I won’t promise it but I will consider endorsing any City Council candidate who will sign an affadavit promising to finish the Downtown Greenway in my lifetime. I’m 63 and seem to be a good health, so that should give them enough time. This project began in 2001 and it is not even approaching completion.
What is this vastly complicated project that has completely stumped the City of Greensboro? It is a wide sidewalk. That’s all it is. I walked on one of the very few completed portions and that was back when Denise Roth was city manager.
This is an extra-wide sidewalk around the downtown – a little over four miles long – and in 16 years the city has not been able to complete 25 percent of it.
I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m predicting that the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts will be completed before the Downtown Greenway. In fact, based on its current rate of completion, The Tanger may have opened, been a wonderful venue for 30 years and been torn down by the time the Greenway is completed.
I’m not going to say that it was the strangest candidates’ forum I have ever attended, because I attended the forums when Jorge Cornell – a local gang leader who is currently serving a long prison sentence – was running for City Council, but it was strange.
The Democratic Women of Guilford County held a mayoral candidates’ forum for Democrats who are running for mayor in Greensboro, High Point and Jamestown. The same questions were asked of all four candidates and some, like lowering the crime and homicide rate, were a little tough for Jamestown mayoral candidate Robert Frederick. He said that as far as he knew there had been no homicides in Jamestown this year and, besides, Jamestown didn’t have a police department so there wasn’t much the mayor or Town Council could do about the crime rate.
The only two candidates who were running against each other were Diane Moffett and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan.
High Point mayoral candidate Bruce Davis, a former Guilford County commissioner, also participated. Some of the Greensboro-centric questions really didn’t apply to Davis either, but both he and Frederick took advantage of their time to talk about whatever they wanted.
Former Greensboro City Councilmember and Guilford County Commissioner Mary Rakestraw called Tuesday to say that she hadn’t been blown away by Hurricane Irma.
Rakestraw decided to weather the storm at her home in Winter Garden, Florida, which is a little west of Orlando and not too far from the path Irma decided to take up through Florida. She said they got winds in the 100 mile an hour range, had trees down and gutters blown away but not much serious damage in her area.
Rakestraw said, that before the hurricane, the whole neighborhood worked together to get lawn and porch furniture inside, sandbag doors and generally make sure everyone was as prepared as possible. She said the electricity came back on Tuesday morning, which was much better than much of the state.
In a recent editorial, the News & Record takes issue with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. That is to be expected because the current Board of Governors is made up largely of Republicans, so you wouldn’t expect the N&R to agree with anything they do.
But the major complaint by the N&R seems to be that the Board of Governors is insisting on taking an active roll in running the university system. It appears that what the Board of Governors is supposed to do, according to the N&R, is rubber stamp whatever the university administrators bring before them without even having the information to know exactly what they are rubberstamping. It’s the way the Board of Governors was run for years. In other words, it was an organization that didn’t do much but it did give a bunch of people a reason to take a day off work and go hang out in Chapel Hill.
No video shows the full story of a situation; you only see what the camera sees and hear what the microphone picks up. With that caveat, the arrest of the emergency room nurse Alex Wubbels by Deputy Jeff Payne in Salt Lake City appears to be a good example of a law enforcement officer overstepping his authority.
Wubbels appears to be flustered but extremely cooperative. She printed out the hospital policy and had her supervisor on the phone. Payne could have discussed the issue with her supervisor, but he chose not to. Whether the hospital policy was proper or not was not an issue. It was the policy and Wubbels was only following the policy of the hospital where she worked. It was not her job to make policy or to research the legality of the policy and that wasn’t the job of Payne either.
It appears in the video that Payne was extremely frustrated and used his authority as a law enforcement officer to vent that frustration. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, Payne should be fired for abusing his authority. Arresting Wubbels wasn’t helpful, nor was it necessary. It certainly wasn’t necessary to put her in handcuffs. It appears Payne did it because he was mad. Perhaps he had a right to be mad and the hospital policy is a bad policy, but arresting a nurse who was simply following the policy was not the correct procedure to follow.
If Payne actually had orders to arrest Wubbels, the person who gave that order should be fired also, if for no other reason than for being completely out of touch with reality. Law enforcement cannot run around arresting everyone who disagrees with them. We do not, yet, live in a police state where the police have unlimited authority.
The good news is that no one was injured and both Wubbels and Payne are white, so there is no racial issue.