The Rhino Times will hold its April Showers Schmoozefest on Thursday, April 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Blue Agave Mexican Bar & Grill at 3900 Battleground Ave. Those who sign in and wear a name tag are welcome to enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and beer and wine (while supplies last).
City Councilmember Justin Outling has unofficially set the record for long distance participation in a City Council meeting at a little over 6,000 miles. Outling participated in the special City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 25, by phone from Israel. We’re not sure who keeps the records on the longest long distance call to City Council meetings, but this one is going to be tough to beat.
It is difficult for me to believe that anybody thinks that in the $716 million Guilford County Schools budget that the only possible cut the Guilford County school board could make to free up a few dollars is to fire a part-time chorus teacher at Northern Guilford High School.
It is absurd, but for some reason people believe it. When the schools don’t get all the money they want, they invariably decide that the only possible cut is a popular program at a school with an extremely active PTA.
In the past, the school board once decided that the only possible cuts were language programs at Grimsley High School. The Northern parents should take the proposed cut of a chorus teacher as a compliment. It means the school board now believes that the parents at Northern are more active and well organized than the parents at what has always been the flagship high school in Guilford County – Grimsley.
Here is a cut that wouldn’t affect a single student: Reduce the travel budget for the central office administration by $31,000, which reportedly was the cost of the part-time teacher. Or even better eliminate the travel budget. Does anybody really believe that students will be less well educated in Guilford County if the central office staff doesn’t travel to any conventions for a year, or for that matter for 10 years?
It’s unfortunate, but the bill to allow small breweries to sell more than 25,000 barrels of beer a year without hiring a distributor appears dead for this session.
The big beer industry, including the distributors, have an immensely powerful lobby. Although no sensible person would argue that a couple of small breweries in North Carolina selling 50,000 or 100,000 barrels of beer a year is going to hurt the huge international conglomerates that own the major brands, the conglomerates that own the national brands make a slippery slope argument. In other words, they aren’t willing to give an inch even if it won’t hurt them and would really help a number of small businesses.
The Republicans who control the legislature should take a look at the entire alcohol industry in North Carolina. If they are truly in favor of capitalism they should allow the alcohol industry, like the other industries in North Carolina, to operate with far less regulation. Currently a beer distributorship in North Carolina is a license to make money because each distributor has no competition for the brands it carries in its district.
Local breweries are a rapidly expanding industry in the state, providing new jobs and opportunities. The state should nurture these small businesses the way that it says it does.
Those opposed to voter identification laws declared victory when the North Carolina State Board of Elections announced that 508 illegal votes were cast in the last election. Most of these votes were by people who registered under their own names, but because they were convicted felons who had not completed their sentences were ineligible to vote.
A couple of things to consider before cheering the clean voting record of North Carolinians. First is that these people would not have been hampered by a voter ID law because they voted under their own names. But far more important is that if a voter went into a polling place and voted under the name of some other registered voter, there is no way to discover that illegal vote, unless the actual voter then comes in to vote. Voter identification would make if far more difficult for a person to vote under a different registered voter’s name. It’s not too difficult to vote under a false name. All someone has to do is check the online voter registration roles and look for a voter who hasn’t voted in the past five or 10 elections. It’s a safe bet that they won’t suddenly decide to vote. It is a felony but the chances of being caught are small.
It’s also worth considering that the state elections office fired one worker before the November election for teaching people how to vote illegally, and another worker was discovered telling election workers that voter registration forms don’t have to be signed, when by law they do.
These are the same people checking for voter fraud. It makes you wonder.
In North Carolina, we know what is important to us and it’s college basketball. The state was willing to put up with the loss of some jobs and being the butt of jokes because of House Bill 2, which was never properly reported about by the mainstream media. But when college basketball was threatened, something had to be done. The idea that for five years no NCAA basketball tournament games would be played in North Carolina was too much for the state to handle.
The basketball threat got far-left Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper together with the conservative Republican House and Senate to make a deal that nobody really liked, but for basketball everyone was willing to take a hit.
If Michael Jordon ever decides to go into politics, he can name his office in North Carolina.