Campaign finance reports aren’t due until the end of the week, but former District 5 City Councilmember Tony Wilkins has filed his and it has some startling information. Wilkins had $19,823 left in his campaign account at the end of the election. Wilkins raised a total of $59,418 and spent $39,595.

If Wilkins had won you could say that he was being frugal – but he lost. Current District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm won with 2,513 votes to 2,054 for Wilkins.

Thurm by comparison raised $36,995 and spent $35,056 and had $1,938 left in her account.

So while Wilkins raised $22,423 more than Thurm, he only spent $4,539 more than Thurm did.

The combined amount of money raised, over $96,000, may be the most ever raised by two candidates in a district City Council race.

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Wow. According to an article in a reputable publication, a mathematician at Duke proved that the Republicans drew the congressional districts to favor Republicans. This is simply astounding information. No doubt only a high level mathematician could figure out something everyone in the state already knew.

The Republicans have not denied drawing districts to favor Republicans. State Rep. David Lewis, when asked why they drew districts that would give Republicans a 10-to-3 majority over Democrats, said he didn’t think it was possible to come up with a map to elect 11 Republicans.

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I was reminded the other day of the most useful thing I learned in college – my Social Security number. When asked for my number, I tried to recite it slowly and found I could not. I had to say it fast and repeat it three times. But before I went to college I had no idea what my Social Security number was.

The most important class I took in high school was typing and I got a C.

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The N&R writes about how technology may end drunk driving by putting mini-breathalyzers in all cars so they won’t start if you have had too much to drink. It’s an interesting thought, but there is another way. If the City of Greensboro would encourage neighborhood bars it could greatly reduce drunk driving.

People are going to drink alcohol. This country tried prohibition and that didn’t work at all. So you have to accept that people are going to drink. In other places neighborhood bars are popular. People can walk down to the local bar, have one too many and stagger home.

Because of the strict zoning regulations in Greensboro, very few people live within walking distance of any commercial establishment, much less a bar. It means when they have one too many and decide to drive home, they endanger themselves and everyone on the road.

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For sky watchers, Wednesday, Jan. 31 is a night you don’t want to stay inside. First off, it’s a blue moon. A blue moon occurs when there are two full moons in one month. It happens every couple of years and is where the expression “once in a blue moon” comes from. But it is also a super moon and a lunar eclipse.

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When running for City Council every current city councilmember said that one of their priorities was bringing more jobs to Greensboro, which is what they said in the election before that and the one before that and …

However, you don’t see much action toward bringing jobs to Greensboro. Here is a suggestion that the current City Council won’t like at all: Why not follow the path of President Donald Trump to encourage job growth.

Trump did two things, both of which the City Council could do – he cut regulations and reduced taxes.

This council is not going to cut taxes. The best we can hope for there is that they don’t raise taxes again, like they did last year.

But cutting regulations would save money that the city could then spend on pet projects. Cutting regulations would also do a lot to encourage job growth. Greensboro is known as the Gate City, but it is also known for being one of the most difficult cities to do business in in North Carolina.

My personal experience is that it is much easier to start and run a business in Charlotte than in Greensboro. In Charlotte, city hall actually tries to be helpful.

Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden