Four days into the new year and the battle is on. Gov. Roy Cooper says he has the power to expand Medicaid coverage in the state and is going to do it without the approval of the legislature. President Pro Tem of the state Senate Phil Berger says that Cooper doesn’t have that power and doesn’t have the authority to spend billions of dollars without legislative approval.
It doesn’t appear the Democratic governor and the Republican legislature are starting out on the right foot and it’s likely to only get worse.
If the weather forecasts are to be believed, we are supposed to get the first snow of the year this weekend. The weather reports list a 70 percent chance of snow, which also means a 30 percent chance it won’t snow, so I’m not sure if that means it’s time to go buy bread and milk yet. But then, if you wait, the stores may be all out by the time you get there.
I always wonder if there is some collusion involved, and when grocery stores need a boost in sales they convince the meteorologists to predict a little snow.
Here is some good business news to start out the new year.
Polytex Environmental Inks has signed a lease for a building on Boeing Drive and will initially employ from 30 to 50 people at the facility.
Daybreak Technologies, a division of Polytex, opened a 5,000-square-foot research lab at the Gateway University Research Park in Brown Summit in November, and now the company is moving a part of its manufacturing operation to Greensboro.
There were some emails back and forth from the City of Greensboro to Garth Miller with Equity Commercial Properties and Bob Isner, who is handling the construction portion for the project, requesting some kind of assurances from the city that the building could be renovated for the process, which involves hazardous, toxic and flammable materials.
It appeared to be something of a chicken and egg situation where the city couldn’t give approval until there were plans, but their wouldn’t be any plans until after a lease was signed, and Polytex didn’t want to sign a lease until it had a confirmation that the site would work.
Isner said that the city worked with them to get, not an approval, but the assurance that what they needed to do could be done in the building.
According to Isner, the problem they had was really with the holidays, when offices are closed and people are taking time off. But he said the city worked to get the necessary assurances that there didn’t seem to be any problems that would keep them from being able to make the alterations in time to get the lease signed on Dec. 31.
So it’s good news that the Nano Center is doing what it was billed to do – provide spin-off jobs – and that Greensboro is working with businesses on a tight deadline to provide the information needed, even over the holidays.
It’s also worth noting that this company opened a lab at the Nano Center and they must have been impressed with Greensboro because a month later they are moving part of their manufacturing operation here, and that means new good jobs for Greensboro and hopefully more in the future.
If the Starwood Hotel website is correct, then two new hotels will be opening in downtown Greensboro by 2020. One is an Aloft Hotel at the corner of Bellemeade and Eugene Streets across the street from NewBridge Bank Stadium, and cattycorner from the Hyatt Place Hotel currently under construction as part of the Carroll at Bellemeade project by Roy Carroll, the publisher of this newspaper.
Carroll owns about an acre and a half on the corner, which he purchased in 2016 from Guilford County. Starwood just gives an address, and the address is actually for the county building on that site. But according to reliable sources, the county has no plans to get into the hotel business.
The Starwood site also lists a Westin Hotel being built at 203 South Elm St., the site of the Elm Street Center, where the owners have been trying to put together a deal to build a hotel for several years. The owners of the property met in closed session with the City Council before Christmas, and while the City Council took no action after the meeting, evidently a deal is in the works.
I picked up a book on journalism over the holidays and read more than I intended because I found it so entertaining. Here was a book written about journalism and it appeared to be written by someone who had never worked for a news publication. Maybe the author worked in television news, but I doubt it. I think the book was written by someone with a degree in journalism, perhaps even a doctorate, but who had never had a job at a newspaper.
The boook describes how things are supposed to work, as if that is how they actually did work. I couldn’t find anything that indicated that when a newspaper is produced that everything might not go exactly as planned. My experience in the news business is that almost nothing ever goes as planned, and if you counted on things being done the way they were described in this book, you could never produce a newspaper. Or maybe you could produce one newspaper a year, or maybe two.
During the election cycle I gave up listening to National Public Radio (NPR) because I found that when I listened on my way to work I arrived in a foul mood. I find the fact that I have to pay for that liberal propaganda to be broadcast all over the US is infuriating. However, I thought that since the election is over, and the right team won, I might be able to listen again for a while. But, if anything, NPR appears to have become even more biased. From what I was hearing you would think that Donald Trump stole the election and is an illegitimate president.
That’s not what happened. Trump won the most electoral votes and that is how you win a presidential election. As Trump has said, he ran a campaign to win the most electoral votes and Hillary Clinton ran her campaign to win the most popular votes. So from that point of view they both succeeded. But Trump won the presidency and all Hillary Clinton did was win the popular vote.
In the last 44 years, only two people have been reelected to the US Senate by North Carolina voters. The first is Sen. Jesse Helms and the second is Sen. Richard Burr, who was sworn in this week to serve his third term in the Senate. Before being elected senator in 2004, Burr served 10 years in the House representing Winston-Salem.
In my attempt to join the 21st century before it gets too far past me to catch up, over the holiday I posted a couple of videos on my Facebook page, and I also learned to pay for coffee with my phone.
I’ll have to say that paying for coffee with my phone would be dangerous if coffee were any more expensive, because for me it’s like using a credit card for the first time – I don’t feel like I’m spending real money.
With credit cards I learned pretty quickly that a big bill comes at the end of the month that I really do have to pay. I imagine when I look at how much coffee my phone has bought I’ll have the same epiphany, but, since I just started, I’m going to enjoy thinking it’s free for a while.
Along those same lines, I haven’t started tweeting yet, in part because after 140 characters I’m not even warmed up.
Tweets appear to me to be a lot like writing headlines – you have to try and pack a lot of information into a few words, and I know headlines are often misleading.
But I am following a few people like our president-elect on Twitter, and say what you will about Donald Trump, the man knows how to tweet. I think this week was the first time in history that an action of Congress has been halted by a tweet, but it likely won’t be the last time. If a tweet from the president-elect is powerful, imagine how much more powerful a tweet from the president will be.