Friday, May 7th, 2021

Author: John Hammer

About John Hammer

Here are my most recent posts

Downtown Streets, Roads and Stroads

Downtown Greensboro is undergoing a $25 million streetscape project that is going to transform some of the streets in the downtown from roads into pedestrian-cyclist-outdoor dining- and bench-sitting friendly streets. But one major problem with the downtown is that it has two “roads” that cut right through the middle – Friendly Avenue and Market Street.

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Video Of Council Meeting Proves It Was Illegal From The Start

The video of the illegal closed meeting of the Greensboro City Council on Tuesday, April 27 is now available on the city website at http://greensboro.granicus.com/player/clip/4406?view_id=2&redirect=true That video makes it clear that the City Council work session was in fact illegal and that the city knew or should have known that it was illegal before the meeting started.

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Greensboro Police Officers Request New Law To Release BWC Videos

The release of police body worn camera videos has become an even more controversial issue with the video of the shooting of Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, being withheld. The Greensboro Police Officers Association has jumped into that fray with a letter dated Wednesday, April 28 to Gov. Roy Cooper and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.

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Despite Campaign Rhetoric Manning Votes With Pelosi

In 2018, when 6th District Rep. Kathy Manning was running for Congress against 13th District Rep. Ted Budd, Manning ran a campaign add that said she would not vote for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Manning lost that race in 2018, but when elected to represent the 6th District in 2020, she cast her first vote in the House for Pelosi for speaker and has supported Pelosi on every vote since.

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Council Holding Work Session On Water, Budget, Bonds And More

The Greensboro City Council has scheduled a “hybrid” work session for 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 27. Beginning this month, the City Council has been holding what it calls hybrid meetings where most or all of the City Council, along with city staff, is in the council chambers, but the public is not allowed to attend in person.  Public participation is virtual.  However, the public is rarely allowed to speak at work sessions.

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Apple Announces New $1 Billion Campus At RTP

Apple announced today that it will invest over $1 billion in North Carolina, building a new campus and engineering hub in Research Triangle Park in Wake County. The Apple campus will be over 1 million square feet and create over 3,000 new jobs with an average salary of $187,000.  Employees will work in fields such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and software engineering.

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Community Foundation Announces $50 Million Contribution

The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro announced it had received the largest gift in its history, this week at the annual meeting. The contribution of $50 million is a bequest from Buddy Weill, who passed away in June 2020.  His gift will create a permanent field of interest endowment for capital expansions and improvement of facilities that support eldercare and healthcare.

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Council Removes Zoning Commissioner For ‘White Privilege’

Tony Collins was thrown off the Zoning Commission by a unanimous vote of the City Council at the meeting on Tuesday, April 20. Collins was removed from the Zoning Commission – which is an unpaid volunteer job – for, according to the words of Councilmember Sharon Hightower, exhibiting “white privilege and entitlement.”

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City Council To Hold First ‘Hybrid’ Business Meeting

The Greensboro City Council will hold its one business meeting of the month on Tuesday, April 20 beginning at 5:30 p.m. This will be a “hybrid” meeting, which means that most or all of the City Council will be in the council chambers along with city staff, but the public including the media is not allowed to attend the meeting.  The council chambers is a large room and could easily accommodate a limited number of people with the recommended social distancing.

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Lots Of Jobs Offered At Hotel Job Fair, Not Many Takers

A lot of jobs were available at the Guilford County Hotel Association Job Fair held at the Greensboro Marriott Downtown at 304 N. Greene St. Friday, April 16. The hotel industry was well represented with tables manned with plenty of personnel.  Some even had cookies and goody bags for potential employees.

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After Stabbings, Vaughan Renews Call For Nightclub Ordinance

Four people were stabbed Sunday, April 11 at Tranquilo Bar and Restaurant at 221 S. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro. None of the four had life threatening injuries, according to the police report. In response to that incident Sunday, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan posted the following on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nancy.vaughan

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Guilford County GOP Has Unexpected Guest At April Meeting

The 70 or so Republicans who attended the monthly meeting of the Guilford County GOP on Monday, April 12 got a pleasant surprise. The top Republican in North Carolina state government was in attendance. North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who lives in Greensboro and before getting involved in state politics attended Guilford County Republican Party meetings regularly, was there sitting in the crowd with his wife, Yolanda, just like old times.

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Cooper Signs Bill To Change How Reading Is Taught In Public Schools

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed the “Excellent Public Schools Act” into law on Friday, April 9. This was purported to be one of those controversial laws proposed by the Republicans in the legislature that might squeak through on a straight party-line vote. Although some in the education bureaucracy saw this as highly controversial, the North Caroline Legislature did not.  The Excellent Public Schools Act passed the state Senate on a 48-0 vote and passed the state House on a 113-5 vote.  Democrats and Republicans in Raleigh disagree on a huge number of issues, including education issues, but not on the teaching reading based on the Science of Reading.

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JAG Money Comes Home To Roost, But Not In Greensboro

This week the Greensboro City Council should be getting thank you notes from Guilford County and High Point. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is expected to accept a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) of $250,000, which is $136,900 for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department and $113,000 for the High Point Police Department. Originally, $138,000 of that grant was awarded to the Greensboro Police Department, $61,000 to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department and $51,000 to the High Point Police Department.

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