I learned a long time ago that you can’t trust daffodils as a sign of spring. I’ve taken too many photos of daffodils in bloom in the snow. What blooming daffodils prove is that we’ve had a couple of warm days but not that winter won’t return.

However, just as I have learned not to trust daffodils, I have learned to trust trillium. In the past, the trillium in my yard has not bloomed until it really was spring, which is what makes me really nervous, because the trillium has not just poked its leaves up out of the ground, the buds have formed; and last weekend a bunch of them opened.

Since it was still February when they opened, I’m wondering if I can still trust trillium or if even they have been fooled by some unseasonably warm weather. Officially, spring is still three weeks away, but the plants seem to be united in saying we’re having an early spring this year. All I know to do is wait and see if they’re right.

Maybe this year it will be February showers that bring March flowers.


If you like the Polar Plunge photos on page 10, check out rhinotimes.com. We have a lot more.


The Greensboro City Council spends a lot more time lately dealing with boards and commissions. Two of the most powerful of them are the Board of Adjustment and the Zoning Commission. Since city councilmembers spend a lot of time talking about the boards but don’t attend meetings, I thought I’d give them an update.

The Board of Adjustment (BOA) is where you go to get a variance, usually if something you want to build doesn’t comply with one of the myriad of requirements of the city – and that board is doing a great job. It considers what the purpose of the regulation is and decides if an exception should be made in the particular case before them.

When the BOA was having constant requests for variances for front porches because of the city’s absurd residential front setback law, the BOA asked that the ordinance be revised, and it was. The ordinance is still absurd, but not quite as absurd as it was.

Now the board is getting a lot of requests for branching electrical service. If you build an outbuilding like a garage, pool house or shed on your property, the electrical line according to the current ordinance has to come from the house so there is only one meter. The law was put in place to discourage outbuildings being used as residences, something that many city planners now say should be encouraged. Also, a lot of times it just doesn’t seem to make sense to run a wire past the outbuilding to the house and then back to the outbuilding. The BOA is asking that this law be revised to provide more flexibility, and it should be.

The Zoning Commission by comparison is all over the place. Several members of the Zoning Commission don’t seem to understand that they should be concerned with land-use issues: Should the property be rezoned to whatever is being requested, or is it not a proper land use for the property? Is the density too high? Is it a proper location for commercial development? Is it the highest and best use of the land? All of those questions are legitimate considerations.

At the last meeting there were questions asked about the timing of traffic lights in the area of a rezoning request. Try as I might, I can’t see how the timing of traffic lights is a land-use issue.

Also, at the last meeting, the Zoning Commission got all tied in knots about annexation, which is not an issue over which the Zoning Commission has any authority. The City Council makes annexation decisions, not the Zoning Commission.

Fortunately, the majority of the zoners understand what their job is, but meetings drag on much longer than is necessary because the board spends so much time discussing matters that are not in its jurisdiction.


I was shocked to read in the News & Record that Guilford County District Attorney Doug Henderson was retiring. Not shocked that Henderson was retiring; that news was in this paper two weeks ago. What was shocking was that the News & Record discovered that Guilford County has a district attorney, just like Rockingham County, or just like Rockingham County used to have.

I’m figuring that a News & Record reporter overheard someone in Wentworth – the county seat of Rockingham County and, as far as the N&R is concerned, the news capital of the world – talking about how this guy down in some little town called Greensboro was retiring, and then tracked it down.


I know I’m supposed to be excited about the green bikes that I see in groups all over town, but I’m beginning to have my doubts.

Since LimeBikes came to Greensboro I have seen hundreds parked on sidewalks and in parks, but so far I have seen three being ridden. And although it’s hard to tell them apart, unless the people placing them around town are meticulous in putting them in the exact same spot, I see what looks like the same bikes in the same places day after day. I’m beginning to wonder about the business plan.