It turns out old politicians never go away, they just go out to lunch with each other. Former City Councilmembers Tony Wilkins and Mike Barber had lunch Tuesday and posted this photo on my Facebook page. It received over 30 comments and most of them were pretty nice. Fortunately, Facebook didn’t realize that they had been the two most conservative members of the City Council or it would have probably been blocked.
The April Schmoozefest is Thursday, April 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Loaded Grape at 2915 Battleground Ave. Free snacks, beer and wine will be provided to all business professionals who sign in and wear a name tag while supplies last.
Gov. Roy Cooper got shot down twice by the courts this week. Cooper negotiated a $58 million slush fund to be given to his office by the companies building the natural gas pipeline in Eastern North Carolina. Cooper planned to spend the money in the counties affected by the gas line as he saw fit.
The legislature objected since all state money must, according to the state Constitution, be allocated by the legislature and the courts agreed that there is no provision in the state Constitution for the governor’s office to have a private slush fund.
Cooper also lost in his legal battle to stop the legislature from reducing the number of judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
The News & Record is of course against the EPA rolling back the fuel efficiency standards for cars. But in an editorial that talks about the health hazards of air pollution, the editors fail to mention the fact that rolling back the fuel efficiency standards will save lives.
Cars are made more fuel efficient in part by making them lighter, and people are killed more often in lighter cars than heavier cars. According to a study done by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reducing a light car’s weight by 100 pounds increased the fatality rate by 5.63 percent.
Another study found that reducing the average weight of passenger vehicles by 500 pounds increased annual traffic fatalities by 2,200 to 3,900.
So enforcing the Obama mileage standards might improve air quality but there would be fewer people around to enjoy the cleaner air.
Here’s another complaint about the signage around the Greensboro airport. Going from Greensboro down Bryan Blvd to the airport there is an exit that says PTI Airport and Old Oak Ridge Road, which makes sense. But there is only one lane, and in that lane is the universal right-turn-only sign on the pavement.
If one is to believe the pavement marking, if you are in that lane you have to turn right on to Old Oak Ridge Road – but you don’t. You can go straight out of that lane to what is sometimes called PTI and sometimes GSO Airport on the highway signs.
The state Department of Transportation controls the signage, not the airport; but those right-turn-only arrows need to be blotted out. If arrows are needed, they should be the combined right turn and straight arrows.
Of course, someone looking for the Greensboro airport would be confused by the PTI signs, but then someone looking for PTI would be confused by the GSO signs. We can only be thankful that the Airport Authority didn’t implement the name change, because then no doubt there would be three different signs – some old PTI signs, GSO signs and CNCI signs, making visitors wonder even more if they would ever get out of this place.
Were Has All The Water Gone?
The weather is getting warmer, in fits and starts, but it appears spring might really be here this time, which made me wonder why the fountains in Center City Park were still dry as a bone.
The answer both is and isn’t the extremely cold winter.
Rob Overman, the executive director of Greensboro Downtown Parks Inc. (GDPI), which manages Center City and LeBauer parks, said that barring any unforeseen issues, the fountains in Center City Park should be up and running in two to three weeks.
Overman said, “In July and August our water bill tripled and we discovered a pretty major leak.” Since they had to drain the fountains to repair the leak, they decided to go ahead and do a complete overhaul of the system, including putting in a new filtration system and doing some electrical work, which is where the weather comes into play.
During that extremely cold spell this winter, they couldn’t do any work on the fountains, which put the project a couple of weeks behind schedule. Overman said that they were waiting for one more part and, when that came in, he expected the final work to be completed and the fountains would be up and running again, but the timing all depended on when the part arrived.
Overman said, “The fountains have suffered a lot of damage from folks jumping into the fountains on warm days.” He noted that they thought the splash pad in LeBauer Park would alleviate some of that but it really didn’t.
The total cost of the repairs according to Overman would be about $20,000, which will come from the GDPI budget and won’t require any additional funds from the city.