I think a snowstorm like the one we had last weekend is one of the things that makes living in Greensboro great. We got somewhere around 10 inches of snow and temperatures that reportedly dipped into the single digits.
It was like taking a trip to New Hampshire or Maine for the weekend. But by this Friday, Jan. 13, the temperatures are supposed to be up close to 70 and you don’t get that in New England. So we get some snow to play in and talk about. Yankee transplants get to show off their snow shoveling techniques while their neighbors build snowmen, go sledding or just walk around and marvel at how the snow transforms everything.
Big snowstorms don’t happen often enough to be a burden, but often enough that it’s a good idea to own a sled. I have never in my life owned a snow shovel. They don’t seem to work very well with ice and I don’t have a problem with snow. Shoveling snow seems pointless unless you own a business and have to clear the sidewalk. I don’t mind walking through the snow for a couple of days, and then the snow magically disappears and I haven’t lifted a finger.
I know it’s not like that up north, where if you don’t keep up with shoveling your front walk, after a while you’re climbing in an upstairs window, or so I’ve been told.
Also, snow around here gets people out in their neighborhoods. Most people don’t want to drive, so after they get tired of their own homes they get out in the snow. This past weekend I saw neighbors I hadn’t run into since the last snow and probably won’t see again until the next one.
The city currently has plans to spend $300,000 on a diversity study to determine whether the city’s Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program is justified. Everyone knows the results of the study will be that yes, it is justified.
City Councilmember Mike Barber said that regardless of what the study shows, the city is going to have an MWBE Program because the City Council is committed to it. So he has come up with what he thinks is a better way to spend $300,000 than on a study, and that is to join with the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Greensboro Inc. to set up programs to assist MWBE companies and also provide funding for seed money for start-up MWBE companies.
Barber says he has a draft of the plan and that both the chamber and DGI are on board with the basic idea.
Barber plans to bring the draft of his MWBE initiative to the Greensboro City Council at the next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 20, which will be the City Council’s first meeting in a full month. Since the City Council usually meets three to four times a month, this has been an unusually long Christmas break, but I haven’t heard any complaints. No doubt the city staff has gotten caught up on a lot of work.
Rhino Times Publisher and CEO of The Carroll Companies Roy Carroll has started tweeting @roycarrollgso.
Here are a couple of his first tweets: “2 Jan. 2017- Saved a guy that was drowning off Shell Beach in St Bart’s today. I can’t remember when I’ve seen such fear and panic in someone’s face.”
“6 Jan. 2017- Just got the final total on the property taxes I paid in 2016. $10.5 million. Who says the wealthy don’t pay their share?”
It looks like Carroll is sending out some pretty interesting tweets, but it will be a while before he can compete with the tweeter-in-chief Donald Trump.
It’s not a good sign when the biggest news is about a newsreader. Could there have been any more reports that Megyn Kelly was leaving Fox and going to NBC? Really, a president-elect is putting together his cabinet, the president looks like he might decide to end his eight years in office by going to war with Russia and the big news is that Megyn Kelly has a new boss.
It has always been true that the thing journalists love to report on the most is other journalists. I’m not sure that Megyn Kelly is a journalist; she is more of a celebrity who reads well and looks great while she’s doing it.
What did she do at the first presidential debate she participated in? She made it about her rather than about the candidates. It was a great move for her career, but the best debate moderators are like the best referees – you never know they are there. People notice referees when they make a mistake, and they notice moderators when they hold up a huge sign that says, “Let’s talk about me.”
Here’s something to be thankful for: The Greensboro Board of Adjustment is finally doing its job and granting variances to overrule the city when it has tried to enforce some of the overly stringent city ordinances.
I drove past a house on Meadowbrook Terrace for the first time since a two-car garage with a covered porch over it was added. It looks like it has always been there and I’m sure it added considerable value to the house, since today people like having garages. But a variance was needed for the addition because it didn’t meet the obtuse angle front-side diagonal setback or some such regulation.
The next step is for the City Council to stand up to the Planning Department and get rid of some of these unnecessarily complex and strict regulations.
Just for kicks, look up the front setback requirements for residential neighborhoods and then see if you can figure out what the setback is on your lot. The city itself has problems with it and a building permit was denied for a house on Lafayette Avenue because the city kept coming up with different setbacks.
Although I know there is actually no obtuse angle front-side diagonal setback, some of the setback requirements seem to make about as much sense. I don’t see where it accomplishes anything other than making life difficult for homeowners, builders and developers, and generating work for city employees.