asian students, if fluent in English, perform better) and middle-class and poor students (middleclass students perform better). Black female students perform lower on state tests than white females, but much better than black males, so that’s considered a separate problem. The presentation, made by Guilford County Schools Chief Academic Officer Beth Folger, Chief Accountability and Research Officer Gongshu Zhang and Diversity Officer Monica Walker, is a mixture of currently trendy “implicit racial bias”-speak (“A problem cannot be solved (Continued on page 34)

to teaching and curriculum. The report lauded Guilford County Schools for reducing the number of schools ranked as “low performing” by the state from 10 in 2009-2010 to none in 2010-2011 – perhaps the most notable achievement of the school system during the tenure of School Superintendent Mo Green. Billig emphasized repeatedly that the standards of the Broad Foundation are high, and that Guilford County Schools should be praised for meeting many of them. The Guilford County Schools administrators in the room seemed to consider the RMC report a win, based on Billig’s favorable comments. That was somewhat strange, because Billig’s comments covered many administrative and organizational issues favorably – but some of her comments about actual teaching in Guilford County schools were scathing. Some of the administrative high-fives over the report, even its assessments of academics, were justified. Billig praised Guilford County Schools for its advanced learning programs, for its improvement of its worst schools, for its use of data (Continued on page 28)

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 9


(Continued from page 1)

10 p.m. According to a rumor that probably isn’t true, Carolina Theatre President Keith Holliday will be greeting patrons in his groundhog suit over and over again. --The inaugural Schmoozefest of 2012 will be on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Syn & Sky at 113 S. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro. As always, beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres are provided gratis to those who sign in and wear a nametag. --Last weekend, the last weekend in January, I picked a bouquet of daffodils in my front yard. It has been an incredible non-winter so far. It’s hard to remember a winter when we have made it all the way through January without a single snowflake. We’ll probably have snow in April, or else it will be in the 80s and 90s and then hit triple digits in May. Who knows. --The Rhino Times received some national exposure last week when Gregory Cowles wrote about Orson Scott Card’s column Uncle Orson Reviews Everything in his own Inside the List column in The New York Times. From reading what Cowles wrote it would seem that every conservative weekly doesn’t have one of the top science fiction writers of all time writing a column

where he reviews anything and everything. Cowles notes that he really does review everything. Cowles column can be found on line at . --Former News & Record Editor Bill Snider died last week. I grew up reading Mr. Snider’s editorials and I couldn’t have disagreed more politically, yet he went out of his way to be kind to me, and offered some truly helpful advice when I was starting out in the writing business. We shared a love of good journalism that transcended political viewpoints, as good journalism should. The community will miss his good advice and so will I. --Goodwill’s popular Rock the Runway event returns this Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Empire Room downtown at 203 S. Elm St. The highlight of the evening is the 8:30 fashion show showcasing ensembles found on the racks of Goodwill stores. Tickets are available at Proceeds will benefit Goodwill’s mission of helping local residents with barriers to employment obtain job training. --It’s Groundhog Day, the only holiday of the year that is named after a movie. Think about it, The Wizard of Oz, The Philadelphia Story, Singin’ in the Rain, Gone With the

Photo by John Hammer

Sixth District Congressman Howard Coble, who was first elected to Congress in 1984, announced from his campaign office at 338 N. Elm St. last week that he would be running for another term. Coble said he had a clean bill of health from his doctors and was ready to get out and campaign in his newly drawn district. The old District 6 was mostly south of Greensboro, and the new district is mostly north, stretching from Orange and Durham counties in the east to Surry in the west.

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Page 10

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

The Sound of the Beep What follows has been transcribed from the answering machine tape on our comment line 273-0898. We edit out what is required by the laws of the state, of good taste and of good sense. The limit on phone calls is one minute and each caller may make up to two calls per week. If you have something to say, call our comment line at 273-0898 and start talking at The Sound of the Beep. Commenting on the note in The Rhino Times about the location of Trader Joe’s and the suggestion about Golden Gate Shopping Center. Listen to the people, City Council. Wake up. Listen to the people. Thank you. %%% If the occupiers are interested in inequality, they should occupy the big sports arenas where some athletes are paid exorbitant salaries to play kids’ games. %%%

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After reading Bob Kollar and Robert Mersereau’s letters to the editor, I noticed they left out a few other of Obama’s qualities. Mainly, his breeding of fine thoroughbred unicorns and his ability to excrete 24-carot gold bullion at will. He can recite the Bhagavad Gita in Swahili from memory. However, he doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does, he drinks Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friend. %%% Happy birthday, Angela. Love you. Have a great birthday. Bye. %%% A large number of we regular viewers of Fox 8, WGHP, we want the manager of the station and also the director of the news department to know that we will be leaving their viewing audience because we have tried to tell them that one of the reporters talks so fast and just – it just all runs together. And we cannot understand a word she’s trying to say or do, and we’ve asked them to, please, ask her to slow down. Well, instead of that, she’s got worse. So, we’re going to be leaving, and we’re going to be notifying the sponsors of the station why we’re having to leave and not been able to watch or to buy their products. So, if you can’t get the news – the news is supposed to be newsworthy to the listeners. It’s not supposed … %%% To continue. We notified the manager and we’re talking about a large number of regular viewers. We contacted the manager. We also left a voice mail to the director of the news department, and the manager said she would definitely do something about this. Well, she must have told her to get – to continue even faster. Because that’s exactly what she’s doing. So, we will not be watching any more. We will watch another station where we can understand what they are trying to report instead of somebody just racing through it, and just – and reading rather than slowing down. She is reporting to all levels of ages of people. And some people cannot hear as well. She should remember to slow down, speak distinctly and give the news that’s supposed to be newsworthy to all the people. %%% It’s Saturday morning, and I’ve just got my Greensboro news, and it shows a big hole leaking in the dressing room at War Memorial Auditorium. I got two or three questions that should be answered. Where is the maintenance crew that they’ve got hired out there that they spend all this money on? The next thing, how many businesses would operate if you continue to lose money? There’s money pouring into that Greensboro Coliseum, and somebody needs to know where it’s going to. It surely ought to be self-supporting. You start paying from the time you pull off the street. And anything you buy in there is marked at least triple what it should be. There’s something bad wrong at the Greensboro Coliseum, and them people sitting up there on the City Council needs to check into it and find out where the money’s going, somewhere. Money is a funny thing. The more hands it goes through, the less it gets. %%% I’m calling about a call that was published in the Jan. 5 Beep from a woman who says that Democrats leave their dogs outside. What an ignorant statement. How – how in the world can you make such a blanket statement saying that people of a certain political party abuse their animals? I’ve read some really, really ignorant calls in the column, and you’ve published some of mine, and (Continued on page 31)

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 11

Page 12

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Uncle Orson Reviews Everything Overthrow, Alchemist, Carbon, Mysteries by orson scott card

Most Americans like to think that, as a nation, we’re the good guys. Other Americans like to think that we’re the bad guys all the time, but especially when Republicans are president. In his book Overthrow, Stephen Kinzer is clearly in the second group, but he’s also a thorough enough historian that you can draw your own much more accurate conclusions on a vital topic. Kinzer takes us through the sordid history of American “regime change” interventions. Repeatedly, we watch as various operatives, freebooters, mercenaries or committed imperialists seize power in countries that mostly want to be left alone. Hawaii, Nicaragua, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Iran, South Vietnam, Chile, Afghanistan, Iraq – it’s quite a roster. He tends to leave out a certain class of interventions – Haiti, for instance, gets a complete pass (perhaps because Bill Clinton did it), though it has not turned out particularly well; and not much is said about the times we “sent in the Marines” but left without causing permanent damage. And sometimes he is deliberately deceptive, as when he makes superficial comparisons that don’t stand up to any kind of analysis. Afghanistan was harboring and supporting

the group that had launched the 9/11 attack against the United States, an act of war; to demonstrate that we missed opportunities and made mistakes does not make it the equivalent of regime change attacks where we had no legitimate casus belli. And while there were plenty of mistakes in the Iraq War, it was a nation with which we were already in a state of war, with a monstrous dictator, and where no rational person can look at our actions and claim we had any commercial purpose or intention of depriving the local citizens of selfgovernment. Kinzer’s obvious and ham-handed false comparisons might cause many readers to discredit the whole book. Please don’t do that. He’s clumsy enough in his propaganda that it’s easy to identify and ignore. Meanwhile, his research on earlier events is excellent, and it behooves educated Americans to make sure their education includes the information carried by the bulk of his book. The seizure of Hawaii, the messes we made all over Latin America, our role as the evil empire in the Philippines – if we don’t know that these things were done by our government and in the name of our nation, we can’t possibly understand why America is regarded as harshly it is in many countries.

At the same time, it is important that in most cases, our government felt the need to lie to the American people about what we were doing, because they knew that we as a people would not knowingly stand for what was being done in our name. And when the evil actions of “our side” became known, there was indeed a strong public outcry in America. In other words, the lies are a very slight Band-Aid for our consciences – we usually meant well. Small comfort, of course, for the victims of our government’s worst actions. I always thought of the Mexican War as the most evil war we ever fought, but I think after reading Overthrow, I must put the Spanish-American War – and especially the Philippine war that grew out of it – in that place. Our interventions in Iran, Chile, Nicaragua and even Hawaii were stupid and wrong, as was the overthrow of Diem in South Vietnam. But Afghanistan, Iraq and Grenada do not belong on the list of evil wars or illegitimate actions, and Kinzer as much as confesses this by the mountain of evidence he has to leave out or distort in order to try to make his case that they do. Kinzer has an equivalency problem – his tone suggests that he thinks all the actions

he writes about were equally bad. Kinzer has a very hard time twisting the invasion of Grenada into the same kind of illegitimate action that was carried out in other countries; he completely ignores the trove of documents seized there which absolutely proved the Grenadan government’s intention to be a source of communist meddling in the affairs of other countries. And the worst he can say about our invasion of Panama is that we blew the chance to replace Noriega with a much better, more honorable strong man. The strategic purpose of not merely removing Noriega but dismantling the apparatus that supported him is a completely defensible one, though Kinzer does not present that point of view. Look, just because America-hating leftists want to persuade us that we’re always wrong does not mean that we must take the opposite tack and join the blind patriots who claim we’re always right, and vice versa. Ignorance of history and a relentlessly biased reading of history both lead us to make bad mistakes in the present and the future. We live in a world partly of our making, and just because our ancestors did not know what was being done in our name does not mean that these crimes and blunders were (Continued on page 15)

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 13

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle

No. 0129

NETWORKING EVENT By Ian Livengood / Edited by Will Shortz







RELEASE DATE: 2/5/2012

Across 1 Swivel on an axis 5 Cowboys’ home, familiarly 9 Laughable 14 Marble, e.g. 17 One in Germany 18 Locale of St. C a t h e r i n e ’s M o n a s t e r y, s a i d t o b e t h e w o r l d ’s oldest working monastery 19 Sources of many beads 21 Narrow inlet 22 Fancy footwear at a TV station? 24 Advertising department at a TV station? 26 Rugged transport, for short 2 7 _ _ _ L e v y, f o u rtime Super Bowl coach for B u ff a l o 2 8 Vi s i t e d 3 0 We s t e r n l o o p 31 Like some fortresses 33 Lose ground? 35 Classic toy company whose name is its f o u n d e r ’s m i d d l e name 36 Slide show at a TV station? 41 “Puss in Boots” villain 42 “Barbarella” extras, for short 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.

43 Person making waves? 44 “How ya doin’, bro?” 47 Livid 50 River to Korea Bay 52 Insanity 53 Shave 54 Court recitation 5 5 M i d p o i n t s : A b b r. 56 Q&A at a TV station? 58 Lickety-split 60 Green-egg layers 61 Ruthless corporate type 62 Noted calendar makers 63 Underworld leader 64 Overflow 66 Skater Ya m a g u c h i 68 Sort (out) 69 Instrument with a big bell 72 Expert at a TV station? 75 Cookie holders 76 Beginning of some temple names 77 Opéra part 78 Cockamamie 79 Carnal craving 80 European freshwater fish 81 Super ___ 8 2 G e o rg e n i c k n a m e d M r. Basketball 8 3 “ Ts k ! Ts k ! ” 84 Baseball family surname 86 Enrollment at a TV station? 92 Shocked

10 Gold rush town of 1899 11 G r a c e f u l h o r s e 12 ___ a scratch 1 3 U t a h ’s s t a t e animal 14 Mythical figure blinded by Oenopion 15 Do a certain dish duty 16 Zero, in slang 18 Beach umbrella, e.g. 20 Student involved in a prank, maybe 23 Appear on the scene 25 SpongeBob, e.g. 2 9 S u g a r y q u a ff s 32 Canine protector 34 Fishing gear 35 Blanket 37 ___ Place 38 Continental prefix 39 Primo 40 Product from Mars 44 Sahara feature 45 Push 46 One of a group of 12, say 4 7 Wo r l d o rg . b a s e d in Lausanne, Switzerland 48 Bowl call 49 Leucippus and Democritus, philosophically 51 Some Dadaist works 52 Go up 53 Oil producer? 55 It brings up many ticket holders 5 6 “ Ta - t a ! ”

95 How some stocks are bought 96 Hold fast 97 Seize 98 Playful response to a good insult 1 0 1 Yo u m i g h t r u b a knife across it 103 Country singer David Allan ___, w r i t e r o f “ Ta k e This Job and Shove It” 104 Recruiters at a TV station? 106 Fish holder at a TV station? 1 0 9 I t ’s p i c k e d i n the Pacific 11 0 O n e t a k i n g t h e gold? 111 M e a l w i t h w i n e 11 2 M i s s o u r i relatives 11 3 I t w a s d r o p p e d a t Wo o d s t o c k 11 4 “ _ _ _ G o t a Brand New Bag” (1965 James Brown hit) 11 5 O r a n g e o r o l i v e 11 6 Aw a i t d e c i s i o n Down 1 Opening word? 2 Te a m e r c h a n t S i r Thomas 3 Early computer 4 Shout in a strip 5 Drink served with Brezeln 6 “What chutzpah!” 7 Miss at a hoedown 8 “The Simpsons” character with platform shoes 9 Osudoku_302A ld block deliverers

Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz











64 69 75





110 114

57 Place to live in Germany 59 Prefix with plasm 60 Give lessons 64 Sheiks’ garments 65 Sidecars might go on it 6 6 “ S t a r Tr e k I I ” villain 67 Houston university 68 ___ Islam 70 Meadow call




71 “Ready!” follower 73 Joiner of a team 74 Gravy holder 75 Home of ancient Bethlehem 79 One of a secretive trio 80 Dairy brand 82 Get foggy 83 ___ decay 85 One-point score, of a sort






76 80














































13 20

























101 106



103 108





86 It might be batted at a knockout 87 Clerics’ homes 88 Half of a title role for John Barrymore or S p e n c e r Tr a c y 89 Goddess associated with witchcraft 9 0 L i k e s o m e T- s h i r t designs

9 1 D i d n ’t w a i t u n t i l Christmas, say 9 2 Te r r i b l e 93 Savvies 94 Entranced 9 8 O t h e r, i n O v i e d o 99 Crate 1 0 0 L a s s i e o f A rg . 102 S-shaped molding 105 Quick drink 107 Gen ___ 108 Outdo


Get answers to any three clues by touch-tone phone: 1-900-285-5656 ($1.20 each minute). 9

8 6 9 5 2 9 4 1 3

Crossword Solution

3 (c)

Snow White’s Unemployment Agency, No. 1022 S T R U G


































4 3 7 9 6 5 2 4

Sudoku Solution

9 5 3 8 1 2 4 7 6


Distributed by The New York Times syndicate

Solution sudoku_302A Sudoku

1 6 2 7 4 5 8 9 3


8 4 7 6 3 9 5 1 2

4 2 1 9 5 8 6 3 7


7 8 9 3 2 6 1 4 5

5 3 6 1 7 4 2 8 9

2 7 5 4 8 3 9 6 1

3 9 8 2 6 1 7 5 4

6 1 4 5 9 7 3 2 8


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Page 14

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Scott’s Night Out

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Wal-Mart Millionaire Has Low Aspirations by Scott D. Yost county editor

That’s the thing: the horrified ones never asked why I was using the leash. They labeled me a terrible mom without knowing the whole story. – Claire McCarthy, M.D, medical communications editor at the Boston Children’s Hospital, advocating for using leashes on children in a recent column Much of the time, you think you’re the only person in the world who’s doing any real thinking, but, every now and then, you’ll be watching television news and you’ll realize happily that, occasionally, there are a few other people out there who are doing some real thinking just like you are. Like Dr. Claire McCarthy – who had a great idea recently when it comes to kids. Now, first of all, a disclaimer: I don’t have any children that I know about. However, I do have some experience handling kids because I am sometimes, by necessity, required to discipline them for things like talking in movies or making a lot of noise in the library when their parents fail to do their job. Also, occasionally, I’ve been known to weigh in publicly on the debate about children and the best ways to alleviate the problems they cause. So, anyway, the latest controversy sweeping the country, thanks to a recent column by Dr. McCarthy and subsequent television news coverage, is about whether or not it’s a good idea to put children on leashes. And putting children on leashes is one of those things that you look at after the fact and think, hey, what a brilliant idea – why didn’t I think of that? Of course, right after I read the column and saw the story on the news, I came up with an even better idea – though I have to admit the idea I had is kind of an extension of the leash for children idea. Here’s the great idea I had: muzzles for children. If you’re reading this and think that idea is as brilliant as I do, please don’t steal my idea, because I haven’t copyrighted it yet, and I do want all the money from it, which is only fair since it was, after all, my idea. I have no clue why no one else has thought of it before. Here are some other things I’ve also been thinking about lately …

My good friend Tom Carruthers doesn’t like to publicly admit that he knows me because he has an important job – he’s a big-shot attorney with the City of Greensboro. But we both went to Duke together over a decade ago and Saturday afternoon we watched the very scary St. Johns/Duke game at Kickback Jack’s. I got this picture of Jessica (left) and Catlin, and, on the way out, Catlin said, “I’m going to look for my picture in the paper Thursday.” Well, Catlin, there you go. Also, I ran into NC House candidate Jon Hardister (left) in the excellent Apple store. (They were unable to fix my iPad problem, but Rhino Times Art Director Anthony Council fixed it in five minutes.) In the picture below, I amazingly managed to trap a mouse in my house under an upside down trashcan and I put a bunch of stuff on top so it couldn’t escape. But then I had no idea what to so with it. So I called my brother Mark and he came over, and we slipped a real estate sign under it, took it out of the house and let it loose in a neighbors’ yard. – Scott D. Yost

I think Fox 8 News has been going a little too far these days in their attempts to find local angles on national and international stories. You know, if there’s a bird flu outbreak in Hong Kong, Fox 8 always sends a reporter to the Guilford County health department to talk to county health officials and see if people here are in danger, but, of course, really, if you think about it, that would have to be one heck of a strong bird to fly here all the way from Hong Kong. But at least there’s some sort of remote possibility there I guess. However, I thought Fox 8 was stretching their technique a little far recently the day after the Italian cruise liner overturned. The teaser for Fox 8 news the next day was: “An Italian Cruise Ship Capsizing – Could it happen here in the Triad!?” Or I might have imagined that, but if Fox 8 didn’t use that one, then they really, well, missed the boat on that one so to speak. Hey, listen, don’t believe all of those tree-hugging namby-pamby liberals who are trying to convince you that the current weather is some sort of catastrophic sign of global warming or climate change or whatever buzzword catchphrase they’re using this week to talk about the supposed increase in the planet’s temperature. Trust me: It is supposed to be 70 degrees in Greensboro in early February. It has always been that way, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. I was at the park this week, and, when the weather is nice and people walk by me, I always like to come up with something original to say. When they walk by these days I usually say, “Beautiful day, huh?” And, last week, I had not one, but two passerbys say the exact same thing. After I commented on how beautiful the weather was, the first man looked at me very concerned and said, “Oh, we’re going to pay for it.” The second guy said something virtually identical. He said: “Oh, trust me, we’re going to pay for it.” So, to you two Debbie Downers, whoever you are, no we will not have to pay for it because this is how it should be and how it always has been. Let me assure you: There is nothing to see here folks. The flowers are in no way confused – the flowers are simply blooming here in central North Carolina in early February as they have always done. Speaking of the terrific weather, this is no joke: In early December, I went into Lowe’s to buy some fescue grass seed for my yard, and all the Lowe’s people were looking at me like I was crazy, and they didn’t seem like they even wanted to sell it to me. They were all (Continued on page 31)

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 15

Uncle Orson (Continued from page 12)


If you’re a fan of animé, I recommend Full Metal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, currently playing at the Carousel Grande. There have already been some Full Metal Alchemist feature films. There is an assumption that viewers already know the basic story of the main characters, a pair of brothers who tried to use their knowledge of “alchemy” to bring their mother back from the dead and paid a terrible price for the attempt. One of them lost his arm, but the other lost his entire body; his soul is now attached to a mechanical man. But they are powerful wizards now

working for the government of one nation, and in this movie – really more of an extended empire – they are plunged into a confusing international struggle involving ancient magic, current political ambitions and so many colorful characters that it’s hard to sort out who, if anyone, is a good guy. My wife and I knew the basic situation, and our 17-year-old had seen even more of the TV series, but we were all quite confused at many points in this movie. The interesting thing is that we didn’t actually care. The animation was so well done and the events were so cool and the dialogue was so much fun that we watched with pleasure, and if at the end we weren’t entirely sure just what had been accomplished, we understood most of it and considered it time well spent. If you don’t know the Japanese animated film tradition, however, this might not be the place to start. Or if you do start here, then make sure you see a Miyazaki film like Spirited Away or Kiki’s Delivery Service or Castle in the Sky or Howl’s Moving Castle soon after, or watch the American anime series The Last Airbender (not the Shyamalan feature based on it) so you get a better idea of the animé tradition.


I’ve taken a lot of abuse over the past decade or so because I kept pointing out that shoddy misuse of science – and the outright deception – involved in claims of humancaused global warming. Over and over, I said that if global warming is happening, it is almost certainly a part of natural cycles that have repeated again and again; that in recorded history global climate has been warmer than the present; that global warming coincides with worldwide prosperity and population growth; and that even if global warming were caused by human activity and even if it were not a good thing, there’s nothing we can do to change it. Now and then a scientist would speak up and say the same thing, only to be slapped down and punished by the global warming mafia. But finally, the release of emails showing the deceptions of the global warming alarmists and the gradual accumulation of contrary evidence have made it obvious to all but the most diehard observers that the world has no global warming problem. Here is a link to a Wall Street Journal essay signed by 16 scientists that lays it on the line. Please understand that I cannot resist the temptation to gloat and say I told you so: Can we please reenter the rational universe and admit that all the carbon being released today was once atmospheric carbon; that our carbon dioxide releases are actually a worldwide fertilizer helping to feed the world; that cutting carbon emissions is completely harmful and confers no benefits; and that we should try in the future to prevent political activists from kidnapping science for their own purposes? And can we also just entertain the possibility that when somebody like me questions the received wisdom of (Continued on page 29)

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and click on entertainment

J. Butler’s New Garden

Bender’s Tavern

Fri Feb 3

Wed Feb 8


Bimini’s Oyster Bar

Sat Feb 4

Soul Central

J. Butler’s High Point

Wed Feb 8


J. Butler’s Lewisville

Fri Feb 3 Sat Feb 4

Live Music Live Music


Riders in the Country

Fri Feb 3 Sat Feb 4

Paradox Paradox


Fri Feb 3 Sat Feb 4

David Lin Jessica Mashburn

Wine Wednesday

not made, or that we do not still have to bear the consequences. In other words, even where, as a people, we are not culpable, we are still responsible. You may not mean to knock over the bottle, but you still have a duty to clean up the broken glass and replace what was lost, if you can. Once you have read Overthrow, you and I might amuse ourselves by listing all the hypocrisies, misrepresentations and deceptions that Kinzer indulges in. But they are relatively minor compared to the importance of understanding the things that he does not distort. Know thyself, America: If we do not include in our calculations the cases where we, as a nation, behaved very badly, we will not understand how easily such things can be brought about; nor will we understand why so many people in other countries hate us. Yet even the deceptions are not always bad. What Kinzer does not touch on is World War II, a serious regime-change effort indeed. We were as ready as we were in 1941, and Britain was still alive to lead the fight, only because Roosevelt systematically lied to Congress and to the people, and seriously bent the law and the rules of neutrality, until the idea of openly entering the war became popular. It’s all very complicated. Finding the right course is hard. When we judge the actions of national leaders, we must always put them in the context of their times. What were other nations doing? How does our government compare to other governments? At the same time, Kinzer is right to hold us to a higher standard. And he demonstrates that, as a people, we do expect America to be different from all other countries – that’s why leaders grimly determined to be just as bad as other nations have to lie to us to bring it off. Somebody needs to write a better, more honest version of this book. Until they do, however, it’s still essential reading – especially for anyone entering office as president, secretary of state, secretary of defense or head of the CIA. I think we need to have a signed affidavit from anyone being considered for these offices swearing that they have read Overthrow and, while they’re at it, Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner, another book distorted by political correctness but essential to understanding our recent history.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Local Movie Schedule Friday, February 2 - Thursday, February 9

a/perture cinema

Carolina Theatre

Underworld Awakening (3D) (R) F-Sa 7:40, 9:35 11:45. Su-Th 7:40, 9:35.

Artist (The) (PG13) F 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30. Sa 12:00, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30. Su 12:00, 3:00, 5:30. M 5:30, 8:00. Tu 5:30. W 3:00, 5:30, 8:00. Th 5:30, 8:00.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (R) Th 7:30, 10:00.

War Horse (PG13) F-Sa 11:40, 2:30, 5:20, 8:10 11:00. Su-Th 11:40, 2:30, 5:20, 8:10.

311 West Fourth St., Winston-Salem • (336) 722-8148

Shame (X) F 3:30, 6:00, 8:30, 10:45. Sa 12:30, 3:30, 6:00, 8:30, 10:45. Su 12:30, 3:30, 6:00. M-Tu 6:00, 8:30. W 3:30, 6:00, 8:30. Th 6:00, 8:30.

310 South Greene St., Greensboro • (336) 333-2605

Funny Girl (G) M 7:30. Way We Were (The) (PG) Tu 7:30.

Carmike 18

Yentl (PG) W 7:30.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G) F-Th 1:45, 4:10, 6:30, 8:45.

Carousel Cinema

Artist (The) (PG13) F-Th 1:20, 4:00, 6:50, 9:15.

39 Steps (The) (Unrated) W 1:00.

4822 Koger Blvd., Greensboro • (336) 851-0094

We Bought A Zoo (PG) F-Th 11:50, 2:20, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50.

Countryside Cinema

631 N Main St., Kernersville • (336) 993-8200 Big Miracle (PG) F 5:00, 7:00, 9:00. Sa 2:00, 4:00, 7:00, 9:00. Su 2:00, 4:00. M-Th 5:30, 7:30.

1305 Battleground Ave., Greensboro • (336) 230-1620

Beauty and the Beast (3D) (G) F-Th 1:30, 4:15.

Joyful Noise (PG13) F 4:45, 7:00, 9:15. Sa 1:30, 4:00, 6:30, 9:00. Su 1:30, 4:00. M-Th 5:15, 7:30. Man on a Ledge (PG13) F 5:00, 7:00, 9:00. Sa 2:00, 4:00, 7:00, 9:00. Su 2:00, 4:00. M-Th 5:15, 7:30.

Adventures of Tintin (PG) F-Tu 1:15, 3:30, 5:45. W 3:30, 5:45. Th 1:15, 3:30, 5:45.

Chronicle (PG13) F-Th 12:50, 3:05, 5:25, 7:40, 9:55.

Red Tails (PG13) F 4:45, 7:00, 9:15. Sa 1:30, 4:00, 6:30, 9:00. Su 1:30, 4:00. M-Th 5:15, 7:30.

Agneepath (Unrated) F-Su 12:00, 3:20, 6:40, 10:00. M-Th 12:00, 3:20, 7:30.

Contraband (R) F-Th 1:15, 4:30, 7:15, 9:50.

Albert Nobbs (R) F-Sa 12:20, 2:40, 5:00, 7:20, 9:40 12:00. Su-Th 12:20, 2:40, 5:00, 7:20, 9:40.

Descendants (The) (R) F-Th 1:00, 4:00, 6:50, 9:40. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (PG13) F-Th 1:20, 4:30, 7:50.

Artist (The) (PG13) F-Sa 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20, 9:25 11:30. Su-Th 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20, 9:25.

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (R) F-Th 7:00.

Big Miracle (PG) F-Th 11:50, 1:55, 4:00, 6:05, 8:10, 10:15.

Grey (The) (R) F-Th 1:05, 4:10, 6:55, 9:45.

Chronicle (PG13) F-Sa 11:40, 1:30, 3:20, 5:10, 7:00, 9:00 11:00. Su-Th 11:40, 1:30, 3:20, 5:10, 7:00, 9:00.

Haywire (R) F-Th 12:50, 3:10, 5:30, 7:50, 10:05.

Descendants (The) (R) F-Sa 12:00, 2:20, 4:40, 7:00, 9:20 11:40. Su-Th 12:00, 2:20, 4:40, 7:00, 9:20.

Joyful Noise (PG13) F-Th 12:40, 4:00, 6:45, 9:30.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (PG13) F-Th 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00.

Man on a Ledge (PG13) F-Th 1:05, 4:05, 6:55, 9:30.

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos (Unrated) F-Sa 12:05, 2:10, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30 11:25. Su-Th 12:05, 2:10, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30.

One for the Money (PG13) F-Th 12:50, 3:10, 5:30, 7:50, 10:05. Red Tails (PG13) F-Th 12:50, 4:05, 6:50, 9:40. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG13) F-Th 1:00, 4:00, 6:45, 9:30. Underworld Awakening (R) F-Th 1:00, 3:15, 5:30, 7:45, 10:00. Underworld Awakening (3D) (R) F-Th 12:45, 3:00, 5:15, 7:30, 9:50.

Jack & Jill (PG) F 7:00, 9:20. Sa 1:30, 4:00, 7:00, 9:20. Su 1:30, 4:00, 7:00. M-Th 7:00. New Year’s Eve (PG13) F 7:00, 9:30. Sa 1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 9:30. Su 1:15, 4:00, 7:00. M-Th 7:00. Puss in Boots (G) F 7:15, 9:20. Sa 1:30, 4:00, 7:15, 9:20. Su 1:30, 4:00, 7:15. M-Th 7:00. Tower Heist (PG13) F 7:15, 9:20. Sa 1:30, 4:00, 7:15, 9:20. Su 1:30, 4:00, 7:15. M-Th 7:00. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (PG13) F 7:00, 9:30. Sa 1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 9:30. Su 1:15, 4:00, 7:00. M-Th 7:00.

Sedgefield Crossing Cinemas

4631 High Point Road, Greensboro • (336) 292-7469

Haywire (R) F-Sa 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00, 10:00 12:00. Su-Th 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, 8:00, 10:00.

Immortals (R) F 7:15, 9:30. Sa 1:15, 4:00, 7:15, 9:30. Su 1:15, 4:00, 7:15. M-Th 7:00.

House of Pleasures (Unrated) F-Sa 12:10, 2:15, 4:35, 7:05, 9:35 11:45. Su-Th 12:10, 2:15, 4:35, 7:05, 9:35.

Jack & Jill (PG) F 7:15, 9:20. Sa 1:15, 3:40, 7:15, 9:20. Su 1:15, 3:40, 7:15. M-Th 7:00.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG13) F-Th 7:45, 10:15. The Room (R) F-Sa 12:00.

Woman in Black (PG13) F-Th 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30.

Happy Feet Two (PG) F 7:00, 9:20. Sa 1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 9:20. Su 1:15, 4:00, 7:00. M-Th 7:00.

Happy Feet Two (PG) F 6:45, 9:00. Sa 1:15, 4:00, 6:45, 9:00. Su 1:15, 4:00, 6:45. M-Th 7:00.

Man on a Ledge (PG13) F-Sa 12:40, 2:50, 5:00, 7:10, 9:20 11:30. Su-Th 12:40, 2:50, 5:00, 7:10, 9:20.

We Bought A Zoo (PG) F-Th 12:45, 4:00.

2095 Peters Creek Parkway, W-S • (336) 725-4646

Grey (The) (R) F-Th 12:30, 2:55, 5:20, 7:45, 10:10.

Hugo (3D) (PG) F-Th 12:10, 2:40, 5:10.

War Horse (PG13) F-Th 6:30, 9:30.

Marketplace Cinemas

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (R) F-Th 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00.

your MORTGAGE experts

New Year’s Eve (PG13) F 7:00, 9:30. Sa 1:15, 3:40, 7:00, 9:30. Su 1:15, 3:40, 7:00. M-Th 7:00. Puss in Boots (G) F 6:45, 9:00. Sa 1:15, 3:40, 6:45, 9:00. Su 1:15, 3:40, 6:45. M-Th 7:00. Tower Heist (PG13) F 7:00, 9:30. Sa 1:15, 4:00, 7:00, 9:30. Su 1:15, 4:00, 7:00. M-Th 7:00. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (PG13) F 6:50, 9:30. Sa 1:15, 4:00, 6:50, 9:30. Su 1:15, 4:00, 6:50. M-Th 7:00.

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

I want my country back

Dear Editor, Good morning. Welcome to America. This is my country. I want it back. After listening to the State of the Union speech last night, I feel compelled to write this letter. I look into the mirror and what do I see? A picture of my self, but it isn’t me. I look into the mirror and what do I see? It’s a picture of my brother, now how can that be? I cry for my brothers for they do not see. They rush head long into a sea of fire in which we all will expire. Can we not say it out lout? Liberalism, socialism, progressivism lead to communism. When local, state and federal governments (with their excessive spending and no production) control the majority of our private lives, as guaranteed under our great Constitution, we are living under communism. Yes, governments do produce something. It’s legislation that denies you and me our inalienable rights. Rules, regulations, fees and taxes hindering our ability to produce. The basis for success (as one might define it) is for individuals, groups of individuals and businesses to take a natural resource, use it wisely and produce a product. Sell that product and make a profit. Then, take that profit and distribute it nine times within the community, i.e. the gas station, the power company, the hair stylist, the grocery store, the shoe store, the restauranteer, the electronic providers, donations to your own personal charity and religious affiliations. One then becomes self sufficient and independent using the gifts our creator has endowed us with, therefore not requiring excessive local, state and federal government, other than what our great Constitution requires. My eighth grade teacher, Ms. Ludlum, told us children in 1942, if there is one thing you children take home from your education in my class, it is that history repeats itself. My dad was an immigrant, as were most Americans. He came to America from Russia, alone, at the age of 19 in 1911. He was drafted into the US Army, served his country in 1918 in World War I in France,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 25

Letters to the Editor was wounded and received the Purple Heart. He returned “home” to America, got a job, as he was a carpenter, bought a 50-foot-by-100-foot piece of property and built his own home in 1922. In 1925 he met and married my mother. They had four boys and one daughter. They lost their first son soon after his birth. One son served in the Navy in WWII. One in the Marine Corp in Vietnam and the third son started his own business. The daughter married and raised a family. Somewhere around 1949, I said to my dad, you have never gone back to your old country or seen any of your family since 1911. We are going to save up some money and send you and mom on a vacation to Russia. Do you know what his response was? “Save your money, my son. This is my country.” I tell this story because I think this is what America is all about: the freedom to live one’s life, free from oppression. The reason I believe many people come to America is to escape oppressive governments and to enjoy God’s freedom that inspired our fore fathers in our great Constitution. Welcome to America. This is my country. Thank you for this freedom of the press. The son of a Russian immigrant, Alexander Kohanowich

Wade is lone voice of reason

Dear Editor, City Councilmember Trudy Wade has a solid record of supporting free market capitalism. Currently the economy, both locally and nationally, is a certifiable disaster because of outrageous and irresponsible decisions on the part of politicians like Obama, liberal Democrats in Congress and liberals at the state and local level. Therefore, we should be thankful that there is at least one elected official who understands what true fiscal responsibility means and who understands the benefits of capitalism. Dr. Wade was the only no vote on the City Council’s recent decision to give away $100,000 to a local business owner who financially supports sitting Democratic councilmembers. This giveaway came

with no interest and no payback required. Dr. Wade appears to be the lone voice of reason to support free market capitalism, to keep our tax and utility rates low, and to cut frivolous government spending. How refreshing that there is an elected official in our community who does not practice crony capitalism, but rather encourages government to be efficient, effective and especially transparent. If only Greensboro had more elected officials like her. Jan Kelly

Again, I seem to recall that the reason he was sought after was that he had proven success turning around schools that had disciplinary problems. I have not heard or read any negative stories coming out of Smith since he took over as principal. As long as he is having success tamping down problems, is it really necessary to focus on his degrees? Would we be happier with a Harvard egghead who had a fancy diploma but lacked a clue as how to get students to behave? Romaine Worster

Flashy speeches

Editor’s Note: Noah Rogers was a principal in Virginia Beach and, as we have pointed out, his doctorate was purchased from a diploma mill. Many administrators and some teachers in Guilford County have doctorates from real universities. It doesn’t seem quite fair to pay him as if he also had a real doctorate.

Dear Editor, Much of Obama’s State of the Union speech was built around the words “built to last.” It was not an original thought. The book titled Built To Last was published 15 years ago. I have a copy here. Obama stole the name and the theme only for his speech. He obfuscated the key constructs. Obama’s regime has so interfered with, and created such a disruptive corporate climate, companies mentioned in the book, like GE, that were and are built to last, have been and continue to move production overseas so they can last a little longer. These companies are not culprits as Obama depicted. They are victims of our government’s greed and stupidity and do what they must to survive. Obama’s speeches are sometimes flashy but always meaningless as far as liberty. The march towards progressive socialism continues in Washington, DC. Mike Linnane

Look at Rogers’ record

Dear Editor, In your article about Guilford County Schools (Schools Keep Finding Mo’ Money, Dec. 29, 2011) you mentioned Noah Rogers as being the highest paid principal in Guilford County. If I’m not mistaken, I seem to recall that Noah Rogers was recruited here from Virginia where he was superintendent of schools. It would only make sense that Guilford County would have to offer him a pay at least commensurate with that of a superintendent.

Healthy school lunches

Dear Editor, I was delighted to read the new USDA guidelines requiring schools to serve meals with twice as many fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat and no meat for breakfast. The guidelines were mandated by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act signed by President Obama in December of 2010 and will go into effect with the next school year. The new guidelines offer a welcome change from USDA’s tradition of using the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for meat and dairy surpluses. Not surprisingly, 90 percent of American children are consuming excess fat, only 15 percent eat recommended servings of fruits and vegetables and onethird have become overweight or obese. These early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. In recent years, Hawaii, California, New York and Florida legislatures asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options, and most school districts now do. The Baltimore public school system offers its 80,000 students a complete weekly break from meat. (Continued on page 27)

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Speed Bump by Dave Coverly

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Get Fuzzy

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

by Darby Conley

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 27


(Continued from page 25)

Parents should continue to insist on healthful plant-based school meals, snacks and vending machine items. They can consult, www. and www.vrg. org/family. Sally Morris-Randall

Repeal the state lottery

Dear Editor, With the State of North Carolina facing huge billion dollar deficits, it seems like our leaders in Raleigh would want to evaluate every financial policy that has been used to govern our state. Even the thought of a statewide lottery needs a closer evaluation and perhaps needs to be repealed by the General Assembly. Since we live in the Bible Belt I am taking it for granted that many Christians are opposed and many are supportive of our state lottery system. Here are a few reasons why the Christian community should view our state’s gambling system with suspicion. First, God presents work as the normal way to earn money in order to support our families (Eph. 4:28; II Thess. 3:12). All of our incomes belong to God, rather than ourselves, and we are only caretakers of all that God has allowed us to earn. It is God’s plan to use money or the lack of money to accomplish a few things within us. First, the blessing of more money earned allows us to help others in a genuine way. My gift to others comes from the work from my own hands rather than the hard work of others (i.e. giving lottery money to the church is giving away other people’s money rather than what you have earned). Next, greed and covetousness are basic motives in gambling (Exodus 20:18, Hebrews 13:5). These sins, like all sins, are to be avoided. Our state’s lottery system, then, generates these devastating qualities in our citizenship and promotes a get-rich-quick attitude, which harms the overall economy. Also, the Bible teaches that wealth gained the wrong way breaks up families rather than uniting them (Proverbs 15:27). It is also disastrous for people to develop an impatient get-rich-quick attitude (Proverbs 28:20,22). I would submit the following proposition that our state’s gambling laws produce disgruntled people who would rather play the lottery than work. As a result higher unemployment, a higher welfare population and higher taxes follow, much less the criminal activity that is perhaps generated in some areas. The lottery system needs to be repealed and eliminated from our Bible Belt state. And remember: every time you see or hear a pro-lottery commercial about someone who won the lottery or obtained an educational scholarship, we fail to hear about the multiple families that broke up over impulsive, greedy gambling habits that caused mountains of debt and family pressure. Sid Stewart

Outrageous statement

Dear Editor, I am writing about an open letter from one Jimmy Lee Gywn in the Jan. 26 issue, in which he lists a number of US wars and declares, “We won them all.” This is a statement so outrageous that I simply cannot let it go unanswered. Vietnam was a total defeat. Bay of Pigs was a total disaster. And though he says, “We fought the Yankees best we could,” the Civil War was an almost total devastation of the American South. The Korean War was only a stalemate. Granted, we chased the invading North Koreans back across the 38th Parallel, but we have had a standing Army along the DMZ for 59 years now to maintain this uneasy truce. No one could rightfully call that a “victory.” The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have really accomplished nothing. Granted, we captured, tried and executed Saddam Hussein for his numerous crimes against his own people. And, yes, we did eventually hunt down and take out Osama bin Laden. But how many thousands of American lives and how many billions of American dollars were spent just to get these two men? Meanwhile, the Taliban and al Qaeda both continue to operate almost totally unimpeded. And Iraq is a far more shattered, dysfunctional and embittered country today than when we invaded it. If Vietnam was a defeat and Korea a stalemate, then Iraq and Afghanistan could only be termed “exercises in futility.” Moving along … though most Americans don’t want to admit this, most historians concede that it was the French who came over here and really won the Revolutionary War on our behalf. And though America certainly contributed the most to the victories in WWI and WWII, we had the help of many other nations fighting alongside us. As for the Mexican War, the SpanishAmerican War, the invasion of Grenada and the Persian Gulf War, I can only think of that old saying, “Pick on somebody your own size.” In summation, of the 12 foreign wars that Mr. Gywn lists, I can’t see a single one where America confronted a country of comparable size, population, wealth and military force, and defeated that country on its own. John Pugh

City has limited resources

Dear Editor, Why am I the only one that is mad as heck that the City Council decided, at the retreat, to give Matt Brown every penny he asked for? Yes, it’s hotel/motel tax but it is money that could be spent to build a new performing arts center. Most likely the City Council will vote at the Feb. 7 meeting to allocate $24 million for the Coliseum and Aquatic Center. If enough people contact the City Council and come to the meeting we possibly could reverse this course of action. We are busy discussing the location for the

performing arts center when we should be asking why there has been no public discussion about using $24 million in hotel/motel tax revenue for Matt Brown’s wish list for the Coliseum Complex and the Aquatic Center. I am sure there are things on his list that could be put on hold – the auditorum has been on hold for 20 years. Instead of rushing to give Matt Brown everything he wants, the community and the City Council need to have a thoughtful conversation about how to use the limited resources we have available. In my opinion, it is time for hotel/motel tax to be used on the performing arts center. The way I see things, the only real necessity on Matt Brown’s list is a new roof for the Coliseum and the Special Events Center. If the other items were put on hold then another $19.6 million would be available for building the new performing arts center. Of course, Matt Brown always says he must have all these improvements to be competitive. As part of that thoughtful conversation, the community needs to decide how much should be spent to remain competitive. In the past 20 years, in addition to the Coliseum’s yearly budget, we have also spent $56.4 million for repairs and improvements. After the ACC tournament in 2015, the Coliseum will be competing with every Coliseum on the East Coast for this event. Do want we want spend the $24 million on the Coliseum Complex or do we

want to use a good portion of this money for the performing arts center? Anonymous

An eye on tax values

Dear Editor, I did not receive a listing form from the Tax Department. I had seen the ad in the paper saying that everyone was required to list improvements to their property. I knew that the deadline was approaching so I called to see why I hadn’t received a form. I was told that they were only sent to people who had non-tagged vehicles. I asked how I was supposed to list improvements that I had made to my home. The person took my information to make a note that I had called. I told him I didn’t want someone to find the improvements later and try to penalize me because they had not been listed. In all the time I have owned property, this is the first time I have not received a listing form. If the county manager is expecting to have to increase the tax rate by $0.09, why isn’t the Tax Department concerned about improvements that have been made to houses? I don’t want my tax value raised, but maybe the tax rate could be kept down if everyone had gotten a form to list improvements. Maybe instead of trying to open a license plate agency, Mr. Chavis should worry about making sure tax values are correct. Anonymous

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Misnomered (Continued from page 6)

When, in the meeting, Perdue was asked about the ability of the county’s citizens “to locate the bases” given the bases’ non-distinctive names, Perdue had a very reasonable response. “We typically don’t invite the public to them,” Perdue said. Perdue seemed pretty adamant about keeping the numbers on the names, and Cashion said, “So we should probably keep the base numbers,” and Perdue said yes. “That’s what we’re going to call them,” Perdue said. After the meeting, Perdue explained his reluctance to change the base names to things like, say, the William Sydney Porter/Fantasia/Chris Daughtry, Emergency Station. “I think we need to maintain consistency,“ he said. “Base 1, Base 2 – that applies to our operations.” Perdue said each base corresponds to a certain emergency service area as his department divides up the county, and those numbers, he said, have meaning and are familiar to his staff. “Base 1 serves the Base 1 District,” Perdue said. “We need a name to fit in with our operations. Base 1, Base 5 – that’s simple.” That wasn’t the only time in the meeting that efforts by the naming committee faced some resistance from county officials who didn’t want to see a building name changed.

One of the suggestions for the High Point jail – now officially the Guilford County Law Enforcement Center – is to change it to a name that includes “jail annex.” But Montgomery said at the meeting that state law wouldn’t allow the High Point jail to be named a “jail annex” or “detention center annex.” “An annex, by state law, has to be a nonself-sufficient facility,” Montgomery told the committee. She said that the building houses several different services related to law enforcement – it isn’t just a jail – and that’s why, she said, the Sheriff’s Department gave it the name “Law Enforcement Center.” She also said that was the name that was already on the side of the building, as well as on the other signage. Montgomery said the name reflected the entirety of what went on there, and she said the existing name was a good one. “Calling it Guilford County Law Enforcement Center in our opinion is just fine,” Montgomery said. In addition to giving official names to about 30 buildings and many conference and meeting rooms in those buildings, the committee is also planning on putting the county seal on all significant county buildings, which will probably mean buying about two dozen county seal emblems and having them mounted on the front of each building. Cashion told the committee: “We’re trying to get continuity – to get the seal up.”

Jones said after the meeting that it’s not in early January was to just give the county clear yet exactly how much it will cost to buildings names that people already used for the buildings so that citizens wouldn’t be purchase and mount the emblems. “We’re still looking into that,” Jones confused for years to come, but Yow didn’t seem to have much support for that. said. When Gibson was asked about the work He said that, for the type of thing the county is talking about, it would cost about of the committee after this latest meeting, he $700 to $800 for each seal plus whatever it chuckled and said that, given the priorities and the problems currently facing Guilford costs to mount them. Giving buildings new names will also County, the committee and its naming effort mean taking down the old names in some strike him as “a giant waste of time.” cases and, at one point in the meeting, the committee discussed removing the large letters that spell out “Independence Center” on the side of that county building (Continued from page 8) in downtown Greensboro, which currently houses the Tax Department, the Planning & in improving academics and for some Development Department and other county “superstar” teachers who provide interesting services. classroom experiences. She also found the Jones informed the committee that it was educational experience provided to Guilford likely to cost about $20,000 to remove the County Schools variable. words “Independence Center” from the side Billig said, “You have some terrifically of that building. engaging activities going on, and you have The group then spent a good deal of some incredibly boring classrooms.” the two-hour meeting looking at slides The RMC report, as interpreted by of emergency bases and other county Billig, found that the Guilford County buildings, and the committee, with the use Schools standards for students are no higher of a light pointer, tried to decide where the than those of the State of North Carolina, new county emblems would look the best which she said were about a third of the on those buildings. way down the list of states when it came Commissioner Billy Yow is on the to rigor. The federal No Child Left Behind committee but wasn’t at the Jan. 23 meeting. Act left academic testing standards up to Yow said after a previous Building Naming each state, and they vary widely. Billig said Gift Committee gathering that he wasn’tFree Massachusetts has the highest standards and with sure what exactly was going on at those Purchase the deep South states among the lowest. meetings. His suggestion to the committeeFebruary 1-14 (Continued on page 34)


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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

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Uncle Orson (Continued from page 15)

an intellectual clique, it is at least worth considering that I’m neither stupid nor evil, and that it might be worth examining the questions that I raise? I’m not actually expecting any of the people who said truly hateful things about me because of my stance on global warming to apologize – no doubt they’ll just attach to other issues where I’m also right, and continue to misrepresent my actual statements in order to demonize me. Hey, that’s the price of making public statements on controversial topics – or, even more importantly, on topics that are not controversial but darn well should be, because the received opinion is flat wrong. Inconvenient as the consequences sometimes are, I really can’t stop myself from telling the truth as best I understand it, because if I don’t offer a correction to this or that piece of public idiocy, then it’s partly my fault when the consequences roll around. And sometimes we wake up from our collective delusion in time to prevent the worst consequences. Which is what seems to have happened with the global warming hoax. * This morning I recalled that recently someone had asked just how many books I had written, and I didn’t know the total. So I lay in bed trying to count them all. There are some iffy ones – my long story collection Maps in a Mirror, for instance, was also published as four different paperbacks, while some of the stories in it had already appeared in a couple of earlier collections. So was that one book, or seven? And what about very short books? They aren’t really novels, yet they had covers and separate ISBNs. Anyway, I finally came up with a total of more than 50 books, mostly fiction, and amounting, by a conservative estimate, to about five million words. Then, because I started writing columns for The Rhino Times just over 10 years ago, I estimated that at about 10,000 words per month, on average (again, a very low estimate), I had written well over a million words in these pages.

If you’ve read every column of mine, every week for all 10 years, you and I have been down a long, long road together! I admire your stamina and thank you for your patience. The price I pay for all this essay-writing is that I have absolutely nothing to say when I dine or party with friends who read the column. They already know absolutely every opinion I have. In fact, by now my regular readers probably think of me as that guy at parties who just won’t shut up, but who sometimes says something interesting so you might as well listen until someone more interesting comes along. And I have to admit – I’m content to be that guy. As long as I don’t actually have to be at the party in person; it’s just too painful to watch other people’s eyes glaze over. * A quick look at two books I recently enjoyed. The Lock Artist, by Steve Hamilton, is the first-person story of a young man who picks locks and breaks into safes. He also does not speak. Normally I resent books where key information is withheld from us until late in the story. But in this case, Hamilton’s choice of a first-person narrator is absolutely right, and makes the whole thing work. Because the lock artist, Mike Smith, is telling this story for his own purposes, as a message to a particular person, and so the order of telling makes perfect sense. The result is a gripping, emotional story that I loved from beginning to end. I’m glad I listened to McLeod Andrews’ excellent reading of the book from, because not only does he do a superb job of narration, the fact that it was an audiobook prevented me from skipping to the end and reading out of order. For once, this is a book that should be experienced exactly as the writer intended. It’s a bit of a masterpiece, I must say, and I recommend it highly, both in written and audible form. Walking the Perfect Square is the first of the Moe Prager novels by Reed Farrel Coleman. Moe Prager is an ex-cop, who left the job on disability – because he wrecked his knee when he slipped on a

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piece of carbon paper in the office. Not a glamorous injury, and in Walking the Perfect Square, he is glad to be asked by a friend on the force to look into the disappearance of a young college student named Patrick Mahoney. Along the way, Prager comes to detest Patrick’s father, while falling in love with Patrick’s sister. Like The Lock Artist, Walking the Perfect Square is told out of time order by a firstperson narrator who has his reasons for framing the story as he does. In this case, Prager-in-the-present has been called to the deathbed of a man he never met, because the man has a key piece of information about the disappearance of Patrick Mahoney. What that information turns out to be I will not tell you; what I will say is that not only is this an excellent mystery novel, it’s also an excellent novel, period. We come to care very much about Prager, and even though there are later Moe Prager novels, this first one is a complete tale, fully satisfying. I’m going to be reading more books by both Steve Hamilton and Reed Farrel Coleman. But I doubt I’d have picked them up in the bookstore. I only found these because they were being promoted by and, since I get 25 books a year with my platinum membership, I figured, what the heck, let’s give ’em a try. Sometimes that approach gets me into books that I end up despising – but that’s

OK. With a platinum membership my perbook price is low enough I can afford a few losers. Especially because it gives me the freedom to take a chance on books I know absolutely nothing about, except whatever blurb there is on These were two of the recent winners. They made me want to exercise or run errands or just sit at the computer playing games while the book unwound in my earphones. Neither one is brand new – but every book is new to those who haven’t read it before. I urge you to pick them up and give them a try. I also urge you to give a chance to bring you narrated stories that you can listen to while you do other things. Imagine how many books you could read if your commuting or errand-running or exercising time was also reading time. My brother-in-law Mike Black first steered me to the combination of iPod Shuffle and Now I use a Nano, but otherwise nothing is changed: I listen to upwards of 50 books a year, most of them somewhere between good enough and superb. These are books I would never have had a chance to read in print form. (I have a separate list of printed books, which work their way through stacks beside my bed.) If you don’t have time to read all that you want to read, I urge you to try the alternative.


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Page 30

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro


(Continued from page 1)

advocated opening the process when the consultant and council had narrowed the field down to two or three, and Councilmembers Yvonne Johnson, Marikay Abuzuaiter and Jim Kee agreed that having some public input in the final stage of the process would be a good idea. Kee said, “Close it until we get the candidates that we want, but I’m with Trudy, we need public input.” However, Perkins and Councilmembers Dianne Bellamy-Small, Zack Matheny, Nancy Hoffmann and Nancy Vaughan are determined to keep the process closed to the public from beginning to end. Matheny said several times that the council had to take the advice of the consultant, who wanted the process as closed as legally possible. Matheny said, “So let’s keep it closed as per our executive recruiter.” Perkins said, “As closed a process as the law will allow.” Robert Burg, the headhunter with Ralph Andersen & Associates from Rocklin, California, when asked, said he would like for it to be a “100 percent confidential process.” Bellamy-Small responded by complimenting the media something she doesn’t do very often, saying, “The media people in Greensboro are very aggressive.” She warned her fellow councilmembers that during a previous search a councilmember had sent an email – not realizing the email was a public document – and accidentally leaked some information about the search. The question before the council was never whether to have an open process or a closed process, but only whether or not to make the candidates’ names public and have some kind of public input when the consultant and council narrow the field down to two or three. So the question was whether to crack the door open a tiny bit or slam it in the public’s face, and the majority of the council voted to slam it shut. Wade said, “I think the community is one of our biggest assets, much more so than the council.” Perkins responded, “We are the community.” Vaughan said, “Maybe we need to keep it confidential just to make sure that we get

a look at all the candidates.” Burg had said that he would design the process however he was told, but he thought the candidate pool would be better if he could keep it completely confidential. It is true that having the public involved in government is a messy business. Things like speakers from the floor, either before or after the meeting, are not necessary if you don’t allow the public to be involved. Burg is no doubt correct that the process will be much simpler for him if he can promise confidentiality. The most efficient form of government is a dictatorship, where the public has no involvement. The decision was made to keep the process as confidential as the law would allow, but although an attorney from the City Legal Department was present, any indication on exactly how much about the process has to be released to the public will have to wait for further research. If the past is any indication of how things are done in the legal department, someone from the legal department will contact the School of Government in Chapel Hill and get an opinion, which will then become the law of the land in Greensboro. If the council ever wants to cut the budget again it could certainly eliminate a few attorneys and pay a retainer to the School of Government, which is where the legal decisions are made anyway. What is the purpose of having an attorney from the city attorney’s office at a meeting if they are not going to give the council legal advice? You don’t need to be licensed to practice law in North Carolina to send an email to the School of Government. We know that because the former city attorney, who was not licensed to practice law in North Carolina, did it. The clerk to the council could send the email, or even one of the councilmembers. Perkins and Matheny like to text during meetings. One of them could have texted the School of Government and maybe gotten an answer back during the meeting. This is the second time the City Council under Perkins has chosen to slam the door in the public’s face. The two-year era of openness on the Greensboro City Council ended on Jan. 17 when the council voted to allow small group meetings. The meetings sound innocuous, and they could be, but

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they aren’t. The reason for the previous council’s decision to ban small group meetings was because the City Council had for years been doing a large amount of its work in secret behind closed doors. According to one councilmember, small group meetings were often held in the legal department, apparently so councilmembers would not be seen coming and going from the manager’s office. The way these small group meetings worked is that the city manager would set up three separate meetings with two, three or four councilmembers and go over controversial material with them. If five councilmembers meet, that is a quorum and constitutes an official meeting, which by law must be open to the public. However, the staff made the meetings operate as one meeting instead of three. The staff could tell the councilmembers at one meeting what the councilmembers at other meetings had said and could tell them that the votes were stacked against them, so it didn’t make any difference what they said at the official meeting open to the public – where the council was supposed to do its business – because minds were made up. It is one reason the council was not answerable to the people. The people didn’t know what in the world the council was doing. It’s the way the White Street Landfill was closed. The discussion took place in the back room behind closed doors, and when the vote was taken in public it was unanimous because the three or four


(Continued from page 6)

LaRowe said, “When we start talking about that kind of fundraising, it raises some issues.” At the retreat, school board members pointed out some of the potential issues. School board member Nancy Routh said the building, like any other, would have operating costs that the school system would have to pay for. Millis Road supporters said they were trying to come up with operating funds as well. Routh said, “You can say it would be wonderful to have this building as a gift – but you are committing to operate that building from then on.” School board chairman Alan Duncan said there were innumerable issues with the plan, but it was possible they could be worked out. As often happens with large organizations, news of good ideas at the bottom had not reached the top – the school board. Harper said the school’s supporters had been working on the plan for five years. “You indicated, Russell, that you’ve worked on it for many years,” Duncan replied. “I can tell you I’ve never heard of it.” Another problem pointed out at the retreat was equity – fairness in the distribution of school construction. School Superintendent Mo Green, as part of his strategic plan for the school system, has committed to having a baseline of school buildings and supplies

councilmembers who were opposed to not expanding the landfill had been browbeaten into agreeing with the majority “for the good of the community.” If the discussion had taken place in the open as the law intends, the councilmembers would not have known how everyone was going to vote. The citizens of Greensboro might have received an honest discussion from the council, and who knows what the vote taken in public would have been. One of the dangers of small group meetings is that it’s easy for the council to be manipulated because minutes are not kept and memories can be faulty. A disagreement over what was said in a small group meeting becomes a he said, she said issue. A little dishonesty can go a long way in such situations. One other aspect of small group meetings that makes them particularly insidious is that no announcement of small group meetings is required. So the council can be working diligently on a project in small group meetings and the public gets no chance for input because nobody knows what the council is doing. It is a wicked way to run city government. The bottom line is that this new council campaigned on promises of transparency and openness in government, but the noise of their actions has drowned out the sound of their words, and for at least two years you can expect the council to operate in secret behind closed doors as much as possible.

that will be provided to all schools. Privately built school buildings could tip the playing field. Green said, “It seems to me that question is one that should be answered before we go down that road.” Duncan made a motion to send the issue back to committee, which resulted in Tuesday’s meeting. School board member Amos Quick came into the committee meeting with his mind made up on the issue of donor-funded buildings. He said, “I’m just coming in to vote ‘no.’” School board member Kris Cooke said, “You don’t want to vote ‘no’ on this.” “Oh, yes I am,” Quick replied. “I’m looking down the road on this one.” The picture of the Millis Road building drive that emerged at the committee meeting seemed less organized than that presented at the retreat. According to LaRowe and committee members, the Millis Road building was originally conceived of as predesigned and less expensive. Also, other issues the school board was concerned about became clear and extended beyond the Millis Road building, which most committee members praised. Donated buildings would have to meet the building codes and state requirements for schools. A donor-funded building with a roof like that of Eastern Guilford High School, which was destroyed by arson in 2006, aided by (Continued on page 33)

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 31


(Continued from page 14)

asking me: “Now, why would you want to buy grass seed at this time of year?” and I was like, “Please, just sell it to me and wait a couple of months – you’ll see.” And, if you’re one of those Lowe’s skeptics I talked to two months ago, well, I would just like you to know that I now have beautiful grass growing up and up. My new grass is enjoying these 70-degree February days and these summer February showers. Listen, speaking of global warming – not that there is such a thing and not that there would be anything wrong with that if there were – if a polar bear has to paddle around on a piece of ice so that I can enjoy balmy North Carolina days in early February, so be it. Recently, a friend of mine tried to convince me that global warming was a bad thing (you know, he thought it was actually real), and he said that, even if I wasn’t worried for myself or concerned about the polar bears having to paddle around on slabs of ice, well, what about the penguins. And I pointed out to him that, there are only penguins at the South Pole, not the North Pole; and I informed him that the South Pole is actually hard land, which won’t melt. The South Pole is not simply all ice like the North Pole – and, trust me, just like you and me, the penguins won’t mind one bit if the winters down there get a little milder. To quote the internet’s arctic weather record-keeping people: “The lowest world temperature for anywhere … was -128.6°F / -89.2°C recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica on July 21, 1983 – and that doesn’t include wind chill.” So trust me, the penguins will be completely copacetic if the South Pole winters are a few degrees warmer.

buy a vacuum cleaner, a microwave oven and other items.” The thing that tipped off the razor-sharp Wal-Mart cashier that the $1 million bill was counterfeit is that the largest US bills in circulation are $100 bills. Fuller (no known relationship to Assistant County Manager Sharisse Fuller) was charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense as well as with attempting to use a forged instrument. He is in jail on a $17,500 bond, and I imagine law enforcement officials aren’t accepting cash for bail in his case. Investigators said Fuller tried to buy the vacuum cleaner and oven as well as the other items, and store employees called police after Fuller’s insistence that the bill was perfectly good. Now, normally, that would just be kind of an amusing and interesting story, but I’m guessing that means that the million-dollar bill I have is fake as well. I probably should have realized that when the guy buying my used lawnmower offered to pay me the full $50 asking price, and then handed me a million-dollar bill and told me to keep the change. Here’s what some of my subsequent research found: At one time the government made $10,000 bills – the largest denomination of US currency ever circulated among the public. But the American money printers stopped making $10,000 bills in 1969. There are only about 340 remaining in the hands of the public, held by private collectors; and, by the way, I once saw one on display in a glass case at a coin show in Florida. They also used to make $1,000 and $5,000 bills but I have never seen one of those.

I was dismayed to see on News 2 recently that Michael Fuller, a 53-year old Lexington man, was arrested for trying to pass off a counterfeit $1 million bill at a Lexington Wal-Mart. According to the story on WFMY’s website, “Investigators said Fuller tried to

Finally, I’d like to end on a happy note. I’d like to, as they say, try to make some lemons from lemonade. This is another terrific idea, maybe even better than the idea about leashes and muzzles for children. I wish I’d come up with this terrific idea as well, but it was an idea that was given to

Beep (Continued from page 10) mine may not please some people. But this – to attribute the way people treat their animals to their political preference is just plain stupid. To that caller, it’s ignorant. You need to do something about your ignorance.

They just continue to prattle their babble, as in the Bible it says they babble. And I try to stay away from babblers. But I get a laugh out of what they call in. I just feel sorry for them mostly, though, because they truly are ignorant and don’t even know how ignorant they are.



This is a continuation. She later goes on to say something about hungry children in the projects. This person needs to get their head out of the sand. Children in the projects don’t go hungry any more than children anywhere else. There are people who live in public housing who take very good care of their children. This ignorant attitude is what’s wrong with our society today. People are uninformed and don’t care to get informed or to educate themselves.

I don’t know who picks up all the trash on Bryan Boulevard, but as one that drives it every day, I want to thank them for the work, because I know it’s a job. They’re constantly having to do it. And if our Police Department would get out here and enforce some of the laws about securing a load and not having all these construction trucks driving down the road with trash blowing out of them, out of the back and (Continued on page 37)

me by a Guilford County official, and he said that to please not give him credit for it but he said that someone should definitely put this out there because it is a really good idea and it’s one of the few positive things that could come out of the county’s new redistricting plan. OK, you know how Guilford County is being redistricted starting on the first Monday of December in 2012. Well, as you’ve probably heard, there are about 42,800 people in the county who will have no representative for a couple of years between 2012 and 2014. Because of a glitch in the new election law, everyone who lives in the county’s new District 6 – which covers parts of northwest High Point, western Greensboro and a lot of the central western part of the county – well, those thousands and thousands of people will, from December 2012 to December 2014, have neither a district representative on the Board of Commissioners nor even an at-large representative they share with other districts. OK, now, so far everyone has talked about that as though it was a bad thing – but someone pointed out to me a few days ago something very interesting: It could turn out to be a really good thing for Guilford County. My phone rang last Friday afternoon and the nameless county official said he had a great idea. “Think about it for a second,” he told me. “What does the county need badly?”

Right, a new landfill. “And, why can’t they build one?” he asked. Well, he said, it’s because everyone wants a landfill somewhere, but no one wants one in their own district. Usually, if you try to build a landfill, the commissioner or city councilmember who represents the area around the proposed site will (as we’ve seen over the last few years) raise holy you know what and move heaven and earth to keep the landfill out of their district. So, here’s what this county official suggested to me: Why don’t we use this opportune time to put a giant new landfill in District 6 – maybe, he suggested, somewhere in the Deep River area. The people in District 6 will be upset like crazy, but so what? Who cares? What are they going to do? Call their commissioner? Good luck with that. Are they going to get so upset about the giant new waste dump right next door to them that they vote their commissioner out of office? Good luck with that too. Will they write letters to the non-existent at-large commissioner and get everyone around the county to vote the at-large commissioner out of office if the landfill isn’t stopped? Well, you know, good luck with that too, because there is no at-large commissioner for two years – plenty of time to get the dump in place. So I say let’s use this District 6 “problem” to make some peachy keen lemonade. Come on, who’s with me?


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Page 32

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro


(Continued from page 5)

Regardless, for the next three years, even though Guilford County’s mental health operations will be administered by Sandhills, from the point of view of the county’s clients things should look much the same, because the services will, to a large extent, continue to be provided by many of the same workers in the same locations. And even the interiors of the offices and examination rooms should be familiar to clients because, according to Ward, the deal allows Sandhills to use “carpeting, furnishings and equipment” now in those buildings. Mental health workers have been adamant throughout the process that it’s important, for the well being of the county’s mental health clients, that continuity be maintained during the transition. One psychiatrist who works for the Guilford Center said many of the center’s clients are very sensitive to change. Other counties joining the Sandhills group have contributed their fund balances to the LME upon joining. The fund balance is a reserve savings account that assures liquidity and can be used to address unforeseen costs during the budget year. Ward said state officials recommend a fund balance of 8 percent for mental health LMEs. Since Sandhills will nearly double in size when Guilford County becomes a member, Guilford County will be asked to contribute money for the purpose of keeping the center’s fund balance at 8 percent. While the Guilford Center doesn’t carry a fund balance, the department does usually have some money left over at the end of each budget year. And the new agreement calls for Guilford County to pay Sandhills roughly $1.2 million each year of that “leftover” money for the next three years, until a total of $3.5 million is paid. One major point of contention in the negotiations was the fate of the Guilford County Substance Abuse Treatment Center at 5209 W. Wendover Ave., just south of I-40. Currently, the treatment center is the only county-run full-service substance abuse clinic in the state, and Guilford County funds the center at about $2.7 million annually. The treatment center provides shortterm and long-term in-house and outpatient treatment and care for substance abusers in

Guilford County. During the negotiations with Sandhills, Sandhills asked for the right to use the county’s clinic for patients from the other eight counties in the group, but Guilford County officials rejected that idea. Guilford County officials have maintained that the clinic should be open only to Guilford County clients since the treatment center was established for Guilford County residents through the strong and persistent efforts of people such as former county commissioner and long-time district attorney, the late Wally Harrelson. Davis said Sandhills didn’t seem particularly pleased with that part of the agreement, but he said they eventually realized Guilford County would stand firm on that point. Aside from the administration of the money, the other side of the transition is the transfer to private providers of the hands-on clinical services now provided by psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses and

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(Continued from page 1) will have two elected representatives, while most of the county’s citizens and residents will have one representative.” Earls is the executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and is representing the NAACP in this case. She said her client has authorized her to file the lawsuit against the Guilford County Board of Elections and the State of North Carolina if the state does not remedy the problem. The complaints in the lawsuit are nothing new – in fact, many Guilford County officials have been expecting a lawsuit. Berger is named as one of the defendants “in his official capacity as President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate” – but Berger has been adamant that there is no problem with the legislation adopted last summer that established the new board structure. Berger said this week that everyone in Guilford County has representation under the new structure – including the residents of the new District 6 – and Berger said complaints that there are problems are being made largely by the same people

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attempting to help those workers get jobs with the new providers or help them find work with other area employers. Late last year, Guilford County sent out several requests for proposals (RFP) to find private providers for the county’s clinical services – as opposed to the administrative functions Sandhills will take over – and the county has now made its selections. The Guilford Center will begin transitioning most of its mental health services to the new contract providers this spring. After the RFP process, Guilford County selected Albemarle-based Monarch Inc. to provide crisis/emergency services and medication management in Greensboro. A separate RFP for High Point resulted in the selection of Asheville-based RHA Behavioral Health Services. Senior Resources of Guilford has been awarded the Geriatric/Adult Specialty Team services contract – a smaller contract that covers specialized services for area seniors.

who wanted to see the new board structure thrown out by the US Justice Department when that agency reviewed the new board makeup last year. “There is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about the new board,” Berger said. Even before the lawsuit, there were plenty of complaints that residents of the new District 6, which covers much of west Greensboro, western Guilford County and northwest High Point, is unrepresented because the legislation calls for an election of a commissioner in four of the new districts in 2012, but not for District 6. Also, there are no commissioners now serving terms until 2014 who reside in the new District 6 and there will be no at-large commissioners on the board since the terms of both current at-large commissioners – Paul Gibson and John Parks – end this year on Monday, Dec. 3. There’s no election scheduled for an at-large commissioner until 2014. There has been talk that the state’s General Assembly might meet and make changes to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners structure, but Berger said there are no plans for that. “At this point, I don’t see it,” Berger said. “I don’t know that there is anything to consider.” Some county officials have suggested that one part of a solution to the District 6 representation issue would be to switch the order of district elections, and hold a District 6 election this year and put off, for two years, the District 7 election called for in the 2012 election by the legislation. Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne has said all along that he’s had concerns about a lawsuit against Guilford County because of a lack of representation for District 6, and Guilford County Board of Elections Director George Gilbert said he’s afraid of being forced to hold a special election as a result of lawsuits. Berger said that any changes to the

existing Guilford County board structure by the General Assembly might cause the county to have to hold a special election because it’s not clear that those changes could be made in time to accommodate the current election schedule. Berger said any plan, such as switching District 6 and District 7 in the election cycle, would be highly involved and isn’t the type of change that could be made this late in the game without major consequences. “You’d be starting from scratch,” Berger said. He said the amended county board structure would have to go through legislative preclearance and meet other requirements before it could be brought to a vote. “You’d probably have to push back the election,” Berger said of the Guilford County commissioners races if the General Assembly were to change things now. Guilford County opens its filing period at noon on Monday, Feb. 13. The state’s General Assembly is scheduled to hold a session on Thursday, Feb. 16 to deal with other redistricting issues in the state. However a ruling by a three-judge panel has made that unnecessary; and Berger said the legislature will convene briefly but, he said, that will almost certainly be a merely procedural meeting. He said he doesn’t foresee any substantive legislation being enacted, and, he said, there certainly wouldn’t be any moves that would alter the current structure of the new Board of Commissioners set to be in place in early December. After February, the General Assembly isn’t scheduled to meet again until mid May. Berger said he has heard the legal opinion of Payne, who’s been concerned about the threat of lawsuits. However, Berger said, he’s relying on his own legal counsel, who is telling him no laws are broken by the redistricting and there’s (Continued on page 33)


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other mental health workers on the county’s payroll. Just as many current county mental health administrators will end up on the Sandhills’ payroll, the county’s current clinical staff will also have a good chance of finding work with the new private clinical services providers. Guilford County officials had hoped to be able to keep those workers as countypaid clinical workers; however, last fall state regulators ruled it would be a conflict of interest for Guilford County to maintain those workers because Guilford County would have seats on the Sandhills board, which will administer mental health dollars to the county – and the county would also have clinical workers on its payroll. The Guilford Center currently employs 69 full-time clinical workers, and those employees will be let go by Guilford County once the new providers are in place. The Guilford Center and Guilford County Human Resources Department are


The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 33


(Continued from page 32)

nothing unconstitutional about it. He said the only county official to complain to him about the legislation was Commissioner John Parks, and he said Parks’ concerns weren’t about the new District 6. “The only person I heard from is John Parks, who was displeased at the fact that there was no at-large race this year,” Berger said. Parks will lose his place on the board under the new structure – at least until 2014 when there is an at-large race. Parks has been openly upset over the new board structure since it was put in place last year. Berger said he initially thought there would be an at-large race in Guilford County this year but, he added, in retrospect he understands that isn’t the case. Berger said he wasn’t the person who drew up the legislation but he doesn’t think the goal was to have a hiatus for the at-large race in Guilford County. “I don’t think that was the specific intent of the legislation,” he said, adding that it was simply one of the consequences of the mechanics of moving the board from 11 to nine members, while allowing the current members to serve out their terms. In 1991, a Democratic-controlled General Assembly expanded the Guilford County Board from seven to 11 commissioners and, at that time, drew district lines that favored the Democrats, who have held control of the Board of Commissioners in all but two of the last 20 years. The move last summer to shrink the board to nine commissioners – with eight elected from districts and one at-large – was seen by many as a win for the Republicans. Berger said the most important thing in all of this, however, is that it’s simply a mistake to say District 6 will go unrepresented for two years. Berger said Commissioner Kay Cashion was elected as the District 6 commissioner, and she will, he said, continue to serve over the next two years as the District 6 representative. Cashion was reelected in 2010 as the county’s District 6 commissioner. She was first appointed to that seat in 2004 and then


(Continued from page 30)

poor roof design, could be a disaster. Or a donor building designed like Eastern, Hairston and Kernodle middle schools, which could have collapsed in high winds because of faulty engineering, could be a problem. Or a school like Oak Ridge Elementary, which was built so that it leaked and had mold problems, would be another bad thing. All of a sudden, a school designed and built privately doesn’t sound so bad. The biggest problem with donated buildings may be political as much as financial. Three school bond referendums have passed since 2000, totaling almost $1 billion. Parents and other residents of particular parts of the county, especially

elected to it in 2006. However, that district is the new District 6 only to the extent that it shares the same number designation and there are a few precincts that overlap. Berger maintains that, since Cashion is to serve out her remaining two years on the board, and since the old District 6 will cease to exist in December, Cashion will be the representative of new District 6. He said that, just because Cashion doesn’t live in the new District 6, and wasn’t elected by the people in it, doesn’t mean that she can’t represent it. “They do have a representative – Kay Cashion,” Berger said. He said the district will be represented by Cashion for the next two years and then, in 2014, voters in that district will elect a representative from that district. He said the new representative will be someone other than Cashion unless Cashion moves into the new District 6 and then is reelected by those voters. Berger said he felt confident Cashion would be willing to represent the people of District 6 even if it isn’t the same District 6 that elected her two years ago. When Cashion was asked by The Rhinoceros Times if she was willing to represent the new District 6, she said that was the first she had heard of the idea, no one had asked her to do that, she didn’t think it was legal for her to represent District 6 since she didn’t live there, and, she said, the new district had practically nothing in common with the district that elected her. “I haven’t heard anything about it – are you the messenger?” a noticeably shocked Cashion said when asked about the idea. Cashion said she was very surprised to hear that Berger or anyone else had suggested that as a possibility. She said she was especially surprised to hear Berger say that because the new district lines drawn by the state legislature seem to intentionally put her in the new District 3 – the same district where Commissioner Linda Shaw resides. She said one reason for all the problems is that these lines were forced on the county by Republican legislators in the General Assembly.

“At first they said we would be able to draw the lines,” Cashion said. “It seemed quite pointed – the way the lines are drawn.” The first effort to redraw the lines allowed for the current board to determine the lines, but that changed once the Democrats on the board started proposing maps that clearly favored Democrats in the county and Republicans in the county began crying foul. She said suggesting she might represent those people brought up all sorts of legal matters. “You have to live in the district to run for the seat,” Cashion said. Also, if a commissioner is elected from a district and then moves out of that district during their term, that commissioner must resign his or her seat on the board. Cashion asked when the General Assembly was going to pass legislation that allowed her to represent District 6 – if, she said, it really was the case that someone was going to appoint her as the commissioner to the new District 6. She said she also was curious when she would be notified she was being recruited to represent that district. While District 6 will apparently have no commissioner, the new District 3 would have two commissioners and another district, new District 7, could have two commissioners as well, while the remaining districts would each have one representative.


GR +

Gilbert said that, when it became clear state legislators would be redrawing the lines for Guilford County, he felt certain that someone from the state would be contacting his office to get information about where the commissioners lived, when their terms would expire and the existing election cycles in the county, etc. – but, Gilbert said, that call never came. Gilbert said he’s skeptical of whether a commissioner not elected by a district and not residing in it could be seen to represent it simply by someone saying that they did. It doesn’t take much time watching the county commissioners in action to see the large extent to which each commissioner focuses on the issues that face the district they represent. Commissioner Billy Yow, for instance, is the commissioner who argues for stadium lights at a high school in the southeastern part of the county and Commissioner Carolyn Coleman is the one who fights to establish a medical clinic in her district. Likewise, Bruce Davis and Bill Bencini are the ones always attempting to protect the interests of High Point, home to many of their constituents. At a Tuesday, Jan. 17 Board of Elections meeting where the redistricting issue was addressed, Gilbert asked Payne which parties might “have standing” in a lawsuit, and Payne said he would look into the matter. (Continued on page 38)




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those who voted for the school bonds, are very touchy about the school board building new schools and additions in the order in which they were promised. Other parents want to make sure the order of those promises bears some relationship to the condition of current schools. Guilford County Schools Chief of Staff Nora Carr said, “I think the most fundamental equity issue is, can a school that has parents without needs get ahead of a school that has needs?” The school board and individual schools regularly raise money from private donors. The school system takes millions from the business community every year, and Duncan raised private money to repave the running track at Page High School. Booster clubs are fundraising organizations, as are schools.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012


(Continued from page 28)

She said, “Broad expects you to set standards higher than your state, particularly when your state is not one with the highest.” Billig said the RMC report determined that the average Guilford County Schools student graduates without being prepared for collegelevel academic work or for the 21st century job market. She said the main problem lies in the school system’s kindergarten through eighth grade classes, and that Guilford County high schools either spend four years trying to remediate students who entered high school unprepared, or graduate them performing below grade level. “The students in this district, especially in K-8, can be passed along without mastering the material,” Billig said. “...The instruction is not as rigorous as it needs to be, so what we’ve got is students hitting grade eight who are not ready.” That should be no surprise to the school board members – Guilford County Schools

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

has a high dropout rate among ninth graders, precisely because they are not ready for high school. Many of them are unable to read at anything like grade level. Many of the disciplinary problems at Guilford County high schools are caused by ninth graders who are kept back one or more years because they can’t read at grade level. Billig said there’s a limit to how many times you can hold a student back a grade – that you don’t want 16-year-old third graders. School board member Paul Daniels said, “it worked for me,” to laughter all around. The report found that Guilford County Schools students who have access to advanced placement, International Baccalaureate and honors classes are prepared for college or work. But Billig said, unambiguously, “Your typical graduate of the Guilford County Schools system is not ready.” Guilford County Schools, like other North Carolina school systems, has a rude

awakening coming. Most states have adopted a national academic standard called Common Core Standards, including North Carolina – but North Carolina is not scheduled to implement them until the fall of 2012. Those standards are higher than North Carolina’s current standards. Billig said the basic reason Guilford County Schools didn’t win the Broad Prize was because of points deducted for a lack of academic rigor, and that problem will only get worse with the new standard. She said that Guilford County Schools teachers have different ideas about what constitutes being on grade level. Billig said, “You can get along with your North Carolina standards, but if you move to Common Core Standards, this one is going to bite you.” The Guilford County Schools spin on the RMC report is that school systems competing for the Broad Prize are judged on the 33-criterion Broad Prize Framework for School District Excellence, and Guilford County Schools “met or was close to doing

so on 23 of the 33 indicators” under that scoring system. The Broad Prize framework claims to have four scores for each school system characteristic it measures – but doesn’t. In addition to “area of need” (really bad), “area of concern” (bad), “meets expectations” (middling) and “exemplary” (really good), the scoring system also includes two scores that would never pass muster if applied to a student’s exam: “approaching meets expectation” (not quite middling) and “approaching exemplary” (good, but not that good). Readjusting the weird Broad Prize framework scoring system to lump “approaching meets expectations” with “area of concern,” and “approaching exemplary” with “meets expectations” despins the ratings somewhat. Under that commonsense rating system, Guilford County Schools won one “exemplary,” 16 “meets expectations,” 16 “areas of concern,” and, laudably, no “areas of need.”

Daniels dismissed “implicit bias” as a cause of the gap. “The problem I have with implicit bias and institutional racism is that everybody’s guilty and nobody’s guilty,” he said. “Original sin is what it’s all about.” Central office administrators have been making achievement gap presentations at school board retreats for years and years and promising to do something about the gap. The big difference this time is that the project has Green’s name on it, something that hasn’t happened before. Green said that suspension statistics

for black male students show that they are missing many school days, which could cause some of the literacy problems. “These kids are losing dramatically more days out of school as they go through their educational journey,” Green said. “Is that the only reason? Absolutely not. But I think it’s a piece of the puzzle.” One problem with having the reduction of suspensions of one category of students as a goal is that in many cases – say, possession of a weapon, or assault – the offense is clearly identifiable independent of the school official’s interpretation of it, leaving no room for “implicit bias.” In others, such as noncompliance, the offense is far less clear and more subject to the

school official’s interpretation. In other words, if prejudices among school officials toward black, or poor, students come into play in the level of punishment meted out, you would expect it to happen more in cases of non-compliance, a fairly nebulous offense, than in clearly defined cases such as assault or possessing a weapon. That leaves a lot of room for school officials to exercise their own judgment as to what constitutes noncompliance – something that’s probably necessary in the day-to-day running of a school, but which could lead to disparate punishment more often than in the case of other offenses. (Continued on page 38)

Gap (Continued from page 8) with the same consciousness that created it.”) and data of uncertain value, including a long list of schools likely to be pilot schools for the program that has not yet been created. School board member Paul Daniels, who was coincidentally leaving at the end of the presentation, railed against it. “Greensboro, Guilford County is always about race, and it’s important that we address this,” he said. “I disagree that – well, I don’t think the way we’re going about it is the right way.”

The New York Times Hyper-Sudoku sudoku_302B

Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz

6 9 1

7 3

7 3



5 6 1 6 9

8 4


8 4


Distributed by The New York Times syndicate

Solution sudoku_302B


(Continued from page 7)

school system has no more use for the land than it did for Craven. The opposition by other school board members set off what was, for Price, a positive explosion of protests. Until then, Price, as he does when an issue he cares about is discussed, rested his head, eyes closed, on his clasped hands, to all appearances in prayer. “I don’t understand what’s so magical about this 10 acres,” Price said when the explosion came. “I mean, if we need to build a maintenance shed – and I was appalled at the report Andy sent, because you can’t do it up there, it’s not zoned for that, you’re in a watershed, you can’t have gas pumps – they seem to try to find every reason in the world to not sell this 10 acres. “I would hope and pray that if y’all decide to build a STEM school or an academy, we’ve got a middle school and a high school in High Point that have five or seven hundred vacant seats, and I think it would be foolish to go up there when we don’t have children going to those schools.”

Price, who runs what is perhaps the largest real estate agency in High Point, said the school system could find 10 acres for a maintenance depot anywhere in High Point. “To even think of putting a maintenance shed or whatever it is, a barn, on the entrance to our athletic complex that we have spent over $6 million in bond money to build, just boggles my mind. And if we need 10 acres to do this repair trucking thing, we could buy it anywhere in High Point,” he said. “But would we really put it beside our youth sports spaces?” The wording of Garrett’s motion left open the possibility of a land trade rather than a cash purchase, and Smothers said High Point has 10 acres on Dillon Road in mind. “I had hoped we could trade land with them,” she said. “We have a piece of land much more centrally located if they want to have some kind of depot. I think Ed knows a lot more about real estate than the school board does. I think they might put some credibility in what he thinks, but apparently not.”

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 35

Thursday, February 2, 2012

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MYSTERY SHOPPERS - Get paid to shop! Retail/ Dining establishments need undercover clients to judge quality/customer service. Make up to $150 a day. Call 1-888-912-2928 SAPA CRANE OPERATORS Berry Bros. in Berwick, LA looking for experienced DRAGLINE OPERATORS for our Gulf South Division. Contact Troy @ 1-800-7478771 Valid in FL, LA, MS & GA. SAPA NOW HIRING! National Companies need workers immediately to assemble products at home. Electronics, CD stands, hair barrettes & many more. Easy work, no selling, any hours. $500/week potential. Info 1-985-646-1700 DEPT NC - 4152 (Not valid in Louisiana) SAPA TRUCK DRIVERS Wanted- Best Pay and Home Time! Apply Online Today over 750 Companies! One Application, Hundreds of Offers! www. SAPA AIRLINES ARE HIRING - Train for hands on Aviation Maintenance Career. FAA approved program. Financial Aid if Qualified - Housing available. CALL Aviation Institute of Maintenance. 1-866-724-5403. SAPA

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The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Page 37

Beep (Continued from page 31) all, we wouldn’t have such a mess. But, again, thank you to those people that are doing it. I hope you read this and know somebody does appreciate it. Thank you. %%% Hi. Thanks for that great article exposing the wickedness of the loan to Deep Roots. What Deep Roots and many others do not realize is that we are all going to be shopping at Whole Foods when they open. Hooray, hooray. We can’t wait for Whole Foods. And, so, there you go. Thanks. Bye. %%% Yeah, I got two things. One is the president of the United States does not control the price of gas. The stock market does. And if you think if the pipeline is open, which is going to generate more fuel, is going to lower the price of gas, you’re sadly mistaken, because the people in control of that are going to keep the price where they want it. It’s that simple. And if Jodi

Riddleberger can’t get her video played at the commissioners meeting, why don’t she get up and speak? Because I’m sure they haven’t taken that away. So, next time she’s at the meeting, just get up and say what you think. You don’t have to play a video. Use your brain. %%% I’ve got the answer to the Greensboro Coliseum and the city’s people that’s paying tax. Matt Brown believes in this Coliseum and believes in what it could do. Lease the Coliseum to Matt Brown. Give the City of Greensboro 10 cents on every ticket that’s sold. Just a dime. That way the city would not have to come up with all this money at the end of the year. Matt can pay the expenses out there, and he can pay the employees, and pay their insurance. They would work for him. Everybody would be happy. These old women that’s trying to live off of Social Security that’s taking their tax money and redoing the Coliseum that gets no effect out of it whatsoever, it’s not fair. That would settle the whole thing.

Matt’s got all the answers. Turn it over to him. Give the city a dime out of every ticket that’s sold. Everybody wins. %%% I just ran into a weird situation. It’s amazing that veterinarians in this City of Greensboro will not treat your pet without full payment at the time of treatment. Seems this would be some sort of animal cruelty, them having to endure extra pain and suffering because the vet cannot get their money full – at the time of treatment. Just a thought. Thank you. %%% Have you seen how we are worried about not having representation in our district for two years? Well, the truth is our own representative, so-called representative, won’t return our calls, doesn’t answer the phone. So, we’ve had no representation for more than two years. And if we get the same representative, so-called, back, we won’t have it in two years from now. We don’t have anybody representing us worth


TV commercials are now brought to you by the programs instead of the programs brought to you by commercials? There is more time spent on commercials than on programs. Isn’t it about time we asked for a change? Bye. %%% Has anybody noticed on television that the Yes, I read the president talked last night about raising taxes on the rich, which I’m not opposed to. I do think everybody needs to pay their fair share. But I didn’t hear him say anything about revenue neutral. What I’m saying is, if they raise taxes on the rich, they need to reduce taxes on the middle class. The government should not get another dime out of it. It should be revenue neutral. It’s just about sharing the expense, not increasing the amount of taxes the government gets. %%%



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Page 38

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro


(Continued from page 33)

Payne said that, in this situation, one requirement for having standing – that is, potentially having a legitimate lawsuit – is that the person or persons bringing the suit must have been harmed. “’Standing’ means you are injured in fact,” Payne said. The most obvious case of who might have standing under the current law would be those who live in District 6, since they would have a fairly straightforward argument that they pay taxes and are subject to the laws of Guilford County like everyone else in the county – yet they have no representation. Payne said those county residents could argue that their voting rights had been infringed upon. But Payne added that county citizens outside of District 6 might also have standing. He said county citizens from any district could conceivably make the case that they are harmed by the new board structure. “They could argue the imbalance of representation leads to bad government,” Payne said. As a practical matter, also, if someone wanted to bring a lawsuit and didn’t live in District 6 it’s highly likely that they could – as long as they bankrolled the lawsuit – find someone in the district sympathetic to the cause to bring the complaint. Earls, in her Jan. 31 letter to the attorney general, states that she is not yet providing

the names of the individual plaintiffs so their privacy can be protected if the state takes action on its own and no lawsuit is necessary. Two weeks ago, the Guilford County Board of Elections sent a letter expressing concerns to the State Board of Elections, which passed the message on to the NC Attorney General’s office and the Attorney General has now responded. On Thursday, Jan. 26, Susan Nichols, special deputy attorney general, sent a letter to Gary Bartlett, executive director of the State Board of Elections. She explained the attorney general’s position and gave the state board directions on how Guilford County election officials should proceed. Nichols, in her letter, cites a 1954 NC Supreme Court case, Tucker v. NC Board of Alcohol Control, which, she said, makes it clear that Guilford County Board of Elections has no authority to hold an election, and, therefore, even though Guilford County officials may see a need for a District 6 or an at-large representative, the county doesn’t have any power to hold an election not authorized by the General Assembly. “The problems that may arise because no commissioner will be elected to the District 6 seat or the at-large seat until 2014 may not be addressed by elections officials because they are without power under the circumstances to schedule an election that has not been authorized by statute or to reschedule one for an earlier

date,” her letter reads. “It is appropriate, as your office and the county elections officials have already done, to discuss your concerns about anomalies in S.L. 2011-407 with the legislature and its staff.” When Gilbert was asked, just before the news of the potential lawsuit from the local NAACP, what Guilford County could do at this point – given the opinion from the Attorney General’s Office and the lack of a will in the General Assembly to change things – to help reduce the chances of a lawsuit against the county, he had a oneword answer. “Nothing,” Gilbert said. When Payne was asked that same question, also just before the news of the lawsuit, Payne gave the same answer. “Nothing,” Payne responded.

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Gap (Continued from page 34) But there is no evidence that’s happening in Guilford County Schools, whose administrators are leaning heavily on one Texas study as proof that there is implicit bias in punishment in all public schools. Another problem is how the directive is interpreted by principals, however intended by Green. Many Guilford County Schools teachers have told The Rhinoceros Times that they are, in effect, forbidden from punishing black male students for all but the most severe criminal offenses – and that

students who commit lesser offenses are routinely returned to the classroom, where they disrupt the education of other students. Teachers say that students who go unpunished quickly learn that they don’t have to change their behavior. The argument for reducing suspensions of black males is that they are being suspended at disproportionate rates for the same offenses. If that’s true, the data is not yet there to support it, as most studies analyze only the rate of suspensions – not the number of offenses committed.

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro

,,, It is incredible that the Republican powers that be are once again declaring Romney the nominee. Earlier they had said he had the nomination in his pocket because he had won Iowa and New Hampshire, and was on his way to winning South Carolina. The problem was that despite the best efforts of the Republican hierarchy there was no way they could give Romney Iowa. They tried but it turns out other people can count. Romney did win New Hampshire, which was essentially campaigning in his own back yard, but he lost South Carolina big time. It was much more difficult to make the argument that Romney had won the national campaign when he had won one out of three states. Now that he has won two out of four, it is easy for the big dogs in the Republican Party to once again declare Romney the winner, even though he hasn’t amassed 1 percent of the votes he will need to get the nomination. It is no wonder why the Romney campaign wants to declare victory. People like to vote

for a front-runner, and if the campaign can convince the American people that Romney is the candidate then he more than likely will be. It also makes fundraising much easier if you are the front-runner. It doesn’t seem right though that the bigwigs in the Republican Party are so ready to anoint Romney as the nominee. It is well to remember that the reason the Republican Party is known far and wide as the stupid party is not because of the conservative members but because of the party leadership. The leadership of the Republican Party decided that Sen. John McCain would be the best candidate in 2008 and decided that Sen. Bob Dole would be the best candidate in 1996. The Republican establishment was not overly fond of George Walker Bush, but he won anyway. Now McCain, Dole and the establishment are all terrified that Newt Gingrich will get the nomination. McCain is one of the reasons the country has Obama as president. And McCain’s disastrous and poorly run campaign was the reason Obama went into the White House with a filibusterproof majority in the Senate and enough Democrats in the House to do whatever he wanted. If the Republicans had simply put up a candidate who had run a reasonable national campaign then we most likely wouldn’t have Gov. Bev Perdue running the State of North Carolina. Dole was a pitiful national candidate who never seemed to get the idea that he needed to give the people some reason to vote for him other than he was the Republican nominee. McCain set about sabotaging his own campaign, as if he were terrified that he would win, so he did what he could to make sure he didn’t have a chance. And these are the folks who are now desperate to make certain that Romney is carrying the Republican banner in the fall. If Romney were smart he would ask McCain to endorse Gingrich or Santorum.

Page 39

before filing opens, announce she isn’t going to run. One is health. I have it on good authority that the governor is not stepping down because of any health issues. The other is because she has learned that she is about to be indicted. Her mentor, former Gov. Mike Easley, was indicted after leaving office and was convicted of a felony. Several of Perdue’s 2008 campaign staff have been indicted: Her finance chairman, Peter Reichard, who is the former president of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, was convicted of one felony in connection with the 2008 Perdue campaign. Two other people associated with the Perdue campaign were also indicted. It is certainly possible that Perdue agreed not to run for reelection as part of a deal. Perhaps the US attorney agreed not to indict her until after she served her term if she agreed not to run for reelection Of course it could be that Perdue realized there was no way she was going to beat Pat McCrory again and decided not to prolong the agony. However, that seems highly unlikely. Candidates almost always think they are going to win. They may say that they know they don’t have a chance but in their hearts they have this belief that somehow at the end of the night they will be declared the winner. I have interviewed candidates on the eve of the election who finished with less than 20 percent of the vote but they could explain in detail why despite the odds they were going to win.

By John Hammer Perdue beat McCrory once, even though the polls had said early on that McCrory was ahead. One theory is that the National Democratic Party asked Perdue to step aside because she couldn’t win, and not having a strong candidate would hurt President Barack Hussein Obama’s chances of winning North Carolina. Right now it looks like Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton is going to be the Democratic candidate, and although he holds statewide office the vast majority of the people in the state have no idea who he is. It just doesn’t seem possible that the National Democratic Party is so out of touch that it believes Dalton would help Obama more than Perdue. Of course, someone should tell the Obama campaign that they are not going to win North Carolina. Four years ago the Republicans ran an extremely poor candidate and the Democrats had an extremely charismatic one. Plus four years ago Obama was making history by becoming the first black person elected president of the United States. He can’t do that again. Four years ago no one could blame Obama for the economy. Today people do blame Obama for the economy and it appears that his solutions have not worked, although he is going to campaign like they have. It doesn’t look like Obama has much chance in North Carolina, but then again the Republicans could nominate a candidate who will give the race to Obama.

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,,, North Carolina Gov. Beverly “Dumpling” Perdue announced last week that to benefit the school children of North Carolina she was not going to run for reelection. One might assume that Perdue thinks the school children of North Carolina will be better off without Perdue in the governor’s mansion. I agree with her, but for some reason I don’t think that is what she meant. She tried to say in her terse announcement that by being a lame duck governor she would be better able to fight for school children. It makes no sense. There is a reason why they call someone in office who is not running for reelection a lame duck and that is because they don’t have much power. They cannot threaten to make opponents’ lives miserable for the next four years or threaten to veto legislation coming up in the next session. They can beg and plead, but a governor can do that whether they are running or not. There are only two reasons that come to mind that would explain why a sitting governor who has repeatedly said she was going to run for reelection would, two weeks

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Mitt Romney won Florida by a pretty good margin, although the final figures showed that he still failed to get more votes than the three more conservative candidates combined. The old guard of the Republican Party is behind Romney and turned out in force to support him. This should be reason enough for anyone to vote for Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Rep. Ron Paul. The old guard who is so against Gingrich should take a look at how Romney beat him in Florida. He beat Gingrich with what used to be called dirty tricks and by outspending him by 5 to 1 according to one estimate. The dirty tricks part is actually encouraging. It shows that Romney has some spunk. He sent campaign workers to Gingrich events to heckle Gingrich. The idea was to get Gingrich to lose his temper, which is not a difficult task. But if Romney tried that tactic against a sitting president it is likely that he would end up with a bunch of campaign workers being hauled off to jail by the Secret Service. Not to mention the bad publicity his campaign would receive. Heckling the president of the United States is not looked on kindly by the American people, even if they disagree with him. The other method won’t work either because even though Romney is a rich man and knows a lot of rich men he is not going to raise $1 billion to run against Obama, and Obama is going to have close to $1 billion to run his campaign. What the Republicans need is someone who can win without spending more than their opponent and that is not Romney. The way this race is shaping up is that Gingrich can win if he sneaks up on Romney and overtakes in the last couple of days, but if Gingrich gets ahead early like he did in Iowa and Florida, the Romney campaign will crush him. However, if Romney, with his limited resources, can crush Gingrich just by spending money, imagine what Obama with his nearly unlimited resources could do up against Gingrich.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

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trademark owned by Michelin North America, Inc. Copyright Copy Cop C opy pyri py rrigh rig ig iigh gh g ht © 2 201 2010 20 010 10 0M Mi Mic Michelin i heli helin he hel elliin N eli No North orth rth h Ame Amer A America, mer erica ica, ic ca, In ca, ca Inc IInc.. Al A Allll rri rights ghtss res ghts rreserved. esseerve rveed d. TThe he M he Miche Michelin iche ic che heelin h liln Man Man is is a rreg registered egi giste istered d tra trademark adem mar ark ow o owned w wned ned ed db byy M Michelin ich ic ich iche hellin lin in North No No Nort Nor ort or rt rth America, A Am meeeric er aa, IInc. nc.


Page 40

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rhinoceros Times Greensboro



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