Author: Elaine Hammer

About Elaine Hammer

Here are my most recent posts

Dems Win All City Council Primary Races

All nine members of the City Council made it through the primary, where a total of 38 names were on the ballot. Some said that the number of candidates who filed to run indicated that the people of Greensboro were not pleased with the current City Council, but that’s not the message that was sent by the 8.4 percent who voted in the primary. The only incumbent who didn’t win his race was District 5 City Councilmember Tony Wilkins, who finished 80 votes behind challenger Tammi Thurm in the four-way primary. Thurm finished the night with 1,066 votes for...

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Vow, Falling, Paul Simon, Children of the Fleet

Thanks, John Hammer, for your many years of vetting the candidates for local office and telling us the unvarnished truth about them. Readers of the Rhino Times are well aware of your principled positions on the important issues, but what you have never been is partisan.  Though you seem more likely to favor Republican candidates, you are perfectly capable of exposing incompetent, dishonest and stupid candidates regardless of their party – while you give even those whose views you oppose a fear hearing in your endorsement issues, so readers can make up their own minds. I think that in all the years I’ve been reading your endorsements, only once have I gone ahead and voted contrary to your recommendation.  And in that case you were pretty iffy on the candidate I ended up favoring, so it’s not as if I’ve ever found any reason to reject your evidence and arguments entirely. In short: Good work.  Thanks for making Rhino Times one of the best local papers in America.  Maybe the best, but I haven’t read all of them, and besides, I wouldn’t want to embarrass you. …. Old movie discovery: I never noticed the 2012 Channing Tatum/Rachel McAdams movie The Vow, but that’s probably because it would have been hyped as one of those contrived, implausible tearjerker movies that I ignore the way I ignore the kinds of books...

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Letters to the Editor: Sept. 7, 2017

Still time to donate Dear Editor, The tragedy that occurred in Houston and southern Louisiana two-and-a-half weeks ago caused massive damage to that region of the country. I believe Texans when they say that they will come back stronger than ever. Nevertheless, it might be prudent to help them in any way possible. The secular elites on both coasts (think New York and California) who look down their noses at religious people and organizations will probably donate to the Red Cross, Americares, the United Way and other local secular aid organizations. They will almost certainly not donate to the Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse or Catholic Charities because those organizations are built on religious foundations. That is sad. These religion-based groups need funds and volunteers. So, if you still intend to donate to disaster relief, please consider donating to the Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse or Catholic Charities, even if you are not Catholic. If you would like to donate to help out displaced pets, consider donating to “Austin Pets Alive” (1156 W. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78703). Google “Austin Pets Alive” to see examples of the good work they do rescuing and saving lost and displaced animals. All of these organizations may be looked up on Facebook or Google. Be aware of scams. The organizations’ websites should end in “.org.” If you do not recognize a name, the group may...

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If You Didn’t Get a Message, It Was Scott

County Editor Scott Yost is taking a well deserved break from column writing. In the meantime, here is a classic Yost Column from 2005.   I got a call from former Rhino Times school coverer Lauren Slocum the other day. “Hey,” I said. “What’s up?” she said. “Nothing, what do you need?” I asked. There was silence for a moment. “You called me,” she said. “I know,” I said. I had called her about an hour earlier. “But this time you called me.” “You didn’t leave a message,” I said. “Didn’t you hear?” I said. “Hear what?” “It’s uncool to leave messages anymore.” “It is?” she said. Obviously this was the first she’d heard of it. “Oh yeah,” I said. “I never do it anymore. It’s very uncool.” “Well, what if you want people to call you back?” “You don’t need to leave a message; they always check to see who called and they always call back.” “They do?” “Always,” I said. “You called, didn’t you?” “Yeah, I guess so.” So I think I have a convert to my new movement – the Don’t Leave Messages Anymore Movement. Think of how much extra time we’ll have in our lives if we don’t waste time leaving and listening to messages. Leaving messages is very uncool. (I should make one caveat: I’m talking about when it comes to your personal life....

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Hardister and Wade Address Fowl Attractive Nuisance at PTIA

“It’s dangerous for the airplanes and it’s dangerous for the birds too,” North Carolina Rep. Jon Hardister said of water retention ponds near airports. And, thanks to brand new state legislation that Hardister and State Sen. Trudy Wade helped push through in the final hours of state budget negotiations, Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) and other airports in the state won’t have to worry about that hazard. The new law is a big help to PTIA, especially where there’s major development underway – including a new taxiway bridge across I-73 that will allow runway access to a roughly 800-acre aviation megasite just across the interstate from the airport. These days, PTIA is laying down a lot of concrete, and usually projects of this sort require the construction of corresponding retention ponds to manage storm water runoff. That’s a fine plan for most projects – it helps protect the water supply – however, retention ponds near airports are a big problem since they attract geese and other fowl, which notoriously don’t mix well with aircraft. The new law pushed through by Hardister and Wade provides some relief from those watershed regulations, and PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker said this week that this change will help cut the red tape as the airport moves forward with its new projects. Since 2012, airports outside of watershed critical areas have had some exemptions...

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