February 6, 2014
The fire at Import Knight Body Repair on South Elm Street on Thursday, Jan. 30, injured four firefighters when the roof collapsed, and one was still hospitalized but continuing to improve on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
In Greensboro politicians talk about jobs, jobs, jobs all the time. They don’t seem to do a lot about bringing jobs to Greensboro, but they do love to talk about it.
In Chattanooga the government actually did something to improve its infrastructure to bring in new high tech jobs. Improving infrastructure is what the government is supposed to do. In Greensboro we just give away money and shovel dirt.
According to an article in The New York Times, Chattanooga built what city officials say is the first, the fastest and one of the least expensive internet services in the US. The speed is 50 times the average for most of the country at one gigabit per second. Internet service at that one-gigabit-a-second speed costs its users less than $70 a month, and it means someone can download a high definition feature length movie in 33 seconds versus 25 minutes for most of the rest of us.
Some folks say that “The Gig” hasn’t resulted in the multitude of jobs that supporters said it would, but industry analysts also say that patience is necessary. All the jobs aren’t going to come at once just because the city has super high speed internet, but they are coming and Chattanooga is attracting the kind of young entrepreneurs it wanted.
Instead of trying to recreate Research Triangle Park, which was created over 60 years ago, maybe Greensboro would do better to try and recreate “Gig City,” which was only created four years ago. Or maybe we could even try to get in on the next big thing. Whatever Greensboro does, shoveling dirt and handing out money doesn’t seem to be working.
After lengthy negotiations, starting this week the Rhino Times will be available in nine Harris Teeter grocery stores. The locations are on Friendly Avenue, Francis King Street, High Point Road, Pisgah Church Road, West Market Street, New Garden Road, Lawndale Drive and 3357 and 4010 Battleground Avenue.
We continue to expand our distribution and are always looking for good locations. If you would like to have the Rhino distributed at your place of business let us know at 763-4170 and we’ll see what we can do.
Some campaigns are shorter than others. Former Greensboro City Councilmember Danny Thompson announced this week that he will not run for the District 3 Guilford County commissioner seat currently held by Commissioner Linda Shaw, who is not running for reelection. Last week Thompson announced that he would run for Shaw’s seat.
Thompson, in a press release, gave this reason for not running: “Due to recent business developments, I will need to focus my energies in leading our management team through an exciting expansion.” He said that with the expansion of his company, Comfort Keepers, he hopes to create 45 new jobs and expand service beyond Guilford County.
When told that Thompson was dropping out, President of Libby Hill Seafood Justin Conrad, who has also announced he will be running for the District 3 seat, said, “It’s always nice to hear that a local homegrown business is doing well and I wish him success in his business endeavors.”
Conrad added, “I think it’s fair to say that Danny would have been a formidable opponent.”
Filing for the 2014 elections doesn’t start until next week, but candidates declared as early as last spring.
Conrad had made his intention to run known several months ago. Thompson had said he wouldn’t run against Shaw, but when she announced she wasn’t running Thompson announced that he was, and now he isn’t.
I have been accused of being related to 6th Congressional District candidate Bruce VonCannon, and I have every reason to believe it’s true. My grandmother’s maiden name was VonCanon. Her father – my great grandfather J.B. VonCanon – was from Asheboro, which is where Bruce VonCannon is from. Most of the VonCanon relatives I know are from West End in Moore County, but my grandmother used to tell me that I was related to all the VonCannons in Asheboro. So I believe we are related and my guess is we are fourth or fifth cousins. As far as the spelling goes, family legend is that J.B. VonCannon had some business cards printed where they spelled his name J.B. VonCanon. Since he didn’t have money for new business cards, he changed the spelling of his name. I wish when we misspelled someone’s name in the paper they would cooperate like that.
Our colleague Jeff Gauger, the publisher and editor of the News & Record, evidently has a short attention span. Some people have wondered why articles in the N&R are so short; it might be they are as long as Jeff can keep his mind on one topic. Jeff has accused the Rhino Times of being “rude” and “goofy” because of the headline of a story about Guilford County Commissioner Linda Shaw announcing she would not run for reelection. The headline, which Jeff can’t figure out, is “Harper Valley Honey Hangs It Up.” Like a lot of headlines, if you don’t read the story it doesn’t make sense. But if you read the story all the way to the end you find out that Shaw was almost famous.
The hit song “Harper Valley PTA” was more or less about Shaw, who at the time was president of the Harpeth Valley PTA in Nashville, Tennesee. Shaw said, “When I lived there I was president of the Harpeth Valley PTA on which the song was based.”
She also said that Tom T. Hall, who wrote the song, lived down the street. It was an interesting start to Shaw’s lengthy political career and a fact about that career that few around here had heard.
The purpose of a headline is to encourage people to read the story. I would imagine more than a few readers read that story looking for the connection to the Harper Valley PTA, and those who could read past the jump found out the rest of the story.
Republicans in Guilford County are holding a tribute to honor retiring 6th District Congressman Howard Coble on Saturday, Feb. 8 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the High Point Country Club. Tickets are $100 per person and $500 for the VIP reception. For more information, go to howardcobletribute.org.
Proceeds from the event will be used to help elect Republican candidates in Guilford County.
The North Carolina Republican Party sent out a press release informing people that the paychecks for most North Carolinians went up in January because the Republican General Assembly and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory reduced the state income tax rate.
I thought about all the graphs and charts that the mainstream media put out to prove that tax increases really don’t hurt that much. If a Democratic governor and legislature had cut taxes, the front pages of all the mainstream newspapers would be full of information about how much more the typical North Carolinian could buy. The pages would include stories on how this would not only help workers but help stores and businesses because people would have more disposable income. But the Republicans did it so there really isn’t much reason to mention it.
Scott Yost mentioned it in an article, but we wanted to get in our own congratulations to Ken Conrad, who is chairman of the Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants and now chairman of the National Restaurant Association.
Ken Conrad was previously chair of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association.
The Guilford County Board of Education is evidently out to teach the children of Guilford County that if a government passes a law with which you disagree, then the proper remedy is simply to disobey the law. I suppose that would follow for students in school and the rules that the school board passes. For example, if the school board passes a regulation that all schools are to be tobacco free zones and you believe that infringes on your rights as a citizen, then you should not attempt to challenge the rule in court, but you should simply ignore it and smoke wherever you want.
Or what about in sports? If the rules say that athletes have to live in the school district, but really good athletes live in another district, why shouldn’t they go to the school they want to attend?
The school board has decided to violate the current law regarding teacher tenure. The school board, if it follows through on its plan, will withhold about $500,000 the first year in bonuses for teachers and spend that money on something else. However, if the Guilford County Board of Education thinks the state is going to give the schools $500,000 for teacher bonuses when the school board says that it does not plan to spend it on teacher bonuses, the school board has not been paying attention to what has been going on in Raleigh.
Love them or hate them, one thing about the Republican legislature is that they are much more involved in state government than the Democrats were. But regardless of whether they are Republicans or Democrats, the legislature expects the other governmental bodies in the state to obey state laws.
It will be interesting to see what the state does with a rogue school board that refuses to obey state law. Maybe the state will come in and take over the school system.
The fact that Greensboro Police Capt. James Hinson is being promoted to deputy chief is an embarrassment to Greensboro.
Hinson was the catalyst that caused the problems with the Greensboro Police Department that led to not only locking Police Chief David Wray out of his office and forcing him to resign, but the resignation or retirement of the entire police command staff with the notable exception of Tim Bellamy, who became police chief. When any organization the size of the Police Department loses its entire upper echelon it causes huge problems, and the Police Department is still recovering. In fact, lawsuits are still pending that resulted from all the turmoil caused by allegations of racial discrimination made by black police officers.
What started all of that was the fact that Hinson, while on duty in a Greensboro police car, found a tracking device on that car. This was not a tracking device on his personal car, but on the police car he was driving when he was working for the city. The reason the tracking device was put on the car is that the Police Department was investigating Hinson, and the detectives who were investigating him couldn’t find Hinson when he was on duty. They put a tracking device on his car to find out where he was when he was supposed to be working as a police lieutenant. It appeared that the night he found the tracking device on his car, he had been at the movie theater, or at least his car was parked at the movie theater for a couple of hours.
Hinson had been investigated by the Police Department several times. Once, after his telephone number was found by police in the safe of Elton Turnball when Turnball was arrested for being a major cocaine dealer. It turned out that Turnbull and Hinson shared a girlfriend who lived in a house owned by Hinson. But no reasonable explanation was ever given as to why Turnbull would keep Hinson’s phone number in his safe.
It was also Hinson’s birthday party where police officers were serviced by prostitutes, an event which has become infamous.
Hinson has a history of being investigated and playing the race card to get out of trouble, and he may be the best at playing the race card in Greensboro.
Most people looking at the new City Council probably think that the biggest change is that Nancy Vaughan is mayor, not Robbie Perkins.
That is a change, but I think in the long run the fact that Mike Barber is back on the City Council will make more of a difference. Barber, whether you like him or not, gets things done. Many of things that Barber has gotten done I have opposed, and have been amazed how he ran circles around me and everyone else.
I’m not sure that anyone else could have gotten the Greensboro Aquatic Center built. It required some trickery – some might call it dishonesty – but others would say that people have a responsibility to know what they are voting for and if they don’t pay attention it’s their own fault.
The Muse, Nelly and I went to Old Salem to walk around on a recent Sunday. I hadn’t been to Old Salem in decades, and the Muse hadn’t been in years. Nelly had never been and was not all that impressed with the old buildings. Nelly did think that to be more authentic they should have had chickens, goats, sheep, cows and horses running around.
West Lee Street was lined with kids of all ages waiting for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey elephants to walk by on their way to the Coliseum on Monday, Feb. 3. The circus will be in town through Sunday, Feb. 9.
Curious George: I see where you describe the promotion of Hinson to deputy chief as an "...embarrassment to Greensboro." I'm curious as to why you fail to mention the name of the person (Chief Kenneth Conrad Miller) who promoted him. Do the two of you have some kind of gentlemen's agreement?
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