I’m doubling down on my complaints about traffic lights in Greensboro. While most people wisely stayed home on Wednesday, some of us had to work, which meant driving around in the snow. There was almost no traffic, but the traffic lights in Greensboro were on the same settings as if it had been a normal day.

It’s dangerous to stop on snow and ice. And sometimes it’s impossible to get started going up a hill on ice. The lights should have been on flash with yellow for the thoroughfares and red for the side streets.

Traffic lights also bunch up cars, which is exactly what you don’t want when driving on ice. If your car goes sideways and nobody is around, you straighten up and continue on your way. If there is a car beside you then you have a traffic accident. Sitting at traffic lights, I always watch my rearview mirror for someone coming up behind me who can’t stop. In that situation, I run the light rather than obey the law and have a traffic accident.

Plus, why make people sit in the snow at an empty intersection waiting for the light to change? Other cities put their traffic lights on flash during times of low traffic volume every day. Why can’t we do that in Greensboro?

I, by the way, ran a whole bunch of traffic lights because nothing was coming and I didn’t want to stop unless I had to. I would much rather not have to break the law to drive safely.

*****

The News & Record printed the term that President Donald Trump, according to Sen. Dick Durbin, used to describe certain third world countries.

Managing Editor Steven Doyle felt the need to write a rare column about the decision. Two things are fascinating about his explanation. One is that nowhere in the column does Doyle mention that Trump denied using the term and others who were there say they didn’t hear him say it. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but the fact that he denied saying it and there is no proof seems like it would be worth a mention.

Two, Doyle doesn’t explain why, when President Barack Obama used a similar vulgar term talking about Syria the News & Record didn’t feel the need to print it. Nor did the N&R feel the need to print the words of then president Obama when he called his opponent Mitt Romney a term using yet another variation of this ever useful vulgarity.

Nor did the N&R print what Vice President Joe Biden had to say about Obamacare where he used the F-word to describe it.

Doyle seems to be saying that the N&R decided to use the word as a service to their readers, but it is an odd service that the N&R feels the need to print the actual words someone said a Republican president said, and not print the actual words you can hear a Democratic president saying.

It is a judgment call, but the evidence points to the N&R making the decision based on partisan politics, which is not the least bit surprising, but it would be so much more honest if they would simply admit their liberal bias and quit pretending that it doesn’t exist.

*****

Despite the fact that in my adult life I have never had a snow holiday, I still get excited like a kid who gets out of school on snow days. Newspapers don’t close down for snow, but it doesn’t matter, a snow day, even a working snow day, feels like an unexpected holiday. And as soon as we get this paper out (which we must have done if your reading this) I plan to take full advantage of the snow.

*****

During the recent City Council election, the candidates constantly said they wanted to focus on jobs. Some said good paying jobs and jobs in east Greensboro, but jobs was a constant topic.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioner Alan Branson said that the focus of the county commissioners this year was going to be on jobs.

It reminds me of candidates who say they are in favor of good government. Are there people in favor of bad government? Are there people in the area who would like to see fewer jobs? Actually there are, but I don’t think any of them have been elected

So what is being done in Guilford County and Greensboro to attract jobs?

Greensboro is well known as one of the most difficult cities to build practically anything.

The Randolph County commissioners are also interested in jobs and have put millions of dollars into the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite. The Guilford County commissioners are building a new animal shelter. You have to wonder which is going to attract more jobs to the area.

*****

The false alarm in Hawaii is another demonstration of technology getting ahead of good sense. The government now has the ability to send out alerts to people, but they really don’t know how to use it yet.

For a short while I got emergency alerts on my phone and it seemed to me like I was constantly getting alerts about a thunderstorm in Alamance, Rockingham or Randolph counties. I hate to be harsh and unfeeling but I don’t really care about thunderstorms even in Guilford County.

I don’t see a thunderstorm as an emergency. Even if I was standing on top of a hill with a long metal pole pointing up toward the sky, I don’t need an alert on my phone because I can see and hear. The warning would tell me that it was not a good day to stand on a hill with a long metal pole, but I don’t know what other use the alert is. I turned off the alerts because the warnings I was receiving were not useful.

I would imagine that thousands of people in Hawaii are turning the emergency alerts off on their phones. Being told once that your death is imminent is probably enough.

*****

The people that Nelson Johnson of the Beloved Community Center has chosen to champion in the past couple of years haven’t done so well. In fact, if you want to stay out of prison it might be wise to tell Johnson you don’t want his help.

Rufus Scales, Dejuan Yourse and now Jose Charles have all been causes taken on by Johnson where he filled the Council Chambers with followers shouting and demanding that these men were mistreated by the police.

Scales, who was given $50,000 by the city because he was arrested after being initially told by police not to walk down the middle of the street, was arrested last January for breaking and entering.

Yourse was caught by police apparently trying to break in his mother’s house, something his mother had told police she suspected him of doing previously. His arrest for “sitting on his mother’s front porch” resulted in two police officers losing their jobs and Yourse got $95,000 from the city.

Yourse is currently serving an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence after being convicted of assaulting a female and related charges, which were a result of Yourse becoming enraged over a cold pizza.

Charles didn’t get any money from the city, but for weeks Johnson’s people were at City Council meetings claiming that Charles had been attacked by the police. By this time the City Council had wised up and after viewing the video determined that their best course of action was to stay out of it.

Now Charles has been charged with attempted murder in Gibsonville. The fact that he was charged in Gibsonville makes it more difficult to claim a Greensboro Police Department conspiracy against him.

*****

I usually leave product reviews to Uncle Orson, but I’m going to make an exception for my Coleman duck boots. I bought them years ago because they were on sale and I figured Coleman wouldn’t put its name on a faulty product. I was wrong. These boots have a flaw that I have never encountered in any other of the many boots I have worn. The lace hooks at the top of the boot are so poorly placed that not only is it difficult to lace them all the way up but they also have a feature that sends the wearer sprawling. The first time it happened to me it was dark and I thought I was being attacked by something. What happens is, the loop in one tied lace catches in the lace hook on the other boot, effectively tying your feet together. I have tried all sorts of different ways of tying the laces but so far nothing has worked. Periodically, somehow the loop gets hooked and the only difference is that now I know what is happening and I usually don’t go sprawling.

Perhaps Coleman had figured out the problem, which is why the boots were on a super sale. But in the future I think I will stick to buying Coleman stoves, lanterns and coolers and buy boots from folks that make boots.

*****

I’m starting a movement cleverly named the “Don’t give me any pennies” or “Round to Five” movement

I don’t care what it is called, I’m tired of dealing with pennies. They are worth almost nothing. When I was a kid, you could buy a candy bar for five pennies, and if you paid for a candy bar with five pennies nobody complained. Try buying a candy bar for $1.25 with 125 pennies and see what kind of reaction you get. I’m willing to accept the loss of not getting pennies in change, but what would be far better would be for stores that still accept cash to round everything up or down to the nearest five: 43 cents becomes 45 cents, 42 cents becomes 40 cents. It is absurd for a clerk to have to count out pennies. I would imagine it costs stores more to have an employee count out pennies than the value of the pennies.

The penny dishes at the cash register are great, but they seem to be disappearing.

*****

Here is the pre-primer for the Central North Carolina Airport Authority on asking for public input. You ask for public input first and then you announce your decision. The Airport Authority got confused and announced the name change first and now they are asking for public input.

It’s easy to see how they could get it wrong. Everybody knows that appointed public bodies who report to no one and cannot be removed from office have little reason to be concerned with public opinion.

For example, if the CNCA Authority paid any attention to the public, then taxis would be allowed to queue up at the airport like they do at every other airport in the world with a paved runway.

 

Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden