The golf course at Sedgefield is reportedly in great shape coming up on the Wyndham Championship PGA tournament, beginning with a pro-am on Monday, August 13, and tournament play from Thursday, August 16 through Sunday, August 19. The course hasn’t lacked for water in the past two weeks. Hopefully the tropical weather will at least take a break for the week of the tournament. If we get evening thunderstorms every day like we’ve been having, you can expect – along with rain delays – low scores, because the greens will be incredibly soft. However it doesn’t take long for a golf course to dry out, so if the rain stops we should have a beautiful course in prime condition.


According to the Greensboro Planning Department, the population of Greensboro has topped 290,000, but not by much. It’s 290,222, which is a 7.9 percent increase over the 2010 census figure, which was 269,666.

So Greensboro continues to grow at a sedate rate, but growing slowly is far better than shrinking slowly.


The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is an exclusive club, and now Mike Barber is a member. Former Greensboro city councilmember, former chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, former chairman of the State Licensing Board for General Contractors and current president of First Tee of the Triad, Barber has a long list of accomplishments. Many of them have to do with professional golf tournaments in Greensboro, so it was fitting that Barber was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine at the Wyndham Championship’s Founders Club dinner Friday at the Sedgefield Country Club.

Barber was chairman of the Nike Greensboro Open in 1999 and chairman of the Wyndham Championship in 2012.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is North Carolina’s highest civilian honor and is awarded by the governor.


While we are having torrential rains, parts of Europe are suffering from a heat wave. I read that the temperature in Portugal got up to 116 last week. I don’t know a lot about other countries, but I lived in Lisbon for a year and have been back as many times as I could afford. I’ve been in lots of houses over the years and have never been in one that had air-conditioning. It’s not that people can’t afford air-conditioning but that the vast majority of the time it isn’t needed. I would like to be a heating and air-conditioning salesman in Portugal about now, because I think a lot of folks are going to decide that it’s worth the investment.


The city is expected to approve the agreement with Elm St. Hotel LLC to build a Westin Hotel on top of the February One parking deck, but the city and Rocky Scarfone are not seeing eye to eye on his agreement to sign over the easement to the back of Cone Denim Entertainment Center in exchange for $730,000, an easement out to East Market Street, some parking concessions, a piece of land and the right to build a green room on the back of Cone Denim.

The problem is the green room, which according to the city inspections department can’t be built with the stairs outside. Placing the stairs inside takes up much of the 17-foot by 20-foot space the city is deeding to Scarfone. So what Scarfone is asking for now is the air rights over the alley so he can build what he needs plus the stairs the city is requiring.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan has said that in her opinion the city has kept its part of the agreement. She also noted that Scarfone had cashed the check from the city.

But Scarfone does have some leverage because although the agreement has been signed the underlying documents deeding land and such have not been signed by Scarfone. Granting air rights to build over the alley won’t cost the city a dime and it would make a problem that has cost the city dearly and held up construction for months to finally be settled once and for all. Since this whole issue became a problem because the city ignored Scarfone’s easement when it bought the property and designed the deck, you would think that when the agreement with Scarfone was reached, all the documents would have been signed at the same time, making certain that the deal was done. But that’s not what happened.


At the end of May we reported that the News & Record government reporter Margaret Moffett was leaving the daily to become editor of the Triad Business Journal. This week former business editor and business reporter Dick Barron took over the city beat for Margaret and will be the full time local government reporter. This is good news for Greensboro and for the news business.

Dick has been a reporter and editor in Guilford County for close to 30 years. He has mostly been a business editor and writer, but he knows the area and the players. In the past he has attended his share of City Council and Zoning Commission meetings when they involved business stories. The difference now is he will be covering the government side and not the business side, but it would be surprising if his coverage didn’t include more of a business slant than in the past. Since one of the goals of this council is economic development, that should work out well.

I don’t know what it means, but it’s worth noting that Margaret went from government reporting to business news at the Triad Business Journal, whereas Dick is going from business news to government news.

Higher education reporter John Newsome, who has been covering the city during the summer, will go back to covering higher education full time.

The Guilford County government reporter beat appears to still be open.


You have to be right smart to get accepted at Harvard, but evidently you don’t have to be too bright to work there.

The Harvard admissions staff is arguing in court that the racial percentages of students admitted of 20 percent Asian, 16 percent black, 12 percent Hispanic year after year are a coincidence.

Members of the admissions staff testified in a court case that those percentages were not the result of goal setting but it just happened that Harvard admitted almost exactly the same percentages of racial minorities every year.

If you believe that, I’d like to sell you a genuine Harvard diploma, suitable for wall hanging and friend impressing.